Monthly Archives: November 2012

Is The EBT Card A Trojan Horse?

By: Tom Chatham

The number of Americans now receiving government food assistance is over 47 million. If this economic plunge continues as is likely, even more people will go on the government dole. It is a foregone conclusion that the government wants more people dependant on the federal government for their everyday needs. With the current money printing going on it is also a foregone conclusion that our fiat money system will collapse at some point.

As the dollar is devalued watch for the government to increasingly turn to electronic money as a way to keep up with the increased needs for commerce. They will explain how it is much cheaper for the nation than printing all of that paper and minting all of those expensive coins. Also watch for the EBT card, or a new government card to become a multi use card where all government payments and benefits are deposited for use. This will give the government the ability to instantly impose a new electronic currency when the old one breaks down. Those that are not on the government dole will have to sign up for a card or find themselves locked out of most commerce. With the use of mobile devices the advent of a cashless society is much easier and plausible than ever before.

Electronic currencies are a way for those in charge to control everything the public does. With all transactions taking place electronically, the government will know immediately what you are buying and can even control what your electronic currency can buy. The EBT cards now used cannot be used to buy vitamins. That poses the question, why would the government allow the purchase of junk food with these cards but not something that can keep you healthy? That would imply they want a lot of sick, overweight people in this country. That would be beneficial to the pharmaceutical companies and insurance companies which had a hand in writing the Obamacare legislation.

With an EBT card they can control exactly what you are allowed to eat and if the system is expanded to all transactions, it can include what you wear, read, drive, where you live and how much you can save. If they control what you can buy and your card has a use it or loose it financial cap on it, you will be inclined to spend and buy what they want you to buy, eliminating the ability to save for your future.

With an electronic system it will be easier to identify those that are stocking up on certain things which might be considered anti government. With a cashless society the purchase of guns and ammo would be easy to eliminate. With the current war on gardens around the country it would be easy to prevent the purchase of seeds and canning supplies to produce and preserve your own food. With the current state of electronic devices it would be easy for someone’s every move to be tracked continuously. This could be the governments “solution” to the problem they created by printing too much money.

Many people would dismiss these things out of hand but they have some sinister implications. With the current move of the government to the extreme left, these things become more probable every day. Private property and privacy are not something true socialists care about or even understand. It is the cause of the social, economic and environmental destruction we now see around the world.

What should a person who cares about liberty and privacy do? Many are already taking the steps to limit the extent of damage that the coming catastrophe will incur on their lives. The acquisition of gold, silver, diamonds and other hard assets to act as a store of wealth for future use, the storing of food and household goods and the purchase of land and equipment to produce the things they need are all things those paying attention are doing to insure they can care for their families in the future. The acquisition of knowledge once considered common knowledge to our grandparents is being resurrected. The advent of barter groups and currencies to operate outside of the governments control are slowly increasing in numbers and the increasing use of alternate energy systems to insure access to electricity and fuels for vehicles is spreading.

The world is changing and not for the better. The crisis we now find ourselves in will get much worse before it improves. Those that have complete faith in the government and the money printers will never see it coming. Those that bask in the warm glow of government control eventually find themselves consumed in its uncontrolled fires.

Prepare for the Great Wealth Destruction and Asset Extraction

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

Every liberal I see on TV keeps yelling tax the rich more. I don’t think they really understand how that will work so lets look at it. Most rich people get a majority of their income through capital gains so raising the income tax rate will do little. For someone that is mega rich , they don’t need to make any money during the year. They already have enough to live on the rest of their lives, several times over. That being the case, they have no need to make any money from capital gains either.

The rich are currently selling off their paper assets and putting this money into hard assets to preserve it for later. If you have a vault full of gold, you won’t pay any taxes on the gains until you sell it so it can go up in price multiple times without the owner having to pay any annual taxes on it. They can sell off small amounts as they need it and pay only minor taxes every year.

George Lucas recently sold the Star Wars franchise to Disney for mega millions. He sold it now so he could save many millions of dollars in taxes that will take effect next year. Sotheby’s has been selling record amounts of art, jewelry and other tangibles as the owners take advantage of this last opportunity to save on higher taxes. The buyers are buying to lock in their asset values for future use. This is exactly what I mentioned in The American Dream Lost. Between the new taxes and monetary devaluation, the rich will increasingly convert their wealth into hard assets to preserve it. Those that stay in paper assets will have it taxed and devalued away until nothing remains.

