Author Archives: sierra2one

What Do You Do When Your Supplies Run Out?

By: Tom Chatham

The small percentage of the population that keeps extra supplies on hand in the event of a disaster have taken the necessary steps to insure their family will not suffer as most others will following an event. This is the act of intelligent people that realize we live in a dangerous world with many unknowns.

It does not matter if you are prepared for two weeks, two months or two years of societal disruptions. At some point, if the event goes on long enough, you will eventually come to the end of your supplies. When that happens, what will you do?

Having a two year store of supplies is exceptional but as we have seen, some disasters can last far beyond that. The food scarcity we see in places like Venezuela have taken years to unfold and some past wars have raged on for more than a few years. When that happens even your best efforts may fall short and leave you in want.

Those that store a certain amount of supplies for a set period of time need to think beyond that period of time and imagine what they will do when the disaster lasts longer than they had planned on.

When you plan for an event, you need to think of the worst possible scenario and have a plan to handle it. A worst possible case may entail more supplies than you have the ability to buy or store but you should consider what your actions will be if you find yourself in that situation. Thinking about it now while you have the time to find solutions and determine a course of action will help you to stay calm and prevent you from making mistakes that might harm you later.

When an event happens, your greatest asset is your own mind. You need to program it with all of the answers you will need to get you through difficult times when they appear. This is the most basic level of preparing for difficult times that you can do.

Once you think through the possible troubles you may have in the future you will hopefully have answers at the ready when they are needed. Once you do this you will also be able to come up with a list of specific items that can help you the most if you get in that situation.

It may be tools, seeds, relocation sites or friends you can turn to that will make all the difference when the time comes. It costs you nothing but your time to sit down and think about these things now so there is no reason for you not to do it. When you are in need or in danger it is the little things that can make all of the difference.

Having supplies to care for your family buys you time and peace of mind when something happens. This time allows you to assess the situation and determine what your next move needs to be. It is impossible to plan for all of the potential unknowns you could be faced with which is why you need the time to adjust your plans and determine a course of action.

What works for one person may not be possible for someone else because people and situations are so vastly different. That is why you need to determine what will work for you and have a plan that you can follow. Looking at the plans of others can give you some good ideas but simply taking the plans of someone else and depending on that with no adjustments can be disastrous. You do not want to put yourself in a situation that is outside of your knowledge base.

When the world suddenly changes overnight you need to be ready to adjust to it. You need the resources to buy you the time to adjust and a plan that allows you the ability to survive and prosper long term.

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What Do You Expect To Get Out Of Life?

By: Tom Chatham

Most people go through life following a pattern that they think is normal without ever asking why. They go to school then maybe to collage. They get a job that pays them enough to live a moderately good life with all the accessories they expect. They have kids, sometimes. They take trips, sometimes. They live for the day when they can retire and sit around watching game shows on TV until they die. Am I describing anyone you know?

If this is the type of life that makes you happy then that’s fine. Everyone has their own idea of what a good life is but how many really stop and think about it before its near the end. What is it that makes you happy? Are you living life or just marking time?

Some day when you are 70 years old and sitting around in your rocker thinking about your life, what are the things you will remember the most? When you go over the list of accomplishments that you achieved and the things you regret not doing, what are the things on that list? Have you ever stopped lately and thought about that while you still have plenty of life to live?

Is the sum of our lives more than our mere existence? What do we leave behind that made that existence worth while? Every persons life touches so many others that sometimes it is hard to quantify what we have done.

What course of action do you intend to follow? Do you have a bucket list of things to do in life and how far along on that list are you? Will you simply kill time while you are here or do you plan to accomplish something great that everyone will remember?

Time is the great equalizer. We all have a limited amount of it and how we spend it is entirely up to each one of us. You can spend your time as you choose or you can allow someone else to spend it for you but at the end of the day that time is gone and you will never get it back.

Very few people ever stop and think about what they want out of life and how they intend to get it. They simply follow the crowd. Most do not know exactly what they want and never take the time to find out. People get stuck in a recurring cycle and do not know what to do.

Forrest Gump would know what to do.

Why Are American Communities Dying?

By: Tom Chatham

Most Americans who have been around for a while know life is nothing like it used to be. When someone wanted a job one was found with a little bit of searching. Today jobs are difficult to find, especially in small communities.

