Monday, October 22, 2012

The Modern Survival Manual on American Thinker

I’m proud to see that my book, "The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse" was referenced to on American Thinker as expert´s advice. (thanks Rand for the heads up!)
The article called “How to Destroy a Rich Country” written by Mike Konrad, explains how Argentina is a case study of bad politics and corruption.
Here’s part of the article, follow the link to read the rest.

How to Destroy a Rich Country

By Mike Konrad

 October 22, 2012

The next election may determine where America is headed -- to a restoration of its greatness, or to a retreat into the obsolescence of history.  Before one casts a vote, an example stands before us of a country that made the wrong choice, warning us what to avoid.
The country is Argentina, chiefly unknown to most Americans, apart from its creation of the tango . This ignorance on our part is inexcusable, since Argentina resembles an America that went awry.
Argentina's statistics are astounding.

Argentina is a little less than half the size of the continental United States, with a climate that runs from polar in the south to tropical in the north.  Most of Argentina's land mass is in the subtropical belt, where one finds the pampas -- arguably the best beef- and grain-growing region on the planet.  The warm extended growing season gives Argentina an advantage over our cooler Kansas and Nebraska.  There are times when Argentina has exceeded the USA in cattle product exports, and this production has been going on for over a century.  Its grain exports are enormous, and much of the planet depends on Argentina for food.  This is all the more amazing when one considers that Argentina has only 41 million people, one eighth the population of the United States.  In the early 20th century, the ratio vis-à-vis the United States was even smaller, and still the Argentines could outperform us on agricultural exports at times.

Argentina, like the United States, had massive European immigration from 1870 to 1920.  Large numbers of Italians, Germans, French, Jews, Welsh, Christian Arabs from Syria and Lebanon, Swiss, Basques, Croats, and Galacians from Northwest Spain settled in.  There were even some Irish, English, Poles, Ukrainians, and Scandanavians, though in considerably smaller numbers.
Blacks constitute only 3% of the Argentine genome, and most of those who carry African genes are now partly white through intermarriage.  The chief nonwhite minority are the indigenous native Indians, who constitute about 19% of the Argentine genome.

On a genetic level, Argentina may be more "European" than we Americans, though tending more to the Mediterranean than the Nordic.  About half the population has traces of Indian blood, but even these often pass for swarthy whites.  For all intents and purposes, Argentina, until recently, was a white European country, and boasted of it.  The real shocker is that Spanish-speaking Argentina may have more Italians than Spanish, which is why they say ciao (which they spell chau) rather than adiós.
It also has a liberal constitution roughly based on the American model.


Don Williams said...

1) Jared Diamond , a scientist at the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), has studied the issue of why some nations fail and others succeeded through out history. His books include "Guns, Germs, and Steel" (discussing biological and geographical reasons for the success of Europeans in invading the Americas) and "Collapse" (discussing how past civilizations have collapsed due to environmental degradation and failure to adapt to climate changes.)

2) Jared Diamond recently wrote an article titled "What Makes Countries Rich or Poor" that reviews a book "Why Nations Fail" by Daron Acemoglu and James Robinson.

Diamond argues that political failure only accounts for about 50% of national failures -- he thinks that places like Africa and other tropical areas face huge obstacles from disease, parasites and soil leaching. However, he does acknowledge that politics can be deadly and recommends Acemoglu/Robinson' book for a detailed description of how political failures occur.

Diamond's article is here:

3) Diamond notes:
"Among the good economic institutions that motivate people to become productive are the protection of their private property rights, predictable enforcement of their contracts, opportunities to invest and retain control of their money, control of inflation, and open exchange of currency. For instance, people are motivated to work hard if they have opportunities to invest their earnings profitably, but not if they have few such opportunities or if their earnings or profits are likely to be confiscated."

He then discusses why historically some nations have developed good governments and others have not.

4) But I think the most important factor is INCLUSIVENESS -- where ALL citizens of a country have a right to prosper. A country is badly damaged when a small, corrupt psychopathic elite tries to seize all the wealth for themselves using the power of government.

NOT because they are communists, socialists, capitalists or fascists --but because they are a small, corrupt psychopathic elite. Ideology is just a con game used to deceive the common citizens.

Gore Vidal mocked the mindset of Washington DC when he said "It is not enough to succeed -- others must fail."

A. Ruiz said...

It wasn't just the government, it was also a culture of corruption and crony capitalism that pervaded all levels of society.

I'm Latin American as well and have traveled the continent and you see the same basic problems in every latin american country.

But increasingly I am seeing it in headlines across the US. The same sort of fatalistic reasoning to justify shoddy half-assed work and outright stealing from taxpayers by bureaucrats and politicians.

The elite rich see the writing on the wall and instead of trying to save the ship and steer away from the iceberg. They're just getting dibs on the lifeboats and stealing whatever artwork and fixtures they can from their staterooms.

Anonymous said...

"Guns, Germs, and Steel" has the big failing of blithely dismissing the factor of IQ without a shred of evidence. He makes the claim that it's not a factor, comments on some useful but low-IQ skills the locals have (making ladders out of branches and vines), and ignores the aspect from then on. His overall hypothesis is good, but his claim on IQ's contribution is literally, without merit.

Greek Caste System said...

Congratulations Ferfal, but let's show the optimist side here: There are countries that go from 3rd world to first these days.
One example is Turkey: I remember visiting Turkey in the '80s where you just took a step outside of your hotel and you were surrounded by 10-15 children pushing you to polish your shoes for a cent.
Now Turkey has an emerging middle class and -unbelievable for Greece- Turkish tourists (and investors) appear in Greek islands.
Awesome, during the last 3-4 years, turkish soap operas have replaced American series in TV markets of the Balkan countries.
The Islamist movement (I am a Christian) played a role for this revival, it gave people a reason to work and to be fair.
Hope this scenario come true for Argentina some day...

Anonymous said...

It`s dangerous to live in a country with rich natural ressources.
The elites can grab these resource and finance their repressure instruments like police or army.
In countrys with no natural ressources goverments have to cooperate with the populatio.n

Anonymous said...

Hi FerFal,

You mention buying and storing antibiotics in your article about Children and a Collapse. Where do you buy antibiotics and how do your store them when there is no electrical power?

Anonymous said...

This will be variable depending on the country you live in, but in the US and most areas antibiotics can't be legally obtained without a prescription. There is, however, one gem of a loophole on this. Take a trip to your local fish store, or check online. Yes, it sounds crazy, and I wouldn't advocate it for any other scenario except prep for SHTF, but you can buy antibiotics cheap, without a prescription, when they are marketed for aquatic use. Once you realize it is the exact same compound, it doesn't seem so weird storing 'fish medicine'. Further, if manufactured and sold in the US, the antibiotics have to meet the same general FDA guidelines as anything else. You will need to figure out dosages, but that is easy.

For what its worth, I stumbled across this by accident when my kids aquarium became diseased. Found how easy it was to order pure doxycycline, penicillian, and amoxicilian online in pill form. After the meds did the trick (on the fish that is), I was going to throw them out, but figured they just might be useful in a SHTF situation. Second, most antibiotics are stable at room temp. Gotta think outside the box.

Anonymous said...

California is much like Argentina in that it has been bankrupted by corrupt leftist Democrat thugs in the state legislature who control everything. They keep promising more and more entitlement programs that cannot be sustained! They continue to threaten further cutbacks in education and basic government services unless voters approve higher taxes in the upcoming election. California taxes are already among the highest in the nation. It's leftist Marxist insanity!