This wealth preservation is lost on those who think taxing more will get the money from the rich. When the tax revenues fall, as they always do when something like this is done, the government will have to do something else to appease their base. The only way to get money from someone that has plenty and pays no taxes is to create a new tax. The only tax that accomplishes this is a wealth tax. If you tax someone on their net worth, it makes no difference when or how they got it. This is a tax that would seriously hurt the super rich and is why I think they would not allow it. All of those good liberal millionaires and billionaires that talk of not being taxed enough would change their tune very fast if this type of tax were proposed.

If the rich do not pay then someone must. Even if they did pay, it would not be enough to keep up with government spending. The advent of new taxes such as the VAT or Carbon tax would hit everyone at every level and those in power would see this as preferable to giving up their wealth for redistribution. Keep in mind that half of the elected officials in D.C. are millionaires or multi millionaires.

These taxes are only the beginning. You can also expect them to come after your savings and retirement plans as well. As the government coffers empty they will need more fixes to keep the mill running. The current government will begin to resemble something like the Ottoman Empire where such things as each tree was taxed so most were cut down by the owners to avoid the tax. This type of environment is what causes the massive wealth destruction that impoverishes nations as people destroy assets and capital to avoid the horrendous taxes they cannot afford.

In the end the government will own everything that has not been destroyed. This is the creation of the socialist state where the people rely on government for everyday needs. This is a process that can take years or even decades to complete. It can be done so slowly that most cannot identify the reasons they are becoming impoverished. The ones who fail to see the reasons are the same ones who ignore the warnings of others who see clearly and avoid the losses.

Many now see the writing on the wall and some have even petitioned the White House for session. Many liberals have launched counter petitions to have the secessionists stripped of their citizenship and be deported. I find humor in this train of thought. If you secede you revoke your citizenship and self deport, and you do so while taking the land with you.

The coming years will be difficult and nothing like anyone could ever imagine. As the government becomes more desperate it will take measures that seem illogical and unproductive but it will do so as a means of self preservation. If the people sit idly by and allow the destruction of their economy and private property and do nothing, they deserve what they end up with. That may be nothing more than a hole in the ground, which they will be taxed on.

How Consumerism Killed a Society

By:  Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

On this Thanksgiving holiday there are many things for Americans to reflect on. We are seeing the beginnings of a major war in the Middle East, the destruction of our currency, a high unemployment rate that will increase, and hurricane disaster victims that continue to struggle. There are deep divisions in our society at all levels, distrust of the government, talk of secession, the specter of increasing taxes and inflation, the creeping loss of freedom and government scandals that are piling up.

This is the time of the year when we come together and celebrate the family and renew old bonds. We celebrate and give thanks for the many things that we have no matter how little that may be. The laundry list of troubles that we face become insignificant on this day of the year. It is the ties that bind that are important and the happiness of belonging that we share. At least that used to be what Thanksgiving was all about.

The new holiday tradition is all about stuff. People actually camp out in front of stores for days just to be the first one in on black Friday to get the limited sale items. The advent of the consumer rush began long ago as people rushed to buy presents for Christmas. This sacred holiday became all about shopping and buying the best gifts. The act of buying became more important than the holiday a some point. Peace on earth and good will towards men got trampled in the rush to celebrate buying stuff.

With the Christmas holiday successfully debauched by sales it was time to move on to the next victim. Thanksgiving was only a month from Christmas. If people could be convinced to start their holiday cheer a little earlier, it would be a boon for retailers. A whole month of shopping insanity to increase profits, Gee, what a country that would make. A whole month to rack up credit card debt that they could take the next year paying off just to do it again.

The shopping season used to start the day after Thanksgiving but it has at last started creeping into Thanksgiving Day itself. Not content with opening at midnight Thursday, the stores are now opening earlier Thursday night as every retailer tries to get the shoppers money first. It’s all about the money and how much you can get before all of the consumers credit is maxed out. Some stores were putting out Christmas decorations before Halloween this year.

