List of REAL Assets That Hold Their Value Through Nuclear War, Social Chaos or Debt Collapse

List of REAL Assets That Hold Their Value Through Nuclear War, Social Chaos or Debt Collapse

How much of your money will only exist as a computer record on the day the global banking system fails?

When you log in to your online banking account and view your account balance, do you really think those electronic digits on your computer screen are real money?

Most people keep the vast majority of their savings and “cash” in electronic form, existing only as a computer record in a distant bank so far away that they don’t even know its physical location.

All electronically stored assets are not REAL, and they can all disappear in the blink of an eye for a long list of reasons.

When the global banking system fails — now a mathematical inevitability — banking customers will be shocked to discover that electronic numbers on a digital screen are not real wealth. As they say in the gold bug business, if you can’t touch it, it isn’t real.

Gold, silver and other precious metals are real wealth for the simple reason that they don’t vanish as banking systems fail.

The stock market, bond market or real estate bubble market can crater all they want… your gold and silver are still just as real (and just as heavy) as they were before. More importantly, they’re just as valuable… or even more so because precious metals tend to skyrocket in value when fiat currencies collapse.

What I’m trying to get at here is that if you don’t own gold, silver or other precious metals as at least part of your savings portfolio, you might find yourself in real trouble when SHTF.

Only real assets will outlast the cataclysmic financial “day of reckoning” that’s coming. That list can include any or all of the following:

Things of real value that are portable:

  • Cash (green paper money, which may become instantly worthless, so don’t hold too much)
  • Pre-1963 coins (that contain silver content)
  • Physical metals (gold, silver, platinum)
  • Collector’s coins, stamps and historical firearms
  • Practical firearms and suppressors (silencers)
  • Bearer bonds or corporate stock shares
  • Natural medicine, seeds and essential oils
  • Iodine, useful for water purification and protection vs. radioactive iodine-131
  • Museum-quality art
  • Valuable yachts or boats if used as the bugout transport of choice
  • Small aircraft, if you fly out as your bugout strategy
  • Deeds to land assets (paper proof of ownership)
  • Antibiotics and prescription painkillers or insulin (high value, easy to carry)
  • Bitcoin [and Ethereum] wallets on a thumb drive, hopefully encrypted and backed upsomewhere else (will only work if the internet stays alive)
  • Night vision equipment (PVS-14)
  • Small radiation detectors

    THINGS YOU KNOW: (all the things you know are, by definition, portable):

  •         Medical knowledge / first aid / surgical experience / infectious disease
  •         Communications knowledge / HAM operator / shortwave radio
  •         Firearms knowledge / gunsmithing / long-range shooting
  •         Natural medicine knowledge / natural antibiotics / wound healing / prevention
  •         Food knowledge / harvesting / preparation / preservation / seed saving / wildcrafting
  •         Workshop knowledge / repair / making tools / blacksmithing / construction
  •         Navigation knowledge / compass navigation / topo map reading / area knowledge
  •         Rural living knowledge / animal care / roping / knot tying / butchering

Things of real value that are not (easily) portable:

  • Land, real estate and commercial buildings
  • Ranch animals / cattle
  • Vehicles, tractors and even construction equipment
  • Ammunition
  • Ammo reloading equipment / brass / bullets
  • Storable food
  • Water filters
  • Honey (it’s food and medicine, and lasts for decades)
  • Salt (very heavy but also invaluable if you need some)
  • Water wells, springs or flowing water sources
  • Large water storage containers / tanks
  • Recreational vehicles that can be lived in
  • Solar power systems
  • Defensive bunkers / underground homes / shelters
  • Alcohol stills
  • Communications gear: HAM radios and antennas
  • Machine shops or heavy tools
  • Large generators
  • Fuel stores (diesel, propane, natural gas)
  • Ballistic protection gear (helmets, vests, shields)
  • Heavy equipment grease, hydraulic fluid and engine oil
  • Knives, machetes, hatchets and tomahawks
  • Tactical optics (binoculars or magnifiers)
  • Portable light sources: Lanterns, flashlights
  • BIC lighters and magnesium fire starters (easy to barter, may be portable but are not very valuable per kg)
  • Protective gear vs. biological agents and infectious disease (masks, surgical gloves, body suits, etc.)
  • Personal hygiene items: toilet paper / feminine hygiene / soap
  • Canning equipment, food dehydrators or smoke houses
  • Bicycles and other human-powered gear


