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The West Line Is Telling Us Where We Are Headed

By: Tom Chatham

The west line theory states that the shipping center of the world moves in a westward direction slowly over the centuries. It started in the mid east and has moved west through the Mediterranean, Europe, North America and now sits over Asia. A shipping center usually implies a production center as well giving that area great wealth. The U.S. was the previous shipping and production center in the world. We now find ourselves on the back end of prosperity and all that it entails.

We are not the first nation to find ourselves in this position. Those nations that came before us had to deal with a slower, smaller economy following the westward shift of the line. We must now do so as well. Understanding this phenomenon allows people to adjust their lifestyles to maintain a good standard of living. To ignore this natural process is to invite much suffering and chaos into your life as everything changes around you while you remain static expecting things to continue as usual.

For those that are waiting for prosperity to return to the U.S. as it once was, you will not see it unless you are still here several centuries from now. You can not turn back the clock and reverse a process such as this. You must learn to understand it and adjust to it. Having a slower, smaller economy is far from a death sentence. Americans are accustomed to a great deal of abundance that is now seeping away until equilibrium is achieved. By understanding what is happening we can equalize the process at a level we find comfortable.

A good standard of living can be had by most Americans in the future if we adjust our thinking and return to a more sustainable level of living that we can maintain without excessive money printing. As I have stated before, a person can live comfortably on about $10,000 a year and have a standard of living equal to someone making $40,000 a year living an excessive lifestyle. That may sound crazy to many people but it is true. How you live and spend your money has a lot to do with your standard of living but that fact is lost on most people.

For those that have an open mind and want to understand this, it falls upon you to look ahead and plan for the leaner economic times ahead. Those that do will have a much easier time living a normal life. Those that do not make the difficult decisions now will likely find a tent city in their future as many people now deal with in many once prosperous cities.

There are many things you can do to prepare for this leaner economic future. For one thing housing is too big and expensive today for most to afford. Having a small plot of land and a small home on it makes good economic sense. Building a 16’ x 32’ home with a basement and second story will provide you with a home over 1,500 sq. ft. but is cheaper to build due to the smaller foot print. It is cheaper to build up than out. Providing your own power with solar or wind makes good economic sense today as electricity rates continue to rise and solar and wind equipment continues to fall in price. Growing at least some of your own food makes sense as well as inflation begins to climb and transportation costs increase.

Having an older paid for vehicle is cheaper in many cases. An older paid for vehicle requires less expensive insurance and eliminates a monthly car payment not to mention cheaper property taxes. Depending on how much you drive and how much of a do it yourself person you are you might even be able to produce most of your own fuel. There are average people today that use wood gas for their pickup truck or bio diesel for their car made from used vegetable oil they process themselves.

A little bit of time and effort on your part can pay huge dividends if you simply put some thought into how you live today and how you want to live tomorrow. A major change in our economic future is now taking place and it will occur whether you want it to or not. Making plans now to survive in a slower economy will provide you with the best chance to maintain a normal existence in the future. A slower economy is guaranteed at some point if the west line holds true but a possible full blown economic collapse due to excessive money printing would make your future plans even more important.

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When The Going Gets Tough, The Tough Create Their Own Jobs

By: Tom Chatham

Many Americans have been in dire straits for the past 8 years since the last economic implosion. Many still do not have full time jobs and some do not even have part time jobs. These people have been left behind while Washington plows ahead as if everything is just fine. To those with government jobs life is just fine. When times are bad it helps to have a guaranteed paycheck regardless if you produce any meaningful work in society.

For those that need employment all they are greeted with is a chorus of go get a job from elitists. That is easier said than done in many cases. When you are confronted with a need to earn money, you need a plan to make it happen. When jobs are hard to find then you need to think outside of the box and create a job for yourself. Having good luck is great but for the rest of us brainstorming is a must to find a niche to fill.

To brainstorm, all you need to do is take a sheet of paper and pencil and begin writing out a list of things you know how to do, things you have the tools to do it with and things you think are an unserved need in your area. Once you have a good long list start looking over it and assess the potential of each item.

Typical ways to make extra money are to offer a service that people in your area may need such as lawn maintenance, tree trimming, small engine repair, auto repair, welding or handy man services. These are some tried and true jobs that work just about anywhere. This is a way to cash in on some of your hobbies or special talents such as wood working, sewing, riding lessons or teaching a musical instrument.

For the last two decades, the internet has provided people with ways to earn extra money through web design, web sites and e commerce sites to name a few. New technology is always welcome when making extra money requires new ideas.

One problem many people will run into these days is the fact that many ways of earning extra income are service related jobs that depend on a good economy and people that have money to spare. When the economy gets bad the types of jobs will shift to things that people must have or will save them money by having you do it.

In a bad economy certain things happen like cars and homes get repossessed. The people who end up with these items may need someone to clean them up for resale, repair items or maintain the location until it is sold. You can sometimes find these kinds of jobs by talking to your local banker. Many people may find these types of jobs distasteful but if you need the money you’ll have to make a decision.

The first things people will seek to satisfy are food, shelter and clothing. These are the primary needs of humans. So in a bad economy something that fills one of these needs is a good choice if you can provide an economical price in your location. Growing some food to sell, converting your garage into a small apartment to rent out or mending clothes are good examples. If you are good with cars you might be able to buy cheap cars to fix up and resell for a small profit. In a bad economy many people will be looking to get a cheap car because they need transportation but cannot afford a newer one.

