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The Coming Collapse of America

“Get it out of your mind that economic and political collapse can’t happen in this country”

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In 1992, I read Bankruptcy 1995: The Coming Collapse of America and How To Stop It, by a captain of industry, Harry E. Figgie, published by Little Brown and Company. Now, 29 years later, as our national debt is soon to reach $30 trillion, we should re-consider many of Figgie’s observations. Here are the notes and excerpts that I extracted from the book:

Bankruptcy Looms

Harry Figgie, here and for all that follows: Within two to four years, the United States, for all practical purposes, will have spent itself into bankruptcy. Interest on the national debt will become the largest item on the federal budget, and the government will have to spend more to make its interest payments than it will collect in taxes.

The federal government’s deficit, will soon be an amount un-repayable or controllable.

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Suppose you earn $50,000 annually, and you are in debt for $450,000. “Are you broke at that point? Technically, no, but you sure have a serious problem, and so do your creditors, since you won’t be able to make your payments.” Soon, the U.S. won’t even be able to afford the annual interest payment on this debt.

Spending cuts that Are Obvious

The Grace Commission report outlined how the government could cut its spending by $424 billion a year between 1984 and 1987, however, the report was ignored.

Most of the recommendations were painfully obvious. One proposal called for closing a western army base that had been built in the 1800s for use as an outpost in the Indian wars. Another base in Virginia was so antiquated it had a moat around it but the state’s junior senator insisted that it “would not be closed on his watch.” It wasn’t.

Year after year, Congress and the Administration present a budget to the American public that shows the deficit being reduced by several million dollars, while the actual deficit at year’s end comes out much higher. Meanwhile, everyone manages or pretends to remain ignorant of our impending physical collapse.

Unable to Meet IMF Standards

Only one important difference separates the U.S. and many Eastern European and South American countries that we think of as being poor or economically distressed. These countries receive aid from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the U.S., ignoring reality, pretends that it is still rich enough to contribute money to the fund.

Countries receiving IMF aid must conform to spending controls. If the U.S. abided by these rules, it would literally be out of business. We do not qualify for an IMF loan.

When the Federal Reserve begins to buy substantial amounts of the governments debt, large private investors become overly concerned with inflation, interest rates begin to rise, and the process builds on itself. To protect yourself, watch for stories about bankers and economists fretting about the expanding money supply.

Decline in the Standard of Living

Some people believe that the debt hasn’t caused their standard of living to suffer, but there has been an actual fall in real family income, the percentage of Americans who own homes, and other vital indicators.

Moreover, personal bankruptcy is nearly triple what it was in the 1960s and 1970s, the cost of higher education exceeds the means of most families, a higher proportion of families require two parents bringing in income, and the age at which first homes are purchased is rising.

The solution involves unrelenting pressure on Congress. Call, write, visit. Be assertive but courteous. Convey your concerns clearly and forcefully. Demand that your elected leaders and officials be accountable to you.

The End of Modest Measures

The time for modest measures has passed. We are in an emergency situation.

The author admonishes: “Get it out of your mind that economic and political collapse can’t happen in this country, or that we can deal with it once it happens.”

Harry Figgie concludes: We must either take control, or suffer the consequences of losing control entirely.

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Jeff Davidson is the world's only holder of the title "The Work-Life Balance Expert®" as awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. He is the premier thought leader on work-life balance, integration, and harmony. Jeff speaks to organizations that seek to enhance their overall productivity by improving the effectiveness of their people. He is the author of Breathing Space, Simpler Living, Dial it Down, and Everyday Project Management. Visit www.BreathingSpace.com for more information on Jeff's keynote speeches and seminars, including: Managing the Pace with Grace® * Achieving Work-Life Balance™ * Managing Information and Communication Overload®



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Business

Post Lockdown: Are You Juggling Too Many Tasks?       

Concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking

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As traffic starts to mount up everywhere, and more people are heading back to office, is the ill-advised practice  of multi-tasking regaining a foothold? Considering all that you need to do personally and professionally, are you attempting to handle too much?

These days, we all seem to be human doings, not human beings. Unfortunately, we give short shrift to concentration and focus. Indeed, concentration and focus are under rated in our current era of multitasking.

