I was watching Bloomberg on Monday and the headline stated, “Do Earnings Prove American Exceptionalism”?

I am sad to say that many are deceived into believing that America is somehow superior to other places and that we can get away with almost anything because we are calling the shots. While I believe that the USA WAS the greatest country on earth for a long time those days are long gone. What made America great? I think Ronald Reagan said it best- If America ceases to be good America will cease to be great.

Hard work and thrift are what led to America being great. Equal opportunities and not handouts. The money we had in those days was backed up by a real asset- gold. This meant that the VALUE of our labor couldn’t be diluted and marginalized by conjuring up massive amounts of cash out of nowhere. The illusion of wealth has replaced the creation of wealth. The real reporting of numbers related to the economy has been changed into a propaganda report to disguise the real state of our economy. The manipulation of gold and silver lower and the comparison of the US dollar to weaker currencies have been carried out to hide the collapse of our purchasing power.

In the days prior to the early 1990s the numbers that we saw from our “leaders” were for the most part realistic. While some massaging took place the numbers for inflation, unemployment, etc. were all at least in the ballpark- unlike today where the “numbers” are so far removed from reality it almost makes no sense to even look at them unless you are a trader looking for a short-term play.

One of the reasons that America was the greatest country is that we had legal immigrants that came here looking for OPPORTUNITIES that were abundant at that time and not throngs of people coming to look for handouts. America had a strong work ethic and civic pride- that has been replaced with an attitude of privilege, handouts, and division.

Back when I was growing up it was an embarrassment to take any handouts. I remember getting a stipend to eat lunch every day at school but to get it you had to show a card. Because of that there were many days I didn’t eat lunch because I didn’t want anyone else to know that I was in that situation. I’m sure many were too proud to accept assistance. Today, anyone will take whatever they can get and many scheme to get even more. The stigma of handouts seems to have ended LONG AGO.

What ever happened to excellence? It appears that a lot of companies and certainly our cities, states and national governments are more concerned about what a person looks like or what their beliefs may be rather than the most important reason for hiring someone which is “CAN THEY DO THE JOB?” I believe that most of this is just fluff to make those “in charge” feel good or to create division amongst the populace to keep our minds off of our many and rapidly growing problems in the economy and our finances. I think the damage done by looking at a person’s outside instead of seeing their abilities, strengths and weaknesses is on display daily in government, companies and in particular in customerfacing jobs.

What ever happened to service? Back when most businesses were smaller local firms the owners of those businesses had to see everyone that they served, and they had to compete for their business. When you called a store, or just about anywhere, a human being would answer the phone and most times would be pleasant and take care of your concerns. Today, it is a miracle to get a human being to be your first contact when you call almost anywhere and many times- since the “service centers” have been moved overseas you are lucky if you can understand the person on the other side of the call. In many cases this takes place after hold times of up to 30 minutes.

This has mainly taken place because our small local businesses- the backbone of the American economy are being systematically destroyed. Large chains have taken over the landscape and it is my opinion that the government, in union with large corporations, are destroying “mom and pop” on purpose.

I started thinking this way during the supposed pandemic when almost all small businesses were shut down, but the large corporate stores were all fine to be opened. I never believed that a virus could differentiate between a box store and a local merchant. Also, as we are seeing now, the banks are tightening credit and the most likely to be affected are small businesses.

To me, this is dangerous in many ways. First of all, as big money buys up assets, they are far more concerned about their return on investment than customer service and the vibrancy of their asset. You see, when you buy something instead of building something there is not the same passion for excellence. This is showing up in every facet of our lives. If you call your doctor, you can expect a 3-6 month wait for an appointment. This is because big money has bought out our healthcare system. Many doctors have told me about having to leave private practice (small business) because the costs became prohibitive, and most doctors are now just corporate employees of large hospitals. I have also had many nurses complain to me that the people making decisions have no knowledge of medicine or treating anyone, but they are determining the rules of engagement with patients.

I used to walk into our local grocery store and the owner would stock shelves. Today, almost any place I can shop is part of a large corporation. The owners are nowhere to be found and if you go to a large department store or home improvement store it is a miracle to find anyone who can answer a few questions. Unlike the owner of a store, there is no passion. There is not a sense of community. The attitude almost always is “I can’t wait until my shift is over so I can get out of here!”.

This money “printing” is far more dangerous than just having our currency weaken and seeing prices rise. It also allows a few people to get access to “money” and not only buy up assets but also to destroy smaller competitors because they have better access to credit than the little guy. This is one reason when I read about the Weimar hyperinflation it was not only the currency that was destroyed but it was also the fabric of society that was ripped apart as people lost faith not only in the currency but also in each other.

I think this happens because a few have a tremendous amount of assets and the many are left with scraps. The rich survive, the poor get taken care of and the middle class gets wiped out in a massive inflation leading to rich and poor with no in between. I believe that the way of life we have known since I have been alive (a long time now!) is coming to an abrupt end.

We have never seen our currency collapse, but we could be on the cusp of joining a growing list of banana republics that “print” too much money and destroy their currency. It has happened EVERY time this has been tried. Likely the only reason it lasted so long this time is that the entire universe of central banks were in on it and as all currencies collapse it is not as noticeable as if it were one or two.

Unless you believe that economic laws only apply OUTSIDE THE USA then I suggest you get your head out of the sand and …

Be Prepared!

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