This Article Could Save Your Life: “Consider This Your Last Wake Up Call”

Things that will be (mostly) useless in an apocalyptic collapse:

  • Pensions
  • iPhones, Android and all mobile devices
  • Digital bank accounts holding “money” in electronic form
  • Paper currency (might hold value temporarily, but could collapse suddenly)
  • Check books (nobody will accept a check when the banks are down)
  • Anything that runs on gas (will be hard to find fuel)
  • GPS navigation devices (won’t work without satellites and power)
  • Apartments at very high levels of buildings (no electricity means “vertical hiking” up dangerous stairwells)
  • Luxury vehicles with heavy reliance on electronics (the simpler the vehicle, the better)
  • Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter and social media
  • Your Blu-Ray DVD collection
  • Cell phone communications
  • Government entitlements: Food stamps / Medicare / Medicaid / Unemployment
  • Academic degrees in “social justice” topics
  • Electronic books (Kindle)
  • U.S. Treasury bills or other forms of government debt (including municipal bonds)

Right now might be a good time to trade VIRTUAL assets for REAL assets.

The bottom line? Right now might be a good time to start trading your virtual assets for real assets. Otherwise, you might end up losing your virtual assets when the financial house of cards implodes.

Sources: Collapse.News; NaturalNews.com

http://humansarefree.com/2017/04/list-of-real-assets-that-hold-their.html?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+humansarefree%2FaQPD+%28Humans+Are+Free%29

Mike Quinsey Message, October 07, 2016



Mike Quinsey Message, October 07, 2016

The time is rapidly approaching when events will move forward as expected. All the necessary arrangements seem to be in place, and await the final checks before the order is given to go ahead with Revaluation of the currencies. It has taken a lot of planning to reach this point plus the co-operation of the many, many people involved. Clearly the wait will have been well worthwhile and will be seen as the turning point when events have turned the way for those working for the Light. There is still confusion as to what is taking place and in part caused by those who are against the changes being introduced. In any event there will be winners and losers but the changes will fully benefit the whole population of Earth. All are to be given the opportunity to reach an acceptable standard of living, and eliminate the unfairness in the distribution of wealth.

Where the Will of God is concerned nothing can change the outcome regardless of any actions taken by the Illuminati. Their role in opposition to those of the Light has caused them to rise up and evolve much quicker than it would otherwise have occurred. It means that many more souls will have reached levels that entitle them to ascend. There is no choosing of such souls, and their success is entirely due to their own efforts to evolve out of the lower vibrations and into the Light. It is not a matter of becoming a total Light Being, but becoming of service to others for the greater part of your life. You can achieve it in so many ways and it is not necessarily confined to those who have a religious background. Equally you can serve others in many ways all according to their needs and it is not necessarily about money, but those who are very wealthy can do great things because of it.

In view of present world conditions some see major changes as impossible, but it should be stressed that those of the Light that guide Humanity are very powerful Beings. They can change the vibrations of Earth so that all weapons of war cannot operate. So peace can be enforced and from a karmic point of view will be seen as justice to reward those who have kept their Light shining forth regardless of the difficulties encountered. When war and the equipment for war become obsolescent , peace and happiness can soon return to Earth. So much more good work can be done when people feel safe and out of harms way.

One of the greatest lessons you can learn on Earth is “ forgiveness” which can be extremely hard when you may have been physically harmed. Retaliation is a natural response but if you are to avoid more karma it is best to walk away from such temptations. Bear in mind that if you do not immediately pay for sins committed whilst on Earth, you still have to face the consequences. It takes a strong willpower to keep calm in such circumstances but simply tell yourself that every negative action has to be made good at some time. The Biblical story of Jesus told of “turning the other cheek” and that is symbolic of how you should aim to be. Keep calm and walk away from the temptation to seek revenge.