I suppose before long the madness will start on the 4th of July and provide shoppers with six months of shopping glee to spend the increasingly worthless money they will be loaned to put them further into bondage. I think everyone harkens back to the good old days not so much because they were more prosperous but because people were too poor to act this stupid. When a society begins to place a higher priority on the tangible things, like money, than the intangible things like faith and friendship, the society is soon to suffer the indignation of economic failure and societal collapse. Humility is a dish usually served cold and unannounced to the populace. You might try to reflect on that this Thanksgiving Day as you eat your turkey and stuffing. I will as I contemplate the limited shopping I’ll do next month.

To Secede or Not To Secede: What Are the Problems?

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

With all of the ill will and distrust in America, it is doubtful we will ever return to the country we once knew. The attitude of We Won so shut up and do as you are told will continue to fracture this nation until something gives. When it does finally give, whatever form it takes will almost certainly be messy and noisy.

If a number of the states decide they have had enough of federal incompetence, what might they do in realistic terms to separate from this unwanted appendage? There are some primary questions that must be answered before this could happen in a successful way.

The first thing people must realize is that the federal government provides a great deal of money to states every year to administer to certain programs. Most of this money came from the citizens of the state to begin with and is held by the federal government for redistribution as it sees fit. This is by design because it is the only real power the federal government has over the states. Any time a state attempts to reject the will of the federal government, the first thing the state is faced with is the threat of loosing its’ federal money. In order for a state to administer its own programs with its own money, it first must cut off the flow of tax money from the citizens of the state to the federal government.

The next thing that must be resolved is the use of a currency. Since the federal government through the Federal Reserve, controls the money supply of the nation, an alternate system must be available to insure commerce can continue within the state and allow commerce with outside entities. In a standoff with the federal government, the feds can simply cut off the money supply of the state and cause untold chaos.

To resolve this problem a state must have its’ own money supply. The state government would have to establish a state bank to administer to the local banks within the state. The state bank would act as the treasury and issue either gold and silver coinage and/or paper gold and silver certificates backed by gold and silver bullion held by the treasury. The coordination of these certificates with other state banks can provide the states with the ability to conduct interstate commerce. The certificates can be identical from state to state with each certificate displaying a state seal of the issuing state. This will identify where it was issued and where the actual bullion is located to back the certificate.

To initiate the separation of the state operations from the federal operations, the state would engage in full spectrum nullification. All federal laws and regulations would simultaneously become null and void within the state and all elected federal representatives from the state would be reclassified as diplomats from the state to the federal government with the senior senator acting as Ambassador. All federal agents and employees operating within the state would be directed to leave or face imprisonment for unlawful conduct. The federal government would respond to this action with threats of force and monetary retaliation.

The threat of monetary retaliation would already be resolved with the new state currency. The threat of force would be difficult for the federal government to face as they would have to be the ones to actually move forces into the state initiating the first shots. All states have National Guard forces that are fully trained and equipped. Most states have substantial bases controlled by the National Guard and they also have Air National Guard units with the latest aircraft. Those that scoff at the ability of the National Guard need to keep two things in mind. The National Guard now comprises about 60% of the nations combat arms units. These are the actual trigger pullers on the battlefield. With all of the recent wars in the mid east, many of these National Guard soldiers are combat veterans with a great deal of experience in combat operations.

Many states also have state defense forces. There is also a militia contingency in many states. In Virginia for example, every able bodied man between the ages of 16 and 55 belong to the unorganized militia, whether they know it or not, and can be activated at the Governors command. This would instantly generate an army of over a million men just in the Commonwealth alone. Everyone knows by now about the millions of weapons and billions of rounds of ammo owned by civilians in this country, so these men would not be empty handed.

One of the perils of some states such as Virginia is their location and disposition of critical federal infrastructure. Virginia has the nations only nuclear carrier building facility, the CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, Military bases and storage warehouses, the presidential bunker at Mt. Weather and one of the nations largest navel bases. These are not facilities the federal government would let go of very easily.

The largest opposition from within the state would be from those receiving payments from the federal government. They would not want to lose those payments for any reason and would resist this change. The state would also need to decide how it would deal with these dependant persons after separation. Would the state continue payments from its’ state coffers or would it eliminate these payments?

Also something everyone needs to keep in mind is that the government we now have is the way it is because it is a direct reflection of the people that voted for it. That is one reason we can never “vote the bums out”. This fact leads to the question of how to prevent this segment of society from creating another corrupt entity to rule over us.

