Economic collapse

All posts tagged Economic collapse

By Jeremiah Johnson – Ready Nutrition

ReadyNutrition Readers, Simply put, urban survival will be quite a bit different from survival in a remote wilderness area or even a sparsely-populated suburban area.  Let’s game some options, remembering that these options are general.  These actions aren’t specific to the type of breakdown of society (external by an attack from a foreign nation, or internal from economic collapse, for examples).

So, we have our collapse.  Let us “X” out a nuclear war/nuclear terrorist attack, as we can deal with all the other scenarios in variables without radiation to contend with.  Let’s identify the largest challenges faced for that high-rise apartment resident in Manhattan, or the family in the brownstone on the South side of Chicago.  First, let’s game the scenario:

After “The Day,” the city was almost completely without power.  You and your wife and two children were not able to leave town.  All mass transit was halted or discontinued.  It has been three days, and your family has been listening to static on the radio for the most part, with “campy” pre-recorded disaster broadcasts that have not been helpful or informative.  One of your neighbors left this morning after saying goodbye: he and his family had a boat, and they were heading out of the harbor, hoping to use one of the major rivers to make an escape.

They didn’t have room to take you or yours, but you wanted to stay put and not follow your neighbor’s idea: that there were plenty of boats whose owners were not going to use them…probably dead following the rioting and civil breakdown.  You’re beginning to think you should have listened to him.  Now you can hear angry voices outside, and you go to the window.  A mob has gathered at the top of your street!  They’re armed with rifles, bats, axes, machetes…and there are about 500 of them.  As you watch, they’re making a move toward the first house on the opposite side of the street.  Your house is less than half a block away.  There are no more cops, no more laws, no more order, and no help will be coming…on The Day After Doomsday.

Sounds pretty bleak, huh?  That’s because it is unless you keep a cool head about you and stay in focus.  Here are your primary tasks, and in this order:

  1. Defense: without a clear plan and the means to execute that plan, you’re going to have problems.
  2. Secure Domicile: in itself a part of the defense, as if you live in an easily-entered structure, you’re going to need to fortify it and have a security system and a guard/lookout schedule.
  3. Food and Water: always critical.  We touched on some of this in the last segment with water.  You should have at least a one-year supply for each member of your family of nonperishable food.
  4. Medical supplies and equipment: This entails the ability to perform first aid, to perform long-term supportive measures, and both short and long-term definitive care for special needs members of the family.
  5. Cohesion: your family needs to function akin to a well-oiled machine, as best it can.  Faith will be a key element: in God, in one another, and in what you are doing.  The inner discipline for each family member and for the group as a whole are key to enabling success for you and ensuring your survival.

Now let’s talk about what you’ll be facing, keeping in mind we already did not specify what type of disaster caused the end of it all.  A nuclear war will have radiation and probably foreign invaders at some point.  An asteroid impact will have traumatic weather catastrophes and cataclysmic effects all over.  What we are focusing on here is a city that is (for all intents and purposes) physically “intact” but is no longer functioning…its infrastructure is crippled, the social order is defunct, and chaos is the word for the day.  What are you facing?  Here are some of the challenges:

  1. Complete lack of food outside of your supplies: akin to a swarm of locusts, people will descend upon the grocery stores, convenience stores, dollar and discount stores, and big box stores…until the stores are no more…looting everything and anything they can grab.  Happened in New Orleans, I’m here to tell you…and it’ll happen again.  Dogs, cats, birds, and anything else that crawls, walks, flies, or runs…will be eaten.  All of this within the first week to two weeks.
  2. Cannibalism: when the disaster strikes, there will be a lot of people who will actively hunt other humans for food.  For those smiling naysayers, you may wish to read about the Donner Party, the Andes aircraft crash, and numerous other accounts of such things.  You can take it to the bank that it will happen again…and the “Drive By” also becomes the “Drive Thru.”
  3. Disease: it is a well-known fact that dead bodies, poor sanitary conditions, and lack of clean running water and working sewers will all contribute to diseases.  Typhus, E. coli, and plague will all return…diseases that are not a threat will quickly become out of control after the SHTF.
  4. Bad Guys:  Lots and lots of bad guys (and gals, not to leave you out of the loop!) doing really bad things and trying to do more bad…to you and yours.  We’re going to do a piece just on this, so I’m not going to burn out all my fire at once.  Suffice to say there will be gangs and small packs of “opportunistic entrepreneurs” out roaming the streets of your town…and they’re not looking to sell you on “Amway.”  They’ll take what they can…including your life.

So, what to do?  Well, here’s the first step to defeating all these factors:

Have a plan, and work that plan until it takes effect, and get out of town!

