(NaturalNews) The United States has been a stable country for most of its 230-plus years, as well as a global hegemonic power since the end of World War II and the world's primary superpower since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the crumbling of the Soviet Union in 1990. That kind of long-term stability has led many Americans - too many, in fact - to adopt an attitude of, "It can't happen here - not to us," attitude.
But according to long-serving former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, along with legendary investor Jim Rogers, things can - and very likely will - get tumultuous and chaotic in America in the near-term, because even the United States, with its Constitution and its centuries-old history, is not immune to political and economic events that besiege other nations. Since our economy is so large, it just takes longer.
Speaking at a Sovereign Man Offshore Tactical Workshop conference in Santiago, Chile, recently, Paul said, for example, that real unemployment in the U.S. was much higher than the current 7.7 percent figure represents, and that economically, the country is simply flat broke and going further in debt.
Things are bad and getting worse
"We're going to have a calamity in economics and political crisis," he said. "The economy, worldwide and certainly in the states, I think is a lot weaker than they tell us. I believe that the unemployment rate in the United States is over 20 percent."
He also believes inflation is taking place, but much of that is caused by U.S. economic policy.
"Inflation could be defined as the increase in supply of money and credit, and everybody knows that they're [the Federal Reserve] printing $85 billion a month and that could be considered inflation," he said.
Bottom line: Things are bad in America and they are only going to get worse. Entire countries, especially in Europe, are just going bust. Moreover, the worse things get, the more dramatic the tactics of those in positions of authority.
None of this is new.
"This isn't the first time that the world has been in this position. This time is not different. History shows that there are serious, serious consequences to running unsustainably high debts and deficits. And those consequences have almost invariably involved pillaging people's wealth, savings, livelihoods and liberties... either directly or indirectly," reports InfoWars.com.
"I would expect that there's going to be a lot more chaos yet to come," said Paul, "and it will not be limited to Europe. I think it'll be a worldwide phenomenon...the states won't escape it either..."
"The present head of the (U.S.) central bank (Ben Bernanke) does not understand economics and finance, and he does not understand currencies. All he understands is printing money. His whole intellectual career has been devoted to the study of printing money, and as you know, we've given him the printing presses. And he has said, 'I'll run the printing presses as fast as I have to.'"
Coming after your retirement account
As to the subject of wealth confiscation, as happened recently in Cyprus - where the government confiscated billions of dollars held in private bank accounts, as part of a temporary bailout deal with the European Central Bank - Rogers said he sees things a bit differently shaping up in the U.S.
"I suspect it won't happen that way in the U.S.," he said. "They won't take our bank accounts, they will take our retirement accounts." (For the record, private retirement accounts in the United States amount to a government bonanza - more than $18.5 trillion, according to a 2010 study by the Investment Company Institute).
The government will "take our 401(k)s, they will say, 'You've all had such hard times earning money in your 401(k), so what we're going to do, we're going to save you, we're going to give you government bonds, which are guaranteed, 30-year government bonds and you will get 3 percent, and you give us your retirement assets.'"
The current U.S. debt is nearing $17 trillion, or about 105 percent of our annual GDP (gross domestic product) of about $15.5 trillion.
"I don't doubt [the confiscation] at all; and they will use force and they'll use intimidation," Paul added.