When I was growing up in the 70’s, there were several car dealers in my community. There were three tractor dealers and too many mom and pop stores to count. Today there are two used car dealers and the nearest tractor dealer is twenty miles away. So how is it that we now have more people, but fewer businesses to employ them?

A nations wealth is derived from having a product to sell. That wealth needs to circulate in towns and cities to compound the wealth effect and create jobs and businesses. When wealth is not created or it is siphoned off to other places, the wealth effect can not happen, and in many cases goes into reverse. A community needs a certain amount of service related jobs to function but it also needs some type of production jobs to bring in money from the outside. This can be mining , agriculture or manufacturing type jobs, but they must exist to insure a healthy economy.

America has two major problems today. A large amount of our production is done outside the country eliminating production jobs in local communities and many of the small local businesses that kept wealth within communities have been supplanted by large corporations that siphon wealth out of communities and send it to wall street.

In the past when a small business made profit, that profit was kept in the local community because that is where the owner lived. Now, that profit leaves the community never to be seen again. With less money to circulate within the community the businesses that depend on people spending their extra dollars, have fewer customers and eventually go out of business. With fewer jobs there is that much less money circulating and the economic situation spirals down until nothing is left.

These days corporate businesses and government jobs make up the major part of many local communities. In many cases if it were not for the government jobs, many communities would no longer exist. So what do you think would happen if the government suddenly no longer had money to pay those workers? What would happen if corporate profits dropped to the point where corporate stores decided to close and cut their losses?

To some extent we are seeing this happen now in many places. Corporate stores moved in and drove small local businesses out. Then when the profits dried up the corporate stores closed leaving the community with no jobs or products to buy. With no capital in the local communities to rebuild small businesses, the people simply drive to other areas to do their shopping.

The corporate cronies and government laggards control most of the money flowing through communities now and they want to keep it that way. Any attempt to rebuild local businesses is met with luke warm results. Any business that might make a difference is either killed outright or regulated into oblivion before it can get off the ground. The county where I live has all but abandoned local businesses. The bulk of their income comes from property taxes generated by vacation homes and retirement homes of retired government employees. As long as the government pensions and paychecks continue, they see no reason to change the status quo. The result is that the younger people leave as soon as they can and the average age of the population continues to get older. As with many places today, this area has no future.

Where I live is a microcosm of the nation. Corporate and government entities continue to siphon what little money there is out of communities and just as small communities are dying, the nation will soon follow if current trends do not change. A return to small local economics is the only way to reverse some of the damage and keep our communities livable. But, do not be deceived. There is no way to undo all of the damage that has been done and even if we survive, we will only be a shadow of what we once were as a nation

Its Time For A New Agriculture Policy

By: Tom Chatham

Once again farmers across America are facing ruin. They are encouraged to grow crops at high cost and little profit and the only people that actually make any money are the bankers, seed companies and the fertilizer companies. Farmers are a pawn in global economics that allow countries to control others by threat of famine.

Farmers live and die at the whim of trade deals. They are the shock absorber for men in suits that care only about numbers. As go the farmers, so goes the nation. A nation cannot survive without its farmers if it wishes to remain a developed nation.

A great deal of pomp is made every time a farm bill is passed as bureaucrats hail the great thing they have done for farmers. They hand out billions in subsidies every year but the vast majority of that money is welfare for large corporate farming interests. It goes to men who work in office buildings.

The government is in a position to actually help the farmers and the population in general if it really wanted to. When farmers have sufficient excess production that they cannot sell into the market for whatever reason, the government has the ability to buy this excess and store it as a strategic food reserve for the nation.

This grain can be stored in facilities near major cities to guarantee supplies in the event of disaster and be rotated out every few years to keep it fresh. This can help keep the market stable and provide a guaranteed market for the crops. It will also give the government bargaining power in trade deals because they will hold the excess grain reserves in the country.

For a few billion dollars a year the government can guarantee the nation has a food supply in the event of crop failures. This is small potatoes when compared to the annual 3.5 trillion budget. Since they will be selling older stores into the market every year they will have income from this venture reducing the annual cost of the program.

Not only will this provide actual benefits to the farmers but for the country. The world food reserves are only about 60 days at the current time. That means the world would start to run out of food in 60 days if this food were not replaced on a continuous basis.

