We Have Some Hard Decisions Ahead

by | Nov 18, 2010 | Emergency Preparedness | 40 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This article was originally published at Survival Blog and has been reprinted with permission from the author. The article’s original publish date was December of 2009, but it is as timely today as it was a year ago.

    The economy has taken a dramatic turn for the worse for many Americans. Hundreds of pages could be written to describe how it happened and who did it. While many individuals and households have had the financial resources and good fortune which will allow them to weather economic uncertainty, many will simply not be able to maintain their standard of living. Many two income households are now one income households and that income may have decreased due to companies cutting back on work hours. This situation has been occurring for many Americans for many many months, forcing people to assess what is important and downgrade their lifestyle. The time to make hard decisions has arrived, and will dramatically alter the lives of many for years.

    People who relied on spouses to pay the bills are now paying the bills. Those who have relied on savings and unemployment benefits to maintain their standard of living are now faced with the reality that those resources are exhausted. Bills are not being paid. Healthcare premiums are not being paid. Automobile and household maintenance is being neglected which will create costlier repairs down the road. Simply put:

    • You might have to stop making your car payment and save those payments up to buy a used car. The car you currently have financed will be repossessed.
    • You might have to stop paying your mortgage and save those payments up to move into an apartment.
    • You might have to give up your healthcare, your magazine subscription, your club membership, your vacation plans, your charitable donations, your cell phone, your internet access or home phone service, your lawn care service, your financial support that you provide to friends and family who are having financial problems themselves, and many more expenditures not listed here.
    • You might have to contact an attorney to discuss bankruptcy.
    • You might have to sell off your possessions and assets.
    • You might have to move in with other families, friends, relatives, or shelters provided by the government or charitable organizations.
    • You may come to realize that what you thought was valuable and important to you has no value or significance at all.

    Basic human needs will become the biggest priority in your life after you shed the things that have merely brought comfort and convenience to you. You may be forced to downscale your lifestyle so dramatically that it will cause you to question your own intelligence and hindsight for not planning for such a life changing event.

    The things that you have always taken for granted could become difficult to obtain now that there is no longer enough money to buy those things. Basic needs become vital issues that need to be addressed:

    • Food, and ‘non-electric’ means both to prepare it and store it.
    • Portable water filtering devices and containers to store water for drinking, cooking, and bathing.
    • Over the counter medicines, vitamins, supplements, first aid supplies, and some basic health and first aid literature in book form. Individuals using prescription medications, or require medical attention, will need to determine their best course of action during a period of financial distress.
    • The need for shelter may require the purchase of a tent, camper trailer, and other camping equipment if you can longer provide an actual roof over your head and have no one to turn to.
    • The need for personal protection will become more obvious as desperate people begin to take desperate actions to provide basic needs for themselves and their families. The level of security you choose will be determined by your location, your finances, and your personal views and beliefs. If chaotic conditions occur lawless activity will surely follow. Past incidents of disaster and mayhem give testimony to this.

    The times that we endure today will be the history that others will read tomorrow. History has shown us events that have destroyed some societies and created new ones to take their place. Those who rise to power often decide the fate of millions. And there have been times when a people rise up as a nation, united to achieve mutual goals of prosperity and hope for a better future. Today as a nation, Americans must uphold their moral convictions and beliefs that a nation of people that stand united will not perish. There are events occurring in this country that could change the very existence of our nation as we know it. And no one person or political party can decide the best course of action to insure our prosperity and hopes will not be taken away from us. The answer to our problems is right in front of us, and we must cling to it as if it is our only hope, because it is the only thing We The People have left: The Constitution of the United States of America .

    We must set aside our differences and unite as a nation before those that would profit from our demise succeed in destroying us. – T.R. in, Florida

    Hat tip Wheedle


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      1. to quote Wayne Campbell:
        “Yeah, and monkeys might fly out of my butt.”

        look – I prep as much as most people here. I keep my eyes open, I am working to pay off my debt. but this is straight fear -mongering. If this is how you live your every day life, you’ll miss out on what it means to be alive. doom and gloom all you like, but the sun will rise tomorrow, the moon will still be there. when was the last time any of you stopped to watch a sun set? the Leonid meteor showers have been pretty good this year.

        prep, prepare and make ready, but don’t forget to actually live life. Living in fear is no life at all.

