One key issue decided the last presidential election and is still at the forefront today – America's Economy is in Crisis! The experts agree that drastic changes are necessary and need to happen yesterday.
People are no longer arguing the fact that collapse is likely… it’s not a white elephant in the room anymore. Everyone knows the economy is on life support and needs desperate help, but still no one seems to have the resolve (balls?) to enact the measures necessary to fix it.
“Make America Great Again” was the slogan that propelled Donald Trump to the presidency. People were tired of hearing how America was in decline. They elected a new leader that promised to bring America back from its downward spiral. The message of hope and restoration was powerful… and it was firmly rooted in economic issues, like bringing back jobs and cutting health care costs, just to name a couple.
Unfortunately, it takes more than the good intentions of the President to enact major change.
Career politicians on both sides of the isle are more focused on holding power for their party and being reelected than on working together to save the country. And the years keep rolling by as everything stays the same.
Strike that… things are continually changing, but only for the worse!
The Slippery Slope of Decline:
Some of the following problems may not seem to be related, but all have contributed to an overall decline in the strength, stability and resilience of our economy and our great nation when taken as a whole.
- The cost of living continues to rise while earning stay flat
- Illegal immigrants seem to have more rights and privileges than US citizens
- Criminals are coddled while their victims are punished or ignored
- Government dependence is rewarded while success is denigrated as evil
- Personal accountability is considered passé and antiquated
- Moral values are being silenced, especially where Christians are concerned
In our democratic republic, we rely on the people we elect to office to be our voice and enact changes on our behalf for the betterment of everyone. The last election results shocked the political establishment and shouted from the rooftops that the American people were ready for some drastic changes!
A Lack of Leadership:
Legislators at federal, state and local levels of government continue to follow the same self-destructive patterns over and over again, while ‘We the People’ continue to watch our resources dwindle and our quality of life diminish before our eyes.
Runaway entitlement spending and unsustainable pension agreements, especially in the government sector, have produced crippling debt and impossible budget shortfalls. There is no end in sight.
Health care costs continue to skyrocket beyond the ability of average Americans to handle, yet even common sense reform measures are regularly ignored in favor of the ineffective status quo.
Free market business entities face incredibly burdensome regulation. The US currently has the highest corporate tax rates in the world, forcing US companies to hold trillions of dollars offshore.
And if all of this wasn’t bad enough, the actions of the very agency mandated to protect our financial stability, the US Federal Reserve, could now be putting us at serious risk of another market crash.
The following article explains how…
How the Fed Could Cause a Stock Market Crash in 2018
The Fed is tightening monetary policy, and that could pull money out of the stock market.
Since December 2014, the Fed has hiked interest rates four times, sending the rate above 1% for the first time since 2008. Now, the Fed is planning four more rate hikes by the end of 2018, which will push the rate above 2% for the first time since 2008.
The low interest rate era is ending…
And there's more. The Fed is also unwinding its massive $4.5 trillion balance sheet…
You see, not only did the Fed slash interest rates after the 2008 crisis to stimulate the economy, it also began buying up assets from Wall Street to help push money into the markets.
The Fed is now ending its asset-buying program – also known as “quantitative easing” – and unloading the assets. That's going to pull even more money out of the markets.
With stocks at historically high valuations, less liquidity could be the trigger that leads to a market correction, or even a crash, in 2018.
A Loss of Trust in the System:
We won’t soon forget how badly the country was rocked by the housing and market crash of 2008. Thousands of hard-working Americans lost most or all of their 401k savings. The banks and government programs that caused the crash were never held accountable. Instead, many received massive government bailouts because they were deemed “too big to fail”.
Trust in the stability of the system was shattered. That trust has yet to be reestablished even today.
… because many of the same mistakes that created the bubble in 2008 are being made again!
Sir Winston Churchill showed considerably more wisdom when he said…
“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”
The evidence that our economy may be doomed to crash again is overwhelming. Once again we are at risk of catastrophic failure if we continue to ignore the warning signs.
How a Collapse Will Look:
Image courtesy of: OhKyleL
Things will deteriorate very quickly with the next crash because it is very unlikely that any curative measures will be able to stop or even slow it very much. The resulting cascade of events will cripple our entire financial system and begin the destabilization of social order across the country.
- The stock market will crash and the dollar will begin to destabilize causing investor panic.
- Banks will close as assets are devalued and they are no longer able to write off bad debt.
- Distribution of consumer goods will be disrupted as businesses cease operations.
- Power, water and basic social services will likely become unavailable fairly quickly.
- Public panic will soon turn to fear and panic. Rioting, looting and violence follow.
- Martial law will likely be established in urban areas to restore order and control the public.
- Lawlessness will eventually prevail as shortages of food and other necessities become the norm.
It stands to reason that the world economy would suffer similar circumstances as much of the global market is inextricably tied to the US currency and economic influence. America could expect no help from the rest of the world in an economic disaster.
Worst case scenario: The United States may very well face the possibility of invasion and occupation if the financial systems of the other world powers were able to survive the collapse of the dollar.
Preparing for Economic Collapse:
Covering everything in this topic could fill volumes, but good preparation really comes down to making sure you are ready and able to do only 2 things…
- Short Term – surviving the immediate dangers that follow the initial collapse event
- Long Term – surviving the long-term aftermath until civilized society can be restored
So let’s break it down according to those criteria.
