Recovery: 51 Million U.S. Households Can’t Afford Basics

Recovery: 51 Million U.S. Households Can’t Afford Basics

May 18th, 2018

Via: United Way:

There are 50.8 million U.S. households that can’t afford a basic monthly budget including housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to new data released by the United Way ALICE Project.

This calculation includes the 16.1 million households in poverty as well as another 34.7 million families called ALICE, which stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. These households earn above the Federal Poverty Level, but less than what it takes to survive in the modern economy. Combined, these households make up 43 percent of America’s 119 million households. The Project compares 2016 household costs versus incomes at the county-level in each state, exposing the failure of calculations based on national averages to accurately represent the extent of financial struggle in America.




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Campbell reports $393 million loss as consumers reject processed junk

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The CEO of Campbell Soup announced her retirement Friday as the company announced that it will undertake a strategic review to address poor sales in a climate that is increasingly hostile to processed foods and imported steel.

Kevin McLoughlin, a board member of the company for two years, is taking over immediately for Denise Morrison, who was CEO since 2011.

The shakeup at the 150-year-old company based in Camden, New Jersey, coincided Friday with an announcement by Chief Financial Officer Anthony DiSilvestro that Campbell must lower its fiscal 2018 earnings guidance because of unexpectedly low gross margins.

Campbell’s completed its acquisition of the snack brand Snyder’s Lance this quarter but DiSilvestro blamed “both execution-related and external challenges” for the company’s lackluster performance, even as organic sales were stable in what the CFO referred to as a “difficult environment.”

In addition to growing market demand for healthier food options, Campbell’s has been grappling with tariffs on imported steel and aluminum that the Trump administration imposed in March.

“We expect double-digit increases on steel and aluminum,” DiSilvestro said, as quoted by the Associated Press.

The prediction is a jarring contradiction to an attempt by the Trump administration to normalize its steel and aluminum tariffs. Earlier this year, Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross famously held up a can of Campbell’s soup in a CNBC interview to make the point.

DiSilvestro meanwhile also told investors that the company anticipates a surge in wheat and vegetable prices, driven up by inflation.

Though Campbell’s shares plunged more than 10 percent in early trading Friday, so did those of other leading beverage companies PepsiCo Inc., Coca-Cola Co. and Molson Coors Brewing, which like Campbell’s are reliant on metal.

Even a tariff of one penny would lead to a $1.1 billion tax on consumers and businesses in a country with 119 billion U.S.-made cans, according to a statement from the Can Manufacturers Institute, which represents 22,000 manufacturers workers across the country.

Campbell’s noted that its incoming CEO McLoughlin is the former chief executive at appliance maker Electrolux.

Posting a net loss this quarter of $393 million, Campbell’s said it expects 2018 earnings to decline between 5 percent and 6 percent. Initially it had projected a decline ranging between 1 percent and 3 percent.

The company plans to discuss the outcome of their financial plans in late August.

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Nearly 51 Million Households In The United States ‘Can’t Afford Basics Like Rent And Food’

This article was originally published by the economic collapse 

If the U.S. economy is performing well, then why can’t 51 million households in the United States “afford basics like rent and food”.  A stunning new report that was just put out by the United Way ALICE Project shows that the gap between the wealthy and the poor in this country is perhaps the biggest that it has been in any of our lifetimes.  In some of the wealthiest areas of the nation, homes are now selling for up to 100 million dollars, but meanwhile tens of millions of families are barely scraping by from month to month.  Many believe that this growing “inequality gap” is setting the stage for major societal problems.

In general, the U.S. economy seems to be performing better than expected so far in 2018, but the ranks of the poor and the working poor just continue to grow.  The following comes from CNN

Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That’s 43% of households in the United States.

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE — Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what’s needed “to survive in the modern economy.”

If 43 percent of all Americans cannot even afford “the basics”, what does that say about the true state of the U.S. economy?

Of course the biggest reason why so many American families are struggling is the lack of good jobs.

In America today, 66 percent of all jobs pay less than 20 dollars an hour.

66 percent.

Just let that sink in for a minute.

You cannot support a middle class family on 20 dollars an hour.  As a result, many Americans are working more than one job, and in many households both the mother and the father are working more than one job.

Housing costs account for the biggest item in most family budgets, and the fact that housing costs have just continued to soar is putting a huge amount of financial stress on hard working families.  Just today we learned that there is a tremendous rush to buy homes as mortgage rates rise rapidly

Today, according to the latest Freddie Mac mortgage rates report, after plateauing in recent weeks, mortgage rates reversed course and reached a new high last seen eight years ago as the 30-year fixed mortgage rate edged up to 4.61% matching the highest level since May 19, 2011.