Three other potential problems for a state, especially one surrounded by federally backed states, would be energy, food and transportation. Many states have power plants but they require fuel deliveries from outside sources that could be cut off by federal forces. Most states have some food production but they would need sufficient supplies if the distribution lines were cut. Those states that are land locked would have the disadvantage of having their land routes cut off in order to force submission to the federal government. Some states would be less susceptible to these things than others but the state must evaluate these things prior to any unilateral actions.

If a state took these actions in preparation of seceding from the federal government, it would be difficult for the federal government to prevent it without initiating hostile action to prevent it and they would be at a disadvantage especially if several states acted in unison. In this situation it would be difficult to say how many liberals would be willing to put their lives at risk to prevent this separation from happening. Many are vocal in these types of matters but would be reluctant to spill any of their own blood over it.

The act of separating from the federal government is a simple and straight forward process but it will only happen if the state legislature and Governor is willing and they have a sizeable portion of the population to back them up. This could happen if things deteriorate enough and the outcry is sufficient. This type of action is like walking through a mine field. It must be done very carefully or things could go very wrong, very fast. Time will tell how this story plays out but there are many possible endings.

If the state governments went this route, they could do it peacefully without firing a shot. It is simply a matter of withdrawing their support for the federal government and moving on. The problem will be whether the feds will allow it or not. They will either stand back and allow it to happen or they will try to prevent it by force of arms. It would be a safe bet that they would try to maintain their power at all costs and that is the problem. Secession is a messy problem that is not to be taken lightly and is not to be dismissed out of hand.

When Complex Systems Fail: Part II

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

It is critical to realize when a system is about to fail so you can take the necessary immediate steps to limit the effects of the failure on you. In a cascading series of failures it is important to think and act proactively to stay ahead of the curve. How the failures occur in your immediate area and what form they take will be to a large degree determined by the type of people there. Those with no preparations or resources to fall back on will likely react in a frightened and violent way. Some that cannot handle the reality when their comfort zone is breached will go into a state of depression, denial or shock and will complicate the situation for others and will become the helpless victims of those that will take advantage of the situation.

In a cascading series of failures, the first hard jolt will leave many reeling from the sudden and unexpected nature of the situation. Many of these people will not understand that this is only the first of many situations that will build upon one another causing more damage as the failures continue. Those that understand what is happening and maintain some situational awareness can position themselves to mitigate these failures and take preemptive measures prior to each occurrence.

Situational awareness is a key to staying ahead of each failure. Just as you know that when a snow storm is approaching you may lose power, you must learn to read the subtle signs in society to determine what is happening at any given moment. When you hear that there is a failure of the grain harvests around the world, you know that will increase the prices of many products made from grain. You know that livestock fed with grain will be more expensive and so will the meat. If there is a strike overseas in the primary cocoa producing regions of the world it will mean higher cocoa and chocolate prices. If there is a war in the Middle East that may cut off oil shipments in that part of the world, you know that may mean higher gas prices or inability to get any at times if it is severe. If the government enacts import restrictions on certain products, it may mean those things will become scarce or unobtainable in the marketplace.

These are the types of things that you need to concern yourself with to stay ahead of the failures. The ability to predict cause and effect will enable you to be prepared for these jolts to society and allow you to ride out the disruptions. For every action there is an opposite but equal reaction. One of the things you need to stay aware of are the actions within government. These are the most immediate and possibly dangerous things to your future and being able to determine how government actions will affect you will determine your actions in response.

If you hear the government is about to set up checkpoints to limit travel between areas, and you have a safe location you are planning to go to if things deteriorate, that may be the only warning you get to leave and go to your safe location. If you wait you may not be allowed to leave later. The warning signs before each situation may be subtle and short lived. There may be multiple signs indicating several things are about to happen simultaneously. You need to prepare for this and be prepared to multitask and do it quickly.

This is the reason to have several well thought out plans to draw on. Most likely you will have to draw from each plan as the situations develop and construct a new overall plan as you react to situations on the ground. This is where prior planning pays off by allowing you to quickly organize a new plan even while on the move.

When you set down to draw up a plan to deal with several different scenarios, it would be beneficial to include a few plans that deal with radical and unconventional situations to provide you with options if you are confronted with a situation outside of your normal sphere of thinking. In a developing situation it is critical to be prepared for anything. A plan can help overcome a lack of resources when something unusual happens.

