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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 The jack of all trades has been replaced by the specialist so when job loss comes they have a more difficult time finding a new one.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.

The Bread and Circuses of Failed States

By: Tom Chatham

It’s now official. America is a failed nation. How do I know this? It’s the same thing Rome went through when it decayed into nothingness.

The past few years have seen the food stamp program go from just over 26 million to almost 50 million. The people are becoming increasingly impoverished and the state throws them bread to maintain order. Very few notice and no one cares as long as they get what they need to survive. When the bread is not enough something else must be introduced to the situation to keep people occupied.

The most recent incident that verifies the decay we are experiencing is the nationwide show initiated by the Boston bombing. The bombing is not the item to focus on but the public reaction is. As the police began their investigation the media did everything they could to direct the blame to innocent parties even before the evidence provided any answers to the perpetrators identity.

The media built a ground swell of insinuations and accusations to get the masses worked up leading to the main event. When the guilty parties were discovered the real games began. Like a scene right out of ancient Rome the crowd gathered around to view the chase and eventual carnage. They cheered on the police from the comfort of their homes and watched with bated breath for the next engagement to begin.

As the blood began to flow the masses were worked up into a frenzy until the final scene where the victors dragged off the surviving enemy to the cheers and chants of the people. Few bother to question the official narrative even though it keeps changing. The outrage at the bombing and the casualties are ignored to recount the fight scenes people can’t get enough of. This is what public consumption has devolved to. Just a simple act of holiday violence.

When the pursuit of justice is devalued to nothing more than a spectator sport to be cheered at, the morals of that nation have decayed to levels that are virtually unrecoverable by the masses. While it is a good feeling to know a dangerous person is taken off the street, to use that incident as nothing more than a distraction to divert public attention from more serious matters of state is a clear sign of failure in government.

We can look forward to more spectacles of this nature in the future as the nation continues its’ decent into third world status. When the blood sports on the streets become boring to the masses it will be time to lock everything down to maintain control. This is what a failed state looks like just before the end comes. Those that see the current events for what they really are should take heed and prepare for the worst.

When the bread and circuses run out it will be over and a new reality show will begin. It will be called survival of the best prepared. It is a game the masses are not prepared to play but when it comes they will be forced participants in it. We don’t know how this episode will end but history gives us a good idea and it is not pretty.

Where Nations Go to Die

By: Tom Chatham

When nations rise from the morass of discarded ideas and congeal into something special, they have the ability to mold and temper history. The men who live in these times are witness to great things that live only in another realm. The birthing of great nations is an ongoing process. As with any process it eventually comes to an end.

Nations can only live and thrive when the men who act as the custodians of the nations trust are diligent and dutiful. When this trust is broken and the custodians allow the morality and social norms to decay, the lifespan of the nation becomes a countdown to oblivion. No nation that becomes morally bankrupt can sustain the years without the eventual collapse of the society. As the morality degrades, the crimes men commit against one another increase. They not only increase but they get more violent and heinous in nature.

A case in point is the recent school shooting where 20 children were murdered. The liberal press was quick to denounce this senseless killing and blame it on the gun culture in this nation. There has been a gun culture in this country for over 400 years but it is only recently that mass shootings are a problem. Sixty years ago a person could buy a gun through the mail with no background check. People had more access to weapons then than they do now. So why didn’t we have a problem with mass killings back then? Automatic weapons have been around for 100 years, so the weapons are not that different. Something is different though.

Today’s society is the most heavily drugged and morally bankrupt generation in American history. Many of the drugs now prescribed have been found to invoke dangerous behavior in otherwise normal people. Many of the people that show outrage at the recent killings will gleefully tout their pro choice stance that has helped to kill millions of unborn children. To many of these people, the murder of innocent children is only an outrage when it can be used for some devious designs. Dozens of kids are killed every week in “gun free” Chicago with little or no mention in the national news. Murder is ok as long as it serves their purpose. To those that no longer have a moral compass to guide them, this seems a logical way to view the world.

With no moral compass to guide them, a nation will tear the flesh from its own rotting body and revel at the pretty colors as they bleed to death. The nation will succumb to insanity and chaos until there is no flesh left to claw at. This is how a morally corrupt nation dies. When a nation dies in this manner, the morality that still exists will be attacked by the insane as the cause of all the ills. The insane and morally corrupt will seek out and destroy this last bastion of reality in the desperate hope of saving themselves.

Those last bastions of morality can not stop the decay and destruction until the nation has run its course. Their only hope of regaining the upper hand is to survive the decay with their morals in tact and hope for the chance to rebuild the nation.

This process will carry the nation to unknown depths of deprivation and pain. It will end somewhere on the plains of apathy and despair among the morass of broken promises and ideas. When nations die they end much like cloudy days, with no discernible sunset, no specific moment between light and darkness, just a dim glow that fades away into obscurity until nothing remains. This can be a time of rebirth or oblivion.

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