When The Rich Become Preppers, It's Time To Worry

For over 10 years now, we've been openly advocating that folks take action to become more prepared should crisis arrive. And for a long time, this advice relegated us to being labeled "tin-foil hat doomsday preppers" (and other less-polite monikers). The media just couldn't figure out any other box to put us in.

But now, the concept of taking at least some responsibility for your own future well-being by increasing your self-reliance is finally moving towards the mainstream.

Of course, government agencies have long ascribed to "situational planning" in case sudden unrest were to happen. Nations around the world have long invested in redundant supply chains, as well as well-stocked disaster 'continuity caves', fortresses and hardened facilities of all sorts.

It's strikes us as puzzling that most private citizens fully expect their government to be prepared for disaster like this, yet don't see similar wisdom in practicing a similar approach to preparation in their own life. In fact, many go so far as to denigrate and even mock their friends and neighbors who do.

Perhaps that gap between what's considered acceptable in a public institution but not in a private home is best explained as abdication of personal responsibility. It happens a lot in our society. Live your life and let the government worry about the scary stuff. They'll take care of us if something bad happens.

We think it's a huge error in judgment (remember Katrina, anyone?), but we understand why it's a convenient and comforting narrative to hold. Plus, it frees up a lot more time to shop at the big box stores and keep up on the Kardashians. Life's more fun and stress-free...right up until some unexpected disruption occurs.

Well, we here at Peak Prosperity deeply believe in shouldering our own personal responsibility. And not just to protect our own private well-being, but also that of the communities we live in and depend on.

After all, Peak Prosperity's mission is To create a world worth inheriting. You don't do that simply waiting to see if the calvary is ever going to show up. You assume responsibility for your own destiny, and inspire others to do the same by offering your support and serving as a living model for others to emulate.

Those expecting/demanding the State to have high emergency preparedness while not practicing the same in their own lives lack integrity. Nobody respects a low-integrity person for very long. (Pro tip:  Don’t fly your personal jet to give a lecture on the importance of addressing climate change.)

A resilient nation is built from the bottom up, starting with resilient households. Enough of those households creates resilient neighborhoods, and those in turn lead to resilient towns and cities. And then counties, and states -- you get the point.

So taking steps to be partially self-sufficient in the basics of life – food, warmth, shelter and water – and have useful experience or skills (medicine, fixing things, building, distilling, to name just a few) just makes sense. You don't have to strive to be completely self-reliant -- it's not realistic or necessary. Just position yourself to reduce your lifestyle requirements during times of strife, and to contribute valued support to those whom in turn you ask for help.

Preparing Is Rapidly Going Mainstream

For years now, I’ve written that the highly wealthy people whom I encounter through conferences, family offices and private consultations all got the “bug out” vibe after the 2008 crash, if not before. Today, many of them are more thoroughly prepped than us regular folks can imagine.

Disaster prepping is now acceptable enough that this week's article in The New Yorker had no trouble finding high-profile executives to talk to on record. I couldn't help noticing that the reporter avoided inferring that these folks were crazy, or implying as much. I guess once a critical mass of super wealthy tech entrepreneurs jumps on the bandwagon it’s suddenly hip to be a prepper?

At any rate, if you haven't already seen the article, it's a real eye-opener:

Doomsday Prep For The Super-Rich

Jan 30, 2017

Steve Huffman, the thirty-three-year-old co-founder and C.E.O. of Reddit, which is valued at six hundred million dollars, was nearsighted until November, 2015, when he arranged to have laser eye surgery. He underwent the procedure not for the sake of convenience or appearance but, rather, for a reason he doesn’t usually talk much about: he hopes that it will improve his odds of surviving a disaster, whether natural or man-made. “If the world ends—and not even if the world ends, but if we have trouble—getting contacts or glasses is going to be a huge pain in the ass,” he told me recently. “Without them, I’m fucked.”

