Everything that you own is slowly being taken away from you. It is being done purposely and it is being done by design. Many Americans like to think of themselves as “well off”, but as will be demonstrated below, we don’t “own” nearly as much as we think that we do. The truth is that most of us have to frantically run around accumulating wealth as rapidly as we can so that we can somehow stay ahead of the rate that wealth is being taken away from us. The entire system is designed to take what you have away from you. There are many ways that this is accomplished – taxation, inflation, debt, interest, fines, fees, tickets, government seizures and good old-fashioned corporate greed. If you tried to just sit back and do nothing but hold on to the wealth that you already have you would find out that it would disappear rather quickly. When you take the time to really analyze our system the conclusion is undeniable – everything that you think that you own is being systematically taken away from you.
There is a reason why the wealthiest one percent of all Americans control 40 percent of all the wealth in the United States. The system is designed to funnel all of the wealth to them and to the government. Average Americans are experiencing a declining standard of living and it is not by accident.
Just check out some of the ways that our wealth is being taken from us….
#1 Do you think that you own your house? You might want to think again. Most Americans that “own a home” are paying a mortgage. If you stop paying that mortgage you will lose that home. Over a million American families were kicked out of their homes last year. This year a million more American families will get the boot.
But when those families get booted out onto the street they don’t get their down payments back. They don’t get all the mortgage payments that they have made back. The banks get to keep all of the money and all of the houses.
Perhaps you don’t have a mortgage. Does that mean that you “own your home”?
No, not really. Just refuse to pay your property taxes and watch what happens. At best you can say that you have the right to rent your home from the government.
In any event, the reality is that the banks now own more of “our homes” than we do. During the most recent recession, the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the banks surpassed the total amount of U.S. home equity owned by the rest of us for the first time ever.
Things used to be far different in this country. Once upon a time American families owned most of the houses and most of the land in this nation.
But now the banks own most of it. Sadly, most American families that believe that they “own homes” are actually enslaved to 20 or 30 year debt contracts.
#2 Do you think that you own your car? You don’t own it if you are still making payments on it. If you stop making payments you will rapidly lose that car.
But even if your car is paid off, you can only operate that car if you do the following….
*You must pay the license fee
*You must pay the car registration fee
*You must pay the emissions inspection fee
*You must pay the property taxes on that car (if that applies in your area)
*You must pay the tire taxes
*You must pay the gas taxes
If you have paid all of those taxes, then you are permitted to drive only where the government allows you to drive and only under the rules that the government sets for you.
But at least you “own” your car, right?
#3 What about your possessions? Do you own them?
Well, yes, you probably own some possessions.
But that doesn’t mean that they are not enslaving you.
After all, did you use a credit card to pay for any of them?
If so, you could end up paying much more for your possessions than you originally thought that they cost.
For example, if you only make the minimum payment on your credit card each month, a $6,000 credit card bill could end up costing you over $30,000 (depending on the interest rate).
#4 Do you own your education? Well, it is undeniable that nobody can ever take it away from you. But if you took out student loans that debt may end up enslaving you for decades.
The borrower is the servant of the lender and student loan debt is more of a financial drain on Americans than ever before. Americans now owe more on student loans than they do on credit cards. As hard as that is to believe, that is actually true. Americans now owe more than $903 billion on student loans, which is a new all-time record.
#5 Will you protect your wealth if you put your money in the bank?
No, in fact your wealth will be systematically destroyed in the bank.
Inflation is a hidden tax on every single dollar that you own. It destroys the value of all dollars in existence. There are some Americans that have been saving money for decades, but those savings are being taxed into oblivion by inflation. Many experts are now projecting that the average price of a gallon of gasoline will hit $5 by the end of the year. So the next time you go to the gas pump just take a moment to think about how your wealth is being drained away by inflation.
#6 Insurance costs continue to soar. After insuring everything in our lives many of us barely have any money left over to actually live our lives with. In particular, health insurance premiums have become completely and totally ridiculous. According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California plans to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders could see their health insurance premiums rise by a whopping 59 percent this year alone. So how are American families supposed to survive if they keep on handing over bigger and bigger chunks of their income to the health care industry?
#7 State and local governments all over the nation have turned to ticket writing as a primary revenue source. In fact, in some areas of the country traffic citations are soaring at a crazy rate. For example, 110,000 more traffic citations were written in Los Angeles County last fiscal year than were written in the fiscal year immediately prior to the last recession.
The truth is that the police even realize what is going on. Just consider the following quote from from Police Chief Michael Reaves of Utica, Michigan….
