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  • Clarocet for Kids
     

    Sheep to the Slaughter: Americans Raid Savings Accounts to Stay Afloat and Maintain the Dream

    Mac Slavo
    January 18th, 2012
    SHTFplan.com
    Comments (204)
    Read by 206 people

    Retail parking lots may be full and Americans may be buying must-have electronics, home decor products and new cars, but where’s all the money coming from?

    As we’ve suggested previously, the economic destruction following the collapse of 2008 is slowly, but surely taking its toll, forcing many people still holding on to a paradigm of consumption to dip into cash savings, retirement accounts and personal credit lines:

    More than four years after the United States fell into recession, many Americans have resorted to raiding their savings to get them through the stop-start economic recovery.

    In an ominous sign for America’s economic growth prospects, workers are paring back contributions to college funds and growing numbers are borrowing from their retirement accounts.

    Some policymakers worry that a recent spike in credit card usage could mean that people, many of whom are struggling on incomes that have lagged inflation, are taking out new debt just to meet the costs of day-to-day living.

    American households “have been spending recently in a way that did not seem in line with income growth. So somehow they’ve been doing that through perhaps additional credit card usage,” Chicago Federal Reserve President Charles Evans said on Friday.

    “If they saw future income and employment increasing strongly then that would be reasonable. But I don’t see that. So I’ve been puzzled by this,” he said.

    “Today, the saving rate is falling out of necessity. Food and energy prices have risen and folks don’t have as much money to spend on the things that they would like.

    Just as Americans used to borrow against the value of their homes before the property crash, now many are taking out loans from their 401(k) retirement savings plans.

    Almost a third of plan participants currently have a loan outstanding, according to an upcoming survey of 150,000 holders of 401(k)s by consulting firm Aon Hewitt.

    Source: Reuters

    There’s nothing to be puzzled about here.

    There are over 25 million people in this country whose jobs have been destroyed by economic malaise and outsourcing to foreign companies. Monetary easing and other financial machinations have forced the price of essential goods like food, gasoline and life-saving services through the roof.

    Americans, still living in a world where we identify ourselves by the products we wear, what we drive and how we entertain ourselves, haven’t yet realized that the consumptive paradigm of the last 30 years is coming to an end. The majority of people, even those going through financial hard times, simply bury their heads in the sand in an effort to avoid the reality that the economy is on a trajectory as bad as, if not worse than, the Great Depression.

    But, while they may be making less money – or no money at all – everything is still OK – it has to be –  because the Jones family across the street always has the latest gadgets, goes on luxurious weekend getaways, eats out regularly, and they even bought a new car last month. So, if the Joneses can do it, then the economy and financial markets must really be in recovery just like those experts say on television.

    On top of that, this is America, the richest nation on Earth, and its managed by the best, brightest, and most benevolent.  We may have had a slight down-turn, but those people in Washington and on Wall Street know what they’re doing and they’ll make sure nothing goes wrong again.

    Since all of the experts say the recession is over and everything will be returning to normal – including more jobs and regular pay increases – there’s nothing to lose.

    Unsuspecting Americans being led, yet again, to financial slaughter (and perhaps worse), are willing to take the experts on their word. They’ll pull money out of their retirement accounts, bank savings account, even take on more debt than ever before, just to stay afloat in anticipation of that job, wage increase and ‘return to normal’  they’ve been promised.

    This, of course, is a dream world, but millions upon millions of Americans (and Europeans too), believe that all of the fundamental problems responsible for the global meltdown a few years ago have been resolved. They still have faith in a false paradigm that has already collapsed.

    The tragedy of it is that they will spend everything, believe everything they’re told, and do whatever their elected masters tell them, until they are eventually left with nothing. No financial stability. No accumulated wealth. No liberty.

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    Author: Mac Slavo
    Views: Read by 206 people
    Date: January 18th, 2012
    Website: www.SHTFplan.com

    Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

     

    204 Comments...

    Vote: Click here to vote for SHTF Plan as a Top Prepper Web Site
      • Odd Questioner says:

        To save? I doubt it. ;)

        My savings account has been growing nicely of late. It’s amazing how much better one feels with a cash cushion in the bank, as opposed to a house full of crap you’ll rarely use and tire of quickly.

        • Anonymous says:

          You’ve got to figure that if the economy or currency collapses then your fiat savings are worth nothing.

          • Odd Questioner says:

            True, but few collapses are going to be instant. I suspect you’ll have some time-lag in there with which to put the cash to good use.

          • LT207 says:

            That saving is great but when the run on the banks begin they will be shut down the same day they begin and your money will be untouchable for maybe months. Buy storable foods now dont wait till the banks collapse.

          • Paddy O'furniture says:

            Yeah, I’ve spent a goodly chunk of my savings the last coupla years-on lead and silver. A lot of food too. Can you imagine-being able to trade FRNs for silver and canned food? It’s a great deal.

            Yes, in an SHTF scenario, the silver (or gold) will not be as useful except for barter. You take care of the daily living essentials first, then convert your excees to PMs. Why? Because the FRNs will eventually be worthless and PMs are a safe place to park your cash till the storms blows over. It won’t last forever and when it settles back down, you have something of value to start over with.

            Jus’ plain ol common sense.

          • El Diablo says:

            Odd questioner, I might suggest spending it on something tangible, food, guns, G or S, new car, pay off mortgage, anything that is tangible. Easier for you live a lie (fiat currency) than live in the truth (tangible wealth). STOP BEING A PRIDEFUL PRICK. I have plenty of money but I don’t brag about it and almost all of it is in tangible assets. So enjoy your monopoly money and digital bullshit………..while it lasts.

          • El Diablo says:

            Pay close attention to the order of what I said to buy…food was the first then guns, not silver or gold they were towards the end of the list. They are only good once things stabilize and currency regains some type of value. Think of them as a future investment. There are many things to have before G or S.

        • Chris says:

          Hopefully that cash cushion is in more than one bank, you’ve kept some on hand for emergencies, and invested some in precious metals? ;)

          • okay, I have to ask the obvious question: Why do people keep hawking the precious metals thing? From what I can glean, PMs are basically useless in a SHTF scenario unless you have the connections (criminal or otherwise) to get to the outside world. That guy who lived through the Bosnian war wrote that for them, gold was virtually useless and nobody wanted it unless they had those outside/criminal connections and often times owning PMs would make you a target if someone knew you had gold. His advice was to have things like wedding rings where you could say, “This is my wife’s ring, can you trade me?” — not gold bullion or coins or anything along that line because people would wonder if you had more stashed somewhere. One of the most interesting things I read from his writings is to not trade in the same location more than once or twice and not to trade with the same person more than once or twice.

            So is the thing about PMs based on the aftermath environment?

          • RICH99 says:

            Isn’t it obvious? Are you in or out? Have you read history much and would you bend over to pick up a gold or tarnished silver coin in the street.

            Go out to the middle of your street or sidewalk, epoxy glue a clad quarter this summer and watch the fun.

          • KB: Precious metals are a wealth store of last restort after one can store no more food, have more guns and ammo than they’ll need, and every other thing you know you will need in the foreseeable future.

            The problem with rings, for example, is the premium above spot I would have to pay to order 500. Buying them used in such quanitiy is hard because they might have different weights, purity, etc. Eagles from the U.S. mint are standardized and hopefully a little more credible to the unsophisticated trader ATSHTF.

            If you want to go with jewelry, I recommend necklaces where links of standardized sizes can be removed as needed. There is an excellent video on the subject by a guy who lived through Argentina’s economic collapse at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJFg9n0L9OY&list=UUrSf5GLpvQSpIpS5-zHc7Lg

          • RWS III says:

            KB Here is my take on it, I’m no expert but this is how I sum it up in my mind.
            You don’t put all your bread in one basket. So having a bunch of PM, with no other barter or supplies is a recipe for disaster.

            But if your in the right financial situation to have all your preps in line, plus plenty of barter-able items, then having PM’s not to use during SHTF but for the eventual recovery does make sense.
            I’m not in that boat myself, I have a few coins but nothing much. I don’t have the income to get into PM, so I don’t sweat it I buy preps, and things that I can trade.

