I just thought I would write about what an economically collapsed country looks like.
I am in a position to do so because I am writing from within the United States of America.
I should have known when I approached my friendly neighborhood Jack in the Box for a bit of high class fast food to see it had a giant banner hanging above the front window saying “We Accept EBTs”
For the uninitiated, EBT stands for ‘Electronic Benefit Transfer’ which is a more politically correct term for Food Stamps.
It is a weird phenomenon of this collapsing socioeconomic arena that Food Stamps have become much more hip, discreet and acceptable.
The government has taken great pains to CONCEAL the appearance and stigma of food stamps in order to make them more appealing.
In the olden days you had to take out a hand full of colorful food stamp coupons in front of the entire line of people and basically advertise that you were so poor you had to have the government feed you.
Now all you have to do is take out your ‘EBT Card’ handily concealed in the palm of your hand and pass it through the scanner - BEEP!.
That’s it. Your free to go and enjoy your groceries, sir!
BEEP! Indistinguishable from a real working American swiping a debit or credit card.
So now Food Stamps...er...excuse me...EBT Cards have become fashionable.
I see the local hipsters line up at my local Whole Foods at the beginning of each month in gigantic crowds which fill up all the registers because at the beginning of the month is when their EBTs get replenished and the losers have depleted their cards (probably by shopping at Whole Foods) a week prior.
Now Whole Foods is probably THE most expensive super market you could shop at, but that doesn’t keep the new high class preppy food stamp dependent losers who swamping Whole Foods with their EBT cards because gosh darn it, they deserve it!
That’s right, the preppies deserve high priced food because they are them! They’re sophisticated and they have good high class taste in food so why not spurge your EBT Food Stamp benefits on cuisine worthy of being served in a luxury liner?
You go to your local super market at the beginning of each month and you will see the same phenomenon - all the registers full, cram packed with lines of people cashing in their EBTs!
When I forget to avoid my local store on those dates and see the soup line mess, I just turn around and leave.
And that is what they are - the Soup Lines of the 21st Century.
The Soup Lines are here!
The only difference between 1934 and 2014 is they have been disguised and hidden by the government in order to hide the ghastliness of the economic collapse and the ensuing panic.
From what I see, most all college students have accepted having an EBT food card as a fact of life.
That’s right. Beg for your tuition money, splurge some of it on the town and get food stamps so you can dine on the dole.
If you can hide the soup lines and somehow convince people that everything is still ok, you can have some modicum of control over the population.
JACK IN THE BOX
Which brings me back to my Jack in the Box adventure.
When I saw the EBT sign hanging out the front window I should have just turned around and left.
As I parked my car, the first thing I see is something that looks like a Mexican cartel assassin leaning on his girl against a car.
As I exit my car, I know what comes next.
I get ‘mad dogged’ (which means I get stared at in an aggressive fashion) as I exit my car and go into the restaurant.
Upon entering my good old neighborhood Jack in the Box, I see what looks like a 500 pound ex-gang banger shifting his weight around, throwing stuff trays around and glaring at people.
It took me some time to understand this guy was actually the manager.
So I order my food from the cashier, with the 500 pound gorilla (who has stopped his stomping and tray tossing) stopped and started glaring at her and me from behind the cashier (for some reason).
When stuff like this happens, my nose and chin just instinctively go up a bit higher in the air and an expression of distaste fills my face.
I finish my order and the pleasant ‘senorita’ cashier says she’ll have it right out and the 500 pound gorilla lets out what seems like a disparaging snort.
I sit down to read my book and shortly thereafter an entire family enters mom, pop, three kids and two grand parents.
At this point I am asking myself, what would attract a nice good looking family like this to enter a joint like what my ol Jack in the Box has become?
The answer soon becomes apparent.
After ordering a huge meal, the dad flips out his EBT card.
Soon my food is done, I pick it up and eat it (as is my custom) absorbed in my book and totally ignoring the humanity around me when the 500 pound gorilla starts stomping around, literally throwing his weight around and seemingly putting on what macho airs his obese 500 pound body can muster.
Soon I notice the probable cause of this animal’s posturing.
It seems the gorilla’s diminutive girl friend has just entered the establishment, has been served and now has to be shown whose in charge of the general area.
I finish my food, quietly resolving the ol’ Jack in the Box is not what it used to be and that I shall never return.
I ate my food slowly and deliberately. I enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed slowly reading my book. It took a long time.
