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Old 02-15-2010, 04:17 PM   #21
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Personally, this looks like marketing to me. There is a lot of fear out there and there is a sizable and growing audience to whom this stuff sounds plausible. Have a gander at the survivalist community via stuff like the WTSHTF forums - they eat this stuff up. The funny thing is that they seem to not really know what will cause the apocalypse and therefore are constantly on the lookout for something that might fit the bill. Used to be the USSR, then terrorists, then Iran/N Korea, now it seems to be economic something or other. But most of these folks are convinced the end is coming, by golly, and they will spot the one true cause eventually.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:28 PM   #22
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But most of these folks are convinced the end is coming, by golly, and they will spot the one true cause eventually.
This is a bit of a different slant, but I thought this looked like a good business opportunity . . .

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Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA -- “The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” says the Web site -- a service that promises to rescue and care for the animals left behind by raptured Christians.
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:47 PM   #23
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So you do you really think our society will collapse worse than Italy ( much higher debt and lower output than US) or Argentina (already had several debt bombs) or God forbid Zimbabwe.

People still live and go to work everyday in all those countries. Maybe Americans are weaker, but I doubt it.

Not too many people are willing to kill their neighbors just because the govt. defaults on some debt, but maybe we will suprise ourselves

I think I would spend my time worrying about something else. If you are really concerned then I would invest in some foreign investments that you think will hold their value. Farmland ain't worth much to a city slicker
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Old 02-15-2010, 04:56 PM   #24
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This is a bit of a different slant, but I thought this looked like a good business opportunity . . .
Hey, full employment for heathens, pagans, and atheists!

Perhaps the post-rapture government (how many politicians are going, yathink?) can set up a special department...

I like it!

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Old 02-15-2010, 05:09 PM   #25
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There will be some sort of problem with all of us baby boomers going into retirement, medical care for sure,of course this will free up jobs for younger people. As for the rest of the problems. don't know. But just in case I have kept my boy scout manual, be prepared son, be prepared.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:13 PM   #26
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Eternal Earth-Bound Pets, USA -- “The next best thing to pet salvation in a Post Rapture World,” says the Web site -- a service that promises to rescue and care for the animals left behind by raptured Christians.
The other day I was driving behind a Jag with a sticker that read: "In case of Rapture, this car will be unmanned".
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:27 PM   #27
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+1

Having spent a lot of my youth on grandparents farm, know that true subsistence farming is hard work and not for the squeamish. Takes a lot of forethought and prep work, even then takes a few years to get going from scratch. Oh and better have some money until the farm starts producing raw food.

Few real farmers will pitch in to help the newly minted survivalist.
I should clarify that I am not talking about survivalism or "the end of civilization as we know it". Any survivalist who couldn't kill me in ten seconds blindfold with one hand tied behind his back doesn't deserve the name. I'm not a "real farmer" and have no plans to become one, but in the sort of circumstances I'm thinking about—an extended bad economy with high inflation and/or unemployment—I'd be willing to share what knowledge I have with anyone who wanted or needed to learn.

I do think that ensuring that one has enough land to grow one's own food is a prudent step to take. Also prudent would be not waiting until one needs to feed oneself before learning to make use of that food-producing capacity. I would grow vegetables and fruit anyway, because I enjoy gardening. So if the bad times never arrive, my garden will keep me in fresh new potatoes and ripe peaches warm off the tree and other taste treats you can't buy in any store, and all the little luxuries (like artichokes and asparagus) that I'm too cheap to buy as often as I'd like to eat them. If bad times do come, I'll know I have the option of ramping up production to produce a significant fraction, even if not everything, that I need to eat. I think probably almost anyone could learn to grow some food. Even a small amount of fresh vegetables and fruit might make the difference between good health and vitamin deficiency diseases for someone who can't afford to buy more than a bare subsistence diet of beans and rice or the like.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:42 PM   #28
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No but it isn't magic either. The growing season is only once per year so you better have enough provisions on hand to get you through to the end of harvest already. And then you better know how to store and preserve your harvest to make it last for another 9-12 months. And that's assuming your land will start producing food right away. For that you'll probably need to keep the farm in some kind of minimal state of readiness.
Well, I'm cheating, because I'm on the west coast, which has a much milder climate than most of the rest of the country, so the portion of the year when you can't harvest something to eat fresh out of the garden is not as long. In fact, I think by using coldframes and the like, one could have some kind of fresh vegetable almost any day of the year. But to have fruit every day, you would need to preserve it. I've done a little of that in the past, mostly simple stuff like jam.