            I do see and agree with mushrooms point of having some cash on hand for when it first hits, there is still a lot of sheeple out there that will want cash not trade initially.
            So take advantage of that, its not your problem if they can’t see that those reserve notes will do them no good.

          • Hammerun says:

            @KM
            You asked;
            Why do people keep hawking the precious metals thing?
            Suppose SHTF and we all are in a giant shit storm. You and your wife and kids are on the run out of the city, you all are hungry and you see farmer John over there has a cow he is hacking up and selling it off for anything he can use. And you and your family show up with nothing but your office skills to offer. Question; how much beef do you think you are going to get? BUT; if you show up with a pocket full of Gold or Silver Eagles, something he needs. You will be having a hunk o beef that night. I doubt a 14 caret Gold 60 pennyweight wedding ring will get you much or very far. Here’s a perfect combination if you are so inclined. Food, Gold/Silver, Lead and Nutts. Food to survive, Gold/Silver to trade, Lead to defend and the Nutts to do it.

          • Richard in Denver says:

            KB,

            I believe you would be a target regardless whether you had gold eagles or a wedding ring. When SHTF, every person is a potential target. And, that’s why the Bosnian fellow said he only went out a night and with weapons and had backup and carried only a few valuables at one time to barter with.

          • Hammerun’s got it down. However! Remember this: in the initial chaos of STHF *EVERYTHING* will be *UBER* inflated. A loaf of bread might cost you an ounce of gold. But, after things calm down, you’ll be able to trade things in a more regular manner, or at least, just inflated prices instead of crazy inflated prices.

            When I say “prices”, I do not mean in $US. I mean in AG.

            This is why you need food and other things. Once the chaos is over (maybe not “over” but at least it becomes patterned) an economy will emerge. Thats when the PMs will be important.

        • kevin says:

          OQ, You may want to keep some of that cash “cushion” out of the bank, and in the pocket or you might get it in the socket. Just tryin to help a brother out!

          • Odd Questioner says:

            Way ahead of you… I keep just enough in there to keep the rent paid for six months. Everything else goes into preps, preps, preps.

            Not all SHTF scenarios are global, national, or even regional. Sometimes they’re personal. If the company I work for went under tomorrow, I know I’ll be okay for that six months, plus any unemployment benefits, etc.

        • SSGT says:

          Cash cushion in the bank will disappear soon

          • akvalmet30 says:

            Cash in the bank is nothing more really than numbers on a computer screen, absolutely worthless as it is digital money. Americans have forgotten what real wealth is. PM’s, rather than FRN’s are real wealth/money. However, don’t put all your eggs in one basket as they say…..

        • Palmetto Republic says:

          It’s hopeless. We are living through a fraud created by Wall Street and its cronies. My state is fascinated with a paid lobbyist who took $1.6 million from Freddie Mac. And they have put in the lead (according to polls) a guy who supported the $787 billion TARP bailout of the very crooks who have caused this tragic mess. The status quo can’t last much longer……. Anyone for a revolution?

        • digger says:

          If there is a bank holiday and they devalue frn’s say 30% then what?
          A false flag event like 9/11 tanked the djia and some made millions.
          Also if bank runs start and you dont have all your frns out b4 that say bye bye to your savings.
          Lagtime could be longer but what if you are wrong.
          Then it is better to be a year early tha a day late!!

        • Nexus789 says:

          Good for you….but the point of the article is that the general population is behaving in an illogical way – spend today and hope for tomorrow. There are significant ramifications. The point being is that this will lead to a general collapse and it will impact everyone.

      • EAGLESCOUTPREPPER says:

        man, i will not be sad when you guys get tired of this “first” crap

    1. Old Fuzzy says:

      The people described in this article are the people who will steal our revolution and destroy it with their screams of gimme, gimme!

      • Odd Questioner says:

        Actually, most of them will be the ones at your doorstep saying “I heard you have food… do you have some extra to feed my kids?”

      • DumbDude says:

        I have no idea what revolution you are talking about, but my bet is that it will be exactly these people who get desperate and cause upheaval. Quickly followed by this demographic handing over all our remaining liberties to anybody with a promise. Like someone suggesting a glorious and just revolution.

    2. Chris says:

      I’ve stopped contributing to my 401k entirely, and when my current loan expires mid-year, I plan to take out another one for the maximum allowed.

      No sense keeping cash in a sinking ship.

      • Chris says:

        In fact, upon re-reading this article I am confused. Isn’t taking money out of a manipulated stock market and putting it into physical assets exactly what someone SHOULD do?

        If I said to you “I’m pulling out of all my mutual funds and investing in guns and gold”, would someone accuse me of being a sheep? Is it really the advice of this blog to keep your money invested in Goldman Sachs and European sovereign debt?

        Maybe you can clarify.

        • smartass says:

          I tend to agree, we keep hearing stories about banks failing, and other banks refusing to allow customers to withdraw their funds, and in other countries we hear about bank runs. Why try and keep an saving account when the above is going on.

          • Red Leader says:

            We tried to take cash out at the ATM, $500.00 a day which is the maximum allowed. After a few thousand the ATM said I could not take out more cash. I went in to the teller, she checked the system and I was told there was nothing wrong and I could withdraw cash from the ATM. I went back to the ATM and again it said that I had exceeded the maximum cash withdrawl amount.

            The teller and the manager had no idea what was up. I was able to do a large cash withdrawl with the teller no problem.

            Clearly someone at a higher lever has restricted ATM withdrawls. I agree with Celente, keep only enough money in the bank to pay bills. Keep you cash in a safe place or when the bank holiday comes, you will get screwed. It’s not like you are making any real interest on your money in the bank.

        • Richard in Denver says:

          Chris,

          I believe Mac was talking about the many folks that don’t seem to get it – the ones who are spending and spending money and incurring debt to purchase useless items to keep up with the Joneses. This reminds me of a saying: “Why spend money you don’t have, to buy things you don’t need, to impress people you don’t know?”

          As for the few in this country who do get it (like the many on this site), they know the value of “soft” assets (like stocks, bonds, and currency) can go all the way down to zero making it only useful for wallpaper and toilet paper. On the other hand, the value of “hard” assets (like land, cattle, oil, gold, and silver) may go down in value but will never go to zero, even in a worst case scenario (SHTF).

          I hope this helps!

      • VRF says:

        My 401K is now an AK-47

      • Anonymous says:

        youre very stupid to do this

      • jones says:

        yes and you’ll be one of the ones knocking on my door for food when your savings is gone and your ship is sunk because of all the junk you’ve bought weighting it down.

    3. DRD5508 says:

      “No financial stability, no accumulated wealth, no liberty” plus one: No future.
      Don’t forget Mac, there are a number of people (myself and many others) that have simply pulled their money/minny fortunes from the banks and invested in preps and/or payed off debt. I’ve been advising people to do this for over ten years.

      • Linestaff says:

        @DRD5508

        I’m with you. Did the same thing about a year ago. I do feel a lot better about doing it. GBTV is having a special on tonight about a family that lives off the grid. Should be worth checking out.

        • DRD5508 says:

          Linestaff, it is liberating to be debt free. Never had a crystal ball, only saw where this was all heading and started preparing to be debt free 10 years ago. My wife has been on board since we first met (ten years ago). Plus knowing the banks are not in control of my future.
          Thanks about GBTV.

      • Odd Questioner says:

        Indeed. Pay it down while you can now, and even if TEOTWAWKI never happens, you’ll have a lot more money to put to good use later (instead of losing it in interest payments).

        The money is better invested in preps (and eventually land) than sitting in a bank for some other schmuck to make interest from (or worse, in the stock market).

      • Bill says:

        I’ve said it here many times that no debt is the only way to live. Some of you totally agree and some of you want to charge till your maxed out and then say piss on it. If that’s your best solution to your problems, then I say your part of the big problem. You will be the one’s stealing and looting when your shit’s gone. Steal now, steal later… Seems pretty obvious to me. The whole attitude of charge, charge and charge some more is totally ignorant. The idea of doing this and then skipping out on the bill is sheeple at it’s finest!

        Okay. Lets see the votes come in!

