Colleges and universities increasingly seen as scams that fail to prepare students for the real economy

Image: Colleges and universities increasingly seen as scams that fail to prepare students for the real economy

(Natural News)
To many, it serves as a shiny badge of upward mobility – a milestone that someone took their education seriously and is now ready for the next level of responsibility in the world. But a college degree doesn’t always deliver on its promises anymore, as many graduates today are learning the hard way. Not only are many of these freshly-minted degree holders discovering that they can’t just waltz into their dream jobs simply because they hold a piece of paper. Some of them are also coming to the stark realization that they were duped by their alma maters, which failed to teach them the necessary life skill for facing the “real world” post-commencement.

Depending upon which school a student attended and the primary subject he specialized in, a degree admittedly holds varying degrees of value. A computer scientist, for instance, will have more than likely interned at a large company prior to graduating, after which time he’ll take up a full-time position for great pay. A women’s studies major, on the other hand, will find that she basically shelled out several hundred thousand dollars for a four-year safe space, and now has no marketable skills to find a real job.

There are various other factors that determine whether or not a college degree is valuable, of course. But the main point is this: College isn’t for everyone. For many young people coming out of high school, community college or technical school is a much better and typically more affordable option that offers real-life training in actual skilled work. But how many students are being told this by their guidance counselors before they sign right up for traditional college or university, a.k.a. agreeing to ratchet up huge debt unless they’re independently wealthy?

“Colleges have convinced nearly everyone that you need a degree to be an effective employee or higher-income adult, but this is just not true,” writes Daniel Ameduri from FutureMoneyTrends.com (as published in an article by SHTFplan.com).

“I can tell you as an employer that I’ve never asked a single person what their grades were and I’ve never asked to see a degree. The ugly truth is the ones with college degrees usually end up writing SEO articles for $15 an hour and the skilled workers who’ve been writing code as a hobby or editing videos for years on a MAC end up as managers making $75+ per hour.”

College puts many students in deep debt

Unless a student is awarded grants or scholarships, attending college is expensive. According to the College Board, the average cost to attend an in-state public college is now nearly $25,000 per year. At a private college, this yearly cost doubles to almost $50,000.

This means that by the time a student graduates – assuming he pays these costs out of pocket or with loans – he will already be between $100,000 to $200,000 in debt. Based on job availability, this debt could haunt him for decades, or worse – ruin his credit if he ends up defaulting due to an inability to pay.

There are so many other options besides going this precarious route, including taking short courses online or at a local training facility, or even on the job depending on the industry. There are many ways to learn useful information that don’t have to cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“When I was 18 years old, I made $55,000 while my peers sat in a classroom learning things that were forgotten before they even left the campus that day,” Ameduri adds, noting that the four years that many young people typically spend to earn their Bachelor’s degrees could have been spent getting a head start in life.

Sources for this article include:

SHTFplan.com

CollegeData.com

NaturalNews.com

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Russia & China Declare All Out War on US Petrodollar — Prepare for Exclusive Trade in Gold

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The formation of a BRICS gold marketplace, which could bypass the U.S. Petrodollar in bilateral trade, continues to take shape as Russia’s largest bank, state-owned Sberbank, announced this week that its Swiss subsidiary had begun trading in gold on the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

Russian officials have repeatedly signaled that they plan to conduct transactions with China using gold as a means of marginalizing the power of the dollar in bilateral trade between the geopolitically powerful nations. This latest movement is quite simply the manifestation of a larger geopolitical game afoot between great powers.

According to a report published by Reuters:

Sberbank was granted international membership of the Shanghai exchange in September last year and in July completed a pilot transaction with 200 kg of gold kilobars sold to local financial institutions, the bank said.

Sberbank plans to expand its presence on the Chinese precious metals market and anticipates total delivery of 5-6 tonnes of gold to China in the remaining months of 2017.

Gold bars will be delivered directly to the official importers in China as well as through the exchange, Sberbank said.

