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Prepare For The Peace That Follows The Chaos

By: Tom Chatham

The people that are preparing for some sort of chaos in their future are only doing the prudent thing considering the environment we are now living in. Those with growing piles of supplies for disasters, war or some type of collapse have made the mental leap that is required to prepare themselves for unknown eventualities that can be life altering. These people have made a plan to survive the difficult times that come and live to tell of it.

What many of these people have not contemplated is the day when the chaos is over and life begins to return to some new type of normalcy. Most people simply plan for chaos and never think about coming out of the other side at some point. While chaos can leave you in an unknown place you should have some idea what you will do when normalcy begins to return to society.

If you planned ahead you probably have a plan to provide necessities such as food and water for the duration of the chaos. Ultimately you will have a plan to provide these things in a sustainable way since you do not know how long the crisis will last. Once society begins to reestablish some sort of order you need to have some type of idea what your next move will be.

If you already have the means to produce food and water sustainably you may then want to move into excess production to trade to others as a way to get other things you need. If the local market is saturated with others like yourself there may not be a big demand for food so you need some other product to trade. These are the things you need to think about for after the chaos.

When society begins to stabilize and rebuild itself people will want many of the things they have been deprived of for the duration of the crisis. As society begins to build up there will be a need for people to produce these things either on a small scale or a large scale depending on the item. This is what your post crisis plan needs to take into account.

The ability to produce these items will require infrastructure of some type. Depending on the type of crisis you went through, many of the resources you may need to produce things will likely have been destroyed. In a worst case scenario you need to have either production equipment that survives the chaos or the ability to make new equipment yourself. This is how a production base will be reestablished in a post crisis era. Those that have this production capability will be very important persons in the community.

This production capability does not have to be a large scale proposition. It can be as simple as a floor loom and spinning wheel to make clothing, a grinder to make flour and meal, wood working tools to make furniture, metal working equipment to make tools or equipment to produce some type of fuel such as alcohol. This production capability also extends to services that people need such as medical services or transportation.

Having some type of production capability is not only good for surviving the crisis but also to have the means to improve living conditions after the worst is over. At some point you will want to once again ply a trade to generate income for your family.

Two hundred years ago many small communities were largely self sufficient. You had farmers producing food, blacksmiths working metal, individuals making cloth, coopers making barrels and wheels and mills grinding wheat and cutting lumber. The whole community worked as a self sufficient unit.

There are those today calling for people to create small groups or communities to ride out any chaos that may come in the future. The primary reason is for collective security in the event society becomes violent and uncontrollable. This same small group can provide the basis for a self sufficient community following an event.

An individual can become self sufficient to some degree but there are only so many hours in a day and many types of basic production requires many hours of work to produce a product. This means that an individual is very limited in the amount of goods he can produce in a given amount of time and thus is limited to the amount of excess production he can produce. With a community of producers, every person can work in the field they are most productive in and increase the overall supply of goods. It is for this reason that small groups will be valuable after an event as well as during.

If each of the members of this group can provide different capabilities to the group as well as production equipment, it will enhance the overall standard of living of the entire group. Maintaining a production capability during the crisis that can be ramped up once conditions have stabilized will benefit those in and around the community and greatly improve conditions in the months following.

While conditions can be violent during a crisis, the lack of resources following the crisis can extend it longer than necessary as people fight for the limited supplies. When people have the things they need they are easier to live with and infighting is greatly reduced. It is for this reason that the ability to produce following a crisis is just as important as during . Having a plan to insure production capability for necessary goods following an event can help to stabilize the situation and eventually normalization to the local area. The Marshal Plan that helped to rebuild Europe following WWII did just that.

For those that believe we are headed for difficult times, they need to think up their own type of local Marshal Plan to help rebuild following an event that could fracture the country and leave behind a third world country in its wake.

Stay Focused On The Long Term Not Just The Elections

By: Tom Chatham

The coming elections are very important to the future of the U.S. but do not think for a second that our troubles will end on Nov. 8. We have many serious problems that must be addressed and solved in order to maintain our current quality of life. This election will determine how we approach these problems and try to solve them or if the status quo will win out and we will continue on this path with no serious attempt to correct them.

Either way this nation is in for many years of hardship we are ill prepared to face at this time. The majority of the nation believes the facts according to the government that everything is just great. Those following the true numbers know otherwise and fear what is about to happen to this nation. They know the chaos that will be unleashed when the truth finally comes out and the majority no longer has the well entrenched safety net to keep people afloat. It will be like survivors fighting for a place on the lifeboats. It will likely get very ugly.

Time is now short and the time to get preparations in order is running out. Those with sufficient resources to see them through what is likely to be the worst crisis in this nations history will still have to fight for their survival every day. These resources will determine whether you suffer a little in the coming months or you suffer a lot. That decision is entirely up to you at this point.

