Business as Usual

Wall Street is on an amazing rise, since its March lows, and I do mean amazing. While it is very difficult to compile an accurate picture of the American Dream, I can assure you that the advance in stocks is suspect. It has become prudent to be suspicious of everything, it seems.

I keep my own chart of the American economy, which I labeled the Pain Index about ten years ago. It is difficult to determine the correct figures to put into it. For example, we cannot get official home foreclosure numbers, despite that they are registered at the county courthouse. I get those figures by piecing together figures from Realty Trac. There is no accurate consensus number of uninsured people in health care. Even the figures we routinely hear need to be taken in context or misunderstood.

Times are difficult, and I resent being lead down the primrose path when my brothers and sisters are struggling mightily. I believe everyone sees the pain clearly, but why is it that we are told that everything is coming along just fine, then?

There seem to be battle lines drawn between Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, or internet and TV media. Justin Ruben, executive director of, is unapologetic for pushing back against Obama’s critics. “We said all along that we would take on the opposition and anyone standing in the way” of the White House agenda, he said. Glenn Beck can’t find much to appreciate with either party. Wall Street says the pain is over. Who do we believe? 


Total Number

Percent Population

American Population



People Uninsured (Est)



Population in Poverty



Population Disabled




Total Number

Percent 25 and Over

Population 18+ Age



Population 65+ Age



Population 18 + and – 65 Age (Not Disabled)



Population Registered as Unemployed



Unofficial Estimates of Unemployed Unregistered



People in the Military and Government



Total Unemployed or Government (Est)




Total Number

Percent of households

Number of Households



Homes in Foreclosure



Homes in “Shadow” Foreclosure



 I don’t know if the current political situation is so much an evil conspiracy.

It is natural for me to think that politicians want the best for themselves they can get. I don’t blame them for trying, and I blame us for not finding that to be common sense. It is just our responsibility to see that our government officials are treated they way they treat us. How do you think they should be treated?

Isiah 56:9-19 says, “All you wild animals in the fields, come and devour,all you wild animals in the forest! All their watchmen  are blind, they are unaware. All of them are like mute dogs, unable to bark. They pant, lie down,and love to snooze. The dogs have big appetites; they are never full. They are shepherds who have no understanding; they all go their own way, each one looking for monetary gain.”

What are our watchmen saying? Our forefathers warned us to be watchmen over the politicians. Have we ignored their warnings? Do you consider the politicians your watchdogs?

Business works to make profits.

We can’t blame business for looking out for themselves. That is the reason for their existence. Any effort for customer satisfaction should be done to satisfy the bottom line. Lawyers and judges are all in the same company, so they exist to help each other make money, period. The oaths are made for the benefit of the company, the American Bar Association. I realize the American Bar Association is a bizarre anomaly which we somehow have allowed to exist. 

Other companies operate their procedures to the benefit of the stockholders, too. It is somewhat comforting to understand where they are headed anyway. Many tout free enterprise as the shining star of America. That’s pretty sad. 

Politicians want to stay in the good ole boy network. 

In other words, government officials will try to work together for their own benefit. We call it networking. As a result, it might not be illogical to assume they are more interested in getting along with their colleagues than representing us. Didn’t our forefathers tell us unequivocally to distrust the government? If voted out, politicians need to have an alternate source of income, and helping out other politicians might help them land a lucrative lobbying job or other Capitol Hill employment.

Who is fueling the stock market rise, then?

Don’t forget that we allocated $800B to bail out the banks. The banks are not lending that money, because they realize that those assets are not worth their sales price. Currently, banks only approve 1/3 of mortgage applications. So, the banks have put that money in the stock market; and they are showing great gains to convince investors to buy bank stocks. Bank stocks led the latest rise in the market. They cannot afford to let the market tank, or they will show those huge losses on real estate they are trying to slowly liquidate.

So far this year, investors have poured a record $220 billion into bond mutual funds, according to the Investment Company Institute, vs. only $12 billion into domestic stock funds. In normal times, those two numbers would be reversed.

 Some economists estimate that the negative 1 percent economic growth in the second quarter would have been negative 6 percent without the government’s fiscal stimulus.

Who is your watchdog?

Isiah 56 goes on to say, “Each one says, ‘Come on, I’ll get some wine! Let’s guzzle some beer! Tomorrow will be just like today! We’ll have everything we want!’

So, how is “business as usual” working for you? The middle class can feel the pain index. We, and the friends we support, hurt. We must not allow ourselves to be sleeping watchdogs. It is time to regain control over the circumstances in our country. America was founded on the Bible, and it is time to reassert those principles here.


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