Friday, December 13, 2013

While Poverty Grows

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    Europe padded what it could provide to its citizens, possibly in part to help to compensate for opportunities which have not been available to young people there, for a long time.  Of course, socialism never works and eventually we run out of other people's money to spend.    The United States was also a victim of the idea that to keep a government healthy, we must grow it and expand it, when in fact, the reverse is true.  Only a lean government machine is healthy while a bloated obese one heads for the ultimate coronary, as ours is.  As much as I disagree with almost everything Barack Obama holds dear, he and his regime is not to blame for everything the US is experiencing.   The Federal Reserve has not helped us with quantitative easing or printing all the money you want, as a strategy.  Mr. Bush did not help us by failing to take more decisive action against jobs moving out of the country and illegals sucking our social services and medically indigent services dry as fast as they could.  The Democrats continued to push one crazy agenda after another, with no visible means of payment for it.  The Republicans, for the most part, sat there like an enabling spouse to the deluded Democrats, but never really stood up to pronounce Obamacare as a pipedream and a completely non-sustainable path to destruction for America's families, its health care system,  and for the United States as we knew it.

              There are no "shovel ready" jobs unless you count the job Barack Obama did of shoveling excrement to uninformed voters who missed the chance to read his books before electing him not only once as president, but twice.  There are many layoffs coming in the financial industry.  Health care workers can't find jobs as hospital systems train the marginally capable to do what was once the purview of the licensed. Many physicians peruse real estate magazines on Costa Rica and Ecuador, as they realize they won't be able to practice as physicians safely in the train wreck which is coming.  Food banks grow in number, but the food they stock dwindles.  More and more formerly middle class US families depend on them to help to get through their month at the end of the money. People are giving away  registered horses, chickens, purebred dogs as they can no longer afford to feed them, let alone provide veterinary care for them. I listen to them tell me this sadly as I realize that my animals, which used to be a relatively inexpensive extravagance for me, are now a growing expense.  I cannot take on any more animal rescues, and this also saddens me. The waiting lists to trades schools may be as long as 3-5 years in some cases, and even then, there is no guarantee that there will be a job waiting.  My own kids have college debt, and only one of them found a really good job after college, even though they graduated from highly rated state universities with honors.

               This is not a time to be taking on new expenses or new challenges.  A number of respected financial gurus believe that 2014 may well bring a financial collapse for the United States and a global currency reset of fiat currency values. Translated, that means that there will be beaucoup in the job loss department, few opportunties to recoup such jobs, and real economic pain for many of the world's families. Falling from the middle class is not just something a few people are doing. It's a widespread phenomenon that had begun before Obamacare, and will be worsened by it. Many experts believe that interest rates will rise, and that there could be a broad devaluation of assets before food and essential services/items begin to rise.
             In any event, it makes sense to invest in practical learning and self sufficiency as much as you can.  Provide whatever portion of your own food is possible even if all you are doing is growing sprouts in a jar on your kitchen window..  Pay down whatever debts you are able. Convert any debts you cannot pay off to fixed rates rather than ones that could rise sharply.  Learn to maintain and repair your primary transportation.  Look at security and self defense not only in your home but as it impacts you in your daily life. Maintain your emergency medical kits, your emergency food supplies, and don't mention it to anyone other than trusted family. Think about how you might obtain clean fresh water or filter groundwater in the event that a grid down situation impeded your water supply for a period of time.

            I really do believe that we are headed for a collapse, and I don't really know how bad this could be, or what it might look like.  I don't think the people leading us understand enough to prevent it, and I think that the American debt has grown so quickly that a collapse could be inevitable anyway.

           Some of my friends are talking about putting off retirement........retirement ?   I have spent so long explaining sheltering-in-place and family evacuation,   I think that rather than retiring, I will simply eventually just drop-dead- in- place !


Humble wife said...

For a few years I really wrote a good deal about this. We should prepare. I also agree with you that we should obtain skills that afford us the survival means in many a situation. I came to my farm with NO clue...and now if necessary could survive fairly well, even though I live in the desert.

Learning how to reduce your lifestyle and reuse what you have is so important. Nothing hits the trash can until I am absolutely certain I cannot use it elsewhere. Old clothes become rugs, rags, potholders, blankets. Tin cans have been flattened and used as roofing for the critters sheds. Food either is given to the chicks or saved for stock stew and the likes.

We have a solar well, woodstove and the means to live in the desert without electricity. I used to fear this scenario but now I am ok as I know what I am capable of.

Good post.

JaneofVirginia said...