When I leave, guess who is still in the parking lot.
The Cartel pimp is still there, still forcing his ‘senorita’ against the back of a parked car.
As I go towards my car, the senorita (of course) looks at me and smiles.
Mad dogging time again...as the Cartel pimp turns around and gives me the look of death, which I return with the non-chalance stare of looking at two as if they were a couple logs lying by the road.
Jack in the Box...sigh...oh the memories long past.
Signs of a collapsed economy?
Since we are on the subject of fast food, how about fast food places no longer being able to sell their dollar menu...without accepting EBT cards?
Have you checked out the local Goodwill and Salvation Army stores lately?
Talk about doing great business.
I didn’t even know Goodwill stores had lines (smelly stinky, slightly deranged lines) you had to wait in before paying for your used item.
Now they do!
The big surprise is when I go to the Goodwill parking lot and see all the Cadillacs, Mercedes, Infinities and BMWs there.
I’ll let you speculate on the socioeconomics of that.
Or how about Walmart and Target.
Have you noticed Walmart and Target are starting to resemble grocery stores instead of malls?
Well, there’s a reason for this.
People are so poor, they can no longer buy ‘things’
All they can do nowadays is reach for their EBT cards and purchase some junk food.
Walmart and Target are switching to food because that is all people can buy!
So you now have these mega stores pushing aside all the cheap Chinese manufactured items and replacing it with FOOD!
That’s right. The new luxury item in today’s America is no longer cheap Chinese trinkets...but cheap tasty junk food!
Eat some cheap EBT junk food, you’ll feel better.
That $20.00 Chinese iPod imitation you can’t afford wasn’t worth it anyway.
Most of the 99 Cent stores I know of are going bankrupt as they are unable to sell even their one-dollar trinkets...and are changing over to food.
Which brings me to the subject we are all just about one paycheck from becoming: beggars.
I have never seen so many beggars.
Old beggars, young beggars, male beggars, female beggars, hippy beggars, child beggars (with mommy beggar hiding close by in the general area) well dressed beggars surfer beggars...heck, I even ran into a family of beggars the other day.
You know what...I’ve even run into motorized beggars, begging for money from a running car.
I always surrender exactly $1.00 when they ask and consider it a contribution to the American economy and to my karma.
But seriously folks, the begging is a bit out of control.
It’s gotten to the point where there is a beggar in strip mall on every corner of a crossroads and just about every highway exit!
Unfortunately, begging has become something Americans have become rather good at.
I see begging at the job site, I see begging when small businesses mess up your order and you want your money back. I see begging from friends and relatives.
People, man up a little.
Whatever happened to ‘it’s better to starve than beg’?
I guess that went out with the beginning of Obama’s America.
I should have known America was on the dumps when the national TV networks chose NOT to air America’s World Cup tournament against Belgium.
Now I am sure that the game was available on cable some place...as it was (sigh) on the Spanish networks...but isn’t a World Cup championship game featuring the US worthy of being shown on national American TV?
I guess not.
There is all this talk about the need to make soccer popular in the US...well, given the enthusiasm of the TV networks...good luck with that.
The job fairs we have now are job fairs of crud.
I had to do a double take when I saw the local school district advertising on their (expensive, modern, top rate) light signs that there was going to be a job fair....for school crossing guards.
I mean, do you really need a job fair for a crud job like that?
A teacher friend of mine says that all they are looking to hire at the teacher job fair these days are young first timer teachers who will work for peanuts. Older experience teachers are disdained.
My friend says older, experienced teachers are pre-judged to be too expensive, too opinionated and too questioning for the school districts.
From what I see on the managerial staff of stores and corporations, the same thing seems to apply to them.
The last ‘store manager’ I asked to see at my local Albertsons looked like an 8th grader...and the last ‘bank manager’ who acquiesced to talk to me didn't look a year over 23.
Youth, inexperience and cluelessness is the byword in today’s managerial positions.
There has never been so many whores in America as there are now.
These dire times have turned America into a whore-mongers paradise.
All types of young, nubile, beautiful whores (most from middle class families) are just a phone call away.
Many advertise operate under the guise of ‘escorts’...or massage parlors or some other innocent sounding name.
There is a thing on the Internet called ‘Back Page’ in which all these (seemingly limitless) young beautiful whores advertise with their picture their uh ‘escort’ services with open insinuations that what you will get is something far beyond company.