Huffman, who lives in San Francisco, has large blue eyes, thick, sandy hair, and an air of restless curiosity; at the University of Virginia, he was a competitive ballroom dancer, who hacked his roommate’s Web site as a prank. He is less focused on a specific threat—a quake on the San Andreas, a pandemic, a dirty bomb—than he is on the aftermath, “the temporary collapse of our government and structures,” as he puts it. “I own a couple of motorcycles. I have a bunch of guns and ammo. Food. I figure that, with that, I can hole up in my house for some amount of time.”

Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.

Last spring, as the Presidential campaign exposed increasingly toxic divisions in America, Antonio García Martínez, a forty-year-old former Facebook product manager living in San Francisco, bought five wooded acres on an island in the Pacific Northwest and brought in generators, solar panels, and thousands of rounds of ammunition. “When society loses a healthy founding myth, it descends into chaos,” he told me. The author of “Chaos Monkeys,” an acerbic Silicon Valley memoir, García Martínez wanted a refuge that would be far from cities but not entirely isolated. “All these dudes think that one guy alone could somehow withstand the roving mob,” he said. “No, you’re going to need to form a local militia. You just need so many things to actually ride out the apocalypse.”

Once he started telling peers in the Bay Area about his “little island project,” they came “out of the woodwork” to describe their own preparations, he said. “I think people who are particularly attuned to the levers by which society actually works understand that we are skating on really thin cultural ice right now.”

In private Facebook groups, wealthy survivalists swap tips on gas masks, bunkers, and locations safe from the effects of climate change. One member, the head of an investment firm, told me, “I keep a helicopter gassed up all the time, and I have an underground bunker with an air-filtration system.” He said that his preparations probably put him at the “extreme” end among his peers. But he added, “A lot of my friends do the guns and the motorcycles and the gold coins. That’s not too rare anymore.”

Tim Chang, a forty-four-year-old managing director at Mayfield Fund, a venture-capital firm, told me, “There’s a bunch of us in the Valley. We meet up and have these financial-hacking dinners and talk about backup plans people are doing. It runs the gamut from a lot of people stocking up on Bitcoin and cryptocurrency, to figuring out how to get second passports if they need it, to having vacation homes in other countries that could be escape havens.” He said, “I’ll be candid: I’m stockpiling now on real estate to generate passive income but also to have havens to go to.” He and his wife, who is in technology, keep a set of bags packed for themselves and their four-year-old daughter. He told me, “I kind of have this terror scenario: ‘Oh, my God, if there is a civil war or a giant earthquake that cleaves off part of California, we want to be ready.’ ”


The message here is clear enough: The wealthy have caught onto the idea that the probability of a major social disruption is high enough to merit serious action.

Prepping is now becoming “a thing.”

And that makes it increasingly OK to talk about in the open. That's a great development; we at Peak Prosperity have been waiting for this milestone for a decade now. But it comes with a cost: the more people who awaken to the risks we face, the faster the peaceful complacency society has slumbered in will dissipate.

From here it’s only a hop, skip and a jump for the newly-awake to start losing faith in our debt-based fiat money system and the massive unsustainability of the economy built on top of it.  As our readers know very well, once you understand how these systems are structured, it's hard not be shocked by their fragility (not to mention their deep unfairness). 

For example, our food distribution system relies on a lot of moving, integrated parts.  If any one of these breaks down, the shipment of food (and pharmaceuticals, and many other components of daily life) simply stops. Cities only have about 3 days' worth of inventory at any given time.  Should a shock occur to the system, even a minor one like a winter blizzard, supply can dwindle out in a matter of hours as people scramble to get what they can.

Here’s an image of shelves at a Wal-Mart in Charlotte NC taken as a relatively minor snow storm was approaching the area on January 6th 2017.


The line between “well stocked” and “stripped bare” is merely a matter of public awareness.  Once people become worried about the possibility of scarcity, their mad scramble to hoard what they can  actually creates the very scarcity they dear. That's because our system is deliberately run on a just-in-time basis, in order to maximize profit. Excess inventory incurs storage fees; so we "optimize" our supply chains to avoid it. But it begs the question: perhaps the human suffering costs of quickly running out of essentials during an emergency is higher than the dollars saved by keeping inventory levels minimal?