When things start to fall apart on a national or global scale, they can get out of control very quickly. When that happens, you don’t want to be in the wrong place surrounded by the wrong people. If that should happen, you want to have a plan to deal with it. When systems begin to fail a few at a time over a long period, it is easy to become complacent and ignore the signs telling you what to do. It is your job to understand those signs and be prepared to react to them.

If you want to exercise this skill, all you need to do is start reading more and keeping up with current events. Pay attention to these events and watch what effects they have that affect you. This is the best way to learn situational awareness, and soon you will hear of something happening in the world and immediately think about what it will cause and what you should do to limit its’ effects on you. Those that wait for direction from government or media sources will not have the time necessary to react and protect their resources. Insuring that you stay ahead of any event is up to you. God gave you a brain for a reason. It’s up to you to use it.

When Complex Systems Fail

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

When complex systems fail, they almost never fail all at once. They usually suffer from a cascading failure or a series of smaller failures leading up to the complete breakdown of the systems functions. Our social, economic and environmental systems are all breaking down and the end result will be catastrophic for the people, but the breakdown will not happen all at once.

Many people understand that the system is failing but they do not have a clear understanding of how it will affect them. In a cascading failure one part leads to the damage and failure of another part until everything stops. In an automobile, when the oil pump goes bad it stops pumping oil to all of the internal parts that come in contact with one another preventing them from causing excess wear to one another. As the oil flow stops it will not stop the engine or any other parts from working and you will continue down the road unknowing unless a light or gage gives you a warning. As the oil is worn off of the metal parts you begin to get more signs something is wrong. The lifters will start tapping louder as time goes on and the temperature of the engine will start to increase as the parts cause more friction with one another. Eventually the bearings will begin to wear excessively against one another until they seize up and stop the engine completely.

This could happen very rapidly or it could happen over a matter of minutes, but the damage will be the same. Many people feel that the economic problems they see ahead will occur like a car wreck, happening very rapidly and ending suddenly in heavy damage and chaos. With large complex systems, there are many moving parts and they rarely all fail simultaneously. Instead you will more likely see a cascading series of failures that cause increasing damage as they progress. You might think of the coming breakdown more like falling down a long flight of stairs rather than an automobile accident.

As you begin to fall at the top of the stairs you realize you are in trouble but it takes a short period of time before the first damage is done. As you impact the first step you suffer much damage as your body absorbs the initial impact and slows you down a little. Then as you roll and tumble down the stairs you suffer more injury. Some steps you will hit hard and some you may miss entirely along the way. As you fall the injuries will increase until you get to the bottom. One person may fall all the way down and only suffer a few bruises while another may suffer a fractured skull and multiple broken bones. The difference comes in how flexible you are and able you are to absorb the impacts.

As you look at the potential breakdown ahead of you, you must look at your surroundings and consider cause and effect in evaluating the series of failures that will occur. It may take much longer for the breakdown to occur, requiring you to have a plan to carry you through the series of failures over a matter of weeks or months.

Let’s look at one type of breakdown. A hyperinflation situation does not happen overnight. It occurs over a matter of months or years. The systems that the people depend on become more dysfunctional as the inflation continues until they cannot function normally.

As the money becomes worth less the prices of necessities become more expensive. Those that depend on fixed income suffer as their money buys less and less. The workers are able to keep up with inflation for a while due to rising wages but even that becomes a losing battle. As the manufacturers and energy providers raise wages to keep up with inflation they also must raise prices to compensate. This affects fixed income people first then later the average man. As the masses begin to suffer from lack of necessities they sell or trade whatever they have to survive.

If they complain enough, the government may impose price controls to freeze prices. As the inflation continues producers begin to lose money on their products and at some point stop selling the items they are losing money on. This is when large farms will likely be visited by government buyers and will force the farmers to sell their products to the government for the set price which is a losing proposition for the farmers. Many will not continue producing the excess they once did and instead produce only for personal use until the situation changes. This causes real shortages where people cannot get the item even if they have plenty of currency. This is when the real suffering begins.

Those that have money and try to send it out of the affected area to preserve it may find that at some point the government enacts capital controls preventing you from moving your money out of the area. In this type of situation the actions taken by the government almost always cause more problems than they solve but they do them because the people demand action.