The quality and quantity of the merchandise is not only jaw-droppingly astounding, but grimly depressing.
Back Page is CRAM PACKED with pretty youngsters (many 18 or slightly over) who are giving up their dignity, their morality and their self -respect for the almighty dollar.
I was shocked not only at the kids who are advertising there, but at their appearance (many definitely middle class and upper middle class) but at the sheer quantity of the advertisements!
I mean...this is America....not Bangkok!
I looked at back page only once (after seeing it mentioned in a news story) and it was this one time that the sheer weight of it hit me.
These youngsters have no sense of morality...or shame...or even simple human dignity.
I should have gotten a clue when i found out the new fad amongst the younger crowd was to text each other pictures of their breasts and testicles.
What we have in Back Page is gallery of spoiled young girls who have been brought up with no sense of modesty, shame, morality or principles, and who have grown up accustomed to ‘asking’ and getting things. First fro their parents...then from the government...finally from the Johns.
Back Page is a painful and scathing reminder that our young girls are not only broke...but lost.
And you see these whores walking up and down the neighborhood (a solid middle class neighborhood) making home visits...all the time.
In America today, dialing up a first rate whore has gotten as easy and as common as ordering a pizza.
Have you read a programming guide lately?
Eight continuous hours of ‘Cajun Pawn’...with commercials...and we are supposed to pay for that?
Most people I know are getting ready to drop their cable service mostly because they can no longer afford it and secondly because they have discovered that what they get for their money is next to nothing.
Cable TV is going the way of the dinosaur...and being absorbed (along with everything else) by the Internet.
Internet TV is the new thing. And of course, you are going to pay for it.
Services like Hulu and Netflix are the new frontier as the clueless turn to the Internet for their entertainment.
If you can imagine a property-less, bankrupt and broke individual with no hope staring at a screen connected to the Internet, you have a pretty good idea of the future.
And let’s not even get started on immigration.
Alright...let’s get started on it.
Our impostor in chief, Obama has (as you know) torn open the border to let the desperate, sick, impoverished, ignorant and criminal multitudes of the Third World into our country.
Sort of like opening the gates of hades, but TV says its a humanitarian gesture and that we should step up.
Like you ‘stepped up’ to save all those dying veterans at the VA which would have lived if the government had only ‘stepped up’?
Like you stepped up to save all those American families from being made homeless during the housing market collapse?
Like you stepped up to fix the collapsing American infrastructure?
Not only are there MORE illegals now than ever before, but there are more varieties of them, as the government finds ingenious ways to pilfer more in from countries as far away as Bosnia and Somalia.
A disturbing number of the ‘others’ just happen to be Muslim.
And the first thing these people do on arrival (many with their multiple wives disguised as single moms) is to get on welfare and check into your local Section-8 subsidized apartment housing...all while reinforcing their particular brand of fundamentalist Islam, of course.
My question to these people is...if you are so religious and so fundamentalist, what are you doing here?
Didn’t you hear America is the Great Satan?
Meanwhile there seems to be a Latin American Illegal Renaissance!
That’s right...now if you are an illegal you are a preferred honorary American...to be treated better than an American...as police let you go at traffic stops...and airport security wave you through...as you get free welfare, food stamps, medical insurance and subsidized housing.
So its no wonder that the new Illegals are starting to get an attitude.
Formerly the humble, hard working and low key underclass of American culture, the illegals are starting to stick their chest out.
With institutions like Mecha, Aztlan and La Raza egging them on to ‘re-take’ America and the government bending over backwards to make them at home...its no wonder.
These people will now stare you down and beat you up for looking at them crooked...and the police will let them go if they apprehend them for doing so.
They will let them go because Illegals are the wards of the Federal Government and local police have no jurisdiction over them...and the Federal Government JUST LETS THEM GO!!!
So these people are in wonderland right now.
Wouldn’t you love it if you could just disembark in Sweden, receive free welfare, medical insurance, housing and food, break the law and the police couldn’t touch you?
Sign me up for that!
I had to step outside when (during a remodeling of the town homes) one of these no-speak illegals in charge was loudly mocking and putting down an elderly resident who was asking why the job had not been completed on her particular home. The guy calmed down after I walked out, but still, you just didn’t see stuff like this happening before.
You didn’t see no-speak illegals shouting down bonafide American citizens and telling them to go to hell.
Yes indeed, the illegals are sporting a new attitude to go along with their new residency status.
And now, it turns out...they are starting entire gangs of wet backs.
