There are more than 100 million people in some kind of federal welfare program, 64 million on Social Security, 54 million on Medicare and 70 million on Medicaid.
Just when debt-addicted American companies were starting to worry that Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen was going to take their proverbial punch bowl away, along came Mario Draghi.
The European Central Bank president has made borrowing so cheap in the region that foreign corporations are selling record amounts of debt.
Since the 21st century began, the average US household has lost income. Why has this happened? One answer we proposed to readers of our new monthly publication, The Bill Bonner Letter, was that three of the leading economic zones – the US, Europe and Japan – have come to be dominated by old people.
Each year, Americans collectively leave billions of dollars in Social Security benefits on the table.
And you could be missing out on thousands… maybe even tens of thousands… of dollars in guaranteed Social Security income.
First, because debt is higher today than it was then. Six years ago, the official public debt in the US was under $10 trillion. Now, it’s about $18 trillion. Total debt is higher too – about $50 trillion in 2007; it’s now closer to $60 trillion.
In the U.S., older voters control both political parties. They control most major corporations. They dominate all major industries. They have their pensions… their health care programs… their stocks… their bonds… their place in the sun.
All over the developed world, the policies that failed are not being thrown out; they’re being stepped up. Stupid. We recognize that our views sometimes seem contradictory. For example, we see central banks pushing up stocks. But we still advise readers to get out.
When we left you yesterday, we were trying to connect the bloated, cankerous ankles of the US economy to the sugar rush of its post-1971 credit-based money system. Today, we look at the face of our government. It is older… with more worry lines and wrinkles.
According to polling firm Gallup, the No. 1 financial worry for Americans over 30 is running out of money in retirement. Even if that’s not your chief worry, you should know that you’re probably leaving thousands of dollars in benefits – money you’ve earned – on the table.
Where is that old-and-tattered “Crash Alert” flag?
Many times since the start of the rally in U.S. stocks in 2009, we hoisted it. And many times has it failed to give us a useful signal.