The people that get along better than most are the small farmers that operate under the radar and can provide food and items for barter. This is usually referred to as a black market, which operates in the shadows of a failing system to provide those with tradable items with the things they must have.

In a slow decay of support systems, a person must have not only stored items for trade but also be able to create items in a sustainable way to ride out the decay until the situation can stabilize and normal production systems can get back on line.

When the breakdown starts you need to be able to provide basics for your family until it is over. You need to have support systems that are fully owned and will not be lost especially through bankruptcy. You need to have shelter you can depend on. You need to have transportation you can depend on. You need stored food and clothing and a way to replenish those supplies for an indefinite period of time. You need a way to produce the energy you need such as wind, solar or wood gas. You need a place that is relatively safe and a way to protect your family when things become violent. You need resources to grow and store food. You need communications to keep you informed and medical resources to keep you healthy.

A simple plan might be to acquire 2 to 5 acres of land in a rural area, have a large tent, trailer or structure such as a cottage to live in, have some basic tools to produce food and some way to produce your own energy. With these few things you would be able to get by during the worst of the crisis and be able to produce excess to trade for the other things you need. The better you plan for a long series of failures, the more flexible you will be and the more able you will be to absorb the impacts on the way down. When the system fails and you end up at the bottom of the stairs, you want to be in the condition to get up and shake off the few bruises that you have. Those that fail to plan will suffer untold damage as their brittle bodies bounce and roll uncontrollably along the way leaving them unable to function when they reach the bottom.

And When The Bough Breaks….

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

Half of the people in America now depend on government money in some form or another to get by from day to day. These payments are a major part of our economy now and the elimination of these payments will be catastrophic to the standard of living that is already falling at a rapid pace. The unsustainable nature of this government money guarantees that it will be cut off at some point in the future.

With the encroachment of government into free markets, we now find ourselves in a spiral of decay that will end with unnecessary poverty for the masses. The word poverty means something different to Americans than it does to everyone else in the world.

Tocqueville once wrote that, “The word poor is used here in a relative, not an absolute sense. Poor men in America would often appear rich in comparison with the poor of Europe.” This is an important distinction that Americans need to realize.

Norman Podhoretz once related a story told to him by a Soviet dissident providing a good illustration of this. ‘It seems the Soviet authorities used to encourage the repeated screening of The Grapes of Wrath, a movie about the Great Depression-era migration of starving farmers from the Dust Bowl to California in their broken-down pickups. But contrary to expectation, what Soviet audiences got from this film was not an impression of how wretched was the plight of the poor in America. Instead they came away marveling that in America, “even the peasants own trucks.”’

Even the “poor” in America have a good standard of living compared to most of the rest of the world, but for many of these people that is not acceptable. Many of the poor in America can boast of having a refrigerator, a TV, a DVD player, a closet full of clothing and some even a car. Until recently poor was a relative term in America but that will change soon. If the free market economy we have is allowed to die, these people will find out what actual poverty is when the government payments they depend on suddenly cease and they are thrown back on their own resources, which are few and far between.

The ultra-liberals in this country always focus on the small number of things that are wrong with the country, while the ultra-conservatives focus on everything that is right with it. The liberals want to destroy all of the things that are right in order to fix the few things that are wrong. This is what will cause the absolute poverty that most Americans will find themselves dealing with and will have no way out of because the free market system that would allow them the freedom to work and be successful will be gone.

This is why Americans have very little time to wake up and develop an economic survival strategy to ride out this storm. Once the gale winds begin to blow it will be too late to amass the resources you need to maintain a reasonable standard of living and care for your family. Once real poverty is a part of the American landscape, it will be decades if ever, before it will improve significantly. Those that rely solely on the government for everyday needs will have a great fall when the support system breaks. Having resources to draw on may not keep you from falling but you will end up on top of the pile instead of on the bottom. Many things in life are out of a persons control but this is one thing that everyone has control over and it is your responsibility.

The Rise and Fall of A Second Obama Term

By: Tom Chatham – Author of Rebuilding The Republic

10 things that will rise:

Precious metals – With the continued printing of fiat money the price of precious metals will continue to rise in nominal terms.

Unemployment – The increasing government regulations and taxes will send more jobs overseas or close many more businesses.

SNAP – The increasing unemployment and impoverishment of Americans will increase the number of Americans dependant on the government for food.