Our fractional reserve banking is structured the same way: it only works if everyone doesn’t show up at the same time demanding to withdraw their money.  If that ever happens, there isn't nearly enough supply for everyone. Once the illusion is exposed, then people get panicky and start grouping into angy mobs

Think it can't happen here? Just talk to folks in India. Two months ago they would have agreed with you. Today, the most they are allowed to withdraw for their bank is a few hundred dollars worth of banknotes per week. Here's a video of a run on a bank there where the swaming masses quickly stampede over the security guards, trampling elderly patrons in the process:

And it's even worse in Venezuela. There, the limit is US$5 per day. If you had US10,000 of savings in the bank, at that rate, it would take you 5 and half years to withdraw it all.

Playing the Odds

Of course, most truly catastrophic events are quite rare. Rather than worry about them, it usually makes sense to simply ignore these tail risks and carry on with your life.

I do this rather than stress out about a large asteroid impact or a Yellowstone supervolcano eruption. While either of these *could* happen in my lifetime, the odds are incredibly low and there’s virtually nothing I can do to prepare for or predict such an event. So I don’t even try.

Other potential threats to our well-being, however, have much higher probabilities. And yet, most people are quite content to ignore the need to prepare, no matter how high the risks. Few people maintain a deep pantry, which is why the store shelves invariably get stripped as a big storm rolls into town. And only a small minority of people living along California's active fault lines have put together a well-stock earthquake kit.

But more cadres of thinkers are embracing the wisdom of investing in an ounce of prevention today. In the New Yorker article, the techies from Silicon Valley seem more inclined to ‘do the math’ and follow logic:

Yishan Wong, an early Facebook employee, was the C.E.O. of Reddit from 2012 to 2014. He, too, had eye surgery for survival purposes, eliminating his dependence, as he put it, “on a nonsustainable external aid for perfect vision.” In an e-mail, Wong told me, “Most people just assume improbable events don’t happen, but technical people tend to view risk very mathematically.”

He continued, “The tech preppers do not necessarily think a collapse is likely. They consider it a remote event, but one with a very severe downside, so, given how much money they have, spending a fraction of their net worth to hedge against this . . . is a logical thing to do.”

As we've advised for years, even if something has a low probability, if its result would be catastrophic, then buy insurance if you can. Prepping for a major "grid-down" power outage is simply a no-brainer for those who have decent math skills. The calculation is eminently rational, as there a number of potential causal factors (weather, sabotage, squirrel) and the downside could be quite large.

So, with all the potential looming risks out there -- economic shock, social disorder, supply chain failure, to name just a few -- what are practical, affordable, achievable steps a prudent person should take?

In Part 2: Preparing Prudently, we present a specific list of the most useful preparations, along with links to helpful resources and services for carrying them out. Nearly anyone can implement these, and nearly everyone should. The more of us who prepare wisely today, the more of us who will be in a position to be of service when the next crisis arrives.

Click here to read Part 2 of this report (free executive summary, enrollment required for full access)

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/when-the-rich-become-preppers-its-time-to-worry/

Churchill said "this is not the beginning nor, it is the end but perhaps it is the beginning of the end ". Yellowstone has been changing lately, keep one eye on her.

Great post Chris.
Long time reader here, but never commented.
A trend I am watching closely from my vantage point on the other side of the world:
Rich people buying farmable land and self sustaining estates on islands.
The islands bit is key because social uprisings can be better controlled and anticipated on small tropical islands. Food supply can be relatively plentiful, living costs are cheap (no heat required, and little electricity), the reach of central governments is limited, and the ratio of angry peasants to landed aristocracy can be tightly controlled. Take for example Mark Zuckerberg’s recent purchase of a massive piece of land on a Hawaiian island.
Of course, that’s the most press worthy example but there are thousands more, mostly on smaller islands with agrarian and fishing economies.
By the same token: Cities are actually the last place anyone is going to want to be. There the ratio of angry peasants to landed aristocracy is so high that true “zombie land” scenarios are highly possible. Combine the rising purchases of tropical island estates with the sudden (and ongoing) collapse in luxury urban real estate and this trend has a clear vector: A desire to be in a controlled (controllable) society which is self sustaining, and where the numbers of pitchforks and torches is naturally limited.
To the extremely wealthy, the danger is us.
They are creating compounds where that threat is naturally limited by geography, demographics, distance from government authority and availability of resources.
Thanks for the great reads over the years, Chris.
Stay safe.

