Is anyone else tired of seeing all the “expert” advice out there telling you how to prepare for [insert economic meltdown catchphrase here]? Yeah, so am I! As I’ve stated on Facebook, it’s bad prepper tactics to prepare for unlikely events until you’ve nailed down the likely ones. Now, I’m sure that the folks writing all this panic media have been prepper for a long time, and have the likely ones covered, but they’re not telling you that when they begin suggesting bug out vehicles, retreats, and crisis gardens. What you need is a bit of practical preparation for the situations most likely to affect you. The top 5 are:
Zombies, economic collapse, vast right-wing or left-wing conspiracies, Obama, Romney, Clinton, Bush, rogue nuclear nations and such are all much, much, much lower on the list that most of the “preteppers” are yapping on about. I do recommend taking care of less likely events when you’re ready and if they honestly make sense to even worry about. I mean, zombies…really? Grow the fuck up. Government brain implants? Tin foil, bitches!
I’m not one to mince words nor am I an “expert”, but it seems to me that by applying a tad bit more logic than most of these yahoos, you and I are going to have the advantage to help our loved ones and any one else who needs it. What say you?
For several years now, and certainly during 2011, there has been an increasing level of chatter regarding stockpiling precious metals like gold and silver with the understanding that WTSHTF they’ll have a worthwhile currency with which to conduct business. This chatter is usually within the context of life in the U.S. after an economic collapse.
While I’m not suggesting that I have all the answers, I do have to question the logic behind hoarding gold, silver, nickles and dimes for use as a currency after an economic collapse. I might be in the minority here, but you can keep your precious metals and plans to melt down coins, which is currently illegal, by the by, I’m more interested in real goods that you’d have to trade or skills. I can’t eat gold, nor can I smelt nickels without a lot of effort and energy (copper’s melting point is almost 2,000°F, nickel is 2650°F). I’d much rather exchange some zucchini for tomatoes or some welding time for water filtration parts.
Let’s suppose that all the things needed do occur and now we live in a lawless wasteland; a place where we must survive through our own means, like growing food, filtering water, repairing shelter. It’d be like living in most of the western United States in the late 19th and early 20th century except there is no single economic mechanism telling you the value of one thing compared to another. All commerce happens independently of all other commerce. Just because an ounce of gold gets your a motorcycle on the out skirts of Las Vegas, doesn’t mean you’ll be able to sell it for more than a pound of potatoes in St. Louis.
If you really want to see what a post economic collapse United States will look like, you don’t have to guess about how much gold or dimes you need to hoard, you have only to look at a majority of third world countries today. Viewed objectively and with intellectual honesty, you should see pretty quickly that money doesn’t matter nearly as much as real goods and skills, and in the first few years at least, skills will probably fetch a much better rate than real goods will.
What say you?
If there was ever a reason to live a financially independent life, this has got to be in the top 5 for me, and it should be for you as well! California welfare regulations for years have allowed, and even required, counties to go after minors for the debts of their parents, state officials told the Associated Press. California has made $133 million in overpayments in the past fiscal year, and has collected about half of that back, but says it has no way of tracking how much of that was from the children who never incurred the debt to begin with.
How can they hold children responsible for this debt and not have a system to track it’s collection? How this can even be legal is beyond me and just speaks to the inefficiency of many government programs. This type of sick law wouldn’t even be necessary if they didn’t make the overpayments to begin with. In the case linked into the child was a minor when the debt was incurred, but is now an adult with her own life to lead and is now facing State Tax Refund garnishment. Not every state conducts business so repugnantly, thankfully, but for a government so hell bent on spreading democracy and doing the “right thing” abroad, it sure does like to dump on it’s own citizens. Even the United Nations banned this type of debt slavery in 1956!
While researching more information for this article I discovered that while some states elect to engage in this form of debt bondage regarding the collection of state aid, other forms of debt, such as credit cards, cannot be transferred to your children, even if they’re the executor of your will. As long as they’re not a cosigner to the debt, they’re not obligated to nor can they be compelled to pay the debt. Having said that, if the executor of your will doesn’t use the money form the settlement of your estate to repay it, they may still wind up in trouble with the law.
The best solution, of course, is to live debt free, but that isn’t always feasible or even practical. The second best option is to have enough money reserved or invested to cover all the debts in the most liquid form possible. A separate savings account is probably easiest, even though it won’t earn you a bunch in interest. My philosophy is that money is there to help my family in the future, not me in the present.
I’ve always had the view that prepping doesn’t just mean that my family is taken care of if the power goes out or the government collapses, but also if everything else is workable, but I’m no longer around. How about you?