Economic Collapse to Trigger Social Pandemonium
(Editor's Note: This urgent, time-sensitive briefing from Lee Bellinger, Publisher of Independent Living, reveals some deeply disturbing developments right under the surface. While, to some, the following might seem like sensationalist hogwash, to your editor, it is like "singing to the choir". It would be foolish not to consider these possibilities. - JSB)
U.S. Preparing a Military Response to Coming Social Chaos
As the shocking confidential information contained in this briefing shows, the threat of social meltdown and chaos is so large a domestic law-enforcement arm of the U.S. military (referred to by The Army Times as the "Consequence Management Response Force") has been created to deal with what U.S. officials believe to be a coming, unprecedented wave of massive social chaos.
Later I'll show you why many Washington insiders (including officials directly involved in homeland security) are personally making emergency preparations for social chaos. In addition, outgoing Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson told Sen. James Inhofe and Rep. Brad Sherman that so much financial mayhem lies ahead U.S. troops may have to impose martial law to deal with social unrest.
Yes, U.S. Officials Are Quietly Preparing for BIG Trouble Ahead
A new report by the Army War College's Strategic Studies Institute states flatly the U.S. military must prepare for "a violent, strategic dislocation inside the United States" that could be provoked by "unforeseen economic collapse" or "loss of functioning political and legal order."
Late last year, The Washington Post noted the incoming Obama Administration is going to "earmark" at least 20,000 troops returning from Iraq to deal with "domestic emergencies." Since then, the Army Times has broken the story that the domestic emergency army unit has been increased to 80,000 troops, who are being trained right now in Georgia.
In short, U.S. officials expect big trouble ahead - but they are not warning the general public about the danger (much less urge the unsuspecting masses to make basic preparations).
A rare critic of the government's keep-the-public-in-the-dark mentality is former head of the U.S. Commission on National Security, Stephen Flynn. He noted in a recent Wall Street Journal editorial: "Too many officials believe telling the truth to Americans about the risk would set off a nationwide panic. Thus, they keep us sheep in the dark for our own good."
Boiled down, you need a real plan to deal with massive social dislocations that are headed our way. And you need to get started right now, because the government isn't going to give you a heads-up.
Here's Why Washington Expects to Use Troops Against Americans
Let me get straight to the point about the high probability of social chaos, what it will look like, and what you can do to not be among the millions of unsuspecting Americans who are going to get caught flat-footed.
You see, a government-consumer debt bubble 20+ years in the making is imploding - as desperate federal meddling to stave off financial collapse is "funded" by frantic funny-money printing to shower trillions of dollars over a restive public.
Even "mainstream" financial figures are finally admitting we may be in more than a recession. For example, the CEO of General Electric, Jeff Immelt, recently conceded the U.S. may be descending into a depression.
Until a few short months ago, official Washington wasn't even using the "R" word. The "experts" are finally fessing up to what the rest of us can already see: Ghost malls springing up from coast to coast, with an estimated 148,000 store closures projected so far for 2009 - including Steve and Barrys, Sharper Image, Wicks, Levitz, CompUSA, Circuit City, Linens and Things, KB Toys, Whitehall Jewellers, and Shoe Pavilion.
Frightened U.S. policy-makers also note a number of giant chains are on the brink of bankruptcy for 2009, including Phillip Van Heusen (IZOD/Calvin Klein), Macys, Office Depot, Pacific Sunware, Bombay Company, Pep Boys, Sprint-Nextel service stores, Ethan Allen, Ann Taylor, Lane Bryant, Dillards, Starbucks, the Gap, Footlocker, and Home Depot.
Dire Unemployment Picture Foreshadows Social Chaos
John Williams of the authoritative Shadow Government Statistics notes that unfudged, un-manipulated government statistics suggests a whopping civilian unemployment rate of 17% - with a projected total to exceed 30% (during the Great Depression, unemployment approached an historic 25%).
In the U.S., job-shedding has now exceeded post-World War II levels and the January 28 Wall Street Journal warned: "One troubling sign is that the states that were first into recession - those with a heavy concentration of home building and manufacturing - are getting worse, not better..."
In December, the International Monetary Fund's managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn warned of riots and unrest sweeping through Western countries as lower-income households are beset with credit constraints and rampant unemployment. (Such riots have already caused the government of Iceland to fall and triggered riots in Greece.)