Russia’s second-largest bank VTB is also a member of the Shanghai Gold Exchange.

To be clear, there is a revolutionary transformation of the entire global monetary system currently underway, being driven by an almost perfect storm. The implications of this transformation are extremely profound for U.S. policy in the Middle East, which for nearly the past half century has been underpinned by its strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia.

THE RISE & FALL OF THE PETRODOLLAR

The dollar was established as the global reserve currency in 1944 with the Bretton Woods agreement, commonly referred to as the gold standard. The U.S. leveraged itself into this power position by holding the largest reserve of gold in the world. The dollar was pegged at $35 an ounce — and freely exchangeable into gold.

By the 1960s, a surplus of U.S. dollars caused by foreign aid, military spending, and foreign investment threatened this system, as the U.S. did not have enough gold to cover the volume of dollars in worldwide circulation at the rate of $35 per ounce; as a result, the dollar was overvalued.

America temporarily embraced a new paradigm in 1971, as the dollar became a pure fiat currency (decoupled from any physical store of value), until the petrodollar agreement was concluded by President Nixon in 1973.

The quid pro quo was that Saudi Arabia would denominate all oil trades in U.S. dollars, and in return, the U.S. would agree to sell Saudi Arabia military hardware and guarantee the defense of the Kingdom.

A report by the Centre for Research on Globalalization clarifies the implications of these most recent moves by the Russians and the Chinese in an ongoing drive to replace the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency:

Fast forward to March 2017; the Russian Central Bank opened its first overseas office in Beijing as an early step in phasing in a gold-backed standard of trade. This would be done by finalizing the issuance of the first federal loan bonds denominated in Chinese yuan and to allow gold imports from Russia.

The Chinese government wishes to internationalize the yuan, and conduct trade in yuan as it has been doing, and is beginning to increase trade with Russia. They’ve been taking these steps with bilateral trading, native trading systems and so on. However, when Russia and China agreed on their bilateral US$400 billion pipeline deal, China wished to, and did, pay for the pipeline with yuan treasury bonds, and then later for Russian oil in yuan.

This evasion of, and unprecedented breakaway from, the reign of the US dollar monetary system is taking many forms, but one of the most threatening is the Russians trading Chinese yuan for gold. The Russians are already taking Chinese yuan, made from the sales of their oil to China, back to the Shanghai Gold Exchange to then buy gold with yuan-denominated gold futures contracts – basically a barter system or trade.

The Chinese are hoping that by starting to assimilate the yuan futures contract for oil, facilitating the payment of oil in yuan, the hedging of which will be done in Shanghai, it will allow the yuan to be perceived as a primary currency for trading oil. The world’s top importer (China) and exporter (Russia) are taking steps to convert payments into gold. This is known. So, who would be the greatest asset to lure into trading oil for yuan? The Saudis, of course.

All the Chinese need is for the Saudis to sell China oil in exchange for yuan. If the House of Saud decides to pursue that exchange, the Gulf petro-monarchies will follow suit, and then Nigeria, and so on. This will fundamentally threaten the petrodollar.

According to a report by the Russian government media, significant progress has been made in promoting bilateral trade in yuan, between the two nations, as the first step towards an even more aambitiousplan—using gold to make transactions:

One measure under consideration is the joint organization of trade in gold. In recent years, China and Russia have been the world’s most active buyers of the precious metal.

On a visit to China last year, deputy head of the Russian Central Bank Sergey Shvetsov said that the two countries want to facilitate more transactions in gold between the two countries.

In April, Sberbank expressed interest in financing the direct import of gold to India—also a BRICS member. Make no mistake that a BRICS gold marketplace could be used to bypass the dollar in bilateral trade, and undermine the hegemonic control enjoyed by the US petrodollar as the global reserve currency.

“In 2014 Russia and China signed two mammoth 30-year contracts for Russian gas to China. The contracts specified that the exchange would be done in Renminbi [yuan] and Russian rubles, not in dollars. That was the beginning of an accelerating process of de-dollarization that is underway today,” according to strategic risk consultant F. William Engdahl.

