Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Riding the Tiger of Debt and Demography

May 12th, 2011 by Adam G.

My father and I sometimes feed on each other’s gloom. A case in point was last night, on the drive back from bucking hay for a single sister, when we started discussing the debt crisis. Would it end in hyper-inflation or default coupled with abrupt austerity or both?

From there we got on to the subject of what to do about it. The problem is that systemic collapses are unpredictable and tend to bring everyone down with them. Shorting the Titanic is no good is you happen to be sailing on it. Gold and silver are ridiculously high-priced right now, and eminently confiscatable anyway. The best answer appears to be having a years supply, getting on with your neighbors, getting on with God, and expecting no immunity from history.

Our civilization also has a demography problem that has predictable economic effects. Problem is, there is no clear investment strategy for it either. An entrepeneur could make an effort to find high-quality young foreigners and help them immigrate to the US in return for some of their future earnings, but our legal system doesn’t accommodate that scheme, either on the immigration side or the earnings side.

The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that peace and prosperity are societal blessings, not individual ones. We Mormons have forgot that over the years. We’ve been living in a basically peaceful and prosperous society where individual effort and individual restraint is rewarded, so we’ve started to think that the pride cycle applies to individuals. It doesn’t. We should not think that, because we are righteous, we will be spared the consequences of our society’s sins.

Comments (10)
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May 12th, 2011 09:07:19
10 comments

Vader
May 12, 2011

“The best answer appears to be having a years supply, getting on with your neighbors, getting on with God, and expecting no immunity from history.”

Excellent advice for most. In my case, the batteries will run down after a couple of weeks and then I’m a goner. I suppose I could stockpile fuel and a generator, but they’re eminently confiscatable, too.

Well, so is food. And there is historical precedent.


Adam Greenwood
May 12, 2011

Vader,

in all seriousness, fuel and generators are less likely to be confiscated. Not confiscation-proof (neither is food), but better than gold and silver purchased from established vendors of such. Roof solar might be an even better hedge.

Or you could negotiate a special force-choke tax credit.


John Mansfield
May 12, 2011

Such economic breakdown as we may face can outlast whatever supply we have stored up, though I have wondered at times if the old counsel for a two-year supply was a warning of some sort of pre-millennial hardship that would try the Saints for two years and then be lifted. Orchards, tools, and such things that enhance our personal productive capacity seem more sound long term. A year supply will get through acute shocks and ease transition if it comes to that.

In this gloomy vein, I sometimes consider that three of my great-grandparents were born in other lands, and one was the child of immigrants. I wonder which may be the land where half my great-grandchildren will find opportunity.


Vader
May 12, 2011

I’m afraid this catastrophe will befall all nations.

My only hope is to stay close to the Church. Keep your enemies close, but your friends closer, so to speak.


John Sabotta
May 13, 2011

Personally, I have no intention of surviving the destruction of everything I love and value. But the best of luck to you and yours. Seriously.


Zen
May 13, 2011

Are you mad, Sabotta? Sure, this world will be ending, but that should be about the time we re-establish the New Jerusalem and all the attending glories that go with it. It will be a tremendous time to be alive.


Bookslinger
May 13, 2011

“…the consequence of society’s sins.” God has already started to remove his hand of protection from us. That’s what I’ve been thinking since September 2011.

If God keeps on protecting us, he’s going to have to apologize to Sodom and Gomorrah.


Bookslinger
May 13, 2011

er, September 11, 2001.


Zen
May 13, 2011

The Nephites had the Lamanites and the Israelites had the Philistines (among others). The Arabs are currently our Lamanites.


Bookslinger
May 14, 2011

One interpretation of the Book of Mormon is that the Mexicans will be our Lamanites, tearing and treading through like a lion. (And to a degree, I think they already have, as they constitute a disproprotionate number of consumers of our social and criminal justice systems.)

And the Chinese may some day decide to scourge us for our (collective) financial sins.

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