Free - Beyond Collapse

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The US Economy: For Whom the Bell Tolls...

The economic crisis we are faced with is of staggering proportion. The promise of real change in Washington has somehow evaporated. The people called in to advise our new administration are too close to the problem to offer any real benefit to our well intentioned president. They say the solution is to give huge mountains of money to the bankers, investment and insurance firm CEO's and the occasional auto manufacturer, in order to head off an economic catastrophe.
We now wonder how all this money helped the average person who has been trying to hang on to his or her business in the hopes that things turn around. These people are the American people. People who have worked hard all of their lives for a chance at the American dream which now is more like an American nightmare. The stimulus package is now being distributed to help create jobs across the country. However, these jobs won't last, for the work they supply is only temporary. Manufacturing capacity has not been returned to our shores, but yet we are told to go out and take out more loans and spend more. When the stimulus package is gone we will be in exactly the same place but just with much more debt and a little bit older.
The states are scrambling to figure out how to provide services to their residents. Skyrocketing unemployment, welfare and medicaid services are increasing the states expenditures while the foreclosures of local real estate, diminishing consumer sales and losses of municipal investments have decreased the states overall income. States will soon find it impossible to provide the same level of services and will start cutting back or raise taxes. School days will probably be cut to four days a week from five for public schools and class size will increase. Cutbacks in police, fire and other state personnel and early release of prisoners will be some of many areas that will be considered to save state money. California is currently teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and will probably ask for its own bailout but I fear that it won't be alone.
As taxation is inevitable so will protests by the people. More and more discontent will appear as protests and tax revolts on your local news outlets. Families with small children that can no longer rely on their children being in school all five days will be forced to reduce their income because of the prohibitive price of childcare. These actions will only cause the consumer to spend even less. Businesses that are on the verge of collapse will cease to exist.
The next major issue is the collateral damage sustained to the commercial real estate market. Have you all noticed all those empty stores in you towns and local malls. The car dealers that are closing these huge pieces of property. Someone owns these properties. No business, No income. Do not forget the mortgage payments and taxes that will be due on all these properties. Many of these properties will unfortunately foreclose and the banks, now more small and local banks, will be inundated with bad debt yet again and the mortgage backed securities that contain these mortgages will be a loss for investors.
The last nail in the coffin will be a combination of the above and the fancy mortgages that will reset in the fall of this year and continue to add to the burden till 2012. You thought the sub prime loans were bad. You ain't seen nothing yet. These are called the option ARMs and Alt-As. This is an area were the Government can help by stepping in and telling the banks that these mortgages will not reset with a higher rate and the banks will have to eat the loss. I doubt President Obama's advisers will even present this option, being so close to the industry and all. As the printing presses continue to run the value of the dollar will plummet and hyperinflation will become a reality. Oil and all other commodities will skyrocket and the country will plunge into chaos.
So what do we do? If real change is not taken soon it will surely be to late. No more bailouts for corporations and banks and reduce the size of the federal government. Implement congressional and senate terms limits. Abolish corporate special interest. End the wars and bring our soldiers home. This does not mean we let business run amok. We need to protect the citizens of this great country from the greedy hands of the banksters and corporate CEO's from Walmart to American Express. We need to heal this nation and treat all members of this land and the world with respect and dignity, and not some modern day slave in a cubicle.
We need to find out what our individual callings are and open the doors to those dreams. People that have aptitude and love for a particular calling will always prove better quality than those motivated by greed. If someone has the aptitude and passion to be a physician, by god lets get him trained for free as was once done. He will be less inclined to seek excessive reimbursement if he has no debt to pay. The cure for cancer won't come from an investor, they profit too much from the disease to find a cure. The cure will come from someone who loves to discover. We need to bring back our agricultural society and abolish big agrifarm corporations. it is the farmer that is the heart and conscience of our land and the guardians of a healthy food supply. We would all be much happier and better off contributing to our world by doing what we love doing.
Our apathy and inaction will be our undoing. The fall approaches, time is short and the bell tolls for thee.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Economic Collapse and Family Survival

We are told that we have reached the bottom of the economic trench in our current global crisis. Economic gurus are paraded daily on every media outlet, as if to convince and reassure the American people that all is well. Yet millions upon millions of Americans are jobless or homeless and many more are preparing to join this growing number. A downward spiral that continues through this uncharted abyss with no end in sight. What are American Families to do at such a time in history?