Looking at things from the higher levels of “Love” sums up what you should all be concentrating upon. Those levels that face you are of more Light, and it is such that you can use this energy to perform miracles. Universal energy is the panacea for all ills and as you rise up it should be the principal feature in your life. It is the ultimate energy with which you can perform miracles. Even on Earth now it has resulted in some miraculous healing and that also includes self-healing. It seems so simple to apply such thinking, but particularly on Earth you are being bombarded by so many different energies it is sometimes difficult to keep focussed on “Love”.

The Light upon Earth is seeking out the darkness and filling it with the higher energy. Slowly but surely the changes are becoming significant and grounding the Light for all to enjoy. Eventually there will be no lower energies upon Earth at all, and the Golden Age will have truly have commenced. It will be your first experience of total peace upon Earth, and it will last until 1000 years have passed when lower energies will be allowed to mingle with it. By then you will have progressed beyond recognition as Beings of Light. So all the time and effort you put in to raise your vibrations will be well rewarded and certainly never regretted.

You will notice that Governments and their politics are under pressure to change, and the general movements are to move away from those who are warmongers. The people have had enough experience of all things associated with wars, and a strong desire for world peace is taking root. You still have your so called “hot spots” where there seems to be no sight of any way of bringing about peaceful solutions. These are for the working out of karma that needs to be cleared before true peace can be established. At the same time the power game is still being played out, but you will eventually see that events turn out to be most acceptable by keeping the drive for power over the people at bay.

Knowing that major changes are around the corner seems to hold people back, but the advice is to carry on as before and respond to the changes when they place. There is not any real gain by first waiting to see what happens, as in the long run all will benefit from them according to their needs. It may take a little time to get round to everyone but have no fear as no one will be missed out. Bear in mind that the assistance that is being given to you through your Galactic friends will continue, and so ensure that matters progress at all speed. As new inventions are also passed on to you, life will quickly take on a new look and allow you much more time to attend to your own needs. Be assured that all matters have been well covered by the plans that have already been made to ensure your quick advancement into the New Age.

Keep on your Path of Light and do not let anything distract you from your intentions. There are still groups that only have “self interest” in mind and would stop at nothing to advance at others expense. However, their success will be short lived and their efforts will ultimately lead to disappointment. They are already struggling to maintain their positions of power and sooner or later will be stopped in their tracks. The higher powers know all that is happening and there is no hiding place for them. They have much to account for and will learn their lessons as all souls have to when they stray from the Path of Light. By being present in duality all souls learn by experience, and see first-hand what happens when their vibrations are lowered and they have less contact with the Light.

I leave you with love and blessings, and may the Light brighten your days and path to completion. This message comes through my Higher Self.

In Love and Light.

Mike Quinsey.

michealquinsey@pobroadband.co.uk

 

You can subscribe to the mailing list for these messages by going to: www.treeofthegoldenlight.com/new_subscribe.html  Left click on the heading “Subscribe to the Tree of the Golden Light Weekly Messages” and it will take you to the Subscribe page – go to the bottom and under the heading “etfirstcontact” enter your Email address twice as requested. You will receive a confirmation if you are successful. You can also “unsubscribe” from the same page.

 

Nancy Tate

www.treeofthegoldenlight.com

We are one, and we are all Loving Beings in the creativity of existence.

The Economic Crash of 2016 Has Begun | Covert Geopolitics

The Economic Crash of 2016 Has Begun

The financial crash is already happening and the central banks are visibly panicking, they are now resorting to negative interest rates for the first time!

They strongly believe that with this scheme, the middlemen lenders would be forced to lend more to their clients to spur economic growth. Otherwise, they will be charged for parking their money with the central bank.