        Stupid = Thumbs Down
        Smart = Thumbs Up

    4. Scott says:

      Agreed with Chris, I’m bailing out of my 401K as well. Just take the tax hit and use the FRN’s to purchase gold, silver, copper, and lead.

      Seems like it’s a race of sorts, now. As some people near or hit bottom, they become skeptical of the current, failed paradigm and look to prep-minded, independent thinking folks (like Mac) for new ideas and for answers.

      Others can’t seem to make the transition, and run to Big Brother to plead for the redistribution of wealth in their favor. Please note that by “wealth” I don’t mean riches per se, just property of any sort. To this group, being rich equals anyone with anything more than what they have.

      Which group will become predominant, the former, or the latter? I am hoping for the first, and fearing the second…

      • Scott do your homework! Don’t do the tax hit. You can move a 401k into a self directed IRA. That can be used to purchase land and some assets – it can be used to acquire gold/silver but the option isn’t a good one because you can’t “hold it” you have to have some trustee hold it…lousy option. Land however you can hold title too and so long as its not a personal use property \ personal residence for example \ you can hold it in a self directed IRA for just a few hundred a year in fees. In most cases that is FAR less than the 60% tax hit they will penalize you with for taking out retirement funds early. I bought a nice bug out property with some of my IRA just last year.

        • Gods Creation says:

          ” it can be used to acquire gold/silver but the option isn’t a good one because you can’t “hold it” you have to have some trustee hold it…lousy option”

          Not if you appoint the Trustee. If you enter any trust agreement with a third party trustee, you are not self directed…

        • Scott says:

          Wow – great info! Thanks, Jim!

          I looked at a gold-silver option and the dealer I buy coins from recommended it, but I was uncomfortable with not holding the metals, myself. That aspect scared me.

          I did not know I could buy land with it. Can you please provide a link or more info so that I can self-educate on this? I would really like to know more.

          Thanks again!

          • Mr. Blutarsky says:

            Scott, just go to pensco.com. We use that company for our self directed IRA. You can at least research it there.

            BUT. Please do your own research & choose your own company. We went with them because we thought they were reputable & their fees are low. You may feel differently.

          • Scott the pensco.com info is good but as noted do LOTS of research on it. If you know a good tax accountant – talk to them about it – particularly if they are familiar with it.

            In a post above I already see a conflict with what I learned….I learned that if you have a self directed IRA you must have a trustee to hold the gold/silver. Or you buy stock in your own company and the company owns gold and silver – complicated stuff – and a tad expensive too but far far less than paying uncle sammy the penalties for liquidating.

        • Mr. Blutarsky says:

          Jim is 100% right. If you want some land & can’t pay cash for it, self directed IRA’s are the way to go. Now the IRS rules say you can’t use the land until you retire, but if everything collapses…..who’s watching?

          We own several pieces of land (one just purchased with cash that we use all the time). On one of them we closed out an IRA and opened up a self directed IRA. We never use it, it’s too far from our house but its nice to know we own it too in case we ever need it.

          I still have about 5 or 6 retirement accounts (all out of the stock market & in “guaranteed” funds). Maybe I need to take my own advice, close them and buy some land through a self directed IRA with the money…..hmmmm…now the wheeels are turning in my mind…

          • When I was in the real estate business, I traded properties in my Roth IRA for about ten years although with Equity Trust Company. What I like about holding prooperty through an IRA is that within reason retirement accounts are considered exempt property for bankruptcy purposes. They are a working mans golden parachute.

        • DRD5508 says:

          Jim, it is a 10% penalty and each person has the option of allowing 20% held out for tax. If a person has enough deductions you can off-set the penalty, just remember what one takes out is considered “earned income”. Figure your tax prep needs for next year.

        • 60%? Where’d you come up with that number? It’s 20% in taxes, and a 10% penalty for early withdrawl (perhaps you’re not in the US?). Use what you have left to invest in PMs and you’ll make it all back more quickly than if you leave it in the stock market and watch it disappear. This next crash will send everything to near zero and it will take 10 years to recover. PMs have gone up in value and are expected to skyrocket. You’re not saving money by leaving it in the stock market or your bank account, you’re losing it little by little to inflation and the thieves that run wall st.

    5. Beefcake says:

      Is it just me or has anyone else stopped caring about the fate of the rest of the sheeple? The clock is ticking down to zero hour and if they haven’t got it yet, they will never get it until it rears right up in front of them and smacks them clear across the face.

      • Old man says:

        They will also be the first in line to reelect Zero

      • alexharris says:

        Yep, I have reached that point. I asked my sister if she had enough food in the house to live on for a month. She does not. I told her to cash in her 401K since another stock market crash appears to be imminent, and to make sure she has enough food for a year. I told her my reasons for believing this was necessary. She sniffed and said, ‘so what do you do after you run out in a year?’ I decided she is hopeless and have given up trying to smarten her up. I have also told her if the economy tanks, I cannot help her.

        • mike says:

          @Alex: Don’t mistake this for me being a cheerleader for the current financial system. I believe that a market downturn is coming as well. But I always underestimate how much manipulation the gov’t has over the market. I think at the slightest sign of the dow sinking to 9500 the gov’t will inject money in the system. The dollar loses value but commodities and stocks will rise. People won’t notice that what they yield in stocks will be eaten away by food inflation.

          The economy tanking doesn’t worry me personally but I am in the same boat as you. I have prepared for me, the wife, and mother in law. The father in law who ridiculed me when I told him about all this happening is going to have a harsh reality to face. I don’t look forward to the argument my wife and I will have when he shows up at the door hungry with nothing. I cannot afford to prepare for everyone.

      • QuietFox says:

        No, I would agree that a general trend has been to leave the Sheeple to fend for themselves. Most of us have experienced the fun head banging experience of trying to wake-up/educate them. Comes a time where you return to working for yourself and those like minded.

        It isn’t as if we have been forcing the Sheeple to remain ignorant, quite the opposite. Free choice includes the choice to make stupid and dangerous decisions. Those people choosing to think through the consequences of their choices are rarely identified as Sheeple.

        But what do I know?

        • mike says:

          I find it interesting that 4 people would disaggree with me. So let me ask everyone. I live out in the country, had 20 relatives at the house over christmas. I can assume that atleast 20 will show up if they can when they are hungry. Think to yourself how many you had at thanksgiving or at your BBQ and ask yourself how long you could last if all showed up in need. And think what would you do? It will be a hard painful decision that may end in violence. A friend of mine won’t tell any of his relatives where is hideout location is. Only his immediate family knows. He is smart.

        • Barak says:

          The gene pool needs a good scrubbing anyway.

    6. salvadordaly says:

      I recently tookk a vacation to CO. with the family snow skiing. How did we pay? with money that my wifes grandmother had left her that was in savings. Now normally I would have protested such a vacation because of the money, but this time I said that it was fine. The only reason, BECAUSE I FIQURED IT WOULD BE THE LAST ONE WE EVER WENT ON! The kids had a great time, and it will give us something to talk about during the black outs. Ahhh, remember the good ole days?

      • Odd Questioner says:

        If you have the preps already and can swing it, I agree.

        • salvadordaly says:

          preps? you mean, Lbs. of food, vacuum sealer and bags, oxygen absorbers, mylar bags, toilet paper, paper towles, paper plates and untensils, propane, charcoal, lighter fluid, lots of matches, candles, back up batteries, flash lights, radios (even two way), water filters, water containers, seed bank, garden utensils and garden, rain collectors, boards, plywood, screws, nails, duct tape, rope, staples, I also have AR-15, 7mm mag, 30-30, 22LR, 12ga.x2,20ga.,9mm x2, thousands of rounds of ammo, with extra bullets, powder, primers, brass, and a reloader, Oh, and a can opener. And I am not done, let me know if there is something else I need. Now one thing I know is that I can not get everything fast enough

          • Bill says:

            Deck of cards x a dozen or so… Jack Daniels or some other good sippin whiskey and/or Vodka and/or………… Vodka’s good for lots of things. (Besides Bloody Mary’s.) Oh, and Bloody Mary mix. With extra horseradish.. Maybe a couple boxes of puzzle’s for the kids. Other than that you’re right on target.