Consider this: A magnifying glass held up at the correct angle to the sun will quickly burn a hole through a piece of paper: concentration and focus. Meanwhile, no matter how much sun shines through your office window onto your desk, none of those tedious memos are going to catch on fire.  The lack of combustibility has nothing to do with the way the manufacturer engineered this flat piece of glass.

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Multi-tasking is occasionally helpful and satisfying but, along with the shower of information and communication overload, represents a paradoxical impediment to getting things done. Let’s see why.

Faster and Less Attentive

The term multi-tasking evolved from the computer industry, the early mainframe computers designed with parallel processes is perhaps the prime example of automated multi-tasking.

In many respects, the computer has accelerated our inattentiveness.  Personal computers achieved critical mass in 1981 with the introduction of the Apple Computer designed as an alternative to the IBM PC.  The affordable technology enabled us all to engage in sequential activities and elevate our propensity to become task-switchers.

Then for many reasons, and some so bizarre that they defy description, over the next 40 years we began to emulate our computers, multi-tasking while they multi-tasked.

Today, with the typical office professional sending or receiving more than 200 messages a day, counting all forms of communication, and all of them coming and going at shorter intervals, a generation of career professionals are being driven virtually to distraction. A number of the messages are fleeting, the meaning often unclear, and the result a listless and confused workforce.

Against the back drop of information and communication overload, ever-advancing technology, and more choices than anyone needs or even wants, an entire workforce generation has been taught to multi-task as if this is the way it has always been, needs to be, and always will be.

Continuous Partial Attention

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of use! Multitasking has become a norm giving rise to “continuous partial attention,” where nothing gets your true and undivided focus, and everything is homogenized to the point of carrying nearly equal weight.

We offer our attention here, there, and then somewhere else. Like a one-man band, we get our strokes from strumming the guitar, tapping our foot, and blowing on the harmonica. We equate accomplishment with flapping our wings, stirring up commotion, and making a lot of noise.

We can barely tolerate stillness. For many, silence doesn’t appear to be golden; it seems more like a dark space, lacking productivity that can yield nothing useful.

Undivided attention is a term that has fallen out of popular use. Generally, we feel guilty if we don’t multi-task! We contemplate our increasing workloads and responsibilities and how they are subject to continual shifts, and justify multi-tasking as a valid response to a world of flux.

Despite the temptation to do otherwise, focusing on the task at hand is vital to getting things done. Whether there’s a handful of tasks confronting you, or ideally only one, give all your time, attention, energy, focus, concentration, effort, and all that good stuff to the task at hand, and then turn to what’s next.

Over-employed, and Undesired

It’s likely that people have always sought to handle many things simultaneously, stretching as far back as cave dwellers. Their multi-tasking effort probably seemed crude by comparison. Someday, somewhere, someone may discover that we are hardwired to continuously attempt to economize our use of time.

Our age old “flight or fight” response to perceived stressors in the environment works well, at intermittent times. The small jolts of concentrated energy and vigilance helps us to safeguard ourselves, our loved ones, and our possessions.

As a species however, we are not wired to effectively handle continuous streams of two major stress hormones — adrenaline and cortisol — on a daily basis.

Bruce McEwen, Ph.D., director of the neuroendocrinology lab at Rockefeller University, observes that while we can apparently weather stresses and rapid hormonal changes in the short term, about 3 to 15 days, soon thereafter chronic stress begins to ensue.

The result is a weakened immune system, aggression, anxiety and a decrease in brain functioning which results in burnout. Dangerously high levels of cortisol can result in poor sleep patterns and insulin resistance, which can open the door to bad eating habits and weight gain.

 

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Business

Hey Liz Cheney, And Other RINOs, Here’s the Truth!

Liz Cheney and RINOs are out of their minds to believe that Trump hurt the party!

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RINOs like Liz Cheney and others constantly make the argument that Donald Trump has broken the Republican Party and driven people out of the party. But that is so far from the truth it’s incomprehensible that they even say it. PolitiCrossing founder, Chris Widener, one of the world’s top motivational speakers, makes the case against them in his brand new video. Check it out below and then let us know what you think!

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