Do you believe this this can be turned around?

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Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Do you have any expectations that the U.S. can turn this thing around?  My group believes that the collapse of this country is a forgone conclusion.   I get the impression that many on this site believe that it can still be saved.  Why?  What signs do you see?

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

I guess it depends upon what are your definition of collapse and saved?  I don't think it is a forgone conclusion that we end up in a Mad Max type of world wide collapse.  Actually I would hope that situation is a fairly low probablity.  Nor do I think it is very likely that we go back to a 1980's period of growth, at least not for more than a few years.

I think everyone around here has a different idea where this train is heading, but what I think most of us agree on is that the next 20 years are not going to be like the past 20 years.

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Nacci

I've been following this site for over a year.  Most people, IMO, especially those who have been on the site for a while, don't believe that the US can turn this thing around... and I certainly agree with you.

Brian

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

No.  Not if you mean 'turn around and go back to what it was before.' 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Who knows.

With the inmates running the asylum (present day reality) you are going to wind up in a nut house. If everyone grabs a pitchfork and torch and we get them out and elect people of sanity then I see a prosperous future.

The bottom line is we are relying on idiots, nuts and morons to run the asylum: Bernake, Greenspan, Summers, Rubin, Romer, Geithner and listening to Keynesian jerks of economist like Krugman who never saw this plane wreck coming.

We should be listening to, electing and appointing: Martenson, Martin, Ritholtz, Puplava, Durden et al, Denninger, Covel, Panzer and even Yves Youdownmeup Smith as well as Jim Rogers, Marc Faber, Robert Prechter, Meredith Whitney, Nouriel Ishouldbelieveingold Roubini, Nasim Taleb, Ron Paul, David Rosenberg, Ambrose Evans Pritchard, Peter Schiff, Niall Ferguson, Jim Chanos, Matt Taibbi and a few I have forgotten.

 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Ellen Brown

Bill Still

Jack Spirco.......

 

Turn it around.......

Can the current system be fixed and we return to 2006 "prosperity"? NO

Can we survive and rebuild our Republic? Heck Yes!

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

If by 'turned around' you mean can the country get on the right track quickly enough to avoid an economic collapse, then I'd say probably not.  I'd give it a less than 5% chance, and I think I'm still being generous there.  IMO to have any chance to avoid that, the country as one would need to act with singular focus and all thought for long-term benefits at the cost of a lot of short-term sacrifice and pain.... and even putting aside for a second our grab bag of dysfunctional, greedy, myopic, selfish douchebags that masquerade as our government and corporate leadership, total cooperative action and long-term focus has never been democracy's strong suit.  That's not to say that democratic forms of government are inherently bad; it's merely an acknowledgement of its particular characteristics.

But, if by 'turned around' you mean can the country eventually make itself whole again and pursue more responsible fiscal, environmental, domestic, and foreign policies, then I say yes.  There will just be a whole lot of pain to go through to get there, namely working through a probable economic collapse and adapting to an environment of more scarce resources.  But that wouldn't necessarily mean the end of our society or the US as a nation.  My wife's home country experienced an economic collapse and scarcity of resources probably more extreme than the US is likely to experience, and yet it is still there and even a functioning (for the most part) democracy now.  Of course it's still possible that the country could collapse completely, but unlike an economic collapse I don't consider that as a foregone conclusion.  In fact given the cyclical nature of human history, I consider it very likely that the US will eventually encounter a renewal of spirit and do quite well for itself, even continuing into a post-oil age. 

- Nickbert

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

And just to clarify economically we are toast. We have 106 trillion in unfunded liabilities - which if we welch on we will send many elderly to their grave via an economic Katrina. On top of that debt, and I don't care if it is off balance or an obligation, it is debt, we can take our mortgage off balance but we still have to pay it. Anyway on top of the 106 trillion is another 12 trillion in debt.

And now the rubber has hit the road: We are at the point of not being able to borrow what we don't take in. The debt has gone from knocking on the door to walking in the foyer. Bernake the moron at large is in the basement  counterfeiting the difference hiding it and promising to stop yet again. 

The reason I answered your question like I did was I'm  a firm believer that Greenspan said about 3 things correctly in his life during which he created so much misery for us. 1.) Gold is required to protect saving from confiscation through inflation. 2.) We live in a welfare state and 3.) "democracy" (read: republic) is dependent on a sound functioning economy.

