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I May Not Have a PhD, But I am Smart Enough to…

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I may not have a PhD, but I am smart enough to realize that things are not good in our country and the world. Anyone with a brain or, lacking that, a wallet can see it. From wars to economic problems to inflation and more… things aren’t right, they haven’t been for a long time, and I honestly feel they’re going to get worse. How much worse? I haven’t a clue.

Let’s talk about inflation for a moment. It wasn’t that long ago when I graduated college and I distinctly remember when gasoline was less than $1 per gallon as compared to $3.50 or more today. That’s easily an increase of 350% in little over a decade. Now, I skipped quite a few mathematics classes in college but that’s an increase of 35% per year over the base value! (Or about 13.5% compounded annually.) How is that possible?

There are other examples of inflation. Just walk the dairy and meat sections of the grocery store and you’ll see. I know we spend more money on food than we did this same time last year because I’m the one that usually goes shopping. The manufacturers have even got tricky about it by keeping prices the same for many packaged goods but using smaller packages. In fact, I just purchased some cheese that I swear is smaller than the last package I bought. I’m not saying that’s all bad (we can all stand to eat a bit less) but it’s not like they’re making this fact widely known.

There are even sneakier ways they get you and everyone seems to be participating, from increasing the cost of prescription drugs and co-pays to even smaller–or nonexistent–raises and profit sharing at work.

Oh, and let’s not talk about taxes, entitlement programs, the national debt and deficit, city bankruptcies, and all that really *fun* stuff. I might start crying. :(

The Problem

Granted, we’ve all grown accustomed to goods and services costing more each year, from consumer goods to utilities and even real estate. If you listen to people far more in touch with economics than I am (pick your guru) they’ll tell you that inflation occurs solely because of an increase in the money supply (albeit digitally rather than printed) which causes the value of the dollar to decline which thereby causes the price of goods to increase for the simple fact that a single dollar unit is worth less BECAUSE there are more dollars. Hope that makes sense. After years of listening to gurus this fact has eventually sunk into my brain.

Now, I have no reason not to believe them. It’s fairly obvious that the true powers that be don’t care one iota about the middle class or even the seemingly “rich” in our society. We’re all relatively screwed when they pull the plug. The sad thing is that I truly believe they know precisely what they’re doing, what it will cause to our country, and that they understand many lives will be destroyed. And they just don’t care because they simply want more power and more money. What kind of moral person acts in this manner? Obviously, they don’t act like that.

The Real Question

The real question is that if we know that IT–a collapse–is coming, what should we do about to prepare for one? Understand that I’m not talking about preparing for natural disasters, job loss, or even a simple a blackout. TEOTWAWKI+1 is an entirely different problem and one that, frankly, I’m not prepared for whatsoever. Sure, I’m better off than 90% of the people simply because they’re not prepared for anything at all, but that doesn’t mean that I’m prepared for an economic collapse.

There are people who try to advise us as to what we can do, most notably Mr. Rawles, but I still feel that even his strategy (moving to the American Redoubt) is too much for most people, me included. While I want to move much further away from the city, I don’t want to leave the Midwest at all. I, we, need a better plan for dealing with such a huge life-altering circumstance that WILL come and for doing so with where we are.

What we really need is a different mindset as a people. We need to truly think long term again…

Instead of living for today on credit cards, buying a house and moving every few years–guilty as charged–and buying disposable goods because we can always get more, we need to think like our ancestors did not so long ago. We need to look at land, for example, as being a place to raise a family for generations. We need to purchase items for their quality and usefulness rather than as something that can be easily replaced; who knows, you may never have an opportunity to buy [fill in the blank] again.

We need to plan for our children for decades in advance too. As an example, we’re so accustomed to buying next years clothes at any time, what happens if you can’t do so and your eldest child is now six inches taller or more? What will they wear? Can you sew? I can’t. I certainly can’t harvest cotton to make clothing. The only solution I have would be to store enough clothing for my children to grow into. The same can be said for shoes. I guess I could learn to sew too.

We need to think about our health as something to cultivate rather than something to fix with drugs or a visit to the doctor. And what about everything else we rely on, including food and water? We’re so reliant on exterior forces to provide for our most basic human needs. It doesn’t have to be a huge change in lifestyle but even simple acts such as a small garden, planting perennials, or raising some chickens would go a long way to supplementing your diet, especially when times are tough. How many people have absolutely no ability to feed themselves at all? A LOT!

This brings up another thought. On the other hand, so many people who prepare for TEOTWAWKI prepare as if there will be NO resources available from our municipalities at all, ever. IMO, this is a drastic underestimation of our communities. Even in many third world countries electricity, for instance, may not be dependable but it does still exist. I would suspect that, given our vast infrastructure, water and food distribution services would function to some degree. That’s not to say things aren’t fragile or interdependent. They are. And, yes, we will have some drastic adjustments as a society. Things will be nasty for months and even years.

However, I do believe that we can do it. We can come together. But it all starts from the ground up. Getting through TEOTWAWKI must come from the American family and communities, not from the government. The sooner we realize that we are truly capable of caring for ourselves again the better off we will be. Remember, it doesn’t have to a huge leap; even a small step is a step in the right direction.

1 comment to I May Not Have a PhD, But I am Smart Enough to…

  • Hammer

    You are spot on with needing a different mindset. In only a generation or two we’ve gone from seeing the world from a long term perspective to what I can get today and not worry about tomorrow. It’s got to be one of the biggest problems for why we’re in the mess we’re in.