      2. this is america. things like this scenario just don’t happen here to honest god-fearing law abiding respectable people. just enjoy your life to the fullest, go to church, pay your debts and stay away from all those socialist rabble rousing union members, gays, hispanics, afros and all the other lazy middle class whiners. 

        GINGRICH/PALIN 2012

      3. Right Sketch…

        People are so busy looking for the collapse.  The fail to realize that they need not collapse themselves.  It is the financial system and government that will collapse because it is nothing but a fraud.   The only way your standard of living will decrease is if you rely on either one of those to support it.

        Leaving that reliance is what prepping is all about.  Not worrying yourself to death over what might happen.  It is happening now.  It takes one second to say Great Depression, but it took 15 years to live it for those who did.

      4. I agree with Sketch, use common sense and live to the fullest.  We live simple lives, enjoy outdoor activities while my peers take cruises and travel like I did  decades ago when younger.   My patriot circle gives slim to none to charities except used items no longer needed and afew cans of food to the local food banks.   People need to stand on their own two feet; don’t expect help from family or anyone unless disabled, sick. Able body folks need to pay their own bills and prep.  Each family unit must prep. themselves and aren’t responsible for anyone else. This incl adult children who expect others to support them and do preps (like some I know personally).    M’room: most churches are phony I won’t give a dime to a 501c3 church controlled by the WCC, etc.  Home churches are the coming thing.   Save your money and meet friends  in private homes.   Most elderly and handicapped  would be better off dead if shtf because  of lack of medical care, meds. as families  scatter and hunker down.  Patriots aren’t united and seldom stand up (bread and circus syndrome) which is why I  think things will slide.  Community leaders and church leaders are NWO promoters, on the take for grants or special interest groups in their circles and refuse to stand  against the bad guys.

      5. Sketch:  You could be right in the sense that for a lot of people 10 years from nowwill not look back on this time with sadness and regret that they did not prepare better.  But for many this will not be true.  Many people will indeed suffer in the next few years or so and they could even lose family members who are not strong enough to deal with the lack of  food and clean water.  So the messaage here is directed over your shoulder to the many people who are not as well off as you are.  Those people who may get evicted and have to carry their personal items on their back or in a shopping cart are very much at risk.   We are entering a very dangerous stage in the U.S. and no one really knows how this will play out.  If we are lucky it might simply be a five year depression followed by a decent recovery.  But what if it is worse?  Are you ready to survive for five years with no income?  Are you willing to put your faith in the government to provide for you and your family?  Do you yearn for a FEMA trailer or worse?   

      6. I’ll take it easier when it happens because I’ll be out of work like many.  I’ve prepped for over ten years, home is payed for, and I can’t store any more food.  I have many years supplies of pasta, beans, rice, sugar, wheat, and corn.  Not to mention canned food.  Generators, fuel, solar panels, bread maker, water distiller, 3 freezers & water filters.  You can only prep so much then you start stacking real money.  I get out in my garden every evening to water it while watching the sunset. 
        I’ve seen wall paper in a bathroom that had flying monkeys!

      7. Uh, is this really “just as timely as it was a year ago”? Because if readers had heeded the advice a year ago, they’d no longer have the car payments, the mortgage and everything else they’re advised to drop. They’d be living in their parents’ basements by now — or as the last commenter says, carrying what’s left of their possessions in a shopping cart — still waiting for the imminent collapse of society. Wake me when it happens, OK?

      8. @GWTW –

        well off? HA! you say we’re entering a very dangerous stage… we HAVE been for AT LEAST the past 10 years. and the author of this article (owner of the blog, anyway) has lived most of the last 25 years like this. its no way to live. its not a life. prudence is one thing – this is totally unbalanced and obsessive.

        FEMA camps/Mad max scenarios are all very scary and get people’s attention, but THEN what? live in constant fear of them? maybe some people will. not me. I wear a seat belt, but i don’t grip the wheel in fear of an accident.

      9. Comments…..I keep forgetting that most US citizens live in highly populated areas and not out in the boonies. 

        Our small valley has a unity that you can’t find in the cities.  We cling to our families and churches and our God held values.  This might be why you don’t hear  us hollering to the Government for help during an crisis.

        There are communities  in America where a neighbors help is just a phone call away.  We even have Doctors that make house calls during emergencys.

