What Does It Mean to “Prepare for the Economic Collapse”?

Last week I wrote an article in response to the media’s vilification of preppers in the aftermath of the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Connecticut.  The article was quoted in an article on Yahoo.com, to my great astonishment, and that is when I saw how little most people understand about prepping.  You can see in most of the 4492 comments the article received that many folks just don’t “get it”.

My inbox was filled with a barrage of  hate mail and a number of people felt compelled to leave angry (and rather ignorant) comments on my website. I got messages from people that called me “batsh*t crazy”, messages from gun control advocates, messages from people who directly blamed me and all other preppers for the massacre, and even one particularly hate-filled email from a person who said “I hope that your kids are killed at the next school shooting.

All of this leads me to reconfirm my belief that people sincerely do not understand why we do what we do, and that ignorance leads to fear.

People fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. ~ Andrew Smith

If you go back through history, the “visionaries” or “wise ones” were always mocked at best and feared at worst.  They were  cast out of society to live alone at the edge of the village; children would sneak onto their property to show their bravery; they were burned at the stake as witches and heretics.  Anything the larger percentage of people does not understand is treated as something evil and frightening.

Am I saying that preppers are all visionaries and sages?  Not in a mystical “Joan of Arc” sense – but I am saying that preppers are willing to see the writing on the wall and search for a deeper understanding.

Many preppers are preparing for an economic collapse and the subsequent social collapse that will be close behind.

If you don’t think this is realistic, then you aren’t paying attention to the world around you.

People have this image of hunger – they see it as the skeletal dark-skinned children in some third world country, bellies protruding as malnutrition sets in.

But the face of hunger and poverty today is as close as your next door neighbor. Millions of North Americans can barely afford to put their next meal on the table. They are living in their cars, if they’re lucky, and without shelter if they are not so lucky.

For many people the economic collapse has arrived. Their “end of the world” event has already occurred in the form of a job loss, the foreclosure of the family home, or an illness that has caused such massive personal debt that there is truly no way out of it.  Less than 60% of Americans who are of age to be in the work force have a full time job.  When you tally that, it means that more than 100 million people are out of work.    More than 100 million people in the United States have no jobs.  For more than 100 million people, the economic collapse has arrived in full force.

Meanwhile, as people all over the globe (think Greece, Italy, Spain, Argentina, the UK) struggle with high rates of unemployment, the prices of everything have gone up.  People are struggling to keep such simple necessities as running water and electricity. Grocery costs have skyrocketed – the World Bank released a statement that global food prices increased by 10% in ONE MONTH – July 2012.

And it’s only going to get worse – the Farm Bill was blocked by the US House of Representatives, and this means that the prices will skyrocket, as farms are no longer subsidized.  This will cause the industry to revert to the Agricultural Act written in 1949, meaning that the government is obligated to purchase dairy products from farmers at a cost that is twice what they are receiving now – this means that the price of a gallon of milk may skyrocket in January to as much as $8 per gallon. This is not an endorsement of government subsidies – this is a simple cause and effect observation to explain the reason people will be shocked when they go to the dairy case come January.

The price of food is increasing rapidly and dramatically.  Mac Slavo, of SHTFplan, wrote,

“We’ve seen what happens in countries where the populace is forced to spend 50% or more of their earned income on food. Despite how the media portrays it, the riots we’ve seen in the middle east, Greece and Spain have been largely fueled by cost increases in food and the inability of individuals to provide the basic essentials for their families.

Americans have been, for the most part, immune from these pressures thus far. But the social safety nets are very quickly becoming overburdened and prices at grocery stores are rising consistently and without pause.

With the consumer economy coming to a standstill, continued central bank monetary easing, job losses and wage reductions, and the urbanization of millions of people, it is only a matter of time before Americans are forced to spend 50% or more of their paychecks just to stay alive.”

 

When you read the above information, the case becomes clear for stocking a long-term food storage pantry. It makes personal economic sense to purchase commodities like grains for your family at today’s prices to be consumed when the price skyrockets even further.

It seems, from some of the comments I’ve  seen and received from non-preppers, that stockpiling food is acceptable, if somewhat eccentric.  But being able to defend that food is strictly out of the question.

For example:

“I have no problem with anyone stockpiling water and food for their ability to prolong their agonizing but inevitable death should this generation experience the “end of the world”. Unless you have a new planet in your back pocket that is complete with a an oxygen supply, food and water, your efforts to live past the rest of us will be the least enjoyable time spent here on earth. I believe it is the preppers’ need for stockpiling ammunition that is the bizarre twist on these so-called survival skills that is the “killer”. Pardon my pun. You see, if your survival depends on killing others than the world in which you will exist will not be worthy of keeping.”