Thanks Chris for the excellent post. I think this is an important trend. I saw a stat that said that the top 1% own 38% of the stock market. If the wealthy start to move their money, it could start a massive trend.
Survivalism going mainstream is positive in that more are prepared, but also negative in that it may speed up the recognition of our broken systems. (Maybe that recognition is also positive in the long run.)
The last thing I did before I moved out of an urban area in early 2008 was to get my wife laser eye surgery. Like the tech guys, it was one of the first things I thought to do.

The everyday run of the mill citizen views walls with suspicion and resentment----the indigenous especially react this way. Walls always create us vs them scenarios.
Arizona, home for part of the ‘Great Wall from Mexico’ may well be the center of a new Standing Rock type resistance. The Tohono O’odhan Nation is saying it will not let the US build a wall along the border that lies inside its border…and then there is the anti Zuckerberg wall demonstrations going on in Hawaii. The Kupuna Elders of the indigenous people of the area do not want their ancestral land walled of and excluded from them by security guards.Zuckerberg’s retreat is getting heat from more than the sun. Even tropical islands have deep pockets of resistance toward the self proclaimed rights of the rich.
Wisdom for good prepping includes friendship and cooperation with neighbors + a gray man low profile in the community.

If we are actually in resource overshoot, which I think is at the root of many current predicaments, then many of the rich who escape to compounds may well end their days there. As things break down their power to generate or even sustain wealth will become disingaged form its base, the 99%. When this happens conditions inside a compound will probably deteriorate quickly. Mercenary guards don’t work for loyalty’s sake. I’m casting my lot somewhere in the 99% crowd.

It’s ironic how the very elite responsible for economic collapse end up having the best resources to survive it. I wish I could buy an island to fortify.
The missing truth of course is that “the mob” won’t appreciate being left for dead. No elitist army will have the numbers to survive the bloody revolt of many angry and hungry downtrodden. The best place to hide therefore is in plain sight not in an isolated ivory tower.

aggrivated wrote:
The everyday run of the mill citizen views walls with suspicion and resentment----the indigenous especially react this way. Walls always create us vs them scenarios.
"It turns out Barack Obama does believe in building protective walls — for himself." and "Obama, of course, is not the only liberal politician to oppose a wall for America’s protection, but erect one for their own security. During the presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton was exposed for building a huge wall around her Chappaqua, New York property." http://www.theamericanmirror.com/photos-crews-build-wall-around-new-obam...
I'm casting my lot somewhere in the 99% crowd.
Me too! I'm trying to get far enough away from "the system" and the crazies not to be so easily sucked down into the depths by the sinking ship or overrun by savages, but I'm staying somewhere with the 99%. The alternatives the uber wealthy are gravitating toward have some serious vulnerabilities they don't seem to be factoring in. For instance: New Zealand and other western Pacific locations (especially small islands). Years ago I read the story of the wealthy American couple who, in the mid 1930's, saw world war coming and made plans to avoid it and survive. They cashed out of everything they owned in the US and escaped to an "unknown" part of the world: the Solomon Islands! If you know your WWII history you know they found themselves literally in the middle of the most vicious fighting of the war in the Pacific theater. Idyllic? Has it occurred to anyone going to New Zealand (Australia, Solomons, Japan, Phillipines, Indonesia, etc.) who will dominate the western Pacific region once the collapse happens? I think it's safe to say it won't be the US and that Pax Americana will be history. China will be the big dog in the western Pacific after the collapse! Shoot: they've ALREADY laid claim to the whole South China Sea and are deploying "coral aircraft carriers" to defend it and expand from there once the US goes over the cliff. Just like imperial Japan in the 30's simply and quickly took whatever they wanted in that region, China will take whatever it wants/needs. Gold stored in a vault in Singapore? Productive farmland? Western trophy wives for Chinese officers' "clubs?" Airports and remote airstrips? Good luck with that, even if you have a net worth of $10 billion (or especially if you have a net worth of $10 billion). The only islands I would consider are Greenland and Iceland, but I don't have the wealth to move there permanently. Besides, when the collapse comes, zombies seeking revenge may not be the wealthy's biggest concern. What if what's left of the US government and military and judiciary decide they want to track down those most responsible for The Collapse and claw back some of OUR wealth? Lord knows there is enough evidence even today to hang thousands of them from lampposts. Do they really think the NSA won't be able to find them anywhere in the world and a company of Army Rangers won't be able to parachute in and bring them back for their day in court?