        Hard times are coming and it is going to put down roots and stay awhile.  In our community these hard times will be shared by all.  Each an everyone of us will be helping our neighbors and community get through them.

        May God bless all of you and help you find the way through what is taking over in our country.

      10. It sooooo refreshing to finally see some common sense posts on this website.  Nobody in their right mind wants the system to crash.  It’s better if we quietly prep and if the hard times come we are ready as we can be.  But if the whole thing comes down around our ears nobody will truly benefit other than the losers who will enjoy seeing so many other people reduced to their own current station in life.  Let’s face it: if a couple of goofballs try to take my stuff I can handle that.  But if a mob rushes me I’m a cooked goose because I can’t defend myself against a horde who would be hell bent on cleaning me out and most likely armed themselves.  People need to chill out, keep their heads down and do the best they can.  Then they will do as well as can be expected which will be better than 99% of the people who are doing nothing right now to be ready in case the STHF.

      11. Not all churches are NWO. Many are speaking out in concern against a socialist state.  Typically socialist governments talk about the needs of the people while working to pass laws that enclose and enslave those same people. Socialist nations control people by giving them handouts that are no different than a collar around their necks.  Looks at Europe. The people want their handouts even when the government has nothing to give them!  Here half of the citizens work and then other half get supported by the workers. That just can’t continue for very long. People who want their handouts and are hungry or afraid will go along with what ever the government tells them to do. And many churches know that they are a direct threat to the government control of the people. As long as people believe in the bible ( which says : for 6 days shall you labor) they can not be controlled by the socialists. And that is a direct threat to those who seek to change this nation.

      12. laura m:  Form your own 503c church, take the tax deductions up to 30% of your gross income, and use it for prepping! 🙂


      14. Comments….. Many, many years ago at night for white noise, I would turn on the radio and listen to people like Bruce Williams, The Dodds (man and wife talk show hosts), and they kept pounding it home to get out of debt and how and where to invest money because they all said that there would come a time such as now where you will be depending on food storage to survive.  I actually did what they said and as a result, we own our home outright, no debt, and we did the right thing.  It has paid off.  It is sad that people were too busy using their homes as ATM machines just so they could have their toys and expensive vacations.  But, they are paying the price for it now.  It is not luck when you are doing well, you are doing well because you worked and planned for it. There will always be the haves and the have nots, and the have nots believe that they deserve what you have.  Our private property is already being confiscated from us and given to those who don’t work to earn it.  The unemployment welfare is going to run out–and I hope it does.  We can’t keep spending on nonproducers–socialism works until you run out of other people’s money, and the money has ran out.

        Face it, we all know what’s going to happen and I do hope you all are prepared.  Here’s a video that will help you with the mobs/home invaders.  We’ve had a rash of them in town lately.  I live out in the boonies and I’m not immune to TSHTF.


        P.S. Lots of excellent comments here.

      15. GoneWithTheWind,
        Everything you say makes total sense.

      16. I think there’s just a wee bit of hype in all of these prognostications.
        Show me a single nation that collapsed and had the power go out…
        It didn’t happen in Russia with their collapse
        It didn’t happen in Argentina
        In Cuba, there were rolling power outages due to lack of fuel from the embargo and the shitty communist system in place.
        The bottom line is that it’s a little too paranoid to believe that the power will fail in the US over economics.

      17. Comments…..hard times have arrived…wake up you ding bats!!! get your heads outta the sand. when the “official” word comes that collapse has in fact occurred the only thing you are gonna hear is the annoying fuzzy sound from your tv, phone, computer. but before that sound happens, you won’t be able to pay your electric bill much less buy groceries…hmmmwith inflation right now there are alot of folks who have been unemployed for more thantwo years-with inflated food prices i wonder how far those food stamps will go-oh, nevermind-they are not actual stamps they are a computerized card now..no power to spend. the world is collapsing slowly like a bunch of dominoes while idiots who are to self centered to see and understand the world around them stand twiddling their thumbs and screaming “but i’m entitled”!

