A. Tighten your belt
B. Move investments and retirement accounts
C. Hike to Canada under cover of darkness with as much gold as you can carry
How freaked out are you and what is your plan?
Ok, so I, like most of the moderately informed, beat my head against the wall that is willful ignorance of the US financial crisis. Not the one that Paulson and Bernake have been talking about. That is a crisis of convenience, a last squeeze of the toothpaste tube, if you will. No, I’m talking about the basis of our entire financial system and it’s fundamentally flawed premise of infinite growth with finite resources through the hocus-pocus of creative usury.
But describing the details of our soon to fail macro-economic ideology is not the focus of my post today. Instead I hope to initiate discussion on ‘how bad will it get and what the hell can I do about it to protect myself’. In the end we must each realize that the knowledge itself is useless without action.
In order to do this we must first talk about Lucy and John. Lucy is a middle aged mother who works for the government and likes to watch Oprah. John is a peter pan British ex-patriot who likes to drink and chase women. Lucy thinks everything will work out and that whatever happens is God's will. She doesn’t believe the financial crisis will affect her directly, and if it does it will be easily manageable. Her faith in an omnipotent and benevolent government is unshaken. There are millions of Lucys. John, on the other hand, has been buying as much gold and silver over the last year as he can. He knows I am reasonably informed about the current manufactured crisis, so he confides in me all his doomsday plans. ‘We could hike across the Canadian border to avoid customs; they wouldn’t like all the coins we’d be carrying.’ ‘We need camping gear and a store of non-perishable food.’ John is planning for a financial end of days. And here is my problem: Is Lucy naive? Is John bat-sh*t crazy? Is there a middle ground, and if so what is it?
My own knowledge on the subject is telling me that something very bad has been and will continue to happen that will affect both me and Lucy directly regardless of our optimism. But it is that very optimism that prohibits me from subscribing to the Chicken Little future John is planning for. It just seems too implausible that the super rich would collapse the entire system just to get a little richer. Stupider things have been done in the annuls of human history I suppose, so in essence, I’m conflicted.
What is your opinion? How bad is it going to get and what is your plan?