The people of the world have no idea how close they are to famine at any given time and this is especially true for Americans. Without our farmers we will starve and the number of farmers going out of business is about to become a national problem if we do not fix it in time.

The farmers do not need welfare to stay in business. They simply need stable markets that offer reasonable prices. A government storage program would go a long way to helping the situation. Short of that, a national awareness that compels individuals to store extra themselves would help as well.

We are heading into uncertain times where weather anomalies, prices and lack of farmers are building to create a potential catastrophe that will leave many tables empty. We can take many sensible and cost effective measures now that will ensure our survival but we are running out of time. Once our farmers are gone they cannot be easily replaced and neither can the food they produce.

Why Do Some People Live Paycheck To Paycheck?

By: Tom Chatham

It is common place today to hear of people living paycheck to paycheck. If so many people are living so close to the edge one must ask why? There are many reasons why someone might be in financial distress but one looming question remains. If they lack sufficient funds to live as they do, why do they continue on that path?

It has become evident to me that many people live paycheck to paycheck because they choose to. It seems that many people today decide what standard of living they want and start living it. They get the home, car, clothes, jewelry and other items they view as their birthright. Then they try to find a job that will pay for it all. They are basically doing things ass backwards.

In a normal world a person gets a job and builds a life around what they can afford. They live within their means in other words. This includes having sufficient funds for emergencies so they can continue on for a while if something happens to disrupt their income. This is the way most responsible people have always lived.

Today is different. Most people have never had a good role model to teach them how to handle money. The banker controlled media has led them to a life of debt and despair. The people have been conditioned to spend everything they can get their hands on and then spend any credit they can get. Even though they have been conditioned to live like this they make a conscious effort to do it.

To get off this debt cycle they only need to want to. Many people are paying a lot for monthly rent or mortgage and cannot afford it. They do not have much control over what someone wants them to pay for rent but they can control where they decide to live. Just like they can decide what car to buy and what they buy at the store. Their choices determine how much they have left at the end of the month. Show me someone living paycheck to paycheck and I’ll show you something they pay for and do not need or are overpaying for.

There are people living in some cities right now paying more for monthly rent than I spend on all of my living expenses all year, and that is not an exaggeration. And I am not talking about rich people in expensive homes, just ordinary people in ordinary apartments.

Most people like to live near their jobs for an easy commute but their jobs are usually located in expensive areas that house a lot of working people. The landlords know what people in that area make so rents are adjusted to get the most they can. The ordinary person just tries to get a place as cheap as they can which is usually more than they can really afford.

Instead of doing this they have the option of choosing a longer commute allowing them to get a place in a less expensive area. There are people in my area that work in D.C. every day. That is a 100 mile drive each way every day. They do this because they can earn more money and live in an area with a low cost of living. It takes a lot of dedication to do that but it can pay off in a big way over time.

While it is understandable for someone making $15k – $20k a year to have financial difficulty, there are a lot of people making $40k – $100k a year also living paycheck to paycheck that should not have to. These people are struggling now when things are fairly good but it won’t take much of a drop in the economy for them to go negative. That day is fast approaching and if they do not get their financial house in order now, they may not be able to later and that will force them to change their living habits causing a lot of pain along the way. It is better to do it now while it can be done with minimal pain.

How Individuals Can Reset The Financial System

By: Tom Chatham

We have often heard the predictions that the currency system will be reset at some point when the bankers can no longer keep the current ponzi scheme going. The current scheme involves the ability of the bankers to convince the population that pieces of paper rolling off a machine or digits created on a computer screen are real wealth. The education system has been successful in that regard.

Very few people actually understand what real wealth is or anything about economics. They have been led to believe that these things are too complicated for them to understand and it should be left to the experts. These same experts get richer as everyone else gets poorer. That is the way they have rigged the system.

Resetting the system and taking these con artists out of the loop can be as easy as refusing to accept paper or electronic money and only accepting gold and silver for payments. This sounds crazy on the surface but it is not impossible to do and it must be done before they can transition completely into electronic payment systems. Once they transition into electronic payments they will be able to control everything you do and buy.

If they do not want you to own guns or ammo they can simply ban all of these types of transactions. If they do not want you to buy gold or silver they can ban those transactions. If they do not want you to stockpile food they can limit how much you buy from week to week. With no way to buy outside of the electronic system, you will be totally under their control even more than you are now.