Today's Americans Don't Resemble the Hardy Depression-Era Generation
Not to be politically-incorrect, but the simple truth is millions of Americans who've never known anything but prosperity and easy-money have a militant expectation that society "owes" them something. And with so many families on the margins of survival already, the speed of the downward unemployment spiral is downright ominous (and unprecedented).
Worse, there are few signs the taxpayer dependents of today have any of the self-reliance skills that saw the hardy Great Depression generation through the tough times.
In fact, there is mounting evidence tens of millions of low-income government dependents and many others infected with a sense of entitlement are prone to crime and violence - especially when it dawns on the masses there are not enough jobs and government promises of "relief" are as empty as the U.S. Treasury is bankrupt.
For example, in response to financially-troubled New York State making minor trims to its budget, an ugly 50,000+ mob took to the streets around city hall to demand higher taxes against the "rich." (Similar protests were mounted in Albany, Buffalo, and White Plains.)
In just the last year, when fuel prices were soaring and metals such as platinum were exploding, gasoline thefts across the nation became rampant. Copper was being ripped off from construction sites, pipes were torn out of abandoned houses and catalytic converters containing trace elements of platinum were being shanghaied from parked cars all over the country.
Of course, the possibility of a full-scale depressionary unemployment is just one "trigger" threatening to cause society to come completely unglued.
Systemic Collapse is a Real Possibility: Other Shoes Are Getting Ready to Drop
It is far too dangerous to ignore the growing signs of impending national social chaos. Even after absorbing some of the unsettling facts in this briefing, you need to act calmly and decisively make sure you can get the things you need and protect what's yours - with undertones of frantic - while you still can. The signs of trouble abound.
Congressional Quarterly notes that pension fund losses are about to spill out onto the front pages - with nearly as much financial exposure as that which brought down America's banking giants.
It has not made much news yet, but the pension funds of millions of retirees is down by a whopping $1.9 trillion. This is why cities such as Philadelphia are quietly seeking federal money to bolster pension funds which CQ notes are 60% invested in the stock market - which itself has collapsed by a catastrophic 50% in just the last 18 months.
Not to scare the pants off you, but the Government Accountability Office (GAO) has quietly informed Congress that the "insurance" agency for private pension funds, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, is at high risk of failure. (This will not become a "crisis" until desperate people start trying to tap early retirement money that is not there - for now the looming pension catastrophe remains a "dormant"
Worse, the former head of the U.S. Comptroller General Office, David Walker, essentially told Congress (before resigning in disgust) that the Social Security "Trust Fund" is a vault of IOUs; and Medicare will soon be effectively bankrupt.
State Governments Are Becoming Too Broke for Law-Enforcement
The American Association of Architects' historically-reliable construction index has plunged 34.7% - a grim indication the commercial real estate market is the next shoe to drop, which analyst Mike Larson forecasts will lead to an "unstoppable chain reaction of bankruptcies."
The reason I bring this up is because 46 states are already experiencing major budget shortfalls. And yet it is taxes from U.S.
commercial real estate on which local and state governments depend to fund fire, police and social services. (Not to mention major insurance carriers - many of which are going to go belly-up when the full extent of the commercial real estate bust hits their reserve portfolios.)
States such as California and Kansas don't even have enough money to send out tax refund checks (much less properly fund police departments) and are coping with the biggest annual job loss in a single year since
1945 (down 2.8 million jobs in 2008 alone).
The Washington Post notes two out of three large police departments in U.S. cities are already reporting budget cuts and hiring freezes, even as 233 departments told the Police Executive Research Forum that they are noticing a major "uptick" in property crime which they attribute to financial unrest.
The National Center for the Victims of Crime reports a whopping 24% increase in calls from October 2007 to October 2008 as "job losses and economic stress factor into increased violence."
In addition, cash-strapped states have been forced by collapsing tax revenue to release hardened criminals back into society, noted the Post. On February 21, The Charlotte Observer reported on a disturbing trend which is going on all over the country: Major budget cuts for jails even as criminality is on the rise.
The Observer story cited the closing of a youth detention center for violent offenders, an all-too-common "low-profile" budget-cutting practice going on all over the country.
