Saturday, February 13, 2016
Where We're Heading
Prepper, sustainable and homesteading blogs seem to be taking a real beating here lately. More of them are falling into disuse or closing up shop than I can count. Typically I remove a blog from my roll when it sits idle and not updated for about a year. Often times I will let em sit for longer but these days I seem to be removing more "prepper" type blogs than adding new ones. Even counting the loss of hits I was getting while having the updating problems my overall traffic has been down for the last year as well, falling from 3 to 4000 hits a day to only around 1000 to 1500 tops this Winter. Also traffic generally slows during the dead of Winter too which I find odd but whatever.
None of this is really a surprise to me though because as I pointed out some eight years ago we decline in a stair step fashion and at different intervals. At the moment we are at a landing for the masses where things have stayed pretty level while the decline has been more focused in the large scale or upper tiers of business, finances and governments. While the decline is still quite evident and continuing along at a steady pace in many ways the symptoms of it right now actually work out as a benefit to the little guys like us.
For instance? The price of fuel. Right now those who have survived the collapse better than others or managed to keep from sliding down too fast are really enjoying the dramatic drop in gas prices. When gas is cheap most Americans start to feel like the world is their oyster and things are going to be just fine. Of course in today's environment cheap gas prices is usually a very bad sign of extremely bad things to come in the near or midterm future, but hey live for the moment and all that.
Another side effect of falling commodity prices and reduced retail sales are lower prices for manufactured goods. Let me tell you the sales these days in many areas are hard to beat too. Tool prices have been falling along with many other items in the home improvement line and clothing prices seem to be following behind closely as well. A lot of this maybe after the holidays type sales but there seems to be more left for this type of thing this year.
So all this is fine and well and good you might be asking yourself but when am I going to get to the part about what comes next? Well I think it is easy to see what comes next. All tiers of government are going to use this time to put the screws in a little tighter. More taxes, more spending, more increases in salaries and pensions to drive the wedge between the shrinking middle class and the new aristocracy class of government employees a bit deeper. More calls for monetary controls even an end to cash itself if they can get away with it as the Fed or central banks continue to eat debt and manipulate the figures. We recently saw another crash forming in the markets until all of a sudden the big hidden buyers started firing up their machines once again and seemingly pulled assets back up by their boot straps.
Remember. And you can take this to the bank. The markets will not crash until the collapse is already in full un-controlled free fall. AT this stage of the game no Western government can allow a market crash like we saw in 08. The devastation it would wreck in the pension market is just too great and would cause wide scale panic.
Governments are going to grab all they can while they can for the next several months once again. Generally people with more disposable income are more agreeable to new taxes, fees etc. and no government is going to let this opportunity go to waste. Now would be a good time to convert taxable property into non-taxable property or non-trackable storage items. Expand your preps but shrink your footprint so to speak. When this commodities and energy price decline breaks the wealth disparity is going to jump and widen by leaps and bounds in a very short amount of time and we need to be prepared for it. The current lower prices is going to have some bad side effects in the business debt and bonds sectors and many companies will not survive it leading to possible shortages when the bubble pops.
So my advice right now is as I said reduce your taxable footprint while increasing stores and items that will prove useful in the near to long term future. Focus on things that will continue to produce and can be used for barter or trade in a cashless or semi-cashless environment and reduce bank accounts to levels that will fly under the radar if at all possible. Get ready for inflation (especially in fuel costs) and shortages to rear their ugly heads when the corporate bond and debt bubble bursts because more stealth money printing will be coming to avoid another market crash when that bubble does burst. If you have the means increase garden size or output as we may very well see shortages or highly elevated food prices by the end of Summer or Fall of this year. Depends on how long the Fed can continue to eat corporate debt and as I have said before they amaze me at how far they can kick that can. It is possible they will attempt to deflate the corporate bond bubble by shafting the investors in that market so I would definitely get out of that sector if I was in it.
At the end of this cycle we are going to see a dramatic shift and increase in the wealth disparity once again. Many of us that have managed to hold on to the shrinking middle class shelf will find ourselves falling off it if we don't have a government check safety this time.
Better get ready.
Keep Prepping Everyone!!!!!!