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Preparing for Depression

by ATinNM Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:14:52 AM EST

A comment I decided to turn into a diary.

Spent some time looking at the probable course of events over the next ten years.  Keep coming back to the same barrier: cannot predict how the politicians are going to respond.  So far they've been doing all the wrong things, for all the wrong reasons; throwing their lot in with the banksters¹ against their citizens or subjects.  If that continues, and there's no evidence they won't, things are going to get grim.  How grim depends on how long and strong the politicians support the banksters.  

Isn't that a nice little feedback loop?

front-paged by afew


Anyway, we're in a global recession and with the recent debt ceiling debacle in the US another 2 or 3 percent has been whacked off global GNP.  Mathematically this means an input into the positive feedback loop in the negative direction has been given a sharp boost.  When that happens the chances of causing an iterated functional system cascade failure sharply increases.  The mathematical question is: which type of cascade failure is likely to result?  Exponential?  Power Law?  Chaotic?  Topos contraction?  I don't know and without knowing might as well put all possible future states on a wall and throw a dart at them to get a prediction.  Which means it's impossible to construct a Model with any accuracy.

If you can't construct a Model analysis can only be based on human Decision Making and human Decision Making during a cascade failure, tipping point, instantiation of Emergent Phenomena, etc., is known to be wrong 'bout 88% of the time in the best of times and up to 98% in the worst.

Oddly, predicting the course of future events does NOT mean one cannot predict a high-value strategy to prepare for the course of those events.  We have enough evidence of successful past actions during Depressions to be able to strategize about how to prepare for a Depression.

   1.  Get out of debt.  Cannot emphasis this enough. Going into a Depression with debt is a sure way to be hosed.  A collapsing economy means a shrinking work force meaning a drop of income meaning debt service (interest payments) consumes an ever-larger percentage of personal income.  

   2.  Co-operate along any axis you can think of: housing, food, energy, & so on. Build those structures now. The fact is a group of people are more economically secure at ANY time and even more-so during a Depression.  

   3.  Localize.  Local production, again, of anything you can think of is more secure.  The danger here is the politicians could decide to "requisition," i.e., steal, your local production of, say, food to prevent unrest, riots, revolution, by major urban populations.  

   4.  Network.  The more extensive your network the better.  People like to deal with people they know (the "us" syndrome) and if it comes down to a choice between doing whatever with a known person and an unknown person ... known wins.

   5.  Real economic activity is better than Unreal.  Being a plumber (Polish or otherwise) is better than being a Financial Planner. My father-in-law had a college degree (in French!); he made it through the Depression by being a house and commercial painter as nobody was interested in parleying de francasey but enough people wanted paint slobbered on their walls for him to Make Good.  My grandfather (farfar) was a precision tool and die engineer/maker with his own shop; he benefited from a double-whammy: as people's ability to buy new collapsed they got REAL interested in repairing and making good with what they already had and companies were more interested in one-off contracts rather than hiring in-house.

   6.  Back to the Land.  Don't.  My grandfather (morfar) had a farm and they barely made it.  They found themselves in the position where they had to buy inputs at higher prices than the output could support.  

   7.  Repair, not Replace.  Here's a bright spot.  Planned obsolescence means a lot of people are going to have their stuff break down and they won't have the money to replace it.  Not only does that mean the old Repair Man will come back (job opportunity! job opportunity!) and people will be insistent the stuff they do buy is of high quality and repairable (business opportunity.)  This also means anything you buy, starting today, should be high quality, in the US that means "commercial" goods not "consumer" goods.

You'll notice I didn't say anything about Location.  The reason is simple: Your Mileage Will Vary.  It will vary too much to say anything worth saying.  

You'll also notice I didn't say anything about political and political-economic activity.  My thoughts on that can be found here.

¹  Jerome excepted cuz he's Our Guy  ;-)

Display:
Bottom Line: while preparation may not do much good, not preparing ensures a rough ride.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 02:09:02 PM EST
to this subject: October 2009      

I could not agree more with your pov.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:10:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am in process on a similar project: enclosing close to 1,000 sf. behind a fence made of 8' landscape poles and putting in irrigation from my well along with AC power, both in a trench. It is a lot of work, even with able help when it is available, but it is preparation against a day when it might preserve our viability in the community.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:57:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're in some of the better bottomlands in Arkansas, you should have super yields.

Just a suggestion, but, if you're going for exclusion of larger animals, you might use 6 x 6 wire mesh for concrete slab construction. It's cheap and strong.  Best approach is to keep it about 4" off of the ground to make it easy to weed-eat the perimeter. If you're trying to exclude rabbits and such, then you can twist-tie 2 x 4 mesh to the bottom 18" of the 6 x 6 fence material. To make sure of exclusion you can dig a small trench on the perimeter and bury the bottom edge of the smaller-mesh fencing.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:54:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have 150' of garden fence wire which is 1"x4" at the bottom to keep out small critters and expands to 4x4 at the top. It is 30" high and I have a trench ~6" deep except at the low end of the garden, where the fence would be 2" above the ground, but for the large rocks and the fill I am going to add, both inside and out.. Above that I have wire for an electric fence which should discourage ANYTHING!. I have thought of chicken wire up to the top of the poles, which, when trimmed to a uniform height, will be about 6' 6" high.

Lately we have been having brutal days. Yesterday was 112F, an all time record for the day and only 3 degrees shy of the hottest day ever recoded here, plus 18% R.H. Of course the humidity soared as the temperatures dropped, putting the heat index at 103 at 9:00 PM with a temperature of ~95! My tomatoes and cucumbers fold up in the afternoon, even with fresh water to the base around noon. So I am thinking of shade cloth. That accelerates the design of a roof or cover over the garden which can mount to the top of the poles. But, immediately, I plan to add a 14'x20' 50% shade cloth over the 10'x20' original garden in the center of my new fence.

I could use 1/2" EMT or PVC for ribs in the roof. I probably will go with the EMT, as I can get a tool that will produce a uniform curvature on the pipe suitable for plastic covering for the winter. Then I could have ~ a 10 month growing season. But I also want to get at least 3 hens and a rooster for eggs this fall. We will see how far I get and how fast. Right now I have broccoli and celery from seed in starter containers needing to get into the ground. I hope to get a root garden in for the fall with potatoes, carrots and onions, along with celery and snow peas. If my body worked better I would be more confident of my progress.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 10:59:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I can see. I'd go with the EMT, too.

Ah the good old days of 100+ weather. My wife and I were in Austin and San Antonio for a family reunion in June. I cannot account for the fact that I lived there - willingly, apparently - for years. I never lived in air conditioning back then, which might have been a good thing - better acclimitization.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 10:41:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Growing up in Whizbang we had a large swamp cooler. It did reduce the temperature, but I don't recall hearing about the heat index in those days. Previous to last year, the worst of the heat was only a few weeks at a time and in July and August. The new Texas Desert might change that. Damn!

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 01:02:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While there are several theories as to why the Golden Age of Hollywood coincided with Prohibition and the Depression, (and provided story lines for 3 decades after), it seems obvious that happiness, dignity, worth and comradeship will be in short supply during times of great hardship and dislocation, and thus highly valued.

So let's be prepared to lift spirits.

You can't be me, I'm taken

by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 03:36:43 PM EST
I mean, for money ;-)

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 03:37:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Say what? I thought I understood (and agreed with) your first post here, concerning certain traits being in short supply and highly valued during times of hardship; that we should be prepared to lift spirits, and all that. But I'm not quite clear as to what you mean by 'lifting spirits for money.' Could you elaborate? I'm sure it must be obvious to great thinkers, but I'm not one of them, I'm only me. And sometimes a little dense. ;-)
by sgr2 on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 04:58:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
He probably means getting paid to get drunk.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 06:12:51 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Ah so.

Well, just wasn't sure the context in which way he meant 'lifting spirits.' You could lift spirits by like maybe offering work, or you could lift spirits by offering a drink. I'm sure with Sven's able networking capabilities, he'd have no trouble making either one of these things happen.

by sgr2 on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:05:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
off the back of a truck, creating greater happiness by lowering the price of black-market alcohol.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:38:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It was meant cynically for those in the entertainment business.

You can't be me, I'm taken
by Sven Triloqvist on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:42:02 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I got that you were not talking about humanitarian efforts, exactly. :-)

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:22:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
And by 'those in the entertainment business' I'm assuming you mean to include those of us asking silly questions?
by sgr2 on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:22:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
There is little more valuable than ethanol, flavored or not.
Buy a few dozen gallons now. Fermenting your own later will use valuable food such as starch and apples.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Sun Aug 7th, 2011 at 08:33:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I like that argument as another reason that massage school was a good idea for me.

At some point I'll do a diary on the yin-yang of depression and euphoria at the cultural level. I'd argue every agrarian and industrial society exists/existed on the side of depression (with the benefit of out-competing societies that didn't go in those directions) - and even in my own short life in this country I've seen the laws and norms shift deeper off the depressive end. The most awe-inspiring to me has been the shift towards defacto criminalization of men as sexual predators, and the subsequent banning of their providing empathy and touch to children they are not related to (or even being in proximity to them).

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 05:32:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... agrarian to industrial was what we mean by Depression economically. An agrarian depression is a Price depression. And the Great Depression was a Price Depression for the agrarian sector of the economy, but as the majority of people lived in cities, the dominant feature was an economic activity depression.