How to Prepare for the Short-Term:
Like any disaster, the first days or weeks after an economic collapse will be confusing and chaotic. People won’t be prepared to deal with the uncertainties of their drastically changed reality, making populated areas more dangerous and unpredictable. Surviving the early stages of economic collapse will require advance planning and a readiness to take action when the time comes.
Have an evacuation or bug out plan – Make this detailed as you see fit, but you should at least have a basic outline of necessary action steps to get your party out of harm’s way if your location is unsafe. Make sure everyone knows the plan, the role they are supposed to play, and how to maintain communication during the actual event.
Have an emergency food stockpile – The average grocery store only carries about 3 days of stock and everyone will be swarming them in the panic. Make sure you have an emergency food supply (72-hour supply is recommended) for each member of your party to carry on their person. It’s also a good idea to prepare a larger stash of long shelf life food at a hidden bug out location in case you are forced to avoid populated areas for a long stretch of time. Don’t forget to include a good source of protein.
Have an emergency bug out bag stocked* – It’s called a bug out bag for good reason… it’s designed to carry the things you will need to survive if some kind of disaster forces you to get away for a time. What your bag contains will vary somewhat by location and personal preference, but there are definitely some basics that should be included in your emergency survival supplies.
*This step is so important that I provide a full guide and checklist covering the topic.
Have a discreet bug out location – This is extremely important even if you hope to be able to return home quickly. Having a place to go prepared in advance will eliminate confusion and give your party a safe location from which to plan your next move or long term strategy, as well as enhancing your concealment and self-defense capabilities. Choose a location with a nearby fresh water supply.
How to Prepare for the Long-Term:
In the case of an economic collapse, long term survival preparation will be required simply because of the way it likely rolls out as we already discussed. It ain’t gonna be pretty! Fortunately, you can significantly reduce the amount of damage you will incur personally by some smart decisions you can make and actions you can take starting today.
Develop thrifty habits – It’s simple, you will have more if you learn to spend less. You won’t need as much if you can make what you have last longer or repurpose for additional uses. My wife grew up in a family that lived a thrifty lifestyle by following this principle that we passed on to our own kids…
“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”
You can begin teaching your family thrifty living in many ways… by conserving water and electricity, by learning to repair things that are broken rather than replacing them, and by simply living without a lot of unnecessary extravagances. By learning a thrifty lifestyle now, your family will suffer less and be able to handle it better if resources become limited in the future.
Learn useful new skills – When money is useless, occupational skills become a valuable commodity. It’s never too late to learn a new trade. Gardening, sewing, baking, and repair or building services are just a few skills that can not only provide you additional income today, but would give you incredible bartering power when there are no longer stores around selling the products and services people need.
Protect your assets – 2008 taught us that we can’t count on stocks or 401k retirement plans to ensure our money is safe. It’s important to start acquiring tangible assets like precious metals. Since paper currencies will be subject to hyperinflation and devaluation, buying gold and silver will give you a hedge of protection. Make sure to have smaller denominations that can be easily carried and traded for the goods and services you need… nobody is going to be carrying gold bullion around when SHTF.
While some would recommend moving wealth to offshore accounts for protection, approach this idea with caution. It will be difficult to foresee which foreign currencies, if any, will be affected by US economic collapse or how the foreign banks will handle the situation.
Transition toward self-sufficiency – Most people these days are into convenience. It’s not uncommon to rely on products and services provided by others, especially if living in metropolitan areas. There has actually been a huge surge in recent years toward Off-Grid Living or Homesteading, with the goal of living an independent, self-sufficient lifestyle. These folks desire to be completely disconnected from “the System or Grid”, relying only on their own skills and resources to survive.
Going completely off-grid is a big step and honestly too big a challenge for most people. Instead I suggest starting small and progress over time… plant a backyard garden, learn about water collection and storage, study the medicinal uses of plants, raise chickens, rabbits, goats or cows, research alternative energy sources, and get in the practice repairing and maintaining things around the house.
Image courtesy of: brianfey
Improve your health – Probably the best thing you can do for yourself today. Survival situation or not, your family and loved ones need you to be around to love and protect them. Developing and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is the best way to make sure you are in any circumstances. Let’s be honest, the smartest, strongest and healthiest are the ones that are going to help keep everyone else alive when things get tough. Start preparing today with good nutrition and exercise.
Build a community – Going it entirely on your own is tough in any circumstances. After a major disaster, there is a very good chance your survival will DEPEND on joining up with others for resources and protection. At the very least, there will likely be skills, talents and knowledge needed to survive that will NOT be represented within your party. Making connections now with like-minded friends and neighbors that can contribute those missing skills and developing those relationships over time can only serve to improve everyone’s’ chances.
As you can see, there is no simple solution for surviving such a cataclysmic event like an economic collapse. It will take careful planning and execution of that plan to come through it.
The most important thing to remember is to START NOW! There simply won’t be any way to make up for lost time and preparation once the event has occurred. There will be a lot of people wishing they had done more when that dreaded day comes… please make sure you are not one of them.
Until next time…
Take care and God bless
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