Is Economic Collapse Inevitable?

by Evan on May 17, 2010

Welcome to this week’s SurviveInPlace.com’s Urban Survival Newsletter.

This week we’re going to touch on the potential for economic collapse in the US and what you can do about it TODAY, new protocols that are replacing 72-hour kits, collapsible airsoft targets, & Bug-Out-Bags.

It seems like I hear reports that either the economy is turning around or the housing market is turning around at least a couple of times a week.

While I agree that it’s great to be optimistic…and I understand that consumer confidence can and will help bring the country out of a recession, the thought that things are turning around anytime soon is simply delusional and unhealthy for you to buy into. That doesn’t mean you need to be bummed about it…it just means that it would be intelligent to be aware of what’s going on and take appropriate action.

Here is just a sampling of some of the many artificial props in the economy right now that are keeping prices low and giving us an “economic honeymoon”…

-Excess inventory due to businesses going out of business. (electronics, furniture, etc.)

-Excess inventory due to individuals selling off all they can in yard sales and on ebay.

-Artificial liquidity due to the Japanses post office buying US Treasuries, even though they’re bankrupt (I think they are actually worse off than we are!)

-Artificial liquidity in the dollar due to citizens in Greece, Ireland, and the EU in general moving their money from Euros to dollars.

-Artificially high real estate prices due to interest being rates so low that the risk premium has been removed.

-Artificially high real estate prices due to excessive tax credits and other government interventions.

-Artificially high real estate prices due to banks keeping bad debt on the book so as to not tank their entire portfolios.

-Artificially high real estate prices due to investors and families making incredible (unsustainable) sacrifices to pay the mortgages on their 2nd homes and investment properties that they can’t sell because they owe more than the homes are worth.

-Artificially high commercial real estate prices due to banks not foreclosing so as to not tank their entire portfolios.

-Artificially high stock prices due to Harry S. Dent’s “great boom” retiring…which will affect prices when retirees begin moving retirement funds out of stocks and into more conservative investments.

-Artificially high financial stock prices due to credit default swaps not showing up as the liability that they truly are.

-Artificially high bond rates b/c of buying our own debt in exchange for short-sighted deals with China.

-AND, of course…printing lots of US dollars in the face of a dropping GDP.
(I could go on)

Someday soon, some or all of these “props” are going to go away. It could happen gradually, they could fall quickly in succession, like dominoes, or several could happen all at once after a natural disaster or major terrorist incident on US soil.

Regardless, all of these problems HAVE to get worked out of the market. Will you be ready?

More importantly, will you have your head screwed on so that you can keep a positive, realistic attitude, regardless of the circumstances.

Sometimes, I’m accused of being all “doom and gloom” because I am aware of the threats we face. Actually, the opposite is true. While I have my eyes wide open and am very aware of hundreds of economic, manmade, and natural threats, I’m quite happy.

Here’s part of my secret…I choose to take immediate decisive action on the few things in my life that I have control over and decide are most important.

What do I do with the rest?

I turn the rest over to God and/or simply refuse to let it suck my time/energy…but whatever I do, I don’t WORRY about things I can’t control and I definitely don’t let those things consume my thoughts and take time away from productive thinking and living. Worrying and fretting about things that you can’t control acts like battery acid in your brain…ruining your mood, relationships, and even your ability to think clearly. This can manifest itself in the form of depression, lowered immunity, and many believe cancer.

Going back to the possibility of a coming economic collapse, what CAN you do? Well, you can’t balance the national budget today, but you can get politically active…not only by voting and going to rallys, but by contacting representatives and offering to help do research for them.

If you don’t have a fully stocked rural retreat already set up with neighbors who know and trust you, it’s unlikely that you will be able to put that in place between now and when something major happens. Even if you get moved to a rural location, it could take a decade or even a generation for your neighbors to stop seeing you as “the new guy” or “an outsider.”

So keep working towards that goal…but accept the fact that things may not happen on your schedule. In the meantime, you CAN keep buying food/medical supplies for your current home, learning survival skills, simplifying your life, and getting to know your neighbors and finding out who’s switched on.

As you’re making your preparations for natural/manmade/economic disasters, keep asking yourself the following question, “Will what I’m doing/planning/buying be worthwhile regardless of whether or not a disaster ever happens during my lifetime?” If you can answer yes, then you’ll probably be much happier 1, 5, and 20 years down the road.

5 day kit replaces 72 hour kit?