An economic activity depression doesn't happen in an agrarian economy, except in the market town support structure. For the majority, there's always work that can be done on the farm, the problem is the return on the effort.

What was new and shocking about the 20th century was the situation of there just not being work to be done at any return ~ the side-effect of the Price Depression of agrarian societies had become the main effect.

While a price depression would not be surprising, so "going back to the land" in the sense of trying to make a living off of farming is a chancy strategy ... going partly back to the land in the sense of stretching groceries with a productive garden makes a lot of sense, if you have the land. You can make very little money go quite a long way if you have opportunities to purchase grain or flour and dried beans and stretch out the rest of the meal with garden produce.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 11:26:50 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Veblen's The Theory of Business Enterprise, published in 1904, is an attempt at providing such an explanation of the Long Depression of 1873-96. The problem is that this depression has been forgotten by the Conventional Wisdom. But it was the first true industrial depression.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:54:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Not so surprisingly one direct cause of the Long Depression was the US returning to the Gold Standard after the horrible experience of the booming economy during and directly after our Civil War spurred by (gasp!) government spending and a fiat currency.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:48:26 AM EST
[ Parent ]
William Pitt Fessenden, was Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury in the latter stages of the Civil War. He basically invented 'greenbacks'. It would likely have been more controversial than it was, except that Fessenden was known as a non-frivolous 'straight arrow' and was considered the leading financial authority in the Senate.

Of course, you could say that the Confederate government invented fiat money earlier, because their money had nothing behind it, except faith.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:16:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The blockade and inability to get sufficient cotton to London to redeem cotton bonds killed the value of a currency of an import-dependent plantation export economy.

And, yes, a large part of the extended price depression was the Gold Standard and exposes the central flaw of commodity based money. An increase in the value of the commodity means that the baseline is deflation, and substantial real price inflation may be required just to avoid the danger of price deflation overall.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:29:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
of a southern education regarding Civil War history. In my case it was shaped by a Texas slant, which was, if anything, even more faith-based. As far as Texans were concerned, they never surrendered; it was those soft plantation owners back East.

The Confederacy was an ideal - the rule of nature and colored people by white people - preferably, native-born. Money and property were a relationship between these white people.

Cotton was the currency of those soft Easterners, true; but, as you state, it had little value without foreign trade. But the blockade was effective early on in the war. Yet confederate money was in use until the war was well and truly over.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 10:07:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Except that in modern terms, it would not be a single long depression, given that in the middle of the Long Depression economic activity was expanding. In modern business cycle terms, its more like two fairly small depressions (at least by 1929 standards) with a period of slow growth in between.

But AFAIU, it was an extended price depression ~ the railroadification of the US led to consolidation of markets, with lots of losers and relatively fewer big winners, and lots of over provision of capacity in pursuit of being one of those few big winners. And of course, with the settlement of the Great Plains and West Coast, a lot of the growth was extensive rather than intensive.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:35:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
the railroadification of the US led to consolidation of markets, with lots of losers and relatively fewer big winners...

...sounds a lot like our ongoing process of "globalization". We never learn.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:02:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Or else, somewhere quiet, some people did learn ... some big fortunes can be made in conditions like that, as long as you don't mind all the collateral damage.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:11:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
J.P. Morgan and other 19th Cent. bankers did quite well in the depression that was created by the massive drop in the money supply occasioned by their bought and paid for US move back to the gold standard. Now their successors have figured out how to do it through control of fiat currency. Polluting Academia with bogus economic theories and mis-educating the public about economics had no small role in their recent triumph.  

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:13:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During World War 2 40% of US production of vegetables were raised on small plots.  People who have never done it are amazed at the amount of food that can be grown in a 20' by 25' (6 by 7.5 meters) garden.  Go intensive in the same footprint and you can double production with only a minimal increase in labor.  

I'm going to flat-out state: anyone who buys their grains and beans at a regular grocery store is throwing money away.  It is EASY, in the US, to find a store selling them in the 20 pound (~10 kilo) or bushel bag at 1/3 to 1/2 the store price.  

Buying the "institutional" sized cans of tomato paste, diced tomatoes, etc. saves a bit as well.

One thing I haven't done, that I want to do, is to start making cheese.  One of our neighbors ran a boutique cheese¹ making operation for a while, she's offered to teach me.  With "boutique cheese" costing upwards of $13.50 for 8 ounces (~ 400 grams) the savings would be significant.

Which brings me to the last of this comment: food you can grow or make at home is not only vastly cheaper than store bought is is vastly better than store bought.  Paying less for a better product sounds like a pretty good deal, to me.

¹  "boutique cheese" is the US name for what the rest of world calls "cheese."  What the US calls "cheese" the rest of the world calls "tile grout."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:44:56 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Particularly if your wife decided to drive a stake in your (my) German soul and planted all kinds of different stuff in every open (somewhat open) space. We have lettuce and radishes peeking out from under everything from brussels sprouts to green beans. There is no walking space per se anywhere. The potatoes are almost all dug, and the third plantings of whatever is in her rotation are coming up.

 

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:58:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The more area devoted to gardening and horticulture the more you'll produce.  (How's that for a deep insight!  :-)

Our potential garden area is 180' by 70' (55 x 21) and 120' by 20' (36.5 x 6.)  However, we've learned in-the-ground gardening in the New Mexico high desert poses some serious problems, enough so that we'd be better off going the greenhouse/shadehouse/cold frame route.  

Or we could bag the whole thing and use the ground for it's "competitive advantage": adobe bricks.  :-)  This stuff sucks.  Like crank the volume to 11 suckitude.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 01:04:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Why, 180' by 70' in hardy desert perennials ought to be at least as productive as 18' x 7' in Ohio ... no?

I wonder what biochar does to the productivity of soil like that for dryland perennials.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:09:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The desert isn't really the best place to find indigenous food plants.  The selfish buggers insist on hoarding their food energy for themselves by manufacturing various alkaloids making them (1) unpalatable to herbivores or (2) poisonous.  

Surface application of any fertilizer brings the roots of the plant to the surface were it gets fried by the sun.  To get around that the Pueblo peoples use a "lithic mulch" - aka: rocks, in their waffle gardens (as they are called.)  This make maximum use of rain and irrigation water, increases surface and sub-surface soil moisture, and evens-out the solar heating cycle.  The "waffles" prevent wind damage.  I'd like to learn more about waffle gardens but the Pueblos, from long and bitter experience have learned to keep themselves to themselves, keeping Anglos at a distance and out of their lives.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:27:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You'd not normally be applying biochar to the surface in any event, its not a chemical fertilizer, its a substrate for a healthier soil ecology, and your soil ecology would be somewhere in your soil.

Desert topsoils are often very thin and take a long time to become established, so a layer of biochar underneath your rock mulch sounds like it might be interesting.

Come to think of it, all the dryland perennials I can bring to mind are either for semi-arid rather than arid climate or for oasis desert spring type conditions.

Though isn't there a cactus you can plant for tequila?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:49:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Correction noted.  I'll look into biochar.

The topsoil around here isn't thin.  It's non-existent.  The sub-soils are a mixture of clay, limestone dust, and gypsum until you meet friable sandstone at, about, 8".  The money, time, and effort required to turn it into something useful, in our climate, is greater than that needed than some higher tech solution.

We could I reckon plant agave (not a cactus) to make tequila or peyote to make mescaline.  Neither are food plants, per se.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:22:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But both could be a part of lifting spirits in a depression.

AFAIU where we started to learn about the benefits of biochar are in the poor soils at the opposite extreme, the tropical rainforests, where it was found that so-called "black-soil" areas that were substantially more productive than the normal poor soil of the area were in fact the result of first nations in the region digging charcoal powder into the subsoil.

And AFAIK, its been used to good effect elsewhere, such as in reclaiming strip mined terrain.

But I have no idea whether it would be of use in an arid environment. If I was experimenting, I'd dig out a strip of the soil (8" deep if that is where the substrate is), mix in biochar, and fill it back in. If the level was kept the same by not mixing all the soil back into the strip, and placing the balance along the sides, it'd be in effect a depressed row. I guess that pebbles and rocks along the sides could increase that effect.

Anyway, the point of my comment is some terrain's easier than others. If we wanted to, we could plant willow in the wet side of our back lot and chestnut in the drier, and coppice it to make our own biochar ... as we've seen this spring and summer, a heat wave often just pumps moisture out of Lake Erie to dump on our heads.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:43:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BruceMcF:
it was found that so-called "black-soil" areas that were substantially more productive than the normal poor soil of the area were in fact the result of first nations in the region digging charcoal powder into the subsoil.

I'd love to see some references on this.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:10:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
... there are a large number of sources in the Wikipedia article. Or scholar.google "Terra Preta"

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:02:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And there was a substantial article in Science News or Scientific American around 2009. It mentioned the role of bio-char in providing highly fertile soil in an Amazon high density culture around the time of first contact.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:27:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
named Scott Pittman. I think that he has been involved in some level of local agriculture for 40 years. Would you like for me to ask him for advice, or is Taos too far/different from your location?

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 10:10:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow.  Thank you!

I have to decline, at the moment.  I'm too buried in projects to have the time to take on another one.  If I hold my mouth just right I'll see some daylight next spring.  

Can I send up a flare then?