Welfare recipients – The number of people receiving welfare type payments will increase as the number of Americans falling into poverty increases.

Energy costs – The governments war on conventional energy sources will decrease the amount of domestic energy produced and increase the price.

Food costs – The increased printing of money will cause the nominal price of food to increase substantially causing more hunger and unrest.

Gun sales – The threat of increased gun control and outright confiscation and the intrusions by government will cause more individuals to arm themselves not only against federals but the increasingly desperate people that the economy will create.

Government regulations – Government regulations will increase and strangle domestic supplies of food and energy to gain more control of the productive sectors for redistribution.

Taxes – Taxes will increase on most Americans to pay for government programs and for more fair redistribution of wealth.

Medical costs – Medical costs will rise substantially due to new Obamacare regulations and the shortage of doctors, many of whom have already said they would retire or change careers.

11 things that will fall:

Freedom – As the economy declines the less freedoms government will allow to keep a newly impoverished populace in control.

Productivity – Falling wages and fewer real jobs will decrease the production of real goods in the U.S.

Privacy – The loss of freedoms will include the loss of privacy as time goes on to prevent dissention in the population and identify those that need “reeducation”.

Security – The decreased defense capabilities of the U.S. as time goes on will invite attack by those that desire the natural resources we have. This is not to be confused with the false security threats we are now presented by government.

Income/wealth – The loss of jobs that cannot be replaced, lower wages and the destruction of the savings of millions through money printing will insure poverty conditions engulf a majority of the population.

Standard of living – The loss of jobs, lower wages, less production, lack of affordable homes and high prices for necessities will reduce many Americans to third world standards.

Asset values – The value of many assets such as homes , that Americans hold as a store of wealth, will decline as the economy reels from increased unemployment.

Product availability – Price controls enacted by government to alleviate the high price of goods due to money printing will cause shortages as manufacturers and retailers cease selling items they will lose money on.

Purchasing power – The printing of money will raise prices in nominal terms, consuming more of the populations money for basic necessities and leaving little or no extra for consumer products.

Number of doctors – The new regulations enacted by Obamacare wil cause economic hardships on doctors that will see many of them leave the field and seek retirement or other forms of employment.

Number of Wealthy In U.S. – The number of wealthy persons in the U.S. will decline as many expatriate to more friendly countries with the bulk of their savings to escape new government taxes and devaluation of the currency. This will also affect the job creation in the U.S. and cause further impoverishment.

A Failure of Disaster Response: Or Was It?

By: Tom Chatham

One week ago the Northeast experienced the worst storm in decades if not a century. The storm warnings went out and the people were told to prepare. The bureaucracy activated its highly paid, highly trained central organizers to prepare their plans for recovery efforts. Then everyone waited for the destruction to begin. As the scenes of destruction unfolded the central planners worked their magic and coordinated supplies and resources coming from all over the lower 48. As the storm dissipated, emergency workers began their monumental task of repairing the damaged infrastructure and returning things to normal. As work progressed they patted each other on the back for another job well done.

The only problem with the central planners and their recovery operations is that those operations do not include disaster relief for the civil population. Many people are now beginning to realize the true nature of these emergency management agencies. These agencies, led by FEMA, are for the sole purpose of Continuity of Government, and any benefits that the civil population receives from them are the mere crumbs that government employees happen to drop. This may sound harsh but sometimes the truth hurts. People need to realize this fact and prepare for their own disaster response.

The U.S. government has dozens if not hundreds of secure bunker complexes around the country that are maintained by FEMA. Just last year the U.S. government made a purchase of 1 Billion dollars worth of freeze dried foods, and just a few months ago they said they were going to buy millions of dollars worth of meat. Nations such as Switzerland have bunkers for most of their people and Russia has shelters and grain supplies for a large portion of their population. So it begs the question, if our government has this many bunkers and has stored this much food and they cannot even get minimal relief to people in one borough of New York, a major financial hub, then where exactly are their priorities directed? If you think any of those bunkers are for the little people then I hate to bust your bubble but someone needs to. I only mention these things to make a point. In a disaster our government will take care of itself.

