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Despair? Determination? Delight? — Let’s Discuss Options
MC
#121 Posted : Sunday, May 17, 2009 4:25:29 AM
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Posts: 134,494
mrgreenjeans wrote:

hey MC you should think about making a dating service . hook up your friends in wv with all the m.e.n. men. i hear opportunity knocking


heeheehee.

She's the only single one that'd be worthwhile.  Not much of a service there. 

Think it's my pathetic self-serving attempt at that community-building that's been discussed recently. 

Which honestly probably is our best hope of Surviving & Thriving In A Bad Situation.  I just don't want to be one of those people who talks about "building community" and basically means "finding out who will carry me 'cause I'm too stupid/scared/lazy to carry me and mine my own self."

Computer Cowboy
#122 Posted : Wednesday, June 03, 2009 9:43:08 PM
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Posts: 134,494

We grow almost 100% of our food, harvest rainwater, make our own soap, heat with wood, etc., etc. but, if things were to get as catastrophic as they certainly could, none of those skills and efforts would help much. Even the relatively self-reliant lifestyle depends far too much on items that must be purchased from industry, and that do eventually wear out. Mason jars, PV panels, battery banks, garden hoses, tools, cloth, woodstoves, glass, plumbing supplies...the list goes on and on. In a real meltdown, the temporary posession of these things would only postpone the inevitable. That's assuming that less prepared folks don't immediately take it all away. Yes, I'm armed, but so are alot of them. I don't believe people would watch their children go hungry if they knew where to get supplied. As a species, we took a number of seriously wrong turns at the beginning of the industrial revolution, socially, economically, politically, philosophically, intellectually and technologically. Now we're all stuck with the results, and it's too late to go back and change our minds. So, I'm going to go weed the garden, bake some bread, and quietly pray that those powerful entities pulling the strings somehow avoid a man-made armageddon.

weehen
#123 Posted : Saturday, July 18, 2009 7:50:53 PM
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I try to be positive, but honestly, I do expect things to cost 10 times as much (if not more) in 5 years time...I expect hyperinflation to be the result of what I suspect is not just an 'economic crisis' but the beginnings of a total system collapse (which the govt will drag out over many years, prolonging the agony and attempting to hide the reality from the masses for as long as possible).  It just seems inevitable to me. 

At times I feel paralyzed to do anything at all about it, but when I can get out of that mindset, here is what I try to do:

1. Persuade my husband that the future is looking pretty dire and that we really need to do something to prepare ourselves.  Sadly, this is something of an uphill battle.  He is a lovely man, but not very self-sufficient, though he will follow my lead, at least.  This means I must basically be the one to take the initiative and put in the hard work, and he will back me up.

2. Learn to live on less, save what we have, get better at reusing, recycling etc - generally become more frugal. (I find this very hard as a full-time working mother of 2 toddlers).

3. Minimize our debts (we don't expect to be debt-free, unfortunately)

4. Learn to compost, grow our own veges, preserve and can whatever is practical, set up a store of food and other essentials - I have only just begun on this path since October '08, and I have a loooooong way to go, with limited time and resources.  We live with my parents-in-law and so they are in charge of the garden, but we have 2 patches we can use for our own, and if we illegally went over the fence and down the hillside we could claim more quietly.

5. A big area of concern for me is fresh water.  I'm planning to purchase some water purifying straws, some tablet water purifiers, bottled water (though I have VERY limited space for this), and looking at setting up catchment for our rooftop rainwater, probably more for gardening that human uses, but if it came to it, we'd drink whatever we could.

6. Setting up a drip irrigation system, raised garden beds and refining what we have

7. Making a 'Coolgardie Safe' (or at the least, having all materials on hand) - an Australian invention to keep food fresh prior to modern refrigeration

8. Harvesting and saving seeds, and planning to purchase a decent stock of heirloom seeds

9. Our current living arrangements don't permit it, but if we could I would like to keep chickens, and possibly rabbits too.  The chickens would primarily be for eggs and garden fertilizer, but I guess we could eat them at a pinch, though I'd rather not.  Rabbits would be for meat, but again, I think we'd be more likely to go vegetarian, in truth! I think I could slaughter animals for eating if I really had to, but I'd rather not.

