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  •  LF, tx for this diary; pls take it one step more.. (17+ / 0-)

    for a non finance person such as myself, it seems like we are in for some serious shit. (to coin a phrase!)   I appreciate that you took on the topic

    Reading the diary on the wreck list ..." it didn't really deal with the consequences of such a collapse.

    OK, we see the icebergs in the water.  We see that the 1% are partying like there's no tomorrow.  We see that our ship is named the Titanic.  So, what's an average schmuck to do?  How can we construct a lifeboat?  What lifevests do we need to get?  

    Please try to sketch out WHAT, JUST WHAT you have been thinking about:

    Such lack of clarity and unwillingness to act on both sides of the pond has had the effect on my partner and I on how we are best going to come out of this potential meltdown, and what can we do for the future.

    I have been thinking in those terms for a long time and I cannot come up with anything beyond:

    1) get out of debt,
    2) scale back expenses to the bone,
    3) save,
    4) work on one's job (in whatever way that applies,)
    5) keep one's car maintained
    6) develop whatever self sustaining skills you can
    7) seriously work on improving your health w/lifestyle changes, so you have to use the "medical system" as little as possible
    8) find local supplies of food, etc. and support local

    To me the nightmare scenario is if a Rethuglican was elected in 2012.  Then all bets are off and I would want to move.  But and here's the but; TO WHERE?  This seems to be a global problem anyway.

    So, LF, any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.  And of course, the thoughts of anyone else.  We need to prepare for tough times ahead and this will take some great creative thinking and some prescience.  Let's get our heads together on this.

    Thanks for your diary.

    I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

    by SeaTurtle on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 12:35:42 PM PST

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    •  Learn to move off the dollar? (9+ / 0-)

      I expect the underground economy is huge and growing by necessity. Folks not reporting income, bartering and generally surviving without cash simply because the system won't give them any.

      I don't have any evidence or know how to get it, I just can't believe it isn't happening.

    •  You should add (9+ / 0-)

      9. Build networks. Build them within your profession, but even more so build locally. Your local small ag food producers have been screwed as have low to mid level workers in all sorts of industries. What benefits can you exchange outside the defined financial system? Automatic Earth talks about this a lot. It's a tinfoil hat blog, but so far it has been prescient up to three years before events have caught up.
      To tell the truth, a lot of what they advocate was used to some extent during the 1970s, but even more so during the 1930s and 40s, when money meant less than connections.

      "Bootstraps are a fine invention as long as they are attached to boots." blueoasis

      by northsylvania on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:21:55 PM PST

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      •  Yes, thank you, I will add that as #9, h/t to you! (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, ozsea1, Creosote, northsylvania

        I just spent some time looking over the blog; interesting.  The link you provided surprised me - they list a lot of the things that I have listed.  And they also list more ideas.

        I really think we had better start thinking this way in order to get ready.  Oi Vey!

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 02:40:11 PM PST

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        •  I'm glad you like it :-) (0+ / 0-)

          Their advice has been in the back of my mind influencing decisions for a while now.
          I'm glad you brought this to the attention of Kossaks, though there have been some good examples here as well, especially when a long time member like indecemopants or Nurse Kelley is in trouble. Every little helps!

          "Bootstraps are a fine invention as long as they are attached to boots." blueoasis

          by northsylvania on Mon Nov 28, 2011 at 04:49:13 AM PST

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    •  Minimizing need for energy is another (9+ / 0-)

      1.  Reduce miles driven and air travel
      2.  Increase energy efficiency of home
      3.  Make plans for dealing with loss or fuel/grid power

      Energy is a form of hard currency (like gold, but more useful) that could quickly get unaffordable in a dollar/euro crisis.

      Knowing your neighbors is important.  Don't have to be instant best friends, but develop relationships that can grow into real cooperation if TSHTF.  

      I haven't been a doomer, and have believed in the nearness of recovery up to now.  But even without a crash, the grinding recession seems to be taking people out one after another.