They are delusional anti-social people. If you try to reason with them, you are attacked in the forums. You try to point out to them the truth, they slander you. These “preppers” should ALL be arrested , their food stockpiles distributed to the homeless, their guns conficated [sic]. Start with the people on the survivalist blogs.”

With all due respct [sic], many people are missing the point. Our Constitution garentees [sic] us the right to bear arms, but not to stockpile an arsenal. You folks who stockpile food and supplies are wise. It is the guns and huge quantities of bullets that are the problem.

Guns dont [sic] kill people. People who have no friends and have basements jammed full of ammo and canned goods kill people.

You know…this is just a bunch of gun nuts going out and buying all the guns they can get before the laws become stricter. Just a bunch of weak people living in fear of nothing. I choose not to live in fear and if the apocalypse comes…oh well. Sure, I’ll stock up on food when a blizzard is in the forecast…but do I have an arsenol [sic] in my basement…no. Honestly, people like peppers need to stop thinking all hell is going to break loose, and just live in REALITY.

So, this leads us to the next misconception about preppers – why do many prepared individuals feel that there might be social collapse to go along with the economic collapse?  Why do they feel that in the wake of a disaster that they and their families could be threatened?

There are very good, well-documented reasons for this.  Recent history tells us that frightened, hungry people become desperate and often violent.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, CNN reported that the city was under  siege.

“Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said his agency was attempting to work “under conditions of urban warfare.”  Police snipers were stationed on the roof of their precinct, trying to protect it from armed miscreants roaming seemingly at will.  Officers warned a CNN crew to stay off the streets because of escalating danger, and cautioned others about attempted shootings and rapes by groups of young men.”

A similar experience occurred after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast in October.  The unmitigated violence and looting had residents terrified, especially after dark.  Via Twitter, people actively planned “looting parties” as the storm bore down on the area, according to a report by Infowars.

One resident described the scene to the Huffington Post. “People are turning on each other — they’re attacking each other. Even when there’s no disaster, this building is disastrous. But after the hurricane, it just got crazy.”

 Unfortunately, it isn’t just in the wake of a disaster that the need for personal security is rising.  As the economy plummets, violent crime is in the upswing.  In 2011, the overall rate of violent crime increased by 18%.  (The numbers aren’t in yet for 2012.  As funding to police departments is reduced, the criminals have a larger window of opportunity.  The police are throwing up their hands in defeat  - they feel that they cannot protect people.  In Detroit, the police department warned people to enter the city at their own risk as budget cuts result in fewer police and shorter hours of operation.

As the economic collapse increases and more and more people are going hungry, the need for proper security and self defense will also increase in a direct ratio, particularly for those who live in highly populated areas.  Desperation breeds crime.

People must educate themselves on the relationship between economic  need and violent crime.  Only then can they make a reasonable (and morally acceptable) plan to protect themselves and their families.

The economic collapse is not some far-fetched, end-of-the-world fantasy. It is the reality that is occurring all around us, incrementally.  The collapse that has been occurring since 2008 has been one of 1000 small cuts as income goes down and expenses go up.

Ask the people in Greece whether they regret not having stocked up on food supplies when those supplies were abundantly available.  Ask the people in Argentina whether they feel the need to be armed against roving gangs and home invaders – violent crime increased by 35% in one year. One study went so far as to call property crime a tool of redistribution: “Overall, these results suggest that property crime has been used as a redistributive tool for the poorest to compensate for their impoverishment during the last decade and in particular during the ultimate crisis in Argentina.”

 This stuff is not fantasy – I have provided links to support every fact I have mentioned in this article.  Hunger, cold, crime and fear are the daily realities in many countries that once enjoyed a similar standard of living to that of the average North American.  That debt-based standard of living is unsustainable, though, and you must be able to connect these trends with what is happening in your own country in order to see the need for preparation.

For  those who say it is selfish for me to plan to take care of my responsibilities, I respond that it is selfish of you to expect me to take care of your responsibilities.  You have the same opportunities that I do to prepare.  I am far from wealthy (our income is actually below the “poverty line”) but I make room in my budget by eschewing foolish expenditures like twice-yearly vacations, new cars and the latest I-gadgets.

