So far outside the box you can't even see the box from here.
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.
I live in an area of NH known as the Great North Woods. I'm in my dome-i-cile out in the county with my lovely wife and a varying number of family and friends
-part red neck, part hippie but all country. Experimenting and enjoying the adventure of life.