Bank of Japan, in a Surprise, Adopts Negative Interest Rate for the First Time

Keith Bradsher

Shoppers in Tokyo. The Japanese government has tried numerous stimulus measures, hoping to increase spending and spur inflation. Yuya Shino/Reuters

As Japan’s economic doldrums have lingered, its leaders have tried a number of tricks over the years, from increasing government spending to flooding the financial system with cash.

With the global economy looking increasingly fragile, Japan is now taking a more aggressive step by cutting interest rates below zero on Friday.

The policy — which means banks are essentially paying for the privilege of parking their money — represents a last resort for a country that has struggled through a quarter-century of weak growth. In theory, negative rates will push banks to lend more to companies, which would then spend and hire.

The Bank of Japan is following other central banks in going negative on rates, a sign of the continuing global trouble from plummeting low oil prices, stalling international trade and slowing growth in China. Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, is seeking new ways to break the country’s cycle of decline.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/30/business/international/japan-interest-rate.html

The importance of Japan’s economy is borne from the fact that it has been feeding the Khazarians’ pocket for almost a century, the most significant of which was during the Second World War, when it raped China of its historical gold bullion and placed it in the Philippines and some other parts in Southeast Asia. The Khazarians then built an industrial empire out of the Asian loot and in the defeated country, while another victim of the Jesuit-sanctioned Japanese military misadventure across Asia, i.e. the Philippines, is supplying the industrial empire with raw materials even up to now.

Yes, the Jesuits controlled both sides of the conflict as they have always been for the last four centuries.

Below, are Maltese Knights Gen. MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito.

Both Gen. McArthur and Emperor Hirohito were Maltese Knights
Both Gen. MacArthur and Emperor Hirohito were Maltese Knights

Emperor Hirohito wearing Maltese cross.
Emperor Hirohito wearing Maltese cross.

No wonder that, for decades, the West has been buying Japanese consumer products at much lower prices than those made at home. Along the way, the Khazarians still thought it wasn’t enough and so the Fukushima nuclear extortion had to happen resulting to the prime minister then giving out at least $70 billion, or else the rest of the nuclear plants in the country would explode.

Onward to the last three years or so, Japan’s pension fund was also skimmed to keep the Khazarians afloat amidst ongoing international effort to pin them all down, and now Japan is bowing again to the Khazarian diktats of adopting to the Western ongoing trend of imposing negative interest rates, a desperate move proving the true value of the fiat dollar, i.e. nil.

The basic problem is, the bank borrowers know exactly that the central banks are just printing worthless paper money, and countries like China are now restricting the acceptance of fiat dollar effectively halting the delivery of goods worldwide since December last year.

Retail Apocalypse: 2016 Brings Empty Shelves And Store Closings All Across America

By Michael Snyder, on January 31st, 2016

Closed - Public Domain

Closed – Public DomainMajor retailers in the United States are shutting down hundreds of stores, and shoppers are reporting alarmingly bare shelves in many retail locations that are still open all over the country.  It appears that the retail apocalypse that made so many headlines in 2015 has gone to an entirely new level as we enter 2016.  As economic activity slows down and Internet retailers capture more of the market, brick and mortar retailers are cutting their losses.

This is especially true in areas that are on the lower portion of the income scale.  In impoverished urban centers all over the nation, it is not uncommon to find entire malls that have now been completely abandoned.  It has been estimated that there is about a billion square feet of retail space sitting empty in this country, and this crisis is only going to get worse as the retail apocalypse accelerates.

We always get a wave of store closings after the holiday shopping season, but this year has been particularly active.  The following are just a few of the big retailers that have already made major announcements…

-Wal-Mart is closing 269 stores, including 154 inside the United States.

-K-Mart is closing down more than two dozen stores over the next several months.

-J.C. Penney will be permanently shutting down 47 more stores after closing a total of 40 stores in 2015.

-Macy’s has decided that it needs to shutter 36 stores and lay off approximately 2,500 employees.

-The Gap is in the process of closing 175 stores in North America.

-Aeropostale is in the process of closing 84 stores all across America.

-Finish Line has announced that 150 stores will be shutting down over the next few years.

-Sears has shut down about 600 stores over the past year or so, but sales at the stores that remain open continue to fall precipitously.

