Random thoughts as things spin on

  • Our economic world is fundamentally changing
    • we cant vote to stop it
    • we cant pay money to stop it
    • we cant ignore it

Yet I wonder how many of our fellow citizens think they can do one or more of the above?  And when they do, that all will be well?

To me the meltdown is nothing but a spark that shows what has been happening for at least the last three years:  the end of the global industrial economy is upon us.

That will mean less consumer goods, less “good jobs” working for the global corporations or those that serve them.

But it will mean more of the things that are really important.

More time with family and friends.

More time for ourselves.

More health and more community.

Less will be more, if we don’t kill ourselves trying to get back to the just have more days.

  • We have a post industrial economy with an industrial sized population.  How do make the transition? How do we keep everyone employed meaningfully at the expectation that it will result in the conventional American dream?

I don’t think we do.

Instead, a New American Dream needs to be envisioned.  One where everyone has meaningful employment, good health, a strong community, and quality time for just living.  Now I realize that sounds like sacrilege to those who think that the real purpose of America is materialism.   That owning a big house and new car are the things that give life purpose.

  • The American dream grew up with the rise of industrial society – it wasn’t foretold by God. As growth increased, the ability for more people to share in the idea increased. Now that we’ve reached the end of growth – and we have, choose any measure you want – the same dream doesn’t apply.
  • What are we willing to accept for staying tied to the global economy as the price to be paid to keep the conventional dream?
    • Declining wages?
    • Mindless work?
    • Destruction of our environment?
    • End of health?
    • A rootless society?
  • We need scenario planning for certain things – a week ago no one in Japan would have imagined these – we must:

o   What if the atms stopped working and the banks close for days?

o   What if the power goes out at the source (power plant)?

o   What if the food shelves look like this?

o   What if there were some…bad shit in the air….Nerve Gas in Richmond, for example?

  • There are several scenarios that need planning – these are economic, environmental, or deliberately caused:
    • Immediate change
    • Prolonged situation
    • Catastrophic event

And then

  • Adapting to the new world

1 Comment

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One response to “Random thoughts as things spin on

  1. Matt

    Great thoughts. This woke me up on personal and community preparedness: http://www.postcarbon.org/Reader/PCReader-Martenson-Preparation.pdf (may have found it here in the first place)

    How to get to a community wide awareness level, I don’t know what else it will take. With what’s happened since Katrina – $4 gas, near economic collapse, chronic unemployment, Oil Spill, Japan, if you aren’t awake yet, you won’t be until it’s too late.

    For me, with a 2.5 year old and a 6 month old, I’m totally in preparedness mode. The thought of not being able to provide for them during a disaster (even a 4 day long ice storm) motivates me.

    For ATM/Banks, since 2008, we’ve moved from NationalCity (just about didn’t make it before being taken over by PNC ) to Central Bank for a more local checking account. And we’ve started a Dave Ramsey style envelope system for budgeting. It works on many levels – no credit card fees to big banks, emergency cash on hand in case of ATM/bank failures, better track our spending. Even if the power or internet went down, credit card machines wouldn’t work.

    We’re working on the other scenarios too. The pantry is growing, the garden is expanding. Water is a scary one though…..

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