      18. Sketch makes a good point.

        I was speaking recently to a liberty-loving, fiat-money hating, Austrian economics adherent friend. He preps too – he’s got food and water, guns & ammo, PMs, and he’s ahead of me in the survival department (skills and gear). However, as much as he’s prepared for either very high inflation if not hyperinflation, and even though he’s confided in me that he thinks some of his family members will lose a high % of their savings because they did not prepare, he nonetheless is one of the most cheerful, optimistic, and happy people I know. His smile is contagious. His policy is: live life to the fullest and enjoy each day – there is still natural beauty, good food, entertainment out there, as well as the deep value of meaningful relationships (family and friends).

        I too prep. I am about to invest in buckets and Mylar bags for long-term food storage and as long as circumstances allow I will buy PMs. I have a gun and have plans to get a 2nd one. I’m paying off my debts, with a clear plan to be debt free in several months. But as much as I’m gearing up in case the crap does strike the rotating cooling device, I see what’s good in my life and in America. The fiat money printers, the liberals who hijacked our Republic, and the bloodsuckers at Goldmann Sacks (deliberately mispelled) have brought our country much harm – but America is still a great place to live in for many reasons.

        God bless America, God bless you all, and God bless your futures. May He impart upon us all the wisdom for darker times and the faith in Him to survive any hardships we may face.

      19. Remember to learn how to make beer or wine, it’s so easy and rewarding. hint, even if you don’t drink it, you can barter it. apple juice and yeast!

      20. I believe the economic crisis in this country has been a wakeup call for millions of Americans. Those who have been prepping for a SHTF scenario deserve a pat on the back for taking control of their lives, by preparing for events that could cause all kinds of problems. Those who have become aware as to how fragile our economy is during the past year or two, and have begun to make their own preparations for survivng a crisis, deserve praise as well.

        But the real concern for the entire country is a population numbering in the tens of millions who are not prepared at all. If these unprepared souls become desperate enough to simply “take” what they need to survive, then little can be done to stop them. You may be able to defend your family and preps from a handful of hungry looters, but hordes of well armed looters numbering in the hundreds could threaten entire communities.

        Encouraging friends, relatives, and neighbors to consider doing some modest prepping could become the most important thing you can do. Many Americans have begun preparing for an economic crisis. (Search,,,suburban survivalist jim wiseman,,,).

        Millions of Americans have already exhausted their options, from 401K’s to unemployment benefits. As millions more continue to lose unemployment / food stamp benefits the situation will become more dire. We can only hope that people will learn from this crisis and move forward in a positive way.
        Keep prepping and Good Luck To All.

      21. already noticing food prices on the rise in my area..almost on a daaily basis.

      22. I have also seen food prices rise almost daily. I was waiting to see if there would be deep discounts around the Thanksgiving holiday but it is almost here and I’m not seeing anything. 

      23. Tina, I am noticing way higher prices in my area too.  There have been good sales on Thanksgiving items.  I have bought everything on sale and most items had a coupon.  Thanks for the tip about Hobby Lobby and the oil lamps.  I wanted to let u know that there was only one lamp left and any only a 2 bottles of oil. Yep, people are waking up!!! I just canned 84 jars of pear butter,jam and canned pears. After Glenn Beck’s show on preparing there were no more canning jars left. The entire section was completely decimated. It was crazy!!!  Canning is the hardest work I have ever done.  It’s a no wonder homestead women were strong 🙂 It’s not for sissies/wusses!!!!!

      24. Comments….. Dave, maybe no nation has collapsed over no power, but Russia did shut the gas off to the Ukraine because they couldn’t pay the gas bill.  You can google it for the story.  DH works for the power company here in California, and I can tell you first hand that if you don’t pay your bill, you will get shut off.  Some people have been shut off for 6 months and longer because they have no money for the basics.  They either run a power cord to their neighbors house, or they use a camp stove to cook.  Some have been caught stealing power.  People some how manage regardless of their circumstances.  Got a solar oven?  You all may want to look into buying one or building one yourself.  There’s plans on line.

