This is a habit I got myself into a long time ago. It’s a fairly simple principle – if you do at LEAST one small thing to prep every single day, it will all add up very quickly! Following this principle, I make sure that every day I’ve done something to prep. It might be as simple as fill a 2 liter bottle with water or doing a quick visual inventory and making a mental checklist of what I need to pick up at the store soon. Other (funner) days it’s something much more complex like stocking up on medical supplies, buying another gas can, filling it and putting it with the others.
I run a museum that covers, in part, the Great Depression. In a reply to Steve’s letter about how people may react to a “modern” 1930s type depression, you listed a number of economic, social and cultural differences in America in the two time periods. I might add, or expand on, a few.
In the 1930s, many more people lived on farms or gardened. Even in many towns and cities, it was common to have a garden and raise a few animals including chickens, rabbits, pigeons. An enormous difference, then and now, is that the garden seeds then were “heritage” or open pollinated. That means that a family could save their seed year after year, and always have a crop. That is no longer possible with today’s hybrids. If you save seed now, they, (the hybrids), won’t come back the next year. In a major economic breakdown, there will be little distribution of anything, including seed. No seed, no garden.
In the 1930s, most people had wells or cisterns for water. Today, if the electricity goes off, no more “city” water. Formerly, most people had outhouses. They didn’t need flushing. Today, if you can’t flush, you’ve got a biological lab in your bathroom within three days. In the 1930s, there were more horses, more donkeys, more mass transit and railroads, and more bikes. Today, no gas means no mobility. 80 years ago many more people preserved their own food. It was common for most folks to dry, can, smoke, salt, pickle and cold cellar, food. Today, many people consider food storage a discount card to a restaurant. In the 1930s, most people heated with wood or coal. Now, it’s almost entirely “on demand” gas in a pipe, or electricity. Formerly, most people had treadle sewing machines, grain grinders and meat grinders. Today, nada. In the 1930s, far more people practiced folk medicine and used herbs. If you got cut, sew it yourself. Got sick, chop a chicken and make soup. Today? You’d better have a pill bottle and insurance.
In the 1930s, far more people were church goers. Families tended to live closer to each other. People in general had a more self-reliant attitude. If someone had a problem, they tended to try to solve it themselves. And if they couldn’t, their church family, or own their family, would help them. Society today includes far more people who think the gov’t should, and will, be their caretaker.
It’s my belief, that if today we have a depression, if only as bad as the 1930s Great Depression, that [the societal impact of] such a depression will be many times worse. It’s a somewhat real possibility that, today, in a severe enough crisis, there would be no transport, little food or medicine, no heat, no sanitation, no water and very little cohesion of society.
In the 1930s, people sold apples on street corners, and a popular song was “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” I’m afraid that today, it may be far more common for people to try to take what they can, and consequences be d***ed. A 1930s-type Depression today ? Not pretty.
I have to completely agree with everything the museum curator said. Americans are entirely NOT prepared for anything remotely resembling hardship. We have become a nation of debtors and are addicted to debt. We’ve lost the sense of personal accountability and self reliance that characterized Americans for 200 years.
Here in Utah, I am surrounded by people who believe in the principle of self reliance, preparedness, etc. Not everyone is on board with these tenets, but I believe we Utahns are far better prepared than most in other states, particularly those in large cities.
Don’t believe me? How would these people react to a pandemic, food crisis, etc?
Do we even need to wonder if they have any food storage, money, etc. set aside for a rainy day, let alone something far worse?
What are YOU doing to prepare your family? Even if a catastrophic event were to never occur, what is the downside to gardening, food storage, and general self reliance? I know that if I could afford it my family and I would live on a self sufficient family farm. Today I would be running it in maintenance mode, just keeping a bare minimum of animals, produce, etc. However if something were to happen I could ‘flip the switch’ and ramp up to a self sufficient family farm. What I mean by this is that we would be producing enough milk, honey, wool, etc. to supply our own needs and have some to sell or trade for what we can’t or aren’t producing ourselves.
For now this is just a dream. Our little half acre just isn’t big enough. It is already cramped with our garden, chickens, goat and dogs.
What do our readers think about these topics? Am I being to down on our preparedness level as a society? Am I crazy for dreaming about a little family farm? Comments welcome.
I saw this reported on a number of web site, here is one of them.
It seems more and more likely that we have only seen the beginning of the financial chaos that is to come. This goes along with our post last week about the Top 10 Tips To Prepare For A Depression and our post on Why we prep.
Top trend forecaster, renowned for being accurate in the past, says that America will cease to be a developed nation within 4 years, crisis will be “worse than the great depression”.
The man who predicted the 1987 stock market crash and the fall of the Soviet Union is now forecasting revolution in America, food riots and tax rebellions – all within four years, while cautioning that putting food on the table will be a more pressing concern than buying Christmas gifts by 2012.
Gerald Celente, the CEO of Trends Research Institute, is renowned for his accuracy in predicting future world and economic events, which will send a chill down your spine considering what he told Fox News this week.
Celente says that by 2012 America will become an undeveloped nation, that there will be a revolution marked by food riots, squatter rebellions, tax revolts and job marches, and that holidays will be more about obtaining food, not gifts
“We’re going to see the end of the retail Christmas….we’re going to see a fundamental shift take place….putting food on the table is going to be more important that putting gifts under the Christmas tree,” said Celente, adding that the situation would be “worse than the great depression”.
“America’s going to go through a transition the likes of which no one is prepared for,” said Celente, noting that people’s refusal to acknowledge that America was even in a recession highlights how big a problem denial is in being ready for the true scale of the crisis.
