Monday, November 9, 2009

Finances, firearms and Freedom: Why is one linked to the other.

Every now and then I get an email from a reader. Confused, probably a newbie regarding survival and preparedness.

“Is it that bad down there?” “Why do you need a gun, if there’s still police?” “How come you have internet, if SHTF?”

I’ve answered some those questions before, but yesterday after the recession post (linked here ) I believe people will understand better. Unfortunately it will become more and more clear as time goes by.

Please do take the time to watch the video, its worth it. I know, its NY, one of the most spoiled cities in the world, but some of the stories are so similar.

The man that lost his job as a construction manager, a well paid job, and was now driving people around to put food on the table, that’s something we saw spread in 2000 and I’ve commented before.

People, I know its impossible for you to see the similarity because you didn’t live it, but it’s there. It’s so familiar, the only difference is the language.

That man, the one driving people to the airport for a living, he’s an American “remisero”. Those of you that read my book or have been following my blog for a while know what that is.

Just what the man on the video describes, an improvised driver, a poor version of a taxi. You know what? It doesn’t take a genius to figure out it will become a more popular way to make money (even if just a little money) as things get worse.

One of the worse paying jobs, with the highest suicide rates, a remisero is usually the person that, in spite of his skills (or even lacking them), he simply has nothing else.

Remiseros are now part of our culture, its sad to think that it may become a part of USA as well.

Want to do this in stages? OK, lets call this stage B) of the crisis.

On stage A) people can’t deny any more there’s a crisis, they lose their jobs, which was a big surprise. Then the neighbor and the brother, and the guy across the street. More and more people lose their jobs. But its ok, isn’t it? Only bums are unemployed. Because a hard worker, with skills, experience and college graduate, that kind of people always find jobs…. Right?

Stage B: That’s today. That’s the video. Surprise, surprise, in spite of the skill, right attitude and fervently hunting for jobs, there’s simply no jobs to be found! People start digging into their savings or getting worse into debt. It’s a moment where people finally get it. Things have changed. You can now go months, even years without finding a job… so you just apply for anything, desperate to make a buck. And for now that works…

Stage C: There’s no more “help wanted” signs. Not even crappy jobs. Its hard even for the remisero types, there’s so many of them now.

This is all old news for us, this was us in 2002, 20003.

People still get fired and it’s worse for the +40 guys. Educated, hard workers, with decades worth of managing experience, but they are not wanted any more, they are too expensive to have around, and why keep them around for other jobs when you can get rid of them and hire a kid in his early 20’s to do the same job? There no need for that type of guy any more. Just one boss now, and lots of 20 year olds working on minimum wage. That’s the recession plan to keep business afloat.

No BS here folks, never that. I’ve had people as old as my father, almost getting on their knees begging for a job. A job I didn’t have to offer because my own situation wasn’t much better. “Your family moved to Spain. Maybe there’s a job there. Anything, just anything. Driving a truck, cleaning, I’ll do anything at all”. It was sad and embarrassing to see the father of a friend to that. A man that a year ago had an executive position in a factory.

Stage D: Crime. All this brings the real danger, what you sure noticed worries me the most. Crime, everywhere and in every possible way. The bastards get more creative, more violent and why would they not. There’s no jobs anyway, things have changed, people are desperate and police can hardly keep up.

Its easy when there’s a murder in town. But when there’s a dozen every week, there’s not enough manpower to investigate them all. And remember there’s a crisis, no budget for more officers.

While some get up every morning thinking of how to make money and make a honest living, others start their day planning how to rob, how to kidnap or scam people.

Kidnappings started, something we’ve never seen in Argentina before, armed robberies, bank robberies, asphalt pirates, pro- home invaders, taking several houses at the same time.

By now people realize quickly that the crime problem is serious. Unlike the unemployment thing, a corpse on the sidewalk causes a much greater impression than a bunch of guys looking for a job.

Remember what happened with unemployment? First the neighbor, then that cousin of yours… then you? Same happens here. “Jimmy got mugged” “They broke into the Williams home, they raped the women and beat them all up” “ They killed Kevin”. It starts getting closer and closer until you feel it too close. Your family could be next.

