This is a guest post by Kannin13 and entry for our non-fiction writing contest.
The floods in Colorado this week have prompted me to think about things. They are saying that services such as running water and electricity, and supplies such as food and gasoline will not be available for weeks in some towns. Authorities say there are still over a thousand people that can’t be rescued yet. Would you be prepared for something like this?
I am. For years, I have been a “prepper”. I didn’t know I was a “prepper” until the show came out… but, I have always kept extra food on hand in case of emergency. I’ve always been prepared for a short-term service disruption like a power outage.
Short term service disruption events:
Big wind storm / Tornado Earthquake Flood Terror attack Teamsters strike
Any one of these events could and would cause a short-term (1 to 3 or 4 weeks) disruption in services. We saw it in Seattle back in ’06 when 80 mile per hour winds knocked out the power for more than 5 days… and we saw it New Orleans when Katrina slammed a city full of unprepared people, many of whom were forced to resort to crime to feed themselves and their families. It is said that the grocery stores and gas stations only have a three-day supply. The problem that statement is… that figure is based on normal buying cycles.
If there is a monster storm or other disruption, we will be lucky if they have a three-hour supply. Look at what happened last October when Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast. The stores were mostly empty before the storm actually hit. There was looting and crime, people were hungry and cold… and rationing was imposed on gasoline for 14 days.
Are you prepared for something like this???
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) used to recommend that you keep a three-day supply of food and water on hand for such emergencies but, they recently upped their recommendation to one week of supplies. I believe this is not enough. I believe a three-week supply is necessary to see your family through one of these short-term service interruption events.
Now… what if it’s worse?
What if something causes a long-term disruption in services? I am looking at the evidence in front of me, and I am certain something else is in store for the once greatest country on earth. Last year, I switched from preparing for a short-term disruption to preparing for something worse.
Long term service disruption events:
Widespread terrorist attacks War Martial law Hyperinflation / Deflation Financial Collapse
I believe that our country is a house of cards just waiting for one of these events to topple it. The signs of things to come are all over the place.
The Debt… Our government is overextended by $17 trillion dollars. It would be higher but, they have been raiding $135 billion dollars a month from the public employee’s retirement fund since February. They overspend $4 billion dollars every day! To put it in perspective… at that rate of overspending… Bill Gates would be flat broke in less than two weeks. And unfortunately… it is going to get much, much worse. They have promised $66 trillion dollars in unfunded liabilities to the retiring baby boomers and they are adding $1.1 trillion dollars to the money supply every year. The truth is though, they couldn’t reverse it if they wanted to.
Believe it or not… they can’t actually stop over spending. They actually have to continue to increase the debt, and they have to get us to continue to increase our debt. The dollar is a “debt based” currency. This means that the dollar is loaned into existence. It does not exist until someone or the government wants to borrow it. This is called Fractional Reserve Banking. Three quarters of the money is lent in to existence by the Federal Reserve, (A group of private banks) and the rest is loaned in to existence by the rest of the banks.
They are actually allowed to loan ten times more money than they have. The problem is… when they create a loan, they only create the principle… not the interest. Therefore, they must keep lending because there will never be enough money in the system to cover the interest. This is the biggest “Ponzi Scheme” ever! Bernie Madoff did exactly the same thing only he got caught. He had to continually get new investors so he could use their money to pay the old customers so they wouldn’t find out he spent their investments. (Don’t take my word for all of this. Look up the Fed and fractional reserve banking.)
The Recovery… They tell us we are in a recovery but, when you look at the details… there are two parts to this fake recovery. First… it is being fueled by artificially low-interest rates. These low rates, which are being held low by the Fed printing / loaning $1.1 trillion dollars a year, are doing three things;
They are forcing investors into the stock market because they can’t make money in traditionally, safer investments. They are keeping the real estate market propped up by keeping mortgage payments low. This also has an effect on the auto industry and other consumer activities. The interest payment on the national debt is being kept artificially low.
When rates go up… and they will! The stock market will crash, the real estate market will crash and the debt servicing at the national and personal levels will skyrocket. Did you see what happened when earlier in the year, when Ben Bernanke said he might begin to taper? Rates went up by a point in a week and home sales plummeted by 13% in a month. And, that was a jump from 3.5% to 4.4%. What would happen if they jump to 7%… or 10%? When that happens, the cost of doing business will go up as well, which will cause unemployment to skyrocket, which brings me to my next point.
The other part of this fake recovery is the unemployment picture. They are not telling us the real story.
