Are we headed for deflationary depression instead of hyperinflation?

At least one analyst thinks so.  According to financial advisor and author Dan Shaffer America and the rest of the world are currently at the beginning of a deflationary depression period.  He believes that we are presently seeing the beginning of this depression and it will last for many years to come.  Presumably overall prices will fall dramatically in this period according to Shaffer’s prediction.

He says that governments have borrowed huge amounts of money and this has driven up public debt dramatically.  We have had TARP and the stimulus package to name a few of these public spending programs but none of them have stimulated the economy.

We still have high unemployment and no sign of a real recovery.  According to an article posted online recently in Yahoo Finance the economy is sputtering.  Unemployment rose in May officially from 8.1% to 8.2%.  Far fewer jobs were created than were anticipated according to the article.

Shaffer points out that Chinese manufacturing is stalling and there is the European economic crisis.  Several countries in Europe have massive debt problems with Greece at the forefront but Spain, Italy and others are all in trouble too.  Manufacturing in Britain is shrinking at a fast pace and even France and Germany are showing a slowdown in the manufacturing sector according to the Yahoo Finance article.

Shaffer seems to indicate that all of this government spending has only served to pump more air into a series of bubbles.  We have already seen the housing bubble burst but their are others that are ready to burst he says.  There is the manufacturing bubble and the student loan bubble not to mention the overall consumer debt bubble.   He indicates that all of these bubbles must eventually burst when the air (government spending) is withdrawn as it inevitably must be.

In America the Fed has responded to this overall economic crisis by dropping interest rates to historic lows.  Interest rates are now lower than what they were even in the great depression and they are at the lowest level in history according to Dan Shaffer.  According to the Yahoo Finance article the Fed has bought $2.3 in bonds to help the recovery.  The Fed has also signaled that it will keep these interest rates low until late 2014 at least.

In the article they state that there is little more that the Fed can do as it has dropped interest rates as low as they can for the foreseeable future and it seems to have little effect.  The federal government too is in trouble too as it has borrowed and spent with TARP and the stimulus package around $2 trillion and this has not created growth in the economy.

So now the government is out of options.  They have borrowed, spent, and the fed has lowered the interest rate to zero.  What else can the government do?  We now have a $16 trillion public debt to show for these borrowing and spending policies and little economic recovery.  The spending has indeed left us with nothing but record large government debts.

I hear echoes of history here where FDR’s treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau, Jr. said “we have tried spending money.  We have spent more than we have ever spent before and it does not work”.  He was speaking here of FDR’s new deal which he was a primary architect of.  The new deal policy was to borrow and spend money endlessly in an attempt to stimulate the economy but at the end of 8 years the unemployment rate was just as high as it was when FDR’s administration began spending money.

Today we have done almost exactly what was done in the 1930s with similar results.  You think we would learn from history that this massive borrowing and then spending does not lead to recovery but just to massive debt.  Now with the heavy debt load and the lack of recovery the American public naturally wants to put a brake on the spending.

A public demand has been building for the last few years that government spending be curtailed.  We have seen this with groups like the Tea Party and others that have demanded an end to this spending and a reduction of deficits.  Whether you agree with these groups or not their demand have reached the ears of Congress.

This is where Shaffer seems to believe that we will get into trouble.  He claimed recently on Fox business that this government spending does eventually find its way into the private sector.  When government spending is lowered in the near future he says this will result in less buying power for world markets.  This could result in deflationary pressures throughout the world as the bubbles burst.  Prices could then dramatically decline instead of increase.

He seemed to say that government spending has propped up the stock market although temporarily.  Now that the times have changed and people want to put the brakes on borrowing and spending this removal of the government money will result in severe economic problems because of a collapsing of prices.

The government has also tried printing money with QE1 and QE2 and there are calls to do a QE3.  I argued in a previous blog that this will only lead to massive inflation and that could lead to disaster.  This is what lead Germany to Hitler through the massive money printing and inflation of the Weimar republic.  The National Socialists (NAZIs) were just another political party with limited influence until the money printing inflation cycle drove the German economy to a terrible crisis.  This all made people turn to Hitler for a solution and we all got the holocaust of World War Two with 60 million dead.

I believe that Shaffer’s theory of a massive price reducing deflation instead of hyperinflation must be considered as a real possibility.  It is certainly another possible outcome of the current economic crisis.  Prices could dramatically fall when government spending is inevitably withdrawn.