Of which are a welfare state, without gold and with an economy that will go over the cliff either by a Zimbabwe currency crisis, default, or the failure of the banks when the Alt-A's and Option Arms roll in or maybe by a sovereign systemic default. 

 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

grab bag of dysfunctional, greedy, myopic, selfish douchebags that masquerade as our government and corporate leadership, total cooperative action and long-term focus has never been democracy's strong suit.  That's not to say that democratic forms of government are inherently bad; it's merely an acknowledgement of its particular characteristics.

I just want to say I wouldn't blame this mess on corporations or democracy.  Most corporations are run by small businessmen who are caught up in all this just as much as you or I.  In fact I would venture to say that many larger corporations are just trying to fight to stay afloat and keep their employees working.  After all do you think Dr. M fits those characteristics, as I'm sure this site and his business is a corporation.  Likewise, what about Peter Schiff, or your neighbor?  If you want to place blame make sure you aim it at the Fed and their cronies at the large banks.  Many small community banks and credit unions have been getting crushed by the big boys and their special treatment for years.

As far as democracy, we in the US are a republic and if we would move back to our roots and get rid of  large government and corporatism it breeds we would be in much better shape.

As far as the original question, I suspect we have gone to far to save the dollar and will see if destroyed as I don't think those in power will get a clue anytime soon.   The important  thing to do is make sure when it all falls apart that people are aware of the true causes: big government, corporatism, fiat money.  For when the day comes we will have several paths, and unfortunately rhetoric like that above I fear will push us down the same path we just came: big government, loss of freedom, and a new fiat currency.

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

The question is a little too nebulous.

Can you be more specific as to whether you are talking about an economic collapse, a political collapse or what ?

As for turning it around well what direction are we going in and what direction will we be going in when we turn it around ? geeeeez I am getting dizzy just trying to figure out the question.

The one thing I fail to understand is why people on this site keep calling the elite stupid? THEY seem to be doing very well. I suspect they will continue to do VERY well.

As for electing the people mentioned above I don't think it would make much of a difference. Certainly cm has done some very good analysis but I have yet to hear any solutions. As a matter of fact solutions are very hard to find here. As an example the unending wailing about climate change.

The true believers have yet to offer up a viable solution.

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?
rhare wrote:

grab bag of dysfunctional, greedy, myopic, selfish douchebags that masquerade as our government and corporate leadership, total cooperative action and long-term focus has never been democracy's strong suit.  That's not to say that democratic forms of government are inherently bad; it's merely an acknowledgement of its particular characteristics.

I just want to say I wouldn't blame this mess on corporations or democracy.  Most corporations are run by small businessmen who are caught up in all this just as much as you or I.  In fact I would venture to say that many larger corporations are just trying to fight to stay afloat and keep their employees working.  After all do you think Dr. M fits those characteristics, as I'm sure this site and his business is a corporation.  Likewise, what about Peter Schiff, or your neighbor?  If you want to place blame make sure you aim it at the Fed and their cronies at the large banks.  Many small community banks and credit unions have been getting crushed by the big boys and their special treatment for years.

As far as democracy, we in the US are a republic and if we would move back to our roots and get rid of  large government and corporatism it breeds we would be in much better shape.

As far as the original question, I suspect we have gone to far to save the dollar and will see if destroyed as I don't think those in power will get a clue anytime soon.   The important  thing to do is make sure when it all falls apart that people are aware of the true causes: big government, corporatism, fiat money.  For when the day comes we will have several paths, and unfortunately rhetoric like that above I fear will push us down the same path we just came: big government, loss of freedom, and a new fiat currency.

You might want to peek at this

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Awesome post Davos. You are a main reason I am here. I learn a lot from you and get turned on to some really good stuff.

THANKS

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

 Tsk...  When has a JP Morgan flagship ever let you down.

  The USS Fed is unsinkable (tm), besides Cap'n Bernanke has a technology called a bucket...

 Ah.. I hear the band starting up... who fancies a game of Musical Lifeboats ?

 

 

 

 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?
Davos wrote:

And just to clarify economically we are toast. We have 106 trillion in unfunded liabilities - which if we welch on we will send many elderly to their grave via an economic Katrina. On top of that debt, and I don't care if it is off balance or an obligation, it is debt, we can take our mortgage off balance but we still have to pay it. Anyway on top of the 106 trillion is another 12 trillion in debt.