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 10:16:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll contact him anyway and just ask about his experience.

paul spencer
by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 10:32:59 AM EST
[ Parent ]
there are lots of youtubes on backyard char production.
:)

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Aug 6th, 2011 at 05:20:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Beans, that's what you need: beans.

And tons of water, preferably piped over from some far away place that actually has water. That's how they do it in California and Arizona, I hear...

by asdf on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:11:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Beans



She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:22:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
While funny, that clip is not particularly accurate. Your body adjusts over time. So my GI doc tells me, at least...
by asdf on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 12:16:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
That was Marx and Engle's conclusion after the failed German non-revolution of 1848:

"It is beans that will nurture our peasantry to a strong and manly disposition!"

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:29:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd still consider pigeon peas, even if they'd need some irrigation ~ would not need very much. And they could be a shade crop for less hardy vegetables.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:04:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I read that at first at pigeon pies... Which shoud not need so much irrigation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 05:10:13 AM EST
[ Parent ]
pigeons were a sort of tax imposed on peasants by the petty nobility. They alone had the right to keep pigeons, in lofts or towers, which foraged or marauded on the crops of the labouring classes.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 09:24:40 AM EST
[ Parent ]
... probably only work in the southern Climate 3 Counties. Good for Southern California or Georgia, though.

Five year perennial, though yield drops after second year ~ you get nitrogen as its growing and can harvest the bush for biochar before replanting. Dried pigeon peas (sometimes sprouted) cooked w/rice a traditional dish in much of the Caribbean.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 11:26:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Making good cheese is quite hard. But first, how are you off for quadruped mammals?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:11:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
but even more difficult!

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:32:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They don't call it hard for nothing.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:40:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The idea for learning to make cheese is to be able to buy milk past its sell-by-date - thus cheap - and turn it into something eatable.    

I agree making hard cheese is a highly skilled craft and one I'm not going to master in a few months.  Making soft cheeses, however, is textbook.  Do the proper thing at the proper time and you'll get a decent product popping out the other end.  I know because we've done it.  Paneer is dead simple; mozzarella not much more difficult IF you follow the recipe per instructions.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:49:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
An easy product would be...

Filmjölk - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Filmjölk (also known as fil or the older word surmjölk[1]) is a Nordic mesophilic fermented milk product that is made by fermenting cow's milk with a variety of bacterium from the species Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides.[2][3] The bacteria metabolize lactose, the sugar naturally found in milk, into lactic acid. The acid gives filmjölk a sour taste and causes proteins in the milk, mainly casein, to coagulate, thus thickening the final product. The bacteria also produce a limited amount of diacetyl, which gives filmjölk its characteristic taste.[4] Filmjölk is similar to cultured buttermilk, kefir, or yoghurt in consistency, but fermented by different bacteria and thus has a slightly different taste. Compared with yoghurt, filmjölk tastes less sour. In Sweden, it is normally sold in 1-liter packages with live bacteria.

The way to make your own is to put a bit of filmjölk in milk. The culture can also be transported or saved by dipping a bit of cotton cloth in filmjölk and let it dry. Store until you feel like making fil.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:58:38 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Excellent!  Thanks for the info.  How does it taste with respect to kefir?

(We already make kefir for ~$1.25 a liter versus FOUR DOLLARS a liter store bought.)


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:18:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hm, long time since I ate Kefir. But as far as I can remember it was not to different from fil.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:04:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Picking mushrooms and berries and deep freezing them works really good as well. Hunting helps out as well. I'm in the process of getting the licences and a bunch of rifles.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:19:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Does that mean supermarket milk? Or a local producer?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:11:54 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The nearest "local" producer who doesn't already use their milk to make cheese (a number of those around) is 150 miles (241 kilometers) one round-trip away.  While we get over there 'ere now & again practically we have to fall-back on store bought.  Another hurdle is the state of New Mexico has decided to protect its citizens from Islamo-communist cheese makers by forbidding the sale of raw milk.

We are very aware of the limits of using store bought milk for soft cheese making.  But ... have you ever tasted mass-marketed US produced cheese?  If not, a unique and interesting gastronomical experience awaits.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:29:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have Velveeta experience. Kraft slices are wonderful in comparison.

Getting fresh farm milk is a problem even here. Or rather, I can go over to a neighbour's place, but his Holsteins do 45 litres/day, so I'd rather pass.

For a year now, we've had a producer selling raw milk on the market about 15 miles away. We make yoghurt with it. True, it requires a fridge to keep.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 06:12:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I limit myself to growing peppermint on my balcony. Works well with the gin.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 01:54:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peppermint?  In gin?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 06:31:30 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Peppermint leaves, gin and mineral water. Works excellent with a light chicken or tuna sallad. I put the peppermint leaves in my breakfest tea as well. And at times, use the leaves instead of snus.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:22:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Considering we've had a bottle of gin sitting around, unfinished, for 22 years ...

OK.  whatever

:-)

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:26:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The rum ran out? What a tragedy.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:08:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 10:30:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There you go ... I was thinking about mojito's, but that'll work.



I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:45:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tragedy? Tragedy would be for the snapps to run out.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 03:58:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to mental states, not economics. I leave those diaries to the experts...

you are the media you consume.

by MillMan (millguy at gmail) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:35:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But do the diary. There's lots on "economics".
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:14:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As a school nurse, I was told not to hug a crying child to comfort him/her, or to give a hello hug just to say "I care about you." That way led to litigation, I was told. I ignored that paranoia as long as I held that job, and then moved on to retirement.  I can now hug any damned person I want! (That's assuming they want to be hugged, of course.)
by altoid (tom.casadecampanas AT gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:22:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would only add two items to your list of factors inhibiting change:

  1. Corporate media, which can be mitigated, to an extent, by the internet, so far.

  2. Academia, which has become almost totally suborned by corporate interests either by sponsorship of research or by political intimidation by those elected officials representing corporate interests, i.e. most of them. Young people need to be made aware of the dangers of going into debt for an education. And a free or low cost online university that presented a world view ET participants would endorse could be helpful, not so much as a credential for employment but just as an orientation to what is actually happening in the world. Perhaps it should be viewed as a "pre-university", a place to calibrate your bull shit detector and learn when and before whom to keep your mouth shut and get your "accredited" degree while still retaining your personal integrity.


"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Wed Aug 3rd, 2011 at 06:22:34 PM EST
I have my doubts about non-corporate media. In the good old days, you could read the NYT and then the WSJ and understand where the two sides were, with reasonably intelligent commentators and at least some connection with reality. You could round that out with other edited--that's really what we're missing now--publications and at least see people's viewpoints.

Where do you go to read the sophisticated intellectual arguments underpinning the Tea Party?

by asdf on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:15:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The what?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:16:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Heritage, Cato, Reason and watchamcallit the other one. Basically go to propaganda mills that have Oil Company funding.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:12:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Reading non-corporate media doesn't absolve you from finding out if your sources are full of shit. And it can take years and major wars to do that.
by generic on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 08:14:41 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Studs Terkel wrote "Hard Times", a wonderful book about pretty much exactly your topic- how did people, great and small, cope with the depression?
Wonderful book.
The big takeaway for me was community. Sharing resources, talent, and food, but also supporting the spirit with the very difficult understanding that the disaster you found yourself in was not your fault.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:01:04 AM EST
Since it was published in 1970 all references to "Current Events" are dated but definitely a Must Read.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:00:51 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Wow.
I don't see it that way at all.
The situations and challenges were essentially the same as the ones we must cope with today, and the human resources we can draw upon are the same, though the useful skill set today is somewhat diminished from the 30's skill set.
Terkel tells us most importantly what worked then, to cope with very similar dark days.
It's a waste of time to reinvent the wheel in discussions, particularly if such waste stems from a patronizing conviction that "old" means "dated".

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.
by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:23:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As I recall, I read the book when it came out, there was a lot of talk about the Viet Nam War, the 1960s, references to Nixon, and so on.  That was what I meant by "dated."

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:05:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well I can write a book about it, first hand experience, ha-ha. This is going to be long...
First of all Serbian situations was a little bit different but consequences for people are the same. You may care to read some books about Great depression 1929 or watch some movies as "Cabaret" (great movie) or "They kill horses don't they". Pay attention to the details of people's life not that much on the story.

1. Yes, yes, yes, get rid of all the debts that you can ASP, so that they can't take your house/possessions if you need to default on your debts. If you have a house free of mortgage that would be great because your house is going to be everything to you...place to live, work, rent ( if you need it) and make an income on witch you may need to survive ( no matter how big or small).
It's also good if your house is positioned somewhere on a main road so you can start some small CASH business that will bring in some income (food or repair). This may actually not be great idea if inflation kicks (and it will at some point) because I remember how small private grocery shops as well as big state supermarkets had to close their doors not being able to follow inflation and they lost a lot of money trying to keep it open.
Remember "Cabaret" how people rented every single room in their apartment to those that lost their homes and wealth...all kinds of "strange" people to say at least. It's better if you have your family or friends but usually they will not be able to pay...

2. Try to take your cash from the bank ON TIME. When you see that your bank is not able to pay whole amount you want to take out and pays just a fragment of the sum, asking you to come for the rest in a week it may be too late. Trouble with cash is that when inflation kicks it's not going to work for long. We in Serbia had German marks available (dealers on the street organised by Milosevic's ilk) and we would run to them to convert whatever dinars we had. I don't know what in these circumstances today is going to be "money"...gold? I am not sure because I remember how my grandmother told me that during WWII they had to trade gold and valuable things with farmers for food...not a good trade.
German mark at the time saved us of total collapse. Obviously people had some reserves (I do not know how many people today have them) but a lot of it had been lost in those banks that incredibly were working but they couldn't give you your money. They are still paying that money to the people to this day drop by drop.

