Thursday, July 30, 2015

In Argentina, crime does Pay (no joke, it really does )

Prisoners in Argentina get paid 46% more than the minimum payment received by retirees and pensioners. If you worked your entire life, chances are you’ll end up getting about $3.821,33 in Argentina once you retire. On the other hand, if you’re a murderer or serial rapist, you’ll make $6.060 and you’ll even get covered by the prisoner’s own Union (Workers Deprived of Mobile Freedom). No, none of this is a joke, just the sad reality. The nice part is that prisoners don’t even have to actually work to get paid, just being a prisoner entitles you to this, making becoming a criminal a great career choice for many. This is all part of the Kirchner government plan to incorporate criminals to their movement, with the Kirchner inmate political branch being called “Vatayón Militante” (misspelled Spanish for Militant Batallon). Not making any of this up, just the sad reality of a fully collapsed country.
30 de julio de 2012
Vatayon Militante: Rapists and murderers get to leave jail for the day and play with children in public schools.
So now you know. Best country to be a criminal in? Argentina. No doubt whatsoever. There’s about 1% of getting caught and if your crimes are bad enough to land you in jail (just being a thief or burglar isn’t enough, sorry) you’ll have housing, medical and food expenses covered, AND sending back home a salary for your contribution to society.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Pensions and Medicare after an Economic Collapse

viernes, 20 de septiembre de 2013
I have read and studied your book (The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse) thoroughly about the 2001 Economic Collapse in Argentina. I have searched through the book and your blog and there is an area that was not touched upon that is of great concern to me and to others my age.
What happened to the Social Security payments that retired people were receiving. Did payments stop all together - forever ? Was it halted temporarily and then resumed after some time ? If it was resumed was it at the original amount or at a reduced payment rate. The only thing I saw on the blog was this quote "Older people have it pretty tough here since most pensions and retirement programs (recently “nationalized”) place the old folks BELOW the poverty line". This appears to say there was some Social Security, but was it at the previous level or reduced, and was the reason people were below the poverty level due to the fact the payments were the same as they were originally, but now the 200% - 300% inflation had pushed them below poverty levels. If you could expound on what it was like it would be greatly appreciated.
Also did Argentina have some sort of Medicare program and if so did it go away or was it reduced.
These questions are very critical for those of us that are older and retired and would probably not be hire-able in an environment of 25% unemployment and would therefore not be able to try and rebuild our lives. For some of this is the difference literally between life and death. Please be so kind as to tell us what happened to Social Security and Medicare.
God bless you in all your efforts.

Hello Dennis,
Thanks for your email. You observations are very much correct. Pensions kept being paid, but as you say with devaluation and the local currency losing 70% of its value it is hardly enough to keep you above the poverty line. The pensions did go up little by little as years went by, but never really catching up with inflation. It was much harder the first few years though, with the initial devaluation. These days, retired people aren’t doing much better but I suppose they get by.
In 2008, the Argentine government nationalized all Private Pensions, effectively stealing $30 Billion Usd. This was of course unconstitutional, but they did it anyway because the government was simply running out of money.
Social security, as in unemployment benefits or child benefits, we didn’t have none of those before the economic collapse. It was all created after 2001 and it was mainly as an instrument of social control and to buy political support. Years later, we ended up with a society where being unemployed, or being a single mother with two or three children by the time you were fifteen was a wise choice financially speaking.
Just as I highly criticize 99% of what the current Argentine government did I will admit that they did do one thing right and that was creating pensions for homemakers. There’s millions of women (and men) out there that have been doing one of the hardest jobs their entire lives and by the time they can’t work anymore this is not recognized and they have no way of supporting themselves. Not only do I believe it to be fair, I think it also encourages true family values contrary to a system that encourages single mother teenagers to pop one baby after another just to get paid for it every month.

As for medical care, there’s always been free medical care in Argentina as well as private medical care. The public one was not very good but it kept you alive before 2001. After the collapse it just became pitiful and patients ended up in leaking, cold, roach-infested hospitals and were asked to bring their own gauze, cotton and bandages due to lack of supplies. The government is now using the private sector to compensate for the poor public one, making the private care much worse than it used to be.
As a general rule, its safe to say that few benefits and schemes, at least few critical ones, simply go away because of an economic collapse. Just going away looks pretty bad in the public eye. What you can expect when there’s very little money around is to have services that are barely a shadow of their former selves.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Greek Capital Controls Lessons Learned

Dear ferfal here is a link to the observations o fmine on the subect.