More Evidence the You-Know-What is Going to Hit the Fan
Think about the widespread collapse of order and emergency services in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina - except on a national level. The implementation of gun-confiscation laws, looters and thugs terrorizing the elderly with impunity, besieged hospitals without power, doctors and medicine. People forcibly herded into "containment zones" and denied access to food, water, and medical attention. At least 45 patients died in one city-run hospital after being abandoned by doctors and staff.
More recently, a simple fuel pipeline break in America's barely-functioning, antiquated energy infrastructure spawned major gasoline delivery disruptions throughout the entire Southeastern Seaboard region. For over six weeks, drivers could not find gasoline except by standing in line for hours to get just a few gallons of fuel.
The recent regional collapse of the U.S. fuel infrastructure is a major warning sign that the energy supply chain is stretched dangerously thin - which combined with financial unrest has the strong potential to create major disruptions in the food supply chain (most population centers have only three days of food available to the public through supermarkets - meaning panic runs on food are a distinct possibility as the potential for social chaos continues to mount).
If you think these scenarios cannot happen in the United States of America, talk with anyone who has ever been in the path of a hurricane. They will confirm that by the time the general public catches on to the danger, getting everyday items such as gasoline, batteries, plywood, medicine, water, and food becomes next to impossible. Social services, police protection, public transportation, and highway systems become next to useless.
When the Police Abandon Law-Abiding Neighborhoods to Mobs
And don't even get me started on police protection. Past riots in Washington DC and Los Angeles portend a disturbing pattern when social chaos overwhelms order. The police almost always "pull back" and abandon entire neighborhoods to vicious mobs.
In the case of the 1992 Los Angeles Rodney King riots (as Caucasians and Asians were hunted down, robbed, and slaughtered), the police hunkered behind their defensive cordons as the murderous racist rage unfolded - the only outside contact law-abiding victims had in the riot zone were with intrepid news helicopters hovering overhead, broadcasting the racial programs on live TV.
You may even remember the only community to come out unscathed were sections of Los Angeles populated by Asian merchants - who fended off the mobs by placing shooters on the roofs of buildings within their defense perimeter. These heroic Korean merchants successfully protected their families, shops and homes. All because they knew how worthless bureaucrats truly are and made their own preparations. Where are you in this process?
The coming social chaos will magnify these problems a thousand-fold. In short, it is extremely important to be one step ahead of the general public during an unfolding crisis. And at least three long steps ahead of the government's draconian, blunderbuss, freedom-stealing response.
Government Deliberately Keeps Public in the Dark About Multiple Threats to Public Order
Some Americans have learned from past history and are quietly making basic emergency preparations for social chaos. Private gun sales at all-time record highs. Safe makers and alarm and generator installers have never been so busy. Not even close.
Highly successful financial players such as commodities genius Jim Rogers now openly says the U.S. is heading for an inflationary holocaust.
Which is why, for over a year - as confidence in the U.S. financial and political system continues to evaporate - physical gold and silver have been flying off the shelves - not just in the United States but all over the globe. The unavailability of physical gold and silver has become so acute that major U.S. mints have either curtailed or stopped taking orders for new coins.
The Washington Elite Are Quietly Making Themselves More Self-Reliant
Now I want to share an important personal insight with you that will probably never make the news. You see, I belong to two Washington, D.C. membership organizations which date back to the 1800s - with members that include a smattering of cabinet officials, members of Congress, mid-level federal managers and many, many, retired former insiders.
This is how I first learned that many top-level Washington insiders - many of whom have been directly involved in developing the Homeland Security Department, do not have confidence in government preparations for social chaos.
I know this for a fact, not just because of my conversations with club members. I am also an acquaintance with a private contractor who has a booming specialty business which does nothing but work in posh DC neighborhoods, installing emergency back-up generators, freezers for food, and safes (Even a quick review of the DC yellow pages suggests that installing emergency generators and other survival precautions has become a prospering cottage industry in the Washington area.)
As one of my very best Hillsdale College professors would have mused: "What would lead so many influential Washington insiders (who are in a position to know) to seek out ways to become so much more self-reliant than the average citizen?"
Outgoing Vice President Dick Cheney's Chilling Prediction
Of course, financial mayhem may be the least of America's problems.