I’ve been paying attention to this website and the various discussion threads for a while. As you can tell from my handle, I’m a city planner. I’m a solo consultant with mainly small town and rural clients. I don’t get paid anywhere near what I’d be working in a big city, but I have the opportunity to really serve folks who couldn’t otherwise afford my skill set. The reason I mention this is to say I’m a long range thinker and committed public servant. Because they are small and isolated, most of my communities are tight knit and by necessity, resilient.
I read the New Yorker article Chris cites. I was struck by the author’s feeling, after interviewing many masters of the universe who were planning to take the loot and run, that this escapism is incredibly self defeating and a tremendous waste of an opportunity to help humanity. That’s true for us, too. After long discussion, my husband and I decided we’d rather shelter in place and support our community thru the coming uncertainties.
The vast majority of ordinary people cannot homestead (the middle class version of abandoning society for flight to the NZ farm). I recognize the actual carrying capacity of this planet may be only about 10% of what it is now. That doesn’t give me the right to simply abandon 90% of this species and all the others because I might have the means to do so.
I work hard at resilience. I’m a farmer on land I can only wish I owned and (an unlucky) beekeeper. I’ve raised chickens and dairy goats. I can make soap, can my food and make my clothes. I’d very much like to ensure my loved ones thrive. I could run away and play at self reliance along with the other lucky few. Or, I can stay in town and commit my energies to ensuring my community and my region are resilient because this world worth inheriting needs to be for all of us, or for as many as we can.

As you I am sure know much better than I, by 2050 it is estimated that 70% of the world’s population will live in urban areas. The definitions of urban by population size are varied, but a common thread in classification seems to be the disconnect from agriculture. You may be by training an urban planner. It seems that by your lifestyle you are a community planner working with those who are resiliant.
If you are among and a part of the 30% that are somehow still in some way connected to raising food then you are with the vanguard of the future. It’s comforting to me that you in your role are also connected to this community. It’s tge 70% that are so system dependent that will suffer more.

A well intentioned, inclusive society is a lovely thought and an admirable sentiment, however there are definite limits that cannot be ignored.

The vast majority of ordinary people cannot homestead (the middle class version of abandoning society for flight to the NZ farm). I recognize the actual carrying capacity of this planet may be only about 10% of what it is now. That doesn't give me the right to simply abandon 90% of this species and all the others because I might have the means to do so.
Who, exactly, is going to make the hard decisions, when the time comes: farmers, politicians, soldiers, or the four horsemen? As long as we continue to squander what few remaining resources we have, we can be guaranteed it will probably be someone bigger and nastier than us. http://thenextturn.com/eroei-energy-cliff/

I could hardly spend significant time here without having absorbed the three E’s, though my degrees in biology and environmental economics went a long way in that respect.
I am not Pollyanna. I’ve spent 20 years observing aspects of the unfolding apocalypse. I have no expectations 8-10 billion of us will suddenly live in self-sustaining communities of the Amish model. There isn’t enough land and we’ve come too far forward in time.
However, escapism helps only a few. Even then, the mad max world we leave behind in the cities will eventually come calling.
Wouldn’t it be better if we tried to find narratives to help us turn the ship rather than herding a lucky few into lifeboats as the ship carries on toward disaster? If we focus on escapism, we miss that chance.