I don’t live in fear – I live in security, knowing that through my personal responsibility, my trust in my own instincts and my faith, I have done everything possible to protect my family from poverty, hunger and crime. If you aren’t currently prepared, I hope that the facts and statistics I’ve provided cause you to consider doing the same thing.

About the author:

Please feel free to share any information from this site in part or in full, giving credit to the author and including a link to this website and the following bio.

Daisy Luther is a freelance writer and editor.  Her website, The Organic Prepper, offers information on healthy prepping, including premium nutritional choices, general wellness and non-tech solutions. You can follow Daisy on Facebook and Twitter, and you can email her at daisy@theorganicprepper.ca

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19 Comments  to  What Does It Mean to “Prepare for the Economic Collapse”?

  1. JenB says:

    Bravo Daisy! Another excellent article! It is clear that the propaganda machine is in overtime. Say “prepper” and people assume you fear an asteroid and have created a bunker in your back yard to avoid the end of the world. How ridiculous! There are many glaring examples to show us that it is probably wise to prepare.

    With the workforce the exact same size it was 4 years ago, that tells me that there aren’t an abundance of jobs out there. We aren’t even keeping up with population growth and new people entering the workforce. My preparing is specifically for economic turmoil, which is happening ALL over the world. However, our media in the US doesn’t want you to know how bad it is. Then you have to ask yourself why they refuse to inform the citizens of how bad things really are.

    There are so many examples out there if you just open your eyes. Look at the day after Thanksgiving. If people can get violent during the Black Friday sales at the mall, do we not expect them to get violent when they no longer have food? So I suppose we should just not have any means of defending our families and let these people just come and steal everything. I mean we wouldn’t want anyone “hurt by a gun” in the process. Nevermind the fact that if they take all your supplies by force, you will be hurt by starvation. How these people think is beyond my comprehension. It makes ZERO sense. But our schools stink, so I am not surprised many have this attitude.

    There are many real reasons to prepare. The end of the world scenarios(Mayan Calendar, Asteroid, Pole shifts, etc) aren’t one of them. I want to see what people do when milk is $8/gallon. Bacon and cheese are already off the charts in terms of price. What happens when electricity rates “necessarily sky rocket” like Obama said was his plan for Cap & Trade? If you can barely afford living right now, what happens when you cannot afford you electric bill because Obama has halted coal production with his war on coal and your electric bill is twice as much as it normally is?

    The normalcy bias is alive and well. Unfortunately, these people who are so arrogant to think that “it cannot happen here” makes it hard to help others prepare for themselves, because they are too busy labelling us nutters.

  2. Gary Buckland says:

    Don’t fret — if it all happens to come to pass — all the mental midgets will be the first to go — that will help clean up the gene pool. gb

  3. Sophie says:

    Amazing how times have changed…when I was a kid, raised on a farm in Indiana, Mom canned just about everything and the freezer was always full of home-raised beef, pork and chicken. We didn’t have much money. wore hand me downs and drove beater cars but always ate well…I guess we were the “preppers” of our day.

    I would be interested to know how those who disparage those of us who know how to feed ourselves w/o going to the grocery were raised and where they live now.

    • veggimama says:

      well thats the thing Just 1 generation ago, it was the norm to provide for oneself, and stock up for the winter. with free trade food travelling around the globe, people have so easily become accustomed to not worrying where their food is coming from , or whether or not it’ll be there. now doing what generation upon generation before us has done, we are called preppers, fringe lunatics. oh well.

    • j&b fog says:

      We are doing that here now and brought up much the same way. Many to day will try and vilify me and anyone that puts up food for themselves or plans ahead for hard times. The MSM has many programed to see it this way and you’re a bad person if you have a stock of food and other supplies. Maybe some should tell these people they will have to give up their life savings and retirement savings in a disaster to those unwilling to and lazy to do anything for themselves, but just mooch off of everyone, bet that would get their attention and get it across to them fast.

  4. chicken pimp says:

    These will be some of the first people crying to FEMA, et al when they have no food. Most people dont adequately stock up for a simple storm. Ive a neighbor who thinks hes coming here if things get bad…hes too lazy to plant a single tomato seedling and expects me to take care of his sorry self and his family. He doesnt mind stealing from my garden when things are ripening but wont lift anything heavier than a fifth of liquor. Good riddance to the bums of society who expect to be coddled by those who labor to provide for themselves.

  5. Steve says:

    I’ve said that this serves the same purpose as the excessively repeated planes-crashing-into-the-twin-towers shots; to traumatize and act upon your emotions! The ones that stood in the stores watching the reruns over and over were the most hate-filled towards the alleged antagonists and hardest to convince that there’s anything that happened different from the “official story”…like now!