          • RWS III says:

            Yeah but can you blend? :-) J/K

            Well it sounds like you got a good start on your prepping, here’s a few thoughts.
            Med supplies, you probably have that covered but didn’t mention it, if not get on it. fishing equipment if your near water, fish are an excellent source of protein, and what you don’t eat fresh can be dehydrated or smoked for later use. Plus there are many ways to catch fish untended, freeing you up for other tasks.

            Small but cheap barter-able items. I buy 6 packs of cheap lighters for a buck every time I go to the dollar store.
            I also get little tins free from a friend that uses smokeless tobacco, I then make char-cloth and fill each tin with it as a barter-able fire starter.

          • salvadordaly says:

            Bill, you are right, I do home brew at the time and a still is on my list with yeast to store. Plus I have already been buying corn meal and sugar for that purpose.

            RWS lll, I forgot to mention that, I do have Pain/fever reducers, alchohol, Hydrogen peroxide, bandages and bandaides, extra soap, toothpaste, bug bite creams. Keep telling my wife to buy the lady stuff she uses. Also the fishing I got covered, cast net, rods reels, extra hooks, weights, and trot line materials, and a huge lake about 1/4 mile away that If needed will be my water source. Got the ceramic filters and bleach.

            Medical supplies I may have forgot? Anyone?

          • Frogman says:

            Don’t forget a way to make clean water!
            I also bought a big ass sail boat to escape on.

          • Bill says:

            Zip ties. Dirt cheap at Tractor Supply.

            RWS III – The lakes have been frozen here for about a week. Some I wouldn’t go out on yet. Smelt are first. Then Walleye and perch. Yum..

          • JRS says:

            sal…Maybe a small solar panel to charge your rechargeable batteries, cell, laptop. Even one marine battery and inverter can run many small appliances and lights for a short time.

          • JayJay says:

            brooms..forgot didn’t ya??

          • Lisa says:

            I accidentally gave this a thumbs down.I thought I could view the sole negative response,my bad.Good on you for all your preps.

      • blackriflewarrior says:

        I agree as well. One day, memories is all we may have left. It feels very good to treat the kids.

      • salvadordaly; I know what you mean…..my wife and I are buying far more experiences then “things” now days.

        • salvadordaly says:

          It’s funny about a year ago I was thinking about doing landscaping around the house, then I found this site. Landscaping is the least of my worries right now. Any extra money I have goes towards prepping. I do not have an urge to buy anything that i want, only what will be needed. Example, When we were in Colorado, coming home from our vacation, we stopped at the Bass Pro shop, to kill time before the flight back to TX. I wanted to buy something so bad, a little something for myself for a Christmas gift. I walked that whole store for about an hour and a half. I found nothing THAT I NEEDED. Spent nothing when I wanted to buy something badly. I just did not “NEED” any thing there. That is what my current mindset is like. It is a big change from how I was thinking a year ago. You might say that I am a “MAD PREPPER”
          Take care all, and may the preps be with you!

          • It was 15 months ago my wife and I purchased the home we live in now. It had been vacant and as such the yard “gone.” My wife talked about the landscape as well.

            Last summer I learned how to make clay bricks using nothing but some 2×4′s, water, dirt in the back yard and the sun. I built 4 cool boxes and placed them neatly under the four windows facing the street. They are square and hold a 55 gallon drum, which I picked up 4 of them cheap and then connected the rain gutters to fill them up when it rains….any solid rain storm and they are filled. It takes me 4 weeks to use that water over the yard should I ever need to plant it for kibble.

            Not too mention the brick/barrel water containers under the windows make me feel safer if I ever had to be pointing something out one of those windows.

          • RWS III says:

            Salvadordaly, I figured you had the meds covered, only mentioned it in case you hadn’t.
            Some landscaping does have value, blackberry bushes planted around windows makes for quite nasty access and also provide berries.

            Very innocent enough looking raised flower/herb or vegetable beds can make for great cover if properly done and positioned.

            Oh and if you ain’t already got any get a few Swedish mora knives, I guarantee you will love them, handiest dandiest knives in my collection, cheap but quality.
            Take care man.

    7. Gods Creation says:

      I’ve been out of that system for years and have no desire to go back to it. Just be glad they are going to steal from the sheep who are dumb enough to leave assets within reach of the corp and hope you are smarter than that.

      They will not chase you down if you have crappy credit and no money to steal. That’s the joke on all those people who are paying credit cards because “it is the right thing to do.” As long as you keep paying, the corp will keep taking from you.

      Refusing to pay off the unsecured credit that was given to buy what the issuers of that credit had stolen in fraud from the People of the world is probably the greatest weapon in the hands of the masses.

      EVERY financial contract in existence has been born of fraud and should be extinguished. If everyone stopped paying on the fraudulent contracts, the fraudsters would die almost instantly.

      There is only ONE enemy.

      • Odd Questioner says:

        Ripping off credit card companies and such is fraud, man.

        Also, even if you’re rabidly out to screw over the system, it can rapidly screw you over in return. Fail to pay those bills, and you end up with court judgments against you. Those judgments turn into wage garnishment, as well as turn into liens against any property you may have. Depending on the state, this can mean a whole lot of bad mojo.

        • Gods Creation says:

          Creating assets for yourself based on someones signature without their knowledge is the fraud. Recognizing it as such and leaving it where you found it is not.

          If you fail to pay those bills, the corp may obtain judgments against you, which will be as collectible as the original “debt” if you do not have assets within reach of the corp. You protect your property from the corp through Trusts and LLCs. You should own nothing the goons can steal through raiding your slave identity.

          The corp thrives on stealing from lowly “individuals” who do not have the means to protect themselves. Those who own property in their slave name. You think the rich people do?

          Wage garnishment? Of course, if you work for W-4 wages that property is accessible to the corps fraudsters. You gave it to do with as it pleases.

          The weapon of the banksters is money. It can also be the Peoples weapon and used in a nonviolent way to squash the fraud and collapse the banksters power structure.

          Or you can wait around for the banks to squash your finances on their own terms.

          Your choice.

          • JRS says:

            Gc…I’m concerned about property taxes on down the line. If you put your property in a trust, I assume the trust is responsible for the taxes.If, for some reason, the trust no longer can pay them ,will you lose the property?

          • Odd Questioner says:

            “If you fail to pay those bills, the corp may obtain judgments against you, which will be as collectible as the original “debt” if you do not have assets within reach of the corp. You protect your property from the corp through Trusts and LLCs.”

            Correction: You can try to.

            Let me lay out the scenario: A sharp lawyer can easily uncover a lot of it, and start taking your trust to court – especially if they have evidence that you’re hiding your assets, and intentionally racking up debt against it (in which case it becomes a criminal matter.) Even if you win, you lose – the cost of defending against the attempt will quickly bankrupt you, and if they win, they can certainly take it in land, or anything else the trust holds – especially if your stuff is the only stuff held by that trust, and you (or a family member) are the trustee(s).

            The acronym “LLC” only means *Limited* Liability Corporation. “Limited” does not mean “impervious to”.

          • Gods Creation says:

            OQ,

            Here is a better scenario.

            Your sharp “lawyer” thinks you own something he can steal. He looks under your name and finds nothing. He checks the ownership of your car and house.

            He finds the car is registered to an LLC in a different state, which was established by an LLC from another different state, and you do not appear as the owner or anywhere in the LLC documents. Dang, he can’t steal that.

            Then he looks up your house and finds it is owned by a TRUSTEE from another state. He checks out the trust and found it was established by an LLC from still a different state.

            Every bit of property he locates, which will likely be none, is out of his jurisdiction, as well as that of the corp court that issues the bogus judgment.

            The point is, if you keep your property tied to your Slave Name and number as an INDIVIDUAL, then yes it can be stolen by your “lawyer”.

            Your “lawyer” could eventually track down and POSSIBLY locate the “owner” of one LLC, but it would cost more than what he could steal, and when he did he would still have to litigate with the LLC, in it’s state, or with the trust that is formed outside of corp law and thus not subject to the jurisdiction of the corp and its “attorneys”.