      •  and so thanks to you, Bronx59, I have point #11 (7+ / 0-)

        Thank You very much.  A very, very good point.

        So, now I will update my list:


        1) get out of debt,
        2) scale back expenses to the bone,
        3) save, save, save
        4) work on your job (in whatever way that applies,)
        5) keep your car maintained
        6) develop whatever self sustaining skills you can
        7) seriously work on improving your health w/lifestyle changes, so you have to use the "medical system" as little as possible
        8) find local supplies of food, etc. and support local
        9) Develop networks (professional, neighborhood, political): people connections are what is going to matter.
        10) Develop alternate forms of buying/selling: bartering, coops, cooperatives; donate work time in exchange for goods
        11) Minimize the need for energy; cut back car & air travel and increase energy efficiency of home
        12) Do Emergency Planning: alternate power/water sources & supplies
        13) Develop a foundational wardrobe of clothes and shoes that are good quality enough to be long-lasting and easy to maintain; learn to repair.
        14) Unhook from Consumerism.  Clean out your stuff now.  Get rid of things you don't want or need; donate or sell.   Make Xmas re. loved ones, not gifts.
        15) find a hobby that brings you joy and learn to do it well to give you sanity breaks in your day/week.

        Any thoughts about this list?  

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:09:29 PM PST

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        •  I don't know why you'd bother with getting rid of (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          CharlieHipHop, Nulwee, ozsea1, Joncleir

          debt.  Unless you are going to be buying a home or something, which probably isn't a great idea.  Having debt in an inflationary situation isn't such a bad thing. Even in terms of saving I'd say not to bother saving money.  Buy useful things and save those.  Buy extra clothes you know you will need later.  I'm sure you can think of some other stuff that would be good to stock up on that isn't perishable.

          There revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

          by AoT on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 04:05:17 PM PST

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          •  Debt, especially a mortgage, can cut both ways (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            beforedawn, Nulwee, ozsea1, Creosote

            Nice to be debt free, but having all your assets in an illiquid house can be a disaster.  On the other hand, having a debt payment you can no longer meet due to unemployment also sucks.  We've kept a mortgage. really only way to live in a decent place in a high-cost area, but little other debt.

            As for buying stuff, there's an awful lot of it around used--often of better quality than new.   The quality of most things you can buy is compromised by low-buck manufacturing right now.  

            •  hehe (3+ / 0-)

              "debt payment you can no longer meet..."

              seems like there's an obvious solution to that one.  

              I mean, if we're talking about a total collapse scenario, most people aren't going to be too worried about paying off the banksters.  If you really think everything is going to collapse, you'd be best off to run the credit cards up to the max and stock up on hand tools (not the power kind), dried beans, rolled oats (did you know they never go bad, even after decades!), seeds of various kinds and of course guns and plenty of ammo.  In a collapse scenario, those things will serve far better than a good credit score.

              When the power of love overcomes the love of power, there will be peace. - Jimi Hendrix

              by CharlieHipHop on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:12:03 PM PST

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        •  Might add something about keeping a bit of money (0+ / 0-)

          on hand in some secure way.

          For those who have tools and ability, this might be a good time to create hollow woodwork, under-table or -desk panels, or other unobvious caches.

    •  excellent list. add this: LOCAL CURRENCIES. (8+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SeaTurtle, AoT, Chi, Odysseus, mrsgoo, Nulwee, ozsea1, Losty

      Local currencies are not intended as a tax dodge (you still have to pay taxes) or a way to get rich quick.  

      What they're for is to stabilize and reinforce local economies, by encouraging local transactions.

      Look up Ithaca Hours, one of the best & most successful systems in the US.   This can be replicated anywhere that there is a reasonably diverse local economy.  

      It doesn't replace US Dollars for all transactions.  But it works for a decent fraction of local transactions, and by merely doing that, it creates more stability in the local economy: those transactions become more immune to the wild swings in the external economy, and can continue despite all else.  