But while the highest mortgage rates in 8 years are predictably crushing mortgage refinance activity, they appears to be having the opposite effect on home purchases, where there is a sheer scramble to buy, and sell, houses. As Bloomberg notes, citing brokerage Redfin, the average home across the US that sold last month went into contract after a median of 36 only days on the market – a record speed in data going back to 2010.

If you will remember, we witnessed a very similar pattern just before the subprime mortgage meltdown in 2008.

History is repeating itself, and we never seem to learn from our past mistakes.

Housing prices in some cities are absolutely obscene right now, and many working families find themselves completely priced out of the market.  That has some people asking one very simple question

Many San Francisco renters I met while reporting an article on affordable housing lotteries had responded to the region’s housing crisis by putting up with great discomfort: They crammed in with family; they split apartments with strangers. Some even lived out of their cars.

Why, lots of readers wanted to know, didn’t they simply move away instead?

Yes, some people are moving, and this is something that I plan to do an article about very soon.

But for most hard working families, moving across the country simply is not an option.  Moving out of state is very expensive, it can be very difficult to find a similar job in an entirely new area, and many families are very dependent on the social networks where they currently live…

People who struggle financially often have valuable social networks — family to help with child care, acquaintances who know of jobs. The prospect of dropping into, say, Oklahoma or Georgia would mean doing without the good income and the social support. Those intangible connections that keep people in places with bad economies also keep people in booming regions where the rent is too high.

In the end, moving is just not an option for a lot of people.

We need to structure our economic system so that it works for all Americans – not just a few.  Unfortunately, it is probably going to take another major crisis before people are ready for such a restructuring.

And such a crisis may not be that far away.  In fact, even Pope Francis is now warning about the dangers of derivatives

In a sweeping critique of global finance released by the Vatican on Thursday, the Holy See singled out derivatives including credit-default swaps for particular scorn. “A ticking time bomb,” the Vatican called them. The unusual rebuke — derivatives rarely reach the level of religious doctrine — is in keeping with Francis’s skeptical view of unbridled global capitalism.

“The market of CDS, in the wake of the economic crisis of 2007, was imposing enough to represent almost the equivalent of the GDP of the entire world. The spread of such a kind of contract without proper limits has encouraged the growth of a finance of chance, and of gambling on the failure of others, which is unacceptable from the ethical point of view,” the Vatican said in the document.

I have written about derivatives extensively in the past, and Pope Francis is 100 percent correct when he says that they are a ticking time bomb which could absolutely devastate the global financial system at any moment.

We don’t know exactly when it will happen, but we do know that such a crisis is coming at some point.

Sadly, most of the population is completely asleep, and they will be completely blindsided by the coming crisis when it does finally arrive.

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BOMBSHELL: Corrupt CDC diverted $3 million in taxpayer money to radical left-wing causes having NOTHING to do with science

A Republican running for office in California’s 37th congressional district is sounding the alarm about some shocking information he recently uncovered concerning the gross misuse of taxpayer dollars by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Ron Bassilian, an information technology (IT) guru who specializes in Microsoft’s Exchange enterprise email solution software, has offered up solid proof that the CDC knowingly diverted at least $3 million in taxpayer funding to leftist groups that have nothing to do with science.

Back in 2014, Representative Karen Bass, a Democratic congresswoman from California, was seen handing over a giant $3 million check to a local group known as the South Los Angeles Healthcare Organizing Project that claims to advocate for improving the health of the poor. And emblazoned on the check as the payer was none other than the CDC.

But what, exactly, is the South Los Angeles Healthcare Organizing Project, and is it really centered around improving public health? According to Bassilian, it’s actually a political advocacy group that functions as just another of many thinly-veiled Democratic campaign-pushing liberal causes – almost none of which have to do with public health.

Also known as the “Community Coalition,” this recipient of that infamous $3 million check from the CDC is not only notfocused on improving the health of poor people as its primary agenda, but is actually pushing completely unrelated causes like gun control and racial divide throughout the United States.

As pointed out by Bassilian, the Community Coalition used some of the money it received from the CDC to send children to speak at “March For Our Lives” events, including the widely publicized rally that took place in Washington, D.C., back in March.

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The Community Coalition also funds all sorts of other Democratic initiatives, including everything from the George Soros-backed “Black Lives Matter” movement to anti-gentrification initiatives – all of which are are listed on the group’s “CoCo In the News” webpage.