            If you must have property associated with the corp, it should be hidden behind layers of LLCs and Trusts. That is what the gov corp and banksters do, and there is no reason in the world you can not do the same thing.

            The corp counts on most people being as easy as you are to frighten in to “doing the right thing” while it conducts it’s fraud. The same rules apply to all parties, and “fraud vitiates the most solemn of contracts” so says the Supreme corp court.

            For about $600 you can get 2 LLCs in different states from the one you live in to conduct all corp business through.

            YOU DO NOT OWN ANYTHING THAT IS IN YOUR SLAVE NAME AND NUMBER.

            JRS,

            The trust is private, and the property must be designated as such (rather than “residential”). Then the property would be untaxed because the corp can not tax PRIVATE property.

            There are many ways to get around dealing with the corp as an individual. Your LLCs can be a banking vehicle, and the terms of a Trust can NEVER be disclosed, nor the Trustee FORCED to disclose anything about it, including who the beneficiaries are.

            The corp and it’s banksters at WAR with you. If you do not fight back, it will beat you down and steal everything you think you own while in reality you have surrendered ownership voluntarily and it has legalized the theft from you.

          • Odd Questioner says:

            If you think he’s just going to look under your name, you’re crazy. It isn’t rocket science to discover your address (even if it means following you physically or following-up on the subpoena paperwork), and working backwards from there. They can also grill employers (even if you work under-the-table, it’s easy to go to that employer, threaten them with tax evasion, and get all the dirt they want on you).

            LLC’s across state lines only means that Lawyer #1 calls his buddy Lawyer #2 in the other state, and gets a finder’s fee or a split of the take. If there’s even the slighted whiff of illegality about it, the FBI gets involved.

            Trust me – if they were able to bust the likes of Leona Helmsley (who was damned good at this sort of thing), they’re able to bust you.

            Also, you’re arguing semantics over whether or not the lawyer is stealing from you. Point is, it doesn’t matter: the end-game is that you’re going to go broke defending yourself anyway, if you don’t wind up in jail first.

            I respect your thoughts on checking-out from the whole governmental thing. However, I am saying that you’re putting yourself and your preps at greater risk by doing so. The best way to prep is to keep a low profile, and not attract attention. Play by whatever rules are there, and quietly set yourself up.

            Even if you want a full-blown revolution, I suggest the advice in an old 80′s song:

            “Swear allegiance to the flag, whatever flag they offer, never hint at what you really feel. Teach the children quietly, for someday sons and daughters will rise up and fight while we stood still.”

          • Gods Creation says:

            OQ,

            I have nothing from the corp it can take. I have no license, I have no registered vehicles, I have no corp earnings, no contracts.

            You place far too much confidence in your lawyer friends. That is the fear coming out. It’s about the money for them, and they will not spend tens of thousands of dollars looking to collect a debt that is a fraction of what it would cost to find the ghost address of the LLC, let alone the owner.

            You are considering things from YOUR current circumstance within the corp. All you can see is what is inside of it.

            Could someone find me if they had infinite time and resources? Probably. Could they find me if I REALLY tried to hide myself rather than just protect my assets?

            I would bet not, but then there is no reason for anyone to look.

            I live in my world, where I am free. I engage in commerce with the corp only as another corp that does not bear my NAME.

            Unlike many here, I have obtained freedom and I will fight anyone who attempts to deprive me of that. Freedom is simply not giving a flying F#$% what the corp says or fearing what it wants you to think it can do.

            I don’t ask anybodys permission to do anything. I don’t need it. I don’t answer to anyone (other than God, of course), and I don’t have to.

            The worst thing the corp can do is kill my body and send my poor soul home to where it really belongs. Sooner or later it is going to happen whether the corp does it or not.

            You are free within the limits of the corp do as you wish. That includes leaving the corp and regaining the freedom corp membership takes away.

          • JRS says:

            GC …Thanks for the info on trusts. If you don’t mind my asking, do you have a law background? If not,I can appreciate the effort you put in to get where you are.I can only try to get part way there for now. I assume if I just want to put my property in a trust I won’t need a LLC. Am I correct? BTW have you ever heard of “with prejudice U.C.C. 1-207″

          • Gods Creation says:

            JRS,

            You do things one step at a time, each step being farther away from corp dependence. Eventually, you will not really care if the system collapses because you know you will be OK without it. You will no longer fear it, and instead laugh at the incompetence and the fools who believe in it.

            UCC and all that other crap you read about is for fools to trap themselves in the legal system while trying to defend themselves in it. If you show up to explain what it means, you have already lost.

            Protection for the Sovereign Men and Women is codified in the corp codes 28 USC 1601-1605, et al. You can not answer to corp court other than making your claim of immunity. You must also understand why your are a foreign state in RELATIONSHIP to the US CORP. The best choice is NO RELATIONSHIP at all.

            Freedom is in your mind. The corp controls the minds of the masses, I control my own mind. I will not fight the corp on it’s terms nor try to tell it I am free, but will fight on mine should it ever come looking to challenge that freedom. Until then, if the sheep are dumb enough to be fleeced it is none of my business.

            All you need to do is set up a trust, with yourself as Trustee. Donate all property to the trust, and retitle to yourself with the designation Trustee after your name.

            If anyone comes to you looking for it, to satisfy a debt in your name, they can not take it without forcing you to violate the terms of the trust and commit a crime (or assisting them in committing a crime). Yes, they know that.

            Learn to operate outside of the system and stop thinking about things like the UCC and other fools weapons to fight a battle with the beast that can never be won. Those who bring the truth into a corrupted system deserve what they get.

            The truth is for your world. The one you create for yourself. You do not have to fight anyone or anything until they come to you and try to interfere with your world. And there is no rule that says you have to open the door no matter who knocks.

        • Some states are harsh, but most are not. I had a disagreement with my student loan servicer twenty years ago. I was trying to work something out and all they wanted to do was threaten me with garnishment so I let them have their way. They have yet to get $1 through garnishment although they did get a couple tax refund checks (I under withhold). I have written a couple times and they are still not interested in reconciling. It has been so long that it has fallen off my credit report although I do not need a credit score anyway. I recently passed a background check for my new governemnt job.

          I used to advise people to get debt free, but if one has not done so by now it may be too late. Now I advise people to live a double life. My wife has the new Jeep with the payments to go along with it and the house in in the city underwater on the mortgage, and credit card debt. I have the ’89 Diesel that will run on used oil and the solar powered cabin in the woods held in trust. We both work and live the small city life through the week and the independent homestead life on the weekends. One day when things get bad enough or the paychecks vanish so will we.

      • jones says:

        You knew what you were getting into when you signed up for the credit. There is no excuse for such deadbeat behavior. Get a life….

        • I have a great life and a clear conscious. I never agreed to by anyone’s doormat. If you grow a spine, you can have a great life too.

        • Gods Creation says:

          Jones, most people DID NOT know that the money they were being given was created based solely on their own signature. The banks have put up nothing.

          You allowed the bank to create money based on your signature under a one party contract called a User Agreement. It is in effect only so long as you continue to agree.

          The People have the key to their chains in their own hands. They should be encouraged to use that key to escape their slavery and “kill” the fraud that enslaves them.

          Or they can listen to an idiot who is far more enslaved than themselves.

    8. Bangkokslim says:

      I’d bet 95% of Americans have no savings, this article should strictly be about credit.

        • I think we had a story posted here a few months ago that the vast majority of American’s could not raise $2,000 in savings.

        • Burt the Brit says:

          Not all of us Beefcake. I am relatively new to prepping but have been totally debt free for five years. I draw my cash out in lumps the days after payday, leaving just enough in for that months bills.

          I am not particularly smart or clever, but I watch and listen well…feel the moods if you like.

          I would disagree with the article it is, in my opinion, way too generous. Most people in my area shop daily, have very expensive mobiles etc, don’t work and have nothing at all to all back on.

          I ave tried until I am blue in the ace to educate the family..and a few others. I have failed, they think I am a nutter. Now I keep my mouth shut, I cannot care or everyone, I have enough to give a couple of weeks supply to each of my grown p steeple children, and enough to keep myself and my little late in life baba going for about four months though that creeps up by about a day a week now as I have stepped things up a bit. I am revamping my budget and planning better in the hope of putting by much more over the next couple of months.