      25. DH = dear husband?? is that it means?

      26. Sketch: You have nailed the weakness of the whole “be prepared” movement.  No one knows when, exactly the S will HTF.  And no one knows exactly what form it will take.   So it’s to be expected that some individuals will voice strident concerns even when an actual crisis isn’t eminent.  I hasten to add that often the only indication that a crisis is eminent is after it hits.  But never the less a lot of the discussion is hyped.  But that does not mean that nothing is going to happen?
        Because of an odd situation not of our making or as a result of our (by “our” I mean the U.S. government) planning some countries in Europe are likely to go belly up before we do.  It would also seem likely that when they go belly up they will take the rest of the EU with them or at the least break up the EU.  Now this is a big deal!!  By anyone’s measure if Ireland or Greece or Italy have an economic collapse it will be a SHTF event for the people in those countries.  However if some EU countries or the EU itself collapse it may well help the U.S.  Because money will flee the collapse and seek safety and even given our economic faults the U.S. is a pretty safe place to invest.   BUT; sooner or later the U.S. economy must suffer, either an outright collapse or something else that is just as bad.  It cannot be avoided.  In fact these bailouts and QE’s are the government’s attempt to avoid it but this effort only delays it and  will make it worse when it happens.

        Do the math.  The last four years (since the democrats took over congress) our government borrowed $5 trillion and printed untold trillions.  There is every indication that the next few years will be more of the same.  The current national debt is $14 trillion.  Interest rates are being held abnormally low so interest on this huge debt is a mere $400 billion.  But we all know inflation is higher then what they claim it is and inflation will drive the interest rates up just as it did in the 70’s.  If the interest rates reached 12% (which is not all that high) the payment on the national debt would be $1.68 trillion.  Where would we get the EXTRA $1.68 trillion from??  We can’t.  It’s game over.  
        Now the question is will this be a SHTF situation?   If you don’t think so then don’t prepare.  If you do think so then buy food and necessities, pay off the bills that will hurt you, save some money, get ready to live your life without the utilities working (gas, electric, water, sewer, etc.).  What is the harm in being prepared?

      27. Comments….. DH – dear husband.

      28. 1. Austerity is a learned skill. It is easier to learn when things are still somewhat working.
        2. One thing that seems to be missing from every prep list is entertainment. Cards, board games and the essentials for ball games can provide a means to encourage play. Play is of prime importance for maintaining a positive mental outlook.
        3. Homebrew brought up an important consideration. The so-called sin products. Beer and wine are easy to make and during the depression continued to enjoy widespread acceptance. Prohibition didn’t end until 1933 when gov’t finally recognized that the XVIIIth Amendment couldn’t change human nature and there was too much pressure to tax incomes derived from alcohol. Alcohol’s value as a barter item has always existed. Until the prohibitionists achieved too much power, beer was a recognized food item rich in calories, vitamins and minerals.

        Ethanol as a fuel can’t be made without making wine first, so a bad batch of wine can be salvaged as fuel.  Methanol can be made by destructive distallation of burnables, but lacks the advantage of the sin component.

        4. Add some tobacco seeds to your seed stash. Not only is there the barter aspect, but tobacco is a powerful insecticide. It is a heavy nitrogen feeder, but whatcha gonna do with the humanure. Plenty of info on growing and curing on the web. Don’t bore me with your prattle about the health aspects of tobacco. Those who consume tobacco will continue to use it as long as it is available just as they do now. It will have barter value.

        5. Practice your skills now. Not just survival skills but also those skills that have barter value. A skill should be instinctual, based upon long practice. If the folks in your community know you have the skill  set now, they will look to you once the SHTF. The more valuable your skills, the more the community will embrace you even if you are an ass.

        6. Traps and snares seem to be missing from every list. Every small aircraft flight I’ve made in Alaska included a handful of snares in my survival  kit. Learn trapping skills NOW.

        7. For those who will be burning firewood, do you have a cross-cut saw? Don’t expect availability of saw gas. An axe (w/files and a stone) is handy, but if you think you will get in your firewood with it you are probably wrong. Having used an axe and a bow saw for harvesting a winter’s wood, I can attest to the miserable number of hours of work for small results. A 3-4′ cross-cut saw is far more efficient.

        Those who choose to go it alone had better hope this upcoming mess doesn’t last beyond a few months. Homo sapiens is a social animal.  Well more specifically, predatory social omnivores. You are part of the pack or you are enemy. Only a fool bets against human nature.

        Start living an austere life now or be FORCED to start later. Your choice. By begining now, any income exceeding the minimum needed to survive can go towards prepping.