700 small earthquakes hit Utah every year and smart residents are continually preparing for “the big one.” With major earthquakes hitting Haiti, Chili, Baja, and Indonesia in the last couple of months, earthquake experts in Utah have changed their recommendation from 72 hour kits to 5 day kits. Why? They’re being realistic about both local and national relief agencies not being able to respond quickly due to ever tightening budgets.

This doesn’t just apply to Utah. Budgets for first responders are shrinking around the country and if you don’t already have a few basic 72 hour kits cached in various locations (each floor of your house, each car, office, etc.) now would be a good time to do so…and beef them up with a few thousand extra calories, more meds, and more water and/or purification tools.

If you want more information on preparing for economic disasters, disaster psychology, or 72 hour kits, make sure to go to SurviveInPlace.com and check out my complete Urban Survival Course.

CHEAP collapsible airsoft target frame:

As I mentioned last week, I love training with airsoft. It allows me to get a LOT more trigger time than I could afford if shooting lead was my only option, and it allows me to train scenarios that I can’t do on my local ranges.

One problem with airsoft is that normal airsoft targets are small and incapable of taking repeated hits from quality airsoft guns.

I’ve solved this problem by making my own target frame/backstop for under $30 and using full size (2’x4′) targets. Granted, this isn’t original OR rocket science, but it is a great solution for airsoft training.


This is the entire frame/backstop with a target attached

Basically, I made the target frame out of 2 10 foot sections of 1 1/2″ PVC pipe. The 4 vertical sections are 3′ long, the 2 horizontal cross pieces are 2′ long, and the 4 legs are 1′ long, for a total of 20′ of pipe with absolutely no waste. I connected all the pieces with 2 elbows and 4 Ts and capped the legs with 4 caps. All of the PVC parts cost me about $20.


Here is JUST the frame. As you can see, it’s VERY simple and fast to put together.

Home Depot will let you cut PVC in the store with their saws, so you don’t even need to buy a saw.

There’s enough friction on the fittings to keep everything together, and it’s easy to break everything down as much as you want for storage.

As a bonus, 2′ and 3′ sections of PVC make great improvised weapons : )

For the backdrop, I started out with a $7 tarp folded and draped over the top. It was louder than I liked, so I threw a $7 moving blanket from UHaul over it. It’s absorbed thousands of focused hits so far without giving out, but when it starts to, all I need to do is slide the blanket up or down so my impact area is different.

When I tri-fold the moving blanket I have, it is just slightly narrower than my target and two clothespins are all that I need to secure targets in place.

I keep a box underneath the target/blanket and it catches 90-95% of the airsoft BBs, making cleanup a breeze.

Of course, you could also accomplish the same thing by draping a blanket over a door at the end of a hallway or over a doorway chin-up bar, but the PVC frame will allow you to practice entering a room and engaging a target, engaging the target behind partial cover, or hundreds of other scenarios that most people don’t have the facilities to practice regularly.

Bug Out Bags

One of our staff writers, Henre’ Neville, wrote a very practical article on Bug Out Bags that you’ll want to read. He covers some very practical experience, real life consequences of not having pre-stocked/positioned Bug-Out-Bags, and some ideas of what to put in yours. You can read the whole article here:
http://secretsofurbansurvival.com/entry.php?22

What’s the difference between a Bug Out Bag and a 72 hour kit? I went over both, as well as the MAJOR differences in a one hour interview I did awhile back, but basically a 72 hour kit gives you 72 hours to get to your home, a cache, or to establish a short/long term food/water supply. A bug out bag, on the other hand, is for when you have to evacuate your primary shelter (home) for an undetermined amount of time. It will contain more legal documentation, money, medications, and other personal items.

That’s it for this week. Try to make a point of making daily progress on your Urban Survival/Preparedness/Self-Reliance journey this week, with an emphasis on “doing” and “practicing” rather than simply reading/learning.

With most survival books/websites, people read a lot and agree that it’s all important, but rarely implement more than one or two things because of information overload.

That’s one of the reasons why the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course is so valuable…it is broken up into weekly bite-sized chunks that you’re encouraged to take action on. It includes both announced and unannounced bonuses, an ever increasing number of audio lessons, AND students have the option to receive my book, “Urban Survival Guide” or additional lessons at the end of the course. To read the course description, go here:
Of course, if you simply want a teaser, check out UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com, or I just released the first 12 lessons from the course in book form on Amazon.com. You can purchase it by going to: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1450582230?tag=surviveinplac-20

Comments or questions? Fire away by commenting below!

