I'm looking to engage the tin foil hat wearers like me in particular and would find it interesting to hear what anyone else thinks also regarding the state of the US economy which is currently propped up on quantitative easing...printing more money.
I have two articles to share this am...both from a site that admittedly is a bit out there but READ what he has to say before blowing it off. Generally the articles on this site are FULL of facts and quite interesting. This one is on Japan. Are we watching the collapse of their economy? Note the parallels between what they did and what we are doing now.
Now one on our economy...please note he is not blaming it all on one person or administration. My point for this discussion is not to do that either. Our problem's roots go back much farther than 4.5 years or even to Bush....again read and think.
Last one...as we now know, it was a "bubble" that took our economy down into a major recession in 2008. Does anyone find it disturbing that we are now seeing multiple bubbles in our economic system? The activity is always strongest in a bubble before it breaks.
"But most Americans are only focused on the short-term because the mainstream media is only focused on the short-term. Things are good this week and things were good last week, so there is nothing to worry about, right?"
So what are your thoughts? What are you or your family doing to be ready? There are 50% of the population in Greece and Italy living in poverty now with barely enough money to eat. I can't think of a time in my life where there has been more uncertainty except perhaps after 9/11...those first few days. It is so much easier to pretend nothing is wrong and listen to the soothing words of our leaders as they grow the gov't agencies like Homeland Security and prepare for an upcoming crisis while most of America watches American Idol or Survivor and could care less about any of this as long as the TV stays on.
Our plan here is to be as self sufficient as possible. We raise most of our own meats and veggies now and I'll be canning and preserving food starting this week. I have broccoli ready to pick and a pressure canner on order (for other types of veggies) for later this season. We've had a hard time finding ammo as have most people but we have some on hand. Like many people we don't own our home/property..still paying a mortgage.... so I have no idea what will happen if husband loses his job, etc... In the Great Depression in the 30's many people owned their homes but were turned out for unpaid taxes. Certainly there are many more homeless American's today than we've had in a long time and it could get way worse.
Anyway, I invite discussion. Would love it to see the discussion stay friendly and productive if possible. :-)
We are taking advantage of this bubble. Profit taking to pay off consumer debt and house. No one knows how long this bubble will last. Except for, maybe, Ben Bernanke. I think there will be a hard crash. I tend to always look at worst case scenario...if I can live with that, I do nothing. If I can't, I do what I can to avoid it.
I want to make our 'paper' gains real and take advantage of the upswing.
I don't intend to stockpile anything and I won't get a gun. We live in a rural area so food won't be a problem.
Did you know that during the depression and WWII rationing, type II diabetes fell by an astounding rate? This country could do with some hard times in that department! Perhaps THAT'S our government's health care plan!
That's how we convinced the buyers of our house to get their mortgage now and let us rent the house back from them until December. I totally see the collapse of the stock market coming which will certainly impact mortgage rates. So why not lock in now and not have to worry about where the rates may go?
We're also happy to be moving to a more temperate climate (Kentucky) from Massachusetts. Hubby wants to set up solar panels when we move in to provide us with our own electricity.
You are not alone Daydream Believer!
I would like to think I will die an heroic death...
But it's more likely I'll trip over my dog and choke on a spoonful of frosting.
Eliminate debt as much as possible, let your way of life find a sustainable level where you don't need to be buying more than necessities very often, don't fall for advertising that says you "must' have every Newest Latest Coolest Thing.
In short, learn to live the way your grandparents lived naturally.
Smart people have already taken their profits from the bubble that began in '09, and what they have left in the market is on a hair-trigger to sell at the first sign of trouble.
It's both amazing and frightening to see how many think this madness can go on and on. They define the "low information voter". But then, nearly half the people in this country are sucking on the teats of the Federal sow and are not about to turn loose.
Oink - oink!
Remember, one person's paranoia is another person's preparedness.
Incidentally, with all those trillions in retirement and savings plans, look for the government to begin trying to get their hands on it. First, they offer an annuity in exchange your 401(k) or IRA. Then after a suitable time, they begin to demonize those that refuse to take the offer as being "greedy" and "socially irresponsible", just like they've been doing with "Wall Street" and "The Bankers". Finally, they seize the remaining retirement plans "for the good of the many".
The inherent vice of Capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings. The inherent virtue of Socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Winston Churchill
I'll take a break from polishing my tin foil hat to say I'm right there with you. I joke about getting myself ready for the Zombie Apocalypse, but I'm trying to get myself into a position where an economic disaster (worldwide or just the US) won't also be a personal disaster.
On this subject, I highly recommend Mark Steyn's two books, American Alone and After America. Both are surprisingly readable and funny for books whose basic message is "we're all screwed."
I am not a tin-foil-hat type; I don't believe in conspiracy theories, I don't believe anybody in Washington is forward-looking or thoughtful enough to have any grand plans beyond re-election and personal gain, and I'm not stock-piling duct tape or canned goods. But I do smell trouble on the horizon financially, although my opinion is more moderate than most in this thread.
