If you’ve read Orwell’s Animal Farm, the picture being painted for us looks all too familiar. In the midst of starvation, the animals were told they were actually prospering marvelously.
Officials aren’t going to call this a depression, though some pundits are. Somebody’s lying, and anybody who goes against the official position must be exaggerating. At least that’s what they’d like us to believe.
So what’s really going on? What if we’re experiencing the historic collapse predicted for so long? Only it’s not happening like the so-called experts thought it would.
For example, I don’t think anybody with half a brain believes the official unemployment figure of just under 10%. There’s no way this is correct when they don’t even count people who’ve stopped looking for work. Some say the actual number should be 22% or even 25%.
Unemployment benefits extend out to 99 weeks. That’s almost two years. There’s now a label for such long term benefit recipients—the ninety-niners.
I understand that some people who are about to run out of their 99 weeks of benefits are applying at homeless shelters. Are things really that bad?
And what about such individuals? Are they so alienated they have no family, friends, church, or community of any kind? Is it possible they’re not taking advantage of resources available to them?
Is our society that badly broken down? Or are these people so focused on maintaining a former lifestyle they can’t think of better alternatives? Is it a matter of pride?
What if someone applies at a homeless shelter only to find it’s full or no longer there? After all, cities all over the country are cutting back on basic services. Then what? Join a tent city?
I saw another tent city story just the other day from Russian TV. Why there and not in our own media? Is it being censored? While some of us gripe that the media’s too negative, they’re holding back on the truth of how bad things really are. Whose interests are they protecting?
No one wants to be in a tent city, I’m sure, but they’re making it somehow. How would you and I fare under those circumstances? Before we write them off as losers, we’d better take note of their resilience and resourcefulness.
As for those of us who have our homes, we’re all paying down our debts, tightening our belts and living more frugally, right? Not so.
Many consumers are buying cheaper soap and shampoo, but buying luxury goods and taking trips to places like Disney World. I’m not one of them, and you may not be either, but it’s happening.
In fact, some are stopping mortgage payments on their homes and defaulting on debts to have money to live they way they’d like.
Do you see a thread here? The government’s telling us things are getting better. And if things are to keep getting better, you and I must borrow and spend. They’re lying to us or are in denial. And we’re (collectively) lying to ourselves or are in denial, too.
On the other hand, I wonder if, instead of buying luxuries, some people are trying to get all they can to survive, knowing a bigger crash is coming.
Could it be like 1999, when some who anticipated the collapse of Y2K ran up their credit card bills. Why not? After all, an end date was in sight. But things are different now. There is no end date in sight, unless you believe it’s 2012.
What about all those who bought guns and ammunition that brought about last years shortage? Did they plan to go deer hunting? Or did they have something else in mind?
The media tells us prepping and survivalism is becoming mainstream. Maybe with some it is. You know who you are.
But at the family reunions I’ve attended this summer, subjects like the economy and the Gulf oil disaster never came up. I chose to enjoy the food and not to be the turd in the punchbowl. Others may have made the same choice, but I doubt it.
In the last couple years, I’ve seen an increase in survival blogs and companies offering kits and storage food. Is this for real or just another fad we’re going through? If we get to 2013 without a killer solar storm, and if people have hope in the results at the polls, will prepping quietly fade away?
In spite of my numerous questions, there’s no doubt in my mind that we’ve turned a corner. Things will never again be as they seemed to be in decades past. We’re living in a historic time. How ready are you for whatever it brings?