3. Food...Government will organise some distribution of food (mostly necessities like flour and oil, bread and milk sometimes) but you'll need to stand in a queue from midnight till morning when shops open to be able to get some (very little).Your diet will be very poor (mostly different kinds of pastry and dough that our kids were sick of ha-ha) but good side of this is that you are going to learn to make so many new dishes, ha-ha. I remember how our women suddenly found recipes to make homemade chocolate and Nutela (feeling sorry for new small kids not being able to try it) natural juices from all kinds of plants that I never heard of before, homemade mayonnaise etc. If you have imagination and a little money you may even eat well. We had to go to farms, buy whole pig, or some chickens, at some point even cattle (family and friends together) and cut the meat and put it in a freezer. Luckily at that point we had electricity. But where ever we had restrictions earlier we were thinking if that lasts to long what to do not to lose our meat and vegies from the freezer. Well if you do not have a chance to make your meat smoked and dried you need to cook it and then put it in deep grease - usually pig's fat...we used it also to cook on it instead of oil. Oh now I remember I learned it in New Zealand later how you can dry your meat and get really good small goods. Put the meat in salt and other spices that you want for a day or so. Then dry it with a cloth. Make a box (could be bigger paper box too) and put electric bulb in the middle. Hung tin longer pieces of meat around and turn electricity on. In few days you'll have it. You can do it in your kitchen. Practical, ha-ha.
At some point in Serbia I got scared because people started to talk how there will be hunger (prior to that 1993 horrible year).We had a little back yard in the middle of Belgrade and I fenced part of it and started to grow some vegetables. It was useless cause I got such a small amount...it was a joke. Green market still operated all the time during crises but everything was so expensive that some people had to steal or wait after it closes and pick up whatever rubbish was left there. The most terrible thing was that we had to buy hygiene products on a black market and it was terribly expensive. For example one would have to pay for a small bag of cotton (forget tampons) 10 DM that at the time was month salary for many working people. Same for shampoo...horrific. Oh you can wash your hair with soap and then use mix of vinegar and water as conditioner ha-ha. Stockpile as much of stuff that you can. It will not last long enough but will be helpful.
4. Transport. If you live in a warm climate and you are young, you can buy bike. Generally you should buy smallest economic car (or motorbike). Public transport will practically collapse...people will wait for the bus for hours and in bad weather they will not come at all. Hitchhiking will be the only way to save you of long walks to work. Interestingly people would cling to work and go there regularly even when they do not get salaries. It started in USA...I saw this evening how they expect workers to still work on those airports projects (they cut funds for them) even workers do not get paid. They should be "professionals" they say...go figure. I remember how my relative instead of money would get products that her factory produced (or had on stock) or got in compensations. Compensation became wide way of trading between business partners ,no one could get any money from the bank and having money on your hands usually meant that you are losing it by the hour if you don't change it to German marks immediately. Companies were not able to do that so they started compensations in order not to stop working. So my relative would bring antennas and such staff instead of salary and she needed to go on a black market and sell it for German marks to get real money.
Petrol was so expensive on a black market that we had to buy it on the street in 2L bottle of Coca Cola. Many people still had a car (from better times and haven't been able to sell it) but simply had to park it in front of the home and use it just in emergencies.
Many people had relatives in rural Serbia willing to give them food for free but they could not manage to pay for petrol to get food to the city (home).

  1. Learn to fix appliances...its good idea for those who are already in that field but not for everyone. I can see that people already started to repair them instead of buying new. With all this not long lasting Chinese stuff we are not going to be lucky this time. They do not last long like they used to. The most important thing is freezer. Heating and cooling may be hard (especially if restrictions of electricity start).And it also can be too expensive...Look for all alternatives. Learn to saw and knit, ha-ha.

  2. Do not watch news ha-ha. There will be nothing in the news about how hard you are doing...You'll see a lot of how OTHERS are having tough time tho. If you are used to lies on news expect much more of them.
It will not happen over night...it will gradually come (it already started) but when it gets speed it will be too late to adopt better. We were in trouble from late 1980 but 1993 was the most horrible. If we did not have German mark to compare our dinar to it we may not even be aware how quickly things collapsed. During Ante Markovic our salaries were around 1000 DM a month, then in the beginning of 1993 we came to 150 DM a month...in the middle of 1993 it was 80 DM and in December it was 10 DM. Good thing was that we did not have any debts (not credit available and no mortgages prior to crises).
If I think of more I'll ad later. I have to run now.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:30:47 AM EST
Eh I forgot to mention health system and education. It collapsed. If you were lucky to find who you need to pay bribe to get an operation in hospitals or simply being allowed to enter hospital(mostly public and "free")then you had to buy and bring all the stuff needed for operation and after (niddles so they can sew you and bandages etc.), all the medicine of course from anaesthetic to antibiotics etc. Yes it was available in private pharmacies but for German marks. If not available you had to arrange with friends or relatives abroad to send it to you. There was no practically any food and hygiene product in hospitals so your family had to bring it for you.
Education (also free)...Teachers were not able to live on their salaries of course and some of them had to go work on a black market. My daughter saw her high school teacher selling cigarettes on the street. So how could children be encouraged to learn...no. Children would skip school and sit with a cup of coffee in nearby coffee shops. TV reporter would find them there, I remember, and ask why they are not at school? These students were from elite gymnasium school in centre of Belgrade. They would answer:"Why go to school? My dad has two university degrees, mum too, and we can't have decent food on the table...Only criminals are profiteering". And they saw those criminals in 4WD with black tinted glass on Belgrade streets.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 06:46:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, vbo. There's a world of experience in these two posts.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:26:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Do not watch news ha-ha. There will be nothing in the news about how hard you are doing...You'll see a lot of how OTHERS are having tough time tho. If you are used to lies on news expect much more of them."

Bravo.  A crucial point.

Aside from the obvious mechanical things, it was the ability to keep spirits up-to combat the sense of hopelessness, of personal failure that marked those who seemed to cope best.
Bad news sells.
We got here by believing in our own isolation, our own helplessness. Not true- unless you believe the news.

Capitalism searches out the darkest corners of human potential, and mainlines them.

by geezer in Paris (risico at wanadoo(flypoop)fr) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:33:15 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you for your comment.  

Your point about the transportation system breaking down so farmers who had food couldn't get it into the cities is well taken.  Without gasoline and diesel the US food distribution system comes to a halt.  Without gasoline and diesel the US food production system itself collapses to a shell of itself.  

I'm curious why your garden didn't grow.  That's not my experience and not the general experience of people here in the states.  Would you be willing to add a few words explaining what happened?

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:27:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hence my continued harping on Steel Interstates.

If you are willing to work for a lower return on effort, you can can move a modest amount of truck farm produce by mechanical donkey, but you need a place to take it somewhere within 5miles to 20miles (depending on terrain).

If that is a local market and railhead, then the energy cost looks much better. Maybe you have to add another 100miles by diesel rail to get to a Steel Interstate, and then from there it could move from there 1000miles, say, by Steel interstate. Compared to truck hauling, its the energy cost of 80 miles of truck haul (30% energy for diesel train vs truck, 5% energy for electric freight rail vs truck).

So energy costs where the US national economy falls apart depending on truck freight are still compatible with retaining substantial national markets with a more efficient transport system in place.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:29:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you are willing to work for a lower return on effort, you can can move a modest amount of truck farm produce by mechanical donkey, but you need a place to take it somewhere within 5miles to 20miles (depending on terrain).

That describes the agriculture transport system in the American west, during the heyday of rail and even now. Railroads cross the farm states and provide a mesh where nobody is further than about 20 miles from a collection point. Kansas, 200 miles in north-south length, is a good example. The farmers in the western part of the state use north-south roads to truck their produce to the east-west  railroad, where there is a convenient grain elevator for weighing and storing the grain.

by asdf on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:29:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Looks like an old map.  (?)

If so, I wonder how much of it is still around.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:28:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I bet most of it has been ripped up and melted down.

Peak oil is not an energy crisis. It is a liquid fuel crisis.
by Starvid on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:33:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A 2007 map of the same region:

shows some "rationalization."