The simple way to bypass the control mechanisms meant to control you is to have a medium of exchange that is universal so it cannot be controlled by any one person or group. Many people see the block chain system as a good way to go because it is secure but there is something you need to keep in mind. This system requires the use of electronic systems to process and transmit these digital units. Those who control the electronic systems control the flow of digits. You may have a wallet full of coins but if you cannot connect to the person you want to trade with, how much are they really worth?

A system that cannot be controlled by anyone has been around for millennia. That system is gold and silver. The free market constantly adjusts the value of these metals when they are used as money. They are time tested and proven methods of exchange and stores of wealth.

A population that wishes to rid itself of the corrupt money makers has only to begin using gold and silver as the primary means of exchange. To be useful these metals must be present in sufficient quantities to act as an exchange mechanism in society. This means that individuals must exchange some of their fiat currency for these metals while they still can. With as little as two ounces of gold and twenty ounces of silver per household, the population of an area would have the quantities necessary to transition to a pure monetary system. At current prices three thousand dollars per household would set the population free of bankers and rigged monetary systems.

While this much gold and silver may not sound like very much you need to remember that since 1913 the dollar has been devalued by over 97%. The value of this much gold and silver one hundred years ago was quite substantial for a household to have. With the elimination of inflated currency the prices of goods can return to their real value in terms of gold and silver.

The only thing standing in the way of a new monetary system based on gold and silver is the population itself. The lack of understanding by the average person will ultimately doom society to the poverty and loss of freedom defined by fiat currencies. Until this changes, society will continue to suffer at the hands of those who control the production and flow of currency.

How Do You Beat The Bankers At Their Own Game?

By: Tom Chatham

Those that have been following events for several years know they are under attack by an enemy that has no face and means to do them great harm. Nothing less than their sovereignty and freedom is at stake. Absolute control over people and resources is the ultimate goal.

People need to understand that the bankers need to collapse everything and leave the population in want of resources and supplies. Just like after a natural disaster when the government shows up to provide help to those that have lost everything, the bankers want to show up after the population has lost everything in a collapse, to be their savior and gain control of everyone by offering resources in exchange for compliance.

There are several actions you can take to prevent these people from gaining control over your life.

You must be able to feed yourself-

You must have a home to live in that you own free and clear-

You need to be your own energy company-

You need to be your own bank-

You need to be able to defend what you have-

You need to have skills to operate your own business-

You need to promote a community based economy-

To put it simply, you need to get out of their game and start your own. Remember, the house always wins.

The bankers can only win the game if people are dependent on the elite for everyday necessities. The bankers have created a society of dependent people that they can exploit. They can only continue to exploit people as long as they are dependent on the bankers for the things they need. Once this dependence is broken the bankers lose much of their control on society. This dependence is broken by people who can provide their own necessities.

Early Americans were largely self sufficient in many things which prevented the bankers from controlling everything. Most people used barter to get the things they needed and bankers have no control over barter transactions. They also have little control when gold and silver are used in cash transactions. These people tried several times to build a central bank in the U.S. but were thwarted. Once the bankers created the FED in 1913, they had the mechanism to control the people.

The bankers and politicians can only win if they have absolute control over you and your family. They can only do this by controlling your access to the things you need and must get from others. By maintaining control over these things yourself, you retain that control and rob them of that power.

In many ways, freedom is a result of self sufficiency. The less you depend on others, the more freedom you have to make your own choices in life. People who make their own choices are difficult to control and once people realize they can live without the bankers and government entities the collective power of these entities falls away. The future will be either a collective society where government controls everything you do every minute of the day or it will be a free society where people make their own decisions and take responsibility for what happens. What people do today to free themselves from the control of the bankers, will determine what world we will live in tomorrow.

Individual Preparations Have National Implications

By: Tom Chatham

With the recent release of reports from government agencies that warn of potential risk from long term grid failure, it is only prudent to evaluate your readiness for potential problems in our future. Catastrophic events have a habit of showing up unannounced.

When the population is capable of caring for itself following an event, it frees up government assets to devote to fixing the problem rather than taking care of the population. As we have seen in the past, even in the best cases, government assets cannot provide everything the population wants following an event. They can only provide the most basic needs and this decreases in proportion to the number of people that require assistance.

