Category Archives: Commentary
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.
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.
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.
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.
By: Tom Chatham
Those who dismiss the dark ages as an anomaly or never learned about them to begin with may get a chance to relive them. The economic forecast for the future is getting no better and many still cling to the hope that everything will go on as always. Hope is good but it should not prevent you from preparing for uncertain times. If a new dark age engulfed the world it would not be pretty as a review of the past can show.
Feudal lords ruled the land with an iron fist and everyone else was a serf. Money was hard to find. Life spans were short. The climate made growing food difficult or impossible depending on where you lived. Life was hard and the future looked bleak.
People relied on ox carts and horses and the streets were muddy open sewers. Some people may challenge the thought that we could ever devolve to such a state again but the stories coming out of San Francisco regarding the condition of their sanitation challenged streets would make even a skeptic think twice.
An economic or societal collapse does not have to mean the end of civilized society. A community that can come together in bad times can survive. The problem we now have is that certain forces in society are working hard to tear down the framework that would allow communities to come together. The bonds of religion, nuclear families, political beliefs, morality and patriotism have been attacked by those that seek to destroy the similarities we have and open the door for anarchy following some nation wide event.
If you knew that in the next few years the economy would crash like never before, everyone would become impoverished, life would become more difficult and the resources you depend on would be difficult to get, what would you do today to make that transition easier and less disruptive in your life?
If the world suddenly fell into another dark age I would rather be in a position to become a feudal lord than a needy serf dependant on the goodness of others. That does not mean you need to become an evil person taking advantage of others, it merely means you can be the glue that holds the community together. How you prepare for the many unknowns in our future will determine what your capabilities will be and how well you get by. It will also determine what you can do for others that you enlist into your kingdom.
It is important to remember that many of the ills in society emanate from peoples minds and not always from environmental problems. People can create horrors for society that rival the worst nature can produce and they can do it with a smile while thinking they are doing something great for posterity. In many ways we are our own worst enemies.
When societal shifts come there are certain things you can do to minimize the dangers and sufferings of your family. Simply having some extra food stored, a means of energy production that you control, a means of defending yourself, a few rolls of silver coins and the moral conviction to do the right thing can make all of the difference in getting you to the other side of whatever perils may come your way.
A dark age can take many different forms. The things that can define a dark age are the sufferings of the population for want of food, freedom, security, sanitation, morality and hope for the future. It takes a person with vision for the things that can be to hold the community together and lead them to a new prosperity. It will take many leaders to see society through the difficult days we face and emerge with the freedom and prosperity we are capable of as a people.
A dark age does not have to be the end but can be a rebirth of the ideals we hold dear that have proven successful in raising people up from poverty to live the American Dream. It seems inevitable that a collapse of some sort is in the offering. It is the result of the massive damage done to the economy by mismanagement of the currency and moral decline imposed on the population by intellectuals who live in a fantasy world.
We control the environment we live in and only we can fix the problems we have allowed to fester for decades. Fixing the problems will either be a simple and peaceful endeavor or it will be a violent and bloody one. Either way, the problems will be resolved, and what we are left with will be our endowment to the future.
By: Tom Chatham
As the world begins its next adventure in financial chaos and rolls over to expose its soft underbelly of lies and deceit that have been perpetrated on the public, those that see the truth have been warning the people once again. You can give people the truth but you cannot make them believe it. That is for them to come to grips with.
Trade wars are usually bad for all parties in the end but between the beginning and the end there can be some surprising developments. Human actions and delusions on the part of the public can produce strange results at times. All of our systems are based on trust. When that trust is lost, everything will come crashing down. Until then, things will go on.
If trade tariffs with China have the short term effect of creating American jobs, that could have a wealth effect by creating more disposable income in American pockets. That in turn can have a positive effect on the stock market and consumer confidence. Also, commodities are set to soar in price soon and this could carry the stock market up with it for a while.
Richard Russell once said he believed we would have a third leg in the current bull market before the bears take charge. He was right in the past and could be right again, only time will tell. This situation can not last long due to the enormous mal-investment built up in the system over many decades. A house of cards will eventually fall and the taller the house the longer and harder the fall will be.
One thing that could destroy the temporary high could be the destruction of the financial system due to loss of the reserve currency status and the replacement of the petrodollar system. If and when that happens things will not be looking good for America for a very long time. China is taking actions that could result in just that type of outcome. Their new silk road initiative and oil trading system utilizing Yuan to gold will eventually have serious consequences for Americas standard of living.