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No doubt you could make it work but it would take an awful lot of planning and preparation.
True, but no more than other worthwhile endeavors which are successfully accomplished by E-R forum members.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:53 PM   #29
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My grand parents had a farm and were almost self-sufficient. They grew their own fruits and veggies. They used to freeze and can extensively. They also had a root cellar to store root veggies over the winter. Of course, by spring, they were eating a whole lot of potatoes and cabbage. They had cows for milk, chicken for eggs, and bees for honey. They dried their own hams and sausages. They had a bread oven to make their own bread. They even grew medicinal plants to make homemade remedies.

Still they were not truly self sufficient. They still needed to buy flour, sugar, coffee and some of their meat. Flour was an especially important ingredient for them. Sugar could be replaced by honey, coffee by chicory and meat by eggs and dairies. But there was no substitute for wheat flour.

All I can say is that it was a lot of work. And I think that most Americans would have found their lifestyle very unappealing.

My dad, who is now retired, is following a similar path towards greater self-sufficiency. But it requires a lot of preparation and patience. It took years for the orchard to start producing fruits for example. But he is getting there. Now he makes his own cider and sauerkraut. His orchard gives him cherries, apples, plums, peaches and pears. His garden yields plenty of veggies and berries. He is also collecting rain water in massive underground tanks to water his garden. He shares part of his bounty with his neighbor and, in exchange, he gets milk, eggs, cured meat, cheese and some well rotted manure to fertilize his gardens. A nice stream goes through his property, so he could fish too.

Personally, I think that urbanites who think they can just buy a farm and be self-sufficient the first year are not being realistic.
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Old 02-15-2010, 05:57 PM   #30
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We only have ourselves to blame. We (the American people) vote these guys into office and allow the special interests to manipulate the system. Why are the fossil fuel energy companies still subsidized (isn't the industry mature enough after all this time)?

What I don't understand is the situation in Greece for example. Why does the EU need to bail out the holders of Greek debt and how would a default threaten the integrity of the Eurozone?

So far the only explanation I've heard is the old contagion and systemic failure argument. I believe this argument somewhat for AIG but it doesn't ring true for Greece. People have long been aware of the excessive borrowing of Greece. The market should have demanded higher and higher interest rates to accept their debt offerings. Who kept lending to these people and why should German and French taxpayers have to bail them out? Am I missing something?

It seems everyone loves capitalism until it comes to the point of losses and change. The whole point is that people should take risks and sometimes you lose. No one should take risks that threaten the integrity of the entire system.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:23 PM   #31
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We only have ourselves to blame. We (the American people) vote these guys into office and allow the special interests to manipulate the system. Why are the fossil fuel energy companies still subsidized (isn't the industry mature enough after all this time)?

What I don't understand is the situation in Greece for example. Why does the EU need to bail out the holders of Greek debt and how would a default threaten the integrity of the Eurozone?

So far the only explanation I've heard is the old contagion and systemic failure argument. I believe this argument somewhat for AIG but it doesn't ring true for Greece. People have long been aware of the excessive borrowing of Greece. The market should have demanded higher and higher interest rates to accept their debt offerings. Who kept lending to these people and why should German and French taxpayers have to bail them out? Am I missing something?

It seems everyone loves capitalism until it comes to the point of losses and change. The whole point is that people should take risks and sometimes you lose. No one should take risks that threaten the integrity of the entire system.
What I love is how the Greek government, as late as last week, was claiming that it needed no help from the EU but now that vox populi is making itself heard, they are b!tching that help is not coming fast enough...
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:44 PM   #32
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While self reliance in terms of food is a great thing, I am not too worried about it.
If food is not available through local farmer's markets, or grocery stores, I am guessing Insulin won't be either. And if I can't get insulin, I don't need to worry about food for very long
My wife, on the other hand, is pretty good with veggies and potatoes in our garden
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Old 02-15-2010, 07:15 PM   #33
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What I don't understand is the situation in Greece for example. Why does the EU need to bail out the holders of Greek debt and how would a default threaten the integrity of the Eurozone?
The Euro is a strange currency. Each nation makes its own policy, but it cannot manipulate exchange rates.

The northern countries-read Germany- don't really want the wastrel countries to be tempted to drop out of the system and go back to their original currencies. If Greece pulled out and devalued, thus avoiding for a time at least the need to cut spending and increase taxes, several other nations such as Spain, Portugal, and perhaps even Italy would be tempted to take the same course. This might well create a loss of confidence in Eurozone bonds and a lot of other things. The German public might not be too pleased to have given up one of the world's strongest currencies to be linked with some of Europe's weakest economies, and economies that show no more discipline or inclination to solve their problems than does the US.

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Old 02-15-2010, 08:41 PM   #34
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The Euro is a strange currency. Each nation makes its own policy, but it cannot manipulate exchange rates.

