Everything you think you know might be wrong.
This is not about conspiracy theories or fringe science, this is about how our minds have been molded and twisted from grade school right on through to most of what we are exposed to by the media as adults. For some people this information will be shocking; and they may respond with cognitive dissonance, for others it will be refreshing to read someone else articulating what they've felt inside all along.
1) You believe that the U.S. economy is in "recovery" and that the Stock Market is booming
Despite what you read and see on the nightly news about the Stock Market rising; the U.S. economy is in the worst shape it's been in since the Great Depression. Not only is the Stock Market a false barometer of the state of the economy, it's nothing more than a casino for the wealthy, and means of money-laundering for banks and corporations. Most stocks prices are falsely inflated by companies buying back their own stock instead of investing in their firms. The result of this charade is that businesses are failing to spend money on updating equipment, research and development, hiring employees and complying with safety regulations. The result is companies that look good on paper, but that in reality they are decaying, losing money, market share, and falling behind their foreign competitors. It's just a matter of time before many of them implode.
The Federal Reserve (an entity comprised of private banks which has nothing to do with the government) creates money out of thin air -- yes, literally! Banks are given this money at little or no interest, and it is then used to buy bonds, which is just another word for debt. Subsequently the U.S. dollar is not backed by hard assets like gold or silver, rather it is a worthless piece of paper (based on debt) that has a perceived value only. Likewise, the inflated value of real estate is not based on the integrity of the structure, materials used, life expectancy of the building, or any of those things; it's merely a price set by speculators that has no stability whatsoever. It is inevitable that there will be another real estate bubble burst in the near future.
When you combine companies that don't contribute much to the economy as a whole (or pay much in taxes) and add that with trillions of dollars of debt based on loans that will never be paid, properties that are worth a fraction of their real value, insurance companies that are barely able to pay out their claims, and a government spending more than they bring in year after year, you see the economy the way it truly is -- in a shambles on the verge of collapse.
2) Unemployment is at the lowest it's been in years
Actually, real unemployment is the highest it's ever been. Over a third of the people who are capable of working are currently not working. That means that real unemployment isn't under five percent, rather it's over 30%. Not only that, but unemployment figures are based on the number of people applying for, or receiving unemployment compensation. Once a person has exceeded their time of receiving benefits, they are no longer counted as being unemployed -- even though they still are not working. In addition, many of the jobs that have been created over the past decade or so have been in the service industry, or temporary or part-time positions. The idea that there is close to full employment in the U.S. is so far from the truth that it's unimaginable how news anchors and politicians can repeat the lie over and over with a straight face.
3) We live in a democracy and elections and politicians matter
Technically the U.S. is a Democratic-Republic which basically means we have a representative government. In other words, we supposedly elect individuals to go to Washington and implement the policies that "We the People" want. To state it differently, the President is supposed to be our stooge in the White House, not some worshipped "leader." Unfortunately, due to corporate tampering with the system, and the creation of a "power-elite class," the people now have very little say in how their government is elected and run. It started with gerrymandering, where politicians warped the voting districts to favor their re-election. Next, the Supreme Court ruled that corporations had the rights of individuals, which opened the flood gates of campaign contributions -- which a greedy media embraced -- thereby handing over the control and flow of information to those with the most money. The results are well-produced multi-media political propaganda campaigns that are deceptive and mess with people's minds. In the end, the people know very little about who the person they are voting for is, and what they do when they get in office; and, they know even less about what that person is doing right now in their name (and with their tax-dollars).
4) The U.S. is a "force for good" in the world
Would that this were true... For decades the C.I.A. has been involved in political assassinations, government coups, occupations, colonialism and supporting terrorists groups. Hard to believe for most people, but all you have to do is spend a little time researching the history of South and Central America, Iran and Southeast Asia, and you'll uncover a wellspring of unclassified, historical facts that go against everything you were ever taught in school, heard on the news, or that are still bandied about by people everywhere.