        I have no illusions about surviving the next 20 years. My mission is training younger folks to survive and rebuild. Why? It is just my  nature and human nature is societal. I do what I can and take pleasure in helping others prepare. Life is to be lived in the most pleasurable manner possible. Fear and worry accomplish nothing and often result in accepting situational hopelessness. No hope, no life.

        Believe what you will. Reality always trumps beliefs.

      29. This is for people who don’t want to be clueless like Dave who says, Show me a single nation that collapsed and had the power go out…:

        “I spent WAY to much time without power for my own taste. Power has always been a problem in my country, even before the 2001 crisis.

        The real problem starts when you spend more than just a few hours without light. Just after the SHTF in 2001 half the country went without power for 3 days.

        Buenos Aires was one big dark grave. People got caught on elevators, food rot, hospitals that only had a few hours worth of fuel for their generators ran out of power…”


        “I’ve described what happened to Russia in some detail in one of my articles,… outages of electricity, gas, and water, breakdowns in transportation systems and other infrastructure…”


        “Households in Zimbabwe are to be limited to four hours power supply a day… Rampant inflation has led to widespread shortages of fuel and food… Power cuts have become a regular occurrence in Zimbabwe…”


        Parts of the U.S. experienced rolling blackouts not so long ago too, as I recall.

        Desperate people, the terrist squirrel network, they take a toll on power lines. Being prepared to go a day or a week or more without electricity makes sense.
        Some people say that in places such as Detroit, removing power wires for the scrap value (while they’re still live!) is a sport for those with little money and lots of time on their hands. That sport could become more popular as things get worse.
        Then there’s downed lines from people tapping into the power lines, and from weather related disturbances.
        Two Winters ago, the ice storms really put a toll on repair crews. Many people had to wait longer than usual for the power to be restored.

        This was interesting:

        List of power outages – since 1965


      30. It is interesting to see people come to a SHTF site, and after reading the article, openly show their denial to the possibility of what happened before many times.  I wonder if your grandparents or parents said the same thing as you right before the Great Depression wiped away their savings or possessions.

      31. I really enjoyed reading this realistic article, and am not surprised to see people vehemently denying the facts that may be too scary to accept.  Running from your very feelings is not going to make one more intelligent about what is happening.  If only men had wisdom enough, they wouldn’t need courage, cause they wouldn’t have fear, but being ignorant, many men and women live in fear and run from such feelings when they feel them.  I urge everyone to explore what they feel, no matter how unpleasant it may seem, it is only feelings without any intelligence.