They say the unemployment rate is 7.4%. The truth is… if they calculated unemployment the way they used to, it would be closer to 12%. And if you look at the U6 numbers… which take into account, the underemployed and the working age people that have quit looking for a job, it is heading towards 20%. The other thing about the unemployment picture is… more than 70% of the jobs lost since 2007, were full-time, mid to higher wage jobs. But, more than 75% of percent of the jobs created in the recovery are either part-time or low wage or both.
A recent survey revealed 77% of American households have less than one month’s expenses in the bank. That means three quarters of the country in living paycheck to paycheck. And, to top it off… the labor participation rate just hit a 36 year low, and the long-term disabled rolls have hit an all-time high. These are people that don’t qualify for unemployment anymore but, don’t have a job so, they apply for disability. This number has soared from 8 million to over 11 million since 2009. The real unemployment picture is sickening.
Not if but, when it all comes crumbling down… we will be in a world of hurt. I don’t know when and I don’t know how but, I do know it will happen. Probably, sooner rather than later. It has happened before. When countries continually overspend… They eventually hit a tipping point. It happened in the Weimar Republic (Germany) in the ‘20’s, it happened to the British Sterling in the 70’s, it happened in Argentina in 1999, it happened in Zimbabwe more recently, it is happening all over Europe right now and it has been happening in Japan for the last 12 years. These countries all saw massive inflation that crashed their economies. We are not talking 10 or 20%. We are talking 100 or 200%… per month.
The Baby Boomers… And, it will happen here. The tipping point comes when the baby boom generation gets near and enters retirement. Three things begin to happen.
- They begin to use the government more in the form of social Security and Medicare.
- They stop earning as much which means they pay fewer taxes.
- They stop spending as much on stuff like big house and fancy cars.
Prior to these three things happening… The largest generation in U.S. history descended on the housing market and with the help of artificially low rates and lax lending criteria… created the longest and biggest real estate boom in history. They are done spending money now, and there are not enough people in the Echo generation to support the infrastructure, housing and businesses that they built… and there are not enough people to pay into the system to support them.
The 92 million people of the Baby Boom generation began retiring 8 to 10 years ago and the peak numbers are just now joining that group. Please don’t get me wrong? I am not mad at them and I don’t think they are freeloaders. They paid into the system. It is just that we have over promised… and more than one-quarter of the population is about to cash in those promises. It will break the system. The problems with Social Security and Medicare are;
When Social Security was created… there were 50+ people paying in to the system for every one person drawing from it. Now it is less than 3 to 1.
The average life expectancy was only 6 months passed the retirement age. Now it is 13 years… and growing.
The average person will use over $200,000 of Medicare but, put in less than $60,000.
How can we continue down this path? How can anyone look at these numbers and think that it will be ok? There is a light at the end of the tunnel… unfortunately, it is a train. A financial crisis is on the horizon.
We have a massive debt. $123 trillion dollars if you add up private consumer debt, corporate debt, leveraged banking debt, current government debt and unfunded liabilities.
We have a huge adjustment coming in the real estate market that will rear it’s ugly head when interest rates rise. It has been said that the real estate bubble should’ve dropped another 30% but, was interrupted by the all of the stimulus. It still needs to drop.
And we have more than one quarter of the population exiting the workforce and entering retirement.
Other Promises… It isn’t just the federal government that has written checks they can’t cash… Cities are going bankrupt because they overpromised benefits to municipal employees. Detroit was not the first and they will not be the last. There are at least 10 others that are not far behind. St. Louis and Chicago are on very shaky ground. Dozens of cities and municipalities are in financial trouble and even 31 states have budget shortfalls. Is the federal government going to bail these cities and states out?
There is a perfect firestorm ready to descend upon us and the only thing we are missing is the match.
It won’t take much to light this fire. Maybe a war in Syria or Iran? Will Russia and China be on the other side? This is looking more like a real possibility. Maybe we get downgraded again and China announces that they have lost total faith in the dollar? Another real possibility. Maybe the world decides to remove the dollar as the World Reserve Currency. Did you know that seven countries including China, Russia, Japan & India have recently made agreements to conduct bilateral oil trade without using the dollar? They are already making moves to have the dollar removed as the World Reserve Currency.
Did you know that the only reason the dollar still has any value at all is because oil can only be sold in dollars? This keeps the value up because other countries either need to sell us stuff or actually buy dollars in order to obtain oil. Look up the (Petrodollar). If the OPEC nations move to stop selling oil in dollars… we will be toast. The rest of the world will no longer need dollars and not only will they flood our country with them… but, they will not accept them anymore for goods.