Total debts and derivatives in the world amount to 30-50 times of world GDP. The bulk of this is derivatives and when they fail they will become worthless. The 250 trillion or so in global debt will default when asset prices implode and interest rates explode. When the debt bubble explodes stocks could decline by as much as 95%. Interest rates could exceed the 20% rates we saw in the 1970’s.
In the last 100 years the value of major currencies have declined by 97-99 % relative to purchasing power in gold. The last 1-3% will follow very soon. When the financial system collapses due to losses from derivatives and stocks it will erase all of the savings, and retirement funds people were expecting to get at some future date. This will instantly impoverish the bulk of the population.
As the system collapses the banks will likely try to re-inflate assets by massive money printing which will only cause hyperinflation at some point. As hyperinflation kicks in the price of many assets like stocks, bonds, investment properties and art will likely collapse in real terms. Items like gold, silver and productive farmland will likely fare better.
Eventually deflation will carry all asset prices down as the world falls into a global depression, possibly for decades. All of these things will likely result in social unrest and wars as people become hungry and angry at a system they took for granted for so many years. The trust will be broken and people will look for something else to believe in.
One thing is for certain. People today believe anything but reality and that will catch up to them all very soon in a very painful way. Things work until they don’t. Our economy has been rolling along for decades on the stored wealth of previous generations but that is about to run out of steam very soon. When it does it will be a shock to all but a few. You can ignore reality but you cannot ignore the consequences of ignoring reality.
By: Tom Chatham
The current trade war that is ramping up with China has many pitfalls but could have positive sides for Americans. The world cannot survive without American agricultural products, especially food. They may be able to replace most of it from somewhere else but not all.
The estimated loss of agricultural shipments to China is estimated at around 15-20 billion. This is small potatoes for a government spending 1.5 trillion a year on many questionable items. The U.S. government could do something to relieve the stress on American farmers and actually do something positive for Americans in the process.
The government could simply buy all of the excess farm products that would normally be shipped overseas and create a strategic food reserve for Americans. Anyone who has been keeping up with the food production over the years knows that we keep very little food stored for national emergencies anymore. We should have a food reserve similar to the oil reserve, just in case.
One of the positives for this type of investment is that unlike investing in wars or social projects we would actually be investing in something we could use or sell at a later time making the investment minimal in the grand scheme of things. Purchasing and storing these food reserves near large cities around the country would provide a strategic resource that could save many lives if the distribution system is ever disrupted for any reason such as fuel disruptions, cyber attacks or a grid down situation.
If we are going to spend billions of dollars a year for pet projects why not spend some of it on systems actually worth something to us. The world is not getting any safer and we need to have resources set aside for emergencies.
Removing these resources from the world market would have immediate and profound results. It would send a signal to the world that we do indeed have more than one arrow in our quiver and even in the face of massive deficits we are still relevant in the world.
The world cannot continue adding millions of people a year and expect to feed them all without the U.S. The U.S. has many natural resources and some of the best farmland in the world. We can survive the problems we face as a nation but the world cannot go on without our contributions.
We can get along without the electronic gadgets and trinkets we get from China but they cannot get along without our food. We need to use our resources in a smarter and more sustainable way to continue being relevant in the world. Simply printing our way to prosperity will no longer work. We need to provide real value in the world and our food supply is a valuable commodity. Our farmers are a strategic asset and a necessary one for our country to survive. We need to support them now so they can continue to support us in the future. If a trade war is the only way to solve our trade deficit then let them keep their trinkets and we will keep our food and we will see who is better off.
By: Tom Chatham
With the increase of school shootings the past few decades the safety of students has become a more difficult proposition. There are people on different sides of the issue arguing for their solution but few are actually sitting down to analyze the problem and put forth sensible solutions. No one solution will be best for all locations just like no one solution will work equally well for disaster preparedness in all locations. We need different approaches for different locations based on the threat posed.
One of the most needed changes to schools today is the reintroduction of moral standards to children to curb the hostile intents kids have for one another. You cannot eliminate these feelings completely but you can instill the fear of acting out on these feelings through moral standards and the knowledge there will be a price to pay for doing so.
Teaching kids not to kill one another is probably the simplest way to stop killings but there are those that have true mental problems that only therapy and proper medications will help. These individuals need to be identified and monitored to insure they do not become a threat. This can be done without violating their rights.
Some schools in crime ridden areas go to the extreme length of having metal detectors at the entrances. This has served some areas well but anyone determined to get weapons into the school could still do so if they wanted to bad enough. Simply breaking into the school after hours through a window and planting weapons inside for later retrieval is always possible. Only their willingness and imagination prevents it.
