Sunday, July 31, 2011

Now That the Debt Crisis is (Supposedly) Averted, Should You Relax?

The short answer is Hell no.  While the political powers-that-be have supposedly averted total economic collapse (after acting like complete morons, but that is beside the point), people will think all is well with the economy and revert back to their usual ways with the (totally unsubstantiated) idea that once again the government has come to the rescue and they can happily go back to business as usual.  So, should you relax now and go back to spending more time worrying about who in America has the most talent or which Kardashian is getting the most buzz on any given day?
Of course not.  Mainly because nothing has actually been done to fix the economy.  Absolutely nothing has changed and the numbers that have been presupposed to (somehow, don't ask me how) fix the debt problems of the United States make no sense at all.  Pushing up the limit of how much the US can borrow does nothing to bring in more money to cover the current debt and cutting expenditures does nothing to increase the ability of people to spend and/or give them the impetus to create businesses that make money which will in turn create more money in taxes to go to the US Treasury.  So what does this mean to you?  At the risk of sounding like a broken record, it means the same thing after the debt deal is signed as it meant to you last week when the news programs and financial markets were in a tizzy...
  • You need to be out of debt. Now.
  • You need multiple sources of income (a job is nice, a government job is nice too--but no more secure than a private sector job when it comes down to it, your own business or two or three is even better).
  • You need to reduce your expenses AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  If you can live on $1000 or $2000 or $5000 a month (depending on your circumstances) then you can always scale up to get some of the nicer things in life (after you have saved the cash for the item of course).  Much harder is to have a $15,000 per month lifestyle and have to massively scale down with only 30 to 60 days notice.
  • You need an escape plan.  The US is, in my opinion, the best place to live in the world, all things considered, however that doesn't mean I don't have a plan to leave the country in a hurry in case of emergency.
  • You need multiple sources of cold, hard cash.  I never recommend having ALL American dollars, ALL of your resources in gold, or ALL of your money locked into firearms or any other commodity.  What I do recommend is having a wide assortment of valuable items for use during an emergency (dollars, yen, euros, gold, other metals, firearms, tools, etc).
  • You need to be able to shelter yourself in the event of a major economic storm.  Can you survive in your home for six months?  This means you have the food stocked to see you through this time period, you have at least six month's worth of living expenses on hand, you (preferably) have your house paid off so even if you lose your income, debt collectors won't be immediately at your door trying to evict you, you have a way to protect and defend your home, you have the skills to do all sorts of things (from foraging for wild food to growing a garden to taking care of minor medical problems to organizing your family and possibly neighbors into a team to get things accomplished to...the list is endless).
  • You need to be flexible about many things.  Lose your job? Know where to earn income from other sources.  Government doesn't send your check? Again, know where you can access other sources of funds either from savings, selling items, picking up odd jobs, etc  Thinking 'my life has always been the American Dream' or whatever?  Quickly get a grip on the idea that things are changing rapidly and you may never see the traditional "American Dream" as was sold to a gullible American public over the past 50 or so years.
  • You need to rely on yourself as much as possible.  Your health is YOUR responsibility, not the responsibility of Medicare or the free clinic (ie: if you think that you can live a completely unhealthy lifestyle and Medicare will shell out for the boatload of pills you need each day, think again).  The food you eat is YOUR responsibility (ie: in a crisis do what you need to do to eat such as going to a food bank, getting food stamps, or heading to a soup kitchen.  If you are continually in crisis and relying on these iffy sources of sustenance then you need to make some serious changes). 
The bottom line is that we have been pretty spoiled by our government but eventually the gravy train will end  (probably sooner rather than later at the rate we are going).  You absolutely must do what you can do now, at this very moment, to make yourself as self-sufficient as possible.  The "survivalist" mentality has been greatly exploited in the press in order to identify people who live "on the edge" as all kinds of crazy but I would rather be a skilled dumpster diver than be waiting in vain in my government paid for apartment when crisis strikes.
In other words, don't relax.  Don't think things will continue on as usual.  Be radical and be "on the edge" and be the person who will take tumultuous economic or political situations as something that is happening to others not something that will stop everything about your life on a dime because you have already set yourself up to survive any sort of catastrophe with a minimum of effort (ie: when other are out begging for food from the government, you will have your garden growing, plenty of food in storage, and the skills to both keep these sources of food secure and to stretch these sources as much as necessary).  Prepare now.


  1. Amen.
    "They call it the American dream because you have to be asleep to believe it!" - George Carlin
    The idea we could live off others thoughtlessly (LOOT) by borrowing without ever repaying was always bullshit, but multiple generations have eaten it up.

  2. when I lost my job (due to a plant closure,) I lost my wife and eventually my house. those $ 50.00 bucks a week that I was secretly saving and the ( $ 3,500.00) motor home that I restore and not under my name at the time, my supplies and tools and food that I stored in there , ALL those things, possible, saved my butt from being homeless, after a bitter divorce and the financial ruin that brings.
    now after exausting my unemployment and no possibilities for employment. I only have to wait to collect the little social security that I got left. In the mid time I continue living in a rented piece of lot (with water and tapping for electricity) from a fellow worker. Rent is cheap and I entertain my self on square gardening. If you have a good marriage or Not, you should prepare. males or females alike...$ 50.00 dlls a week wont break you but it can help greatly. Motor home, travel trailer, van or pick up truck with camper, thats all you need. Your personal security comes first. If its a good marriage, great, you can share it. If not you can encourage your present wife to do the same. For those "just in case" eventualities.

    Have a wonderful day.

  3. A very well written and insightful article. Thank you.