“Can someone please explain to me what any of these issues have to do with tackling health?” asks Bassilian, noting that it was actually a friend of his who started Community Coalition, much to his surprise.

“Shouldn’t they be dealing with something like the homeless epidemic if public disease control was something they were concerned about? You know, that epidemic that’s spreading because of the very hamstrung police this Community Coalition helped create?”

American taxpayers have inadvertently been funding Obama-era political shenanigans in the name of “public health”

It’s just more crony politics by the Democratic Party, which for years has been hijacking various government agencies like the CDC – which has an extensive track record of corruption, by the way – and using them to fund its own agenda. This is how the Democrats stay in power in places like California, after all, where fairness and honesty is now a thing of the past.

Even in his own current race for a congressional seat in the Golden State’s 37th district, Bassilian sees that his Democratic opponent is receiving millions in diverted cash in order to defeat him. It’s the continued curse of Obama-era politics, he says, and represents part of the “swamp” that President Donald Trump campaigned on defeating.

“The Democratic Party isn’t winning in California because their ideas are better, or they’re more compassionate than conservatives. It’s because they monopolized the racket,” says Bassilian.

“Your tax money is only being used in a neverending [sic] racket to fund the rent-seeking, ever-growing state which just leeches off us. Until we break the political monopoly in this state, the swamp will snare us all like so many fossils in the La Brea Tarpits.”

Read for more coverage of the deep corruption of government agencies.

Sources for this article include:

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FCC fines Florida man $120 million for robocalls

The FCC says companies Adrian Abramovich controlled were behind almost 100 million robocalls over three months. The Commission has now fined him, accusing him of scamming consumers by offering exclusive vacation deals.

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Leader of the Syrian armed Opposition robs organization of 47 million dollars

Several leaders of the Army of Islam (the jihadist group that was once set up in Eastern Ghouta), believe that the head of their organization, Mohammed Alloush, has fled after stealing 47 million dollars from the organization.

Mohammed Alloush (face on in the photo with Staffan de Mistura) is Zahran Alloush’s cousin. Zahran founded the jihadist group and died in December 2015. The head of the Alloush family was their grandfather, a Wahhabite preacher who had sought refuge in Saudi Arabia where he lives today. The family has significant assets in the United Kingdom.

Supported by the British and the French, Mohammed became the leader of the delegation opposing the negotiations in Geneva. In Syria, he became known for his campaign to execute homosexuals, implemented in the areas of Ghouta that fell under the control of Yesh al-Islam.

Mohammed Alloush appears to have reinvested the money that he stole in commercial interests in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

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US government seeking one million SLAVES for massive study of DNA, health habits

FOTM–What could possibly go wrong?

From NY PostWanted: a million people willing to share their DNA and 10 years of health habits, big and small, for science.

On Sunday, the US government will open nationwide enrollment for an ambitious experiment: If they can build a large enough database comparing the genetics, lifestyles and environments of people from all walks of life, researchers hope to learn why some escape illness and others don’t, and better customize ways to prevent and treat disease.

“A national adventure that is going to transform medical care” is how Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, describes his agency’s All of Us Research Program.

Congress has authorized $1.45 billion over 10 years for the project. It all hinges on whether enough people around the country will sign up, either online or through participating health centers.

There’s already interest: More than 25,000 people got early entry to the project over the past year through an invitation-only pilot test run by participating universities and health providers.

Why study so many? Most of today’s medical care is based on what happened to the average person in short studies of a few hundred or thousand patients with a specific health condition.

And most people who volunteer for those studies are white, leaving questions about the best care for people of different races.

“One-size-fits-all is far from an optimal strategy,” Collins said Tuesday in announcing enrollment for All of Us.

The project involves “precision medicine,” using traits that make us unique to forecast and treat disease. Learning enough to individualize care requires studying a massive number of participants: the healthy and not-so-healthy, young and old, rural and urban, blue-collar and white-collar — and people of all races and ethnicities.

For now, participants must be at least 18. Next year, the study will open to children, too.

While there are other big “biobanks” of genetic data from at least 100,000 people, the NIH project aims to be the largest and most diverse of its kind. At least half of the participants must be from groups traditionally under-represented in medical research, Collins stressed.

Genes aren’t the whole story: Sure, what genes you harbor can raise your risk for various diseases. But other factors can increase or reduce some genetic risks.

So first volunteers will share electronic health records and blood samples, and answer periodic questionnaires about their diet, sleep, environmental exposures and other lifestyle factors. Theymight wear fitness trackers and other sensors.