10. Research and talk to like-minded people, whether online or IRL.  Mostly online....I think most people IRL aside from my brothers think talk of a system collapse is totally loopy, so I don't tend to advertize my views much.  I'm not sure if they have heads in the sand, or if they genuinely don't see/feel what is happening, or if I am over-reacting, but I can only follow what my gut, heart and brain all tell me together and trust that it means something.

11. If I had money, I would probably buy and hide away gold and silver.  I don't know if they will really work as a 'hedge' in coming times, but it would be nice to have them just in case.  Of course, food and water will be more critical, but following a collapse some kind of economy will be re-introduced and gold and silver will most likely retain value compared to useless paper money, which will be good for little more than compost and toilet paper, if things come to the worst.

12. I bought a bicycle, but where we live is very car-dependent, and not many bicycle-friendly places, but I figured at least I'd have wheels even if oil reaches insane prices.

13. Looking at buying a solar-powered stove to boil water and cook food.  We have great solar power here.

14. If I had money, we'd put in solar PV to have electricity from solar.  Sadly, this isn't an option for us just now.

15. If I had money, we'd also buy a few acres in a rural area with a house on it!  Some day....we can dream.

 

 

 

John Edward Mercier
#124 Posted : Monday, July 20, 2009 12:35:14 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Most likely they think your 'loopy' because you have your economics mixed up.

During times of high inflation, you want to purchase today... preferably on debt... and payback tomorrow with lower value dollars. Saving devaluing dollars really wouldn't make much sense.

Also because everyone is trying to cut costs... its not likely to be systematic inflation... just currency.

Currency inflation does not take into account monetary policy... just the actual M3 that is no longer tracked by the FED due to inaccuracy on their part. Shadowstats does estimate the current M3... and it doesn't appear to be inflationary.

Its the deflationary period that is scary for most people, in that it makes sense to save for future lower prices... and no one knows how low those prices might go.

 

weehen
#125 Posted : Monday, July 20, 2009 8:05:05 PM
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JEM, thanks for replying.  I'm struggling to follow - yes, economics is definitely not my strong suit!

I have no idea what the M3 is.

I see what you mean about saving devaluing dollars not making much sense, and paying back with lower value dollars, yes that makes a lot of sense.

Do you think it is nonsensical to be more afraid of inflation than of the current depression?

I'm all ears, I have much to learn!

Pat Miketinac
#126 Posted : Saturday, July 25, 2009 9:54:59 PM
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This might be a good time to review the original premise of prices of everything  going up 10 times higher. When this has happened in the past, such as in Germany in the 1920's, it was due to the money losing value, not due to an actual increase in value of all goods and all services. We discussed this in the Reader to Reader thread "Your money is now worth nothing".

If you trade a cord of your firewood for some produce that your neighbor canned, it doesn't matter to you what the U.S. dollar value of the trade is, you simply traded for mutually agreed upon equal value. You can barter for anything of value, then trade again with others if it is something that you don't need. I once traded my aircraft mech. skills to repair a wrecked Aircoupe in exchange for a screw cutting metal lathe. Those who must trade U.S. dollars for most of their needs will be hurt the most in the coming inflation. I don't think the banks can hold all that newly created fiat money much longer. If it were all released today , prices would double after a time lag as it is dispersed. They are risking their own bankruptcy since unloaned money earns no interest.

John Edward Mercier
#127 Posted : Sunday, July 26, 2009 7:08:33 PM
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M3 is the broadest measure of US currency.

Pat is correct that previous economic ruin has come from devaluation of currency in relation to other currencies. Germany did this in the 1920s to try and pay its debts with a devalued currency, but it stopped due to the refusal of foreign creditors to accept it. Germany owed France heavy war reparations.

The US is currently in that situation. China has warned it will not stand for devaluing the USD to repay its debts. So hyperinflation isn't very likely. My major concern is a rise in certain costing categories due to taxation. This taxation will disrupt normal consumer patterns...