You finally see the importance of caring about your security and self defense. Its no longer something you fantasize about, watch in movies or throw theories on the internet forums. You do it, and you comment with others what has happened to you.

Its no longer about having a molle vest that matches the digital cammo pattern of your tactical holster…

Stage E: Crime is already something you got used to. It sucks, its stressful, and you want out, but its part of life and as we say here, every morning you know you’re going out, but you don’t know if you’re coming back. Jobs? The old social pyramid is no more. Those people from stage A and B? Either they found a way or they didn’t. If they didn’t they are now either poor or homeless. That’s the way it is.

And yet the world does not end, you know? Others adapted and managed, most accepted their new poor condition as the social pyramid turned into an iceberg: A lot of people underwater and a small amount on the stop, doing well, maybe even better than before. But that nice fat middle-class? No more.

Jobs, crime, and now their going for your freedom.

You see, people want things fixed. The conditions are barely tolerable. No one wants to be poor, no one wants to see their kids getting killed on the streets, there’s got to be a solution, and the politicians are quick to offer it, unless you have a problem with giving up some of that freedom of yours… No secret cameras in you bathroom or microchips under the skin. No, none of that. Just vote the right guy, vote the right legislators, and let them take care of things. They need your approval, nothing more…

And one day you wake up and are ruled by a very nice man that the majority voted. He’s got more power than any previous president in history. Supposedly there was no other way out of the mess, but it turns out that they are repeating the same mistakes that landed you there in the first place.

The thirst for power grows, nothing gets solved, and its hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.

What do people in Venezuela feel, when they watch on TV their president telling them that they have 3 minutes maximum to take a shower and they should use flashlights at night when getting up to go to the bathroom?
Does it get to such a ridiculous point where even that feels normal?

The stages are just something to organize the chain of events. They sometimes overlapped each other, some were longer than others, but that’s what happened here.

Unfortunately it seems USA is following a similar pattern. There’s differences of course, but its foolish not to see some of the similarities, blinded by pride and shame, when realizing there are indeed some similarities with a 3rd world country.



Don Williams said...

1) It is really astonishing how Americans do NOT realize that their News Media exists solely to lie to them. That the News Media is a propaganda machine owned by rich men with one purpose: to promote the agenda of those billionaires.

2) Some of the better colleges teach people to question the reliability of an information source -- but most people swallow the story without thinking. Television doesn't encourage critical thinking or fair debate -- it is there to just spoon the deceit into your brain. Without you even realizing it's happening.

3) Plus people tend to adopt a political party as if they are choosing a football team to support -- without realizing their lives are at stake. And they have a talent for ignoring any info contrary to their team's mindset.

Sheep have more intelligence. At least they know to run from the wolves.

Anonymous said...

I think you just described the infamous "Crack-up Boom" the Austrian Economist talk about so much.

From what I can tell, it does little good to try to warn anyone prior to such an event unless they are very receptive to new ideas, new thought processes and already have a distrust of government. Some people can only learn "the hard way" if even then. Or would people listen?

Are there many people still in denial down there today? I'm thinking the answer is, "obviously, or else the government would be kicked out by now."

Ryan said...

WOW, I don't know exactly where this is going to go but the similarities are sure there.

Bones said...

It doesn't matter which of the major US political parties is in power. Both have their corporate masters calling the shots. Unfortunately, our choices are not as simple as which lever to pull in the voting booth. We need to make enough noise to force both parties to listen, support 3rd party candidates with different ideas and generally be aware and involved in the political process in order to drive the debate toward the issues that are really important. After all, if WE aren't involved and pushing the issues WE want, THEY will be.

Anonymous said...

Don, your numbers 1. 2. and 3. apply to things other than finances and employment. After reading your list, it's surprising that you have the view you do of the flu vaccine and the Doctors who oppose it.

George Donnelly said...

Nice job FerFal. A lot of these folks, they're fine folks, but they don't get it. They may never have left the comfy confines of suburbia. It's hard to conceive of poverty until you've lived near or in it.