And later this year they’ll start undergoing genetic testing, initially to look for so-called “variants” in DNA that affect disease risk, similar to what some private companies now sell, Collins said. Fully mapping the genetic code is too pricey now for a million people, but that more comprehensive approach eventually will be used with some participants, too.

Among the first lessons Collins hopes to learn is about resilience: Why do some people stay healthy despite smoking or pollution or poor nutrition? “We have no idea how those people escape those odds,” he said.

Learn your results: Unlike with most medical studies, participants can choose to see their own test results and share them with their physician long before the study reaches any big-picture conclusions. A caution: There are still many questions about how best to use the results of genetic tests. Still, “we will try to help their doctors sort through what it means,” Collins said.

One result that might bring a quick benefit: Genetic variants can signal who is prone to side effects from more than 100 drugs, information that could be used to prescribe a safer drug if only their doctors knew, Collins added.

Protecting privacy: The privacy of DNA databases made headlines last week when investigators used a free genealogy website to track down a suspected California serial killer. That’s pretty different than the security under which medical DNA must be handled.

NIH said it has taken as many steps as possible to safeguard against would-be hackers. Volunteers’ medical data is stripped of identifying information and replaced with a code. Only scientists meeting specific security requirements will be cleared to study the data. NIH also said federal “certificates of confidentiality” prohibit disclosure to law enforcement.

Privacy wasn’t a worry for Michelle McNeely, 41, an early participant at Dallas’ Baylor Scot & White Health System. She underwent breast cancer treatment in 2016 and considers taking part in All of Us a way to give back.

“If they can use my genes and someone’s genes in California and someone’s genes in New York to find some common ground, to help discover some cure — they can use my genes all day long,” McNeely said.

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100 years ago a flu pandemic started, killing as many as 100 million

And things feel eerily familiar today.

One hundred years ago, in May 1918, the so-called Spanish Flu started making people sick in large numbers. As there was a war going on, the news of this was censored everywhere but Spain, which was neutral; that’s why everyone thought it was a Spanish Flu. Before it was over, 50 to 100 million people died, 3 to 5 percent of the world’s population.

In the spring of 1918 it seemed like a normal flu, affecting the very old and the very young. With a war going on, lots of young men were in close quarters and on the move, spreading it quickly. But by summer the second wave hit and it was different. It affected mainly those between 20 and 40. Pregnant women died in huge numbers- if they were admitted to hospital, the death rate was as high as 71 percent. In the USA alone, 670,000 died.

Red CrossLibrary of Congress/Public Domain

According to John M. Barry, the government made it worse, mainly because of the war. President Wilson and his Committee on Public Information controlled the news, noting that “Truth and falsehood are arbitrary terms….The force of an idea lies in its inspirational value. It matters very little if it is true or false. Barry writes in the Smithsonian:

At Wilson’s urging, Congress passed the Sedition Act, making it punishable with 20 years in prison to “utter, print, write or publish any disloyal, profane, scurrilous, or abusive language about the form of government of the United States…or to urge, incite, or advocate any curtailment of production in this country of any thing or things…necessary or essential to the prosecution of the war.” Government posters and advertisements urged people to report to the Justice Department anyone “who spreads pessimistic stories…cries for peace, or belittles our effort to win the war.”

flu adold bike ad/Promo image

A hundred years later, things look awfully familiar. Truth and falsehoods are again arbitrary terms. We are still telling people that bikes are healthy (I rode mine all winter, the coughing in the subway scared me). We are still being told to cover our mouths and wash our hands and stay home if we are sick, because 100 years later we still do not have an effective universal flu vaccine. People don’t take the vaccines we have because they don’t trust anyone anymore.

People did learn lessons from the epidemics. Sanitation was improved. Slums were cleared and overcrowding was reduced. Antibiotics were discovered and vaccines were developed. But it seems so many of the lessons are being forgotten or ignored.

So wash your hands and get on your bike and hope that it doesn’t happen again too soon.

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Bill Gates Warns of Doomsday ‘Global Pandemic’ That Could Kill 30 Million in Under a Year


During a speech for the Massachusetts Medical Society and the New England Journal of Medicine last week, Bill Gates warned an audience that humanity must prepare for “war” with a “global pandemic,” which he believes could kill 30 million people in the span of 6 months. Gates predicted that there is a “reasonable probability” that the world will experience something like this in the next 10-15 years.

While this is an alarming prediction, it is all entirely theoretical—there is no evidence that a massive outbreak is on the horizon, and there is currently no plague sweeping the planet, aside from cancer and heart disease.