You’ll need to train, game out the scenarios, and work on your preps if you must hunker down.  The best thing to do is get out of the city or town.  In a high-rise apartment building, you’re going to be very limited in what you can take out of there effectively if the vehicles are not working and the electricity is out.  It’s hard to carry hundreds of pounds of gear and supplies down a dark staircase fifty stories and then escape a city in ruins or turmoil.  The odds are against it.  The key is to have a place…a safe place with supplies that you can reach…and when the time is right, get out of that city.

It will be important to form teams, within your own family, and potentially including others who live near you of a like mind.  Here’s a rule to follow:

No “free rides,” any allies outside of the family must have their own supplies and be self-sustaining to be a legitimate ally.

You must trust them implicitly: A real trust, not the BS handshaking of men and the hugging of women once a week at a card party or barbeque.  No, a real trust based on knowing them well, and for as long a time as possible.  You don’t want to undertake an endeavor, and then end up at the rendezvous point, and having them kill you and take your supplies.  Gasp!  Ohh!  Perish the thought, right?

Wrong: Know that human nature means in a disaster a “switch” can be flipped at any time and those you thought were your allies are now attackers.

You’re going to have to get together with your family and the other family or two who are on your “team” and figure a way to exfiltrate out of the city with as many supplies as you can carry.  Most of the gangs will be looking for easy pickings, therefore if you present a unified defensive posture…everyone knowing their functions and carrying their weapons and moving as a unit…this will dissuade them.  Wolves usually prey on the young, the weak, the old, and the sick first.  Men are no different.  They would prefer a bunch of fatsos sitting around in their living room with their supplies than a group of families that has their “S” together and can defend themselves.

This is not to give you false bravado.  There are skills you need, happy family, to be able to make it through.  I hope one of your family members is a veteran.  If not, seek one out and pick up some training.

“Thank you for your service,” is the BS line that everyone uses on you when they haven’t served…it makes them feel good when they say it to you…as if they have checked the “patriotic block” on a form.

You’ll really thank a vet if you’re trained by one.  How about this for an idea?  If there’s not one in your family or on your “team,” then find one…and pay the veteran to train you.  I can see the frowns now.  Nobody likes to open that wallet.  I guess you’ll have to weigh what is more valuable to you and determine where your priorities lie.

Thank the veteran with more than lip service in this instance, and learn valuable skills that you could have picked up if you had served.  You will need some combat skills, such as how to work as a fire team, how to clear a room, and communication between members, be that vocally or with hand-and-arm signals.  In the end, it will be up to you, and you will only receive in proportion to what you extend of yourself.

You’ll need to practice and drill getting out of your locale.  You’ll also be wise to equip your team (your family and another family working with you) with Motorola’s and stick them in Faraday cages until it’s time to move out.  There is still time to game and implement this thing; however, the more quickly you move on it the smoother you can make it for yourself and others.  The time to be prepared is yesterday, and the disaster can come tomorrow.  Let us know your thoughts and any suggestions you have, and stay in that good fight!  JJ out!

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition: Fact: Your Chances of Surviving a Post-Collapse Urban Environment are Slim

About the author:

Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.

Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.

Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.

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silver-maple-leaf-coin

By Ken Jorgustin – Modern Survival Blog

At the highest level, silver is used in industry, in jewelry, and as an investment (and/or wealth preservation). Together, these three categories represent more than 95 % of annual silver demand.

Silver has been used as a medium of exchange dating back to the earliest of records. It has always been considered to be a form of ‘money’. Even up until the late 19th century, most nations were on a silver standard as to their ‘money’, with silver coins making up the main circulating currency.

The thing is, even though today’s silver coins are not used as national currency (replaced by Fiat ‘paper’), silver is still collected, stacked, and invested by many people as a hedge against today’s modern currency and a collapse thereof. People who know history may also know that EVERY ‘paper’ currency ever created has ALWAYS collapsed. And most critical-thinking people today know that our current system and foundation is no longer on solid ground…

Continue reading at Modern Survival Blog: SILVER – Currency For Collapse

By Daisy Luther – The Organic Prepper

Venezuela is out of food.

After several years of long lines, rationing, and shortages, the socialist country does not have enough food to feed its population, and the opposition government has declared a “nutritional emergency.” This is just the most recent nail in the beleaguered country’s slow, painful economic collapse.

Many people expect an economic collapse to be shocking, instant, and dramatic, but really, it’s far more gradual than that. It looks like empty shelves, long lines, desperate government officials trying to cover their tushes, and hungry people. For the past two years, I’ve been following the situation in Venezuela as each shocking event has unfolded. Americans who feel that our country would be better served by a socialist government would be wise to take note of this timeline of the collapse.

A quick review: Why Venezuela Is Out of Food

In 2013, many began to suspect that the outlook for Venezuela was grim when prepping became illegal.  The Attorney General of Venezuela, Luisa Ortega Díaz, called on prosecutors to target people who are “hoarding” basic staples with serious sanctions.