Doing an eyeball scan I'd say at least 20% of it is gone.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 03:29:40 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The US railroads were built when farmers used horse drawn wagons for transport. Trucking changed that, but enough heavy freight remained that most tracks were retained. What didn't happen is growth of the system in proportion to the economy.
by asdf on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 11:49:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bear in mind that local farmers in Belgrade were really local (very close to city) and very SMALL.I do not know exactly how that transported their goods to green market (probably by diesel cars or little truck). They would occupy just one stand on a market (as usual).Why they could operate even during crises? Probably because having just a few products it was easier for them to price them properly EVERY DAY. They would come in the morning, see what dinar's rate is for that day (there were money dealers on the market operating and they had mobile phones but farmers did not have it at the time) and later even during the day and they would price it immediately. That was why their products were expensive for most of the people. After the day of trading before they go home they would convert their dinars to Germans marks so they did not lose the money.
USA farmers are much bigger and that would complicate things.
Our big supermarkets were literally empty (you could see few bottles of mineral water inside or such a things that they still had on stock and nothing else).
Petrol trading were organised by Milosevic's mafia and supermarkets being state owned would find their way to petrol but the problem was terrific inflation...they couldn't change their prices fast enough and when they started to lose money they simply stopped trading.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:20:03 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Alcohol was a popular and economical product for farmers even before tariffs because it was cheaper to make and transport liquor from corn than to transport the grain.
by Andhakari on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:26:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Lack of alcohol was never a problem in Serbia, ha-ha. But interestingly I do not remember people drinking more during crises...everyone were busy putting food on the table for their families.
Men did drink a lot during bombardment of Serbia, not being able to work and being under stress.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
First I think it was a really small piece of land and I could not grow too much. And it's a city land probably not of a needed quality.  
Second I was a "city girl" with not even basic knowledge how to grow plants (except some flowers that I had in my garden).I just saw how some relatives in rural area grew their vegetables and I thought I could do it and asked them for advice. There was not Internet available to us at the time and I didn't even think of going to library and find some informative books. So it was all natural (no fertilisers or any chemicals). Then it also takes time for plants to grow. I was very proud of some of my vegetables (like green beans and carrots) but the amount I got was sufficient for maybe say 20 meals and crises seemed to be there forever. My potato was a disaster. I couldn't wait to pick it up so in the end I ended up having almost the same amount that I planted, ha-ha.  What I am saying is that the garden did not save us...I had to go to green market and by those expensive vegetables like everyone else. Luckily we had a small business at the time and were able to be paid even in German marks so we were able to pay for necessities but many many people were not in our position.  We always had some fruit trees in our back yard (Cherries mostly) and it did come handy but again it wasn't sufficient through whole crises. But it was a nice hobby for us "city people".


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thank you.

 

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:36:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
What I take from this is the importance of starting in time, even in small scale. Preparation, preparation.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 05:26:09 AM EST
[ Parent ]
http://www.livingpress.com/articles/economiccollapse/economiccollapse.html

Using basic Austrian Economics an impending economic collapse is imminent in the United States. With horrible debt, inflation, national debt, and multiplying debt to GDP ratio an economic collapse WILL happen. I'm writing this article to all Americans or people of the world to help you survive the economic collapse.


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:13:31 AM EST
Of course, the "debt ratio" in  there is nonsense ~ its only a political decision to generate income for the wealthy and financial markets that "requires" the US to borrow for deficit spending ~ at current levels of unemployed labor and productive capacity, there's no reason to "have to" allow the US debt in private hands to go over the roughly 50% it is today.

The debt ratio near 100% widely touted is propaganda from the radical reactionary propaganda mills ~ government debt in government hands has the same "debt burden" as you writing "IOU $5,000" and putting it in your pocket.

For North America, EU and Japan, the critical problem is dependence on imported natural resources ~ even though the EU is substantially more resource efficient than North America, and Japan more resource efficient than the EU, the per capita biocapacity of each steps down in the same way, so all three are overextended to a roughly similar degree.

In the US, addressing this problem implies lower windfall gains to oil producers, so instead we get a manufactured crisis like the debt ceiling to distract attention from the real crisis.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Please note where the interest on all that debt goes ... to banksters.

They love debt, it's how they skim the economy until it dies.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 12:12:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
for millennia we gave our power away to priests, that brought us the crusades, the inquisistion and the israeli-palestine conflict, to name but a few.

now the old gods' power is dwarfed by the mojo of money, the new way of salvation, redemption and beatification.

the banksters are the new priests, instead of fatted calves on the altar of ritual, now we have sovereign economies and little old granmas' savings on the pyres.

like moody deities, the markets' are mollified, placated by worshippers' self-flagellations and austerities, but little affected by entreaties to human compassion, for in olympus everything from cold martinis to willing hotel maids is in copious abundance, yay verily...

what do gods know of human travail and suffering? those rings of hell are not for them, as they sport with civilisations' fragile equilibria and gamble over the bloody robes of broken electoral vows.

on your knees, wretched mortals, if your demeanour be judged sufficiently abject, the invisible hand will pat you on the head and give you another sip of warm koolaide to numb your pain. cultivate humility and gratitude as our armourplated SUVs prowl through your streets to new flashy casinos in the gated areas, and our glorious troops battle in foreign lands, nobly and heroically teaching the poor benighted economic heathens the religion of the purple finger - those lucky enough to survive the bombs.

things have never looked better, seen from on high! serve your masters well, and there may be a few job offerings scrubbing valhalla toilets for you.

now off to work! chop chop, show some gumption, where's that elbow grease?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 04:41:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
like moody deities, the markets' are mollified

Not just moody deities, also the standard bearing poor.

by njh on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 08:12:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Anf the fitchy deities, don't forget the fitchy deities.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 01:30:50 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Migeru:
Anf the fitchy deities

?????!!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 07:46:12 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fitch is a bond rating company.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 11:30:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Life is a fitch.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 11:33:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
and then you dei.
by njh on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 08:14:01 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My father was 20 years old when the Great Depression hit. He has already been working for four years and continued to work throughout the depression, yet he was deeply marked by it and talked about it his whole life.

It's hard to capture the fear if you didn't live through it.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!

by LEP on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:39:25 AM EST
I hadn't seen vbo's posts but she does describe the fear very well.

Hey, Grandma Moses started late!
by LEP on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:56:37 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Just one point. If you start to prepare for a depression, most of your friends, family, acquaintances, etc will think that you have gone crazy. "That cannot happen here". Even the ones that might agree will not grasp the extent of the problem, for instance when talking about these issues with my father (which understands things are going to stress a bit) he sometimes talks about his "two cable subscriptions in his two places". Even if there is agreement it might be only very superficial.

But, back to my point,

It is important to find people that share your concerns. The problem is, of course, minority behaviour is sometimes very deviant (think "sect mentality"), so some care is in order. Here in Portugal, I've noticed that the transition movement is both (partially) aware of the problem, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, seems to be sane.

Being a social species, it is important to find people who share your world view on the issue.

by cagatacos on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:45:10 AM EST
And finally, stock medicine.

For instance, I am writing this with a flu. This could have gone seriously wrong were it not for antibiotics.

Also, books about how to solve fundamental problems (from health to agriculture, DIY, ...)

by cagatacos on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:48:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Antibiotics will not help you with the flu, which is a virus not a bacterium.

It may help with secondary infections like pneumonia, but it will not help you with the flu.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:32:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Which is an excellent reason for not stocking up on medicines (other than the simplest, or those you know from your medical history you need).

Unless you're a doctor or otherwise know what kind of illness you're up against, and which antibiotic (or other substance) is indicated.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:39:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If I seriously believed in realistically planned for industrial collapse, I would stock up on antibiotics and various oxidisers like hydrogen peroxide for sterilising wounds. And get a medical lexicon to know which symptoms might be amenable to antibiotics and which are definitely not. Because in an industrial collapse scenario, the rules are different. What is deeply irresponsible behaviour in an industrial society - such as promoting antibiotics resistance through improper antibiotics usage - can become a lot less irresponsible when the world comes unglued.

Also, keep your vaccines up to date. That's a good idea in any event - vaccine-preventable diseases can main or kill you even with reliable access to modern medical care. Absent modern medical intervention, mortality jumps by one or two orders of magnitude, depending on the disease.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:52:00 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Medical care is a big issue.  For the day to day stuff, I'd look into finding an MD who wants to be part of your co-op/community/network.  M(e)D(octor) and their families have to eat, have a place to live, have a place to socialize, & etc. too.

For the larger stuff, either the government steps in, you're part of a large enough, wealthy enough, co-op/community/network that can afford it, or you're screwed.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:02:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
for a moment ...

Actually for the day-to-day stuff you don't have to have an MD.  There are Physicians Assistants and Nurse Practitioners - in the states - are capable and licensed to do all that.  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:07:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tell you what. If we are all going to consume:

  • less manufactured gizmo crap
  • less processed supermarket food
  • less meat
  • more simple, vegetable foods

we may need less medical assistance anyway.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:24:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, there's a shitload of difference between hydrogen peroxide and "antibiotics".

As for what is amenable to antibiotics, a thermometer can be useful. But which antibiotics...?

And how can anyone stock up on them anyway? They're under prescription...

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:21:15 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Jake, there's a shitload of difference between hydrogen peroxide and "antibiotics".

I know that. But application of the former to cuts may mean you won't need the latter. So if you are going to go around stocking up on dangerous shit like antibiotics, you might as well also stock some mostly harmless oxidisers.

And how can anyone stock up on them anyway? They're under prescription...

It's trivially easy to get fairly broad spectrum stuff in certain sorts of retail stores. Legally. I won't draw you a picture, since I am not a big fan of multi-resistant bacteria and therefore believe that those sorts of stores shouldn't be allowed to sell antibiotics at all. But they are. Even in Scandinavia, where we make it a point of national health policy to not breed superbugs if we can help it.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:37:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
application of the former to cuts may mean you won't need the latter.

Which is why, above, I mentioned "the simpler" stuff. Hydrogen peroxide is very cheap and useful.

I think it depends on the country what you can buy over the counter in the way of antibiotics. You shouldn't (for obvious reasons of development of resistant strains) be able to buy them easily.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:43:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
If you're really paranoid carbolic acid is the way to go.  No bacteria has yet been able to evolve a defense against its cell wall being dissolved in acid.  Of course it is equally affective against human cell walls so it's not something I'd want hanging around.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:53:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Nope, not paranoid, hydrogen peroxide is fine.

