Are you ready? For what you might ask?
Are you ready for whatever comes next?
We Americans have lived through several decades of unparalleled prosperity, marked by an almost unchecked rise in consumption and the rapid development of the institutions to support it. If you’re reading this post, the science, technology, investment, and spending necessary to make that possible are an example of what I am talking about.
However, now, I believe the other shoe of history is about to drop. I could write for a long time about what may or may not happen next, but the fact is that neither I nor anyone else really knows. What I do know is that history is a very good indicator of what could happen, and history reveals a dark kind of story.
You see, that several decades of unparalleled prosperity had an ugly underside because it was achieved, among other things, by copious borrowing. Now, governments, businesses, and individuals are all in debt, and the debt has grown so large that it can no longer reasonably be paid off by future prosperity. The pressure on the American–and as a result the global–economy has grown to great, and something has to give way. The fulcrum of this action will be insolvency, but I can only speculate about what will follow.
So, are you ready for whatever comes next? Have you thought at all about how you will feed, clothe, and shelter yourself if your economy is bankrupt, your money is worth nothing, and your government is no longer able to provide for you?
Who will you rely on to provide for your basic needs. Can you do it yourself? Do you need help? Who can you rely on to help you?
For much of the history of the United States, these kinds of questions were nonsensical to most Americans because they were already answered by the things people already did. They grew their own food, made their own clothes, built their own houses, or belonged to networks of people just like them with whom they could exchange goods or services to provide for what they needed. These people did not need jobs, money, or government to help them because they helped themselves.
Why bring up this history? Because it will be that history that will save us from ourselves. If we can do so, if there is still time and there are enough people still able to do so, the only hope any of us have is to return to the state of affairs where we did for ourselves and thrived because of it.
Are you ready?