Economic Outlook: Weathering the Storm

This excerpt from C.V. Myers' 1980 book "Weathering the Storm" discusses the preparations you can make to survive an impending economic disaster.

| July/August 1980

Mr. C. Vernon Myers, profiled in another installment of this column, generated a lot of interest and a great many letters from readers asking for a larger sampling of his wisdom. Myers is a gentleman who just happens to have been more successful in predicting the world's economic future—for a full decade now—than any other financial expert we can name.   In response to those many queries, then, we're proud to present the following advice from C.V. Myers' new book Weathering the Storm, excerpted with permission from the author and publisher Soundview Books.

Personal Survival

The subject itself suggests disaster. Guard against over-reacting to the suggestion. It can be as harmful to go overboard in panic as to remain passive.

First, remember that we are not talking about war. We are not talking about the end of America. The country will still function. People will walk the streets, drive the highways, and go to work. Secondly, we are not talking about prolonged paralysis. We are talking about a temporary paralysis which will be bad enough to justify extensive preparation.

In essence we are anticipating a paralyzing initial shock resulting in a massive but temporary dislocation. We are talking about arriving at a realization that our way of life has changed and will never be quite the same again.

Following that, we are talking about a painfully slow convalescence. It will take a lot of time to adjust to new austere conditions ... to face a reality we have refused to face for so long. We are like a rich man who is over his head in debt, shutting his eyes to the inevitable bankruptcy, paralyzed for a time after it happens, finally picking himself up and beginning to rebuild his life on a reduced scale. He can still enjoy the sun and the flowers, his family and his friends, his intellect, his body. Gone are the servants and the pomp, the cars and the boats, the furs and the florists, and above all the grand feeling of power and wealth. Rebuilding and readjusting will take a lot of time, probably years.

I use the analogy because it is dead on. America is bankrupt. We are hopelessly in debt. We never can pay. The only reason we have been able to avoid the truth is that our creditors haven't closed in yet. Our creditors are ourselves.

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