Shortly thereafter, grocery stores instituted a fingerprint registry to purchase food and supplies. Families had to register and were allotted a certain amount of supplies to prevent “hoarding.”

Then, just over a year ago, it became even more apparent that the country was falling. when long lines for basic necessities such as laundry soap, diapers, and food became the norm rather than the exception. Thousands of people were standing in line for 5-6 hours in the hopes that they would be able to purchase a few much-needed items.

Shortly after the story broke to the rest of the world, the propaganda machine shifted into high gear.  As the government began to ration electricity, it was announced that this was not due to economic reasons at all, but instead was a measure of their great concern for the environment.

As the situation continued to devolve, farmers in Venezuela were forced to hand over their crops last summer. They assumed control of essential goods like food, and began putting retail outlets out of business. Then, once they had control of the sales outlets, they began forcing farmers and food manufacturers to sell anywhere from 30-100% of their products to the state at the price the state opted to pay, as opposed to stores and supermarkets.

But that wasn’t enough to keep the population fed. (Isn’t it astonishing how much less motivated people are to produce food and supplies when they are no longer allowed to benefit from their hard work? Historically, collectivism and farming have never gone successfully hand in hand.) This January, the government told citizens that they would need to produce their own food. The Ministry of Urban Farming was created to oversee this. While self-reliance sounds great, it isn’t so great in Venezuela. Just so the urban farmers don’t get too self-reliant, a registry of the crops and livestock will be required. (And obviously, they’ve already proven that they have no issue forcing farmers to hand over what they’ve produced.)

Now, it looks like all of the socialist measures and forced food production haven’t been enough to keep the people of Venezuela fed. The country is in so much trouble now that it isn’t possible to cover it up with propaganda.

According to Breitbart.com, lawmakers have learned nothing.

Socialist legislators are hoping to manipulate the initiative in the other direction, and use it to expand government control of private food enterprises. Legislator Héctor Rodríguez has insisted that the economic emergency “does absolutely nothing,” and the government should impose itself on private enterprises. Another socialist legislator, Ricardo Molina, iscalling for the government to expropriate Polar, Venezuela’s largest private food corporation: “we have to intervene on private sector enterprises.”

Venezuela previously forced a Polar food distribution center in Caracas to shut down in July, putting 12,000 tons of food, six million liters of soft drinks, and 2,000 jobs at risk.

And now, the announcement of the “nutritional emergency” makes it official. Venezuela is out of food, and it’s only a matter of time before Venezuelans are quite literally starving due to a long series of terrible decisions by their leaders.

Prep before it happens

It’s essential to note as this all plays out that there is little people can do now to rectify their situations. If they aren’t already quietly prepared, they are completely at the mercy of their socialist government.  It is absolutely vital to put back supplies well before the general public is aware that a crisis is pending.

As well, consider the fact that many folks here believe that a socialist government is exactly what our country needs. They eagerly lap up the promises of “free education” and “free healthcare.” They warmly embrace a presidential candidate who is an unabashed socialist. It absolutely astonishes me. They’d be well-advised to pay attention to how well the freebies have worked out in Venezuela. Socialism is not a sustainable economic model, something that has been proven time and time again, much to the detriment of the victims of the misguided notions.

The game pieces here are already lined up to control the American people should our economic situation continue to worsen. For example, there are already laws in place to “prevent hoarding.” Remember a few years ago when President Obama signed an executive order that gives the federal government authority over every resource and infrastructure element in the United States?

There are a lot of uncomfortable parallels that can be drawn between America’s financial situation and the disaster in Venezuela, and one thing is clear: self-sufficiency is the only way to protect your family. Even if you haven’t really begun to prepare, there’s still time to become more self-reliant. Here are some steps you should consider:

It is vital to practice OPSEC (Operational Security) by keeping your preparedness related activities on the down low.  Preparedness and self-sufficiency author Tess Pennington warns that in a crisis situation, things you said months or years ago could come back to haunt you.

A person should think twice about telling others about any prepping investments they have made.  If a SHTF scenario occurred, anything said previously can be used against that prepper.  For example, if you tell your neighbor you have silver coins stashed away, if times were desperate enough, that neighbor could turn on you.  Keeping quiet about what one does is second nature to some.  But for others that are new to the idea of prepping, they do not see the whole SHTF picture.  If one person tells another about their preps, one person could tell another person about what preps their neighbor has.  Then, the word spreads throughout; especially when a severe situation occurs.  People will remember what you have told them, and come to you for help (if they are unprepared).  Helping a neighbor or family member in need is a noble deed.  However, those preparedness items are an investment for you and your family; and therefore, no one outside of the family should know what you have (unless you want that person to know). (source)

As people become more desperate, they behave far differently than they would in normal circumstances. You have to be prepared for the day when you might have to defend your home, family and supplies. When an economic disaster strikes, the one thing you can count on from the government is that they will not be prioritizing you and your family. In a situation like the one in Venezuela, you will be completely on your own at best. At worst, your supplies will be targeted “for the greater good.”   Maintain your freedom by becoming quietly self-sufficient.

