Monday, August 10, 2009

This is why I write:

Thank you, Fernando

I would just like to thank you for changing my whole survival mindset
after I found your blog and your book a couple months ago. Here's what I

Before Ferfal:

I wanted to get 20 acres in the middle of the Nevada desert and live out
there away from everybody. I had chosen what I thought was one of the
state's few agricultural areas (turned out they only grow hay there
because of poor soil). I was into the whole thing of having a fortress
against the hordes streaming out of the city. Of course, I couldn't
figure out how to pay for it, so I started a website that launched in
the middle of the financial crisis and flopped.

After Ferfal:

I decided to stay here in Sacramento, since it's the state capital and
we will likely get much of the food once rationing starts, since we have
all the politicians. I decided that there was actually a REASON I went
to trade school, so I became a computer repairman. I am currently
thinking of buying a half acre out in Rio Linda, which is zoned
agricultural but still urban enough so that the neighbors can hear me
scream (and the gunfight). That way I can have a garden and a few
chickens and not be arrested, since that's illegal in many other areas
of town. I currently have my eye on a property that holds an illegally
modified house that will have to be torn down. That way I can build to
MY specs.

So, thank you for everything (including saving my money and sanity!).

A couple notes:

It's weird how normal everything is here in the US, 9 months after the
banks nearly collapsed. Prices haven't gone up 500%. There are plenty of
beggars on the streets, but they don't look nearly as bad as some
Argentines did and do. I keep seeing recreational vehicles on the roads,
even though many workers are afraid to take a vacation lest they be
fired, but enough are. The banks are open, and the withdrawal limits
haven't been lowered. There has been plenty of work for sign companies
as the new owners of failed banks change the signs. Most people are
working fewer hours, but not fired completely.

Americans have yet to make the major adjustments in their lives that
will be necessary-I read about a family that couldn't afford food, yet
they were buying cigarettes and beer, and paying for cable TV, cell
phones, and Blackberries (a text messaging minicomputer). They were
paying these expenses even before their rent! And they were buying food
with what was left over. Their teenage son was flunking out of secondary
school, a fact that elicited only mild whining from his father. So, the
reality of what the future holds hasn't really sunk in here.

People are angry over a proposed government run healthcare plan, but are
not seeing the big picture. They managed to keep the system from
collapsing last fall, but only put off the day of reckoning until later.
I give it at MOST until 2012 as to when people will realize that it's
all over. I personally am trying to pay off debt and invest in
commodities so that I will at least have something when the banks DO
close. I bought an old army safe and will use it for PM's. It's just
sort of a wait and prepare game now.

Also, how are kids who were just little when SHTF in Argentina doing? It
was always an article of faith in American survivalist circles that once
civilization weakened, the young would forget it completely and become
untamable wild animals. Is that happening there?


My over inflated ego doesn’t need this, but thanks man. :-)
I’m posting it because this is what its’ all about for me. When I get these emails, it inspires me to continue, to post more, to participate more in the various forums. Again, thanks man.
You guys, you’re all great and I appreciate all the help, from so many people it’s just humbling.
And I may have had a few beers but I love you all (just kidding, I don’t drink much at all)
Seriously, thank you. :)

“It's weird how normal everything is here in the US, 9 months after the
banks nearly collapsed. Prices haven't gone up 500%.”

Dude, just be grateful. You don’t want SHTF. You do not want collapse, chaos and madness. Yesterday, Sunday night the new (We had like 5 or so) minister of economy was talking about the new measures taken to raise taxes and pretty much steal our money.
There’s people out there getting power bills with the new taxes and other BS, some have gone up 1500%. I’ll type that again: 1500%!!!!!

That means a poor guy that used to get a 150 power bill every two months (roughly) 40 dollars., now finds a bill in his mailbox for over 2000 pesos. That’s almost twice the minimum wage for the power used in a smallish home or apartment, not a Mc mansion type home.

They are slowly killing us here.

Also, how are kids who were just little when SHTF in Argentina doing? It
was always an article of faith in American survivalist circles that once
civilization weakened, the young would forget it completely and become
untamable wild animals. Is that happening there?