When you hear a politician say that they are taking some military action to "protect our interests," what they really mean is that they are doing the bidding for some corporation that has an interest there. Most know about wars for oil and pipelines, but we've also killed thousands upon thousands for land, crops, water, drugs and the almighty dollar. Few know that Afghanistan is more about an oil pipeline and keeping the poppy fields than it is about the Taliban. The same goes for Syria -- the Saudis want an oil pipeline there. Iraq wasn't just about oil, it was more about Saddam Hussein wanting to sell oil for Euros instead of Dollars. Nobody is even talking about the massacre going on in Yemen with bombers being re-fueled by the U.S., who is also providing targeting intelligence.
The U.S. has become an imperial power, or an empire, if you will. The idea that Obama was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize is disrespectful to every other recipient. Under the current administration there have been more drone bombings of wedding parties, hospitals and public spaces with thousands of innocent casualties. Our government has supported dictators and repressive regimes across the globe. Practically every news report on violence abroad is missing one key component, that somewhere at the heart of the heinous acts and atrocities committed is the hand of you know who.
5) The Department of "Defense"
One of the biggest lies perpetrated upon the American people is the concept of the Department of Defense. As if they have defended us, or their purpose is, to defend us. More than half of our tax dollars go to the so called defense budget, yet over the past several decades they have failed to defend us on numerous occasions. Remember the USS Cole, or how about 911 -- they sure didn't protect us from that. What are they doing with the trillions of dollars we give them? In the last year there have been terrorist shootings right here in the U.S., not to mention horrible acts in Europe against our allies. They should be honest and change the name to the Department of War. Actually it used to be called that years ago. At least then they were being truthful about their intentions.
I realize this is a touchy issue with some people, but it shouldn't be. This isn't saying anything negative about the men and women in uniform, this is calling out the Pentagon and the military contractors that have made America and the world less safe, for the sake of making trillions of dollars in profit. They don't want peace, because peace means they're out of business. Man, is that sickening. How do they sleep knowing that the money they make comes from charred bodies of babies and bombed out houses, refugees and dismembered soldiers and innocent people caught in the crossfire.
We have so many submarines, nuclear missiles, battleships, destroyers, cruisers, bombers, satellites, high-tech weapons and more, that we can cut our military budget in half and still maintain total superiority over the planet with money to spare to provide services to our veterans. If we just stopped the waste and messing in places we shouldn't be messing, we'd have hundreds of billions of dollars left over to spend on the American people and our own crumbling infrastructure and health care system. As far as I'm concerned, that's "defense" too.
6) The future will be bright and things will be better for everyone
They've been spoon-feeding us this one forever... The fact is, with each passing year, less and less people have access to the breakthroughs in science, medicine and technology. Tens of millions are still without health care in the U.S., and many of those with, have high co-pays and deductibles. There are cures and treatments for all kinds of diseases, but most are out of the reach of the average person. The same goes for healthy foods -- most are too expensive for the average working class family.
You see news stories about all of these things that will exist in the future... Do you really think that you'll be able to afford them? Already the cost of high-speed internet, the latest model HDTVs, computers -- even cell phones, are all starting to become out reach to most people -- except by getting into more debt to purchase them. The price of cars and trucks have doubled over the last couple of decades, but wages haven't doubled. The cost of living -- especially rents -- is now so high that working has become more like slavery just to survive.
We've reached a point where there are so many people that the corporations only need a third or half of them to maintain their profits and stockholder lifestyles. For those who are no longer needed, there is no concern. The government, bankers and corporations have taken everything we have and now they are starting to discard us. Just listen to the reporters and politicians talk... Do you think they are talking to you?
The future is looking more like dystopia, and in fact, millions of Americans are already living there.
I could go on and probably list 20 more things like this, but I think you get the picture. The best thing you can do is to hold on to your humanity, and not get caught up in the lies and propaganda being spewed out of the media. While I don't believe that it's possible to change the out of control system that's taken over, I do believe it is possible to change ourselves and to live better lives.
I've decided a while back to ignore them and live my own life in pursuit of happiness. I hope you do too.