What services or products do you look for when your money is tight and you need to stretch it out? Is there something there that you can provide for others? We all hope things get better but if history is any indicator, things will likely get much worse before they improve substantially. The west line has shifted from North America to Asia. The west line indicates where the shipping center of the world is at any given time. Once it shifts away from a country that location will suffer the types of economic degradation we are now witnessing in the U.S. We can try to get some of our jobs back but that ship has sailed so we must learn to work with a smaller, slower economy if we are to survive as a nation.

Many people will not want to hear that but the truth hurts. Those that understand the dynamics of this phenomenon will be better able to cope with the new reality and plan their future to deal with it. This means understanding what products and services people will need and having a plan to provide them as the economy continues to be unstable for years to come until some type of equilibrium is achieved.

Many people have dreamed of being their own boss and running their own business. The economy we see unfolding will make it imperative for you to have more control of your income opportunities. Taking some time now to evaluate your current finances and developing a plan to insure your family has the things they will need will determine your standard of living in the coming years. Failure to plan now will likely end in a lower standard of living for you and force you to navigate the many difficulties ahead with far fewer resources.

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.

The West Line and China World Rule

By: Tom Chatham

The west line is a theory that the commercial shipping center of the world has slowly moved westward over the course of centuries. This line, by chance or some hidden economic force, has slowly moved for 5,000 years. It started in Lebanon about 3,000 BC, moving in small steps to Rhodes, Crete, the Greek mainland, Rome and Northern Italy. About 1,000 years ago a large step brought NW Europe to the forefront making Antwerp/Amsterdam, London and the Eastern Coast of North America the leading centers of trade. In the 20th century a giant step moved the center of trade into the Pacific and Japan, South Korea and China became the new centers of growth and commercial shipping.

Each step along the west line became a struggle as the old centers declined and the new centers emerged. This long term perspective on the world of maritime trade demonstrates the dynamics of the ever changing environment that we live in. It is a continuing process that civilizations must adapt to in order to accept their new place in international commerce.

England was a manufacturing power that allowed them to build a world class navy. This allowed them to secure a worldwide empire. When they began losing manufacturing power to the U.S. it affected their ability to project military power. When WWII came, they went into deep debt to fight the war and it was the end of their status as a world power.

The U.S. slowly built up a manufacturing base that made the country wealthy and powerful in the world. This manufacturing ability allowed us to build a world class navy during WWII and become the new world power. In the 1930’s the U.S. built up the worlds largest gold hoard with about 26,000 tons. The U.S. has now lost much of its savings and manufacturing power to China and gone deep into debt to that nation.

China now has the manufacturing capability that England and America once had. This capability has made the country wealthy and they are now starting to build a large gold hoard. They are in the initial stages of building a large navy and a middle class that can utilize it’s manufacturing capacity once the U.S. sales wane. When war comes to the world once again, China will take the reigns of power from the U.S. and become the new world power. The U.S. will have to learn to live with a smaller, slower economy just as England and the others before them have.

By understanding the process that is now occurring, we can mitigate the damage to America and insure a reasonable standard of living in the future, but if we ignore the process taking place we may very well end up in third world conditions. The future of America is that of a nation with a lower standard of living and less military power. It will be a nation that must compete in world markets and have a product to sell to stay viable. The ability to prosper due to having the world reserve currency is over and we must accept that fact and adjust to it. If we fail to adjust to the new reality unfolding before us, we will suffer terribly for it.

We hold the future in our hands as the actions we will take will ultimately reflect our standard of living in years to come. The U.S. is destined to be no more than a shell of its’ former self for many years to come if it survives at all. The divisions now present in our society are such that losing our current prosperity could tear us apart as a nation. Do not suffer any delusions. The prosperity we once had is gone and will likely never be repeated in this nation, at least not for several centuries. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is not presenting a rational argument based on the natural tendencies of the west line which cannot be controlled by man. The best we can hope to do is to build a stable society that we can live with in the years to come. Just as past empires have succumbed to the west line in its passing, so must America.

The West Line and Americas Fading Glory

By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost

The west line is a theory that the commercial shipping center of the world has slowly moved westward over the course of centuries. This line, by chance or some hidden economic force, has slowly moved for 5,000 years. It started in Lebanon about 3,000 BC, moving in small steps to Rhodes, Crete, the Greek mainland, Rome and Northern Italy. About 1,000 years ago a large step brought NW Europe to the forefront making Antwerp/Amsterdam, London and the Eastern Coast of North America the leading centers of trade. In the 20th century a giant step moved the center of trade into the Pacific and Japan, South Korea and China became the new centers of growth and commercial shipping.

Each step along the west line became a struggle as the old centers declined and the new centers emerged. This long term perspective on the world of maritime trade demonstrates the dynamics of the ever changing environment that we live in. It is a continuing process that civilizations must adapt to in order to accept their new place in international commerce.

It is never easy for a person or a country to suddenly realize they are no longer the best at what they do or the leader of an industry. The U.S. set new standards in industry and commerce and attained goals never before thought possible. Just as an aged person soon realizes they have reached their moment of retirement, so to must a nation realize they have moved into their fall and winter seasons.

The U.S. moved into its’ fall season in the later 20th century and now we are approaching our winter season. It is not necessarily the end but it will require Americans to accept their new reality and adapt to their changing world. If the west line is any indicator then we must accept the fact that we will not regain our previous world status again for many centuries. We must adapt as others before us have adapted and learn how to make the best of our situation.

In the coming decades India seems to be the next stop for the west line. It appears to be a natural function that we are helpless to stop. It is progress. As countries in the Mediterranean and Europe have adapted to their smaller, slower economies and loss of trade, so must the U.S. adapt. We need to discover a new balance that will work for us that we can live with. The west line is perhaps a lesson from nature to teach nations humility. We have had our day in the sun, now it is our time to learn to live in the shade of others. That may not set well with many but that is how the west line works.