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SOVEREIGN MAN

What are the social implications of economic collapse?

Reporting from: New York City

For the last few days, we’ve been having an important discussion about the magnitude of the economic challenges in the west; if you didn’t read yesterday’s letter, I really encourage you to do so before proceeding because it’s important to understand why the west has truly passed the point of no return.

Simply put, the United States and much of Europe are borrowing an extraordinary amount of money now just to pay interest on the money they’ve already borrowed. They cannot even self-fund their mandatory entitlement programs without going into the hole, and their options are limited:

Option 1: Continue borrowing, keep the party going.

As long as the government CAN do this, they WILL do this.  Regardless of their intentions, though, more debt only worsens the situation, creating higher borrowing costs in the long run, and even more debt. As this happens, the pool of buyers begins to dry up, especially from overseas.

Option 2: Inflation

The more buyers stop purchasing Treasury securities, the more the Federal Reserve will mop up the excess liquidity. In doing so, the Fed essentially conjures up money and loans it to the government.

No matter what the government monkey statistics say, this is inflationary, plain and simple. The more money they print, the greater the level of inflation in the long-term. Meanwhile, as foreigners simultaneously reduce their US dollar holdings, this inflation will become more acutely felt in the US.

Option 3: Austerity

There’s going to come a time when the US government is forced to face its economic reality and make some incredibly deep cuts that would be felt across society, from Wall Street and the military industrial complex to project housing on the other side of the tracks.

Option 4: Default

Eventually, the debt burden is simply going to be too much, and the most obvious solution will be to default. Politicians will make China out to be the enemy and they will probably invent a war just to have an excuse to default on Chinese owned debt. Americans will wave the flag and celebrate defaulting on their enemies.

Option 5: Economic Cannibalism

In the best traditions of Atlas Shrugged, the government will continue its persecution of the productive class– professionals, investors, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers. Existing taxes will rise, new taxes will be created, trade barriers will be enacted, and a maze of cost prohibitive regulations will be passed.

The first option (keeping the party going) is what has been happening for years. Politicians make small concessions to show they’re “serious” about fiscal discipline, cutting laughably small programs while dumping hundreds of billions of dollars into wars and entitlement programs.

The worse the debt situation becomes, though, the higher the borrowing costs become, and the worse the debt situation becomes. It’s not an enviable position. Existing lenders will continue backing away from the US Treasury market, giving option 1 a half-life measured in months at best.

In the longer term, only options 2-5 remain: inflation, austerity, default, and cannibalism. Each of these remaining options will shake the financial system to its core. More importantly, each of these has the power to create widespread social upheaval.

When inflation eats away at a family’s already meager standard of living, when austerity eliminates the benefits to which recipients have grown accustomed, when default vanquishes a retiree’s savings, when high taxes make workers feel like they’re just government serfs– this is when the real turmoil will begin:

  • Rising crime: devoid of a job or means to support their families, people will turn to crime out of desperation
  • Class warfare: with dividing lines drawn between have’s vs. have-not’s, it will become unpopular and even dangerous to be successful
  • Corruption: low-level public service officials will look to supplement their income through bribery and kickbacks
  • Black economy: An underground, cash-only (probably gold or foreign currency) economy will emerge with people getting paid in envelopes
  • Censorship: Of course they’ll blame it on national security, but the idea will be to prevent public disparaging of government policy
  • War: The government will need another major event to distract people from the real problems
  • Protests/Riots: This is when things turn bloody
  • Police state conditions: The government will close ranks and send the cops out to show all the little people who’s really in charge

There are a number of other manifestations, and many are already showing signs of emergence. The US and European police states are alive and well. Crime is on the rise.

In Europe, cops are doing battle in the streets with their citizens. Think it can’t happen in the US? Remember tanks in the streets during the LA riots? Remember New Orleans? Remember any number of G8/G20 protests?

Here’s the bottom line: all you have to do is glance at the headlines to see what happens when you strip people of their livelihood, of their ability to put food on the table for their families.

063 What are the social implications of economic collapse?

The US has been able to kick the can down the road with the most blunt social implications simply because the country benefits so much from a US-oriented financial system. This is coming to an end very, very quickly.

As a rule of thumb, the greater the economic distortion, the harder the collapse. The US economy has been in a fantasy world for so long, and when its dominant primacy is yanked away, the collapse will be at freefall speed.

Listen… I’m not talking about the end of the world here, I’m talking about difficult times ahead, and the things that go beyond economics. It’s time to face facts and look at how society will change (and has already changed).

Tomorrow, I’d like to write more about what we can do now. Meanwhile, please tell me what you think about this– how do you see society changing from this reset of the financial system?

About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

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  • Jdono64

    I live in a very large coastal metro area. What I notice in my working class low-end neighborhood is that the cars stay put on the weekends mostly. People have money for gas to go to the job and back but for how long? Today the price was $4.79.
    In the richer area of the Sunset Strip I noticed aside from the surreal tourist buses going by the cafes and restaurants seemed slightly more empty. Sure there is still a lot of flash but I’m warned constantly that many are way over their heads.
    I have wanted to leave America now for some time, 2006 to be precise. In my estimation we have passed two important exits on the highway to doom, now I really don’t see any turning back.
    I have worked most of my life but am not employed now. It terrifies me that I am surviving this way. I must change it now.
    I have been having a kind of voice inside warn me I have three months. This started about two months ago and I was immersing myself learning all I could on economics since I had the time. I stayed locked up in my large apartment for a couple days freaked out. Now I am learning programing on my own and also looking at options of leaving. I believe it’s that serious. I agree with your analysis about if it’s a very good mirage it’s going to be a scorching desert. I was lucky to inherit my dead father’s knack for percieving the future, and I am prepared to live in another country not my own now.

  • Rocketfuel

    There is something to be learned here from Iceland.  They had it really bad a few years ago and after a short attempt to follow the rules, they just defaulted straight up and told the central banks to go to hell.  They can’t borrow any more money (a good thing) but their economy is back on track.  The basis of this problem has a lot to do with the creation of the Federal Reserve, but it has even more to do with the large European banking cartel that was most instrumental in creating the Fed in the first place.  The whole point was to hook the taxpayers for the liabilities and keep the profits while making sure there was plenty of rising debt – all with interest due.  It is important to note that they didn’t actually have all this money to loan in the first place but just created it just like the Federal Reserve Bank in the US does today.  Little things like sponsoring wars (both sides in many cases) was no big deal to these guys.  They might be bankers, but you wouldn’t want to leave them in a room alone with your daughters.  The system is based on being in control of the money supply so the governments cooperate.  The government is the first recipient of this money so they don’t complain and when the screwy system causes problems for the banks like it always will with air money, the government goes to the taxpayers to cover the debt to the banks.  Usually, they use inflationary measures more than they use outright taxes since most people don’t understand that this is really a covert tax.  It seems like the only solution is to have everything go to hell as the agenda seems unstoppable at this point.  Truthfully, the solution lies in exposing the culprits and laying the blame where it belongs which is primarily on the large, monopolistic banks which are the functionaries behind the Fed in the US as well as the central banks elsewhere.  In case you are curious, the main thrust of this comes out of, the rules are made by, and coordination is achieved through the main central bank which is called the Bank of International Settlements in Basil Switzerland.  They are already pushing for a new international currency called the SDR which is why you hear so much about this from the various financial leaders.  The leaders in the G 20 countries have already agreed on a group called the GMA, or Global Monetary Authority which is located in the same place in Basil.  This group is already in place, it was not, however voted on by the US congress but just signed by the president illegally.  The point is that they created the problem in the first place.  This country would undoubtedly be much better off in the long run to just tell them to go to hell and start a new, gold based, currency and run it without central banks at all.  Of course, this idea would be unpopular with the banks and would likely cause a major upheaval.  As you so eloquently point out, though, the upheaval is due anyway and the difference is in the end result.  Playing the banker’s game results in a globally controlled currency and implies not just financial control.  Booting them out still has the unpleasantness, but it results in a new future prosperity and, perhaps more importantly, personal freedom.  These are all easily verifiable facts.  Preparing to survive personally is a great idea in either case, but it would at least be worth it to kick the bastards out of our lives in the process.