The west line has now moved to Asia and that means we are no longer the shipping center of the world. This is one of the reasons we will soon lose reserve currency status just as Great Britain did in the past. And just as they did, we will suffer from a slower, weaker economy that we will have to learn to live with and survive in. The days of having lots of money to spend are coming to an end in America so get used to it now. This will be especially hard for the snowflake generation that thinks everything should be free.

A service economy depends on people having excess spendable income that generates service related jobs in the community. When this excess income dries up those service related jobs will largely disappear. This will be the depression level event that puts the nation over the edge. With no jobs to be had and a broken social safety net that no longer functions, people will get very desperate.

In a time such as this the true moral character of a nation will be laid bare for all to see. A truly virtuous country would see the people come together and help one another just as we saw in the 1930’s. But this time is different and we will see the lack of moral fiber that has been cultivated in this nation over the past 70 years. That is what those in the know fear the most.

Unless our moral character is restored we will tear ourselves to pieces and leave a scorched nation behind us that may never recover. It is the hope of many that once we see the future for what it may hold that a moral and just people will once again rise from the ashes and rebuild what we once had. A nation we can all be proud to live in. Until we achieve that revelation we will be doomed to follow the path of destruction we have set out on.

We need to go back to the basics and relearn the lessons we have fought so hard to learn over the past 200 years. We will need to regain the entrepreneurial spirit that built this nation starting at the local level. We will need to work hard every day and once again learn to give thanks for what we have. Only through our spiritual growth will we regain what we have lost and repair the damage we have done to ourselves.

Economic Survival Strategy For The Little Guy

By: Tom Chatham

Many people today know there is danger on the horizon and want to do something to prepare for it but lack substantial money to buy what they think they will need. They have scanned many good lists online and know what others are stocking up on. There are many good ideas out there but most of them take a conventional stance in preparing. When everything goes wrong with the economy and you can no longer depend on a regular income you must have a plan to maintain a decent standard of living.

If the day ever comes that you suddenly have no job, your savings and retirement are gone and you have no source of income, what will you do? If you can no longer make your monthly rent or mortgage payment, do you think you will be able to continue living there and for how long? This is a serious question that many people have not contemplated and refuse to even think about. When the greater depression picks up speed, your whole world can be turned upside down overnight.

Those that have made the decision to store emergency supplies may not have contemplated losing their dwelling when it hit’s the fan. Even if you have supplies for your family where will you take them if you lose your home? Have you planned for that eventuality? Even if it is remote you need to think about it.

The first three things people need to satisfy are shelter, food and clothing. Regardless of the situation, these are the first things people will try to get before moving on to other needs such as transportation, security and sanitation to name a few.

As a minimum your 72 hour kit should be upgraded to a two week kit with a good four season tent and cold weather sleeping bags for each person. This will provide you with the minimal level of food and shelter that you should be prepared to provide for your family. Adding to this, you should increase your food reserves to the amount you could transport if you had to move. This should be the minimum resources you have to take care of your family if it all falls apart.

In the event you lose your home and have no place to go you should plan on a more permanent type of shelter that you can feasibly pay for on a limited budget. The following are the six items you should try to acquire to care for your family in a worst case scenario. Even if you declare bankruptcy, in many cases the homestead act will allow you to keep up to $5,000 worth of property. The following list will fall far below that threshold with a little shopping around.

Older pickup truck- You should have a vehicle that is fully owned so there is no chance of losing it if all of your financial assets are lost. You want an older vehicle so you can maintain it yourself to a large degree. Newer vehicles since the mid 1980’s have fuel injection, computers and many electronic sensors that make diagnosis and repair difficult for anyone without the proper equipment. You also want a vehicle that can pull a trailer which leads us to the next item.

Camper trailer- Living in a tent is better than nothing but is still miserable in very cold weather. Having a hard shelter is far more comfortable especially if you have children. You can maintain a good deal of normalcy with a camper and you still maintain your mobility. Trailers can be found very cheaply today and the longer you have to look for one the more likely you will find a good deal.

Food supply- With a hard shelter that is mobile you maintain the ability to store several months of food and move it quickly if needed. You should acquire at least a years food supply even before you have a trailer to carry it all. If you plan to set up for long periods of time at a stationary location you would also benefit from having some basic garden tools and a supply of seeds to extend your food supply.

Energy systems- In a long term depression you will still need a certain amount of energy for certain systems. A wood gasifier will allow you to power your vehicle when fuel is hard to find or too expensive to buy. Your vehicle will also provide you with a power source for electrical power. Solar panels will also prove useful for electrical power over the long term crisis. For heating and cooking, wood stoves are good to have since wood is available in most locations and relatively cheap.