The first line of defense is to keep the hostile person out of the school to begin with. Having external doors that are secured during school hours is one way to minimize the access. External doors as well as exterior windows on the first floor that are bullet resistant will go a long way to making forced entry difficult.
Once a weapon or hostile individual is inside a school there need to be systems in place to deal with the threat. The most effective method is to have an armed security guard that can face the individuals and stop them with lethal force if necessary. This may be the best option for some areas but not necessarily all of them. Armed officers make sense where the threat is high but not all schools have a high threat level.
Inside the building, certain interior doors should be bullet resistant and have an internal bolt to lock the door preventing entry of even an armed person. Keeping a physical barrier between shooters and victims is essential to preventing casualties. If a shooter manages to breach a door those inside should be prepared to defend themselves. This is one thing children need to be taught. Never go down without a fight. This applies more to older children than to smaller children.
The most vulnerable time for a shooter is when they move through a doorway. They can not see what is on the other side of the wall and that is where resistance needs to come from. Being up close to a shooter leaves them little room to maneuver for a shot. When assaulted by several persons at once up close a shooter can be overwhelmed and brought under control. Using a simple weapon such as a piece of wood or pipe and striking them in the head as they move through the door can take them down long enough to get control of them.
There is much debate about arming teachers in schools. This may be the best option in some areas. The more friendly weapons you can bring to bear against an intruder, the greater your chances are of ending the event quickly. There are many that do not like this option due to their fear of guns in general.
One possible compromise to the arming of teachers could be to arm them with less than lethal weapons. Arming every teacher in certain schools with tasers and providing them proper instruction on their use can also provide a deterrent to hostile individuals. The type of tasers that many police departments use can take down an assailant from several feet away very effectively. This type of weapon would reduce the fear of accidental discharges in schools.
Using a mixture of the items listed can make schools safer and give children some piece of mind while they are in school. Every school is different as are the communities scattered across the nation. Only by analyzing the needs and fears of each school can we begin to secure these locations and end the threats posed by people who wish to do harm to others.
By: Tom Chatham
When we look at all of the mass shootings that take place today we need to ask a simple question. What has changed in the last thirty years that has caused mass shootings to become an epidemic? It was only a few generations ago that some boys took their rifle to school with them so they could go hunting after school. Fifty years ago it was much easier to get a gun than it is now. So why didn’t we have mass shootings back then like we do now? What has changed?
If you have two men standing in front of you, one is a neighbor who shares your moral values and the other is a serial killer and both of them are handed a loaded weapon, which one would you fear the most? A liberal would say both but a rational person would fear the killer. That is because you know he has no prohibitions about killing someone while the moral person would have to override his conscience to do so.
I’m not saying it never happens but it is rare for a person with good moral values to go on a shooting spree. Why is that? Is it because they are taught from a young age that killing innocent people is wrong? Is it because they try to treat others as they want to be treated? Is it because they have a greater moral conscience than others?
Those raised in a violent atmosphere are more susceptible to doing questionable things than someone that is raised in an atmosphere of high moral standards. How a person grows up has a lot to do with their mental health and plays a big part in how we act but all things being equal, a persons morals determine what they are willing to do.
In the past forty years we have seen the result of the lefts war on God. They have removed the primary pillar of good morals from schools and replaced it with every kind of questionable behavior you can think of. Kids are confused enough growing up but now many do not even know what gender they are, Pushing an agenda of pedophilia, homosexuality, transgenderism, social justice and hate for anyone or anything the left does not proscribe to has left the nations youth in a confused and sometimes deranged state. Is it any wonder some of them would resort to murder to exercise their demons?
Social media also has a role in the destruction of our youth. When kids are constantly bombarded with sick and hateful ideas they become numb to the evil they see. It envelopes their daily life and pushes them over the edge sometimes. How many kids have committed suicide because of the hurtful things said about them on social media? How many people have committed murder because of something they saw on the internet that made them believe doing so would make them somebody important? Its just one more way of destroying a persons conscience.
The lack of respect and moral values that todays youth are trained in at home and at school also have a major role in the decay in society we are now witnessing. If nothing is taboo or unethical from a childs standpoint then we should not be surprised at the actions they take when the urge hits them. Violent actions not acceptable to society mean nothing to one who has no moral conscience.