          Take care

      • RICH99 says:

        Do you mean debt?

    9. Mcfrolie says:

      Are the ones raiding the 401k and such the real owners or the real contributors? After MF global only a fool would have their Federal coupons, gold, silver or anything of perceived value where it can’t be touched daily.

    10. Mr. Blutarsky says:

      I raided my savings account last year……..and bought a choice piece of farm land with a couple of ponds. No shoes, clothes and bling for me.

      Normalcy bias is killing us. People are not preparing. They will be hit hard when the money runs out. I read an article just today that said suicides in Greece are up by 40%. Folks, that is coming soon to America once reality sets in for these folks.

      Wake up your friends and neighbors if you can. I know, I know, its an effort in futility – but keep trying!.

      • Highspeedloafer says:

        Why? Every person you now warn will beat your door down and steal your food and supplies. As far as everybody I have warned is concerned, I agree, I was nuts for a while, but now I’ve come to my senses and am no longer prepping. I am now walking 3 miles a day trying to appear thinner and weaker. Hey man, I know I warned you a while back, but even I didn’t follow my own advice, do you have any extra food I can borrow?

        As things get worse and worse I will come up with other false flags to appear to be broke, hungry and in need of help. This thing is gonna be like nothing any of us have ever experienced. There are many ways to prep, right?

        • mike says:

          @Highspeed and Mr. B
          I had 20 people at my house for christmas. They came in Escalades, sports cars and wore $200 jeans. That is right they make 200 dollar jeans. They mock me for my 20yr old truck, my old cowboy hat, my lifestyle.
          Every one of them will be at my front door. At that point in time to them it will look as though I just won the lottery.

    11. KY Mom says:

      Off Subject

      on Drudge Report…

      “Small quake rattles central Va., 82nd since last summer”

      But, no need to be concerned or be prepared. Our govt. and FEMA will take care of everything. (Yeah right)

    12. wwd says:

      Imagine all the people…deferring 50% of their wages into a 401K. The government would go belly up rather quickly.

    13. Max says:

      I think you are misreading the signs. While there are plenty who are forced into the process by unemployment and mortgage payments, some may have other reasons. They dig into their savings because they are afraid of hyperinflation; watching food and gas prices crawl up, they come to a conclusion that it is better to live now than never. As for retirement accounts, they believe that the bailout of federal pension system will inevitably lead to nationalization of private plans, and the money will be lost anyway.

      • I agree that there are those who are doing just as you describe — Chris and DRD5508 above to name just a couple. But the vast majority have no clue about what’s coming our way, let alone what to do to protect themselves. With respect to pensions, i suspect that maybe 1 in 100 realize their pensions will either be seized by the government or rendered worthless by hyperinflation, losses in US Treasuries, or flat out stock market destruction.

        I think the strategy you call for is the only way to go – I just don’t think that the reason 1/3 of savings plans in the US have loans out against them is because people are exiting these plans in anticipation of a collapse. They either need the money to survive, or they’re trying to keep up with the same lifestyle they lived prior to 2008.

        Many thanks for your comment!

        Mac

        • DRD5508 says:

          Spot on Mac. Remember the Savings & Loan bailouts and then Y2K? To me, they were the indicators of what was to come and now is. And since I do taxes for many people, I see where their financial state is at. So again, spot on.

    14. blackriflewarrior says:

      I recently purchased a home video security system because of a rash of vandalisms and break-ins in my neighborhood. I drove to FRYES electronics to get my system as they have them in stock and I was stunned at the size of the place and appalled to see that the store was packed with people with cart-loads of “shit” and acting like kids in a candy store. These might be the people who still have jobs and can afford to still spend money but after seeing the junk they were buying, I surmised that these same people are NOT paying attention to what is going on in the world around them. I was pissed about having to spend any money at all but I do like having a video monitoring system. I guess its the prepper in me that thinks we should all think about tucking in and buying what we NEED, not the latest shiny, must have, objects. It seems that a lot of people are going to get seriously bad wake up call one day and the people who were awake and saw what was coming are going to have to contend with them. Thank God we can still turn our government issued toilet paper into things that actually have value. I for one don’t think I would like the taste of plastic and electronic circuit boards no matter how good of a cook I think I am.

    15. APACHE KID says:

      My oh my how can people be so dumb,its almost beyond belief.These people are not going to make it.

    16. Debt equals slavery. TPTB created this mess and will create the solution when the time is right. Voting does not help because TPTB do what they want anyway. Reference the TARP program where 99% said no to saving the banksters. It still happened as well as all the other programs that are being stuffed down our throat. Reference the Patriot act, NDAA, SOPA just to name a few. We are being set up.

      I used to read the MSM news like a junkie but nothing ever made sense. With the alternative media everthing is clicking into place. The masses need to get a life and educate themselves as I see this as the only way to change the system.

    17. kevin says:

      “richest nation”???? If I could print the worlds reserve paper money curreny, I would be the richest man in the universe! As a nation, we are morally bankrupt, spiritually bankrupt, and(in my eyes) until Ron Paul audits fort knox to see IF the gold is there and not lent,sold, or stolen, we are monetarily bankrupt!

    18. newaroundhere says:

      I’m boned. My company has our 401k set up in such a way that I can’t even just close it out. I can only “borrow” from it. Seems like a complete sham. It’s my damn $ but I can’t have it?! So frustrating.

      • Iowa Gal says:

        Same here, I don’t know what people like us can do in that situation…can anyone comment? I don’t have enough to switch over to the suggested IRA and purchase land. My amount won’t buy any land…

      • kevin says:

        The system was set up so it is hard for you to get “YOUR” money out of the system. For the children of course, oh I get so confused sometimes, I meant it is for your own good, and for your retirement funds safety from yourself. I Have been watching tv today so I am dizzy, I meant to say that the system was set up that way so the banksters, and or the government could steal as much of it as they can, either by a high percentage rate if you want your money back, or all of it when they default!

      • Mr. Blutarsky says:

        Starting now, only contribute the bare minimum to your company 401K (just enough to get the match) and put the rest of your money into your own private IRA or self directed IRA.

    19. mike says:

      Jim Rogers says that we go into a contractionary period every 4-5 years. He predicted another downturn would happen in 2012 or 13 and said this one would be more painful than in 08 because we have never recovered from that one.

      There was a bunch of investors that killed themselves after the last downturn. How empty is one’s life that would make them commit suicide because of the loss of money? Life is nothing more than a series of kicks to the groin. One minute you are up, the next you are bent over reeling in pain. But you get up, stand up and learn from mistakes.

      • kevin says:

        They might have lost the wrong persons money, and they knew they aand possibly their families would be sleeping with the fishies anyhow, but thats just a theory, that kind of stuff wouldn’t ever happen in the land of the free.

    20. Speaking of sheep to the slaughter. Get a load of this horrific display of sadistic behavior. I can’t help but think of this sheep in the video as a representation of a sheeple. From there, use your imagination.

    21. Daisy says:

      Yet another day where I don’t feel so bad about not having lots of money….less to lose and less of a lifestyle change when it all goes belly up!

    22. I.................... says:

      “and its managed by the best, brightest, and most benevolent.”

      Mac, Usually, the punch line goes at the end of the joke!!!!!

    23. Fed Up says:

      The gangster-banksters have seen to it that the average american cannot make it to retirement by saving a reasonable sum.I can’t see keeping money in a bank “savings” account when the interest rates don’t even keep up with inflation! Heck, the return on CD’s isn’t even keeping up with inflation, so why bother to leave money sitting in the bank? For security? HA! Once upon a time people who saved their money in a bank were rewarded for it by recieving a reasonable interest rate, but no more.

      As for me, I’ll continue to purchase useful items instead of the latest and greatest trash and keep my larders deep and full. :)

    24. buzz says:

      I’m surprised no one has seen the simple solution to your money crisis. The federal reserve note is not real money. It is backed by your taxes (full faith and credit) and printed and LOANED to you. Thats right, your wages are a loan…so here’s what you do…remember the bailout we gave the banks?…Get as many credit cards as possible and max them out buying silver and gold (use fake money to buy real money). When you get a bill from the credit company for their fake money, tell them you don’t owe anything and that they should just print up what they need like they usually do.

