Friday, January 23, 2009

How I'm Preparing for the Crisis

I've been asked a few times lately how I'm preparing for the coming crisis. Sadly, I would have to answer not too well, considering all my commentary here. I'm renting a tiny apartment now, and it looks like I'll be moving soon to another state and living in a new, tiny apartment. This lifestyle is not conducive to the acquisition of stuff and planning for economic meltdown, especially with a job that is not necessarily a stable one. Nevertheless, we play the hand we're dealt, so I'm doing what I can with what I've got. The very best resource on this, in my opinion, is Gary North's site, Specific Answers. If you are serious about planning for this, you will fork over the $15/month. Yes, most of what I say is along the lines of what you'll find there, but a great deal is omitted, and a great deal is in direct opposition. The plain fact is: you'd be better of by leaps and bounds listening to him than me. He's an expert, I'm an amateur. Don't be cheap. You WILL regret it. That being said, here's my list, as applied specifically to me:
  • Got a subscription to Gary North's site; read every day
  • Buying silver and gold
  • Doing my best in this crazy stock market (no, I haven't done as well as I'd like, in case you wanted to know. But I certainly haven't lost money like pretty much everyone else has. No, I won't tell you my portfolio).
  • Buying up lots of canned and dried food for storage (wish I had a house so I'd have more room...)
  • Bought up a lot of dried seeds for a garden, just in case. Also bought an organic gardening book. Personally, I think the organic movement is gay, but in a meltdown I'm not gonna have access to pesticides and fertilizer. Better know how to cope.
  • Buying up large, tradable supplies of goods that would be perceived as being valuable during a serious crisis. If you can't figure out what that means, I'm not gonna elaborate.
  • Basically trying to spend down my cash reserves on items that I can easily resell or trade. I expect inflation. I don't want to be sitting on a lot of cash. This is very difficult for me, as I'm a spectacular tightwad.
  • Plan on buying food preservation (e.g. canning and jarring) literature and supplies, but haven't done this yet.
  • Keeping an eye out for desirable real estate: cheap, out of the way, large enough for subsistence farming.
  • Buying up storable consumer goods (clothing and the like) before prices rise. See the fantastic (and free!) book, The Alpha Strategy for a guide to doing this.
That's pretty much it. Also, I guess psychologically, I'm preparing myself for the reality that life is really not going to turn out the way I or anybody else would have hoped, and there's really nothing I can do about it. It probably will not even be bearable for some. But the sad fact is that probably 99.9% of all humans that have ever lived through all of human history lived under brutish social structures and in terrible poverty. We of the modern, liberal West (and a few other places) are the aberration, not the present unfolding crisis and its aftermath. This will actually be a return to normalcy. We become so accustomed to the status quo that it is difficult to think along what are actually more realistic lines when our own existence has been such a large departure from what has dominated most of human history. We're really pretty lucky to have seen what we have, and we should be thankful for past blessings. We have to remember that life really isn't about material well being, or even human happiness. We have to remember that the world is really an evil place, and always has been. We're not going to fix it, and we're not going to escape it. When it is all said and done, life is really about fulfilling the role which God has made for us in this time and this place, however much we may dislike the role and the circumstances we find ourselves in. That is the best that we can hope for. If we can manage that, despite whatever else befalls us, we are to be counted eternally successful.

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