They hang out at street corners and give you the ol’ mad dog as you drive by.
This is THEIR territory.
You see these illegals at the DMV, inside buses, stores, etc, talking extra loudly into their cell phones, brushing up against you and even shoving you aside.
Do something and you might end up with a puncture wound...while the guy that holed you gets released the following week.
Deal with the problem violently and YOU will go to prison.
After all, the police have jurisdiction over YOU, not the illegals, right?
Hey, the master race has returned to Aztlan!
These are the new protected wards of our new Babylon.
Our streets are being overrun by arrogant, government subsidized illegals...
...only in America.
SMALLER, CRUDDIER PRODUCTS
Meanwhile our ‘food items’ are beginning to turn up a the same price (or slightly higher) in ever smaller containers...and tasting like crap.
This is the system’s way of hoping you don’t notice the climbing prices.
I started noticing this when I bit into a Taco Bell Bean and Cheese Burrito and nearly spit the whole thing out.
The ‘taste’ had degenerated terribly, and for a nearly tasteless concoction of bean and cheese, this is saying a lot.
I don’t normally eat fast food...this is why I always notice the awful degeneration that takes place over time.
Meanwhile, the biggest (known) secret is they are serving up horse meat at all the cheap Mexican Food and Burger joints, not to mention the ‘hamburger’ you buy at your local supermarket.
Horse meat is IN!
The entire scandal erupted a few months ago, and got larger and larger and larger until it looked like it was going to engulf some of the major fast food brands...then it quietly went away.
Out of site, out of mind.
Now the horse meat scandal has been replaced by the chicken-from-China controversy which HAS engulfed the fast food brands of McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC.
Did you see the video of the Chinese workers scooping the Chicken McNugget paste off the factory floor?
Chicken from China?
What happened McDonalds, Pizza Hut and KFC...and others?
Not enough illegal Mexican workers or sweatshop factories or to cheapen the price of your home-grown chicken?
You can just smell subsidies, kickbacks and corruption on this China chicken deal.
Which is probably the same type of thing powering the enthusiastic drive by the US food industry to - get this - raise the chickens here...then ship them to China for ‘processing’ then ship them back here.
Does that make any financial or...ugh...hygienic sense to you?
Just how is it that this export/processing/import scheme is supposed to lower the price of ‘processing’ chicken without MAJOR Federal and Chinese kickbacks?
Doest it have something to do with (barf) China buying up all our factory farm producers of pork and chicken?
There are definite GOOD reasons people stay away from fast food nowadays.
Chocolate bars and candy are also losing out on the taste test as they begin tasting like the cheap imitation of their former selves that they are, along with all packaged junk food.
Beers are also going downhill, which is the number one reason for bars brewing their own. The swill they call beer nowadays is so obnoxious and sickening, many people just switch over to ‘home brewed.’
I have already seen this phenomenon in the Third World when the economy begins to collapse - the packaged food stuffs begin to taste really bad as the manufacturers begin to skimp and cheat on ingredients.
The result, of course, is people start tasting the difference and begin NOT buying the food anymore...which leads the bankruptcy of the ingredient substituting food cheats.
All this, of course, in a situation where an associate of mine (who apparently doesn’t give a hoot) admitted the reason he makes SURE his kids are at school on time is to make the school feed them (because he can’t). Believe me...there are a lot of other Americans doing the same thing for the same reason. Meanwhile, my other teachie friend admits that the free food is basically what makes many kids attend school regularly - they attend so they can eat.
Many self-employed Americans involved in the economic squeeze are now asking for pay in advance.
It happens regularly in the home repair industry, but I was taken aback when my mechanic asked me for half the amount in advance for car repairs.
Yep. Pay me half of the amount NOW or I won’t event start!
I am seeing more and more of this.
‘Pay me half the amount NOW or I won’t even bother starting the work.’
Plumbers, electricians, mechanics, tilers, babysitters etc are all joining in on the new pay-in-advance tradition.
Which brings me to one of the major barometers of economic collapse: housing.
Simply put, the way people house themselves is the way the economy is looking.
And the trend I see in American housing nowadays is communism.
I see more and more houses where, it seems, entire communes of disparate types of people live in.
This is because the rooms of houses are being sub-rented.
It used to be a phenomenon with with illegals or college students, but now the arrangement is becoming part of mainstream America.
Entire families are sub-renting a room in a house they share with the ‘owner’ and the other renters.