If you're growing veg and raising livestock, a tetanus vaccine is a good thing to have (lasts 10 years).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:15:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
True

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:33:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In Serbia you could (even during crises all tho it was expensive and paid in DM) and I think you still can buy antibiotics and I suppose any medicine you need without prescription in PRIVATE pharmacies. It wasn't case before we went private.
Here in Australia you can't buy antibiotics or any other serious drug without prescription. But still I would like to have at least some antibiotics of broad spectrum at hand just in case. I wouldn't use it if I have excess to prescriptions. But thing is that all tho (private) doctors have to eat but they will charge you a lot of money so many may not afford to see the doctor. For example in NZ people can go to hospitals for free but for an emergency only,  but for general practitioners and specialist they have to pay. For some of them it was too expensive and especially if they have more kids they would postpone taking kids to the doctor and some would end up in emergency...when it is too late and damage has been done. Not good.
by vbo on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 01:16:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I did nursing work in Haiti during the U.S. embargo (of meds, among other things.) When things get really tough, creativity may come to the fore.

This may scare people, but here goes: A good percentage of veterinary antibiotics and other vet meds are consumed by people here in the U.S.  They're cheaper, and readily available online without paying for a doctor's office visit. Stock up and learn to store them. Example: antibiotics used in fish tanks, available at every bigbox store, work just as well as those sold by the druggist. But -- you need to have advice at hand as to what drug to use for what illness. The internet helps at the moment, but my guess is that it won't be there in its present form if the shit hits the fan.  

Get a good hard-cover home medical book.

by altoid (tom.casadecampanas AT gmail dotcom) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 07:53:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I have used antibiotics intended for tropical fish tanks and to good effect. But after we lost our aquarium during the Northridge earthquake they might have wondered why antibiotics were the only thing I bought.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:12:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
And get a medical lexicon to know which symptoms might be amenable to antibiotics and which are definitely not.

Having friends in the medical profession, I can tell that the indications are in general that you are worse then what would be reasonable with a virus. To know, a test is required. These tests are not advanced as long as you have access and power to the machine.

Erythrocyte sedimentation rate - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), also called a sedimentation rate or Biernacki Reaction, is the rate at which red blood cells sediment in a period of 1 hour. It is a common hematology test that is a non-specific measure of inflammation. To perform the test, anticoagulated blood is placed in an upright tube, known as a Westergren tube, and the rate at which the red blood cells fall is measured and reported in mm/h.

Short of getting the machinery yourself, I guess cultivating friendships within the sphere of medicine is the best way to go.

Vaccinations are always a good idea.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:26:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A swedish kind of death:
worse then what would be reasonable with a virus

What virus? Influenza is a virus that can produce extremely serious symptoms and which kills a large number of people every year. Just to speak of a very common virus, not HIV for example.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:38:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That is why you need tests.

Little fever, little aches, little irritations - probably virus. More fever, worse aches, worse irritations, longer time - probably bacteria. If probably bacteria, then do test. At least that is how I understand the flow-chart.

Speaking about influenza and stuff to stuck up on, alcohol to rub your hands with during epidemics can probably be useful. Alcohol lasts long too.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:14:42 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm thinking you might want to have a small lab where you can synthesize hydrogen peroxide or alcohol.

If you're on a farm you can get alcohol from fermentation and distillation. If you don't intend to drink it, it's much easier to do.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:18:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Very easy to make, if you don't mean to drink it. Much harder if you do...
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:43:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Exactly, if you don't have to worry about the methanol...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:44:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
As far as I can tell, this is a common misunderstanding, stemming from the added methanol in industrial alcohol.

Denatured alcohol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Denatured alcohol or methylated spirits is ethanol that has additives to make it more poisonous or unpalatable, and thus, undrinkable. In some cases it is also dyed.

Denatured alcohol is used as a solvent and as fuel for spirit burners and camping stoves. Because of the diversity of industrial uses for denatured alcohol, hundreds of additives and denaturing methods have been used. Traditionally, the main additive is 10% methanol, giving rise to the term "methylated spirit." Other typical additives include isopropyl alcohol, acetone, methyl ethyl ketone, methyl isobutyl ketone, and denatonium.[1]

The process of making ethanol is fairly straightforward, get sugar of some kind, add yeast, close lid. After some time you have an alcoholic beverage (beer, wine, cider etc depending on what kind of sugary substance you used). Distill and tap the ethanol. For purer result, redistill the tapped fluid until wanted purity. (Dilute with distilled water, flavor with herbs or by keeping in contact with burnt wood, depending on what product you try to make.)

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:32:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Another origin of the idea that moonshine contains methanol is that moonshiners are sometimes - ah - honesty-impaired, shall we say. And the nature of moonshine sorta precludes independent third-party quality control.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 03:53:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Re-reading vbo's comments I think the standardised testtubes for ESR machines is an item well worth stockpiling if you expect a similar stuation. If you have doctors, nurses, etc and they have the machinery and electricity, the testtubes is the thing that will run out. Same with scalpels and similar one-time-only equipment.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 02:37:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Scalpels can be sterilised just fine over an open flame. No pathogen in existence will survive being heated to a couple of hundred Celsius for half a minute. They will, eventually, dull and break, but they are not "one-time" unless you have a ready supply on hand. Test tubes may not be amenable to that, depending on what you intend to use them for.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 03:58:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Well actually cause you cannot stockpile everything you may need (and do not worry black market and other greedy people, will supply almost everything), it is better idea to have money to buy it...What's going to be "money" I do not know and that is trouble this time. Anyway as people HAVE to live even trough wars and catastrophes something is going to be organised. Having a cash stream of income is the most important thing.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 08:09:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Good point.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se
by A swedish kind of death on Sat Aug 6th, 2011 at 04:17:45 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Get an autoclave and you can reuse test tubes and scalpels.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Sun Aug 7th, 2011 at 04:03:47 PM EST
[ Parent ]
 

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 01:34:11 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Sorry for empty post.
Here it is:

We have madness with flu virus or whatever it is this year here in Brisbane. I am sure it is because of floods. Literally everyone I know was sick and this is crazy: It lasts for more than a month for everyone. Never experienced anything like this (and everyone has the same story).First you are sick like you have normal flu virus. I do not understand exactly why some of us were prescribed antibiotics and some were not. After awhile you feel pretty good so you think you are in recovery. But NO. SUDDENLY (this is important cause this suddenness everyone is talking about) you would feel bad again, weak and sick to the extent that you need to lay in bad. Sometimes your throat would be sour again and again. Some people are coughing repeatedly even they had antibiotics. This weakness would last for 3-4 hours and you would feel better...and it goes on and on for almost two months now. On TV they just said that we have extraordinary more people with flu this year but nothing more. As we have Hendra virus (horses) around they just said that probably because of the floods Hendra is behaving strange this time. As I understand viruses can mutate so they can be "new" for the doctors.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 01:40:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Medications also has a fairly short use-before date. Not knowing how they decay I would guess that is a problem for stock-piling. What medicines (if any) was stockpiled in the waiting-for-ww3 bunkers?

On the other hand, if you have some kind of chronic illness, stockig up on your medicine could be a great idea.

Sweden's finest (and perhaps only) collaborative, leftist e-newspaper Synapze.se

by A swedish kind of death on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:14:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The shelf life of medicine is probably understated by a fairly generous Murphy Factor. In any event, if I got pneumonia after the nuclear war I would take my chances with overdue penicillin over riding it out. It can't do worse than kill me, and untreated pneumonia will do that to you anyway if you are even moderately unlucky.

With an intact industrial society, self-medicating is highly irresponsible. But that's because an intact industrial society has doctors and high population density. In any scenario where antibiotics are worth stockpiling privately (meaning that they are not readily available), there is a better than even chance that at least one of those will no longer be true.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:26:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
JakeS:
if I got pneumonia after the nuclear war I would take my chances

Yeah, we would all take any chance in those circumstances.

But the chances you can "stockpile" antibiotics are pretty slim anyway.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:34:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And the chances those anti-biotics are going to do any good against the new bacteria that have and are evolving are slim as well.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:47:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
i have stockpiled some golden seal root, plus garlic has antibiotic properties.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 05:22:27 AM EST
[ Parent ]


Align culture with our nature. Ot else!
by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 12:21:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I understand that woven cloth, yard goods, blankets, etc. had value as a kind of "money" at times during the American revolution.  Cloth is something that can be stockpiled and traded, and is fairly lightweight for carrying over distances, and it is very useful.

In fact paper money is probably more a substitute for woven cloth than some kind of precious metal.

by jjellin on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 12:31:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Until the invention and widespread distribution of steam powered weaving machines.  If you know anybody with a last name of "Draper" ... boy where his/her ancestors rich.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 07:10:25 PM EST
[ Parent ]
During WWII my grandmother "traded" (among other things) luxury handmade table clothes and Manchester for food. Those were the things that only city people could afford to buy and were considered as value at the time. Of course farmers would rather have gold or silver but war lasted long and they have to trade.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Wed Aug 10th, 2011 at 05:45:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
With an intact industrial society, self-medicating is highly irresponsible.