The northern countries-read Germany- don't really want the wastrel countries to be tempted to drop out of the system and go back to their original currencies. If Greece pulled out and devalued, thus avoiding for a time at least the need to cut spending and increase taxes, several other nations such as Spain, Portugal, and perhaps even Italy would be tempted to take the same course. This might well create a loss of confidence in Eurozone bonds and a lot of other things. T
Ha
I'm not sure it's such a serious threat (the loss of Greece from the Euro). If Greece dropped the Euro their prior debt would still remain denominated in Euros. The could inflate their new currency all they want but it would not affect their Euro debt.

Their choice then would be to default on the Euro debt. They would then still need to place debt to fund their deficit (albeit a somewhat smaller amount in nominal, new currency terms). No other country would agree to buy bonds in their new currency (surely at any reasonable interest rate). A good example is Argentina.

What if for example a state like Oklahoma defaulted on their debt. Surely a default of this size wouldn't threaten the US financial system. The debt of Oklahoma shouldn't be backed with the full faith and credit of the US treasury. Oklahoma debt is not risk-free yet somehow I imagine that if something bad were to happen we would be told that a default is not in the best interest of the system. Afterwards we'd all be asked to pick up the tab.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:30 AM   #35
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I garden as a hobby, and I've thought a little on what it would take to survive without being able to buy food at a store.

I'd be in real trouble

The first step would be to get a gun and shoot as many deer and rabbits as possible. Not only would they be good to eat, but they are one of the biggest problems I have as a gardener. If I couldn't get a gun, I'd have to rely on using my Have-a-Heart trap to catch rabbits, possums, and squirrels. I've caught all three already, so I could get at least a little meat.

I would probably eat a whole lot of the tiny bluegill that abound in the lakes around here.

For vegetables, I would probably want to focus on producing mainly potatoes, tomatoes, beans, peas, and squash. They are pretty easy to grow, and most of them can keep through the winter.

Getting through the Minnesota winter would be tough. I suspect that I would have to rely on my flab to get me through the first one. I could lose 50 lbs without being too thin, so I bet I would survive at least one winter


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No but it isn't magic either. The growing season is only once per year so you better have enough provisions on hand to get you through to the end of harvest already. And then you better know how to store and preserve your harvest to make it last for another 9-12 months. And that's assuming your land will start producing food right away. For that you'll probably need to keep the farm in some kind of minimal state of readiness.

No doubt you could make it work but it would take an awful lot of planning and preparation.
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Old 02-16-2010, 10:41 AM   #36
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A middle ground here is actually pretty easy to find. He might have started by saying . . . "With tax receipts expected to be just 14.8% of GDP in 2010, the lowest level in 60 years, it is clear that some tax increases need to be part of the long-term fiscal solution . . . "
Everyone hoping that the government will soon take more of our money will be pleased to know that the CBO predicts the government will soon be taking more of the GDP, so no need to worry.




And how does present government spending compare to the historical averages, as a percent of GDP? Note the scale on the graph below, it's not expanded like the one above.



Spending, not insufficient taxation, is the problem.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:41 PM   #37
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Right on Trend

It looks like current US Gvmt spending is right on the long term trend.

By the end of the next century they will be over 100 percent. Add in State and local spending and we'll be way over 100 percent
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File Type: bmp Graph_US_Spending GDP_mod.bmp (286.2 KB, 9 views)
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:06 PM   #38
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Help me out here. Govt. spending is 45% of GDP, but tax reciepts is only 14.8%? So the 30% gap is just borrowing? Is this saying 30% of our GDP is debt driven? I'm missing something here.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:35 PM   #39
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Help me out here. Govt. spending is 45% of GDP, but tax reciepts is only 14.8%? So the 30% gap is just borrowing? Is this saying 30% of our GDP is debt driven? I'm missing something here.
Things are bad, but not that bad. What I suspect we are looking at is total (federal) outlays as a percentage of GDP versus income tax receipts. I suspect that the 14.8% figure does not include the payroll and other (non-income) tax receipts. The (federal) deficit this year is ball-parked at around 10% of GDP.


More fun things to share....

your share of the debt will go up $6000 per person (or $19000 per family) in 2010.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:32 PM   #40
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Everyone hoping that the government will soon take more of our money will be pleased to know that the CBO predicts the government will soon be taking more of the GDP, so no need to worry.
.
I love how people link to things and don't even bother to read them. According to the CBO projections samclem linked to . . .

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Almost half of the increase in those receipts relative to the size of the economy results from the currently scheduled expiration of a host of tax provisions.
In other words, tax increases (a.k.a. the expatriation of tax cuts. Most of which will never happen and all of which are opposed by Paul Ryan's budget).

But the point wasn't whether tax increases are more meritorious than spending cuts. Rather it is that you can't hold unwaveringly to your particular partisan position and complain about the lack of bipartisanship. But that's precisely what's happening now. "I'm for bipartisan solutions as long as the other side completely capitulates to everything I want."

And yes, spending cuts are needed . . .too.
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