Ramblings- From The Homestead
Light Hearted and Brutally Honest
As our government continues to bulldoze what’s left of our collective future I believe it’s time, past time really, to at least broach the subject of -Economic Collapse- and look at why so many are so worried about the ever increasing likelihood that our beloved country’s economy will eventually crumble to dust.
Today the “War on Poverty” is in full bloom, with a myriad of frontal assaults and flanking maneuvers, some going on for nearly 80 years, shouldn’t our elected officials occasionally give us the score, show us a chart or graph of their progress, perhaps a tally of the body count –the decline each year in the number of the needy–. But no, no charts, no graphs, no dwindling numbers and no victory speeches. Each year the need grows greater and the underclass grows larger. Although they resist all attempts to reconcile the books, we can take our own measured accounting.
Not including Social Security and Medicare:
*In 1991 41 million people lived in a household receiving aid. In 2011 that number had risen to 107 million. An increase of 161% while the population had increased just 24%.
*In 1991 23 million people received food stamps. Today it approaches 50 million.
*In 1992 3.45 million people were on disability, today 8.8 million are receiving disability checks and 1000 people are added daily.
*The long existing trend of falling wages continues, over the past four years, median income has dropped by over $4000.
So profound is the growth of the underclass, , it can no longer be attributed to FedGov’s incompetence. This is clearly by design, and all done behind the threadbare cloak of compassion.
In 2009 those receiving some form of welfare numbered 50.1 million, today it is 66.1 million. Public sector workers total 21.6 million. Combined that’s 87 million people who receive from some to all of their livelihood from the private sector taxpayers, who number just 109 million. The imbalance is already severe, and expanding unabated. Since 1933 $15 trillion has been spent on the “War on Poverty”. Helping the helpless, the deserving with a hand up is admirable, caring for the feckless , the lazy and the irresponsible is proving to be economic suicide. One of the basic rules of life -if you reward bad behavior, you get more of it-, we are awash in it now. To this cautionary tale must be added the costs of SS, Medicare and Medicaid, which conveniently are all excluded from FedGov’s annual operating budget.
How about “Free Trade” pushed and polished as our saving grace by the political class for nearly 40 years:
In 1974 THE TRADE ACT OF 1974…… resulting in the trade deficit swelling from $6 billion in 74 to $34 billion in 78….. it was supported by both parties.
THE TRADE AGREEMENT OF 1979…… supported by both parties….. by 1984 the trade deficit exceeded $100 billion……
THE TRADE AND TARIFF ACT OF 1984…… supported by both parties…… 3 years later, the deficit had soared to $160 billion.
1984: THE OMNIBUS TRADE AND COMPETITIVENESS ACT…… supported by both parties….. the trade deficit continued to swell by billions
1993….. We had a trade surplus with Mexico of $2 billion….. then came NAFTA…. and yearly average trade deficits with Mexico of $12.5 billion…..
Any reason to continue with this list? Are we to believe that these trade agreements were done for our benefit?
Washington has, and has had for many years a spending problem. Spending is not of course their only vise, nor the most addictive. Power is their drug of choice, once hooked, they seek it just as a heroin addict seeks out their next fix. Addiction is bad, whether it’s to drugs or power or staying in power. To the addicted it becomes the center of their universe, for which all other things revolve. Just as heroin addiction exacts a price on the addict’s body and mind, so to does the body politic suffer from it‘s power lust. An indifference to logic, and an inability to judge the true effects of their actions sets in. All constraint evaporates, replaced by the perversion of elitism. The “god complex” allows the justification for any and all methods, needed or not.
When 2.3 trillion doesn’t quite get it done, just borrow, and borrow, and borrow some more. Fedgov’s outrageous deficit spending has now reached over 1 trillion every year! For perspective: 1 trillion seconds equals 31,688 years, a piece of string a trillion inches long would circle the earth 633 times. Our massive government apparatus now borrows nearly .46 cents of every dollar it spends. Which equates to lots more debt over the coming years piled on to the 16+ trillion we have already. A veritable fairy-land of magic money will be needed to service our ballooning beast. You would think 3.6 trillion being spent on 360+ million people yearly would be enough to show us all a good time, having fun yet? FedGov borrows today to pay the interest on money it borrowed yesterday. It’s spending our tomorrows today, to the point that we will eventually run out of tomorrows from which to steal, as they have in Italy, Greece, Spain, France and others. Our fear-filled leaders, in their drug induced desperation to continue the illusion that -they do no wrong and the public need not worry- commit a sort of pre-crime by mugging future generations. It’s an easy crime to commit. The “future generations” either walk or crawl around, mostly unaware of what they’re in for, or have yet to be born. Does any of this sound logical, reasonable, rational or sustainable?
