Retail store closures have tripled so far this year, with 8,600 stores projected to close in total in 2017. This far surpasses the previous record of 6,163 stores in 2008 at the onset of the credit crisis.
This incredible implosion in brick and mortar business is often blamed on the rise of internet retail, or the “Amazon effect.” This is yet another lie. Total e-commerce sales only accounted for 8.5 percent of total U.S. retail sales in the first quarter of 2017 according to the commerce department. This means that internet retail is nowhere near large enough to account for the considerable loss in standard retail business. Thus, we must look to the stagnation in consumer spending to explain the situation.
U.S. household debt has now hit levels not seen since 2008, just before the credit crisis.
Those looking for government spending to save the day should probably look elsewhere. Nearly 75 percent of every tax dollar goes towards non-productive spending on the part of government.
I could go on and on — it is simply undeniable that nearly every sector of the U.S. economy is in steady decline compared to pre-2008 levels. This instability in the fundamentals will eventually weigh down and crash stock markets, bond markets, currency markets, etc. Such markets are the last vestige of the U.S. economy still giving the appearance of health.
So, there will come a time, probably sooner rather than later, when the piper will have to be paid and someone will have to take the blame for our fiscal non-recovery.
The international banks and central banks are certainly not going to volunteer for this even though they are the real perpetrators behind our incessant financial rot. But how do they avoid accepting responsibility?
First, by setting the stage for another scapegoat. As I warned for months before the 2016 election, Donald Trump is the perfect target for a redirection of blame for a market crash. He has even been avidly attempting to take credit for the current market bubble, making it easier for the banks to lay blame in his lap when the entire edifice crumbles.
Second, by warping public focus away from the economic collapse altogether and presenting them with a seemingly more dire threat.
In Syria, this has developed into potential conflict with the Syrian government, Iran and Russia. The establishment could at any moment initiate an attempt at regime change. Not necessarily with the intent to actually unseat Bashar al-Assad, but with the intent to create as much chaos as is necessary to terrify the unwitting citizenry.
While Donald Trump has been recently credited with “ending the regime change program” in Syria by ending the CIA training and funding pipeline to “moderate rebels”, this by no means equals an end to the plan to unseat Assad.
ISIS has moved west into Europe, and now direct action against Assad by western governments is more probable. The Turkish government recently leaked the locations of multiple US bases within Syria, indicating that troops will remain on the ground and that the fractured country will continue on the same path of instability.
The next and most likely scenario for distraction is North Korea. With North Korea’s latest ICBM missile test, the perceived threat to the U.S. is now complete. The idea of North Korea striking the heart of America with a nuclear weapon is enough for many people to rationalize U.S. strike operations.
That said, an invasion on the part of the U.S. makes little sense. Any strike by North Korea would be met with immediate nuclear annihilation; meaning a ground invasion to “prevent” an attack is unnecessary and might actually provoke a nuclear response rather than defuse one. Of course, it is likely that the goal in North Korea is not to prevent a nuclear event, but to once again catalyze chaos and confusion while the global economy and more importantly the U.S. economy sinks further into oblivion.
The US government has just issued a travel ban to North Korea starting September 1st. They have asked all Americans already visiting the country to leave immediately.
Next, Russian tensions are reaching a new level, as the U.S. Senate has passed new sanctions based on nothing but fabricated hearsay, and Donald Trump proves me right once again with his signature on the same sanctions, calling the legislation “flawed” while at the same time displaying overt cooperation with the establishment agenda.
The Russian response has so far been to expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats from their country, and warn that the sanctions constitute the beginning of a “trade war”.
My readers know well that according to the evidence I view the East/West conflict to be farcical and theatrical, but this does not mean there will not be real-world consequences to the “little people” caught in the engineered crossfire. I believe this will culminate not in a shooting war, but in an economic war.
While the international financiers constructed our bubble economy and will benefit from its failure, it will be eastern nations (and Trump) that receive much of the blame for the destruction of these bubbles.
Finally, an uncomfortable level of discord has been sparked the past month between India and China, both nuclear powers, over a border dispute in a remote valley connecting India to its ally, Bhutan. My feeling is that this is leading to diplomatic breakdown, but not necessarily an open war.
Unfortunately, the trigger point stands ready to be exploited by globalists any time they need greater distraction. And, to be sure, a war between two of the world’s largest economies would wreak absolute havoc and provide an excellent diversion for a fiscal crash already set in motion by international banks.
I do not see the timing of heightened geopolitical tensions in 2017 as coincidental. It appears to me that these events are perfectly organized with maximum distraction in mind as we hit the top of perhaps the most massive stock and bond bubbles in modern history.
The effectiveness of the smoke and mirrors will depend on the ability of liberty proponents to keep our analytical teeth sunk into the jugular of the establishment elite, as well as our ability to remind the public that these conspirators are the true criminals behind our national and international pain.
The more extreme the geopolitical disaster, the more frightened people will become and the harder it will be for us to do our job. Knowing the level of difficulty involved in preventing the terror and madness of the mob, it is not a struggle I look forward to in the slightest.
About the author: Brandon Smith is the founder of the Alternative Market Project, an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for barter and mutual aid. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the unstable mainstream system and build something better. You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]