Is it more likely that prices will collapse as government withdraws spending?  Are we headed into a deflationary downward spiral or is it more likely that massive inflation will occur as governments print more money?

We don’t know for sure.  Our debt situation and money printing policies are similar to the Weimar Republic of the 1920s but the argument for deflation is also compelling.  Will prices drop dramatically or will they inflate beyond all expectations?  Either way we appear to be headed for a crisis in the world.  We have been there before but the results were not good.  When economies collapse and order is gone people yearn for someone to restore order.  That person or persons could become a detriment to the whole world like Hitler was in the 1940s.

I am a San Diego bankruptcy attorney.  For further questions please visit my websites at or  Or call my office for a free consultation or for any other advice about bankruptcy or debt at (619) 702-5015.   Call now for free credit report and analysis!  For a free e-book on “13 things to do to prepare for your bankruptcy filing” please e-mail me at


Can I file bankruptcy a second time? Yes, and with stubbornly high inflation, unemployment rates, and the housing crisis you might well need to!

economy 2If you want to file for bankruptcy a second time you just have to wait the required eight years since the last time you filed.  Don’t Guess Againworry it goes by quickly!  Many people find that they get into the same situation as they were in before after eight years have gone by.  The country’s unemployment situation does not appear to have improved, the price of everything is going up as inflation worsens, and the nation’s housing crisis continues. (See here for additional reasons for why you should file for bankruptcy).

I read an article yesterday that gas prices have increased by over 80% in the last three years.  Many food prices have increased by 20% in the same period but the government uses an inflation measure that excludes food and energy prices so their statistics do not reflect real inflation.  This seems ridiculous because food and gas are the items that people buy the most.

With our astronomical 15 trillion deficit many of us believe that massive inflation is coming for America which will render our currency increasingly worthless.   I heard a story the other day about inflation in the Wiemar Republic in Germany in the 1920s.  There the cash was so worthless in 1920s Germany that crooks stole only the wheelbarrows that people carried the cash in and dumped the cash in the street.

Unemployment is also staying high and is also under counted by the government. We are told that unemployment is declining but we also find out that increasing numbers of people are leaving the job market altogether and are thus not being counted in government statistics.  We apparently have the lower number of adults working in America that we have ever had before in our history. (See here for my blog on the unemployment is rising because people are leaving the labor force).

As we have known all along many people are giving up on finding a job and are either living off the government or are living on money earned under the table and off the radar.  These people usually are surviving on such little money that they should be counted as at least underemployed if not as unemployed.  This many unemployed people not being counted makes the unemployment situation look far better than it really is.  I hate to say it but it appears that the government has an agenda to advance in these statistics on inflation and unemployment and these government supplied numbers should therefore be questioned or ignored.

The housing crisis also seems to have no bottom.  Houses are still being foreclosed in in great numbers and thus housing prices are not rising in some areas and still falling in others.  Many are facing an iminent foreclosre of their home due to this crisis in real estate and the realtors I talk to say they don’t see any end in sight for this.  With the glut of foreclosed homes on the market the prices of homes will not increase again for some time.  Many who are unemployed cannot afford to pay their mortgages now.

unemployment 4Many people believe that with our massive debt at the federal, state, and local levels we are headed for financial collapse.  I don’t know if a massive collapse is coming but it’s clear that massive inflation and continued high unemployment are a distinct possibility.  Collapse has happened before in history with the Wiemar Republic and with other societies that failed to get their debts in order.  If we are headed for these increasingly difficult economic times then it would certainly be easier to enter them without a tremendous debt load.  Bankruptcy can accomplish that.

If massive inflation comes will help pay down the government’s debt but it will devastate individuals and families financially as it dramatically increases the prices we pay for everything.  If unemployment remains high too then many people will continue to have medical, credit card, auto repossesssion, and other personal debts they  pay.  Many will continue to borrow on their credit cards as they have in the past out of necessity and not irresponsibility.

If any of this sounds familiar then you might want to consider filing bankruptcy.  Don’t be like the government and put you head in the sand.  Deal with your debt in a responsible, legal, and ethical way which is what you get with a bankruptcy discharge.  You can also significantly slow down or stop your home being sold at foreclosure with a bankruptcy.