    25. Toomanyfakeconservatives says:

      I firmly believe that the spurt in auto sales and retail consumption are just the final death throes of the American consumer.

      Sorry to keep harping on this, but Zeitgeist has the best financial collapse info you can find on the internet. Skip forward past the religion stuff and 9-11 stuff to 1:16:00 and you’ll see… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guXirzknYYE

    26. Richard in Denver says:

      Mac,

      Very good article – thanks! I believe your ending says it all and is worth repeating – “No financial stability. No accumulated wealth. No liberty.”

      You mentioned “30 years is coming to end” – Allow me expand upon this with my personal observation (which, more than likely, everyone on this site already knows):

      Prior to the last 30 years, each generation in America experienced a higher standard of living than that of their parents (I call this the “American Dream”). This stopped 30 years ago but many failed to recognize this because their standard of living was still going up (to “Keep up with the Joneses!”).

      However and unlike past generations, their spending over the past 30 years was supplemented primarily by: (1) tapping into their saving accounts; (2) raiding their retirement accounts, and; (4) incurring additional debt (second mortgages, home improvement loans, credit cards, payday loans, 401K loans, etc.); a debt today that’s the size of an 800 gorilla.

      The good news is that they will be able to continue to keep up with the Joneses because the Joneses are in the same pickle as they are!

      • durango kidd says:

        DRD: It stopped 30 years ago because that is when globalism began in earnest with Reaganomics, and FREE TRADE.

        Reverse Reaganomics, reverse FREE TRADE,NAFTA, GATT, and Most Favored Nation Status for China and the table will not be tilted any longer.

        People WE have the power to Change DC, but it must be started at a local level by electing Patriots to Congressional office.

        That can be accomplished by infiltrating the two major parties at the local level or starting a RESISTANCE.

        Resistance must be massive, and it must be loud.

    27. What took everyone so long. I raided my savings accounts two years ago:
      1. Borrowed the max from my retirement and bought precious metals
      2. Converted to a self-directed IRA to buy rural real estate
      3. My savings account bought food storage and ammo before the recent price increases
      4. Even my cash cushio is actually in $20 bills

      Every payday I draw out everything except what is need to pay a couple automatic debits. I only hold onto the amount above my cash cushion long enough to find good deals on hard assets and commodities. Money in the bank could get devalued during an emergency bank holiday.

    28. kevin says:

      Amen what took these guys so long indeed. First I…………………..then I took all of that and burried it next to my………………. As for………..I got thousands of………………..I got plenty of……… and……… and……..Then when i …………I buried that to the east of my………..

    29. Tym says:

      You forgot: “…and no plan.”

    30. CHOPPERGIRL says:

      Am I the only one here to say: “What savings?”

      • Daisy says:

        Nope – I’m with ya :) I changed from saving money in my account to buying preps – mostly food and seeds. I don’t have a ton of money but we could eat for a veeeerrryyy long time.

    31. Mac I think you hit it on the head with the “things will be ok attitude”.

      However, I think the other issue is the fact that it doesn’t hurt enough to be foolish with your money/spend what you don’t have.

      * Credit card companies continue to extend credit gladly charging crazy interest.
      * Mortgage companies simply send notices but don’t have the resources to follow through with foreclosures.
      * Unending unemployment benefits pay the heat/lights/necessities for many.

      There are simply no short-term consequences for spending what you don’t have. It’s all long term and therefore it’s a “tomorrow” problem.

      That is truly the problem with the mentality of the masses.

    32. RWS III says:

      I keep a little over one hundred thousand in cash at home at home, and just enough in the bank to pay bills.

      Ok, I cannot lie 100,000 of that is a single Turkish lira :-)

      • smokey says:

        I personally keep 500 Billion Dollars in cash at home, myself.

        That’s Zimbabwean Dollars, of course. It’s one of the last Zimbabwean banknotes before they dropped the zeros a few years ago. They’re back up to printing zeros again, so much for Mugabes’ adroit handling of his economy.

    33. EAGLEDOVE says:

      Need help;

      1. What is PM”s and
      2. What is FRN”s ?

      Thank you all in advance. :)

    34. Vlad says:

      This is a product of the “strategic default” phenomenon. You default on a mortgage even though you could afford to pay it because the house it’s connected to isn’t worth what you owe. Let’s say your mortgage was 2K per month. Now you’re renting at 1K per month. You have 1K/mo discretionary income.

      This is what people are spending.

    35. Patriot One says:

      Look folks the government and the media are doing a wonderful job advertising all is well.

      I heard a housing report today on the radio that said the housing market is really turning around. They touted traffic in new home models, the feelings of home builders and consumer feelings on housing surveys. But did anyone buy a home? no. Perception and feelings are not fact. Does anyone know what happened to real facts??

      If you haven’t noticed they are counting what isn’t real and not counting what is real. Last night I dreamed about selling some of my homes and then I was awake. I wonder if they counted my dream??

      Today many will run out of unemployment benefits, but its ok because the unemployment rate is going down. Why worry about a pesky little fact that they don’t have a job.

      Perception is not reality and we are about to get hit in the head with reality..

      • Richard in Denver says:

        Patriot One – hahaha, your comment is a good one!

        I know what happen to the real facts! They were so depressing and so scary that the “powers-to-be” decided to not print them. However, they had to print something, right? So, they printed perceptions and feelings.

        I believe they learned this trick from the Federal Reserve who doesn’t print real money but monopoly money.

    36. The Old Coach says:

      The old saying was to “save for a rainy day”. So this is it, and withdrawing is perfectly natural. Except this rainy day isn’t going to end. It’s going to go on until all the saved wealth has been extracted from everywhere, like digging for coins in the couch cushions, in a vain attempt to cover the loans the Government has taken from the loan sharks at Goldman Sachs.

    37. lonelonmum says:

      UK Gov

      Olympics
      H2C high speed national rail link (despite HUGE popuar opposition)
      New 50b airport (despite site being a food zone and opposition)

      BUT disability alowances that have an officia 0.5% fraud rate are being slashed by 20% (despite massive opposition).

      Here in the UK shops on the high st are going bust at a rate of knots cos the consumer is reigning in their spending (even Tesco’s our walmart equiv has just posted a loss). The government though is preaching austerity for ordinary Joe while launching unwanted huge infrastructure programmes. Youth unemployment is the highest it has ever been so a generation is being sacrificed.

      Shafted? Oh yes we are

    38. anonymous says:

      OFF TOPIC:

      The next president after Obama according to Henry Kissenger is Jeb Bush.

      http://www.thetotalcollapse.com/kissinger-vows-to-china-jeb-bush-will-be-next-president/

    39. Fuck you bankers says:

      I return all debt offerings from the scum bankers and stamp it 99%. fuck off.

    40. geo-lithic says:

      everything is going to be fine wal-mart will be here in the morning the world is not going to end you won’t have to live off the land !!!!!relax, turn on the hot water.

    41. JRS says:

      Sometimes I wonder if I’m living in a different world. Out of my four kids maybe one of them lives anything close to a sustainable lifestyle.The others are more interested in Facebook,vacations and buying this and that junk. My wife puts up with me but she is one who thinks ” they’ll figure something out…they always do.” Our anniversary is coming up and where does she want to go? The casino for chrissakes. I guess I’ll try to stay away from the blackjack tables.

      • Richard in Denver says:

        Good luck JRS – with both, your kids and the casino!

        As far as your kids figuring it out. Caution – my grown kids figured it out this way – they went to their mommy and borrowed lots of money, money that I will bet all my savings (what’s left of it) against that will never be repaid. Most kids seem to have the attitude that a loan from a parent is actually a love gift or an inheritance advance.

    42. Stan says:

      After it all goes to heck the sheeple will show up at your door with the sheriff behind them claming you are hording food and that you need to be arrested and your food confisgated for the good of the community.

    43. ponomo says:

      JBS (John Birch Society was not wrong, eh?