Security- Having a means to protect your family will become necessary if the social conditions deteriorate to the point that large numbers of people seek out resources for survival. A good pump shotgun and at least 500 rounds of ammo will give you a basic level of protection in most circumstances. It will also provide you with the means to hunt for food should it become necessary. A shotgun is a good entry level weapon for someone with little or no experience handling weapons. If finances permit a good pistol and a rifle with a good supply of ammo would be a good investment as well.

Silver-Some wealth preserved in the form of precious metals will give you the ability to buy items in the future that are truly needed. Paper money can lose it’s value in a national crisis but gold and silver will maintain their purchasing power over the long term and provide you with options you would not have otherwise. Having at least $20 face value in junk silver coins is a good start but more is better based on some of the economic signs we are now seeing.

These six things are only one type of plan but they provide you with the means to provide the basics no matter how disruptive things get. If you are unable to service your debts in the future you may end up with only those things you fully own and have physical control over. Regardless of your plans you need to analyze your current situation very carefully to insure you will have the means to provide the basics to your family.

It may be thought as premature by some to make such drastic plans at this time but once crisis strikes it will be too late to get the things you will need to ride out the social disruptions. If the government continues to print money we will eventually lose our reserve currency status and the petrodollar will be destroyed. When that happens inflation will run rampant until the dollar that we know disintegrates into nothing. Before that happens you need to ask yourself some important questions and have good answers now.

What will I do if I lose my job and cannot find another?

How will I continue to pay for food, rent, energy, clothing or medications if my income is cut off?

What will I do if inflation destroys my wages, savings and retirement accounts leaving me with nothing?

Will I be able to stay at my current home if I no longer have any money?

Where will I go if I am forced to leave my home?

What assets do I have that are fully owned?

How can I preserve my wealth if the dollar hyper inflates to nothing?

How will I take care of my family if the banks are closed?

What can I do to earn money if we have another great depression?

This is just a sample of some of the things you will need to know if the worst happens and judging from the current economic numbers we are getting very close to a terminal situation that will destroy most of the wealth that exists in paper and digital form. Continued money printing will only make the situation worse but that is the path of least resistance and the one we are likely to take as a nation of economically illiterate stooges.

If you do not have your economic survival strategy operational at this time you are playing with an economic fire that will burn everything you have in short order. You should not complain about your preps if it does not happen next week or next month. The longer it takes to happen gives you that much more time to make the necessary preparations so use this time wisely.

America: The Future Third World Country

By: Tom Chatham

The purchasing power of Americans has been unequalled for the past several decades. This has been made possible by the high paying jobs created by our manufacturing sector. These jobs insured a wealthy middle class that could buy anything they wanted.

These high paying jobs meant that some of the wealth created by making things went to the workers. Before long, corporations began working on ways to keep more of that wealth. Enter the free trade agreement. By drafting and passing a number of free trade agreements, the corporations created a way to make their goods cheaper with overseas labor and keep more of the profit for themselves and their Wall Street owners. The deep pockets of the middle class began to dry up.

A thinking person might eventually come to the conclusion that destroying middle class jobs and the purchasing power of the middle class would be shooting themselves in the foot. With less income and purchasing power, the corporations would create a shrinking American market for themselves eventually. That is what we are seeing now.

So, what do you do when your cash cow begins to dry up? You turn it into hamburger. Just like all of the other third world countries that provided raw materials for these corporations to prosper, America will now become a supplier of raw materials for the next rising power to use. That rising power will likely be China with its large untapped populace. They have the gold and the manufacturing capability now. All they need is a good supply of raw materials and they can develop their own middle class and the corporations will be in the clover once again.

America is in debt up to its eyeballs but we still have large amounts of natural resources. Multinational corporations are chomping at the bit to get their hands on these resources so they can renew their ponzi economic model with another rising economy.

Between here and there they must break the American consumer and take everything they have and then get them out of the way so the strip mining can begin in earnest. When you look at the larger picture that is taking shape, that is where we are headed. Chinese corporations are gobbling up everything they can get their hands on right now all over the world including in America.

Those who say the U.S. will be invaded are a little late. The invasion has already started and the invaders have taken the form of corporations. If anything gets in the way of this resource extraction, that is when you will see the troops arrive under some pretence to help the people. Actually their main goal will be to secure the resources.

When troops start arriving that is when Americans will start fighting back by any means at their disposal. For all intents and purposes it will be an all out war on American soil. Regardless of what people perceive the reasons for this war to be it will ultimately be for resources.

You may ask why they do not just keep America prosperous and continue the gravy train. The main reason is that entitlement programs have gotten out of control. They are now spending too much money supporting people who do not work or produce any value in society. To simply take this money away would cause the same chaos that will erupt by destroying the economy but economic destruction will enable them to secure the resources with few people realizing what is really happening. Its all about controlling the amount of blowback from the people and the best way to redirect and contain it.