“When I first started in this job 30 years ago, police work was never about revenue enhancement, but if you’re a chief now, you have to look at whether your department produces revenues.”
#8 Some states have decided to simply confiscate wealth even if nothing has been done wrong. For example, the state of California is aggressively seizing “unclaimed” safe deposit boxes. If you have a safe deposit box that you have not checked on in a while you might want to make sure that it is still there.
#9 You might end up losing your valuables when you cross the border. It is being reported that U.S. border agents are now regularly seizing laptops and other electronic devices as people cross the border. In many cases those items are never returned.
#10 If you don’t pay your property taxes, you will lose your house and it will likely be a big Wall Street bank that will be taking it from you. As I have written about previously, the big Wall Street banks are buying up thousands upon thousands of tax liens and are making a killing by socking distressed homeowners with predatory interest, outrageous penalties and almost unbelievable legal fees.
#11 Of course the biggest way that our wealth is being drained is through federal income taxes. The reason that the Federal Reserve and the IRS were established back in 1913 was to redistribute wealth. Wealth is transferred from the American people to the U.S. government and then ultimately to the elite and to the causes that the elite favor.
But federal taxes are only one of the taxes that we pay. The truth is that the average American pays dozens of different taxes each year. Just check out a few examples of the different taxes that drain our wealth….
#12 Accounts Receivable Taxes
#13 Building Permit Taxes
#14 Capital Gains Taxes
#15 CDL License Taxes
#16 Cigarette Taxes
#17 Corporate Income Taxes
#18 Court Fines (indirect taxes)
#19 Dog License Taxes
#20 Federal Unemployment Taxes (FUTA)
#21 Fishing License Taxes
#22 Food License Taxes
#23 Gasoline Taxes
#24 Gift Taxes
#25 Hunting License Taxes
#26 Inheritance Taxes
#27 Inventory Taxes
#28 IRS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax)
#29 IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
#30 Liquor Taxes
#31 Local Income Taxes
#32 Luxury Taxes
#33 Marriage License Taxes
#34 Medicare Taxes
#35 Payroll Taxes
#36 Property Taxes
#37 Real Estate Taxes
#38 Recreational Vehicle Taxes
#39 Road Toll Booth Taxes
#40 Road Usage Taxes (Truckers)
#41 Sales Taxes
#42 Self-Employment Taxes
#43 School Taxes
#44 Septic Permit Taxes
#45 Service Charge Taxes
#46 Social Security Taxes
#47 State Income Taxes
#48 State Unemployment Taxes (SUTA)
#49 Telephone federal excise taxes
#50 Telephone federal universal service fee taxes
#51 Telephone federal, state and local surcharge taxes
#52 Telephone minimum usage surcharge taxes
#53 Telephone recurring and non-recurring taxes
#54 Telephone state and local taxes
#55 Telephone usage charge taxes
#56 Toll Bridge Taxes
#57 Toll Tunnel Taxes
#58 Traffic Fines (indirect taxation)
#59 Trailer Registration Taxes
#60 Utility Taxes
#61 Vehicle License Registration Taxes
#62 Vehicle Sales Taxes
#63 Watercraft Registration Taxes
#64 Well Permit Taxes
#65 Workers Compensation Taxes
Even the future is being taken away from us. The future is literally being stolen from our children and our grandchildren. They will be inheriting the 14 trillion dollar (and still rising) national debt that we have accumulated. What we have done to future generations is unthinkable, and yet we continue to endlessly borrow more money. The Congressional Research Service estimates that the U.S. government will need to borrow $738 billion between April 1st and September 30th. Faith in U.S. Treasuries is falling so rapidly that now the biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is actually shorting U.S. Treasuries.
When you base an entire economy on debt, eventually you end up with money problems that never seem to end. As a nation we are now enslaved to a vicious spiral of debt that is going to destroy everything that our forefathers worked so hard to build.
As the debt loads of our federal, state and local governments become even more burdensome, they are going to want even more money from us. For decades we gave in to new tax after new tax thinking that it would finally satisfy them. But it never seems to be enough. They always want more.
It is the same thing with the banksters. They are never satisfied either. They always want more assets and they always want more Americans to be enslaved to debt.
Unfortunately, most Americans are so caught up in the “rat race” that they never take much time to think about who designed the race or why they are running it.
Hopefully more Americans will wake up and will realize that our entire economy and our entire financial system need to be reformed. Our current system is inherently flawed and it will eventually impoverish the vast majority of us if we allow it to.
Michael Snyder is the editor of The Economic Collapse Blog
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