But these store closings are only part of the story.

All over the country, shoppers are noticing bare shelves and alarmingly low inventory levels.  This is happening even at the largest and most prominent retailers.

http://endoftheamericandream.com/archives/retail-apocalypse-2016-brings-empty-shelves-and-store-closings-all-across-america

Not only that shelves are going empty across America, in the last few minutes, Nikkei is also reporting that its 10Y Auction is postponed indefinitely due to the same self imposed negative interest rates.

“February 3, 2016 3:11 am JST

Japanese 10-year bonds Sales to individuals to be called off over negative yields

TOKYO — The planned March sale of 10-year Japanese government bonds through banks to retail investors, municipalities and others will be canceled amid expected below-zero yields following the Bank of Japan’s recent move to adopt negative interest rates.

The Ministry of Finance is expected to announce Wednesday the first-ever decision to call off sales of 10-year JGBs.

The JGBs in question are sold through Japan Post Bank and regional banks in 50,000 yen ($415) units. The holder can cash out this new type of bond ahead of maturity. With the ministry already having suspended sales of two- and five-year instruments, all sales will end. But variable-rate 10-year JGBs for retail investors will still be offered.

Winning bids at the ministry’s auction of 10-year JGBs on Tuesday translated to a record-low average yield of 0.078%. As of Monday, nearly 70% of JGBs on the market already had negative yields, according to the Japan Securities Dealers Association.

Corporations and municipalities have started delaying their own issuances. Daiwa Securities Group has dropped plans to set conditions later this week for the issuance of seven- and 10-year straight bonds this month. The brokerage decided to take a fresh look at JGB yields and investor demand and said it has not decided when to proceed.”

http://asia.nikkei.com/Markets/Tokyo-Market/Sales-to-individuals-to-be-called-off-over-negative-yields

This plummeting integrity of the government’s promissory notes is what defines an economic crash, and Japan is just a mirror of the current Western financial condition that is still in grave denial.

This current predicament is compounded by Saudi’s unilateral massive unloading of petrodollar denominated foreign asset holdings, like so:

“The Saudis selling their stocks in the open market en masse, especially in the first weeks of January, spreading panic all around the world, appears to have seriously displeased another faction of the Masters of the Universe. This faction might eventually let everyone know what the secret Saudi position is in US Treasuries. Remember, we’re talking about at least $8 trillion.

The House of Saud, predictably, is in total panic. Imagine a leak stating they are sitting on $8 trillion while asking the poor in Saudi Arabia for economic “sacrifices” to support their oil price war plus the unwinnable war on Yemen, fought with expensive mercenaries. A global uproar would be inevitable — claiming a freeze on Saudi assets that are being used to destroy world markets. A barely concealed secret is that the House of Saud is not exactly popular in all the crucial places, from Moscow to Washington and Berlin.

The House of Saud cannot possibly believe that the FSB, SVR and GRU deeply love them for trying to destroy Russia; that Texans love them for trying to destroy the shale oil industry; that Germany or Italy love them for dumping a trillion dollars in securities on the markets to crash them as Mario Draghi pumps major QE trying to rescue the eurozone. “

http://sputniknews.com/columnists/20160129/1033920936/saudi-arabia-plays-russian-roulette.html

Saudi is just trying to save its own ass. Here’s why:

Following Russia’s recent acceptance of the renminbi as payments for oil, we expect more record high oil imports ahead to China,” Gordon Kwan, the Hong Kong-based head of regional oil and gas research at Nomura Holdings Inc., said in an e-mail, referring to the Chinese currency. “If Saudi Arabia wants to recapture its number one ranking, it needs to accept the renminbi for oil payments instead of just the dollar.”

