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Instead of being a job taker, become a job creator; if not for others, then at least for yourself.

Despite the glowing reports about how beautifully our economy has been rebounding from the recession, many readers know or know of someone who is collecting food stamps, social security for early retirement, or government-backed student loans for college. Although we’re being told through official reports that the current unemployment rate is 7%, those of us who have really been paying attention, know that it is much, much worse. The real unemployment rate is more like 23%, some say, if one calculates these numbers as was done during the depression, to account for the non-working and under-employed. As if cooked books weren’t enough, Americans are also experiencing the highest level of inflation – a devalued dollar, with significantly crippled buying power – ever. And, to make matters worse, 1.3 million people lost their unemployment benefits right after Christmas, last month. Many have given up looking for work, but those who continue to look, often find opportunities with reduced pay and reduced hours of 30 or less, so companies can avoid paying the debilitating costs of Obamacare for their employees. What’s an average American job-seeker to do? Conventional wisdom says to improve your education to improve job opportunities; unfortunately, many graduates today have found that what awaits them after graduation is not a job, but student loan debt. And, many speculate that a student loan bubble is on the brink of bursting, much like the housing bubble of ’08, as more graduates default on their loans because of an anemic job market. The good news about this bad news is that this economic situation has left many with plenty of free time on their hands, along with a good measure of angst, to passionately delve into understanding the true source of these troubles and find solutions.

Return to creating goods – a tried and true path to prosperity. A good search on the internet reveals that America’s economic rise and fall has much to do with whether or not we are creating goods – not services. When our manufacturing started going overseas in the 1970s we began the slow downward spiral of visibly loosing our economic strength. And, if you look at the ghost towns of China today you see a living testament to all that America’s middle-class has lost in this transfer of wealth. In China, their growth in manufacturing (that came from America) has prospered their middle-class so abundantly, that they have invested in real estate; problem is, no one is buying it, so all the pristine and expansive development sits vacant. To see these Chinese ghost towns is truly astonishing, as it gives material evidence of how far-reaching the economic loss of our manufacturing has been to America.

Fight Back! Take back your creative power to be prosperous! Granted, this is easier said than done. Regulations against small businesses in America are worse than ever. And, accounts of fraud at the Small Business Administration (SBA) have surfaced. This organization, which is supposedly purposed to help small businesses with loans and the acquisition of government contracts, has been caught giving $1 trillion dollars over the last decade to Fortune 500 companies, with very little media coverage and no legal justice. In the midst of this uphill economic battle, small business owners of today are less prepared than ever to think and lead effectively as independent creators. As it turns out, we have U.S. Department of Education experts like Charlotte Iserbyt and John Tayor Gatto warning us that since the turn of the 18th century, corporate philanthropy groups, like the Rockefeller Foundation, have invested in and influenced the coursework of public education for Americans to purposefully indoctrinate students to become employees – not creators, leaders, and inventors. So, as Americans become increasingly unable to compete in this degree-saturated job market - where the number of unemployed is three times that of the number of jobs available - they are feeling unbelievable pressure to become self-reliant, with the limited economic support and leadership skills necessary to be a success.

How can your skill set enrich your local economy, given the current adversity? This is a question more Americans are asking themselves, as the economy forces them to make a financial way – when there seems to be no way - to pay their bills. By surrounding themselves with other small local business owners, becoming well-connected and well-mentored, they are over-coming the odds. They are overcoming mental blocks to creativity, years of financial illiteracy, and deficits in leadership skills. With crony-capitalism arguably in its final death throes, extreme measures have been taken to curb growth in the free market; still, the free market is fighting a good fight. For example, a group of anarchists in Detroit have occupied abandoned neighborhoods, set up community garden co-ops, and started providing community services that the bankrupt city government can no longer provide. Inspiring stories like this, show us how alive this country’s spirit is to thrive, and how we can greatly impact the bleakest regions with meaningful change, against all odds.

What will you do in this time of great adversity? Will you be job taker? Or, a job creator? Sooner or later, you’re probably going to have to ask yourself this question. Sooner or later, the government will run out of money to subsidize Americans with food stamps, social security, unemployment benefits, and student loans. It simply cannot support these expenditures without end, with as many un- and under-employed Americans as we have, currently. It’s simple math folks! When the government is no longer able to artificially prop-up our economy, and give cooked-book reports about the condition of our workforce, then the illusion and false optimism will end. For freedom’s sake, let’s be prepared to let this end be the beginning of restoring this nation’s wealth to its rightful owners.

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