Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Saving our future

This last weekend my grandfather and I sat down and discussed what would happen and how to survive if the economy collapsed. He made sure to remind me at the start that I don't know what hard times are, and he's right. There's always been a program around to help people out weather it be welfare, unemployment, or even food stamps. No one in this country really knows what hard times are like compared to what the people during the Great Depression went through. They had one thing going for them, they had land and knowledge to grow food along with most of the public not really being city dwellers. Today it's quite the opposite. The majority of people are city dwellers, what's worse is we have gotten away from our agrarian roots.

There are two models to look at to decide what the possible outcomes are for us in the event that there is a major crash of our currency and economy. When Russia collapsed their two main exporting partners were North Korea and Cuba. When trade was cut off with North Korea the government just let their people starve. Now most of the people in North Korea are either government employees or cannibals. Cuba on the other hand did things different. Cuba sent out a mandate and loosened up their rules to require that every person start growing their own food. Any available land was to be used for gardening, people in a way had property rights, but this was the key to their survival. The main difference between North Korea and Cuba is that North Korean's are starving while Cubans started prospering more than they had in the past. Looking at this example, we need to start thinking about following the Cuban example.

There is a big possibility that we may not even have a collapse, although my opinion is that it's already happening. If there is no collapse, we could get accidentally rich, if there is a collapse we're prepared and will have a greater chance of survival. We as a society need to start pulling together now instead of waiting for the collapse to happen, then react. I think by pulling together we could actually save our country and bring it back into prosperity and in line with the Constitution again.

If you own vacant land you can do many things and this actually puts you in a better position than most. You have the opportunity to turn that land into a Liberty Garden (Term used during the Great Depression for gardens within the cities). 1 acre of land could feed up to 5 people including yourself if you manage it just right, think of share cropping. Another idea is allowing those who are dislodged from their homes the ability to camp on the property. I think 1 acre could fit up to 5 families, but it would allow them to have a place to stay and have security in numbers. They could even grow mini gardens. I'm not saying let people live there for free or that their entitled to have a piece of your land, but what I am saying is there are many barter deals that can be worked out such as giving a small portion from each garden to you for usage of the land. If there is surplus, you can either donate or sell the remainder, but several people would be grateful and this would be a step on a positive direction for our country, but I'll let you work out the details.

If you don't own land, but you own a house with a small yard, there's many possibilities there too. There are plenty of people in apartments that would be willing to do a little work to have a garden, me being one of them. For example, I would be willing to rototiller and buy the seeds myself if I just had a place to grow a garden if I were to be able to grow in someone's back yard. It would only be fair that we both work the garden, but I'm willing to do the hard work in order to get a reward that I would otherwise not have. If things got really bad, being able to camp in a back yard next to the garden would be most beneficial because I know that I would safe and I could do work around the house to pay for being able to have a place to live. In a collapse money will be worthless, so barter is the only way to go. The good thing about barter is it will weed out the crooks really quick so that you'll end up dealing with mostly honest people within a year or so.

Right now the U6 unemployment rate is around 20% which is just over 60 million people out of work. There is about another 20% or 60 million people who are underemployed. There are a total of around 120 million people hurting in our society and trying to make things work, so even if there's not a collapse, there's a lot of people who could benefit from a hand up under the current conditions. The most important things that people need in the hardest of times are food, water, and shelter. The great thing about being a Christian nation is knowing that we're all in this together regardless of religion, race, or creed. There's a reason why Glenn Beck is going to Wilmington Ohio, which has partially inspired this article.

There are those who do not have property or a house, but you have knowledge. It's a good idea to make sure that you take the time to teach us city dwellers how to garden. There's a lot to gardening such as soil, planting, and drying out seeds. Instructing people is just as valuable as having property or a house, so don't be shy.

There's no point in doing any of this though if you don't get the word out. There are plenty of community engagements where you can make announcements and let people know to get prepared or at least get them to pull together to help the people in the community. This brings to mind what my grandma told me about Apple Valley California where she just moved from. She has told me that there are so many people there that are out of work and most of them are over 40. She's told me stories of going to the grocery store and buying them a couple bags of groceries, but she's also fortunate to be well off as well.

I think we as a society have forgotten what made us great. I think the older generations in our society have a great role to play because they've got the life experiences the younger generations don't have. This is a chance for us to come together and change the tide of things to come. What made the Depression generation so strong is that they banded together and realized that there are more important things in life than life's distractions. What will save use from our utter destruction is our pulling together. I've been taught through mentors over the years about people having roles in society and its time to step up and accept our roles because we've gotten away from that and that's what's been hurting our society for the last 20+ years.


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