Every time this happens the first response of certain groups is to blame the weapon used rather than the person wielding it as if the weapon has a mind of its own. Their cry is always, if we could only get rid of the weapons we would all be safe. The problem is anything can be used as a weapon. Few people know what 5 gallons of gasoline or a tank of propane can do under the right circumstances. They don’t know what a few household chemicals and some ball bearings can do when used in certain ways. We are surrounded by potential weapons of mass destruction because of our technological society and there is nothing we can do to totally eliminate the threat short of teaching people right from wrong.
Those who demand more gun control following an incident are so hypocritical they cannot even comprehend it. They feign outrage when 17 school children get killed but these same people constantly lobby for the right to kill over a million babies a year. Which is it? Are you for protecting children or killing them? You cannot have it both ways.
The cold hard truth is if somebody decides to kill, they will find a way to do it whether they have a gun or not. It might be an airplane, a truck, a bomb vest, a knife or even a hammer. They will find a way. The only thing we can do is try to rebuild our moral base and identify those that are a threat and remove them from society until they are no longer a threat. Unfortunately, that will not happen in the PC world we have created until people regain a moral conscience and place the blame where it belongs. As long as mental illness is celebrated as a lifestyle choice we will all be in danger.
By: Tom Chatham
In a situation where national infrastructure and life sustaining resources are suddenly cut off , population density will have a lot to do with how well you get by in the days following the crisis. When it happens, what you have on hand will likely be all you have to work with for an extended time. Those that lack supplies will seek out and take what they need in an increasingly hostile manner as time goes on. This is why being in a large city will likely be hazardous to your well being.
Very few will argue that being in a rural area when something catastrophic happens will greatly increase your chances of survival. A lower population density and more available natural resources to help you get by will make long term survival much easier. This is why so many people advocate heading for a rural area when something happens. The problem is unless you are already established in a rural area, survival will not necessarily be easier.
Leaving the city when supplies and infrastructure are shut down would work only up to a point. Rural areas are like anywhere else. They have infrastructure designed to service a certain number of people that normally live there. The housing, restaurants, roadways, water systems and grocery stores will only handle a small excess of people even in the best of times. When the city dwellers suddenly evacuate to the rural areas in mass, they will simply be taking many of their big city problems with them. They will likely find no housing, food supplies or other infrastructure they need to live.
Because of this many small towns will likely close their roads at some point and prevent entry to anyone who does not live there. They will suddenly realize their already finite resources will not be enough for themselves much less thousands of new people. This realization will likely come only after they have been inundated with strangers demanding supplies and housing. It is for this reason that rural dwellers should hope cities are locked down fairly quickly to prevent people from leaving.
When Henry Kaiser built a new shipyard in Richmond, Ca. in the 1940’s the town was suddenly overwhelmed with new workers. People lived in shoddy trailers they towed in, some slept in boarding houses in shifts and the schools ran three shifts a day. Eventually they built the new infrastructure they needed and life went on but this only happened because they were living in normal times when everything was working properly. Imagine an influx of people into a small town when supplies are already limited and likely to get worse as time goes on.
That is why it is essential that you establish yourself in a rural area before something happens. Simply hoping to show up following an event is no plan and will likely cause resentment by the locals when supplies run low.
Rural areas offer the opportunity to be much more self reliant than city spaces. This is the reason rural areas offer people a better chance to survive something like a grid down scenario. This is only true until the carrying capacity of the rural area is breached. That is when the city problems become rural problems. Simply moving a mass of unprepared people to another area with even less infrastructure will not solve the problem, it will only change the surroundings and create other problems.
There is an old saying that you never eat your seed stock. Self sufficient people know this because if they eat their seeds or butcher their breeding stock they will not have anything to raise the following year which will lead to eventual starvation or loss of future income. To an unprepared person that thinks food is produced in a factory, preserving seed stock makes no sense when they are hungry right now. They do not care about next year, they only care about today which is why they got into their situation in the first place. This is the type of situation that can doom a society if they lose the ability to produce future crops, even on a small scale.
Will rural areas be safer in a SHTF situation? Only if they can maintain order and protect the resources they have to insure long term sustainability of the community. Most communities are not prepared for this type of situation and will need a steep learning curve if they are to survive it. Many will likely not survive it.
Modern farming communities do not have the infrastructure to maintain themselves like many once did. Factory farming has moved much of the local production to central locations around the nation and few farmers produce their own seed locally. These and other modern systems will make it difficult for many farm communities to even care for their own much less thousands of new arrivals.
The only communities that are likely to survive in tact are the ones that are mostly self sufficient already and have a plan to maintain production and protect themselves from looters and overcrowding. Simply running to a rural area in a time of crisis is no cure all. Wherever you are, the key to survival will be advance preparation and a good plan.