Davos,

How would you counter this argument? The U.S. can't pay its debts with its current income, but it can probably pay half of it. That other half can be handled by inflating it away. You can reduce the value of the dollar by half in a decade with an inflation rate of about 7%, which is about where ShadowStats puts the current rate. Bernanke could do that all by himself if he could only find some way to get his bogus money into circulation instead of having it sequestered in banks. I have to smile at the thought of the mad counterfeiter stashing his money in his basement Wink

Stan

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?
rhare wrote:

grab bag of dysfunctional, greedy, myopic, selfish douchebags that masquerade as our government and corporate leadership, total cooperative action and long-term focus has never been democracy's strong suit.  That's not to say that democratic forms of government are inherently bad; it's merely an acknowledgement of its particular characteristics.

I just want to say I wouldn't blame this mess on corporations or democracy.  Most corporations are run by small businessmen who are caught up in all this just as much as you or I.  In fact I would venture to say that many larger corporations are just trying to fight to stay afloat and keep their employees working.  After all do you think Dr. M fits those characteristics, as I'm sure this site and his business is a corporation.  Likewise, what about Peter Schiff, or your neighbor?  If you want to place blame make sure you aim it at the Fed and their cronies at the large banks.  Many small community banks and credit unions have been getting crushed by the big boys and their special treatment for years.

As far as democracy, we in the US are a republic and if we would move back to our roots and get rid of  large government and corporatism it breeds we would be in much better shape.

As far as the original question, I suspect we have gone to far to save the dollar and will see if destroyed as I don't think those in power will get a clue anytime soon.   The important  thing to do is make sure when it all falls apart that people are aware of the true causes: big government, corporatism, fiat money.  For when the day comes we will have several paths, and unfortunately rhetoric like that above I fear will push us down the same path we just came: big government, loss of freedom, and a new fiat currency.

Um, you're reading too much into what I said, or maybe I was too unclear.  The Fed, the vast majority of federal government leadership, and the Goldman Sachs and mega-banking crowd IS where I'm pointing my finger.  I believe in my post I made reference to the government and corporate leadership in this country, the folks at the very top circles of government and business who have the most influence over how the country is run.  I acknowledge there are a small minority of such who actually don't put their own interests above all others and can be classified as decent people, but based on the sad state of affairs it's easy to say they're an overwhelmingly small percentage of the total.  I am most certainly not talking about small, medium, or even large business leaders, and I wasn't condemning capitalism either.  Rather I see the over-centralization of power (in terms of both government and business) that have enabled the aforementioned douchebags to put the US in such a sad state.  In fact my own mid-term plans involve starting a business of my own, and with every passing week I see government officials (and some of the lobbyists who have their ear) trying to put my small business dreams in the blender and hitting 'frappe'.  I really don't know how you read it as a sweeping condemnation of business.  Have you been sparring again with some of the anti-capitalism crowd in the other threads recently?Wink

- Nickbert

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The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than end-of-world talk

I do not think it is possible at this point for the U.S. to avoid economic calamity resulting in widespread civil disarray. That's why I moved out of the country.

But I also think that the "world is coming to an end" talk is unjustified. If the U.S. navigates the coming storm without turning nuclear weapons against other nations (and I think that's a pretty big IF), then I don't see any reason to think that the world is going to fall apart. I think the collapse of the soviet union is a better analogy. The failing nation (USA in this case) will eventually go bankrupt and loose its sovereignty, and the individual states will become nation-states or groups of them will, just as happened with Russia and the other former Soviet states. There will be widespread economic disaster in-country, most paper wealth will be erased, and there will be a sudden and shockingly large reduction in standard of living.

The rest of the world will be impacted more by the collapse of America than the collapse of the Soviet Union, because America imports more from abroad. But I think the effect on other economies will be more like a deep recession than end of the world stuff. Americans seem to like to believe that China would simply fall over and collapse if America stopped buying its exports. But in reality exports to the USA only make up about 9% of Chinese GDP. The default on U.S. sovereign debt holdings plus the loss of trade income from the USA will be a big blow to China, but not a devastating one.

And America will go on, even if in another form. Most of the former Soviet citizens are still in Russia and the other former Soviet states. They went through economic hell and were exposed to a lot of civil unrest and waves of criminal activity after the breakup, but in the end they are still there and they have restructured their various economies and moved on. I expect post-USA North America to develop and progress about like post-Soviet eastern europe.

Erik

 

 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Logically we should be screwed.....but wait there is a glimmer of hope.....the rest of the world maybe more screwed up than we are LOL. Nothing like the great management of less bad LOL!