  • Dr Alan

    Hello Simon: I really like and appreciate your perspective. I share many of your views. Being a very long-time fan of Alex Jones and many other active activists, I am VERY pleased to be an ex-pat who has lived in Australia for the past 37 years. I am also a health care practitioner who is passionate about health and who “walks the walk”. Keep up the great work. I will be becoming a “Sovereign Man” soon—I am funding many other good causes and money has to top up to become a Sovereign Man participant. Yours in health and happiness, Dr.Alan Hakes, Osteopath & Chiropractor

  • Markus Innocenti

    The American public is incredibly timid, so it’s unlikely that the US
    will experience the kind of social unrest that will wrack Europe in the
    next decade. Corporate America no longer has its deepest roots in the US
    economy and – like smarter citizens – will further remove itself from
    harm’s way.  Lack of real Leadership has given
    crazies of all persuasions traction — and none of it helps. The standard of living for the average American is unsustainable — just as in Europe.  Political figures are either cynical or not very bright. You’d expect there to be some amongst them who are capable of leading the US out of the mess — but those able to do so abandoned politics long ago. The “middle class” will descend into polite poverty, the “working class” will continue to be fooled into thinking that they can one day make the leap into financial independence, some of the “oligarchs” will become ‘expendable’ to satisfy the public, and the rest will do business as usual. You don’t have to leave America to survive this — although Simon is brilliant with his suggestions and advice on expatriation. Not everyone is able to do that.  I look forward to his thoughts on how to stay in the US and thrive “under the radar” — do you have any, Simon? I’m hopeful!

  • Patrick

    As a survivor of hurricane Katrina I have first hand experience of the breakdown in society when such events occur. I can tell you I believe that what is headed our way soon will dwarf that situation.
    We will have to endure much pain that most don’t or won’t believe can happen here in the USA.
    I have done my best to prepare my family and friends and am now awaiting the time that we revert back to the late 1890-1900 life style. I think in the long run it will be O.K. maybe even better than the lifestyle we live today.
    God Bless Us and Help Us All !

  • LT

    Do not waste your life by living in fear of the unknown. I have to tell myself this quite often. Be aware, note important information, and take the necessary action to continue living a happy life. 

    “All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger (it’s impossible), but calculating risk and acting decisively.”

                                            – Niccolo Machiavelli, The Prince 

  • Triple J

    When you talk to most people about our current dismal economic situation you get “deer in the headlights” looks. Most of those who do “get it” have been conditioned through the compulsory education system not to think about it; that the government will take care of them. For those who understand and would like to take action, most cannot afford to because their daily existence is monetized and anchored to a debt based currency system (living from paycheck to paycheck). When we do hit the tipping point (and we’re oh, so close) people will need two things; direction & compensation. Will they take it from liberty minded people who have taken steps to prepare or from the nanny state that is working ever so hard to strip us of our freedom to fend for ourselves? Time will tell.

    • http://www.jonesfamily.us/ Ron Jones

      Excellent points! I too believe the tipping point may be close at hand. Will the general population (at least the ones who “get it”) be prepared for action?

      By and large, middle America (the ones who actually pay the bills) are decent folks who respect each other, and the rule of law. However, when faced with the unimaginable… a surreal totalitarian nightmare… will our desire for freedom (even if only for our children) override our impulse to be a “good citizen” who “obeys the law?”

      Who will be the first pioneer to finally stand up and say “ENOUGH!” ???
      And what will become of them?

      Who will be the first to break the law and be branded a traitor, a felon, or [horrors!] a terrorist, by washington’s government?

      Most importantly, what will the rest of us REALLY think
      of that courageous soul?

      By way of explanation, how many honest, Liberty-loving folks do you know believe (to this day) that Randy Weaver “MUST have been doing something really bad.” ???

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Steve-Bonzai/626050361 Steve Bonzai

        MOST NEVER HEARD OF RANDY WEAVER

  • Hpymacguy

    People keep saying that the American public is timid, but it’s the system that keeps people in line. Most professional people who become known as “activist” will be fired from their jobs. Most states are “at will” employers meaning that an employee can be hired at any time, with or without cause. At fired employee cannot claim unemployment compensation and they loose their health insurance. A fired employee would find it difficult to fine a new job. This is the system that keeps Americans from protesting like Europeans do.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RASR6SDSU4O2IKYL47LLGDF46A Jim

      Incorrect, in California you have to be fired or have a very good reason you quit to get unemployment…but who says that will still be around?

  • Prov6

    Seems like the further from government agents (i.e. police) you are, and the closer to growing food and raising livestock you are, or having a skill that you can trade for those things, the better off you are.

  • Paul

    Hi,
    My thought are if the U.S. Gov falls do u think our overseas creditors will not simple come and divid the country? Sure they might wait tell the USA is weak. Maybe a few yrs. They will come though.
    No 1900′s good old times can return. If u look simply at our nuclear waste wet and dry storage facilities you will see that it’s nit possible. Without cooling the radiation would kill off most of us.
    Who says they will not make it illegal to own gold or silver? Do u know satellites can search for metal. They will have programs for spying on ur neighbors. Turn them in if u suspect them, get this for being a patriotic person…
    In short we need to simply vote new ppl into power. Like Ron Paul. We need to work quickly.
    I hope my post makes it on the page. Our only hope is a strong Gov. Other hopes are false dreams. The dreams if struggling pll. Looking for the collapse to bring a better life. Won’t be easy for a great outcome like that to happen.

  • Paul

    Hi,
    My thought are if the U.S. Gov falls do u think our overseas creditors will not simple come and divid the country? Sure they might wait tell the USA is weak. Maybe a few yrs. They will come though.
    No 1900′s good old times can return. If u look simply at our nuclear waste wet and dry storage facilities you will see that it’s nit possible. Without cooling the radiation would kill off most of us.
    Who says they will not make it illegal to own gold or silver? Do u know satellites can search for metal. They will have programs for spying on ur neighbors. Turn them in if u suspect them, get this for being a patriotic person…
    In short we need to simply vote new ppl into power. Like Ron Paul. We need to work quickly.
    I hope my post makes it on the page. Our only hope is a strong Gov. Other hopes are false dreams. The dreams if struggling pll. Looking for the collapse to bring a better life. Won’t be easy for a great outcome like that to happen.

  • The Anti-Gnostic

    Yeah, but when the SHTF, the protesters won’t be 30 year-old child-men with graduate degrees in anthropology.

    Also, the government is going to have a hard time getting people to fight for it with the pensions gone and nothing but green pieces of paper to pay them with.

  • TheBigWedding

    From the point of view of the global oligarchy, the only method of imposing order and control is through the organized chaos of ECONOMIC crises, war, and the rapid expansion and institutionalization of a global scientific dictatorship. – Zbigniew Brzezinski

  • TrishaD

    I think you are SPOT on regarding every word.  I believe it is going to get really, really ugly and I think that if you are a middle class American who cannot afford to buy gold, then silver will do.  PREPARE as if your life depends on it because it probably does.  If you do not have a food storage to last 1-2 YEARS – go to Sam’s and think about just staying alive – buy staples that will last a long time….Rice, Beans, Flour, Sugar, Salt, powdered milk – things like boxed Mac and cheese, Oil or Crisco, Peanut Butter…(the time of gourmet meals can come to an abrupt halt at any time now)  My personal belief is you need to do this before the end of THIS month.  Some of us have lost our savings already…but with a little preparation, some money and preparation (OR one exhausting weekend of shopping and storing) - your family will at least not go to bed with empty stomachs.  My last comment – GET OUT OF THE CITY…and if you cannot do it now..at least have a spot way out in the country that you can go to – away from the angry mobs who have no food. Buy an acre of land and put a sturdy storage building on it..to store staples and gardening tools in.  Oh, and buy seed so you can grow a garden. AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT once you have your stash – take care of those you can take care of – be generous but not to the point of risking your families well being.  Remember this – Hungry people will shoot you to get your food and you cannot feed the world. So keep your preparation to yourself unless you are speaking in general – i.e. I think people should get prepared in case it does get bad!!