      32. Dear Michael and Friends,
        Given the general mind-set, the one driven in our time by economic globalization and the global political economy, it is difficult to believe how change to whatsoever is sustainable could occur. The mantra of endless growth of unsustainable lifestyles and too-big-to succeed corporations appears pervasive and unassailable.
        Gigantic, multinational conglomerates are adamantly engaged in the production of goods (both needed and unnecessary), business and finance, the marvelous edifices housing the great religions, large-scale agriculture, the military complexes. These entities are the actual constructions that drive the process of economic globalization and give the global political economy its leviathan-like structure.
        What you are reporting appears correct. It seems to me that two things could happen. First, an internet-driven transformation of global human consciousness will somehow occur in order to bring about necessary changes in the self-serving, destructive behavior of the fossil fools among us. Second, something embodied in this shift in human consciousness will give rise to completely unexpected, somehow interlocking events like the one which occurred at the city of Jericho in ancient times when “the walls fell down”. Even the leviathans of human enterprise in our days could crumble.
        Recently we witnessed the near collapse of some of the giants of the automobile industry and the virtual implosion of investment houses and big banks on Wall Street. Are the titans of big business and finance not only “too-big-to-fail” but also “too-big-to-succeed” precisely because they are soon to become patently unsustainable on a planet with size, composition and ecology of Earth?
        We have also seen in the past several years the poisonous fruits to be derived from extolling as ‘virtues’ outrageous greed, obscene overconsumption and relentless hoarding of wealth by many too many leaders. Never in the course of human events have so few stolen so much from so many….with a sense of pride. That these people reward each other with medals and awards for their pernicious activities is shameful. I believe we can agree that the unbridled overgrowth activities of the masters of the universe now overspreading the surface of Earth can much longer stand neither the test of time nor the biophysical limitations of the planetary home we are to inhabit and not ruin, I suppose. Following self-proclaimed masters of the universe down a primrose path could be the wrong way to direct the children to go.
        The children deserve the chance of facing the prospect of a future that is good enough. I am no longer thinking of leaving the children a better world than the one that was given to their elders. That appears out of reach now. It remains my hope that the elder generation, with responsibilities to assume and duties to perform, will do better than we doing now by changing our ways for the sake of keeping Earth fit for habitation by children everywhere. As examples, we could pay our debts instead of mortgage the children’s future; we could clean up the ecological messes that have been made in the course of the past 65 years; we could eschew “bigger is better” and “the biggest is the best” in favor of “small is beautiful”, doing more with less, and embracing the spirit of living well by living more simply and sustainably.
        Perhaps changes toward sustainable lifestyles and right-sized enterprises are in the offing.
        And perhaps we have been travelling down a long road over hundreds upon hundreds of years, a road of growing production and distribution capabilities, of wanton overconsumption and reckless hoarding, and of unbridled overpopulation. These activities have been occurring for a long time on a small scale, but only recently exploded in seemingly uncontrollable ways, within the natural world we inhabit and without sufficient regard being given either to human limits or Earth’s limitations. An improbable combination of narcissism, arrogance, foolhardiness and greed blinded leadership to the practical requirements of living on Earth; to the “rules of the house” in our planetary home. Too many leaders decided to willfully behave like kids who were left alone and given the run of the house by their overseers. All the rules were ‘forgotten’ or simply ignored. Laissez faire, whatever will be will be, living without limits and all that ruled!
        The children tore everything up and made a big mess. When they realized what they were doing, they felt stuck as if between a rock and hard place. Do they stop their destructive activities or else choose to keep tearing up the house? This is a tough choice for kids at play. Who knows, perhaps they will not be caught red-handed at what they have been doing. And if they are caught, they could always blame the wreckage on other bad boys. How many times have we seen kids at play and men at work blaming their wrongdoing on others and not ever taking responsibility for their own dishonest, deceitful or destructive behavior?
        Either the choice to turn back and begin the clean-up or the choice to keep tearing things up is fraught with danger. From a kid’s (or fossil fool’s) perspective they could face more danger by trying to clean up the mess they made than they would be exposed to by continuing with their rampage. Either choice presents its own challenges and threats. After all, so much damage has already been done. There is no longer any easy way forward, that is for sure, even under the best circumstances.
        What to do here? Now what? These are the questions, I suppose.
        Sincerely yours,

      33. My parents married in 1933 at the depth of the great depression.  The depression was a common topic of discussion around the dinner table.  The most reveling thing my mother ever said about the great depression was when I asked her why they didn’t do more to prepare after the stock market crashed.  She said that no one knew it was going to last for 11 years.  The government kept telling them things were getting better.  They thought is was just a recession and prosperity was right around the corner.
        My take away from this is that the government will not tell you the truth even if they know it.  That a long emergency will look just like a short emergency or a medium sized emergency when you are in it.  That is you can only judge the coming  recession/depression years afterwards not while you are experiencing it.  And that not preparing to survive is preparing to suffer.
        I don’t know if this will become a depression or even if it already has.  I don’t know how long it will last or how bad it will get.   But the really scary part is neither does anyone in the government.  Most of what they have done has been futile or even counter-productive.    If I lost my income tomorrow I would cancel all my unnecessary spending immediately, things like cable, internet, cell phones, etc.  I would cut all descretionary spending and even evaluate essential spending.  I would prepare to survive over the long term with the greatly reduced income.  What has our government done?  Essentially the opposite.  The budget continues to go up dramatically and off budget spending is skyrocketing.   Where you or I would take all necessary steps to survive our government seems to be taking all necessary steps to fail.  In my opinion the reason they do this is simply that they know it will inevitably force a substantial tax increase.  Politicians and bureaucrats are in a win/win position.  If the economy is booming they keep expanding and the money keeps rolling in.  If the economy is crashing they keep expanding using borrowed money and when the economy comes back the sheeple will vote for more taxes thus expanding their fiefdom.  So while the government and some special interests will win either way we will inevitably lose.