IMO when it looks likely that the powers that control can tax elements like carbon the end of an intelligent economy has to be near. Control of healthcare & Cap-n-Tax will guarantee Great Depression 2.0.

We could turn this around with a complete change of intelligent responsible leadership but that means we would have to be strong people & suck it up & deal with some pain for a while. Look around folks at your local Super Center...I don't see this kind of strength & intelligence with the masses. I generally just see rather LARGE masses sucking up junk food.

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?
idoctor wrote:

Logically we should be screwed.....but wait there is a glimmer of hope.....the rest of the world maybe more screwed up than we are LOL. Nothing like the great management of less bad LOL!

Yes, kind of like the distinctive honor of being the smartest kid in summer school Tongue out

- Nickbert

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Re: The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than ...
ErikTownsend wrote:

The rest of the world will be impacted more by the collapse of America than the collapse of the Soviet Union, because America imports more from abroad. But I think the effect on other economies will be more like a deep recession than end of the world stuff. Americans seem to like to believe that China would simply fall over and collapse if America stopped buying its exports. But in reality exports to the USA only make up about 9% of Chinese GDP.

 

Erik, if China;s growth is ~7%, and 9% of its GDP is removed.......  isn't that a recession?

Mike

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Re: The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than ...
Damnthematrix wrote:
ErikTownsend wrote:

The rest of the world will be impacted more by the collapse of America than the collapse of the Soviet Union, because America imports more from abroad. But I think the effect on other economies will be more like a deep recession than end of the world stuff. Americans seem to like to believe that China would simply fall over and collapse if America stopped buying its exports. But in reality exports to the USA only make up about 9% of Chinese GDP.

 

Erik, if China;s growth is ~7%, and 9% of its GDP is removed.......  isn't that a recession?

Yes, and probably a deep recession at that.

That's why I described it as a "deep recession" in my post. I'm afraid I don't understand the motivation of your question...

Erik

 

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Re: The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than ...

I didn't mean to nit pick Eril, I just thought your statement

But in reality exports to the USA only make up about 9% of Chinese GDP.

just trivialised the possibility of a deep Chinese recession....  Now I realise we're on the same page!

Cheers,

Mike

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Re: The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than ...
Damnthematrix wrote:

I didn't mean to nit pick Eril, I just thought your statement

No problem, Mile!

-Eril

 

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Re: The Soviet Collapse is a better analogy than ...

I drove a 1991 Honda Accord for 15 years. It started out as a great car, reliable, dependable, efficient. Then with age it started breaking down more often partly due to my lack of maintenance and concern and partly due to the fact is was just wearing out. Then the problems grew exponentially and I had to make a choice. Do I keep putting money into a car that's days are numbered or do I start anew with better perfoming car? You know...kinda like the one I started out with 15 years ago.

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What's to Save?

FWIW, I not only think this cannot be turned around, I also do not want it to be.  The system is too far gone to be saved, so the best solution is to let it destroy itself so we can start over again.  Much like amputating a limb, only in this case we need to amputate the head - the Federal government, so we can start fresh.  For those who want to save it. I ask, "save what?"  Exactly what element or elements of the current system does anyone wnat to save?  Maybe instead of asking if things can be turned around, we should start asking, "what about our current system do we want to save?"  and go from there.  I'd be curious to see answers to that question, and it would be very interesting to see how many, if any, of those answers contemplate saving anything provide by our wonderful Federal cancer - err, government. 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

I would like to save my cushy way of life, my two cars, big house and exorbitant Christmases. I want to continue taking three vacations a year that I can't afford. I want this to go on forever and I want peace on earth. [/sarcasm]

In reality, I am not looking forward to the fallout of all this. I am so not ready. Getting there, but I'm running a bit late......

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Erik said "There will be widespread economic disaster in-country, most paper wealth will be erased, and there will be a sudden and shockingly large reduction in standard of living."

I so agree with you. The people I know who have amassed much paper wealth and luxury items, have yet to see that the Titanic is going to sink. They are sailing blissfully along thinking recovery is happening and there is nothing to worry about. When the stock market makes its next steep downward turn, they will indeed be suddenly shocked by a loss of that paper wealth. And since these people have not planned for an economic disaster, they will not know how to cope with a lower standard of living. I think it will take us who read here, to help our misfortunate family, friends & neighbors, and working, sharing together, & bartering skills, we will get thru the tough times that are coming.