UrbanPlanner wrote:
I could hardly spend significant time here without having absorbed the three E's, though my degrees in biology and environmental economics went a long way in that respect. I am not Pollyanna. I've spent 20 years observing aspects of the unfolding apocalypse. I have no expectations 8-10 billion of us will suddenly live in self-sustaining communities of the Amish model. There isn't enough land and we've come too far forward in time. However, escapism helps only a few. Even then, the mad max world we leave behind in the cities will eventually come calling. Wouldn't it be better if we tried to find narratives to help us turn the ship rather than herding a lucky few into lifeboats as the ship carries on toward disaster? If we focus on escapism, we miss that chance.
Yes! we need new narratives. But I am not talking about tweaking a few things, like how we structure our new transportation system. It may well take a complete 'ground up' reappraisal where everything is questioned and rebuilt (as necessary) from our nuclear family structure (which is great for selling a lot of stuff into because everybody needs their own car and lawnmowers right?) right down to our complete insistence on our right to dominate every life form and landscape. If we are happiest being tribal, and there's a ton of evidence that this is true, then perhaps tearing down the nuclear family structure is the key to relaxing the scarcity mindset that leads to such gross over accumulations as 8 people having as much wealth as 3.5 billion people? I don't know, but the more I ponder the human experiment at this stage, the more convinced I am it needs (and deserves) a complete overhaul rather than a few light modifications. How can we not be happy and fulfilled and overflowing with a sense of abundance at this time? This is, literally, the easiest it has *ever* been in human history to attend to the basics of life, and yet people are as profoundly unhappy as ever. What's going on here? Can't we do better? What befell us to bring us to such a place? That's the existential undercurrent tugging at us all....the idea that the entire human experiment is off track. It takes tremendous courage to even face that idea in our own lives, let alone ponder it across the entire collection of humanity. But for whatever reason, here we are, at this time, in these circumstances, and our individual choices and actions matter enormously. No, we will not solve the unsolvable. But acting out of fear and isolation are not answers either. Our path lies in true community, deep connections with self and other (with 'other' being all life and matter, not just humans), and stepping back into the larger mystery of life itself. In other words a place of deep meaning to augment all the bauble and frills that comfort us so nicely today. But the longer we wait and dally because we can't quite bring ourselves to face reality, the fewer and poorer the choices we'll have left to make. It takes energy to start and complete new things. Energy that is dwindling... ...and the only way I know to change and adapt here is for us all to share in a new narrative. It will be the new story that drives us, not laws, saviors, or shiny new technology. That's what we're really doing here...is all chipping in to craft that new narrative. As will all good stories, it has to be rooted in a fundamental truth. Perhaps a good starting point would be to remember that we humans are a part of nature, not apart from nature.

Urban planner:
In 1940, the German army entered the Netherlands and occupied it. As part of that move, they began recording census records requiring individuals to state their personal information including, among other things, residence and religion (ethnic background). The subsequent 5 years saw 139,717 people of Jewish ethnic descent transported off to the gas chambers. I wonder how many of them were part of the 99% of the population.
While I can understand your position on this issue and can empathize and support your sentiments, my ultimate question is, to what extent are we to become involved with the “powers that be”. Do we happily climb on board with the ruling elite to support peace and good governance, or, do we slowly slip into the backwaters and secure our resilience?
I just ran across this article this morning and couldn’t help but view it in the light of the fact that Mr. Trump has not released his income tax returns for public scrutiny, yet, and may not in the near future.
Yes, we all need to be aware and connected in the inevitable times to come, but need to be diligent that our actions do not, by default, contribute to exclusionary behaviors. Perhaps the Mexicans are lucky that a wall is going up on the southern US/Mexico border. Perhaps Canadians should push for one to go up their southern border. WE ALL are in this thing together and should be electing or pushing those we can’t elect to advocate measures to mitigate the trend. Time to redefine"big and nasty" or time to “get real”?

