A while back I had lunch with a friend of mine named Paul. We discussed the economy and unemployment.
He doesn’t really know my involvement with preparedness and has always seemed to me somewhat of a “yuppie”. We met for lunch this past Wednesday and the conversation led to gas prices…..and his concerns and worries about the future.
This is how it went –
Paul: “John, these gas prices are unbelievable. Reminds me of Katrina how fast they are going up.”
Rourke: “Yeah, I know what your saying. Cutting into my play money.”
Paul: “ I know the other week we were talking about the economy and unemployment – these gas prices certainly are not going to help things.”
Rourke: “Your right on with that Paul. When fuel prices go up – it pretty much affects everything.”
Paul: “How so – I was pretty much just thinking about it just costing families more money at the pump.”
Rourke: “Well, that is true but there is more. Ever notice how many trucks are on the highway? Just about everything is transported in one way or another.
Due to this increase in fuel prices it is costing more to ship stuff – which means that the cost of each individual item on that truck is costing more.
Now – initially many businesses may just absorb those costs by reducing their profit margin- just make a little less money.
Eventually, depending on how long fuel prices stay up and how far up they go – businesses will start raising the cost of everything.
Oh, and Paul, when I say everything that is what I mean. If you want someone to come out and mow your lawn – it will cost more. If you go and buy your groceries – they will cost more. If you buy a TV at Wal-Mart – it will cost more.”
Paul: “I never really thought about it that way. So – what you were talking about the other week about inflation and real unemployment numbers – and now add in these rising gas prices – this isn’t looking good.“
Rourke: “No – it doesn’t look good. With the continued unrest in the Middle East – I suspect fuel prices will continue to go up.”
Paul: “John, I have to be honest with you – you seem to be predicting nothing but doom and gloom.”
Rourke: “Sounds that way doesn’t it. Paul – have you ever considered what you would do if things didn’t get better and just slowly got worse?”
Paul: “What do you mean? What are you trying to say?”
Rourke: “What I am saying is “stuff happens” Paul. This country and the people in it are so used to living a comfortable life.
The reality is that things can and do go wrong. How about those thousands of people affected by Hurricane Katrina?
2 weeks before they were living life in their dry protective homes, going to work every day and mostly concerned about what show to watch on TV. Amazing how fast things can change. This country is not immune to even more widespread problems.
Paul – the economy is struggling and in my opinion is on a slow continued decline. Sure – there are signs of improvement – but it is sorta like taking one step forward, and then two steps back. There was one step forward but that doesn’t change the facts that you are still going backwards.”
Paul: “Well, I think I know what you are saying but I can’t believe that this great country would just collapse.”
Rourke: “I am not saying the country will “just collapse”. What I am saying is I see a slow and steady decline that will leave this country in a condition it has not seen since the Great Depression.
There are too many things that are negatively affecting the economy. Remember – I am no expert. The government is making far too many mistakes for a variety of reasons that are going to have a serious long term negative impact on the economy.
Paul – I think you should think about what life would be like if the economy should truly collapse. It will not be good.”
Paul: “Lets say I believe what you are saying – what do you do?”
Rourke: “You prepare. You know I have a family – wife and my two kids. I can’t just stand by thinking about what might happen and do nothing.
I must take steps to protect my family. I know you are single and your parents live in Florida – but you can take steps to look out for yourself – as well as friends.”
Paul: “Are you preparing?”
Rourke: “First off Paul – consider that I believe this world is a very dangerous place. I do work on preparing for these dangers – not just the economic problems we have discussed.
There are threats from terrorists of all types as well as numerous natural disasters that could drastically change my life. “
Paul: “Well – what are you doing to prepare – I am curious?”
Rourke: “First thing Paul – I store a lot of extra food. If something happens that closes the grocery stores and your local drive-through at McDonald’s – you will need food.
Water is critical. I have a lot of extra medical supplies – especially for my son who you know if a diabetic. Firearms are important as well.”
Paul: “John I had no idea. I mean, I remember hearing of those crazy survivalists back in the 80’s running around in the woods with guns. Your not oneof those are you?”
Rourke: “That portrayal of survivalists back in the 80’s was mostly from media-hype and some pretty badly made movies. Nowadays – people that are preparing generally call themselves “preppers”.
Paul: “I tell you what John, I feel like my eye’s have been opened – really have a lot to think about.”
Rourke: “Don’t takee my word on anything – go home and spend a couple hours doing your own research – then lets talk again. I will be curious to hear what you find out and what your thoughts are.”
Paul: “I am gonna do that.”
To be continued…