This article first appeared at The Organic Prepper: Venezuela Is Out of Food: Here’s What an Economic Collapse Really Looks Like

About the author:

Daisy Luther lives on a small organic homestead in Northern California.  She is the author of The Organic Canner,  The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half-Price Budget, and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource. On her website, The Organic Prepper, Daisy uses her background in alternative journalism to provide a unique perspective on health and preparedness, and offers a path of rational anarchy against a system that will leave us broke, unhealthy, and enslaved if we comply.  Daisy’s articles are widely republished throughout alternative media. You can follow her on Facebook, Pinterest,  and Twitter,.

 

Uncle Sam - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

Once upon a time, middle class households took home 62 percent of all income in America. Today, that number has dropped to just 43 percent. This is just one of the absolutely astounding statistics that you will read about in this article. Over the years, the middle class in America has been in steady decline. Our incomes have been going down, our net worth has been going down, the quality of our jobs has been going down, and yet the cost of living just keeps going up. As a result of all of these factors, more Americans are living in poverty today than ever before, and dependence on the government has exploded to unprecedented levels.

But of course it doesn’t take a genius to figure any of this out. In fact, politicians of all stripes are saying the exact same thing during this election season…

Bernie Sanders says it is in the midst of “a 40-year decline.” Jeb Bush says it is “shrinking.” Ted Cruz says it is “headed in the wrong direction.” And Hillary Clinton says the “basic bargain” that hard work could move families into the middle class “has eroded.”

Sadly, when we send these politicians to Washington D.C. they just continue on with business as usual. No matter who resides in the White House and no matter who controls Congress, the game remains the same and the middle class just continues to suffer. The following are 22 cold, hard pieces of evidence that show that the middle class in America is dying…

#1 This week we learned that for the first time ever recorded, middle class Americans make up a minority of the population. But back in 1971, 61 percent of all Americans lived in middle class households.

#2 According to the Pew Research Center, the median income of middle class households declined by 4 percent from 2000 to 2014.

#3 The Pew Research Center has also found that median wealth for middle class households dropped by an astounding 28 percent between 2001 and 2013.

Continue reading at End Of The American Dream: Sayonara Middle Class: 22 Stunning Pieces Of Evidence That Show The Middle Class In America Is Dying

 

The Middle Class - Public Domain

By Michael Snyder – End Of The American Dream

We just got more evidence that the middle class in America is dying.  According to brand new numbers that were just released by the Social Security Administration, 51 percent of all workers in the United States make less than $30,000 a year.  Let that number sink in for a moment.  You can’t support a middle class family in America today on just $2,500 a month – especially after taxes are taken out.  And yet more than half of all workers in this country make less than that each month.  In order to have a thriving middle class, you have got to have an economy that produces lots of middle class jobs, and that simply is not happening in America today.

You can find the report that the Social Security Administration just released right here.  The following are some of the numbers that really stood out for me…

-38 percent of all American workers made less than $20,000 last year.

-51 percent of all American workers made less than $30,000 last year.

-62 percent of all American workers made less than $40,000 last year.

-71 percent of all American workers made less than $50,000 last year.

That first number is truly staggering.  The federal poverty level for a family of five is $28,410, and yet almost 40 percent of all American workers do not even bring in $20,000 a year.

If you worked a full-time job at $10 an hour all year long with two weeks off, you would make approximately $20,000.  This should tell you something about the quality of the jobs that our economy is producing at this point.

And of course the numbers above are only for those that are actually working.  As I discussed just recently, there are 7.9 million working age Americans that are “officially unemployed” right now and another 94.7 million working age Americans that are considered to be “not in the labor force”.  When you add those two numbers together, you get a grand total of 102.6 million working age Americans that do not have a job right now.

So many people that I know are barely scraping by right now.  Many families have to fight tooth and nail just to make it from month to month, and there are lots of Americans that find themselves sinking deeper and deeper into debt.

If you can believe it, about a quarter of the country actually has a negative net worth right now.

What that means is that if you have no debt and you also have ten dollars in your pocket that gives you a greater net worth than about 25 percent of the entire country.  The following comes from a recent piece by Simon Black

Continue reading at End Of The American Dream: Goodbye Middle Class: 51 Percent Of All American Workers Make Less Than 30,000 Dollars A Year

About the author:

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years.

Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream

Read his new book The Beginning of the End