have always been paranoid, that is what the accumulation of wealth does to the mind. At some point they realize what they have accumulated cannot be controlled without the consent of society (the 99%). The worse the wealth distribution, the greater the paranoia, and the resultant sociopathic behavior. But who really cares what “they” think anyway. The kind of “success” we take an interest in, betrays our own hearts.
As we reach the endgame of our current exploit or be exploited paradigm, we can take our current way of thinking apply it to a new reality, a reality where we are reaping in spades the rewards of our unconscious lifestyles. That is the dark side of “prepping”.
Hopefully with the death of the old infrastructure, the way of thinking that created it will die with it. The old us vs. them attitude, me and mine vs. you are yours, man vs. nature, survival at any cost, even if it means murdering my neighbors starving children to survive. Capitalism is a philosophy of scarcity in order to foment an ongoing demand for goods and services. It plays on the destruction of societal bonds, which are replaced with “markets” and consumerism. It is the neoliberal agenda. Replacing culture with “markets”, measuring the quality of life with GDP and per capita income.
And its partner in crime is the narcissistic worship of the self, worship of personal freedom, which is dressed in a dignity that it does not deserve. Libertarianism, the poisonous philosophy of the global elites. If you buy in, you are left stewing in your own juices of resentment about the unfairness of life. Why can’t I have what I want, when they are getting what they want!
If you disagree, you are looking at world through rose colored glasses, you are being pollyannnaish, unrealistic. But the world is abundant, loving and beautiful. If the world is ugly, it is only your own shadow that you are looking at. The greatest good and happiness comes from serving others, not the self, but that is a truth we still cannot stand looking at because it betrays our own inner darkness. Despite the light, we still love darkness, so there we dwell.

Uncletommy wrote:
“I just ran across this article this morning and couldn’t help but view it in the light of the fact that Mr. Trump has not released his income tax returns for public scrutiny, yet, and may not in the near future.”
At this time, I am leaning that Trump is an anti-oligarch, and is not a NAZI. People like Obama and Clinton have more in common with the NAZI party and the Bolshevik. Both the NAZI and Bolshevik parties were socialists.Also consider that Both Obama and Clintion had close ties with George Soros, whose famility had ties to the NAZI party, and Soros, has been a leader in global instabiity (organizing the coup in the Ukraine). Soros nearly caused the UK to collapse, just so he could make a billion. Soros is a real life James Bond villain.
I think its a good thing that ever global oligach like Soros, Koch Bros, Gates, etc hate Trump. Clearly he is not one of “them”
Trump may be the first president that actually downsizes the Federal gov’t and reduces the power of the federal gov’t. Trump has already requested that his cabinet leaders cut department spending by 10% and cut the workforce by 20%. Hopefully he is able to follow through on this.
Bring back jobs to the US making us less dependant on foriegn imports for goods & services, would help make the US more resilient. Bringing back manufacturing to the US could also be benefitical to the enviroment. Consider that the Bushs, the Clintons and Obama, alll pushed US manufacturing to China and India, which have absolutely no enviromental laws. Companies in China & India, pollute waterways, the oceans and the air, with no regards to the enviroment and the welfare of workers. Bring back manufacturing would shutdown some of those factories and the US factories will still face regulations to manage pollution much better than in China or India. Saidly I think irrevocable damage is done. but lessing or slowing the damage will help some.
That said, I am not a chear leader for Trump. He certainly does have a Bull in a China shop personality.
“Perhaps the Mexicans are lucky that a wall is going up on the southern US/Mexico border.”
I don’t think so. I am concerned that Mexico may collapse, since its economy is dependent on trade with the US. Its possible that Mexico will collapse and become the next Venezuela. Its currency has already fallen sharply. Cutting trade with China may also have a simular effect. I think that China is switching its economy from Industial Keynesium to Military Keynesium. A sudden drop in exports to the US may have a simular effect that led to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor (When the US cut off Japan from US Trade do to military conquests in China and the Pacific).
The problem with Socialist systems is that they always collapse, and they usually go out with a bang (war). The collapse of the Soviet Union was an exception, but even the collapse lead to wars (Yugosoliva, and the 'Stans break way nations in the south eastern regions of the Soviet empire)
One also must consider that had Hillary had one the electon, War would have been certain. Clintion did state during the second debate that she was going use Miltary action against Russia for the Hacking, Syria, and Crimea annexation. Clinton was also the lead architect that lead to the destabilization in the Middle east with (Libya, Syria, Yemen, Egypt, etc). Any person that laughs about war and death like Hillary clinton is mentally unstable. Clinton is willing to destabilize entire continents for kickbacks and bribes.