A friend of mine recently said that the news is a movie in which they want us to think we are living, and I think there is some truth there.

Don Williams said...

Our US Major News outlets (TV networks, Washington Post, New York Times ) have an air of unreality about them. Because their reporters know that their paychecks depend upon keeping their eyes averted from major crimes.

So one has to go to the lesser papers and journals to find out what is really going on -- the elites feel that it is not worth worrying about what those sources say.

Matt Taibbi at the Rolling Stone, for example, had a good article on the financial bailout in the USA:


Note: Matt seems angry at what is happening and so his language becomes kinda crude at times.

Loquisimo said...

I am a computer technician, but even in my field there are zillions of laid off IT guys who have years of experience who are trying to make food money by doing virus removals.

You see, during the good times the politicians here in Sacramento thought that it would be a good idea to lure high tech businesses from Silicon Valley, 120 miles away, with promises of cheap land and an educated workforce willing to work for less money. Of course, that educated workforce is now unemployed and has no way of getting a job, so they're competing with me, and they are willing to take any amount of money, no matter how low. Free virus removals! $30 flat rate repairs! I can't compete with that.

I'm seriously thinking of moving to a place that is less impacted by zillions of IT guys out of work and out of hope. Redding is the biggest city between Sacramento and Portland, Oregon, with a population of some 200.000 as opposed to Sacramento's 1.5 million. They have water, which in a state that's mostly desert is vital, and they have food. There are fewer IT guys up there because they were too far away from Silicon Valley to attract many tech jobs. I hate to leave Sacramento, but I just can't make a living here.

I suspect that eventually the out of work tech guys will leave, but I don't know when. We're already experiencing the spread of the ghettos here, and areas that were formerly nice are now unsafe, and the parks the developers built are full of dead plants because the city can't afford to take care of them.

The thing is, most Americans have no skills, they have the office politics playing skills of lifelong office workers and that's it. Americans have no way to make money outside of prostitution, which is spreading like wildfire. I suppose that crime is next.

BulgarWheat said...


another great article. seems we are heading down that road right about now. This is not the world I would have chosen for my children, but it's the one we have.

Don Williams said...

US Federal Reserve is starting to sound like FerFal:

"WASHINGTON – Unemployment likely will remain high for the next several years because the economic recovery won't be strong enough to spur robust hiring, Federal Reserve officials warned Tuesday."


Patrick said...

Its the classic formula: problem, reaction, solution. Great post FerFal.

Note that the financial problems are created from a mathematical inevitability designed into the financial system. When you have bankers typing money into existence when they make loans, then collecting interest which demands yet more new money, there is a centralization of wealth until the scheme goes vertical and things break down. I suggest that Argentina 2001 was a test-case of how the ruling class could maintain their wealth and power in the eventual end-game. Now its being put into motion in the USA and elsewhere.

Salt Lick said...

Hello Ferfal, I've enjoyed your book very much and thanks for that.

One of our (American) most prominent economists is speculating about a possible default on US debt.

I've been making some preparations as suggested in your book (more cash, some precious metals, etc), but I was wondering if you can suggest any signs we might watch for that default is imminent, as perhaps you remember from Argentina's?


Anonymous said...

Don, Our politicians are deliberately dividing us so we will tune out or devote our energy to squabling amongst ourselves. This may seem strange, but I think that the most patriotic thing people can do right now is unite their fellow citizens. My local news site is full of hard-core right-wing and hard-core left-wing screaming at each other. When they're screaming at each other, they aren't persuading anyone to rethink a position, they aren't writing to their representatives, they aren't joining a protest or doing anything productive to save the ship.

Frankly, we're all in the same boat. Some might have better cabins, some might be stowaways, but if everybody runs to starboard in a panic, the guy standing at port side screaming "you're going to roll the boat" is still going into the water.

Our people are intelligent. These are the descendants of a great nation. They just haven't been inspired to use their intelligence. It's up to their fellow citizens to inspire the masses to care, to evaluate, to lobby for a better path. Because politicians have too much to gain from turning us off and dividing us.