  • Guest

    We are already seeing coruption at all levels. I am a gun dealer and you cannot imagine the people who want guns. Not all are bad but I have been around my territory long enough that I know who to and who not to. My place has never been broke into but just because I have it secured well and I don’t know how long that will last. I will put this in here but I am kind of afraid to. I guess we will see. All FFL holders recieved letters to not sell to veterans because the government is afraid they may come together and go against them. If you are good enough with the search on the internet, you can find this letter. No more on that. I am worried and I know I am not prepared as I should be. I keep trying to stay on top of things but it is hard and SovereignMan, you will never know how much I want to thank you for what you have told all of us. I just wish more would read your letters.   BYE

  • Sovereign

    Join the de jure Republic and let’s set this thing right – see republicfortheunitedstates (dot) org

  • Dragos2112

    I see 1, 2, 3, & 4 as what the road is going to be.
    After ‘difficult’ things get serious.
    I doubt the police state will make it. Simply, too many have their own to attend to, and I see many who will take their weapons home to take care of their own. Mass desertion by not only police and military, but also those in office who don’t want to be hung, etc.
    I would offer that the ‘financials’ will simply collapse very suddenly, like overnight.
    Some ‘things’ will still operate, but only for a few days (hours). Water supply, food on hand, and all forms of protection, police, firemen, etc.
    The ‘cannibalism’ is in the experimental stage, and there are lots of people up in arms about fooling with their retirement accounts, so I don’t think it will fly.
    The ‘benefits’, paid for or however earned, are next, Social Security, Veterans, etc.
    Last time this was mentioned, there was a flood of biblical proportions of objections and certain things to be done to those who would dare to try…
    According to the timeline, there just ain’t enough time…an economic emergency might come (be declared), even so.
    There are too many people who are very close to their limits on the pressure they can stand.
    At the first sign of ‘trouble’, look for attacks on authorities, police, etc.
    Rioting starts shortly after, then looting, etc. 
    Get as far away from large cities/metro areas as you can, or face lots of visitors…
    Stock up on essentuals, food, water (filter device), and personal protection- guns and ammo.
    Find a place to hide out for a few weeks/months, maybe a year…that is a lot of cans of tuna and spam!
    Problem is that this has all been planned for a long time and the planners ain’t stupid. These are the controllers, owners, and financiers of the world, the huge ones…Rothschild family, etc.
    They Own the central banking system, all large corporations, and now they are looking to cash us in.
    Guess we be expendable…
      

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Karri-Konczal/1367477463 Karri Konczal

    Over the past 30 years – Extreme rise of corporate power.

    Over the past 30 years – Extreme intensification of the merger of goverment and corporate power.

    Over the past thirty years – Extreme dismantelling of unions and workers rights.

    Over the past thirty years - Extreme detruction of indivual earning power. Wages falling.

    Over the past thirty years – Extreme shift of tax burden from the wealthy and onto the working class.

    Solution – Cut taxes on the wealthy and destroy the remaining unions. Simply intensify the program that has been implimented for the past thirty years!

    This will fix everything. I guarantee it.

    The economy has a loss of agregater demand from the middle class.

    Cut taxes on the rich.

    This is a proven formula to fix the problem.

    EVERY economist agrees with this!!!!

    • guest

      Karri,

      I can’t tell what you are proposing since each sentance is a statement.  I hope you are being ironic.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_RASR6SDSU4O2IKYL47LLGDF46A Jim

        I think you mean sarcastic.

    • John

      Karri, I agree with what you say, but i would like to hear your opinion on a subject along the lines of power shifts in our past in this country. It is very contraversial, and most men would be afraid to bring it up. But let’s remember the first amendment. In my opinion, I think there has been a shift within the sexe’s that hasn’t been for the better of mankind. I have my own story of a divorce, financial ruin, false accusations of D/V charges. From a women that totaly used the system to destroy what I cosider to be not a perfect man but decent in wanting to do the best as I could for my family in the inviroment I lived in. But many years of credit card abuse, and the system used against me, I failed my children.
         Today I am passed all this, I have my children, as I struggle with them in watching them struggle with there new life with me and somebody who is not afraid of saying NO. There mother passed away, she had a brain anyurism. It has been difficult in undoing her lessons of feeding the addiction of these kids that she nurtured into a bad habbit.
         I beleive all people should be impowered to allow there best to come out, I am not a schovinistic person. At the same time I think we have our parts as men and women in our society. I will never breast feed because I can’t. I will never be the mother to my children that thier mother was because I’m not. I am their father. I am not going to try to define roles or places within our sex’s. But I will say this, no matter what they are a woman needs to feel and be a woman, and likewise with a man.
         So as I stated in the begiging I agreed with what you have said, I am union employee. Where I work I see more than 50% are divorced as this system has destroyed the family unit, and many a story shadow mine, of many of my brothern. Paying child support and just getting by living in fear of there jobs to make ends meet. And I assure you, it is natural to see things from one’s perspective I know there are single mothers out there struggling as well. Now that I have my kids I have expierenced both side of a divorce, except she’s not here to help at all. So my question to you do you think that women entering the work force and our children being raised by family or strangers has done us any good. What part of our Greed as men and women have we played in allowing our system to become what it has. In the old days when our Unions were strong we controlled our corporations. When some dumb ass thought he was going to get farther in sucking up to the boss for his own gain he was put in his place. Today all live in fair of retaliating. I get so disgusted with guy’s at work because all they do is cry and cry and do nothing. So to keep my own sanity, I always joke with them and ask if they heard about the new uniforms that were getting? They look surprised so I tell them. A new one piece hot pink spandex that says TMSTR. bitch on the front and corporate whore on the back, with a little flap door over your butt for easy acess. They chuckle but the reality is men are not men anymore. Which brings me back to the sex’s there was one person on this earth that made me feel like a man and she is now gone, but she also new how not to. I think women under estimate the powers they have in this world and many have used them in the wrong way. You are the care takers of life from conception to birth and beyond. I think, when women truly understand the true power that has been given to them our world will be a great place to live. Men are simple creatures, we understand we are the horse meant to pull the plow we were built for it. And most of us don,t have a problem doing it. But for this horse I need a good proper life diet to do my job. And I believe that diet lye’s between our sex’s as we engage each other as men and women in our society. Together as a family unit we have more power than any government on earth. But we have been divided through many different means material and other. Our cities, state’s, counties, governments, and world will not be great untill we are great as men and women. Thanks for letting me bend your ear.

      John      

    • Diogenes_

      The above comment is a great example of why and how the US people will continue to demand the destruction of their own economy. The fact is that the top %1 of wealth creators have been paying an Increasing amount of the taxes in the US over the past 30 years, not a decreasing amount:
      http://www.ntu.org/tax-basics/who-pays-income-taxes.html
      http://www.atr.org/top-percent-pays-more-taxes-bottom-a3619

  • Guest

    Entitlements: Poor choice of terms for those who use the term.  Social Security, MEDICARE and MEDICAID are all programs into which each of us has been pouring money for as long as we have worked.  The reason those funds are strapped is because our money has been swindled by politicos to fund stupidity – war spending comes to mind.

    “* Corruption: low-level public service officials will look to supplement their income through bribery and kickbacks”

    Low level public service officials will be a thing of the past as governments run our of money.  Bribery is no longer needed since corporations ARE the government – Bill Daley, Chief of Staff (JP Morgan), Jeffery Smith, Food Safety Czar (Monsanto). 

    I can’t believe people aren’t already crying for blood.

  • Atticus Finch

    To address these and similar issues, I have proposed a constitutional amendment to cancel debt.  While it is similar to default, it does not entail the dishonesty or self-righteousness of other kinds of default and permits everyone to readjust without, it is to be hoped, so much social unrest.  You can read about it in a number of posts, beginning here:

    http://strikelawyer.wordpress.com/2011/01/15/amending-the-constitution-the-jubilee-amendment/

  • CoolFool

     I’ve been following world financial events (and more so US economy) for a couple of years now. I agree whole heartedly with you Simon on your evaluation. And no, there is no fix. It is well beyond that point unless every politician and the white house is replaced with honest people who would uphold the values and intentions of our constitution. But I think we both know this is not going to happen. Yes sir, we have some major bad times ahead.

  • Monnie

    Those who post here and on other sites such as infowars, market-ticker, etc., are among the “one percenters” who see what’s about to befall us.

    Do any of you wonder, as I do, if it would have been better to NOT know what we know? Think of all the clueless sheeple who are shopping, taking vacations, getting married, having children, celebrating the Mavericks’ NBA championship, watching GMA & CSI, and wondering if Obama will be re-elected next year.

    Since no amount of reasonable preparation may make much of a difference, is my daily apprehension about the immediate future just wasted?

    I’m in the Dallas area, where the economy is still fairly good, at least superficially. The masses who are unaware of websites like this, and have no understanding of the workings of international finance, history, etc., will be STUNNED when things start to openly fall apart. I can see them in my mind’s eye—rushing to the supermarkets, gas stations, and banks, to buy food & fuel and get cash, only to encounter huge crowds of panicky people being turned away for lack of supply.

    Karl Denninger of Market Ticker is one of several knowledgeable people who are pointing to the end of June, THIS June, as the likely turning point into collapse. Gerald Celente’s latest article seems to be a FINAL warning.

    Are we really THAT close?  

  • poster

    The collapse is already happening. The FED prints a lot more money than it says for more than a year already. Most of the bonds are bought with this money. If it stops, then the visible manifestations of the collapse will ensue immediately.

    There is an estimate that close to 93% of US population will perish by 2017.

    We are in the process of collapse, but for the few to survive, the majority must remain sleeping.

  • wardoc

    At some point when the government sends out the cops, they’ll come back in body bags, some headless, some burned up, some shot all to hell. 
    Then the cops will show their true colors as pussies with badges, and refuse to do anything but investigate crimes……for additional fees (i.e. bribes). 