As both the head of the Eurasian Economic Union (and founding member of BRICS), as well as a major energy exporter, Russia is leading the charge against the dollar. And now other nations are following suit: Iran and India announced last month that they intend to settle all outstanding crude oil payments in rupees, as part of a joint strategy to dump the dollar and trade instead in national currencies.

http://russia-insider.com/en/politics/saudi-arabia-has-lost-asia-russia-now-chinas-biggest-oil-partner/ri12611

So, what should the Federal Reserve do now that their Saudi friends are leaving their dollar behind in favor of the Chinese Yuan, and their latest pilot testing in Japan is not working?

They just don’t care. In fact, it wouldn’t be too far fetched to conclude that somehow it’s deliberately orchestrated.

The Fed Wants to Test How Banks Would Handle Negative Rates

As interest rates turn negative around the world, the Federal Reserve is asking banks to consider the possibility of the same happening in the U.S.

In its annual stress test for 2016, the Fed said it will assess the resilience of big banks to a number of possible situations, including one where the rate on the three-month U.S. Treasury bill stays below zero for a prolonged period.

“The severely adverse scenario is characterized by a severe global recession, accompanied by a period of heightened corporate financial stress and negative yields for short-term U.S. Treasury securities,” the central bank said in announcing the stress tests last week.”

New York Fed President William Dudley said last month that policy makers were “not thinking at all seriously of moving to negative interest rates.

“But I suppose if the economy were to unexpectedly weaken dramatically, and we decided that we needed to use a full array of monetary policy tools to provide stimulus, it’s something that we would contemplate as a potential action,” he said on Jan. 15.

Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer said Monday that foreign central banks that had resorted to negative interest rates to stimulate their economies had been more successful than he anticipated.

“It’s working more than I can say I expected in 2012,” he told the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. “Everybody is looking at how this works,” he added.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-02-02/rates-less-than-zero-is-bank-stress-fed-wants-to-test-in-2016

Whatever they want to call it, the fiat financial system is crashing in front of their faces and what they are about to do is just another way of kicking the can one more time, because telling the people the real financial condition would surely put them out of power quickly, or so we believe.

However, and this is what they are counting on, if the Greek reaction to the financial bullying of the Troika is any yardstick, the Khazarian madmen will have no qualms of implementing even harsher “solution” to their crashing empire. In fact, they could even profit from their own defeat from the East with more austerity measures against its own people.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwEDvXYVE_g

For all practical purposes, street protests don’t work against these psychopaths, in much the same way as one cannot just shout at mosquitoes to repel them. There’s a need to slap them, and slap them hard indeed, for nobody could expect the corrupt and the corrupted to correct themselves without the necessary motivation.

To continue their reign over the multitude they must maintain the entire facade legitimizing the whole fiat enterprise, and already they are laying the groundwork for a cashless society to essentially tie everyone to the computers.

Obviously, with the full digitization of your lifeline they will be able to eliminate privacy and cloaked the true nature of their projected and imaginary power all at the same time. This is the only feasible solution to stay in power and the people will be sold out once again and will continue to have faith in the very system that enslave them.

Understanding this simple truth should empower the victim and the whole fiat enterprise will crumble via non-participation and active counter offensives.

Western populations need not wait for the complete deterioration of their quality of life to the level of the Third World with their apathy.

The East expects the West to clean its own house from all undesirables before a healthy “win-win” collaboration can be expected. The mechanism for this mutual cooperation is already in place.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=brUY4F8riCg

One of the significant sources of funds for the Nazionist Khazarian Mafia is the healthcare industry which registered a whopping $3.09 trillion in 2014, and is projected to soar to $3.57 trillion in 2017, in the US alone. We believe that this is just a conservative figure.

We can avoid using drugs, defeat any viral attack and scaremongering easily by knowing how to build our own comprehensive antiviral system. Find more about it here.

The lottery and social despair in America by Andre Damon

The lottery and social despair in America
by Andre Damon

posted by DJ Apollo
9 January 2015

powerball-web

9 January 2015

“This mania, so generally condemned, has never been properly studied. No one has realized that it is the opium of the poor. Did not the lottery, the mightiest fairy in the world, work up magical hopes? The roll of the roulette wheel that made the gamblers glimpse masses of gold and delights did not last longer than a lightning flash; whereas the lottery spread the magnificent blaze of lightning over five whole days. Where is the social force today that, for forty sous, can make you happy for five days and bestow on you—at least in fancy—all the delights that civilization holds?”