    44. THEOSOPHUS says:

      WITH ALL THE DOOM AND GLOOM SCENARIOS AND PREPPING ARRANGEMENTS MY QUESTION IS??? WHEN TSHTF AND BANKS COLLAPSE AND MONEY FRNS ARE WORTHLESS WHO IS TO SAY YOU OWN THAT BUG OUT LOCATION WITH ALL THE TALK OF MARTIAL LAW GUN CONFISCATION ETC WHO IS GOING TO BE AROUND TO PROVE THE LEGALITY OF YOUR OWNERSHIP OF SAID PROPERTY AND WHO’S TO SAY THERE WILL BE ANY LEGALITY AT ALL>>>> LOOKS LIKE LAW AND ORDER AND PRIVATE OWNERSHIP OF ANYTHING will be a joke no need for lawyers amid the chaos

    45. anonymous6.8 says:

      @salvadordaly 4:44 p.m.

      When the shooting starts the emergency medical system won’t be functioning. Someone you care about might be shot. Take a look at chinook medical, at galls, and at buymedvet. One hopes a physician, combat-experienced medic or even a veterinarian (don’t laugh, every vet is a surgeon but not all MDs are) is handy. But one might not be. What would you do for a sucking chest wound with tension pneumothorax? What would you do for severe bleeding that direct pressure doesn’t stop? I don’t have any of the above qualifications. If by pure bad luck I happened to be the best qualified person around I’d turn to AAOS 68W Advanced Field Craft Combat Medic Skills, which I study some, break out the Celox dressings and the cric kit. Even half a chance is better than no chance. No matter how little one knows you have a better chance for a good outcome if you have the necessities on hand.

    46. Anon says:

      Of course I’m raiding my savings – and buying hard assets.

    47. Nunjobizness says:

      “Change before you have to” is my motto….

    48. Ben Bernanke says:

      Has anyone seen my ink and money press? Gotta pump out a few billion more Franklins.

    49. Nomad says:

      You guys are crazy. If you only realized just how backward you guys were compared to some other countries you’d freak!!! Traveling to the US is like going back to the 1990′s and in some areas it’s like the 70′s or 80′s. It might be a nice place to move to if your from an impoverished third world country. But realistically, you’re behind the times in most areas.
      It’s getting harder and harder with each visit I make to the US on business. It’s getting to the point, where it’s hardly worth the effort to even go to the Airport!!!

      I have to disagree with this article’s title regarding “maintaing the dream” Really? What dream? You have to be kidding! Spend some of those saved dollars and come see how the rest of the developed world lives. You’d be surprised to experience a higher standard of living than many of you and your countrymen are used to or have ever dreamed of!!! You are living in an illusion.

      • AZ Ready says:

        Yes Nomad, where are you talking about? I to have traveled to many countries and lived in a couple of them. Haven’t seen or found anything better than here. When and if the SHTF, it will be a global event, at least here we can own firearms and try to defend that which we have. You on the other hand will not. Good luck with that!

        • ron says:

          Ive traveled a lot and never found this other better place.Most people overseas live in apartments and dont own a car or much of anything.Mabe theyre life is less stressful but i havent seen anywhere im ready to move to.

      • durango kidd says:

        Stay home.

    50. Burt the Brit says:

      And where Nomad is this higher standard of living? I am very well travelled and to my mind most places leave a fair bit to be desired.

      I have had some wonderful times in every continent except one, and some rough trips to.

      Be specific mate, just lambasting a particular place will in my opinion really not get you very far, either on this site or in life in general.

      Take care

    51. FlatTop says:

      1st Time post here.

      What do you all think about paying off your loan(s) with devalued dollars?

      This *assumes* at some point during a hyper-inflation spiral, employers would have to increase the wages as the price of commodities skyrocket. You could conceivably pay off your loan because your monthly paycheck is as much as what you made a year ago.

      This assumes a few things:

      1) We start to see dramatic increases in wages, so employees can afford the commodities. (So far that has not happened).
      2) The employee is prepared, has sufficient food supplies on hand, grows a garden, stored fuel, has PMs and a way to generate power.

      So instead of taking his paycheck to buy groceries and fill up the tank, the employee goes to the bank to pay off his loan(s).

      I am using this example, but I don’t think it is okay to go out a start getting loans.

      Your comments?

    52. AZ Ready says:

      Employees wages will not increase. You are assuming the employer will have more money to pay the employees more. Not going to happen.
      I am an employer. Had 13 employees plus myself 2 years ago. Now I have 3 employees plus my wife and myself. I lowered my pay a grand a month and the wife works for nothing. Things are getting worse. If hyper inflation hits. or as DK puts it, inflation by a thousand cuts, we employers won’t be able to raise wages. We will just close the doors.

    53. greenie weenie says:

      Yes but just think how good this will be for the environment!! Everyone living like cave men again and getting to practice their survival skills to boot. The earth will thank all of us for doing our part to go green. And that in turn will create millions of green jobs, like digging shit holes and covering them back up. I tell you folks its a win win!!!

      Obama
      2012

    54. If this thing is really going to collapse, why not beg, borrow, and CHARGE for preps you cannot afford. In a collapse, will the digital debt ever be collected? I mean, they will have to find you first.

    55. wildcat says:

      Wow.

      You all talk like this “Collapse” is “Going” to happen.

      2-3 years ago, I was eating steak, with my choice of side dish.

      Tonight, I had “Great Value Luncheon Meat”, (Cheap version of Spam) with “Great Value French Style Green Beans” for dinner.

      Trust me when I say the collapse is here,at least for me, anyway.

      Shouldn’t be too long before you all feel it like this as well.

      It’s a pretty sad state of affairs when ground beef is
      priced out of your reach, even when it is on sale.

      Whatever.

      Don’t feel sorry for me,because I don’t.

      People like me are on the cutting edge of what is happening to this country, and “Some” of us might just make it through… God willing…

      When it comes to “Investments”, “Retirement Plans”, “Pensions”, “Gold” “Silver”, Etc. Like you talk about here, I just laugh. As far as I am concerned, “I can’t AFFORD to pay attention”.

      I have a job, and with that comes internet access, otherwise you wouldn’t even know I exist. Sure hope my employer doesn’t find out about my activity here, or I could lose that, too.

      Just in case, Thanks to Mac for the site, and for the rest of you, do what you can NOW. Whatever that is.

      • Wildcat, thanks for the kinds words. Your insight into this is much appreciated. I’ve written before that we are essentially right in the middle of this collapse. Things came crashing down in 2008, and we haven’t been the same since. Things may continue to get worse, and we may even see meltdowns in certain spheres, like currencies, or even political stability. But for all intents and purposes, as you suggested, we’re in it – right here and now.

        You’re not alone out there. Stay strong and keep on keepin’ on. It’s all we can do.

        Thanks.

        Mac

      • durango kidd says:

        Wildcat: I feel for you Buddy …. BUT. When you say, ” … and for the rest of you, do what you can do NOW” …. it makes me believe that YOU are not doing what YOU can do, but looking for someone else to “do it”.

        At least that was my impression of what you said. It may not be accurate but that is how it struck me.

        That is why I have repeatedly encouraged everyone here to get involved at a local level to initiate the change WE need. WE cannot hope for change. WE must make change happen.

        Contact a local “tea party”. Attend their meetings. Check with OWS if you are so inclined. While they are not appreciated here, they are at least doing something.

        Join the Republican Party and vote for Ron Paul in your States Republican Primary.

        Get involved with a group. Multiply your power in a collective. A group can help make your voice heard. As an additional member you add to the collective power of your group.

        The PTB only listen to groups. Those with money and those who will take to the street in mass demonstrations. This is the history of modern American politics. It is the example followed by the participants of the Arab Spring.

        If you want change you must initiate that change. Engage.

    56. ron says:

      I thought i would add my two cents about the
      shiny stuff,while ive never had the dough to blow ten grand for something that would fit in my hand,I do know someone that decided to cash in some gold n make a few bucks.And dam if it wasnt almost impossible,or they wanted to jam you so hard your rear hurt.Even the people he bought it from! So you may want to think hard about gold.I like food,every person who i read about in a SHTF situation always wished they had bought more food.

     
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