      All of this is perfectly legal.   The IRS has no problem with it: they require only two things.  One, that there is a reasonable, fair, and public conversion ratio between the local currency and the US dollar.  This is common sense, because it assures that the system stays honest.  Two, that you convert your local currency income to dollars at the rates in effect at the time, and pay your taxes in US Dollars on that income in the same manner as any other earned income.  That's also common sense: after all, income is income.  

      One way to launch a local currency system is by talking to local business owners who have been hit by the present economic crisis, and persuading them to get onboard.  In some cases they'll agree to go all-in and accept the local currency on an equal footing with dollars.  In some cases they'll agree to a percentage, e.g. you eat at Bob's Burgers, you can pay up to 20% of your bill in the local currency.

      Next step is to try to bring it up with the local Chamber of Commerce.  Regardless of the US COC's reactionary policies, the local Chambers are responsive to local business: so if you've already built a constituency, you can ask for their support at the local COC.  This will help spread the meme and get more local businesses interested.  Getting the local media involved is the next step after that: stories in the local paper and on the local radio & TV news.  

      The people who run Ithaca Hours can advise as to the technicalities of setting up the system, or you can read all the available background material and follow pretty much the same path with your local business group that's supporting the system.  It will also help to have one or more local banks and credit unions involved, and to have a governing board made up of people whose local business credentials are solid.  

      We can do this!  And doing it is one of the most important steps to keeping local economies going when the global system is crashing.  

      "Minus one vote for the Democrat" equals "plus one vote for the Republican." Arithmetic doesn't care about your feelings.

      by G2geek on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:13:28 PM PST

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      •  well thanks for this , G2; didn't know about this (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        G2geek, vigilant meerkat, Creosote, ozsea1

        at all.........  Makes a lot of sense; if I understand it, it would provide a small safety net to the local community when the larger economy is rocking and rolling?

        Hum?  Once I digest this, I will add it to my list....

        You know what?  I think I am going to diary all of this.  

        So folks, such as yourself, can contribute ideas that I don't know about and maybe we'll end up w/ a "Survival Handbook" of sorts.  

        The old "Ounce of Prevention being worth a Pound of Cure" thing.  Also, i think that working on being prepared in one's personal life helps one better tolerate the helplessness and frustration/rage at dealing with the macro insanity... So, there are ripple benefits.

        Tx, see you around the farm....

        I belong to the “US” of America, not the “ME,$,ME,$,ME,$,ME,$” of America!

        by SeaTurtle on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 03:53:48 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Boise Public Market is doing this. (0+ / 0-)

        So far it hasn't really caught on. But, if the need for it becomes clearer, the infrastucture will already be in place.

        I like to believe in love as democracy - Salman Rushdie

        by crystalboy on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 10:31:42 PM PST

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    •  If people follow your advice, we crash harder. (0+ / 0-)

      That's the ironic part; as people (sensibly enough) minimize spending and contract their exposure, collectively this behavior causes the economy to collapse. It piles on to all the disastrously stupid government austerity measures to cause Great Depression v. 2.0

    •  You pretty much have the same list I came up with (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Creosote, ozsea1, SeaTurtle

      SeaTurtle. I don't know what else we can do.

      "We're here to start a dialog, nothing more. We keep quiet and let the press, the politicians, and the Wall Streeters hang themselves." From a veteran protester in the civil rights days at Liberty Park. h/t to pistols at dawn.

      by mrsgoo on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 05:46:27 PM PST

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    •  Some other things to add. Get a bicycle (4+ / 0-)

      and learn how to repair it (and keep plenty of spare parts handy).  Consider having your car modified so it can run on alcohol as well as gasoline.  Learn how to make a still so that if the shit hits the fan you can make your own fuel and stuff to trade.  Consider planting a small garden if you have the room.  If you live in a rural area consider learning archery and learn to hunt with a bow and arrow (you get a longer hunting season) including how to dress and butcher the animal as well as salt the meat to preserve it longer.

      There is no saving throw against stupid.

      by Throw The Bums Out on Sun Nov 27, 2011 at 06:11:21 PM PST

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