Can you believe that in some rural areas here in Australia they are so desperate for doctors and dentists specially that some people had to pull their teeth by themselves. Some are desperate to see nurse let alone doctor. At the same time private doctors in cities are massively overpaid...In my area I have three private medical centres placed in 2 km. But they say :it's a market.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 01:52:33 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Now that you talk about it...

The interesting part is that I have ALWAYS (like: since I remember) been prescribed antibiotics (for flu/cold like symptoms). I am a bit confused how is that this has always happened.

by cagatacos on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 03:53:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The proper thing to do is to take a sample, do a culture and decide whether to prescribe antibiotics then.

It's much easier for the doctors and much cheaper for the public health system and it lowers waiting times to send people home with a box of antibiotics.

Welcome to the Iberian public health system, where Amoxicilin-resistant bugs must run rampant.

The running joke about the British NHS is that they prescribe Paracetamol for everything in order to see a patient every 10 minutes.

As placebos they're quite expensive and have nasty side effects, I know...

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:03:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
When the banks started to look "strange" to me I said to my father who at the time was working for big bank in Belgrade:"They are going to take our money". My father answered to me:"NO they CAN'T do that. They will not DARE to do that". Well after awhile it was happening and he was lucky to be employee of the bank to be able to take out his personal money. I took my on time. We used to have accounts with foreign currency and that was first for them to take from us. They would simply say "Sorry bank does not have that money". People would attack (sometimes physically) poor cashiers at the bank...
I could not resist those pyramid banks at the end, because it seemed that everyone is making money out of tin air but me. I knew it is going to collapse but did not know when. So I put some (not much) money there. Luckily I was able to instinctively feel that collapse is going to happen soon and I took my money out. Others (some friends) could not resist great interest they were getting even when one of the big pyramid banks collapsed,  thinking "Just one more circle of 6 months" and were laughing at me. Well they lost their money. Some people even sold their homes in order to make really big money (10% a month) and solve some big problems. Some committed suicide after losing everything they had.
Ok they were laughing at me about my vegetable garden...they were right there. I ended up buying food like everyone else. I was lucky to have those German marks...that they lost...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:51:07 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The Depression ended with WW II. WW III with nukes should be a ton of fun.

They tried to assimilate me. They failed.
by THE Twank (yatta blah blah @ blah.com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:40:33 AM EST
European Commission press releases: Spring 2011 Standard Eurobarometer: Europeans more confident about the economy
Brussels, 4 August 2011 - Europeans are starting to be more optimistic about the economy's outlook with more people saying that the worst of the crisis is behind us, according to the Spring 2011 Eurobarometer, the bi-annual opinion poll organised by the European Union. 43% of Europeans think that the crisis's impact on the job market has already reached its peak. (see Annex). That's one percentage point more than the in previous survey in autumn 2010 (MEMO/11/16) and 15 percentage points higher than in spring 2009. Europeans are also increasingly asking for EU action and stronger European cooperation to tackle the crisis and avoid future problems. Nearly 8 out of 10 Europeans think stronger coordination of economic policy among EU Member States would be effective in tackling the economic situation.

...

While the general EU trend is positive, there is still some scepticism in countries that continue to face recession and rising unemployment. Differences exist between more "optimistic" and "pessimistic" countries. A majority of Member States, in particular Denmark (68%), Estonia (64%), and Austria (62%), believe that the impact of the economic crisis on the job market has already reached its peak. The opposite opinion is seen in countries struggling with the crisis, such as Portugal (80%) and Greece (78%).

uropeans continue to broadly support the idea of "being stronger by working together" (see Annex): 79% (+2 percentage points from autumn 2010) are in favour of "a stronger coordination of economic policy among all the EU Member States, 78% (+3) are in favour of "a closer supervision by the EU when public money is used to rescue banks and financial institutions," 78% (+3) think that "a stronger coordination of economic and financial policies among the countries of the euro area" would be effective, 77% (+2) support a closer supervision by the EU of the activities of large financial groups" and 73% (+2) think that "a more important role for the EU in regulating financial services" would be effective.



Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:43:19 AM EST
As I said " Do not watch/read news"...I am sick of surveys and hot/cold shocks every second week.
Today we are optimistic...Oh wait, but today we are pessimistic...Economy is growing...0.2 %...Hmm.. well it's not growing as we thought...Hura  consumer confidence is up, we are on good track ...Ahm...consumer are not spending...Jobs has been created...eh...no...Unemployment is steady (and God only knows what real unemployment rate is)...
Really makes me literally sick...


Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:00:00 AM EST
[ Parent ]
years ago. I miss The Simpsons and Rick Steves, but not that much.

My entertainment is Eurotrib - I mean that in a good way.

paul spencer

by paul spencer (spencerinthegorge AT yahoo DOT com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:05:06 PM EST
[ Parent ]
http://hubpages.com/hub/Survive-Total-Economic-Collapse

This is interesting too.

"Money as debt" video good for economic dummies like me ha-ha

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein

by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:20:07 AM EST
Of course, money is not debt, its equity.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:51:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am very suspicious about equity as such...It's like a magic...now you see it ...now you don't.

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 12:30:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The ultimate backing of any domestic money supply is the productivity of the economy and the ability of the governing economic authority to effectively mobilize that productivity.

Its tempting to pretend it can be otherwise when an economy's productive capacity is in shambles or the governing economic authority is incompetent at mobilizing that productivity, but its just wishful thinking. Money is just tickets to play the current economic game, and when the current economic game is not worth playing, as the domestic economy in the DRC (ex-Zaire) during the later period of the Mobutu regime, the tickets are of equally little value.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:04:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's not conventional 'shareholder value' toxic equity - where you are completely right to be suspicious.

It's simply an ownership claim (a unit redeemable in exchange for value) we issue over productive assets owned in common, rather than a debt claim conjured up and issued by private interests over our Commons.

"The future is already here -- it's just not very evenly distributed" William Gibson

by ChrisCook (cojockathotmaildotcom) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:17:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I am really an economic dummy (details are too complicated for me to understand) and I am sure you are right. But what I see is that one state economy is projected actually on "toxic equity" that may be wiped off in a few minutes on the market. In last few days 50 billion were wiped off from Australian market ...and we are doing well (so that say).I am sure economy is exact science where math is precise. But lately I am seeing that projections are actually made not that much on those numbers but on "trust" that things will go the way they want it. It starts to look like a religion to me ha-ha. "In money we trust"...and in greed...

Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:43:04 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Different kind of equity. That is stock market values. The money is backed by what the economy itself can make.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:53:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's easier to understand if you think of that 50B as virtual, as in it never really existed, it's assumed based on premises that are inassailable, except under extremes black swan, 'who could have predicted' events, which regularly return as soon as the generation scarred by them has gone gaga or kicked the bucket.

during these events the megacorporations of the future buy good businesses at pennies on the dollar.

what can you expect from a system that enshrines gordon gecko behaviour as that of a 'rational actor'.

strewth :(

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:28:55 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Consider, vbo, that maybe the reason you don't understand it is that it isn't true to human nature, or that words are being stretched so far beyond their common meanings that they can't make sense.

Money is a guarantee to pay value. It's a promise, and your experience with banks may make you impervious to the lies banksters tell.

The Deutschmarks were a good promise from 1980 to 1993, but not so much in the 1930's, true?

I think the USA will start printing (bad) dollars very soon, according to Allan Greenspan, who just said so on Meet The Press, ten minutes ago.

Align culture with our nature. Ot else!

by ormondotvos (ormond.otvosnospamgmialcon) on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 01:14:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
.. clueless. He thought that banks would self-regulate because taking reckless risks would end up costing them a lot of money. As if the people making the decisions were more interested in the long term outcome for the institution than the short term outcome for their own personal bank balances.

Money is a guarantee to pay value. It's a promise, and your experience with banks may make you impervious to the lies banksters tell.

A financial asset is guarantee to pay money.

Money when it works is not a guarantee to "pay value": its a guarantee that you can go out and buy stuff with it, that if you save it, you can take it out again and buy stuff with it, if someone promises to pay you money and then they do, you can buy stuff with it, and if you count up how much you had in January and how much you had in December, its the same number.

In terms of platonic ideals, no money ever keeps those guarantees in terms of being able to buy exactly the same things with exactly the same money, but since people are more used to living in the real world than in a platonic ideal, that's nowhere near the issue it is in daily life as it is in grand sweeping discussions about money.

In a fiat currency system, the backing for the guarantee is the domestic economy and the responsible authority, so when the populous is dependent upon the product of some other economy, and the ability to acquire that product breaks down, the above sets of guarantees often break down. That was the Mark under the pressure of a demand to pay more in reparations than any trade surplus it could conceivably earn in post-WWI conditions in Miteleuropa. That was the Confederate dollar under Union blockade with an inability to export cotton cost-effectively, and finally with an inability to maintain control over their cotton growing lands. That was the Zairian kleptocracy, when if all efforts to skim from hard currency export earnings had been successful, it would have been stolen five times over.

When that happens, even if the fiat currency continues to be the thing that you use to buy stuff with, it loses the rest of the guarantees, and the different functions have to be played by different institutions.

If the problem gets sorted out, sometimes by the system breaking down so thoroughly its replaced by a new one, and some currency emerges that is able to fulfill all four guarantees well enough, then the system settles back into a normal monetary system.

