I was just watching a bit of television and saw a commercial for a company which specializes in retirement planning. Smiling people of all ages were splashed on the screen while soft, soothing music was played. A well dressed actor assured me that using this company to plan for my future was not only smart but (as the music builds) one of the best things I can do to plan for my future. A future where I would be able to live comfortably in retirement and finally pursue all of my hopes and dreams.
Take a break from Reality TV, weekend sports and the BBQ grill and consider a few reasons which ENSURE life as we know it simply cannot continue.
1- Government Gridlock. Potential government shutdown, here we go again. Toss in yet another debt ceiling deadline (17 Oct) and the picture which is painted becomes even more ominous. Without getting into the blame game (and there is plenty to go around on BOTH sides of the aisle) all of this drama certainly does not inspire confidence in our nation’s decision makers. How long can this continue? What happens when they become so divided that they are content to let Rome burn while pointing the finger at each other….or are we already there?
2- Money Printing. Fed Taper? It simply cannot happen. I’m no economist but I have been able to casually observe that the continuous injection of 85B per month (aka MBS purchases aka money printing) has created a situation where the markets have become absolutely addicted to this stimulus. Even discussion of a taper causes the markets to wobble, with the assurance that the printing would continue resulting in markets soaring. Yay! More prosperity for everyone! At what point does the endless money supply become counterproductive, or have we already crossed that bridge?
3- Detroit = Bankrupt, who is next? Detroit went bottoms up and other large cities are close behind. They are strapped with massive amounts of unfunded liabilities associated with (among other things) pension plan promises made which can never be fulfilled. What does the future hold for these cities and those who are dependent upon future payments which will be greatly scaled back or altogether non-existent?
4- Cyber-Attacks. Our systems are vulnerable, it’s been proven time and time again. Former DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano recently warned that a cyber attack would cripple our economy. Think about about just how networked our infrastructure is, everything from the power grid to the television signal which is pumped into your home. Why launch missiles from a container ship to employ an EMP over our country (e.g. One Second After) when you can sip coffee and tap on a keyboard from a few thousand miles away? Disable a major power plant in one city, go grab some takeout for lunch, disable the power grid on the east coast, take a break to play video games. While it might not be *that* easy it certainly is a sobering thought and one that has been recognized by our government, evidenced by the grid down drill which will be conducted in November.
5- Improving Economy? Hardly. Life is good! The newest smartphone is out, people are financing new cars at pre-recession levels and something about a reality show with a panel of judges which wants you to text your vote in before a certain deadline. But wait, 47 million Americans are on food stamps and the number continues to increase, so much so that there have been backlogs in the system and food banks are becoming overwhelmed. People are out of work with no light at the end of the tunnel, basic necessities have become priority number one for millions of people. Where is the recovery?
I’m not the type of prepper who wishes for a doomsday scenario to play out here in our country. In contrast if you scan many of the comments on other websites you’ll see people who want SHTF to happen, they fantasize about it even. That’s crazy talk, that’s like hoping that your house burns to the ground because you have a nice insurance policy and are tired of the color of your interior walls and old furniture.
Here’s the bottom line: Those who aren’t preparing for some serious discomfort are going to pay a pretty high price for their apathy. There are simply too many possibilities out there for all of them to be contained successfully. Keep your head on a swivel and keep prepping.