Thanks Greekman. This very much confirms what we’ve been observing and commenting in previous posts regarding cash being king, the problem with importations and how invaluable a bank account abroad can be in times like these.
I’ve also read that many Greeks are using Bitcoin to get around the restrictions.
Digital Dodge: Some Greeks Using Bitcoin to Evade Currency Controls
This could be yet another tool in the tool box, both to avoid the problems with closed banks as well as keeping savings in a different denomination. This advice may be particularly useful for people using weaker currencies or those concerned with fiat currencies in general and looking to diversify for greater security.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

20 Survival Lessons from the Greek Crisis

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Preparing for human trafficking: 5 Things you must know

In Latin America it’s called “Trafico de personas”. You know it as human trafficking.
It didn’t use to be a widespread problem in Argentina. It existed, but after the 2001 collapse it increased significantly. Poverty, crime, government and police corruption all works to create an environment where slavery flourishes.
The same is happening in US right now. Human trafficking is on the rise. Calls to U.S. trafficking hotline rise 26 percent led from last year by sex victims.
When people ask about the similarities between what happened in Argentina and Greece and what could happen in America, I explain that it’s already happening. The difference is that in the case of U.S. it’s a slow, long process with few landmark moments but with very similar results. Poverty, social degradation and loss of standards of living just degrades everything around you until one day you wake up, look around and wonder what the heck happened.
This would be the perfect example. Human trafficking, slavery, Child abduction and prostitution are all connected and there’s a good chance you’re not as prepared for it as you should be.
Some of the things we learned and that you should keep in mind:
1) It can happen to anyone.
It’s not just teens coming from troubled families. Even small children from good homes are kidnapped and sold into slavery. Kidnappers may drive around nice neighborhoods looks for very young children, teenage girls or young women. And it’s not just teenagers and children that are in danger.
Even middleclass adults with families of their own have been kidnaped. Such was the case of 23 year old María de los Angeles Verón, a young middleclass mother taken when walking to a doctor’s appointment in broad daylight in the city of Tucuman, Argentina in 2002. María Verón is still missing.
2) It can and does happen in the country. A LOT.
Ok, this right here is very important and you must understand how dangerous this is. When you think of children or adults being abducted and sold for prostitution and slavery you often think this happens in Thailand or some hell hole in Latin America. It’s happening all over USA and not just among troubled inner city youths. Rural judges are in fact the ones that have seen the sharpest increase of child prostitution.
“Almost one in three of the juvenile judges surveyed said they had seen an increase in the past five years in the number of child prostitutes coming into their courtrooms. Rural judges participating in the survey reported the sharpest increase, with the typical rural judge seeing an average of three youths a month involved in prostitution.”
3) The dangers of the internet
Internet and social media are often where these criminal organizations find their victims. The pictures and profiles on Facebook provide a lot of personal information. It also helps traffickers keep an eye on their victims and their whereabouts, tracking them every second.
Make sure you know what your children are up to when online, no matter how old or young you may think they are. Know who they are talking with and what they are talking about and be extremely careful regarding people outside their circle of friends they have direct face to face contact with.
4) Once taken, it is very hard to rescue them.
When someone is enslaved, they are usually threatened and beaten into submission. Sometimes its financial leverage that they have over the victim. Without ant cash, ID or money, all which are taken away, the victim feels powerless. In the case of sex slaves they are often beaten, raped and kept drugged for months until they are emotionally broken. The kidnappers will often threaten to kill the parents of the children they abduct or in the case of women with children of their own it’s them who are threatened. Kidnappers usually have either political connections or friends among local police. Often they have financial power or leverage because of their clients which are sometimes powerful, influential people. This is often the case of prostitution rings.
5) Its already happening all around you
Its not just about prostitution. There’re slaves working in New York City as maids and salves picking strawberries in the fields of California or working in the restaurant kitchen where you just had dinner with your family. It is estimated that there are 1.5 million victims in USA of either sex or labor trafficking.
Fernando “FerFAL” Aguirre is the author of “The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse” and “Bugging Out and Relocating: When Staying is not an Option”.