Get ready!

When Peter Schiff goes on TV and spreads his bearish message, it’s never long before he’s called “Dr. Doom” and people joke about what a downer his message is. The idea seems to be that if you see a train wreck coming, you’re either suicidal or a doom-and-gloomer who needs to lighten up. Most Christians I’ve talked to seem content to “trust God” and do nothing. Many Christians have bought this triumphalist idea that “we’re America” and economic laws don’t apply to our “shining city on a hill.” Or they believe that something will turn up. I call it Mr. Micawber Syndrome.

Of course, we do need to trust God, but that doesn’t free us from acting. If you are mowing the lawn and you see a tornado coming, you don’t keep mowing and “trust God.” You run into the basement and then trust the outcome to the Lord. God works through means. A lot of warning bells are sounding. Will you heed them?

Folks, you need to get prepared now, mentally and materially and tell others who will hear to do the same. This brief talk provides a good start on practical ways to prepare for economic disruption. It won’t tell you to build a bomb shelter out by a creek. It isn’t going to tell you to buy a shack full of emergency meal kits. It will tell you to get a few months of canned food ready and start rotating it and making it a part of your lives. My brother-in-law has started a garden and learned to can. These are good ideas. Even if nothing happens (which I doubt very much), you’ll be prepared for temporary disruptions. You’ll have new skills.

The talk will tell you to get your, er, personal security in place. I’m a believer in concealed carry. If you can do in your state, then get your license and get in the habit. As the dude from Argentina will tell you, the place you’re likely to get attacked isn’t inside your castle, it’s outside your castle. Also, you’re doing a public service by creating a more dangerous world for criminals to inhabit. You can carry a lot more places than you might think. Oddly, in Ohio they put a silly exclusion in so you can’t carry in churches unless the church expressly allows it (hint hint, elders and deacons), whereas with most establishments you CAN carry unless prohibited (unless you’re drinking there) or unless (surprise surprise) it’s a government facility.

The collapse that seems likely won’t be a post-apocalpytic world where we wander through junkyards with shotguns. It’ll be more like Argentina. Savings accounts and retirement plans will be wiped out by a monetary crisis (debts will probably go with it, which is good for debtors and bad for creditors). The government will default on its bonds via inflation. Social Security, Medicare, and other government programs will show themselves to be Ponzi schemes and empty promises (You know all that FICA money they collected from you? Well, they’ve spent it.) There will be a period of crisis where things could get ugly, but then reality will set in. A lot more businesses will close. Office parks and buildings will be abandoned. Cities will see revenue sources dry up. We’re seeing it already. Tax receipts are WAY down. Capital-intensive businesses that can create stuff to export won’t be started because savings are depleted. The personal debt spigots — credit cards and home equity loans — are drying up as people’s credit limits are reduced or eliminated altogether. The government’s deb spigots are being slowly turned off by those who are tired of lending to our spendthrift government. The government, meanwhile, is busy attacking the foundations of prosperity (savings and production). They are spending like madmen. Due to the lack of work, and to escape taxation, people will start more of a subsistence style of living. They’ll grow their own food, make their own clothes, and do odd jobs for the neighbors. This has already started happening. Crime is going to more prevalent. The standard of living will be much lower. Material things will start looking shabbier because people can’t replace them. It’s going to be a long road out of what Mr. Schiff calls “our phony economy” based on debt. Those who saved and acted wisely won’t be spared; inflation will see to that, as will (likely) a more aggressively criminal government.

You get the point by now. Maybe it won’t be all bad, though. Maybe we’ll be blessed to see government and education bureaucracies collapse. Maybe we’ll have more freedom. Maybe we’ll be forced to learn how to make things and grow things again instead of just consuming things other countries make. Maybe people will realize that we don’t have “rights” to things that burden the backs of people in other countries (i.e. our creditors who are going to be paid back in devalued dollars). Maybe the government and popular culture will become more irrelevant. Maybe people will stop believing the false prophets (and false profits) in Washington. We can hope.

It’s a good idea to get in shape, too. That doesn’t guarantee our health, but in a world where health care is going to be rationed it’s best to try to stay out of the hospital.

We got used to a boom world and thought it was normal. The bust is now upon us. Get ready and spread the word as the opportunity permits. Don’t be the proverbial person battling someone at Walmart for the last bottled water on the shelf. Plus, if a panic hits, the last thing you want to be doing is helping to increase the panic by picking that moment to start hoarding resources. There will be a million people jamming the stores. They won’t need a million and one.

And remember: you’re probably going to need extra to help those who are blindsided or who foolishly refuse to prepare. A church can be a great blessing if its members are exhorted to be prepared. It may be worth talking about with your pastor, elders, and/or deacons.

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