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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Not evenly distributed



There's a saying that the collapse is here. It's just not evenly distributed. I think there's a lot of truth to that.

My views on collapse have been colored by growing up in an area that's been in decline. All my life it's been year after year of fewer opportunities. There have been been ups and downs. Some people have done quite well for themselves. Bottom line, my home town has less than half the population it did when I was a kid.

People who grew up in growing cities have had different experiences. Good for you. You can only experience collapse vicariously.

I was at a Christmas party recently. Most of the the people there I've known for many years. 20 years ago few would guess they are where they are now. The first thing I noticed was that few at the party had regular jobs. Some had just been laid off due to one of the last good employers closing their doors.

These are talented people. In a better economy, they'd have made names for themselves. Maybe they should have moved to growing cities, like many of my high school friends. Some of those who left are doing fine economically. However, it's not that easy to leave your home. The area has natural beauty. People have deep family bonds. Besides, things didn't look all that bad. Good times were just over the horizon.

Most families have put together a living from low paying part time work, working far from home for months at a time, food stamps, heating assistance, free state medical childcare, disability payments, and ever increasing debt. One guy lost his business, his wife divorced him and took the rest of his money. He spent two years living in a tee pee out in the woods, sitting by a campfire. He said they were good years.

The house we had the party in was underwater and the host months behind on the mortgage. He figured we might as well party while we can.

The thing about collapse is that it can sneak up on you. One day you wake up, twenty years are gone, and you are worse off than when you were then. Life goes on.

-Sixbears



22 comments:

  1. ...poignant post, and probably mirrored by most of us...also factually stated by teepee buddy, the lean hard years are/have been "good" years(depending on perspective)...we've been doin' as good or better, on an obvious decreasing income,for the last decade and a half(right now i'm makin'less than half what i did livin' in detroit/suburbs in the late eighties/nineties) with over 25 years experience in plastics...anyway, sorry to babble

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    1. My income peaked in 93. Downhill ever since. We live well, but we sure live different.

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  2. That is all very sad and what makes it even sadder is that it's a universal happening and not a nice one.
    I really don't know what the outcome is going to be but I do know the world is not a happy place, except for the one percent and perhaps they're not that happy either, having to make sure they hang on to what they have.
    But it just happens to be more than what most have.
    There is an answer but for some it will never happen, and that is to be debt free.
    Only then can a person be in the position to choose... whatever they want to do and how to do it.
    It's the one thing the governments of the world try hard to deny their constituents...

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    1. The game looks rigged from where I stand.

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  3. In my mind the collapse started with the original oil embargo back in the 70's. The economy has been a roller coaster ride ever since trying to balance itself out. Couple this with the computer revolution and the overall job loses...there ya go in a nut shell.
    Sometimes I believe the only real cure might well be that EMP or Carrington event. Thus eliminating the ability for global trade and making the world quite real once more. It would no doubt be very hard on a lot of people, yet in the end solve most every problem we have... only those with real skills and preparedness would survive. Which has always been Natures way...

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    1. A Carrington event would certainly reset the system, but it certainly would be harsh.

      I think you are right that the beginning can be traced to the first oil embargo. Coincides with US Hubbard Peak.

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  4. Boom and bust. When I was born (1963), my home town was less than 20,000 population. Winter crops and citrus groves with palm tree lined streets, beautiful it was.

    Fast forward nearly 50 years, its population is pretty close to 130,000, and the agricultural spaces are now covered in urban sprawl. Mini-malls, health facilities, Targets, Wal-Marts, etc. Housing is priced ridiculous if you want to live anywhere near 10 miles of it, an acre of bare land going for $120,000 for the land alone. Completely ridiculous!

    How many Wal-Marts does a place need anyway - we have 5 or 6 withing a 10 mile radius. I wish my hometown was like when I was growing up in 70s.

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    1. My dad lives in an area like that now, but it's going into its bust phase. Fields to sprawl to empty buildings.

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  5. The collapse has been with us for a long time now.

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    1. That's how it has looked from where I am.

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  6. One problem is that most people live above their means and that gets them in trouble. I have not had any monthly payments for many years. If I can't afford to pay cash, I don't buy it. I don't owe any thing to any one.