The ‘commune’ is becoming a standard part of the American economic phenomenon.
Not a comfortable arrangement by far, but perhaps the only one left...to people who are on the verge of sleeping on the street.
Meanwhile the comfortable difference is being made by a new swath of section-8 (subsidized housing) projects carried out nationwide on a scale not seen since the Pyramids or the Great Wall of China.
Recently I have seen entire business districts vacated in my very middle class town demolished and turned into massive section-8 housing projects to house the masses of homeless humanity now inhabiting the country.
Now I have seen a section-8 apartment housing project here and there, but I have never seen entire city blocks and entire neighborhoods of them!
As our towns start to resemble the tenement ghettos of Ancient Rome, it is becoming clear what the REAL reason behind Agenda-21 really is!
Ghettos of section-8 tenement buildings for the homeless.
Did I mention our infrastructure is starting to rot on the vine?
Bridges are collapsing.
Water mains are exploding and unleashing spectacular floods.
Faulty and rotting rails are derailing trains.
Roads are starting to look like something out of Mad Max or the Book of Eli.
Those axle-breaking pot holes have brought back some Third World memories
Our rusty power grid is beginning to fail often and catastrophically.
Our geriatric nuclear power plants are starting to leak.
Is it just me or does anyone else think the $5 trillion spent on occupying Iraq could have come in quite handy just now?
Yup, our infrastructure is rotting...and getting seedier by the minute...and there seems to be little our government can or will do about it....yet it always seems to have more than enough money to waste on expensive foreign entanglements.
Did you hear?
The Space Shuttle has been mothballed.
And with it all American contact with the International Space Station.
We now depend on the RUSSIANS to get our astronauts to and from a space station which is 90% ours!
Think about THAT, Obama...next time you decide to tick off Putin.
The abandonment of our space program is being sweetened with optimistic phrases like ‘the space shuttle is obsolete’ and ‘we have something else, something better.’
Well, where is that ‘something else’?
Private companies are offering their own cheap versions of parachute shuttle capsules, but NASA apparently doesn’t even have the funds to purchase even these cheap devices...and continues to depend on the Russians
to keep the International Space Station in working order.
ARMED FORCES ROTTING
Our soldiers are paid a pittance (below minimum wage) and upon their deaths or crippling while in combat, the government is starting to reneges on their military insurance.
Our soldiers are constantly being deployed with equipment that is non-functioning and falling apart and frequently left without food or even water while serving their country in foreign lands.
As such, the Armed forces have become the refuge of the derelict, the homeless and the unemployed.
The Veterans Administration (VA) is leaving our combat-disabled veterans to die through a comprehensive system of ‘death lists.’
Our economy has already collapsed.
The government is keeping things cosmetically concealed with things like EBT Cards, TV, and cheap food, but this is a bit like making a corpse keep looking like Miss America.
It can’t last very long.
As our economy collapses, the morally vacuous state of the American character is being made evident as all the nice young, hip Americans line up at their Starbucks and expensive restaurants with their EBT cards....and young American girls who have run slightly short of funds whore themselves out for bubblegum money.
The US Federal government is clearly now a foreign entity, introducing, housing and protecting foreigners supplanted in American soil, and enforcing its will not through Constitutional law, but through the barrel of a gun.
Our local police forces have become extensions of this Federal tyranny simply because they are PAID OFF regularly and are granted the power to torture and kill whomever they please by the paid-off judges and police unions.
What is left of the American citizen is being shot, tased, choked and stomped to death on the streets of America by the ‘police’ while illegal immigrant criminals are let go and treated like royalty.
Meanwhile (and this is the most incredible thing) Americans are continuing to act, behave and believe as if they were living in 1995.
Hey America, Bill Clinton and his shining economy went the way of the Dodo a LONG time ago.
What we have now is a collapsed state masquerading as a viable society through massive efforts of facade, concealment, embellishment, pretend...and make believe.
That’s right, we are PRETENDING and somehow brainwashing ourselves into believing everything is alright as we turn on our TVs inside our tenement buildings and swipe our EBT cards while collecting welfare...never believing (or refusing to accept) that sometime very soon all that will END.
Some day, the welfare checks will stop arriving, the EBT cards will stop working...and the only free tenement housing available will resemble a concentration camp.
What will Americans do then?
The answer to that is vague...but it will most likely require bigger and louder TVs to make all the escape and pretend easier.