Russia and China are now creating a new paradigm for the world economy and paving the way for a global de-dollarization.

“A Russian-Chinese alternative to the dollar in the form of a gold-backed ruble and gold-backed Renminbi or yuan, could start a snowball exit from the US dollar, and with it, a severe decline in America’s ability to use the reserve dollar role to finance her wars with other peoples’ money,” Engdahl concludes.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/russia-china-petrodollar-gold/

Beware of the summer bugout: Prepare to stay hydrated or the heat might literally kill you

Image: Beware of the summer bugout: Prepare to stay hydrated or the heat might literally kill you

(Natural News)
A recent sad case in Texas nevertheless served as a reminder why any legitimate summer bugout plan should include making provisions to ensure you’ve got plenty of water to stay hydrated, lest you die trying to get away from collapsing cities and urban chaos.

As reported by Lifezette, a 15-year-old Boy Scout recently perished in Texas during a backpacking trip after developing a case of heat stroke, the worst kind of heat injury. The site noted further:

While hiking in Fort Davis, Texas, at Buffalo Trail Scout Ranch on June 12 along with other Boy Scouts, Reid Comita collapsed. The group had apparently been hiking for hours on end in the heat at the ranch, which is just north of Big Bend National Park.

Separate news reports said that temperatures were in the upper 90s the day Reid and the others were hiking; the heat index was in excess of 100 degrees F.

Of course this is a tragedy, but what makes the story particularly relevant is that, should stuff hit the fan tomorrow, perhaps millions of American preppers who have already put together a plan to get out of their cities and hightail it for a pre-determined bugout location may very well have to hike part or even all of the way, and in summer heat. In some parts of the country that will mean a “dry heat,” as was the case for this unfortunate young man, but in others like the Midwest, high temperatures are often accompanied with high humidity, dramatically boosting the heat index.

So while I certainly grieve for this young man and his parents, I also believe his death should serve some good, too, by reminding those of us who want to survive a chaotic scenario of the importance of preparing to travel distances, on foot, in summer heat. (Related: 11 Mistakes you can’t afford to make when moving off grid.)

Always remember these basic steps at staying cool in summer heat:

— When traveling, keep your clothing lightweight and loose-fitting, as tighter clothing does not allow for proper bodily cooling.

— Avoid getting sunburned: “Sunburn affects the body’s ability to cool itself, so protect yourself outdoors with a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses and use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15. Apply sunscreen generously, and reapply every two hours — or more often if you’re swimming or sweating,” Lifezette noted.

Not only that, but a sunburn can also lead to blistering and unusually high fluid loss — a very big deal considering that fluid intake will become a priority while traveling in summer heat.

Do you have some sunblock in your bugout bag?

— As should be obvious (but unfortunately, as the Boy Scout death reminds us), it is important to stay hydrated. Too often, though, preppers only think they have enough water for their journey, but they may find out (too late) they don’t. It’s summer; it’s hot. If you have to lighten your bugout load some to make room for more water, do it. It will save your life.

And to remind as well, make sure you’ve got a good supply of H20 when you get where you’re going; you’ll need it.

— Some medications can put you more at risk of heat exhaustion/heat stroke because they may dehydrate you or impede the dissipation of heat. If you take meds and you don’t yet know if they will make your life in the heat more difficult, find out.

— You may feel the need to get away as quickly as possible from the evolving, worsening situation, but if you can wait until the hottest part of the day is over, do so before heading out, even traveling at night if possible. If you must bugout in the heat of the day, take care to rest frequently and hydrate in a cool spot.

— Get acclimated to the summer heat now by getting outdoors. Wear what you’re going to wear to bugout, and “practice” with your pack and gear at a local park or hiking trail. Don’t take a long trail right off the bat; pick shorter ones and work up to longer trails.

J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for NaturalNews.com and NewsTarget.com, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.

Sources include:

Lifezette.com

Bugout.news

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