The doomsday scenario that Gates laid out in his presentation was not based on a specific disease, and his numbers were not derived from any current studies, rather he used a computer-generated model that took data from a massive outbreak that occurred before the advent of modern medicine and sanitation, and scaled that data to the world’s current population.

The simulation, which can be seen below, was created by the Institute for Disease Modeling and is based on data from the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50 million people.

“You might be wondering how real these doomsday scenarios really are. The fact that a deadly global pandemic has not occurred in recent history shouldn’t be mistaken for evidence that a deadly pandemic will not occur in the future,” Gates said.

However, it is important to point out that these predictions rest upon data that is 100 years old, and advancements in medicine and sanitation have led to a world that is less vulnerable to these types of outbreaks. Also, our species has learned many lessons about how to deal with diseases since the outbreak of the Spanish Flu, from hygiene to quarantine protocols, societies are much safer from the spread of illnesses than they were 100 years ago.

During his presentation, Gates attempted to make the case that we are still not prepared enough.

“There’s one area though where the world isn’t making much progress and that’s pandemic preparedness,” Gates said.

Next, he warned of the possibility that a terrorist could genetically engineer this type of virus.

“The next epidemic could originate on the computer screen of a terrorist intent on using genetic engineering to create a synthetic version of the smallpox virus or a super contagious and deadly strain of the flu.Whether it occurs by a quirk of nature or at the hand of a terrorist, epidemiologists say a fast-moving airborne pathogen could kill more than 30 million people in less than a year—and they say there is a reasonable probability the world will experience such an outbreak in the next 10 to 15 years,” Gates said.

To prevent this type of scenario from occurring, Gates seems to only be interested in one solution—vaccines.

“We need to invest in other approaches, like antiviral drugs and antibody therapies that can be stockpiled or rapidly manufactured to stop the spread of pandemic diseases or treat people who have been exposed,” he said.

In most mainstream media reports, Gates’ interest in vaccines is painted as a strictly philanthropic venture, but it is rarely mentioned that he is heavily invested in multiple drug companies and that the pharmaceutical industry has become his new business since stepping down as CEO of Microsoft. Not long after leaving the company, Gates sold almost half a billion dollar’s worth of Microsoft stock in a single year and began buying up stock for every major drug company, including Eli Lilly, Merk, and Pfizer.

In the years since, Gates has continued to pour money into Big Pharma through his tax-exempt foundations and filled his foundation with executives from the industry. That money is then turned around and spent on vaccination programs in third world countries where dangerous vaccines are tested on poverty-stricken people in the name of charity.

Millions of dollars are spent on the vaccines programs, which are sometimes successful, sometimes not, and other times they go horribly wrong. For example, in 2015 The Gates Foundation faced a trial in India after numerous children were killed and injured in a vaccine trial.

Even worse, the children and their families had no clue that they were being used as test subjects, they were told that they would be given a new wonder drug that would protect them from malaria and other diseases. In reality, these children were given an untested cocktail of chemicals that were proven to be unsafe, during involuntary human experiments which they were unsuspecting participants in.

Sadly, in the case of many of these poverty-stricken regions, the money that the Gates Foundation puts towards vaccine programs would actually be much better spent on raising the standard of living through improving infrastructure, sanitation services and access to clean water and food.

Regardless of one’s opinions on Bill Gates or the vaccine controversy, his ties to the pharmaceutical industry must not be ignored, especially when he is making apocalyptic claims about a coming outbreak.

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600 Million Year Old Fossils of Tiny Humanoids Found In Antarctica

Interestingly enough, this discovery was made while yours truly was in Antarctica on assignment for The National Reporter to debunk a ridiculous tabloid story about a UFO base in the area.

While investigating this silly story with several colleagues, we happened upon a group of paleontologists who were searching for evidence that dinosaurs had once roamed the Antarctic continent before it tore loose from Africa and south America and drifted southward to its present location.

What they found instead astonished them, not only because of what it was but because of its age.

“We tested the fossils and have determined without a shadow of doubt that they are at least 600 million years old.” Doctor Marly of Cambridge University told us.

“600 million years ago, jellyfish first appeared. There were no human beings in the world and there wouldn’t be any for for nearly five hundred and 60 million years. There weren’t even any dinosaurs around at that time.”

“The first skeleton we found was hidden within the layers of a large piece of sedimentary rock that we had broken loose from the mountainside.

We knew that it would most likely contain some fossils because of its type and age.” Dr.Marly explained.

“When we split the rock apart we were completely confused. Here was this fossil from an age when the appearance of the first vertebrates were still millions of years off and it was a complete skeleton. And not only that, it appeared to be human.”


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