In terms of personal preparedness, I have no debt, I have a personal retirement fund and I have a healthy "oh sh*t" fund that I continue to put money into. However, I also spend too much money in a wasteful manner, and I need to work on that.
We were like a lot of people that did not panic in 2008 and bail from the markets. We knew we had solid investments. We took paper loses in 2008 and from the end of 2007 till now are investments have been returning ay 9% per year. Since we are close to retirement age we are converting the market gains into guaranteed income instruments.
The WSJ does a poll of 50 or so economists every 6 months. It's interesting to look back at the ones from June 2007. The average prediction was +/- .1 on for the entire economic crisis. So when people claim that no one knew how bad it was going to be that is BS.
I mention that because the economists poll just released is much less optimistic than what the government is predicting. The poll shows unemployment declining until it is in the low 6's and that flat lines.
People often confuse ideology with knowledge and thoughtful reasoning.
Meh, OP, this thread seems a little late. At least, that's true if you follow the public's rather short attention span for topics. Summer 2012 and the last quarter of that year was *the* time to talk about a financial apocalypse. Remember the "fiscal cliff"? That prompted many of these discussions.
But the problem is huge and had a long lead-up time. To my way of thinking, it began during the Cold War sometime. So you really can wake up to the problem of "we ran out of money about 40 years ago and finally we are running out of credit, too" any time you'd like.
Here's how it looks to me: The US made a lot of money from WWII, then continued that via the effort to build weapons and defense systems to go with what essentially was a rhetorical war with the USSR. After all, you need a bunch of weapons to wave at the guy with whom you are talking about who could blow up the Earth first and how many times over he could do that. When that jig is up, you exploit your political power to gain credit....everywhere. And so we continued to spend way, way after we had actually ran out of money. We'd have to pay our bar tab sooner or later. The "printing money" effort by the Fed was/is a bad idea except as a parachute that would slow our fall.
Some good news in all this? I recently heard a factoid reported on the radio that young people (say, college age and starting families) treated credit and debt much more like the Depression-era generation than did the baby boomers. Those young households' debt decreased during the recession while the oldies increased their debt.
The moral of the story is to learn from the old folks who lived through the Depression how to roll with the new economic reality.
I am, in general, a pessimist. And, I'm a boomer, but, I am old enough so that I had parents who were adults during the Great Depression and taught me some great lessons about working towards a secure financial future. So, I have always lived like there was a disaster just around the corner. I started saving for my retirement with the first paycheck I ever received. I don't cower in fear, but I'm always positioning myself to be in the best spot I can be for a downturn in the economy. I don't deny myself something I really want, but I don't fall for every little trend that comes along. I live within my means, well within.
At the beginning of this decade, I read an economist's prediction (don't remember who or where, unfortunately) that this was going to be a "lost decade." It made an impression on me, and I have kept the belt pulled a little tighter all along. No one can predict when a catastrophe will wipe out your financial future, but I have myself safeguarded as much as possible. I wish more people would do the same.
Originally Posted by Alagirl
We just love to shame poor people...when in reality, we are all just peasants.
I have had a very similar life as you Louise. Depression era parents, I've lived the life of The Ant not The Grasshopper. (Aesop fable) However, all it takes is one or in our case two life threatening illnesses to gobble up everything. So we are back at nearly the beginning in our financial life without much hope to regain before the proverbial sh!t hits the fan again.
The stock market became a sure thing when laws started getting passed allowing people to "invest" on their own as part of their "retirement plan". It only became a sure thing for those of us who don't tie it up in plans that allow tax deductions or postponements. When those laws were passed, it was obvious to me that people would be putting money into the stock market every week, regardless of the real value, and hold on to it longer than they would otherwise. won't let me start another paragraph for some reason I've never sold a stock for less than I paid for it. Any time one goes up significantly, I say thank you, and pay my taxes. The simple formula really works-buy low, sell high. I've had friends lose millions (paper value) holding on. If you hold onto something that's not doing anything for you, you can't buy when the time is right for something else. Inflation has always been the "cure" for debt here. Tied of no return key...........
'I'll take a break from polishing my tin foil hat to say I'm right there with you. I joke about getting myself ready for the Zombie Apocalypse, but I'm trying to get myself into a position where an economic disaster (worldwide or just the US) won't also be a personal disaster.'
I have a friend who is seriously into prepping. Really into guns! I might have to get one, but I don't want one.
He had a movie not released in theatres, but he had ordered it from somewhere. About something like bird flu killing off maybe 2/3 of the population. This guy [in the movie], was a MD, and he was at the hospital when it was over run by very sick people. He slipped out and went home. I think he went to the store, and bought all he could. His family stayed in his home for awhile. Eventually there were no dockworkers to operate the cranes bringing in goods, the power companies quit working. There was no fuel. It was bad but got a lot worse. Toilets quit working, no water. All the roads were blocked by cars out of gasoline. It was frightening but effective.
I absolutely believe we're in for big trouble. I am only however lurching toward the light.