July 7, 2013
The Economic Collapse People envision bank runs, life WROL (without rule of law), piles of worthless currency, rampant homelessness, and breathless news reports on CNN and the network channels (if you happen to still have access to a television, that is). They imagine a grim, gray world, devoid of entertainment, with unwashed citizens digging desperately through the trash.
Because of this apocalyptic image, the idea of an economic collapse seems pretty far-fetched to most people. After all, we still see cars in every driveway, lights in every window at night, children going to school and parents going to work. Everything’s fine, right? The economic collapse is only a conspiracy theory, cooked up by those crazy libertarians and right-wingers, right?
While there are technically “more” jobs, this is because positions that used to be full time are now part time ~ meaning that two or more people hold what used to be one job.
The administration is careful not to divulge the entire story, instead playing with numbers and percentages to portray growth instead of dismal decline.
The Jobs’ Report is increasingly measuring only a part of the American economy.
While Friday’s report was better than expected, it only measures those who are working or actively looking for work. There is a growing number of Americans slipping through the cracks of the job market. (source)
Meanwhile, as income drops, expenses increase.
Consumer spending is on the uptick, a sign that the government likes to say is positive.However, people are forced to pay more to get less, just to maintain a basic standard of living with food, utilities, and gasoline.
People aren’t spending money on goods ~ they are spending it on essential items and services.
This one item ~ the price of fuel, is the catalyst that is making the price of everything else increase.
The price of food is climbing, and doing so rapidly. Significant increases have occurred over the past two years, particularly in truly healthy foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as organic products. Deceptively, package sizes are getting smaller (or are staying the same size but containing less food). The price, however, remains the same as before, in an attempt to trick consumers into believing that prices are not actually rising.
Apparently, 12 ounces is the new pound and 3 quarts is the new gallon.
“Utilities made up a pretty decent chunk of spending,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania. “When you extract from that, spending was less than impressive in March. The economy is slowing.” (source)
Many places are instituting time-of-day pricing, making it only affordable to do your laundry in the middle of the night.
Part of the reason Americans are facing higher prices is President Obama’s War on Coal.
A WELFARE STATE
More than half of all Americans receive some form of government benefit: food stamps, supplements, health care, to name a few. We are in big trouble because the people who work for a living are being outnumbered by those who vote for a living. Politicians buy votes with giveaways and freebies. (Who can forget the notorious Obamaphone video?)
Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse Blog wrote last year,
“A recent Forbes article by Bill Wilson estimates that over 165 million Americans are government dependents to at least some degree….”
The late Margaret Thatcher warned,
“The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.”
SURVIVING THE STEALTH COLLAPSE
The goal for most of us is to maintain our independence while the powers that be try to return us to serfdom through limiting our access to affordable necessities.
Stop looking for a dramatic news report to tell you that the collapse has arrived ~It’s here.
Figure out how you’re going to survive it.
Cut your expenses. Create your own austerity plan to reduce your expenses as much as possible. This is not caving to the pressure ~ this is a way to assert your independence, by making your own cuts instead of government mandated ones.
Learn to provide for many of your necessities alone. Grow food, join a co-op, raise chickens and rabbits. Even a small salad garden in a kitchen window can help you to offset high food prices. Learn to sew, mend, repair, preserve, and build. Decrease your dependence on consumer goods and services. Embrace your frugal side and opt to be cheap by choice.
Reduce your dependence on the power grid. Use rain barrels to collect water, direct the gray water from your washing machines to reservoirs, hang your clothes to dry, and use solar lighting whenever possible. The less you depend on public utilities, the lower your bills will be, which could mean the difference between having some services or being totally without them.
Find other ways to stay warm. This can be difficult if you rent but it can still be done. Consider making modifications to allow for the use of portable wood heaters, look into different types of camping heaters and make your plans and purchase your supplies well before you need them. Learn how to safely store fuel for these secondary devices. Invest in battery operated carbon monoxide monitors (and extra batteries).
Watch the prices of your utilities. As the prices begin to rise, more and more people will be unable to pay their bills and eventually their power will be shut off. Check your bill each month and as prices increase, use less power.
Prep, prep and then prep some more. The end of the American way of life is upon us. Stock up on beans, bullets and band-aids. If you’re new to the idea of prepping, check out some sites like Ready Nutrition (especially the 52 Weeks to Preparedness Series), Survival Blog, Survival Sherpa, Prepper Website, Lew Rockwell, and SHTFplan.
Stop looking for a huge, life-changing calamity. In reality, the economic collapse is the culmination of many small events, rising prices, lower (or lost) incomes, and the deliberate erosion of our self-sufficiency by those who would control us.
Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor. Her website, The Organic Prepper, where this article first appeared, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org