  • Stillkickin54

    Economic collapse means social and cultural collapse.  Planetary collapse, actually.  Several years ago, I realized that my retirement would be cancelled, my health care would be near non-existent, my property probably cofiscated by legal or illegal gangs, and upwards of 50% of the world population would die, including me perhaps.  We hit Peak Oil in 2006 and Peak-Everything-Else shortly thereafter….  Once I gave up the expectation of a long life and everything else (I’m 54 now) I became free again!  Now I am grateful for every day I am still breathing and the light comes on when I flip a switch (which will end one day soon) and hot water pours out of the faucet (which will also end) for a nice shower and the fridge still keeps milk cold!  I hope to make 60, but chances are slim, as the old die off quick in chaos.  I live in the country and rural areas turn into hotbeds of violent crime in chaotic situations (read about rural crime during the USSR and Argentinian collapses).  Small towns with close neighbors are the safest places in collapse, but there are no guarantees anywhere.  Best to give up all expectations of anything, and prepare as best as one can for a life circa 1860 post-collapse (hopefully not 1790, but even that is possible in the post-petroleum era) and live fully today.  I’ve had a wonderful life and if it ends tomorrow, let’s hope I go out w a bang and not a whimper!  Anyone who has lived wisely and well and is over 40 should have no fear of the future.  Death isn’t the end; it’s just a jump to a different world.   For anyone under 40, I do feel sorrow.  They haven’t had the opportunity to experience all the beautiful (and not so) things in life that I have had…

    Take-home points:  one’s present happiness is inversely related to one’s expectations…  Living well today (yes, stocking up on the cans of tuna while they are around) is the best way to prepare for a tomorrow that may or may not come…..

  • Boo

    Hello Simon-

    MERCI
    Thank you for your candor and alacrity.  I have an idea to help those SM readers who are not as financially able to take action as they would like to be, as I am one of them….  

    CRIME
    I am at wit’s end, as I became involuntarily disabled(TBI/C-PTSD) 
    by police brutality(relates to your police state amerika and 4th amendment article)-have lawsuit, but the future payout monies will never buy me what I have permanently lost, as I suffer in shame, difficulty and constant, daily anger with my disabilities and different than before looks.

    LOSS
    My mom and I separately & successfully planned for a future depression-type crisis starting in 04 & 05 respectively, and had a very nice, upper middle class lifestyle-hard earned.  Through incredible, truly unbelievable circumstances, triggered first by the criminal police assault in my home, we are now living the slow train crash you forecast and have been for a while: struggling one step away from homelessness, we have lost weight, we wear clothes and shoes with holes, the engine light is on, I have been evicted and we have faced other eviction attempts, we keep our cars in case we need to sleep in them, etc.  Our life is more surreal and tough than any Hollywood movie, I believe, as I have glossed over a lot. Yet, going forward, we know we need a network that can help us and whom we can help, as needed, when possible.

    SM IDEA
    Therefore, we wish you would help facilitate a group for the committed, yet not so financially well off SM readers to network to help each other, (maybe a blog with threads?) as my mom and I have nobody but each other, in this semi-new city, and live as if your forecast was already in effect, by involuntary default.  We look like we’re middle class, as we keep up appearances, but know without a support group we will probably fall though the cracks if your tragedy to modern america forecast materializes, as we are so close already.  I could help you with the ui/ux, if desired.

    NEVER
    Maybe you could do it via a new site, excluding Facebook, etc as we will never use Facebook because of Zuckerberg’s perpetual abuse of user privacy, his facial recognition s/w, his middle finger to morality & decency, etc. ad nauseam.

    MORASS
    Again, I thank you and your readers, for making this site a welcome respite and idea hub from Wall Street’s, Washington DC’s  and the banksters’ morass, as a radically new era is upon us, exacerbated by numerous social deficiencies and second-handed morals.

    Sincerely,

    Boo Radley-

  • Biofueljim

    Your five possibilities are resonable. However, I ( in a pollyanna way) would respectfully remind you that colonial folks did take matters into their own hands in the 18th century.  I suggest that this unspoken course of action is what is required of us now.

  • Doug Nusbaum

    I may have posted this before.  Do a search on orwells boot.  I am almost always #1 or 2.  Look for  factotum666.  One thing that is never mentioned is the we feed the world.
    http://www.sasi.group.shef.ac.uk/worldmapper/display.php?selected=47.  You can turn food into oil.  You can not turn oil into food.  (And please do not give me that crap about needing fertilizer to run the tractors.  In a pinch the US is self sufficient.  OPEC is not.

    We also have, by far, the most and biggest guns.

    No one mentions these factors.  One wonders why. 

    • Charles

      Doug, Perhaps you can write a scenario of how the guns will be used when our fiat money needs a wheel barrow to carry enough just to purchase a loaf of bread.

  • 4truth

    Spot On!

  • LFIRE88

    As an older person who got  the job ” reshuffled”,  lost income and got to old to hire and loosing the house, finally on ” social security” ( not very secure and not enough to really live on)
     I would like to have you address the large group of us  are in this  situation.  We dont have enough money to run, and hardly have enough money to pay utilities and food. Your stuff seem to address those who have some money. We are not stupid and can see the handwriting on the wall. Just have no clue how we can deal with it.
     I challenge YOU to offer some  solid advice.   ( there are thousands of us in this situation!)

    • Diogenes_

       There are parts of the world with decent living conditions where you can live on as little as $600 to $1200 a month. Examples are Mexico, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Thailand, Ecuador and more. Google ‘cheapest overseas retirement.’ Pick one, optionally get a bunch of friends together to do this with you, sell everything you have and put the money into silver in a goldmoney account, move to your new home, wait for silver to go up, than sell the silver for gold and overseas land. Silver fluctuates more than Gold and since you have little money it’s probably worth the gamble.

      If you and 5 of your friends get together, you can use 2 of your ss checks to all live in one big house, and use the rest to first invest in silver, than with the profit a local business, such as ag land rental, an expat hotel or whatever, and that will be your retirement fund after ss effectively collapses due to inflation in a few years.

      • http://www.facebook.com/sefton.hanley Sefton Hanley

        “Examples are Mexico, Nicaragua, Vietnam, Thailand, Ecuador and more”

        Asia is my specialty.

        Thailand is good, very easy to live and has all modern amenities you could need, but can be more expensive than others its very close to first world near the urban or tourist centers. Vietnam still has some communist government control vibes but is on the up. PI is cheap and on the up and up but a touch rough around the edges. Malay is great if your a non drinker / bar person and can handle some (mostly nice to you) muslim influence, the colonial start means fairly decent laws and organisational structures. Laos is on par with PI in development but different culturally. Hong Kong great for those like like fast paced ‘can do’ urbanization (but costly) and theres hope one day Myanmaar will get a decent government and will open up, those are some sweet natured people in pristine surroundings but very undeveloped and lacking modernity right now.  
        You dont even need to plant a firm flag, its easy to be mobile around these countries for a while, live from a suitcase and a laptop until you find the place that really speaks to you, be it the islands or the mountains or anywhere in between.

      • arcturus

        Just a question, but how safe would a “Yankee” be in some of these Asiatic places if/when America’s power in the world wanes to insignificance?

      • disqus_1kkQXcCgz0

        Good question. Some people in Asia are a little bit racist. That’s one thing now… but if going there as a poor person?

      • arcturus

        More than a little bit, at times. I have been denied service in some places in Asia, Mind you, there are wonderful Asian people as there are wonderful people in all countries.

    • saveyerpennies

      Somehow, running away will not make an iota of sense for most folks today

      As a former real estate sales person..and an older person now, I’ve seen families play interesting games.  The kid marries, moves out (naturally) and soon a child is born.  The kid & wife find they do not get along.  Soon the big “D” enters the picture.  The kid loses his job and moves back in with mom & pop, who are struggling to make ends meet.  The paid off house where all now live gets re-financed!  A new car is purchased.  Vacation is enjoyed.  A few more new toys arrive.  The equity is gone. The new payments cannot be made.  The kid moves on with life and a new squeeze and yes, a new job.  

      Mom and pop soon find themselves in a rental–they lost the home to foreclosure.  Mom & pop raised the kid, paid for an education and in many instances gave a large downpayment to the kid to buy the first home (which the ex got in the divorce).  Oh my! Does this kid help mom and pop financially?  Oh pleeeease!  

      Mom and pop must learn the hard way.  Giving to family members never solves a problem.  Of course, most gave to kids all throughout their growing years.  I seem to have drawn a circle.