All of this debt, unemployment, and foreclosure will lead many individuals and couples right back into a situation where they cannot pay their debts.  Once they stop paying these creditors the phone will start ringing again 24 hour a day from collection agents who ceaselessly try to collect these debts.  The result of this will be more people will need second time bankruptcies.  So don’t despair if you have accumulated debt in the last number of years because you can file bankrupty again.

If you filed in 2005 like millions did to avoid the bankruptcy law changes then you will be able to file next year in 2013.  You only have to wait eight years.  If you filed in October of 2005 like many did the you should look to file again around October of 2013.  Remember that millions of individuals are in the same position as you are so don’t despair.  Just call a good bankruptcy lawyer now and he will help you survive financially until the eight years has elapsed.

There are many strategies for managing these debts in the mean time including paying them something to get them off your back.  A good lawyer will help you manage you finances until the date arrives that you can file for bankruptcy again.  For an update on filing bankruptcy a second time see here.

I am a San Diego bankruptcy attorney.  For further information please visit my website at or  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for a free credit report and analysis!

For a free e-book: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” please send a request by e-mail to:

The economy is so bad photo courtesy of Mark Holloway.  Guess again photo courtesy of Damian Gadal.  Unemployment photo courtesy of Sean MacEntee.

Is hyperinflation coming to America? We have a 14 trillion dollar debt. Remember the Weimar Republic? (It gave the world Hitler).

Notwithstanding President Obama’s pledge to freeze government spending, the Congressional Budget Office is forecasting huge budget deficits in the next five years.  According to the CBO report our deficit will balloon by between 500 billion and 1.5 trillion each year for the next five years leaving us with an extra 4.32 trillion in debt or a total of over 18 trillion in debt by 2015.

Currently the amount of debt we owe as a country is not just still increasing but it is increasing rapidly.  We are not paying any of this debt back nor are we stopping the accumulation of debt.  In fact we are still accumulating additional debt at a dramatic rate.  This is madness in my opinion and sets us on a course headed for complete societal and economic disaster.

Phil Cavuto pointed out on Fox Business that the interest alone on this debt is accumulating at the rate of 4 billion dollars per day.  He went on to say that even if we did nothing and we did not borrow another penny, the debt will continue to increase by 4 billion dollars per day due to this interest.  This amounts to 120 billion per month and almost 1.5 trillion added to our debt each year attributable only to the interest on money that we already owe.  So next year our debt will be 15.5 trillion even if we don’t borrow any more money at all.

Worse still is the CBO prediction that as the debt grows we will have to pay higher and higher interest rates to get people to buy it.  This will cost even more and make the debt really spiral upward.  This is exactly what happened in Greece where borrowing became very expensive for the Greek government which exacerbated their problems tremendously.

We are close to having our debt equal 100% of our gross domestic product which is an extremely dangerous amount.  Greece reached the 110% level which has devastated their economy and led to extreme austerity measures and tax increases.  We will reach this level in 10 years.  Greece, as part of the EEC, was eventually bailed out temporarily by Germany but the Germans were not at all happy about it.  Who will bail us out when we reach 100% debt to GDP?  There is no one who can bail us out.  These debts are too large and no country has the inclination to do it.

But we have added 1 trillion to the debt in just the last seven months and all the politicians can do is argue about raising the debt limit or freezing spending at its current rate.  We should be lowering this debt limit, cutting government massively, and paying off this debt.   A freeze in government spending is not nearly enough and would save us only 30 to 40 billion a year when we need 1.5 trillion for this year.

We in fact need massive cuts (including the military, social security and Medicare), elimination of whole departments in the federal government, a lowering of wages for every federal employee, massive layoffs of federal employees, as well as a sale of government land and property just to begin to save the 1.5 trillion in debt we will amass just this year.  John Stossel recommends closing the Departments of Education, Housing and Urban Development, Commerce, selling Amtrak, ending the drug war, and repealing Obamacare.  I think we need to do all of this and more.  The English are putting Sherwood Forest up for sale and the French and Italians are selling and leasing their historic palaces to balance their budgets.  It’s time we do the same.

For a good start we need my 25/25 solution where 25% of federal employees are laid off and those remaining are given a 25% pay cut.  The CBO recommends a 20% cut in spending.  Once we do the cuts then we can talk about selling some of the lands that the government owns out in the west and we can begin to discuss which federal government departments should be completely eliminated.  After the cuts and layoffs are made and the assets sold then I think the American people will be more open to talking about tax increases if this would help pay this debt back.