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    1. That's the way to do it.

      I've seen some people who have to live beyond their means just to live. Not good.

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  7. We have lived in our sweet town almost 35 years soon, gone are homes like what we own, for only a few thousand dollars, 3 bedrooms, 1 and 1/2 baths, people want too damn much.Most of the kids who went all thru school with our only child do not live here, they run after money, forget their kin, faith and don't even know how to cook,clean and live an honest life.My hubby one of the very last union worker to get his pension, he overheard the fellows at a meeting they drank before the meeting talking about reducing the pension benefits by 35% my hubby put in for retirement then worked about 2 years non-union the employees stole his jacket he got paid for it by the manager of the place and they cussed and acted like fools more than in his Army days in the Vietnam war, came home one day and said enough is enough! I work and will work until dec. 31st for a non profit that paid my health care only..I have paid up cobra for 2 months by check in person so no worries soon I will be 65 and can get Medicare..but to me this world of the USA is going to hell in a handbasket, we scrimped never went out to eat, I am frugal beyond frugal an old hippie I would say and for what to pay and pay for health care up the wazooo and live in a cold home because the heating system was installed as cable on the ceiling which makes your head warm if you are tall I am a little over 5'2 inches my hubbs feels the heat he is over 6 feet but really...we are getting it torn down in january have to leave our home, it is toxic shit, our two kitty cats have to be homed at a country vet,I will clean and work the place for 3 weeks for that time they spend there. I will get a job someplace for the money for the cable removable and a new heating system, we already did all of our insulation, new bathroom toilets too, new sink, faucet, stove, fridge, got it done this year..after my retirement from the one job I held for many years I will work at a pizza place owned by a childhood friend to pay for the heating system, we did save up a lot to boot..Just one damn thing after another..I think living in a teepee would be great, i am tired of paying water, electric and garbage too..but what can one do, we love this area, can walk and bicycle everywhere don't even need our car, it does rain most of the year and since we actually got 112 days of sunshine and humid heat we are getting snow and ice soon..It is always one damn thing after another!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    1. Yes, it is always one damn thing after another. The problem for many people is that those damn things are happening all at once. There's no chance to recover between blows.

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  8. Part of the problem is that people became dependent on what others would do for them, or pay them to do a job. We lost our independence many years ago. Few grow their own food, raise their own meat, and depend upon the large agribusinesses to provide for them.
    I currently live on 10% of what I was making just 4 or 5 years ago, but I never allowed myself to become indebted to anyone. I gave most of my income away to my church, and others and lived on the rest, so when the economy collapsed I still survived. I can't give what I use to, but I still live a comfortable life. But, as I say I grow a large portion of my own food and I do my best to buy locally and support those that support the local economy.

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    1. That's the way to do it, but like you said, few know how.

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  9. Good post Bro! I drive a 97 blazer still don't look to bad,dependable and best of all paid for.A buddy had 03 s-10 blew a head gasket so he had it rebuilt $1800 a year later it blew another gasket.I bought for $400 good body the motor is clean the man really did rebuild it but for some unknown reason he put a little clear silicone on a gasket that should have no sealer of any kind.Me and my 2 sons spent a week end and less than $100 and it runs like a top. All the folks here in yuppie land were like why didn't you just buy a new car blah blah blah.Does there BMW's or Lexus's do something my paid for vehicles can't do. I get from point a to point b just like they do.4 banger in S-10 gets me to same place they go,yet much cheaper! I hate payments! I will never again have a car payment. I am not out to impress anyone,if you don't like me in my blazer you sure as hell won't like me any better in a BMW. I don't think the folks here in Yuppieville realize the collapse is underway!!?? Oh well Quite happy with my $400 truck!

    China
    III

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    1. Not having a car payment is something most people can do. You might have to drive a beater with a heater, but it goes on all the same roads.

      Being able to do at least some of your own work is another huge money saver. Beats the heck out of working for the man.

      By the way, my veggie van cost $1600. Put another $500 for 2 tires and converting it to burn free veggie oil. Took less than $200 to make it into a motorhome, including buying a new microwave.


      Thanks China!

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  10. Your last paragraph really hit home with me!

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