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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

What to expect



Ferfal,

I greatly value your experience in Argentina. Since you have traveled in the U.S., I would like to know what you think will be the impact of our relative lack of corruption, at least at local levels, to what we may face in our coming economic crisis. Perhaps a separate post on the subject, if you have time?


This is where things get more into the “guesstimating” territory.
Nothing is for sure and all we have is certain situations being more probable than others.

Inflation

That is already occurring and will likely get worse. Not only in actual prices going up, but in more “hidden” ways, such as servings and packs getting suspiciously smaller but keeping their old price, which will later rise even more.
Here for example, small pudding chocolate desert cups, called Danet and made by Nestle, are surprisingly small, something that you empty in 4 or 5 tea spoons.
But the advertisement on TV, says something like “The perfect size to keep your figure!”
These marketing guys aren’t exactly rocket scientists.:)
You can imagine our surprise when we traveled to Spain and found the exact same chocolate desert/snack cup, Danet by Nestle, but with a cup nearly 4 times bigger!
Inflation at first just pisses you off. But as it gets out of control it turns into a serious problem: Suddenly you find that you already ran out of money a few days or a week before the end of the month.
That’s when you see that due to inflation, you can’t keep on going like this you need to reduce expenses.
But what happens when you reduce them as much as you can, inflation is still going up and your salary just doesn’t compensate.

That’s what I mean when I said you should already start looking for new ways of making money.

Security

That’s probably our greatest problem and eventually crime will get worse in USA because of all this as well.
Here’s were the differences may come into play: America’s police isn’t nearly as corrupt as the police in Argentina, so that will work for your advantage.
But on the other hand, you guys have a more diverse population, which we don’t, and that may contribute to more social disorder.

Anyway, as mentioned in several posts, be prepared to take care of your own security. Safety habits are very important and it’s not goof enough that you are reading this, your entire family must be along with you in the same boat on this matter.
What’s the use in being Mr. Tactical killing machine when your 16 year old daughter doesn’t listen and will spend nearly an hour talking to her boyfriend at the front door.. opened door for anyone that wants to force their way in.

Also if you are Mr. Tactical bad ass, chances are they WONT go after you, but after the weakest link of the chain ( your kids and wife)

Stress

As mentioned before, expect a lot of emotional problems from people. Suicides may become more common, at least that’s what happened here as well. It got to point were we had 2 or 3 guys killing themselves under the train each week. Total chaos to get to down town.

I don’t know man, things just change a lot.

For example, I was telling the guys at Minionreport the other day.
We were talking with my son the other day and we talked about what he wants to be when he grows up. He’s 6 yo.
Doctor, soldier, fireman, astronaut, those were ok according to him, all those except policeman.
“Why not policeman” we asked puzzled.
“Because they get killed a lot, everyday a policeman dies on the news, a policeman got shot today, a policeman was killed today. No no policeman”
My wife ad I didn’t know what to say. I mean, it is true, we just didn’t expect him to notice. And children do notice even if grownups hope they don’t.


All the small things


Impossible to mention them all, but one thing you can expect in a country that has little money to spend due to the crisis, is for services and infrastructure to suffer.
Expect power going down more often due to lack of maintenance. Store several LED lights and install emergency lights. A generator will be needed, also see about installing electric protections against high voltage surges when power comes back up.

Expect water to become of worse quality, get a filter even if you have supposedly potable tap water. One day it may not be that potable any more.

Roads are something that go bad surprisingly fast. Expect them to rot because of little maintenance due to lack of funds, specially after heavy rains.

Within a year or so, you may start seeing holes on the road, some of them real craters, and busting a tire in one of them is no joke.
I already spent a small fortune fixing everything that goes wrong in my car due to the poor conditions of the streets here.

What else? We’ll just have to wait and see.

FerFAL

2 comments:

Citizen14 said...

Excellant points, really gives me some food for thought. I don't know what the climate of Argentina is like but in the norther part of the US the roads already get torn up bad every winter. Also I would guess we have more cars than Argentina so there would be more wear and tear. Without repairs I think they could get bad even faster than you predicted. And many of us take good roads as given here in the US.

JC said...

I remember the whole controversy over at Frugal's and haven't been back there since it played itself. The American survival movement is riddled with people like JM and others who treat the whole thing like a game or their personal clubhouse. Much like the doomer crowd, they don't like people who look at things objectively, as that gets in the way of their personal fantasies, which is why they don't like anyone who tells them they're wrong and why. And most of them don't know enough history to look at the Western world post 250 AD to see how Rome fell apart and some of the parallels.

We're already living in the beginning stages of a collapse. People at my office are talking in worried tones but don't know what to do next. I give them the best advice I can -- "Make sure to have food and other stuff put aside if/when the stores get disrupted." Do any of them listen? They didn't a year ago, but people are paying attention now.

And the election isn't going to do anything but make things worse, no matter who wins. Attitudes are already being hardened and only a fool would want that office now.

Anyway, FerFAL, keep up the good work.