It appears though as if we are neither cutting nor selling anything and we seem to be just borrowing more money just to pay the interest on this debt.  Now I don’t know about you but I see a real problem here.  I am beginning to think that Glen Beck is right and that there is a real reckoning coming for America.   How can we ever hope to pay this debt back with these kinds of totally inadequate measures?  It’s unsustainable and it’s quite possibly heading us down the road to catastrophic economic and societal failure.  Historically this is not without precedent.

Remember the Weimar Republic?  After World War I ended in 1919 and the Treaty of Versailles was enacted, Britain, France, and America demanded that Germany pay reparations for all damages caused by the war down to the last barn, cow, and chicken destroyed.  The war was not Germany’s fault alone as it was others who started and waged it before Germany’s participation began.   The Serbians assassinated the Arch Duke of Austria-Hungary, the Austro-Hungarians invaded Serbia in response, the Russians mobilized their military to defend Serbia.  Only then did Germany feel threatened enough to enter the war.

France was allied to Russia and German military doctrine at the time said that Germany needed to defeat France quickly before Russia was able to mobilize and attack Germany. If that happened Germany would then face a two front war she could not win.  So poor France got invaded by Germany.

Once the Germans invaded France and Belgium they occupied their countries and waged war in them for 4 years.  The Germans inflicted very heavy damages and which devastated France and Belgium.  After the war the French and Belgians wanted the Germans to pay for the damages of a war which had ravaged every country in Europe.  The fallout of the war was that not just France and Belgium were destroyed but also the Russians had a revolution and the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman empires collapsed and were broken up.  20 million people died before it was all over but the Germans were blamed for all of it and they were forced to agree to pay huge reparations.  If the Germans did not agree then the allies threatened to resume the war.   These same reparation demands also created a huge resentment and a deep desire for revenge among the Germans people.

These reparations were in the end beyond Germany’s ability to pay just like our 14 trillion debt is beyond our ability to pay.  In short this caused Germany to try to inflate their way out of debt so they printed money endlessly which led to extreme currency devaluation.  The hyperinflation that resulted was so bad that when workers were paid they were immediately released to go to stores to buy food before their currency was worthless that very same night.  The government had to print million mark notes to keep up with the hyperinflation and prices for a single family’s bread and meat rose into the billions of marks.

The worst of it though is that as Hitler himself stated in his book, Mein Kampf, this hyperinflation in the early 1920s and the troubles it created for the whole of Germany made a Nazi takeover inevitable in Germany.  There was a perception among the German people that democracy had failed to do anything about the hyperinflation crisis in post-war Germany so a call for a strongman went out.   This cry grew louder and louder as riots and political clashes occurred in the streets between communists, fascists and nationalists.  Anarchy reigned in Germany and former soldiers formed armed groups which clashed with other armed groups.

When Hitler appeared on the scene he seemed to be the strong man the country was waiting for to bring peace and stability to the nation and to solve the problems that democracy had failed to solve.  Since the ground was primed people took to Hitler in a big way.  Women would swoon and whole crowds would get in a kind of trance when he spoke.  Women wrote to him to ask him to marry them.  Some saw through him but too many became blind followers or at least acquiesced in what he did and said.  It was the chaos of hyperinflation, default and monetary instability that brought Germany (and the world) Hitler.

Hitler originally came to power by taking over the obscure National Workers Party and renamed it the National Socialist (NAZI) Party.  Hitler’s fiery rhetoric initially attracted many more members to the party causing it to grow dramatically as he ranted about the social and economic chaos of Germany and he blamed the Jewish people for all of it.  After establishing a strong party base the Nazis were  poised to take over all of Germany after Germany’s economic troubles deepened during the worldwide great depression of 1929.  Hitler so wanted revenge for World War One that after he defeated the French he had them sign an armistice in the same railroad car that the Germans had to sign an armistice in is 1919.

The question is whether a situation similar what happened to post-war Germany could happen here if we default on or try to hyper inflate our way out of our $14 trillion debt.  And further could the resulting terrible economic fallout lead to a  call for a strongman like an American Adolf Hitler?  Will hyperinflation occur here which will lead to street riots and clashes and a perceived failure of democracy?   And who will be scapegoated and attacked this time for the failure of America?