~Balzac, La Rabouilleuse, 1842

 

The jackpot in the US Powerball lottery has hit $800 million, since there were no winners in Wednesday’s drawing. In the current round, which began on December 2, over 431 million tickets have been sold, a figure substantially larger than America’s population.

Go into any corner store in America and you will see workers of every age and race waiting in line to buy lottery tickets. With the current round, the lines are longer than ever. Americans spend over $70 billion on lottery tickets each year. In West Virginia, America’s second-poorest state, the average person spent $658.46 on lottery tickets last year.

Powerball players pick six random numbers when they purchase their tickets, with a certain percentage of sales going to the jackpot. If no winning ticket is sold, the jackpot rolls over to the next round.

The totals for the Mega Millions and Powerball national lotteries have been growing every year. This year’s jackpot has eclipsed 2012’s record of $656.5 million, the $390 million payout in 2007 and the $363 million prize in 2000. The jackpots have grown in direct proportion to ticket sales.

State-run gambling programs such as Powerball have been promoted by Democrats and Republicans alike as a solution to state budget shortfalls, even as the politicians slash taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals and gut social programs. From the standpoint of government revenue, lotteries and casinos are nothing more than a back-door regressive tax, soaking up money from the poor in proportion to the growth of social misery.

The boom in lotteries is global. Lottery sales grew 9.9 percent worldwide in 2014, after growing 4.9 percent in 2013.

Psychology Professor Kate Sweeny has noted that lottery sales grow when people feel a lack of control over their lives, particularly over their economic condition. “That feeling of self-control is very important to psychological well-being,” Sweeny says.

There is ample reason for American workers to feel they have no control over their lives. According a recent survey by Bankrate.com, more than half of Americans do not have enough cash to cover an unexpected expense of $500 or more—roughly the price of four name-brand tires.

Some 62 percent of Americans have savings of less than $1,000, and 21 percent do not have any savings at all. Most Americans are one medical emergency or one spell of unemployment from financial ruin.

For all the talk about “economic recovery” by the White House, the real financial state of most American households is far worse than before the 2008 financial crisis and recession. As of 2013, Americans were almost 40 percent poorer than they were in 2007, according to a recent survey by the Pew Research Center. While a large portion of the decline in household wealth is attributable to the collapse of the housing bubble, falling wages and chronic mass unemployment have played major roles.

The yearly income of a typical US household dropped by a massive 12 percent, or $6,400, in the six years between 2007 and 2013, according to the Federal Reserve’s latest survey of consumer finances. A large share of this decline has taken place during the so-called recovery presided over by the Obama administration.

In addition to becoming poorer, America has become much more economically polarized. According to a separate Pew survey, for the first time in more than four decades “middle-income households” no longer constitute the majority of American society. Instead, the majority of households are either low- or high-income. Pew called its findings “a demographic shift that could signal a tipping point” in American society.

“Is the lottery the new American dream?” asked USA Today, commenting on this month’s Powerball jackpot. The observation is truer than the authors intended. For American workers, achieving the “American Dream” of a stable job and one’s own home is becoming increasingly unrealizable.

Following more than 10 million foreclosures during the financial crisis, America’s home ownership rate has hit the lowest level in two decades, and for young households, the rate of home ownership is the lowest it has been since the 1960s.

For the tens of millions of America’s poor, and the more than 100 million on the threshold of poverty, the dream of winning the lottery has replaced the “American Dream” of living a decent life. A lottery ticket is a chance to escape to a fantasy world where money is not a constant, nagging worry, where one is not insulted and bullied at a low-wage job by bosses whose pay is matched only by their incompetence. The lottery is, as Balzac aptly described it, the “opium of the poor.”

Using the same phrase to describe religion, Marx noted that the “illusory happiness of the people” provided by the solace of religion is, in fact, a silent protest and distorted “demand for their real happiness.”

Andre Damon