Going back years, one of the most pressing concerns for Preppers (even back before we were called Preppers) has been the state of the economy.
People think about the economy as though it is this distant thing they read about in the paper or listen to people drone on about on the news; something that only matters to investors, or rich people, or even just folks out looking for jobs. But, the truth is that our economy is the life’s blood of our society (of any modern society) and those reports on the news and in the papers that Joe and Sally Sixpack actively ignore and/or never bother to learn enough to understand are it’s heart-beat.
The reason those of us who identify with the Prepper subculture worry over the sorry state of the economy is because: A.) The economy crashing catastrophically is a realistic potential future threat (it nearly happened in 2008) versus other more statistically-improbable disasters like nuclear wars or asteroid strikes; and, B.) Unlike Joe and Sally Sixpack, we have done enough research — both historical as well as theoretical — to make us understand that, if we do ever experience a catastrophic economic crash, the entire system of society will come crashing down around our ears with the quickness.
This isn’t the 1930s anymore, when a huge percentage of the population were only one generation (or less) removed from living on and working farms and ranches, and most people still had family members still actively living that life just a few hours drive away. Most of us no longer even possess the requisite knowledge to keep a productive vegetable garden and can our own produce, and there are a lot more of us to feedthese days. Also, in the 1930s, we weren’t under siege by 1.4 million gang members spread over 33,000 separate violent street gangs (an almost unbelievably explosive increase of 40% between 2009 and early 2012, according to the FBI).
And, on top of all of that, we have engineered our system into such a convoluted cluster-f#%k that virtually every morsel of food we eat and every ounce of fuel we pump into our vehicles only gets to us as the end result of a hugely interdependent feedback loop. Modern grocery stores only keep a supply that lasts a few days on-site. Every time you buy an item and it gets electronically-scanned by the cashier, a computer keeps track of it. When a certain percentage of the total in-store stock of an item is sold, the computer electronically signals the computers at the depot serving your area to ready a new shipment of that item to replenish the store’s stocks. This continues ad nauseam up the line from the local depot to the regional depots and, ultimately, all the way to the manufacturer or producer of the goods. This is why, whenever there’s a big storm and people rush to the stores to buy supplies all at once, the shelves end-up bare (or nearly so). What has happened is that the sudden rush of people all buying items at the same time and in large quantities has stressed the system and depleted the supplies before they could be restocked.
It is normally a very efficient system, but, like any efficient modern system, throw one cog in the works and it all grinds to a halt. When the Teamsters threaten to strike, their employers can make use of non-union drivers to keep the system running. Non-union drivers like money, for which they are willing to trade their labor for a set number of dollars. But, if you remove those dollars from the equation by making them lose their worth (through hyperinflation), then you have a very big problem. You have no drivers, which doesn’t really matter, because you also have no staff at the depots to load the products onto the loading docks. Within a few days, the grocery stores are empty and the gas stations are dry for want of their properly-timed deliveries. Eventually, even the electricity goes out as rampant absenteeism puts the kibosh on anything getting fixed as it breaks and the power-plants use up their emergency supplies of coal and oil with no new deliveries to replenish them. Police and National Guard units are soon unable to maintain order as a large percentage of their personnel stay home to keep their own families safe.
Say goodbye to society, all because of an economic crash that strips the dollar of its buying power.
But that’s okay, because it’ll never happen, right?
The fact is, if you look past the spin and propaganda that is being spewed by our leaders and their co-opted mouth-pieces in the mainstream media, you’ll see that we are currently mired in an economic funk that is a lot closer to a possible collapse than you might think.
Germany is signaling a loss of confidence in our financial system (or, at the very least, a lack of faith in the honesty of the Fed) with a recent announcement that they are calling home large quantities of gold, previously stored in Paris and New York. And they aren’t the only ones. Lots of well-to-do-folks are hoarding gold and sales of silver coins are way, way up.
Meanwhile, China is getting grabby with a lot of commodities, including gold and, even more worryingly, huge quantities of staples such as rice, powdered milk, and iron ore. Either they’re getting ready for World War III over there, or they know something we don’t. I can say with certainty, however, that a really great time to be overflowing in all the great stuff dollars can buy would be on the day after those dollars (which the Chinese are heavily invested in) become worthless. The Chinese are playing chess while the rest of us are playing checkers, folks.