The US has ample labor resource and ample equipment resource, so the breakdown that Alan Greenspan refers to must be natural resources. But the total natural resource bill by the US is at present nowhere near large enough to cause that kind of breakdown, and there's nothing in Alan Greenspan's world that could make him suspect what's coming on that front in the next decade or two ... so he's just spouting nonsense, as usual.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Mon Aug 8th, 2011 at 04:19:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I am just reading through internet and found this too:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jun/06/us-economy-decline-recovery-challenges
Let me put an alternative hypothesis. America in 2011 is Rome in 200AD or Britain on the eve of the first world war: an empire at the zenith of its power but with cracks beginning to show.

The experience of both Rome and Britain suggests that it is hard to stop the rot once it has set in, so here are the a few of the warning signs of trouble ahead: military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working. The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence.




Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind...Albert Einstein
by vbo on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 09:56:55 AM EST
This seems appropriate. Its an interesting question whether Europe will elect to go for the Eastern Roman Empire route, or go down with the American Empire.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:05:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You make it sound like the choice hasn't already been made...

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:06:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The choice to go down with collapse of the American Empire has to keep being remade with each new shock. The choice to split the Empire in two and craft a more viable system in the eastern half ... that really only needs to be made once, and when its made, it'll be a trap door policy.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:26:41 PM EST
[ Parent ]
You think there isn't enough endogenous collapse in Europe, that all of it is contagion from the American collapse?

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 02:53:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There lots of self-induced damage, to be sure, but the damage due to building the EU system badly can be more readily addressed by rebuilding it better in the EU than in the US, since the institutions that require reforming are less deeply entrenched.

When I say "choice", I mean like the choice to lose weight by eating right and getting enough exercise ... as opposed to the wish to lose weight, perhaps periodically addressed by flirting with a fad diet.

I'm not saying it'll be easy to choose to cut yourselves free and establish a viable system independent of Washington and New York ... just that the option exists. Indeed, it may well be an intrinsic part of the process of reforming your broken systems to make them functional.


I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 03:15:53 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Not to return the question exactly, but do you think the collapse of Europe is happening in a vacuum?
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:48:08 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I believe the Euro was primed for a collapse because it is a generator ---not a moderator--- of macroeconomic imbalance between its member states. We have therefore been extremely unfortunate that the US subprime bubble popped first, because that's made it possible for people in Europe to tell themselves that the US subprime crisis was the cause of the trouble in an otherwise healthy Europe, as opposed to the trigger of the collapse of an inherently unstable and unsustainable system.

On the other hand, if the Euro had popped first, triggering the global crisis, the political consequences would have been even worse. At least this way people question the shadow banking system, financial "innovation" and so on, instead of blaming European hubris from causing the collapse of global capitalism.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:53:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I agree with your first sentence. But in what circumstances would the euro have "popped first"? Don't you accept that the global financial sector is (or read was) much larger than the eurozone, is (both in terms of market organisation and power) outside the eurozone (Wall Street/City/many OFCs), and depends less on the euro than the dollar?

And, if this really is the collapse of global capitalism, does it matter who we blame?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:10:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It is not out of necessity that the US subprime crisis happened before the Greek crisis. Though it is possible that you needed a global recession to make the Eurozone breach the Maastricht deficit limits in such a way as to make the European policy elite panic like they have done.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:14:18 PM EST
[ Parent ]
It's possible to imagine a crisis over Greek debt within the eurozone quite separately from the collapse of the US bubble. It's possible to imagine speculation as a result, and hence a euro crisis. So I'm not saying that I think the US bubble bursting caused the euro crisis (triggered is possible).

What doesn't seem possible to me is to consider that we should be discussing Europe without reference to a global financial sector that surrounds, outguns, and interpenetrates it (thinking particularly of the major European banks and their risk-taking).

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:35:48 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I suppose culturally modern finance is an entirely American and almost entirely Chicagoan product, that is true. Without Wall Street it's hard to imagine what things would be like. Banking would probably still be boring.

Economics is politics by other means
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:40:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
And in my view the faulty European treaties and the Buba ECB rigor mortis are not products of that - though it's possible to claim that the Austrians did so much to inspire Chicago then Wall Street then world finance. The "irony" is I don't think Europeans believed they were in that stream of thought. Not that it matters now.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 05:58:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I've heard the Germans had some say in the ECB. Maybe that's your problem, right there, entirely independent of Wall Street in NYC or K Street in DC. You can get away with the Bundesbank when you are exporting "to the rest of Europe". When "the rest of Europe" is inside the currency zone, and you don't even have the fiscal policy at that level that the Germans allow themselves, a mega-Bundesbank is not a solution that works.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 11:52:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
German mercantilism and monetarism are assumed in the above discussion.

I don't see what light is cast by talking about "your problem". As far as I'm concerned, our problem is global neo-liberal financial capitalism.

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:55:08 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The US has a workable fiscal and monetary structure, with a fight between radical and moderate factions of our aristocracy of wealth within the global system preventing it from being used. We also have the silliest Empire in world history for an era of natural resources constraints, an Empire constructed by design to cost us money, and as a collateral effect costing us real resources, in order to generate effective demand. Y'all have a fiscal/monetary authority structure built broken, and after primarily serving as a front line base support area for the Base Empire, are being roped into supporting the extension and maintenance of the Base Empire into areas where the US is most seriously overextended.

So the challenges have distinctive features, I reckon.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 09:48:58 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough, and of course Europe and the US aren't in exactly the same situation. But there's enough in your comment to suggest we're not floating around in separate bubbles. To which I'd add that neo-lib ideology has been (and is) a vector of American hegemony - however (or all the more because) willingly espoused by European vassals.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 10:07:14 AM EST
[ Parent ]
But the US doesn't have the option of pivoting on the back of a declaration of independence from the US.

Hence the question, does the Eu pull an Eastern Roman Empire to NAFTA's Western Roman Empire, or go down with the ship?

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 11:13:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For the moment it's all hands on deck, full speed ahead for the (North Atlantic) iceberg. Even if the captains got thrown off the bridge, the replacement captains would be unlikely to steer another course.

When we're floundering around in the icy water, who knows who will scramble aboard the lifeboats?

by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 11:28:42 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'm obviously not talking about the choices of this instant ~ the question is not about the short term politics of 2011-2015 or the even the medium term politics of 2016-2020, but more the long game of 2020-2030.

But if you don't have something to work toward, you'll always be rolled by corporatists that play the long game.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.

by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Sat Aug 6th, 2011 at 11:40:36 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Fair enough, and of course Europe and the US aren't in exactly the same situation.

I would go even farther: The Anglo Disease and the BuBa Disease have completely different evolutionary histories, and have only cross-pollinated fairly recently.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:05:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]

On the other hand, if the Euro had popped first, triggering the global crisis, the political consequences would have been even worse.

So, we can say that perception is more important than "objective conditions" in shaping the political environment?

Fortunately the most important perception shapers (mass media) are not in the hands of the likes of Rupert Murdoch... /scarcasm

by cagatacos on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:02:04 AM EST
[ Parent ]
No, we can't say that.

Objective conditions constrain the possible outcomes. Subjective conditions constrain the possible actions.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 04:09:23 PM EST
[ Parent ]
BruceMcF:
The choice to go down with collapse of the American Empire has to keep being remade with each new shock.

don't you think the sellout of euro energy companies to the lure of cheap (for now) russian gas will eventually render us russia's bitch?

all that expense of the cold war, and guess who gets to be the boss?

and guess who's busy trying to sour the russians into switching to angry bear mode?

that's why europe's lead in alt energy is about so much more than kwh, and why it should be turbo'd instead of dallying further in fossil foolery.

ultimately the choices we make today on how to power our electric toenail clippers could result in tanks rolling through our streets again...

but euro leaders don't care, the quick money is all they see.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Fri Aug 5th, 2011 at 05:34:43 AM EST
[ Parent ]
For me this is the usual BS about decadence with the obligatory faux intellectual reference to Rome.
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 04:49:32 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I was referring to:
military overstretch, a widening gulf between rich and poor, a hollowed-out economy, citizens using debt to live beyond their means, and once-effective policies no longer working.

I think that:

The high levels of violent crime, epidemic of obesity, addiction to pornography and excessive use of energy may be telling us something: the US is in an advanced state of cultural decadence.  
... doesn't add anything, so didn't pay it much mind.

I've been accused of being a Marxist, yet while Harpo's my favourite, it's Groucho I'm always quoting. Odd, that.
by BruceMcF (agila61 at netscape dot net) on Thu Aug 4th, 2011 at 08:25:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's been a lot of talk about stockpiling:
  • personal hygiene products
  • medicines, antibiotics, antiseptics, medicines for chronic illness,
  • cloth, blankets
  • basic medical tools (scalpels, test tubes)

But also the realisation that you cannot stockpile everything and eventually it will run out.

In connection with antiseptics I suggested that a distillation kit might allow one to produce alcohol for antiseptic use without needing to stockpile the (flammable, dangerous) stuff. Regarding stockpiles of medical tools, I suggested a small autoclave might allow reuse. Woven cloth? A small loom?

What I'm getting at is that tools (and skills to use them - in some cases, a good dead-tree manual given the possible availability of time to use it) might be more important than stuff.

Economics is politics by other means

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 04:03:04 AM EST
And this can be arbitrarily meta:  better than tools to do it are tools to make the tools to do it.
by njh on Tue Aug 9th, 2011 at 08:14:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]


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