    • HawkMan

      Everyone has some value so do a personal skill check. What are you good at? What have you done before that might be useful to someone else?
      I have no idea of your age other than retired and/or your income level or your skill sets. However, there are ways in which you can help yourself. It’s good you’re reading this post but expand your horizons a little. In other words do some research for yourself on other websites. They are out there but you have to do some work to find them. Here is a freebie to get you started:
      http://www.globalguerrillas.com/
      There are a TON of links on this site that will lead you to other things.
      Yes, there are some of us who have the monatary means to escape the load of crap that is coming down the road but many of us have chosen to stay and ‘adapt’. And we will survive by  our wits, our actions and our adaptablility to any situation regardles of any government regulations.
      It’s unfortunate for you at your age that you’re seeing a perfect example of ‘creative destruction’ in it’s worst form because it’s fostered on us by the government and not by innovation.
      If you were 30 years old you wouldn’t be as worried but you’re not so go back over your years of experience and pull out some old skills that can be refined and used again.
      And then find or help build a community of like minded individuals that will work together to survive whatever comes down the road.
      If you’re a vet then you should have no problem understanding the meaning of being prepared in all aspects of your life.
      One last thing. Talk is always cheaper than action so just in case you think this a spring chicken tryin to blow smoke up your ass, I’m older than dirt but that doesn’t keep me from knowing what to do when the time comes.
      I encourage you to expand your base of knowledge of what it will take to survive in any situation. Keep looking and learning and never give up. No matter what.
      HOO-RAH

  • Pedro

    What an article! Thank you!! First impression: this article is not intended to drum up new subscribers, its purpose is to reach out to anyone innocent enough to listen and take heed. One more thought on the symptoms of degradation is the drug trade…when, especially our young, look our society and make an internal assessment based on what they see and hear around them, an overall sense of helplessness and impotence develops in their overall appraisal of life in general. Drugs offer a temporary relief to the drab world we live in and no hope of any real future. I had thought once about entering political and social science to try to stem this tide at one time but I think it’s far too late for that.

  • Jonicarleton28

    Simon, appreciate all the expat and financial into which mirrors quite a few other newsletters I receive.  We only have a short window to decide physically what we are going to do.  As a technical analyst trader, I hope and pray that the internet is the one thing that remains a constant.  Joni :)

  • Darryl X

    Anyone familiar with our corrupt, dysfunctional, tyrannical and oppressive system of family law is already familiar with how bad the government can and will crack down on its population. During the past forty years, approximately nine-million fathers in the US have been imprisoned because they are not able to pay the excessive child support ordered. Courts order such excessive child support because for every dollar transferred to a mother by a father, the State collects a percent in federal subsidies – the more child support, the more subsidies. During the past forty years, approximately 52-million children have been forcibly separated from 32-million fathers – often permanently. Relationships between the remaining fathers and their children is already under such restrictive control by the government, that it is worthless. For some of us (about one-third of adult men, who have been forcibly separated from their children), it’s already as bad as it gets. We’re just waiting for the other shoe to drop.

  • befree

    When the collapse comes and immense suffering takes place, government will be driven back out of necessity, that’s how socialism prunes itself. But the sheeple never learn, once wealth and prosperity is around, the sheeple majority and their pandering pied pipers will start to turn their snouts to the trough of other peoples goods again. And the megacycle will begin anew. The free market is for thinkers, and sheeple don’t think, they feel, and that’s good enough for them in their numerous, voting, something for nothing getting hoards.

    Ron Paul is out there, way behind Romney and Palin. Those who can think should listen to Simon, cause its always been every thinking man for himself (other than the very few and valuable useful associates a person might most carefully gather around himself).

  • Ted

    Good article, unfortunately highly possible scenario. USA and EU can turn around if they stop all useless wars exercise greater fiscal control.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-McClarin/600237549 Jim McClarin

    Yes, yes, yes!   Time to cut and run.   From Neil Young’s “After the Gold Rush,” a rather prophetic song: “…flying Mother Nature’s silver seed to a new home in the sun.”

    Take your seed, the concept of freedom, and fly it to a safer area where it can be planted and nurtured while the man-made apocalypse consumes your old home.  As long as the Internet survives you can still be involved in the dialog about how best to combat the dark forces, but you will not be trapped, helpless.

    If there is a right to freedom, it comes not from an old parchment signed by man but it is inherent, part of being human, and applies to all people everywhere.  The freedom experiment may fail in one region and come alive in another.  There is no country that is sacrosanct.  Think about moving to another planet.  Where should you settle?  Is there some region that has a special claim on you, body and soul?  Of course not.  Be that brave settler, destination Earth.

  • Charleydan

    One can control there destination. No matter how big the tornado seems. Or one can just let what it does, happen. Pick up the pieces later if one is alive.

    Politicians have been worrying only about elections. The party goes on. Tying ends together to endure an another election. The people are getting glimpses more and more.

    Eventually, the ship’s hole will be evident to all. The unrest of civil riots will begin. The lowest will worry about survival with food, and the higher food chain recipients will worry about survival of not getting killed in the process.

    How money works does not change. Some people’s perception does change as others fool them, while they steal it. Others make money  no matter what the the conditions are. Adaptation.

    To hang out longer, one must always look for alternatives to stay afloat. Yet survival will be the key.

  • Thegman77

    The various Galt Gulches, in places which welcome the productive, will quickly fill up as the outflow of talent and money leaves the prison countries.  Money always goes where it’s welcome, leaves where it’s attacked.

  • Gary Tripp

    The only
    possible solution is economic growth.  If
    the US did the following:

    1.      
    rolled spending back to 2006

    2.      
    balance the budget with budget cuts

    3.      
    reform Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid

    4.      
    ban the EPA from regulation CO2

    5.      
    lowered personal and corporate tax rate to 23%

    6.      
    lowered capital gains to zero

    7.      
    allow same year depreciation of all capital
    expenditures

    8.      
    allowed tax free repatriation of overseas funds

    9.      
    Expatiate permitting

    10.  
    Allow bonding for environmental permitting

    11.  
    Enact tort reform – loser pays

     

    The US could
    grow it way out of the problem and not have to inflate its way out.

     

    I am as
    worried as you.

     

    The
    difference is I see a solution which only requires the courage of elected officials.

     

    Gary Tripp

    Gary@tripp.net

    • Addingvaluenow

      While what you say is true what must be borne in mind is that economic growth depends on cheap energy. ie: Oil and there isn’t any cheap or easily accessible oil left except in the middle East. Hence the Iraq war and the invasion of Afghanistan. ( I know Afghanistan has no oil but it is en-route between the Caspian Sea and the Indian ocean where the US is building a pipeline. )

      If economic growth was all that it took then wouldn’t we have used that option already ?

    • RealityCheckMan

       For goodness sake.  There are some good comments here but why do I keep reading the old STUPID notion of lower capital gains to zero.  The capital gains tax rate is the #1 abused element of the corporate elite to put their effective tax rate at or below 15% (the current rate).  After tax shelters and off-shore subsidiaries, the major step business take are to re-categorize income as royalties or similar, taxed at capital gains rate.  Instead of capturing 35% of billions, you’re getting 15% of billions… and you want to set capital gains to 0?  If you do, I’ll be setting up a few entities and paying 0 tax, and living in a country dying quicker because its income is crippled by a lack of tax revenue.  STOP trying to give the elite the best holiday they’ve EVER had by lowering capital gains to zero. ffs.

  • Philhood

    Black is right that situations deteriorate faster than we usually imagine. But as usual he hyperventilates. The wealthy are deeply tied to the middle class and poor as long as the latter are customers.
    Second, in a meltdown it won’t be like Mad Max. The US was never more supportive and compassionate than during the Depression and WWII. Finally, leaving a country (as opposed to prudent investing in a basket of currencies) is more complex than just making a buying decision. In all these posts Black is insanely glib in recommending that it is easy for ordinary people to leave language, culture, religion, experiences, and family behind.

    • http://www.facebook.com/sefton.hanley Sefton Hanley

      “The US was never more supportive and compassionate than during the Depression and WWII.”
      And it still produced the ‘grapes of wrath’. 

      “In all these posts Black is insanely glib in recommending that it is easy for ordinary people to leave language, culture, religion, experiences, and family behind.”

      Its not easy but it is doable. Having a global mindset, believing you can triumph anywhere, learning languages, adapting to cultures, and living outside of your comfort zone are skills to be learnt. 

