The Cold Turkey Bust
by David Calderwood
by David Calderwood: I
Wish I Could Vote
seem jumpy these days. Acquaintances who have never seen websites
like LRC have asked me about buying gold or silver, and even those
who previously abhorred the thought of owning a gun seem to be warming
up to the concept.
Thereís a very
real sense that something is wrong; like people on the shore watching
water rush away from the land, the shared notion that itís time
to get to higher ground, fast, is palpable.
is easy to identify when one discusses topography. Itís a lot more
difficult when considering the definition of "safety"
during a financial, economic, and potentially social cataclysm.
attention for the past twenty years could be forgiven for being
shocked at how long this whole sorry excuse for an economy has held
up. I thought seriously about selling my house in 1998, secure in
the belief that doing so would allow me to bank the "profits"
at the top and rent during the ensuing economic contraction, after
which my money might buy much more.
agree with my implied expectation or not, my point is that an error
in timing is significant. Five minutes too late in running from
a tsunami certainly cost some people their lives in Japan. Being
five minutes too late during a bank run could lead to complete loss
early, however, also has its risks. When making a massive
change in oneís finances thereís usually a burn rate involved in
waiting for the anticipated calamity to ensue. During that waiting
period thereís food to buy, bills to pay, and the costs of life-goes-on
This is why
I cringe when I read recommendations that are unequivocal and drastic.
Maybe the author is right on timing and severity, but my experience
is that no one, as yet, has nailed both of those in the past twenty
years. I think it pays to weigh major financial or life changes
very, very carefully.
Be very cautious
when considering putting all of your eggs in the "Prepper"
To me, preparing
for a middle-of-the-road crisis seems prudent. This means eliminating
debt, trying to shore up a job (or plan for another income source),
and accumulating a reasonable supply of water and healthful foods
you already like to eat.
Crisis or no,
I think itís silly not to own a good fire extinguisher and
know how to use it. I mean, in the time it takes for the fire department
to show up after you call, your actions could be a matter of life
and death. By the way, substitute "gun" and "cops"
for "fire extinguisher" and "fire department"
and you can infer my view of living the unarmed life.
crisis is not a time of Mad Max and roving gangs, itís a time of
self-help and mutual assistance. Invest a lot more time and effort
into family, neighbors, and friends. They are much more likely to
be keys to success if the going really, really gets tough.
I think itís safe to assume that someday the electronic forms of
money to which weíre accustomed may have a hiccup or two. While
the jury is still out regarding the final Act in the Shakespearian
tragedy Fiat Money, it remains quite possible that little
green-stained pieces of paper will be accepted as a medium of exchange
for a while longer. I have yet to see the early signs of a credible
alternative and until they appear there is nothing obvious between
our current money and a full barter economy. Barter is a TEOTWAWKI
[The End Of The World As We Know It] kind of thing, and I think
the only way to "prepare" for that is to fill a secret
cavern with trade goods you know will be hot commodities
in a few years.
With my luck
Iíd sink my lifeís savings into something people turned out to be
willing to make for themselves. I simply donít try to prepare for
Armageddon. Doing so appears mutually exclusive with regard to handling
less catastrophic conditions.
work with the world as it is today, with an eye to what my research
informs me I should prudently prepare to face when this IOU-saturated,
over-consuming paradigm evolves into what comes next.
The good news
is that I look forward to my fellow citizens hopefully rediscovering
the joys of living honorable lives, and expecting no less from those
who seek positions of power. The Crystal
Meth Economy was fertile ground for moral relativism and infantile
"me first" behaviors, and after going cold turkey from
that pernicious hallucination perhaps we can expect a popular resurgence
of more socially beneficial views like the values of hard work,
modesty, and minding oneís own business.
March 15, 2011
Calderwood [send him mail]
a businessman, artist, and author of the novel Revolutionary
Language, selected January 2000 Freedom Book of the Month
© 2011 by David C. Calderwood
Best of David Calderwood