America has been built by immigrants. Our gene pool is made from people who took the great leap of migrating to a foreign land because they wanted freedom and opportunity. We are literally different, genetically, and even today's entitlement-mentality, government-save-us, I'm-not-responsible majority come from this narrowly-selected genetic stock (probably similar to Argentina's, BTW). We are capable of regaining some of our hardy independence, tenacity, innovation, and drive.

Anonymous said...

FerFal -

How is the private security business? Skilled riflemen with scoped FN-FAL's and military ammo make short work of criminals with pistols.

FerFAL said...

The problem is much greater than that. The % of the population invovled in crime is too big. The private secuirty busienss has strived since 2001, as you'd expect.
Guards are rahter poorly armed, but again, giving fals and having trigger happy guards isn't a solution.


recon said...

Outstanding post

Anonymous said...

I disagree with anonymous. Our fellow citizens are sheep, and dumb as a brick. How else can you explain the average credit card debt ($30K per person) equal to average earnings? Or mortgages equal to 45% of gross income (of both wage earners)? Add a car payment for $400/month. All on an (average) annual gross of not more than $60K. That's not the behavior of intelligent people. It is insane. They've been chasing a golden ring for so long they've lost sight of reality. And reality is going to be a real bitch, no matter how she arrives, whether like FerFAL describes or different.

Our fellow citizens might have the ability to see through the propaganda, but 99% do not have the means to do anything, nor the will to change decades of misdirection. The great masses are so utterly indebted they are too underwater to do anything now.

Exceot for a very select few individuals with no debt and substantial savings, I believe FerFAL's predictions to be chilling and accurate for the US.

Anonymous said...

The sheep overthrew the British government. There is strength in numbers. That's why sane people avoid Compton, Richmond California, the barrios under Puerto Rico's ancient fort, parts of Harlem, D.C., etc. The criminals have the strength of numbers in those places. Sane people aren't looking for the power of brutal violence or the culture of kill-the-snitch, but we are looking for the power to at least survive against criminal strength.

We aren't powerless, and we have better odds if we stand together with as many sane people as we can. My local sheriff's department deputizes private citizens for non-violent work to free officers for crime interdiction. Volunteers do paperwork, but also patrols where they call in suspicious activity. Imagine if you doubled or tripled your police force with volunteers?

One local neighborhood has a hired (armed) guard and neighbors take turns patrolling - they call the guard if something looks suspicious. Somebody convinced the sheep to do this, and they are all safer for it.

It is fine to sneer down the nose at people with no savings, high debt, little awareness of what's really going on. But those people are either your allies or your enemies. The more of them you make into allies, the better your strength of numbers against bad policy, bad laws, bad legislators, and bag guys.

Anonymous said...

>>This is not the world I would have chosen for my children, but it's the one we have.

For or against the outcome we are a part of it. It has gotten to the point now that it is all of our fault. Even those that failed to stop it. We are failing miserably. We are not doing enough to end this madness taking place right in front of us.

I imagine when my children and grandchildren are older EVERYONE will be on the *we tried to put a stop to it* bandwagon. Watching Glenn Beck, stocking a storage room, emailing politicians and "trying" to vote them out is just not working and certainly not enough.

Most people that don't wnat to lose the USA as we know it are busy, busy, busy protecting themselves while others keep the blinders on by choice.

The fall of the United States will be the fault of every American not the media, illegals, democrats, republicans, libertarians, constitutionalists, independents, not the sheep, not folks drunk on kool-aid. Everyone.

vdavisson said...

And one day you wake up and are ruled by a very nice man that the majority voted. He’s got more power than any previous president in history. Supposedly there was no other way out of the mess, but it turns out that they are repeating the same mistakes that landed you there in the first place.

The thirst for power grows, nothing gets solved, and its hard to see light at the end of the tunnel.


I think that's where the US is now. We skipped a few steps along the way. And this "nice man" is friends with Castro, the Kirchners, Zelaya and Chavez. Oh and he bows to the Japanese emperor and the Saudi king.