    • http://political-religious-connection.blogspot.com/ JP

      Well, here’s the facts: the US compassion pre/post WWII for humanity in general and specifically for its own is a thing of the past! This, to me, ought to be crysial clear even to Nixon who’s dead and the one using the phrase: 1) the unborn, here and abroad, are subject to US Gov. funding for their disposal! 2) the US Gov. loves to blow up, shoot down, persecute or torture anybody anywhere that does not agree with “its self interests,” to include its own citizens who believe in the personal Liberties as defined by its Founding Fathers or out spoken Christians and others who verbally rebuke their wickedness! The elected officials have one unified goal of Compassionately destroying the $ (the currency its people use to feed themselves) so through their agenda of domestic violence via their unlawful war machine to destroy and ruin the wealth of its pepole even by transporting the Nation’s Industries off shore (ya know, spread the wealth around thinking, some call compassion).
      Where and when do you think this compassion will begin?     Perhaps when the Chinese and Russians invade us after the citizens are stripped by its compassionate bankrupt and inkless printing press the Fed’s use to print our fiat money with; for their personal profit?    
      For a Government to even remotely have the compassion this Government once had, it must be a Lawful Government and this one has departed that virtue!
      How the Mighty have fallen is a sad observation and I have been a keen observer of its departure from ethics to all listed above and then some! If you knew how I constrained myself you would commend me. Wake up, the roses need water!
      JP 

  • art

    Absolutely right.  People who don’t know history don’t realize that it repeats itself.  Why? 

    Because people don’t change. The ‘rule by divine right’ mentality of the Medieval kings has been replaced by the ‘professional bureaucracy’ and it’s own little fiefdoms.

    America was borne in a revolution and I think there’s another one coming.  And it’s gonna be bloody too because people have to ability to be real nasty when they get pissed off.  Just as Mazlow (he’s dead of course).

    So many people in the use have been mind-numbed by all the sugar in their diet that they’ve been cooking in their own juices for many years now.  But there’s a rumble coming real soon.

    It’s only natural.

    Art

  • http://twitter.com/dconsulting1 D D

    Here is the deal. When you want to change how a society works you have to change from the inside out. So first the psychology of people has to change. Their definition of freedom has to change. How they survive has to change. The resource they use has to change. If not someone else will change theme for you. By back ground is in Building Construction, Agriculture and business and yes I am familiar with how to start a community that contains most to not all of its resources it needs to flourish. First you need people to feel that they can survive without things for a little while and can supply themselves with enough food clothing and shelter to live. When we start fighting over resources and metal power you are doomed to either get in a war or collapse as a nation. Like I said first the psychology of people has to change. When people feel that they have plenty food, clothing, and shelter-and can obtain a certain level of happiness they usually do not want to mess with others. It is when people rely too heavily on others for these basic needs that the power shift puts them in the position to be taken advantage. AND YES THIS IS HAPPENING HERE and may other place so Simon keep up the great work about the great place to go a start up life.

  • Nemo

    “How do I see society changing from this reset of the financial system?”

    Here’s one pair of factoids for you:

    Last year, the US graduated around 75,000 students with Bachelor of Science degress in some form of engineering. The average starting salary was about $60,000. If ALL of these students were lucky enough to get full-time engineering jobs, they would have earned about $60,000 * 75,000 = $4.5 billion.

    The top hedge fund manager made $4 billion in 2010, the #2 guy made $3.3 billion, and the top 25 made a total of $25.3 billion.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/01/business/01hedge.html

    SO, one guy made about the same amount of money as the entire graduating class of engineers – $4 billion versus a deliberately generous, upper-bound estimate of $4.5 billion, if every engineer got a full-time engineering job immediately after graduation.

    In reality, the one guy probably made *more* money than the 75,000 shiny new engineers, because not all of them got their desired job. 

    IOW, you could hire just about every engineer who graduated in the US in the past four years for the same amount of pay as 25 hedge fund managers. Think about that the next time you read about our failing infrastructure or see some CEO proclaim that there is “a shortage of engineers”.

    Small wonder that the kids who are good at math are showing less enthusiam for engineering and more for finance, even after the banksters looted America.

    When reality re-asserts itself, we will see things get a little bit less insane.

  • loneranger
  • Cole

    You’ve mentioned Chile many times as a place to seriously consider setting up a new life; great employment, business, real-estate opportunities plus their prudent and responsible attitude to finance by hiking interest rates and allowing the peso to appreciate.  I find myself curiously considering a move as I see my country of Canada moving in a direction I find unacceptable.  Considering Chile’s experience with Pinochet and the ten’s of thousand’s of people who were interned and tortured, and knowing that the United States and possibly Canada could follow that same route given the current and predicted economic situation, how do I know Chile won’t revert back to the iron fist in times of economic upheaval?

  • Abduleah

    i like this article.

  • K Smith

    We are experiencing is the abandonment of the
    institutions and constructs that have become tools of extortion and
    oppression. We are in the process of adopting new ways of thinking
    about how to organize the way we interact with each other. The old
    worm-eaten edifices are cracking and collapsing in on themselves. We
    may even see a rejection of the consumer society. People can’t
    afford it now. Once they can, they may decide not to participate.

    We are experiencing the birth of a new era. Birth requires
    going into labor.

    The process of bringing new life in to the world is hard. Childbirth
    is painful. It is dangerous. It is exhausting. It is messy. It is
    scary. It is intense. It is mysterious. When we are in the middle of
    it some of us are so involved in the intensity of the experience it
    is impossible to give any thought at all to the idea of new life
    ahead. We are focusing all our energy on just getting thru each
    moment.

    What lies ahead is beyond our imagination. Sure, we can buy the car
    seat and the diapers and the crib and the stroller, but there is no
    way to really prepare for the reality of what we will face, because
    we do not know what that reality will be. If we have never been a
    parent, it is completely outside our life experience.

    I think this is where we are now. We are in labor. There is no way
    to know ahead of time exactly what we will need to do to prepare
    because we don’t yet have a clear view of what the new reality will
    be. We can only act based on what we see immediately ahead of us.
    Sometimes there is very little light being cast on the path for us
    to see our way. There is no way to know how it will all turn out. There are too many unknowns. Our lives will be very, very different when the
    birth process is over.

    There are many things we can do to prepare for what we think may be
    part of our new reality. We can stock up on food and fuel. We can
    learn to be self reliant. We can establish relationships with people
    in our communities. We can get to know our neighbors. We can think
    in terms of being a shelter, instead of someone who needs to be
    sheltered.

    We can learn to grow vegetables. We can learn to can. We can stock
    up on water. We can visit honest, reliable sites to learn valuable
    skills. We can start gardens and self reliant skills teams in our neighborhoods,
    communities, churches, and patriot groups. We can encourage others we
    know to do the same.

    We can cut down on our expenses and start stashing some extra cash
    in a safe place in the event we have bank holidays and don’t have
    access to our cash. We can investigate alternative forms of
    exchange. We can form barter groups, and google Berkshares and Ithaca Hours. We can call and
    email folks in the Utah and North Carolina legislatures and ask them
    about their fledgling efforts for alternative currencies. We can remind our leaders we will not participate in or support a trumped up war.

    We can seek to become people of honesty and integrity. We can accept
    the reality that credentials do not equal honesty. We can develop
    the habit of trusting only these who have earned our trust, whose actions are in keeping with their words. Many are already doing these things.

    The most valuable skill will be discernment. Since there is
    and will continue to be massive amounts of information out there,
    the most valuable skill will be the ability to discern which sources
    seek to reveal truth, and which sources seek to deceive.  Those who
    will be sought after will be those who are real, who speak truth,
    who are honest and ethical.

    We live in a time of great opportunity. Those who embrace the
    opportunity and who will live engaged, fruitful, fulfilled lives in
    the midst of the coming changes will be those who are honest, who
    are open in heart and in mind, who are egalitarian, who embody the
    can-do spirit, who are generous in heart, spirit, and action, who
    are willing to abandon the old institutions that no longer serve us,
    who have big imaginations, who are willing to think in new ways and
    create new institutions.

    I think America is the place to be. I think our culture is the one
    that best embodies all these things. The solutions to the challenges
    we face haven’t even been thought of yet. Those with the biggest
    imaginations will be the ones who meet these new challenges.

    “Behold, I make all things new.” Revelation 21:5

    • HouseHerskind

      “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

  • Ty

    As a self employed man I have been living a good life but I have to work very hard to maintain it. It pisses me off to no end that all around me people get free money. Then it occures to me that its my money they are getting. Minorites, unemployed,retired workers,sick people,people claiming to be sick,people in forien countries, people that want free education,it goes on and on and on. I cant take it anymore.I am thinking how long our government would last if I and others like me just decided to not pay our taxes. They can make all the policies and laws they want. They can lie cheat and decieve all they want. They can give themselves raises, they can put me in jail, they can take all that i have worked to achieve for myself and my family. But they cannot exist without my money!

    • Anthony_grmld

      Your last statement: “But they cannot exist without my money!” ought to be a banner slogan or battle cry for every citizen, worker, taxpayer, business person from every walk of American life!

      • Bernard Cox

        In my research along the lines of the Federal Reserve and the US tax system, I came across an article wherein it was discussed and proved that the current ‘so-called’ tax system is illegal/illegitimate and that the Government can do nothing if you refuse to pay taxes. I forget where I found this info but it was on the net. Search for it… I’m sure you’ll find it.