The politicians now seem to be doing nothing while we steadily accumulate more debt.  When the house of cards inevitably collapses will our politicians continue to do nothing so that people again look for a strong man to save them from the riots, violence, and massive inflation that will inevitably occur?  Will that strongman scapegoat a group of people who will eventually be slaughtered?

With an unsustainable 14 trillion debt (that we keep increasing by more borrowing)  how long will it be until the government has to “monetize” the debt which means how long until they to print money excessively to try to pay for the debt and its ever-increasing interest?  They now call money printing “quantitative easing” but it is still the same thing.  Money printing and hyperinflation was what happened in Weimar and we in America appear to be on the same course.  If and when this happens hyperinflation will assuredly come to America as the currency becomes worthless and chaos will ensue.

If America tries to default on the debt instead of inflating the currency then how long before our creditors demand that we pay it back?  This is what happened in Weimar Germany as the French and Belgians rode into Germany and occupied the Ruhr valley in 1923 which was the German industrial heartland.  France and Belgium occupied the Ruhr because Germany naturally defaulted on the reparations payments.  To ensure repayment France took over and occupied this industrial area and forcibly extracted the resources necessary to get their money paid back.  This action infuriated the Germans who went on strike and refused to work as slaves for the French but the anger and resentment this occupation caused helped pave the way for a fascist Hitler takeover.

If we now default on our debt payments to (our landlords) the Chinese like the Germans did in the 1920s how would we Americans react to Chinese troops occupying part of our heartland to ensure that they get their money back?  However unlikely and impossible to imagine this has happened before.  Default on the debt that we owe to the Chinese and others could lead to drastic things happening like what happened to post WWI Germany.  The countries that lent us the money will not be any more understanding than England and France were in 1919.

In fact if history repeats itself in any way then these lenders will just ruthlessly demand their money at any cost to America including its destruction.   Indeed the Chinese leaders have their own concerns and they will surely not be concerned with what happens to America.  They don’t want their people to riot and overthrow the Chinese communist leadership if America defaults on what it owes to the Chinese.  The Chinese government will only care about retaining power if it runs short of money sufficient in quantity to keep the Chinese people happy.

The French Premier (Poincaré) in the 1920s argued that the continued forced reparation payments were necessary to keep Germany in “chains” because once those chains were removed Germany would again become powerful and start another world war.  I expect that many anti-Americans in the world today would make the same argument against America when they demand extreme measures be imposed against us to ensure repayment.  America haters will also demand that America be kept down so that America cannot cause any trouble in the world.

Though occupation is unlikely China and other lenders will surely at least stop lending us more money in response to our default on our debts we owe to them.  When that happens will we end up like Greece with riots in the streets as the government shuts down and is unable to operate or disperse payments to its employees or to the recipients of government aid?  How many people are now dependent on the government one way or another?  When the faucet is turned off and government dependents don’t get the money they have come to rely on they will surely riot here as they are doing in Europe.

Many radical groups from diverse ideological backgrounds are now waiting in the wings for this kind of crisis to attempt a seizure of power just like in Weimar Germany.  When they clash with other groups in the streets like in Weimar in the 1902s, how long will it be before people are clamoring for a solution to the chaos.  Will we too be attracted to a “strong man” who promises peace and security?  In the 1930s fascism was widely popular across the world.  Will we too view democracy as a failure and a modern-day Hitler as a great hope?

If we lose democracy we will lose all of our freedoms which we have relied on for 200 years and we will have dictators ruling us.  Democracies almost never go to war against each other but only sometimes go to war against another dictatorship.  Two dictatorships will often war against each other.  So if democracy dies then prepare for more war, no freedoms, rule by a dictator, and a dark ages that could last indefinitely because there is no one in the world to save our freedoms as America has saved other countries from dictatorships in the past.  Who will be there to defend democracy if America fails?  This is what Reagan said in the 1980s.

As a bankruptcy attorney I know that when you have a huge debt you cannot pay back, and you can’t (or won’t) cut spending, and you have to borrow money just to pay the interest on this debt then the financial end is near.  Borrowing money just to make interest payments is a signal that the situation is critical, unsustainable, and near the end.  If no one steps in to pay there is nowhere to go but bankruptcy.