  6. Kauaibrad says:

    Good article.

  7. Your article is well researched and on target with the culture of dependency. As a school teacher, I’m amazed – well, I quite being shocked and amazed – at the complete lack of self-reliance and preparedness being taught to our students. Our institutional government schools are doing exactly what they were set up to do…create dependence for the puppet masters. TPTB don’t won’t folks peaking around the curtain. The whole house of cards would come tumbling down.
    What would it take to wake up the masses? And what are we wanting them to wake up to? Is it too late for wake up calls?
    I have more questions than answers these days. Personal liberty, self-reliance, and preparedness is a start. Keep doing the stuff Daisy!

  8. TexasScout says:

    Now we all see the importance of OPSEC. Tell NO ONE that you prep. We are proud of what we do to help or families and want to share that knowledge with others so they don’t suffer. But that is a two edged sword that can swing back and cut your head off. I fear we will be forced to go “under ground” like drug addicts.

    Tex

  9. Paduraru says:

    This is mature reality. This is responsible independence. This is happening worldwide! Greets from Transylvania to Daisy and all :-)

  10. JBinPA says:

    I have to agree with TexasScout. I own a 220 acre farm with a fresh water spring, I grow much of my own food, and my wife and I have many prepper skills we use in daily life, like knitting, sewing, canning, gardening, welding, and reloading. This is normal for farmers. However, I don’t tell people that I am a prepper, certainly not strangers. These people that send you hate mail cling tightly to the illusion of freedom as a government dependent, and react violently to anyone that dispels it. They will target a person for preparing because preppers (I believe we are gaining in numbers every day) cause the rest of the sheep to ask questions, which is dangerous to the statists. They want a compliant, dependent, docile population to control, and preppers represent the complete opposite. It is smart to lay low, but giving help to friends and neighbors that want to wake up.

  11. Howard says:

    Watch the fun when their food runs out. You think they are upset now wait until the government doesn’t come to their rescue.

  12. J Smith says:

    A generation or two ago “prepping” was simply what everyone did: prepare for hard times ahead of time to increase one’s chances of survival. Putting up food, saving seeds, seting aside money, and consistently living below one’s means was just what was smart to do.

    “Modern” life and a focus on debt-based living has created an artificial bubble of stability that people in the first-world live in. I’ve heard it compared to living in a salt-water aquarium. It’s nice in there. The temperature, salinity, and food levels are carefully controlled and provide the fish with what they need to live comfortably. That doesn’t change the fact that there is a harsh world beyond the glass, however. And few of the “fish” understand how fragile their artificail support-mechanisms are or how much they depend on them. If the temperature gets turned up, the power goes out, or someone forgets to feed them the fish will all quickly die.

    Like the fish, most people live blissfully unaware of how abruptly their lives could be turned upside down. Take away even one or two supports and the entire structure of modern life begins to wobble dangerously. When people see the institutions they’ve come to depend on fail, they’ll likely begin to panic. And fightened people can be dangerous to themselves and others.

    I, as much as anyone, enjoy living with modern comforts. But, like other preppers, I try to structure my life so that I don’t HAVE to rely on them should they fail. I have a Plan B” just in case. I look to older attitudes and older ways of doing things…not just because they provide safety but because they improve my quality of life now, whether disaster every happens or not.

  13. Kay Borden says:

    The ignorant always laugh the loudest when reasonable thinkers plan for the future, that rainy day for which my generation was taught to prepare. Somewhere along the way, the big laughers were so lured by the high-rolling luxury lifestyle that they arrogantly believed the rules didn’t apply to them. They didn’t need to plan for a rainy day because they would never face one. They were way too smart, way more clever, more beautiful, stronger, wittier, and faster on their feet. They drove outrageously expensive cars, bragged about how much they spent on jewelry and clothes, and laughed at us for saving – and preparing. Now, they’re out of work, out of money, and not laughing. This is not new, it’s human nature.

  14. VanMom says:

    Thank you, Daisy!

  15. mountain says:

    LOL. I grew up poor as dirt, and it has followed me all my years. If you ask my husband he will tell you that I am not a prepper, I am a realist. Cause no matter how good things may be going for you at the moment, the time will come when life won’t be all sh*t and giggles. The dingbats who think that their gold paved road has no cracks in it are the ones who scream the loudest and beg harder than anyone else when they fall into one of them cracks.

  16. Jerrytbg says:

    Nice article Ms Daisy…as always.

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