    • Frankania

      The statement should  be: THEY CANNOT EXIST WITHOUT MY PROdUCTION; “money” they can print.

    • Jago25_98

      Well, go black market

    • Kennardleevancamp

      Ty, take a look at losthorizons.com
      I have studied the material and have read the tax code. Only about half of the citizens of this country are taxpayers. I am not one of them.

  • Ramlee

    The prototype nuclear family, secreted in their box on their carefully demarcated 1/4 acre with their refigerator, washing machine, cars and lawn-mower, largely isolated from the family that lives on the adjascent 1/4 acre block, is no longer a socioeconomic model that serves our interests.  It is hideously inefficient and cuts us off from cooperative enterprise at the human level.

    A key element of ‘success’ in the future will be our ability to turn our neighborhoods into closely-knit, supportive communities where all members have a deep investment in the well-being of the group based on sharing and trust.  In tough economic circumstances, we stand a far better chance of living with dignity and mutual respect if we take a genuine interest in each other’s situation.  I’m not suggesting, overbearing intrusion but rather ‘walking across to your neighbor’s house to offer some extra potatoes you’ve grown’.

    We will need each other more than ever in the days ahead.  I invite everyone to take the first step.  Start planting the seeds now.

  • mememine

    If the US dollar defaults would the Canadian dollar suffer the same fate?

  • Recruit1

    In every CRISIS there is OPPORTUNITY!  Part of the solution to the coming crisis you write about and I agree with is a new model, a new vision.  A vision that promotes volunteerism thru a new, virtual community foundation called 180 Foundation.  And SIMULTANEOUSLY introducing policy changes that will create 15-20 million new, good paying jobs in construction and manufacturing.  Check out The Fourth Option at http://www.thewesolution.com

  • Roundhouseranch

    The US Gov is playing rob Peter to pay Paul. Unfortunately there are a lot of Pauls out there and getting stronger. All Pauls get a vote, so it may be impossible to stop this deterioration. It won’t stop until all the Pauls loose the income, definition of our economic collapse and a point of start to rebuild.

  • Lulielawry

    There will be no election…make no mistake: The y passed the bill to make sure  Martial law is already legal  ; NDAA bill among others, there is NO way they will allow an election…are you kidding?? By Nov the riots will be in full swing from econ collapse and they will have the perfect ruse to go ahead and act on this bill… fill the camps with dissenters of any kind and…., O will be dictator by default.
    You think Nazi germany was bad…just wait. Its time to come out if you can, and Im aware not everyone can…

  • Rburka

    I agree a reset is coming. How hard it will be will determined by how prepared one is prior to the reset.

  • David

    I believe you are correct Simon. This is not Crystal Ball stuff, it is real and it is coming fast. I have been preparing for the last three years with a large vegetable garden and a list of things quite long. I don’t have the money to move to another part of the world, I don’t have gold, silver or any of the alternative real money. However, I do have great will and a strong back and am working quietly with my family in the USA and Mexico. Underground living and food/water storage is on the agenda this year – built by hand by us. God help us all. David

    • john

      Don’t you think that with the money you have spent and are spending on self sufficiency that you could have moved far awy to a much more stable enviroment? I don”t have money either, but I am gonna go regardless.

  • Austrael

    Simon, The financial problems of the world are controlled by an elite group of people. I have attached a link to a must watch clip. Watch both parts. This is not science fiction. Watch the video and then look around your own country and you will se it falling into line with ‘the program’.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mPahc3_ZmkQ&feature=related
    Very, very tough, controlled times to come very soon.

    • john

      I’m sorry, but do you really think Simon doesn’t know this??

  • Ammoconfidential

    From what I understand, what I have observered and read,  it is clear that there are powerful people at work here and around the world who are all linked together for one agenda which is a one world government. They are a cartel and dangerous for they want to control the food and all else. The clues are all around. I had the news on and turned it off this morning because I realized that they were reporting only what they wanted people to know. Not about GMO, or the poison that is in foods, the water, the twisted ways of how our meats and poultry are processed. No, they don’t want people to know what FEMA has been doing to prepare for the riots that will come. People are relocating to safer havens and this is a move that everyone who has any understanding should make. North America is sinking deeper into the pit of economic doom… 

  • Kennardleevancamp

    I see it as a contrived scheme to foster more state control of the masses through fear. We have learned that the cream does not often rise to the top in the political arena. Couple that with extreme self interest in the bureaucracy and few actually see the spinning plates in the system. Like lemmings, most of us are simply running toward the cliff in unbelief. Wisdom dictates that I must circle the wagons and build a hedge through self reliance, with my faith in God, which I am doing

  • Steven

    Right on the money. Keep keepin on

  • Deansdc

    I believe fully that at some point when our currency collapses we will move to a cashless system based on  some false religious principle,hence the mark of the beast [he causeth all rich and poor ,free and bond to receive a mark in their right hand or forehead,and that no man might buy or sell save he that had the mark or the name or number of the beast.This might not be a physical mark just going along with something could be receiving the mark in the forehead,[believing it] in your mind or just going along with it to save your life[the hand] even though you don’t believe it. One thing you can know for certain is that it will be opposed to the word of God,but satan will cleverly disguise it so that the multitudes go along with it,trusting in themselves or in mankind rather than God ,and they will receive the 7 last plagues spoken of in Revelation,because they refused The truth of God’s word and chose to believe a lie instead.

  • Jeff Thomas1066

    Simon,

    Thank you for a concise appraisal of the overall situation. Each point was well-taken. My one and only addition would be that, with the approval of the National Defense Authorisation Act, a new layer is added to the Police State. The Police have legal limitations (whether or not they adhere to them). However, the Military, under the NDAA have greatly decreased limitations. Much has been said about their ability to detain people indefinitely without arrest or showing just cause. What seems to be overlooked is the fact that the US has, under the NDAA, been declared a battlefield. As such, the Military, unlike the police, can now treat a public park, a place of business, or indeed your home as a battlefield legally. This means that they can treat anyone as a “suspected enemy combatant,” which gives them the right to shoot that person with impunity. Taken to its extreme, they can break down the door to your home and kill your family, or they can mow down several hundred protesters in a park. They can only be prosecuted  by a Military court and then, only if the Military agrees that its soldiers should be so charged. Approval of the NDAA allows the creation of the Brown Shirts in the US. – totally legally.

    I’m not sure why, but no one seems to be talking about this facet of the new law.

  • saveyerpennies

    I was quite concerned when I heard about the drone landing in Iran.  I say “landing” because there is no obvious damage, scratches, bruises, etc.  The idiots running the world today are working hard to get into another no-win war.
    Did this country deliberately fly the drone thing into Iran? Why?  
    Simon, I think for those of us over a certain age who realize we are not going to live forever, the best place to live is right where we are–here in the US of A.
    I think there will be a barter type society.  In fact, there already is in many parts of this country.  
    I also think there are plenty of folks with cash out in the hinterlands who are not investing heavily in the stock market or gold and precious metals.  I don’t see them papering the walls with the stuff either.
    I suggest all, everyone learn how to do a small garden.  Enlarge the garden each year.  Learn how to preserve the vegies–either canning or drying. Get a few chickens–buy feed.
    Get a diesel vehicle or a propane vehicle and buy a tank to store fuel.  Pick up extras each time you shop.  Buy lead and learn how to use it.

    • Halingei

      I fear there will be a barter society… at the point of a gun! That’s if you are outside of a concentration camp run by foreign troops! Has no one been keeping a watch on what FEMA is getting up to recently?
      I’d dearly like to see their accounts.

  • Brian

    Personally,I think that we’re fucked.It’s only a matter of time before we see riots in the streets in a big way.If you stay here,be ready and batten the hatches,or leave if you can.Come back when it’s over.B

    • Toy Pupanbai

      Nice thoughts, but the frog in the gently warming cauldron will hop straight out into a storm of militarized police, armored fighting vehicle and DHS with FEMA camps. (Just remember how much internationally illegal ammo they have!)

  • Hiday_happy

    people in us is awesome

  • Hasben

    I think your predictions are spot on.  I used to have confidence in the American people to hold together in times of crisis, but after witnessing the voting record, and subsequent results, I have little confidence that the “united” in our states will dissolve into chaos. 

  • scarlet

    I see bible prophecy being fulfilled before our very eyes. We are in the ‘end times’ and anyone who studies the bible with a prayful and sincere heart will learn where we are in time and what the Lord requires of His people. What you relay is quite inline with prophecy.  Please, seek the Lord while He may be found that you may not be lost.

