I suppose the first question is why I expect a second Great Depression. Part of my reasoning is history,
the US led the world into the first Great Depression, and both the US and parts of the eurozone are
already in economic crisis. Even the Chinese economy is slowing down.
The economic stimulus used to end former recessions has become less and less effective over the
course of the last five recessions, and for the Great Recession of 2007 economic stimulus made the
underlying weakness of the economy much worse. ("The “Jobless and Wageless” Recovery from the
Great Recession of 2007-2009: The Magnitude and Sources of Economic Growth Through 2011 I and
Their Impact on Workers, Profits and Stock Values," Center For Labor Market Studies, Northeastern
University, Boston, Massachusetts, May, 2011, see Table 1, p. 9, Table 2, p. 10, and Chart 6, p. 11).
The huge loss of American manufacturing jobs in the last decade has shrunk the consumer base. "Since
2001, the country has lost 42,400 factories, including 36 percent of factories that employ more than 1,000
workers (which declined from 1,479 to 947), and 38 percent of factories that employ between 500 and
999 employees (from 3,198 to 1,972). An additional 90,000 manufacturing companies are now at risk of
going out of business... Manufacturing employment dropped to 11.7 million in October 2009, a loss of 5.5
million or 32 percent of all manufacturing jobs since October 2000... When a factory closes, it creates a
vortex that has far-reaching consequences. The Milken Institute estimates that every computer-
manufacturing job in California creates 15 jobs outside the factory. Close a manufacturing plant, and a
supply chain of producers disappears with it. Dozens of companies get hurt..." (Richard McCormack,
"The Plight of American Manufacturing," The American Prospect, December 21, 2009). Other quotes and
a bio of Richard McCormack can also be found in No.124, "Quotable Notables."
The confidence of America's consumers has been destroyed. The American middle class lost half of its
wealth in the housing bubble. "If you wanted to focus on just one number that explains why the
economy can’t really recover, this is the one: $7.38 trillion... That’s the amount of wealth that’s been lost
from the bursting of housing bubble, according to the Federal Reserve’s comprehensive Flow of Funds
report." (Rex Nutting, "How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class," MarketWatch, July 8, 2011).
The combination of high unemployment and high spending for social services has severely unbalanced
the federal budget. In the eight years of George Bush's presidency the National Debt rose by almost
$4.9 trillion. In 2.5 yrs Barack Obama increased the National Debt by over $3.7 trillion. As of July 26, 2011
the National Debt was over $14 trillion. (www.theobamadebt.com).
China has engaged in a quiet trade war against America for a decade. The result is high American
unemployment. "America's trade deficit is costing us close to 1% of GDP growth a year at a loss of almost
1 million jobs annually. That's millions of jobs we have failed to create over the last decade; and if we
had those jobs now, we wouldn't see continuing high unemployment numbers, padlocked houses under
foreclosure and empty factories pushing up weeds... The most potent of China's "weapons of job
destruction" are an elaborate web of export subsidies; the blatant piracy of America's technologies and
trade secrets; the counterfeiting of valuable brand names like Nike and Chevy; a cleverly manipulated
and grossly undervalued currency; and the forced transfer of the technology of any American company
wishing to operate on Chinese soil or sell into the Chinese market." (Peter Navarro, "How China unfairly
bests the U.S." The Los Angeles Times, Op-Ed, June 21, 2011. See also No. 126, "Communism 1,
Democracy 0" on this website.)
Congress has only begun to discuss (gridlock over) the National Debt and out of control social services
spending. They are not even discussing the return of America's manufacturing base which is essential
to economic recovery. Instead, they are arguing about taxing the rich.
The rich don't have enough income to fill the deficits. Even taking ALL the income of the top 1% won't fill
the holes. "Consider the Internal Revenue Service's income tax statistics for 2008, the latest year for
which data are available. The top 1% of taxpayers—those with salaries, dividends and capital gains
roughly above about $380,000—paid 38% of taxes. But assume that tax policy confiscated all the taxable
income of all the "millionaires and billionaires" Mr. Obama singled out. That yields merely about $938
billion, which is sand on the beach amid the $4 trillion White House budget, a $1.65 trillion deficit, and
spending at 25% as a share of the economy, a post-World War II record... The rich, in short, aren't nearly
rich enough to finance Mr. Obama's entitlement state ambitions—even before his health-care plan kicks
in." ("Where the Tax Money Is, Obama targets the middle class while pretending to tax only the rich,"
The Wall Street Journal, Digital Network, April 17, 2011).