Celente, who successfully predicted the 1997 Asian Currency Crisis, the subprime mortgage collapse and the massive devaluation of the U.S. dollar, told UPI in November last year that the following year would be known as “The Panic of 2008,” adding that “giants (would) tumble to their deaths,” which is exactly what we have witnessed with the collapse of Lehman Brothers, Bear Stearns and others. He also said that the dollar would eventually be devalued by as much as 90 per cent.
The consequence of what we have seen unfold this year would lead to a lowering in living standards, Celente predicted a year ago, which is also being borne out by plummeting retail sales figures.
The prospect of revolution was a concept echoed by a British Ministry of Defence report last year, which predicted that within 30 years, the growing gap between the super rich and the middle class, along with an urban underclass threatening social order would mean, “The world’s middle classes might unite, using access to knowledge, resources and skills to shape transnational processes in their own class interest,” and that, “The middle classes could become a revolutionary class.”
In a separate recent interview, Celente went further on the subject of revolution in America.
“There will be a revolution in this country,” he said. “It’s not going to come yet, but it’s going to come down the line and we’re going to see a third party and this was the catalyst for it: the takeover of Washington, D. C., in broad daylight by Wall Street in this bloodless coup. And it will happen as conditions continue to worsen.”
“The first thing to do is organize with tax revolts. That’s going to be the big one because people can’t afford to pay more school tax, property tax, any kind of tax. You’re going to start seeing those kinds of protests start to develop.”
“It’s going to be very bleak. Very sad. And there is going to be a lot of homeless, the likes of which we have never seen before. Tent cities are already sprouting up around the country and we’re going to see many more.”
“We’re going to start seeing huge areas of vacant real estate and squatters living in them as well. It’s going to be a picture the likes of which Americans are not going to be used to. It’s going to come as a shock and with it, there’s going to be a lot of crime. And the crime is going to be a lot worse than it was before because in the last 1929 Depression, people’s minds weren’t wrecked on all these modern drugs – over-the-counter drugs, or crystal meth or whatever it might be. So, you have a huge underclass of very desperate people with their minds chemically blown beyond anybody’s comprehension.”
The George Washington blog has compiled a list of quotes attesting to Celente’s accuracy as a trend forecaster.
“When CNN wants to know about the Top Trends, we ask Gerald Celente.”
— CNN Headline News
“A network of 25 experts whose range of specialties would rival many university faculties.”
— The Economist
“Gerald Celente has a knack for getting the zeitgeist right.”
— USA Today
“There’s not a better trend forecaster than Gerald Celente. The man knows what he’s talking about.”
“Those who take their predictions seriously … consider the Trends Research Institute.”
— The Wall Street Journal
“Gerald Celente is always ahead of the curve on trends and uncannily on the mark … he’s one of the most accurate forecasters around.”
— The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
“The Obama Administration will call on Americans to serve in order to meet the nation’s challenges. President-Elect Obama will expand national service programs like AmeriCorps and Peace Corps and will create a new Classroom Corps to help teachers in underserved schools, as well as a new Health Corps, Clean Energy Corps, and Veterans Corps. Obama will call on citizens of all ages to serve America, by developing a plan to require 50 hours of community service in middle school and high school and 100 hours of community service in college every year. Obama will encourage retiring Americans to serve by improving programs available for individuals over age 55, while at the same time promoting youth programs such as Youth Build and Head Start.”
“Section 1. Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime where of the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
Section 2. Congress shall have the power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
— Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution
Unfortunately the majority of Americans voting today are criminally ignorant when it comes to a reasonable understanding of the rights afforded them by the Constitution. Over the last couple of years I have been devouring as much information as I can find to study on my own. This study has included opinions from those believing the Constitution to be a static document and those who believe that it is a ‘living, breathing document’.
All the studying I have done has placed me firmly in the static camp. The founding fathers feared that clever words, exaggerated security fears and other ‘crises’ could cause the people to cede their rights to an ever more powerful government. To combat this, the power of government was severely limited with the power and therefore responsibility laid in the laps of the people themselves. If a change to the Constitution were actually necessary, the mechanism to amend it was created. However, this should be seen as a solemn, game changing event and as such is a long and very difficult process.
During the 219 years since the Constitution was created, only 27 amendments have been added, INCLUDING the original 10 of the Bill of Rights. This alone should demonstrate the intended nature of the Constitution. It is a sacred document unswayed by the temperamental winds of changing opinion. It is the duty of all citizens to learn what rights and responsibilities are placed upon us by our Constitution.
Now more than ever our rights are assailed by the government, special interests and those seeking to gain more power over your life and the very decisions you are allowed to make. Our state indoctrination centers (known as public schools to most) teach nothing of this, in fact this is where the idea that the Constitution should be interpreted anew by those in our power hungry government is most espoused. We must combat this by being informed and working to teach our children, family friends and neighbors.
I urge everyone to attend a lecture series like the ones presented here. Liberty and Learning
The government had jailed people in the past for ‘hoarding’ food. While this may seem a thing of the past, the government’s current direction towards ‘redistribution’ makes this ever more likely. NY Times Archive
Is anybody else worried about this or am I just paranoid?
One of my favorite sci-fi writers recently published an entry in his column entitled “Upholding the Constitition“. This is an excellent read, discussing the horrors of judicial legislation, and its side effects. It also hypothesises on the need and ways we have to combat these actions.
His discussion becomes extra important as we look at the choices and appointments that will be made by the people we elect this next week.