If all the proposals become law, the US will have an inflationary monetary policy and a deflationary fiscal policy resulting in stagflation... much like the late 70s.

allenwrench
#128 Posted : Sunday, September 27, 2009 10:36:22 PM
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martingr wrote:  I refused to be roped into a doomsday line of thought, the future is always uncertain and our way of life could be changed forever, it becomes a question of our collective ability to change 

-------------------------------------

Well, we live in an upside down world. We have created a defective model for long term population support.  

IT'S NOT THAT SIMPLE TO DO A 180...Without compulsive spending and conspicuous consumption funded by unaffordable debt, we would fail as a country. 

Our world is upside down, when the right way to s sustainable future will bring our world down. The only thing to do to keep the Ponzi scheme going is to do just the opposite of prudent advice. 

What would happen to our economy if we took the advice and did as this recycled victory poster from WWII suggested? 

http://i685.photobucket.com/albums/vv219/keepitlow456/victorygarden.jpg

Since our economy if fueled 70% by the consumer, we must stay in debt and consume by any means necessary. We must make shoddy products that self-destruct quickly - so new products are in constant demand to keep the workforce of drones working. All the while squandering resources. 

We must not grow our own food and buy poisonous food from chemical laden farms. Our concrete jungles could never hope to allow anything else from their inhabitants. 

And we must squander fossil fuels as fast as possible to keep the economy booming. What would all the tourists traps from Las Vegas to Florida do without the travelers? And the multitude of business that depend on travel along the pilgrimage routes?  

On an a more global level, lets say everyone becomes voluntary simplicity and frugal squirrel devotees. We recycle, reuse, repair and just say NO to buying more crap. If we stop buying all the stuff that America imports from China - who keeps the 1.3 billion plus people in China from starving, so they do not go back to old ways of trying to take over the world?  

We can see we have created a time bomb. Even the highest level brainiac economists can't fix what ails us.  Our whole system is based on an unsustainable model that will eventually collapse no matter how much money that is printed up by the Fed. (...they don't even need to print money nowadays, all that needs to be done to create billions is to magnetize a silicon chip!) 

 

Pat Miketinac
#129 Posted : Monday, September 28, 2009 3:21:30 AM
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Posts: 134,494

Welcome to the forums, allenwrench! There is another thread you may find interesting in the Reader to Reader section, titled "Your Money Is Now Worth Nothing".

John Edward Mercier
#130 Posted : Tuesday, October 06, 2009 5:20:46 PM
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Posts: 134,494

Oddly the question wasn't how the country or economy would cope... it was how would you cope.

If I have access to water, shelter/warmth, and food... I'm pretty much good to go. I won't need transportation... nor to worry what the WalMart shoppers look like... because WalMart will be closed.

 

John Rockhold
#131 Posted : Tuesday, October 06, 2009 5:20:46 PM
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Posts: 134,494

What steps would you take to prepare if you knew that five years from now everything would cost 10 times what it costs now — gas, food, electricity, solar panels, hybrid cars — everything, but your income would not change? What would you do now to be in a better place to cope?

* Do you have a bit of land and the skills to grow and preserve a good portion of your own food? If not, could you join with your neighbors and garden together on open land one of you owns?

* What about fuel to warm your home? Do you know how much firewood you could produce from one acre?

* What would it cost you to commute to your job if gas cost 10 times more — about $40 per gallon? Should you consider moving closer to your work, or getting a vehicle that gets better mileage? Maybe invest in an electric bicycle?

* Could you keep goats and learn to make your own cheese? If you don’t have much land, you could keep a couple of goats in a very small area and bring food to them. They love to eat twigs and leaves — perhaps you could harvest brush along public roadsides for their feed.

* Chickens can be great, sustainable sources of eggs and meat, but remember — commercial feed would cost 10 times more than it does now, so could you grow their feed at home?

* Would you plant some peach pits and have your own peach orchard?

* Could you grow your own herbal medicines?

* Or do you think it would be foolish to work to become more self-reliant, because you believe that if things got really bad, roving gangs with guns would steal your food and fuel?

* Are you already 50 percent self-sufficient? 90 percent? Tell us how you did it, and how it feels.

* Do you despair that we may be doomed? Or are you determined to choose a course that you think will assure you and your family of a good life, full of delight, no matter what comes?

* Whatever your perspective, we want to hear your thoughts. Discuss below.

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