These are official numbers. This is not me inventing anything and it’s all easily found with a little google, but just so you understand what happened with our youth after 2001.
½ the males in the Buenos Aires Suburbs (meaning the majority of the population of Buenos Aires) between 18 and 35 are addicted to Paco , a highly addictive drug, made using the waste of the cocaine production process. Total junk, destroys people in a matter of months.
Out of those addicts 1/3 to 1/4 , depending on the neighborhood we’re talking about, are involved in criminal activities to get money for this drug.
Just picture those numbers for a second, translate that to what you know, your city and you’ll see the insanity, the magnitude of the problem.
Every addict needs to rob or steal an average of 100 (a bit over 25 USD) pesos a day for his fix. The drug itself is cheap, but its so addictive that they need to stay high most of the day.
The average person here carries what? 20 pesos to move around?
Each addict will need an average of robbery victims each day.
Think about those numbers and you start to understand why crime is such a huge problem here.
But it’s not even about drugs. Holland has drugs and yet its couldn’t be any safer, at least compared to the madness in Argentina.
It’s about poverty, the 2001 collapse, the lack of hope for a better future, living in worse conditions as time goes by. The frustration felt by the parents and grownups is transmitted to the young and it has consequences.
As we say here “estan jugados”. It means their dices have been thrown and they already lost. They don’t give a damn if they get thrown to jail or risk their neck in a robbery. They steal, rob, rape and murder to get back at whomever they think is to blame.
Our own president goes live on national TV saying middle class, people with money are responsible, what can you expect?
The more poor, the better for her.
Don’t know about “untamable wild animals”, but do expect a very violent , very ruthless generation.
Won’t take 10 years, just five years from now will be enough to start seeing this new wave. Those that are already 7 or 8 years old will become serious social predators. We have our share of 13 year old murdering criminals.



Anonymous said...

A LOT of American survivalists have a deeply wrong idea of what will happen post SHTF. In their minds, yeah there's chaos, but in the end our founding documents get restored and a new era begins. It's very much based on the Bible. In real life, it doesn't get better, it gets worse, and civilization just spirals into the ground.

There's a lot of grousing here about the big bailouts for the bankers, but it's clear to me that without the bailouts the banks would have disappeared and we'd be like Argentina. In fact a major major wealth guru was predicting an Argentina situation here way back in 2004 and 2005, when it was clear that the debt bubble couldn't be sustained.

I still think it will eventually happen, maybe a "soft crash" where the economy slowly deflates, but the politicians bought the average guy a few more years to prepare. The middle class here can still get their shit together and be ready and not left hanging like in Argentina. There's no excuse now.

Jedi said...

If you think that those bailouts were a good thing, you're crazy.

It's like we were about to go off a cliff and land in water, but the government said, "Wait a second. Let us remove the water and place some sharp spears at the bottom instead. While we're installing the spears for you to land on, you can use that extra time that we've given you in order to prepare. You're welcome."

Stop listening to the propaganda on TV and start thinking for yourself.

Bones said...

It's hard to believe, but they're still pumping out subprime loans. This time it's "ginnie mae". Politics trumps common sense every time.


Anonymous said...

Things are getting worse all the time in USA. Unemployment rising, opportunity dwindling. Our fate is not our own, now. We are living in a twilight between the past which we dream of returning to, and the future which we cannot bring ourselves to face.

Our creditors (China) will decide when to pull the plug on us. In truth, they are already moving away from us and anyone who thinks they are our friends is going to suddenly learn the real golden rule:

He who has the gold, makes the rules.

Unknown said...

My situation was nothing even close to as bad as what those kids in Argentina went through, but I grew up in what for America would be considered a "disadvantaged" neighborhood. It's a whole different mindset when your food, your clothes and maybe your family aren't guaranteed to be there. You look at your situation and think "how can I get through this?" and then if you have time and safe space to ponder, you think about what effect your actions will have on other people.

I don't do things like rob and loot because a church group got ahold of me when I was 7 and taught me something about a better way to survive and have hope. If you have that hope that there is some purpose to your life and some chance it will matter, you are less ruthless. A lot of the kids I grew up with were dead before 30, in prison, or had abortions and kids they couldn't even account for who either got taken by the child protective services or farmed out to relatives. They didn't have a reason to do anything but survive.

Maybe somehow that information will be useful when stuff starts hitting the fan in earnest here. Given people hope, treating them with decency even if you can't provide for their needs still matters.

Anonymous said...

Jedi, what people don't realize is that the spears were always there, they were just hidden by the swamp. The government simply drained the swamp. They bought SOME time, a tiny bit of time. The outcome is the same, but this way Americans don't wake up one morning and find their bank's windows boarded up and cops saying that all the banks are closed, and if you've got money in them tough shit. That's what happened in Argentina. The pain will be just as bad or maybe even worse, but it will be less of a shock.

Does this mean the bailouts were good? Of course not. What it DOES mean is that they put off the day of reckoning so that people could prepare. Anybody who has read Gillian Tett's book Fool's Gold about the crisis, where they were all wondering how to keep the banks open and what to do if there was a sudden run, will appreciate it.

They were wondering how to feed the American people. Imagine waking up and there's suddenly no more food at all. That's what we were talking about. I'm sure a few would have survived, but very few, not including the Rawles followers. This way, we at least have enough people survive to restart society.

Anonymous said...

The reason why inflation hasn't kicked in is because most of the porkulus money is still in the banks, it hasn't entered the "real economy."

It's not in circulation, it's some number on a computer screen. People aren't borrowing money right now so the money is just sitting in the banks. The only money that has entered the real economy from the stimulus has been like stimulus project money paid to workers and cash for clunkers, etc...

When people start borrowing again, THEN inflation may hit and the fed will raise interest rates to get people to stop borrowing so much... but even with those tools inflation could occur.

it's not a matter of if the money gets into the economy, its just a matter of when.