There are many events that could cause a rapid decline but, even if none of them ever occur… a decline is still imminent. It will just happen at a slower pace. There is no way we can come out of this unscathed. In the late ‘70’s, Jimmy Carter increased the money supply by 17%. The cure was 20% interest rates. That’s how they sucked that money back out of the economy, and strengthened the dollar again. We survived it because we were in a boom economy. People still bought homes and cars because times were getting better… a lot better.
By the start of Ronald Reagan’s 2nd term, our growth rate was near 8% and unemployment was dropping fast. Our current president has increased the money supply by 4 times that much. But, we can’t survive a giant rate hike this time because we are not strong.
We are growing at less than 1%. They are cooking the books so it looks like we are growing faster. Just like how they changed how the unemployment rate is calculated… They have also done the same thing to the inflation rate and the CPI. (Consumer Price index) They took food and gas out of the inflation equation, and they added real estate commissions in to the CPI equation. This helps them paint a rosy picture of the economy. Plus… they come out every month with rosy numbers in GDP growth and unemployment and everybody (the main stream media) talks about how great it is, until they quietly revise the numbers downward and nobody says a word about it. Did you hear that last week, they revised July’s GDP Growth figure down from 1.7% to .03%?
If we do suffer an economic collapse or a severe downturn… it will be painful. 101 million people currently rely on the government for some sort of financial support. That is nearly one third of our population that gets a check or an EBT card from the government. If the money stops flowing or gets seriously devalued… do we think that those people are going to quietly starve to death? Or are they going to go down fighting? What would our country look like without food on the shelves or gasoline in our cars? Should you not only have supplies? But, should you also be prepared to defend them?
And Finally… If you think the economic problems I’ve described are not realistic, or not likely to happen. That’s ok… at least keep a week or so worth of food and water on hand just in case of a long power outage or a big storm. But, if I am wrong… why is the government preparing for something big to happen inside our borders? I’m not talking about FEMA preparing for a regional storm or earthquake… I’m talking about The Department of Homeland Security purchasing massive amounts of Guns, ammunition and armored vehicles.
Almost 2 billion rounds of hollow point and rifle rounds, more than 7,000 fully automatic military style assault rifles and 2,700 armored vehicles. Why are they doing joint training exercises with police departments in urban areas? Why are the police looking more like the military? Why are there hundreds of stories and internet videos detailing the suspension of our 4th amendment right to be protected from unlawful search and seizure? Did you think it was totally normal when the militarized police were going door to door, conducting warrantless raids in Watertown, Mass? They are preparing for social unrest. Look it up. It is easy to find everything I’ve written about. While you are at it… look up House Resolution 6566, NDAA and FM 3-39.40.
HR6566 is The Mass Fatality Planning and Religious Considerations Act. It mandates that FEMA prepare for mass casualties.
NDAA is the National Defense Authorization Act. It gives the President authorization to suspend Posse Comitatus. This is the law from 1878 that prohibits the use of the military inside our borders and also protects us from unlawful detention.
FM 3-39.40 is an Army field manual for Internment & Resettlement Operations. Concentration Camps for U.S. Citizens.
I really do hope I am wrong but, even if I am… Having a good level of preparedness won’t go to waste. I also hope that I have opened your eyes a little. Assuming that you aren’t already prepared, or working toward a higher level of preparedness.
Just Be Prepared! Please?
Prizes for this round in our non fiction writing contest include…
- First place winner will receive – A Volcano Grill courtesy of LPC Survival a $134.99 value, a $150 gift certificate for Remington ammunition courtesy of LuckyGunner, a 60 serving bucket of Wise Freeze Dried Food courtesy of EmergencyFoodWarehouse.com and a Wonder Junior Deluxe grain meal a $219.95 value courtesy of Kitchen Neads and a USB Portable VPN courtesy of unspyable a $275 value. Total prize value of $899.99.
- Second place winner will receive – A Sopakco Sure – Pak MRE – 12 Meals courtesy of Campingsurvival.com, a $98.95 value, a Tatsu360 Tenkara Rod a $72.00 value courtesy of Dragontail Tenkara and a one year subscription to Personal VPN service, a $100 value, courtesy of unspyable. Total prize value of $270.95.
- Third place winner will receive – a copy of my book ”31 Days to Survival: A Complete Plan for Emergency Preparedness“ courtesy of TheSurvivalistBlog.net and a copy of “The Survival Medicine Handbook” courtesy of www.doomandbloom.net.
Be sure to read the rules before entering… This contest will end on November 10 2013