As their names reveal, tax cuts during the second Bush presidency were intended to spur economic
growth. To refresh your memory, the names were: Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of
2001 and Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2003.
In fact, these tax cuts did nothing to stem the massive outflow of American manufacturing jobs that has
shrunk the tax base and threatened the economy. The fact is that America will never be prosperous
until the jobs that create other jobs, the manufacturing jobs that both set up industrial supply chains
and stimulate personal spending, come back here.
The job outflow will continue as long as nations like China take advantage of the cumbersome and
ineffective enforcement of fair trade laws by the World Trade Organization and of lax trade law
enforcement by the Obama administration. I have already written my recommendations for dealing with
"China is using currency manipulation and other questionable trade practices to exploit the markets of
its trading partners and denying American manufacturers access to its markets. China has been a
permanent member of the World Trade Organization since 2000. This situation has allowed it to take
advantage of its trading partners.
"Rather than continuing to attempt to get fair treatment from China, I would suggest that the United
States unilaterally withdraw from the World Trade Organization. This would not affect our relationship
with our NAFTA partners, Canada and Mexico. Our arrangement with them is controlled by a separate
treaty. It would allow America freedom to deal with its trade partners as they deserve.
"For example, if a trade partner has generally dealt with us fairly, we could simply continue to deal with
them as in the past, conforming to the standards of the World Trade Organization. Trade grievances that
arise could be dealt with immediately through direct country to country talks." (For the rest, see No. 122,
"Economic Misery 101" on this website.)
Since Congress is in gridlock and discussing only part of the problem, the National Debt, it seems
reasonable to expect another 18 months of economic chaos before the next election. Even then, a
poorly informed electorate may return Obama to the White House and prolong the misery. Obama has
shown that he would rather incite class hatred than address America's real economic problems. The
longer America's economic woes continue, the more likely it is that the world will fall into a second Great
So, how does a working man survive GDII?
In a number of articles on this website I have addressed this problem from a religious perspective,
calling for people to leave the cities and gather in isolated farming communities to await the
establishment of the Kingdom which God and Christ have promised to bring forth on the earth, see Dan.
2:44 and Matt. 5:5. (Suggestions of how to accomplish this are given on this website in No. 56, "The Third
Trumpet." See also No. 112, "The Business Model For The Kingdom Of God.")
Even if you are not religious, leaving the cities is good advice. The working people who suffered least
in GDI were living on farms. They had space for gardens, chickens, milk cows or goats, fish ponds and
corn fields. People in the cities were eating in bread lines, while in the country farmers were producing
their own food and extra to sell.
Here are a few specific strategies as well.
Buy a crock pot and use it. With a crock pot you can tenderize cheap cuts of meat with slow cooking and
prepare food in advance. This eliminates choosing take out or rush cooking when you come home from
work. The night before chop and refrigerate all vegetables but onions. In the morning, put meat, water,
pealed and quartered onions and seasonings in the crock pot with a cup of whole grains and set it on
low. When you come home from work, add the chopped vegetables and turn the heat to high.
Always add whole grains to your crock pot meals. (Barley is traditional for beef, brown rice for chicken.)
Whole grains stretch the meal, increase both the total protein of the food and your body's ability to
utilize the protein, and are a super energy food. Processed convenience foods often contain additives
that slow you down, whole grains speed you up.
Eliminate white bread, white sugar and white rice from your diet. These foods slow you down. Replace
them with high energy foods, whole wheat bread, honey and brown rice. In GDII, you will need energy
for such projects as gardening.
Plant a small dirt or container garden now and learn to raise food without chemicals. Composted manure
and composted forest products are cheap, and these plus common dirt are all you need. If it is hot,
water your garden daily.
Use your public library to study skills like whole foods baking or gardening or car repair or appliance
repair or house building. The more practical skills you have, the less trouble GDII will cause you.
While you are learning skills, start taking responsibility for your health and the health of your family.
(Keep your doctor as backup for accident or sudden acute illness.) What you need to know to get
healthy and stay healthy is on this website. See No. 104, "Kitchen Medicine" and No. 105, "Why Diets
Don't Produce Long Term Results, And What To Do Instead." There are sample recipes in the latter and
also at www.amoroden.com/marksrecipes.html. If you are persecuted like me, also see No. 103,
Don't wait until the staggering economy has collapsed, start now. Your government is already broken.
Amo Paul Bishop Roden