Regardless of whether or not our Government can deal with the current situation, our number one priority is to the safety and well being of ourselves and our loved ones. Steps need to be taken to insure that we can continue to meet our most fundemental obligations. This is not the time for inaction or apathy or even denial because these can have grave consequences for you and your loved ones.

I am not trying to scare you into a corner with your head between your legs but instead to rally my fellow Americans to empower themselves through potentially tough times.

We as individuals, couples and families need to start planning now and I mean NOW for the possibility of economic times that may be much worse than the Great Depression. Imagine the money in your bank gone, the supermarkets empty in a matter of minutes with resupply not in the immediate future and your place of employment is, until further notice, closed. What do you do when you run out of food at home and maybe water with no power, heat or gasoline to drive somewhere? What do you tell your child when he says "Daddy I'm Hungry".

There is nothing wrong with being prepared in an emergency. You will not be crazy but prudent if you plan for risks that you may face in the future. We teach our Boyscouts to "always be prepared" and so should we. We must prepare within the context of our own lives and that takes careful planning.

Should I stop paying my bills and quit my job? Absolutely NOT!!! Just because you see potential danger doesn't mean that things will definately happen.

What if nothing happens? Great!!! I will be the one eating my stored food and beverage celebrating and I guess I won't need to go to the store right away.

I would like to offer a few suggestions on what to focus on. First of all, any preparation is better than none. The degree to which you prepare is an individual decision based on your expectation of risk, your current means and the situation that you find yourself in.

Think about were you live. Do you live in the City , Suburbs, Rural area or the Country? Do you live in a warm or colder climate? Different situations require different preparation. The following are important topics and should be planned for separately.

Water and water storage-You don't last long without it. If the city or town shuts down the water what do you do?

Shelter and Heat- If you live in a cold winter climate you need locally available fuel supply that is renewable eg. Wood. Don't forget magnesium fire starters and other ways of starting a fire because matches and lighters run out. You might be better off leaving the area and staying with relatives whom you have assisted in getting prepared.

Food and beverage-Store what you can. If you live paycheck to paycheck start slow always taking care of your regular priorities in everyday life like paying bills first. Store Rice, Beans, Pasta, and other dry storables, Canned meats, Sugar, Honey, Flour, Peanut Butter. They say it is better to look for food when you are not hungry.

Remember God/Nature made a world that is renewable and reproduces. Grow gardens and can and jar. Keep Chickens for eggs, meat and manure for your garden. Dairy Goats produce 1-2 Gal milk per day that does not require pasturization, meat, manure, and hides. Rabbits produce fur, meat, manure and can reproduce quickly. Sheep produce fleece and meat, etc. All these creatures graze greens in the spring and summer but require feed that must also be stored in winter. I recommend lowest grade Dairy Cattle feed for all (Chickens,Goats, Rabbit, Sheep), It is currently still inexpensive at 12 dollars / 100 lbs. These are all commodities that can be used as food or trade for other things.

The ideal amount to store is six months until you can harvest more but as I said, something is better than nothing.

Fishing and Hunting-Try to acquire snare and snap traps which are quiet and reusable, Lots of fishing line, Vermiculture (Earthworms) can come in handy for fishing and animal feed and they turn your compost into usable fertile dirt. Don't forget lots of hooks and nets.

Medications for medical conditions, antibiotics, first aid supplies and cold, flu and pain remedies.

Clothing for all weather and sewing materials.

Rifles, handguns and Ammunition if legally applicable and feel comfortable to possess.

Candles, lanterns, flashlights, toiletries, radios. Camping gear is always nice to have.

Finally, how to and pleasure Books and games and cards to spend quality time with those we cherish.

Our society and the world is due for a change and change is always scary at first but necessary. We just need to get past the initially difficult hurdles of the moment. We have created an unsustainable system of consumption and greed. However, America will not perish beneath the waves of history but shall be transformed. What it will become is ultimately up to us. God Bless us and God Bless America.