Tribe and Family. These two names for groups denote size difference, not two separate entities. The nuclear family is a myth that needs burying. Not at the expense of family, but at the expense of nuclear. Tribes are for the most part groups of intertwined extended families. They are willing to suffer for each other’s well being and enjoy the common wellbeing of each other’s success. Tight communities can experience this. This can only really happen when there is along with community a deeper awareness of communion with one another that binds the individuals to each other. To live this way requires (trigger word warning) submission to the common welfare of the tribe. Are we willing to go there? It seems to me that anything short of this is to remain in a “divide and conquer” modality.

So the rich are prepping, good luck. I cashed out my corporate 401K and we bought a homestead. It’s backbreaking work. Establishing a warm and trusting relationship with neighbors takes time. We are learning to grow food though we live in a Boreal Forest area and learning what thrives in our climate and what season extenders to use takes time. Planting berry bushes and fruit trees and species that feed us and attract birds takes time. To survive and thrive takes buildings, greenhouses, sheds, covered storage, animal homes and so on and all take time. The idea of buying a lot of food and guns and a generator and someone will happily survive is humorous maybe just sad. To truely survive and thrive a resilient lifestyle requires a relationship with our surroundings and that takes time and hard work. And people don’t survive well in isolation, at some point children will grow up and look for a mate and that takes other people. At some point there will be a problem one doesn’t have a solution to but someone else might and that takes community.
And much can be done to be more self sufficient within a city, Jan and others have written about this previously. It takes effort and careful choices though to learn to grow food on a small scale and reduce our dependency on the system.
If we look at the TV show Adam referred to in his last article “Alone” (thanks Adam) the people who are surviving are the ones who can survive because they know and understand their surroundings. There is a law of unintended consequences and those who think they can buy their survival are living in denial and are really the ones who are vulnerable. It is our relationships that enable us to survive, - our relationship with our surroundings, our animals, bugs, our gardens, berry bushes, fruit trees, land, our neighbors, family, and our selves. Nothing is easy, simple or guaranteed. However sharing our life rather than being its master is really living it. I agree with Treebeard that the greatest good and happiness comes from serving others and not the self. And “others” can be plants, bugs, birds, land and yes people too.
PS - with that lovely sentiment said we Alaskan’s are an armed species who are generous but not doormats. I re-read what I wrote and it sounds lovely and altruistic but the reality is there are people who want and will take without regard for others and that, unfortunately, becomes part of a communities reality,
My 2 cents.
AK GrannyWGrit

Walls, the small ones, are everywhere around the world, built by both the rich and the poor. I traveled to Venezuela, Chile, Singapore, Algeria, Morroco, Tunisia, South-Corea, Italy, France, Spain… walls enclave most of properties. This is something rooted in human culture because of many reasons. Here in North-America, the property model is different. Even here in Quebec, most municipal ordinances forbid building a wall around the property. We are at the beginning of a change provided the “who have” will be more and more targets by the “have not”. We will learn to better close our properties, not leave toys or garden tools outside, etc…
The issue with walls, are their size and the luxury behind them. Not the walls themselves.
Big walls, (border’s walls) are a different things. They represent selfishness and a great level of fear (real or imagined, legitimate or fabricated). They are the cursed walls. Most of people respect the wall around your property, No one respects border’s walls.
And of course, escapism, brings us nowhere. If the entire planet is to be in trouble, then no one can escape the anger from the 99%.

The best preparation, as mentioned by many people here, is within a community. On top of building a community, one key element I see is to be first competent in several trades. And not look full of money. Competency is the best way to participate to the community, help other, to be one respected member. A respect based on true involvement.
Let's face the problem with what is left on hand.