For individuals, businesses, and even for cities bankruptcy is the best alternative when the financial end is at hand for one of these entities.  Bankruptcy gives the entity a fresh start and the debts are wiped away.  The problem with this 14 trillion national debt is that states and nations are sovereign entities and sovereign entities cannot go bankrupt.  They must either pay their debts or default on them.  Both of these options have extremely bad consequences.  America appears headed for a deeper disaster than we can imagine.

(See my update on inflation spending and its consequences: ).  (See here for an update on the actual unemployment rate).

I am a practicing bankruptcy attorney in San Diego.  You can visit my website at or  Or call my office for a free consultation at (619) 702-5015.  Call now for free credit report and analysis!

For a free e-book: “13 THINGS YOU SHOULD DO TO PREPARE FOR YOUR BANKRUPTCY FILING” please send a request by e-mail to:

Shadow inventory of foreclosed homes- could it mean we have shadow depression?

(See my currnet blog for an updateon foreclosures: ).

There appears to be a definite “shadow market” of foreclosed homes that the banks are holding off the market.  They sometimes call this the “shadow inventory”

The banks are holding these homes off the market presumably to prevent a real estate crisis.  As I wrote before about this issue there is this huge reservoir of homes that the banks have foreclosed on and taken full possession of.  These homes are “shadow inventory” because the banks have kept them in the shadows and they have not listed these homes on the MLS for realtors to sell.

The Wall Street Journal recently did a story on this shadow inventory.  In that story they cite a study done by real estate consulting firm in Irvine California.  They estimate that there are 4.7 million homes in this unreported market which amounts to a 10 month supply of homes but the number could rise to as many as 5.6 million homes.  Some of the worst cities have a 20 month shadow supply of unlisted and unsold homes.

Analysts at Standard & Poor’s report that the largest backlog of shadow inventory exists in New York city followed by Miami.  Standard & Poor’s estimates that the time it will take to clear this inventory is up 18% over the first 6 months of 2010.

There is certainly a lot of homes in the “shadows” and this is a serious problem.  This is why some realtors are predicting that this foreclosure/housing crisis will be with us for 5 to 10 years.   The Irvine report also estimates that this shadow inventory will stay at elevated levels until 2016!

The report says that sales of distressed homes will rise to 40% of all home sales through 2012 and that real estate prices will continue to fall by 8% to 11% through 2012!  They also predict that if the economy worsens or if interest rates rise then housing prices will decline further and for longer.  According to the report distressed home sales will peak at 2.3 million homes next year.  So we haven’t reached the peak yet and it will get worse.

Worse than that a friend of mine was at a real estate conference recently attended by a president of a big bank.  The bank president denied the existence of a shadow inventory.  If the banks don’t want to admit that there is a shadow inventory and it is well-known enough for consulting firms and the Wall Street Journal to write about then what are they trying to hide and why?

Can we not take the truth?  It seems to me as I have written about many times that we are currently in a depression.  I don’t expect that anyone in government or the banks (who are now very closely tied to the government) will admit it.  They obviously have no problem lying about the shadow inventory of homes so it seems unlikely that we would ge the truth about how deep this economic crisis is.

I’m sure they will tell us when it’s all over.

I am a bankruptcy attorney in San Diego.  For further help please visit my website at

Who are the 99ers? Do they signify the start of a depression?

The 99ers are the people who have been on unemployment for 99 weeks or more.  There are  a total of 1.4 million people who have not worked for two years.  The average unemployed worker in this group has been unemployed for about 8 months.  This is unprecedented in American history except for the great depression and we have never had people on unemployment compensation this long ever before.

They held a rally in New York recently to protest and demand another extension of their unemployment benefits.  Their benefits are now exhausted and many 99ers have exhausted their savings and are living on borrowed money.  Some are becoming homeless.  At their rally near the New York Stock Exchange the 99ers are telling stories of the agony of their ordeal and they are demanding more benefits.

They apparently can’t find a job because their no one is hiring.  We have to ask how long can we sustain this and how long should the unemployment compensation system carry them?  Can the country continue to lose jobs, have perennially high unemployment, and have a larger and larger segment of society live on government benefits?

The 99ers have connected through websites and listservs and they have teamed up with the major labor unions who support their cause.  They are now a political force and democratic Senators Debbie Stabenow and Sherrod Brown have responded and co-sponsored a bill to extend unemployment yet again to 119 weeks.  I guess then we have to call them the 119ers.  Are we ready for a permanently unemployed class of people?

I am a bankruptcy lawyer in San Diego.

Please visit my website at