 

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

FWIW, I not only think this cannot be turned around, I also do not want it to be.  The system is too far gone to be saved, so the best solution is to let it destroy itself so we can start over again.  Much like amputating a limb, only in this case we need to amputate the head - the Federal government, so we can start fresh.  For those who want to save it. I ask, "save what?"  Exactly what element or elements of the current system does anyone wnat to save?  Maybe instead of asking if things can be turned around, we should start asking, "what about our current system do we want to save?"  and go from there.  I'd be curious to see answers to that question, and it would be very interesting to see how many, if any, of those answers contemplate saving anything provide by our wonderful Federal cancer - err, government.

Best post Farmer Brown. Unfortunately, nobody here has mentioned the most important "E" of the three - the environment. And that is where we are really in deep doo doo. There's no bail-out for a decimated ocean and climate system. Living within our environmental means is something we should have considered to be much more critical to sustaining any sort of "way of life" than anything else. The current "growth economy" model is suicide.

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

This is a great thread - because I think people are panicing into certain actions that are based on very low probability events coupled with the fact that the cost of these actions is quite high (both in wealth and mental stress). Everyone has to make their own calls on what may happen, but there is a simple way to weigh cost benefit.  Of course, each of us will have different perceptions of cost benefit.

An example:  Outfitting your cooking area so smell does not escape your house when cooking.  The reason people say they are doing this -   TSHT - and everyone is starving, and you cook - people smell it and come kill/rob you for food.  So, first, the probability I put on the mad max scenario happening is 5%.  Then, if it happens, those with military experience and who work in the government will come through your house and take what they want.  Your guns and training will not matter.  Their weapons and war training will make anything you can do feable.  Seriously, its like when the US invaded Iraq and took the country over in hours.  Buying guns and outfitting your home to resist violence on a massive mad max scenario is costly, will be totally ineffective, causes huge mental stress, and the whole thing has a very little chance of hapenning in the first place.  In other words, you are spending lots of wealth and mental capital on something that is very unlikely to happen and on something thats very unlikely to help you should the events happen.  If you are improving your defense moderately to help defend your family more in response to an increase in domestic crime - well, thats a different call....and for another conversation.

So, will the US survive?  Take a look at the USSR, Argentina, Germany, Zimbabwe...etc.  People took a massive hit in standard of living, but, for the most part survived.  Crime went up but anarchy did not unfold.  Food was in shorter supply, but starvation was not widespread.  So, even in a full dollar collapse, people will be ok, most likely.

So, for me, I am doing what Chris is doing - becoming more, but not totally self sufficient.  Trying to get my electric off the grid.  Getting some extra food.  I am not arming myself to the hilt and training how to kill 4 intruders who are running around.  Why, because the cost benefit and probabilities = very low payoff.

My best guess is that the US will start reducing social security and medicade in exponential fashion after the next elections.  The option to default on debt to those outside the country is crushing.  Also, there will be massive reductions in government.  I think people are slowly waking up to reality and in several years (or less even) it will be easier and easier for people to accept that a dramatic reduction in govt welfare and social security is far better than defaulting on our external debt.  The US still has tons of assets.  The wild card is what the govt owes its own people, not what the govt owes other countries.  Thats the big chance we have at surviving - we tell ourselves we will not pay ourselves, and we go on. 

With that brings a return of multigenerational families in each house, a dramatic reduction in standards of living - but with continued stability.  This likely means lots more crime, periodic shortages, less healthcare (which may be offset by advances in medicine).

Remember, this country did great before all these welfare systems were in place.  People during the gold rush who crossed the country didnt have health care or social security to bail them out if they failed.  Yet, they were fine.  My call is the highest probability is a return to far less government, far less standard of living, and everyone will be just fine.

now, I cant wait to see what this community responds with - love it....

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

oops - duplicate entry

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

By collapse I mean economic.  If your ability to purchase the good and services that you and your family need to survive ends then what other collapse will not follow?  

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Re: Do you believe this this can be turned around?

Saved would mean the same that it would for a family that has over extended itself for years, racking up thousands of dollars on credit cards that it can no longer repay.  You must acknowledge your sins, cut back on spending, live in the black, down size, renegotiate with and repay your creditors.  Once you repay your bills you rebuild in a more sustainable way.   As far as "hope" with respect to your position I will say that hope is no game plan.  That concept has been drilled into my head sense youth and has served me well.  A game plan is to objectively look at the facts, extrapolate an outcome then prepare for it.  

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