Thank you, Jennifer. Thanks for posting. Some days I am resigned to this, and even accepting of it. I grieve it most for my children and their friends, who will never have the opportunities I so clearly had. Their choices are squarely fewer than my own.
I too use just about everything. The other day, our son J. gave me a pair of jeans which no longer fit him but are hopelessly drawn upon with permanent marker and have quite a tear down the front of one leg. "Is there ANYTHING we can do with it ?" he asked. I told him we could cut it in squares for a quilt, but this was not something he wanted to hear. Then, I realized that in each kennel room we have igloo houses for each dog. (It satisfies their need to curl up and be in a small place in winter.) The beloved pair of jeans now lines an igloo house in the kennel for a male black lab who will no doubt enjoy the scent of a teen who walks him and sneaks him treats from dinner. Pretty much everything can be used somewhere, and for something.

Gorges Smythe said...

Good article, good reply to Humble wife, sad days, but the Lord WILL come eventually.

Sunnybrook Farm said...

When things get bad, I wouldn't count on going online anymore, the government will shut down the internet because it is a security risk so it is important now to get what every you think you need on paper and stored safely. It could be saved on a dedicated system if power is not an issue. The leader we have now will react like a spoiled child when things go wrong and blame some group to direct blame on them so it would be wise to be able to lay low if you are in that group. Don't count on driving to walmart to pick up a few things you could be the problem people try to solve. I suspect that if it is a bad collapse that gangs will form to maintain order and they will be more effective than any government. It is all guessing at this point but too many people have a bad feeling about things and that alone can cause bad economic problems.

JaneofVirginia said...

This is going to sound strange from someone with multiple blogs, but my challenge has always been to use this medium as long as we have it, accepting and understanding that for many of us, it's an unreliable and impermanent service. Being rural, I have never had reliable internet, and this is why I do not pay bills or have bank accounts accessible via the net.
I have hard copies of everything I need. BTW, great and insightful post, Sunnybrook !

JaneofVirginia said...

Amen. Thank you, Gorges.

BBC said...

Poverty is a frame of mind, I get along just fine on my 983 bucks a month of SS.

JaneofVirginia said...

A great point. I worry about the people who don't know how to economize, who can't cook using basic food. You have a skill and earned a living at it. There are lots of young people who will never be trained and never know that experience.

Lady Locust said...

Great post - have been doing what I can; still don't feel 'safe' from all of it.

BBC said...

One thing I found at the dollar store yesterday, candles the preppers on Utube claim burn for 80 hours.

They are in glass tubes eight inches high and two inches across. Not a bad deal for a buck and reusable tubes.

JaneofVirginia said...

No, that's not a bad deal at all. We have to be discerning because I have bought junk in the Dollar Stores also, but some of the things there are excellent and of great value in preparedness.

JaneofVirginia said...

I have been doing my best toward preparedness for years, and I don't think anyone is ever completely ready. Thanks for posting.

Linda said...

People who depend on the Lord returning do not worry about littering or being wasteful, much less having enough food to last even a week or how they can get gasoline for their cars...just little things. They certainly do not think that Walmart may not be there. I never get into much of a conversation with them because they think they can give me a little sermon about my lack of faith and the ones preaching to me are not even out of hs.

My $730 each month is not adequate, but I get by.

If cheap candles have lead wicks and the wax puts off noxious fumes, a person's health can be compromised. I will sit in the dark if that is all I had to light my house.

Several years ago, I was in a group, nothing to do with preparedness, and everyone was saving good information to folders on the internet, just in case they needed it in the future when life was hard. I pointed out that if resources for making computers, energy to power them, and means to have computers and software, there might be no way to retrieve their data. Lots of people starting printing their folders.

JaneofVirginia said...

I always encourage everyone to make hard copies of important information. I have a series of three ring binders with important information that is not available in books. When a package of acid free vinyl styled sheets for items in ring binders was on sale, I bought it, and one of those binders now has plastic coverings on each sheet. I am glad you have been encouraging people to make hard copies of authoritative data found on the internet.
I have met a small group of people who blindly wait for God and fail to make reasonable preparations that could keep their families safer in storms and emergencies. I try to convey that the Lord helps those who help themselves. He gave us an intellect which I believe we are to use. In addition, if I miss the chances to learn and keep my family safe, how could I ever be a resource to others, in a time where life and death really do hang in the balance ? Thanks for your post.

BBC said...

A tall beer can and a tea candle = HAND WARMER.

I like to dream things like that up.

Equal parts of fine sawdust and powdered potassium nitrate and sulfur sure will burn, but it's a dirty burn.

BBC said...

Dollar Tree has birthday candles, 80 for a buck. If you want you can fill the can bottom with melted wax and before it gets too stiff shove a birthday candle down the center of it. Cut the birthday candles down to size. You will have a long lasting handwarmer.

Humble wife said...

What a neat idea for the jeans! Yes, I do believe that the smell of the teen will be a special thing in the doghouse!!