When something happens and you have resources to provide for your needs, you automatically have more options at your disposal to work your way through the problems. This provides you with the freedom to act in your own best interests and not be a pawn to others. Those that are dependant on others for their needs are at the mercy of those providing those necessities.

The recent NIAC report expresses a need for community enclaves where people can hunker down while the problems are being fixed. These enclaves would encompass things such as schools, hospitals and other community assets that are necessary to continue providing necessities to the community. Enclaves that can provide medical needs, water, sewer services, communications and security are just some of the things that can allow a population to weather an event with the least amount of discomfort.

The ability of community enclaves to care for the local population allows the government to deploy available assets to fix the problem rather than provide for the daily needs of the population. This can greatly enhance the ability to fix the problems in a timely manner without the disruptions that can occur when the population is demanding resources that the government may not have. Community self care is one of the basic functions that civil defense units were once tasked with. The loss of a national civil defense program has left the nation vulnerable at the local level and has security implications for the whole nation. The community enclave idea harkens back to the civil defense era of preparedness.

In the event of a nation wide event, the federal government has no way to care for the nation as a whole. The resources are simply not there, at least not at the national or state level. The resources stored by the government are based on a disaster of small scale and limited duration. The government also depends on the ability to pull resources from the private sector in an emergency. An event that disrupts transportation systems would also prevent distribution of the resources that are available at storage locations.

Communities have the ability to store the necessary resources on an individual basis that can allow the nation to recover. Individuals that store supplies help to spread out the cost of resources and provide redundancy and durability to the supply chain. A government warehouse that is destroyed or looted will provide no help to the many who are counting on it but the loss of a few individual storage units can be absorbed on the whole.

The shift from a local civil defense posture to a government operated system has left the population vulnerable to events that could otherwise have far less consequences for the population if they maintained the resources to deal with it locally on an individual basis. The community enclave allows the local group to benefit from the technical expertise of individuals such as doctors, law enforcement, firemen, electricians and plumbers to provide the essential services that the whole group needs while individuals provide the basic supplies their families need.

The ability of communities to remain stable during an event makes the nation as a whole much stronger and less likely to fall into chaos should other events emerge that can compound the situation. There are those in the world that are always eager to use any situation to prey on society for their own benefit. This can be individuals, groups or even nation states seeking expansion and resources.

We have the resources available at this time to prepare for future unknowns but it is up to each individual to make these preparations. Once an event unfolds it is too late to acquire what you need in any quantity. What you have when it unfolds is what you will have to work with for the duration. At this time the vast majority of the population is unprepared for any serious national crisis and without a refocus of our efforts to individual preparations, the nation as a whole will suffer and depending on the event, may not survive.

Things Change, But Not Always For The Better

By: Tom Chatham

The whole universe operates in cycles. Just as the seasons change on a regular basis, all other things change on schedule as well. A person is born, they go to school, they get a job, they get married and buy a home. Later they have children, buy a bigger home, send their children to school and save for retirement. Their children grow and leave home, they get a smaller home and retire. These are predictable cycles most people go through in life but never pay much attention to.

Knowing that these cycles occur can give a person an idea of what to prepare for in the future. We know that the national debt doubles about every 8 years. We know that the economy goes into a recession every 6 to 8 years. We know that the FED manipulates the economy with money printing and interest rates. We know politicians spend money we don’t have to get reelected. We know from history that these things eventually cause problems that we must deal with as individuals.

When we realize these things we can make plans to deal with these problems before they happen and limit the affects they have on us. The problem is that most people do not see these things coming because they are kept occupied with other trivial things and they have short memories. Then when these disruptions occur they are caught seemingly unaware and suffer for it. To be aware is to be prepared.

We are coming to the end of many different cycles at once and the disruptions that will occur will be larger and more disruptive than anything most people have ever had to deal with in their lifetimes. We appear to be coming to the end of a 300 year economic cycle. When long term cycles end they tend to be very disruptive. More so than regular short term cycles. It also appears we are coming to the end of long term weather cycle. The last time we had as few sun spots as now was during the little ice age from around 1645 to 1715. Global cooling can cause serious problems for food production and people need to be aware of that. When taken in combination these two things can be more serious than the great depression. And keep in mind these are only two of the cycles that are about to come to an end. We are potentially looking at a change in the cycles of war, society, philosophical beliefs, world leadership and morality.