In the end America will become a third world economy or something worse. The people have the means to retain control of the nation and someday rebuild some of our infrastructure but that depends on the people and how much they want to remain free and in control of their future. As long as half of the population can get paid to sit at home and do nothing we will not change the course we are on. Change will only come when it is forced on the people and they decide to set a new course. Unfortunately, many may elect to do as they are told by the government and hope the free stuff will once again start to flow. Those people will be very disappointed, at least as long as they remain alive.

All Depressions Are Not Created Equal

By: Tom Chatham

It has been said that history may not repeat but it sometimes rhymes. Just as the generals always seen to fight the last war people seem to prepare for the last depression. Times change and the mechanism that leads to misfortune changes with it. Looking at the past may not give us the clear answer to how to deal with the future but it can help us to determine what might happen and how to deal with it when the time comes.

We always look at the last incident because that is what we know. The problem is that social and economic conditions are always changing and they have a major impact on how things unfold. When people hear that they should prepare for another great depression they immediately think about how people survived the last one and how events unfolded. That is a good starting point but things will not be exactly the same the next time.

In the 1930’s people did not posses specialized skills, they had general knowledge that allowed them to take any job that was available. Today people are skilled in one area and loss of employment in that area requires them to obtain skills to work in a new area. The jack of all trades has been replaced by the specialist so when job loss comes they have a more difficult time finding a new one.

In the 1930’s we had a deflationary depression and anyone holding cash and bonds were able to hold on to their wealth and banks were allowed to fail. The farmers suffered from a drop in commodity prices but taxes were low and most people that had land owned it free and clear allowing them to stay in place. Today we are more likely to have an inflationary depression due to the mandate to save the banks at all costs. Anyone trying to save their wealth in cash and bonds will get slaughtered in the paper assets they hold due to massive money printing.

In the 1930’s most people lived in rural areas and people worked to help their neighbors in difficult times. Most people had the skills to take care of themselves and their families until things got better. Today most people live in urban and suburban areas and society has been fragmented into militant groups that cannot work together even in good times. Declining economic conditions will likely make society turn in on itself even more causing suffering and loss of life. Most people have no idea how to care for themselves if the system breaks down.

In the 1930’s people were forced to find new employment due to job loss because there were no social safety nets to provide for them. In difficult times they were forced to look to family, friends and the church for help but most people felt they had failed if they asked for help. Today people losing a job have unemployment, welfare, food stamps and dozens of other services to provide for them if they have no job. Many have come to rely on these services and expect the government to provide for them as long as necessary. If these services ever end it will trigger a violent response by certain segments of society.

In the 1930’s a man out of work could sell apples on the street corner for a nickel to make money to support himself. In a future depression environment anyone attempting to make some money may be selling apples for five dollars each and will likely be arrested for vending without a license. Another difference today is that most people do not want to get their hands dirty so they will opt for government assistance rather than hard work.

When people lost jobs in the 1930’s they could look for many different types of jobs they could do and they were able to negotiate pay with business owners to get the job. The large number of unemployed allowed businesses to negotiate lower wages that allowed them to stay in business. Today minimum wage laws prevent business owners from cutting wages to stay in business which will cause business closures in difficult times. The closing of businesses is a self reinforcing loop that puts more and more people out of work as time goes on.

In the 1930’s the monetary system not only survived but cash was worth even more. The next depression will likely see the monetary system collapse and cash become worthless. This will likely lead to the creation of local currencies and barter among individuals. The attempt by bankers and governments to create new fiat currencies will likely be rejected to a large degree.

In the 1930’s most properties were owned by people that utilized the land themselves. The investor mentality of today will see the mortgage market collapse and the investors buying properties to flip lose it all. Some experts expect to see a 75% to 90% drop in land prices in the coming years.

Many of the things that allowed people to get through the last great depression will not save them this time. Social and economic conditions have changed and different methods will be required to get through the depression we are now entering. Where once cash and bonds were a safe haven gold and silver will, be now. The ability to negotiate wages is gone and wage laws will insure massive closings of businesses forcing people to become self employed to avoid the wage laws. Overall the standard of living will drop dramatically and most people today will not be prepared to accept it.

There are some things that are likely to be the same as before. Those who need help will once again need to turn to family and friends for help. Those that own land free and clear will be able to keep a roof over their head. Those that can supply their own needs will make out better than those dependant on others. Those with multiple job skills will make out better than those with no job skills. Those that can produce a product to sell will make out better than those in the service industry.

In order to learn from the past you must look at current trends and extrapolate where we are headed from here. It is not an exact science but those that pay attention to details will likely fare better than those that go blindly along their daily lives expecting things to always be the same.