We are on the cusp of a new mathematical inevitability, mandatory government spending (2+ trillion) will soon eclipse total revenue (2.3 trillion). A milestone that exemplifies FedGov’s trade of money and promise in exchange for the peasant’s vote and influence for it’s corporate financers. But the worst is yet to come, not far off in time though, no, just around the corner. The big three entitlement programs are quickly going broke and according to the GAO by 2020 90% of FedGov’s budget will go to SS, Medicare, Medicaid and interest on the debt. Not long after, all, 100% will be used up on the same. No money left for any of the preferred intervention and manipulation programs favored by FedGov for vote gathering. This will not sit well with those who are used to being lavished upon. It won’t sit well with the lavishers. None of this should sit well with the rest of us. As all welfare states eventually do, our own nanny state will collapse under the weight of it’s massive debt.
History is riddled with failed civilizations who’s collapse was as foretelling as ours. Present day is filled with many who, just ahead of us, have laid the path bare. Our future is easy to see, we travel along a well worn trajectory. While our leaders hold meetings and their minions sit, pecking at their keyboards, devising new and ever more creative ways to feed their addictions, the “American Dream” slowly dies. The idea that life will get better, that progress is inevitable, if we play by the rules and work hard, prosperity is assured. Perhaps not for you, but for many… the American Dream died in 2008. They were the first, the rest of us are next.
FedGov, in it’s ruthless hunt for power and votes has created a world where everything and everyone is expendable and nothing is sacred. It has blighted the inner cities, riddled our communities with foreclosures and unemployment. It has forced workers into a downward spiral of falling wages and mounting debt. It has impoverished the working class and ravaged the middle class. And it has enriched a tiny political and corporate elite.
We seem collectively unable or unwilling to withdraw the razor from our own wrists. While most go about their business unaware of our fate, some of us, a growing few, prepare and will wait for the bleed-out to end. Only when the body is at room temperature will there be any hope of saving it.
It is not just the “red-necked, gun clutching, unwashed and toothless” who believe we have already stepped off the ledge and see the ground rising fast. Many respected economists hold similar beliefs, the only question in their minds, and many others is the matter of timing. There are stories, many stories, of those who -supposedly in the know-, wealthy wall street types and various others who have been for some time prepping. These are not the types you’ll see on “Doomsday Preppers”. No expense spared mountain retreats built with all the conveniences, or blue water yachts, stocked with supplies, docked and ready to carry their passengers to secret, far-off locations… out there…. some where.
“I did not know how much had ended. When I look back now from the high hill of my old age, I can still see the butchered women and children lying heaped and scattered all along the crooked gulch as plain as when I saw them with eyes still young. And I can see that something else died there in the bloody mud, and was buried in the blizzard. A people’s dream died there. It was a beautiful dream… The nations hoop is broken and scattered. There is no center any longer, and the sacred tree is dead.”
I view the glass “half full” always have, always will. I look foreword to the future, I plan for retirement, I keep my bucket list safe and dry, ready for when opportunity allows me to attend to it. But I am also a realist, a student of history and a witness of man’s folly, so I prepare.
Here at our homestead my wife and I have accelerated our prepping, enthusiastically so! For us as with many others, prepping is as much about living a self sufficient, self reliant lifestyle now as much as preparing for some known or unforeseen catastrophe.
Plans have been made, goals set and strategies mapped out. We’ve completed the prep work on a new garden, twice the size of last year’s. Room has been made for more food storage and we’ve started buying larger quantities of basic staples and working on a broader menu to add needed variety. One major addition for this coming growing season is we’ll be canning fresh fruit purchased from local farmers markets. We’ve finally stepped up on regular ammo purchases for our firearms. A source and timetable for the purchase of 100 gallon tanks of propane for our 13 kilowatt generator have been set. All we need for our current plans to be completed is time, and there lies the rub….
John Gault….. Somewhere in Georgia