  • Ombudsman

    I probably should not be writing this, in case the NSA is keeping records of your emails. But I’m angry, scared, and depressed about the way my country is going wrong.The way I see society changing is that the powers in DC are becoming like the German NAZIs, who targeted the “children of Israel”. The new US NAZIs will have their own scapegoats … entitlements recipients. Anyone who has no “connections” and receives social security, medicare, disability distributions and such will face “the final solution” and it is exactly the same as what happened to the Jews of Europe. The detention camps, gas chambers, and crematoria are already in place. The new SS and Gestapo are too: foreign troops stationed in the US (hired by Cheny et. al.?) Look on infowars dot com for evidence.I suspect the trigger event that kicks the program off will be one or more cities to be vaporized with nuclear weapons, courtesy of the US military. Foreign terrorists will be blamed, followed by martial law and collections of all registered firearms. Bank accounts and brokerage accounts will be seized. Protesters will be rounded up and sent to concent… oops, FEMA detention centers. This is the “new world order” that insider Bush spoke of two decades ago.Orwell’s vision of 1984 comes to life. His predictions will come true, tho his timing was a bit early. The population will be enormously reduced. The meek and mild will face a life of slavery, the bold and recalcitrant will be terminated, their estates seized.Too bad I do not have the resources to follow your advice about relocating to a safer country. I’m stuck here, sitting duck here.

  • JJRaymond

    I see a more conservtive world with more family oriented cities that would reflect the midieval city state . In the United States I would expect a  polarizing of the population to states that have conservative values and a  strong work ethic , with other states of liberal poverty. The developement  strong state birder controls to keep out the free loaders.
    In Europe I would expect a return to the familial  ancestral unit  with  cross border fighting and hatred almost on an egual to 400 hundreds years ago .
    Time to circle the wagons and defend our selfs from the new Barbarians ( Politicians )

  • Hiday_happy

     yeah u right,nothing can defeat us…i already try,belive me..

  • voluntaryist

    My wife and I plan to stay and fight. We are too old to leave friends & family. If the nightmare society evolves, e.g., Orwell’s 1984, we will expatriate. We remain mobile for that reason. We don’t have to outrun the goons,  just the clueless majority who will panic at the last minute.

  • Donald Lewsader

    Dear Mr.Black(or whoever You are), My bride of 39 years and I join in wishing you nothing but continued good health and success in your many endeavors. I have just now received your previous articles, dated 12/28/11!!! They provoke one question: I live a middle class existence, but completely free of debt (Thank God!).We have a modest amount of silver coins, stored domestically. Given your 5 points, are things on the cusp of coming unglued to the point that we should be storing them offshore? Uh-oh. There is a 2nd one:If we were to store them offshore, then how do we get at them if we should need them for barter, or whatever is on its way for us?We are just not certain how best to use the system to provide for our own survival when/if things really do come unglued around here. Should we just keep a few coins on our person for the inevitable crisis, and store the rest offshore? “Is a puzzlement!”

  • Hayes

    “In Europe, cops are doing battle with their citizens on the streets” LOL, why are you even talking about Europe? It’s happening in America. 

  • Andrew_S

    We are competing with a bureaucratic mindset the likes of which Stalin would be proud, and just like Stalin we are talking of balance sheets in a world of diminishing resources. We are not talking of the monetary method of fixing things, we are addressing a two fold problem that are possibly a few decades out before we fully feel the effects. Under the fatwahs of national security, we are not addressing simple issues of raw resources and the control thereof, but also limiting populations.

    These agendas form the backbone of national security, securing resources gives an advantage. In the philosophy of good business it is better that we deplete the resources of others before we deplete ours which in the economics of practice appears to be a good strategy. The problems we face today is from the Ayn Randian mindset, the entitling of humans and of course the position we personally take as a world view depending on how your resources, indoctrination and economic status within society places you.

    Ultimately, I personally express a concern as we look to the federal reserve and its social research on populations, particularly in regard to the First Welfare model. It is to all intents and purposes the cook book for Ayn Randians who can define human life for value. First welfare theorem through it’s fiscal matrix discusses the value of human life and for those who do not know this, it has even had a moralized argument with the unborn to determine the validity of it’s existence. It has also determined the most efficient human model for workers or human resources, while also discussing the model for which a human is best raised.

    The art of population decimation is discussed as well as the methods of coercion with soft or hard policies. Especially within the context of not dictators and kings but post industrial thinking. China opted to use it’s more direct one child policy as an international agreement and kept it’s end of the bargain and in a similar fashion the US is using fertility controls by education !!, contraception with few restrictions, based on the first welfare argument. In our case using fiscal controls and incentives. Even with the addition of indirect benefits of illicit drugs deployed to change the mindset of target populations. The working paper WP 630 ‘Fiscal population growth’ is a good primer for those who can get past the math and can read through it, but ultimately getting the natives to fight each other over whatever resources are available is also a strategic solution.

    We are to some degree very predictable in certain behaviors and those behaviors ultimately can be exploited easily. We can differentiate, and dehumanize quite easily. As for peoples mindsets regarding guns and last stands, the weaponry on the other side will be a little more dire or sophisticated, probably capable of taking you out by a binary biological attack in a control strategy that requires no old fashioned visits and dragging you out during the midnight hour. I believe we are now sophisticated enough to target as in the biblical account of the death of the Egyptian first born males through DNA targeting as well as fertility controls. To my mind North Korea has been an international laboratory for some very interesting experiments on humans, paid for by those who like to do such things to humans. In secret of course, apparently so sophisticated that even despite it’s size and resources it is apparently capable of developing nuclear launch-able weapons. After all what NK does as experiments on it’s own people should send shivers down peoples spines and it is one despotic regime that appears to have it’s existence politically ignored or not even on the radar as a target other than some strange international shenanigans of statesmanship that can be called on a the drop of the media. Yet it does not get the media vilification that others of lesser atrocities do. It would appear we would probably more be more inclined to watch this sort of stuff in a MacDonald’s while stuffing a comfort burger into the system, such is our mindset.

    The mindset of the more omnipotent or serendipitous thinker of which we have many is far from benevolent. We have a track history of economic not ideologically based transitions to form this continent. A simple example was from the past playbook, where we send out stakeholders who will defend pieces of paper against the inalienable rights of those who occupy the target areas. Native Indians being a prime example, other nation states being another. The stake holders do the dehumanizing and acquisitions, the beneficiaries are as always ultimately the big financiers.

    The strangest thing is like a Shepard in a field, anyone of us can now just as sheep be plucked out of existence or culled and no one will pay heed to the
    reasons or rational of why. We will carry on with our own little universes, justifying our individual moral standpoints and existences. That may be a position you will take until it’s your turn, then again we won’t notice will we. You naughty anti state thinking person. In my personal review of the History of Rome, many people think Nero was insane when he burned Rome, he was not, he had a debt and was besieged with demands to pay up not unlike our government and his solution of course to my mind was simply to remove his liabilities to the established citizenry..

  • RD

    Interesting perspective from Sovereign man. I disagree with the idea of moving overseas to protect wealth and have security. I believe when the US suffers economic collapse and civil unrest the rest of the world will follow in short order. I won’t trade the threat of martial law and a future police state in the US to move to China, Singapore or any other country that already is a police state. What makes you think the rule of law will not falter in any country facing crisis. What will keep a country from confiscating your bank stored wealth be it Gold or digital currency? Look at Cyprus. And what about ethnic and religious differences and prejudice’s? World history is replete with examples of this being a major factor. One of the only modern western country’s to suffer a total ethnic, religious, economic and social collapse was Yugoslavia in 1990.
    A devastating 5 year war with all four horseman in attendance ensued.
    We believe the safest place to be when the SHTF will be a rural environment at least 350 miles from any city over 50,000 in population. Have a neighborhood protection plan in place. That means getting to know your neighbors and building a relationship. Have all you need including skills to survive and thrive in a collapse and ensuing failure of civility. Just as important will be the tools and will to rebuild a society and nation.
    As far as military and police rule, martial law, the oath takers have sworn to defend the constitution of the US. A recent survey found that 75% of the military would not follow orders to fire on US citizens. Sherriff’s and Police polled similarly. The Banksters and Politicians were very disappointed in this survey. They know the veil of civility is only protected by a very thin Blue line.
    With the failure of gun registration for law abiding citizens and the inevitable gun confiscation that would follow the US has avoided for now an immediate civil war. Meanwhile the US is stockpiling 1.6 billion rounds of hollow point ammunition, 7 million MRE’s, 2700 armored personnel carriers for police use. They’re getting ready for a hot war on US soil. An example would be that the US military expends about 6 million rounds a month in Afghanistan.
    They’re stockpiling enough ammunition for a 24 year war here.
    If you can not choose when the fight will come at least choose the ground you fight on.
    Sincerely;
    R in WY

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