Take care, and stay safe!

David Morris
UrbanSurvivalGuide.com/SurviveInPlace.com
UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com
SecretsOfUrbanSurvival.com.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Evan
May 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm

Outstanding article David! I share your skepticism of the alleged market turnarounds. There are economic props deployed globally. Props are what they are – temporary support devices. They will not be effective forever. I’ve read numerous predictions (from news media – not “extremists”) that our economy will collapse in 2010. I’ve also read about predicted food shortages beginning later this year, initially in the form of greatly increased food prices; although I’ve not yet verified that to my satisfaction. In any event, time is of the essence.

I’ve looked at land in various locations for about four years now. Bottom line is – I will not move away from my daughter and son-in-law (they don’t entirely buy all this…). Unless I’m bugging out with them, I’ll make my stand here in the suburbs, if need be. I will do fine, until the gangs come (MS-13 has a small presence in the urban area 30 miles away; not to mention the millions of starving “Golden Horde” that will develop). I’m not convinced that long-term urban/suburban survival is possible; aside from some amount of luck. I do know two rural locations we could bug out to, assuming it’s possible to get there. They are small rural communities where I am already known and trusted. I have a standing offer from a couple in one town and I have a motor home by a lake in the other. Making it to either post-SHTF would depend entirely on the scenario and the benefit of advanced warning. I continue to prepare, adjust priorities, learn and plan for multiple scenarios. Like you say, the rest is in God’s hands. Never been much of a worrier; it just clouds logic…

The 5-day idea makes great sense. Not a problem unless I’m forced to move on foot, then weight could become an issue. Time to reassess contents, prioritize, and re-org. I wonder how practical a wheeled cart would be in such a situation. Maybe similar to a nice target on my back…

Okay, you’ve taunted me with the airsoft training a few times now. I have to get one. It will greatly increase the frequency and breadth of my training. I appreciate the information on the training and the target. Thank you for your work David!

Learn, train, prepare – and enjoy life!
Scott

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Vote -1 Vote +1WALTER HRANOWSKI
October 3, 2010 at 12:19 am

YOU USED THE DECEASED WORD, “MIDWEST” IN YOUR ARTICLE AND IT MADE ME FREEZE IN PLACE. YOU ARE SAYING THE ENTIRE US IS IN THE WEST. MID MEANS MIDDLE. THE CONESTOGA WAGANS COULD NOT FULLY LOAD UP WITH SUPPLIES SO THEY SAID WE WILL STOP MIDWAY TO THE WEST COAST AND RESUPPLY IN ORDER TO KEEP OUR WEIGHT DOWN TO PROTECT OUR WAGON AXELS! THE SAME PROCEDURE WAS REPEATED ON THE RETURN TRIP BACK TO THE EAST.

MR. CHERTOFF STATES WE CANNOT USE EAST/EAST IN THE NAME OF THE CENTRAL U S DUE TO THE NOW LARGER U S POST LA/CALIF PURCHASE, THE LARGEST LAND DEAL IN HISTORY. USE NORTH/SOUTH CENTRAL U S, THE HEARTLAND, THE PRAIRIE STATES, AND THE PLAIN STATES.

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Vote -1 Vote +1David Morris
October 4, 2010 at 10:22 am

Hi Walter,

Thanks for writing in.

I grew up in the midwest. I’ll be incorrect, according to Mr. Chertoff, and refer to the breadbasket of the US as the midwest until the day I die. 🙂 It may not be politically correct…but if it’s politically incorrect, then it’s just going to encourage me to use it more.

But seriously, it’s simply a matter of communication. What truly matters is that when I say “Midwest,” everyone in my audience knows the area that I’m talking about. By using the word “midwest,” I am able to effectively and efficiently communicate an idea. Until the majority of my audience rejects the word, I’ll continue to use it. More importantly, I’ll use whatever words are the most efficient to help convey survival principals to my readers.

Thanks,

David

Reply

Vote -1 Vote +1shirley
October 22, 2010 at 8:20 pm

Thanks, David. I’m also from the “Midwest”, and I appreciate both Walter’s and your explanation of it. i enjoy all of your ideas on Survival, David. That subject of being prepared has always interested me and that’s why my husband and I are in the personal defense business. I have one daughter who believes as I do and is preparing her family. I have two other daughters, back in the “Midwest” who do not have a clue, and get impatient when I bring it up. Any ideas on how to approach near family members in a convincing way? By near, I mean “near to my heart”. Thank you.

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