It is difficult to give specific dates when certain things may happen but we know these things happen within certain periods of time so to be aware of this provides you with the ability to see the future in some respects and prepare for the disruptions that will ultimately occur. And keep in mind that these disruptions will occur just as surely as the changing of the seasons. You cannot stop it but you can prepare for it.

Between now and 2032 we will see many changes that will affect the way we live. These changes will be very disruptive and in some cases very deadly depending on where you live and how well prepared you are to weather the changes. Getting to the other side of the gulf will require you to be flexible and adapt to the changing times. There is no one best way to prepare for these changes. Your preparations will depend on who you are, what you know and what you are capable of doing to tailor a plan that will work best for you.

While these changes may happen over the next decade which sounds like a long time right now, you need to remember that many changes in the past seem like instant changes to us looking back. The fall of Rome, the little ice age, the civil war, the great depression and WWII were substantial periods of time for those living in those times but have been reduced to little more than footnotes to modern society. In the grand scheme of things, a decade or two is just the blink of an eye so do not be lulled into complacency by any seemingly long timelines.

We measure everything as a period of time. Time is a measure of change. The changes we are about to experience will define the future and in a few hundred years become another footnote to history but to those that must live through these coming times it will be a struggle for survival and a search for some meaning to it all. Things are constantly changing, but not always for the better.

The Road To Riches Is Paved With Savings

By: Tom Chatham

The consumer culture most Americans have grown up in has left them with a distorted sense of what being rich is. To someone making $20K a year someone making $50K is rich. To someone making $50K a year a person making $150K a year is rich. The problem is that most people, even many of those making over $100K a year, are living paycheck to paycheck. This is due to the conditioning people have had over the decades. No matter how much they make they are conditioned to spend all of it.

If they have a nice place and suddenly start making a lot more money, they instinctively look for a bigger, more expensive place to live. People adjust their spending to how much money they have, not necessarily how much they need. This ultimately leaves them perpetually broke or near it.

There are people living on less than $20K a year with a good quality of life even though they are considered poor. It’s all a matter of priorities. You need to decide what is important to you and make that your life’s goal, not necessarily making a larger paycheck. More money provides you with more opportunities in life but do not confuse that with a better or happier life simply because of the money.

Wealth is what you are able to keep, not what you are able to make. When you start looking at money in this way you will be able to reduce your spending to needs and have more savings to use later. I personally know someone who inherited 50 million dollars and all of it was gone in a few years with nothing to show for it. Would you consider this person rich or poor? He had more cash at one time than most people make in a lifetime but what does that matter now? Once it leaves your hands it is no longer your wealth but someone else’s.

You may buy something like a new pair of shoes that cost a lot and they may make you feel good for a while but if you only wear them a few times then throw them in the closet never to be worn again, how much were those shoes worth to you in the long term? When you are thinking about buying a new piece of equipment to make your work faster and easier, if you are not going to do something useful with the extra time you will have you need to ask if the new equipment is actually worth it.

When you start asking these kinds of questions before every purchase you may find you can not justify making the purchase and skip it. You do not need to eliminate every want you may have you just need to curb them to keep your spending manageable.

Retirement is a relatively new concept. People take it for granted today that at some point they can stop working and they will still have the money they need to pay for things. That is only possible for many because of government programs that provide for them. If those programs ever stop, those depending on them will have nothing to fall back on. Even if you are supposed to get money from a retirement account or pension plan, if those funds are lost for any reason you will never see them. Those funds are worth nothing to you until they are actually in your hand. Having money saved that is actually in your hands will guarantee you have something to pay for your needs and can help you sleep at night.

When you reduce your spending to needs you have more money to save for some future time when you may be desperate and need it. The end of the world does not have to be a full blown economic collapse or WWIII. If you lose your job and cannot find another one it may very well feel like the end of the world if you can no longer pay your bills or buy food.

When you save you are essentially providing the means to pay for future needs out of present earnings. If you find yourself unable to work at some point in the future it will be essential that you have the means to provide for your needs. This can only be guaranteed through savings. Future promises of payments cannot be guaranteed by any means. A regular program of savings can accumulate over time to provide the safety net you will eventually need. Keeping that money safe and preventing the loss of purchasing power over time is also essential but that is a topic for another time.