In the days after the storm we saw people pulling through dumpsters for food, pleading for water and shelter from the cold and pulling guns on one another to get gasoline. These things happened within 48 hours of the storm ending where the bulk of the country was able to help this one area and this gets to the point of the article. There was a total failure of the government to maintain minimal living standards for the population following a disaster when they had massive resources available to them. These images were beamed around the world and rest assured, our enemies are watching and taking notes. The government cannot care for everyone even under good circumstances and they have ensured the people are not prepared to care for themselves. This is what worries me the most.

Our enemies are constantly trying to find new ways to harm us and we are providing them with test runs to showcase our incompetence and help them fine tune any future attack. If an enemy were to launch conventional and cyber attacks against our grid and natural gas pipelines just as a major blizzard were about to hit the upper Midwest and Northeast, they have a good idea what kind of chaos it would cause and how the government would handle it. In a scenario such as this the people would be left mostly to their own devices. This is the reason preppers are always trying to educate people and get them to prepare. The failure of the government bureaucracy to educate the public on self sufficiency and self preservation under catastrophic circumstances, or even acknowledge the need, will exact a high price that will be paid for with the blood of its people.

I don’t think the people should expect handouts from the government but with all of the money the government spends on supposedly preparing for disaster, you would think they would at least be able to give a kerosene heater, five gallons of kerosene, a case of MRE’s and a case of water to those that can shelter in place. That seems pretty basic to me but then again, I’m not a government bureaucrat and that isn’t their mission. As with all of the past disasters, this episode should bring to light the necessity to prepare. A smart man learns from his mistakes, a genius learns from the mistakes of others.

Personal Responsibility and Critical Thinking

By: Tom Chatham

When everything is going right its’ easy to let other people worry about the things you depend on but when everything ceases to function properly who’s job is it to worry about your needs? That should be an obvious answer but in these times its’ not so clear to many people. ITS’ YOUR JOB TO CARE FOR YOUR FAMILY NO MATTER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES YOU FIND YOURSELF IN. You accepted that responsibility when you decided to have a family. Its’ not something you have the right to pass off on someone else. That’s not to say that in difficult times you can use all of the help you can get and its’ good to know there is someone willing to help you but the generosity of others is not something you have a right to expect.

The recent disaster in the Northeast is a prime example that people just don’t seem to take personal responsibility for anything when the norm is breeched and that statement does not apply to everyone but you know who you are. You hear it every time there is a major disaster and the song is getting old. Where is the government and why aren’t they taking care of me? I’m sorry people but it’s not the governments’ fault that you did not listen to the warnings and failed to prepare. It’s not the governments fault or your well prepared neighbors fault that you don’t know how to think for yourself. You can excuse someone who just does not know and will be prepared the next time but with all of the disasters that occur in the U.S. every year, not knowing what the aftermath of a disaster will bring is pure stupidity. You can fix a lack of knowledge but you cannot fix stupid.

The critical thinking ability of many people is sorely lacking. If you know a storm might take down the power grid, you go to the store and the gas station BEFORE the storm arrives. If you rely on the grid for heating and cooking needs and you know you may lose power you make sure you have some type of backup heat source to take care of your needs for the immediate future. With no power you know the lights will not work and the water will not flow so you need a plan to deal with that. With no power the sewage system will not function, unless you have a private system. Lack of knowledge of these basic things is the cause of much suffering after a major event.

When an event is reported many people immediately buy a generator and the local supplies are depleted quickly. One way around this major purchase is to buy a power inverter in the 2,000 watt range. This can be connected to your car, which was filled with gas before the storm, and provide you with limited power to keep your refrigerator or deep freezer running a few hours a day to keep foods refrigerated. This system can also provide you with light and even cooking ability if you have a small hot plate. An inverter of this size will also power most microwave ovens. Just keep the vehicle running while you are using a lot of power to keep your vehicle battery from going dead, AAA may not be able to get to you for a while. If you have the ability to use propane or kerosene units, you can provide heating and cooking ability for several days. There is always a way to get around a problem without it costing a great deal, you just have to think the problem through and come up with a solution that works for you.

And people, if you live near the beach, and only 3 feet above sea level, and the storm surge is going to be 10 feet, you need to pack up and get out. This is basic math but considering the state of public schools today I can understand how this simple fact is lost on many people. This disaster is devastating and the next one will be no different because people will be just as ill-prepared. And after it happens we can all sit back and be lulled to sleep by the chorus of where is the government and why aren’t they taking care of me?

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