      34. Comments…..Prepare…it is a simple concept..why make it hard or scairy..its a bet I will take any day..if I am wrong and nothing happens..what do I loose..nothing, I can use all this stuff…if I am right, I and my family have a chance to survive..that means I win everything..  How about spare parts for your car? If this lasts a decade, you might need some basic ones..even if you cannot drive often.. What about a bike? (and spare parts) its a cheap mode of transportation that beats shoes..(Oh yea..need some extras on those too since wallmart china shoes only last 3 months) umm..socks..yup I like having those too..toothpaste is handy as well as a brush.. I suppose some baking soda is useful, drain cleaner is one thing you should have on your list too as well as bailing wire, rope, screws, nails, hand tools, and some basic spare parts for the house….Don’t forget your blackout curtains…if you have electric, or a lantern even, you will not want to advertize that fact..cooking odors could even potentially be dangerous..in a dangerous world boiling leaves the least odors…plus charcoal leaves no smoke… Last, get a few old ignition coils from your local junk yard.. and some capacitors.. you might find it handy to be able to electrify (painfully) a metal object such as a doornob or strand of fence if things get as bad as they might..all you need is a car battery  

      35. MTP, I like the way you think!

      36. its one thing being prepared but all of you are wack jobs …sry

      37. Are you kidding. This has been going for years. People just ignored it. Iit’s only going to get worse because people will ignoring it.  This is not just another down turn or down cycle. Things are going to get much worse. We won’t be able to ride it out.  This won’t be a movie with a happy ending…
        We have a choice. We don’t have to sit and wait to be smacked around.

        Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( www.revolution2.osixs.org )

      38. Psft, the wack jobs are the clueless idiots with their heads in the sand who refuse to take notice of what’s going down.

        Better to be over prepared than under prepared.

      39. Comments…..As we spend Turkey day with our loved ones..think about it…being prepared for ANYTHING is, in a way, your duty… It is up to you to provide for and showing your love for your children…your wife or husband…your parents, brothers, sisters and those you hold close in your hearts.  They depend on you to plan and prepare and sometimes to wake up from nightmares of things you could imagine happening. We do not even think about having insurance for our cars or health or life if we can pay for it…it is for them…why not stock up the pantry and fill up the garage and closets with stuff ya might need?  PS another great source of stuff for your plan is estate sales, auctions, and yard sales… I find them especially great places to get extras on household spare parts, tools, building/repair supplies, chemicals for cars/home/bugs ect.. NOBODY ever seems to be real interested in buying that stuff there..they go for the antiques ect..Yet think about it..the people who have passed on mostly have lived through the bad times..they know and remembered what they did not have but found they needed..they kept stuff like that…The chemicals…a cheap source…why pay $5 for a bottle of draino when you can get a half bottle for a dime?  Who cares if its old..it still clears clogs..How about light switches, screws, latches and hinges, WINDOW GLASS… a spare bundle of shingles or light bulbs…everything at an estate sale is for sale generally and the people there are happy do dump all that stuff they can for any price since they will have to haul it to the dump if you don’t offer to take it off their hands.. Plus, you can sometimes find some great stuff they just don’t make anymore.. I recently got a post civil war military sword for $23…a bayonet for $3 and have found things such as wagons, horse plows, steam engines, solar panels, camping stuff including water purification stuff…you name it..How about a machine to grind wheat…hand cranked..how about a push lawnmower..or an opticians lens set…modern surgical equipment ( I know I know…not a doctor…but with my old military training, a few good books and the desire, I am sure I could figure it if we really had a total collapse) also you can find bottles of propane, gasoline, kerosene, sterno, charcoal…well you get the point…happy shopping everybody….I give you my secret for getting prep stuff on the cheap… Happy Thanksgiving

      40. Comments….. Collapse has been talked about, but avoided because our society has allowed it to continue.  When the new House of Representatives is seated the money game will quickly come to an end.  Politicians know reality will emerge when the House stops the money going into the balloon.  March 4, 2011 will reveal reality.  Our “government” will be forced to cut back.  Websters word of the year for 2010 is Austerity.  Look it up.  It is happening in Europe.  It will start in USA in March.  Be prepared to see police, firemen, teachers, union workers, everyone with 401K to all move toward fear, panic, and unemployment lines.  I too have heard of the collapse for a while.  Very few speak of it without knowing how and when it will come.  Now you know.  The greatest movie I every saw is “The Money Masters.”  Google.  3.5 hours long.  online.  It is amazing how much one can see when one opens his eyes.

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