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American's; Running On Empty:

By       Message Mike Folkerth     Permalink
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Good Morning Middle America, your King of Simple News is on the air.

U.S. NEWS: As world stock markets follow their U.S. counterparts to subterranean levels, one has to ask where the bottom may be found. And, why are the foreign markets heading south to begin with?

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Perhaps even more troubling is the burning question of when the foreign nations (who loan us $3 billion per day) will begin to suspicion that 2008 may be a rough year in Disneyland, well…at least in Fantasyland? And why do we even care?

The answers are that the world’s greatest consumers are in hock up to their eyeballs. The U.S. with our nearly $14 Trillion economy, play the part of the lead domino on the grand stage and we are doing a balancing act that pales the Leaning Tower of Pisa.

There is also the possibility that our $700 billion trade deficit is making those who benefit from this horrendous imbalance a little nervous. The U.S. needs to keep on spending, but with debt at record highs, savings at all time lows, and unemployment creeping up; how is that going to happen? I won’t keep you in suspense; it won’t!

All of these questions and pesky facts can give a person daily headaches. Throw in a never ending war, record deficit spending, a funded national debt of some $9 Trillion, an unfunded debt of $53 Trillion, and 78 Million Americans lining up to retire; and it just becomes mind boggling.

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So have we played out our string? I think so. I believe that we have eclipsed the world’s ability to sustain our habits and I don’t think that is all bad.

Let’s reduce this thing to some common sense and an easily understood format with my patented Mikeronomics.

The U.S. set out years ago on the impossible scheme of ever expanding growth. The problem was (and remains so), that the world refused to cooperate and stayed the same size. Not a small problem I might add.

Overlooking the fact that the world was not inflatable was easy when “profit” is the headline and “sustainability” isn’t even in the text. Following this plan, you can see a really big predicament coming somewhere down the road. We have arrived.

All of the things that we take from the land, which is everything, stayed the same size and even after conferring with the Wizard, expanding the landmass to match our consumption, seems a daunting task. We are now beginning to run short on a few supplies such as oil, clean water, clean air, cropland, forests, iron ore, and holes large enough to dump our trash in. Nothin’ big.

You would think that perhaps one of the brighter bulbs would say, “Hey, why don’t we plan to use less.” But then the dimmer bulbs would say in unison, “That would be less profit you idiot,” and the bright bulb would be reduced in rank to 15 watts.

This brings us back to the U.S. consumption which seems to be taking a break because U.S. consumers are in troubled times and apt to remain that way.

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So how do you see this thing playing out? Where will the millions of new jobs come from? Where will the resources come from to fuel China, India, Korea, Japan, and the other 95.2% of the people who don’t live in the U.S.? Oh, when you’re solving these problems it helps to know that Americans currently use some 25% of global fuel and 30% of world materials.

I have my ideas for sure, but I want to hear from you. Oh, please don’t say, “They will come up with something.” What say you?


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Mike Folkerth is the author of "The Biggest Lie Ever Believed" and is not your run-of-the-mill author of finance and economics. The former real estate broker, developer, private real estate fund manager, auctioneer, Alaskan bush pilot, (more...)

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