Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Where We're Headed in Economic Armageddon Round 2

Economic control no longer lies with the president or Congress--it ultimately lies with the Federal Reserve and Wall Street. The president and Congress have been rendered useless and have been bypassed in the control game.

I wrote this back in 2008:

"While you're taking the martial law taste test, start practicing your "liters" and "meters" because we're going to be swallowed whole by the metric system that surrounds us. If gas and food prices get high enough, we'll cut out the retail middleman altogether and either grow/hunt/fish our own food, or go to the large outdoor farmer's markets that will have sprouted up in place of the defunct grocery stores (or at least in their parking lots). Like in Europe, whatever non-perishable manufactured foods that can be sold over a counter without electricity will be there too, like bagged pasta, rice, and beans, as well as loose bulk (but you'll likely be buying it in kilos and not pounds). Selection by brand will have largely gone out the window, as the vendor will have likely bought the cheapest type of bulk food for resale—the only real selection left will be price and which vendor to buy from. "Stores" will become luxury places to shop, featuring refrigerated and high-end gourmet items, and no discounts available. Just think—-bread, meat, eggs, milk, and cheese will be considered high-end due to price.

The future of most food sales (and many other things) will actually be a huge step backwards, technologically speaking. Many middlemen and structures will be cut out of the buy-sell process, and the coupon won't be the only thing dying. Our only discount will be the value of the dollar--the higher the value, the more we can buy.

For FUTURE reference (literally), a kilo is 2.2 lbs., and a pound is roughly half a kilo. You want a pound of something? Just ask for a half-kilo. We WILL get here one day soon, and you might want to prepare your kids and grand kids for this. We would've gotten here a lot sooner, but America is stubborn about adopting the metric system (and getting rid of the penny).


Then, we will be completely reliant on global currency rates for any "discounts" after that. Welcome to the REAL world! Europe's been doing it for years now with the Euro.

How will you survive between now and then? Stock up on foodstuffs, clothing in future sizes (for yourself and the kids), guns/ammo, gold coins (if you can find any), and things valuable for barter (like cigarettes, booze, OTC remedies, tampons, toilet paper, etc.), fuel (for the car, and oil lamps/torches), car maintenance items, a radio and batteries (because power may get expensive and limited, as will the press and internet), how-to books of all kinds (anything from medical to home and car repair)...use your imagination."

With the consolidation in corporations through mergers, bankruptcies, and simply going out of business, there will be less competition and fewer choices when it comes to high-value commodities. With the coming drought, every commodity will be high-value, and producers will have to learn to do more with less (mainly water), leaving manufacturers having to sell less for more (meaning price hikes), and downsizing will be the name of the game. Armageddon starts tomorrow, and if you didn't heed my warnings from as far back as 2008, you're going to have a tough road ahead. We will be invaded, but not so much by politicians, but rather the kilo and other metric equivalents. Political INACTION is what will storm us from The Hill.

Price comparisons will no longer be done by the pound or ounce--when it comes, you will find that pound and ounce prices will have risen beyond tolerable levels, and things will now be doled out to us in metric measures. The per-kilo price will seem a bargain until that too rises out of contention (which will happen during the following century). Everything Britain has suffered through since the war will be coming here, but don't expect a return to standard measure over there--that train left the station decades ago. Even though their politics have made signs of returning to conservative power, don't expect a return to "the good old days" of British Empire-style markets and consumer earning/spending levels. The clock can only be turned back so far.

Coupons will become a thing of the past (like they are in Europe), and markdowns will be few and far between. Due to the foreseen drought, food prices will only escalate from here, and unfortunately, there will always be traders to capitalize on it--you may as well join them and get paid for having to shell out on a retail level. This is what Britain did with BP, and look what BP's corner-cutting did to them: overly-dependent stockholders and pensioners were held captive while the Gulf became a big oil pit itself. Now BP is still having to pay cleanup costs and damages, while British stockholders and pensioners are bearing the burden.

More from 2008:

"Back to the grocery store: along with those old-fashioned coupons will go the traditional meal-planning (like anybody with a full-time job does THAT anyway) and plans to stock up, and this is exactly what retailers want you to do—forgo the forethought and operate on impulse, letting each aisle be a surprise for you when you visit—that way, they can take maximum advantage of you.

The way the future economy's predicted to go, you'll no longer be able to afford stocking up anyway."

This may come true in the next 25-30 years (maybe even sooner), because severe drought will mean we'll also be highly dependent on imported foods. Get ready for it and teach your kids and grandkids how to handle it: hunting, fishing, gardening, foraging, bartering, and teaming up with people who CAN when they CAN'T.

Other moves include: live in Washington, shop in Oregon—and any other advantageous arrangement such as this one. Washington State has no income tax, and Oregon has no sales tax. Other useful arrangements may include Texas/Mexico (some taxes, but still very low cost) and northern states/Canada (don’t know the details, but someone will fill me in, I’m sure). Other states with no income tax are: South Dakota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Florida, Texas, New Hampshire. If you go there to shop, make sure that's ALL you do, because some of these no-sales-tax states have fast-food taxes, hotel taxes, and other tourist traps. Take your own food, and don't plan on staying overnight.

Over the next few years, this may change--if the economy gets bad enough, tax-free may become tax-full. Do your research before attempting to try any of these potentially money-saving moves. By the time you (or your kids/grandkids) get to the point of needing these, the tax laws may have changed.

Seen the movie Mad Max or any of the Thunderdome movies? Though glamorized by Hollywood, they give you a glimpse (however surreal) of what our long-range future could be like. While greenie-weenies have the movie Waterworld on the brain, I've got Mad Max on my brain.


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