Skip to comments.10 Things That We Can Learn About Shortages And Preparation From The Economic Collapse In Greece
Posted on 06/07/2012 9:24:44 PM PDT by Kartographer
When the economy of a nation collapses, almost everything changes. Unfortunately, most people have never been through anything like that, so it can be difficult to know how to prepare. For those that are busy preparing for the coming global financial collapse, there is a lot to be learned from the economic depression that is happening right now in Greece. Essentially, what Greece is experiencing is a low level economic collapse. Unemployment is absolutely rampant and poverty is rapidly spreading, but the good news for Greece is that the global financial system is still operating somewhat normally and they are getting some financial assistance from the outside. Things in Greece could be a whole lot worse, and they will probably get a whole lot worse before it is all said and done. But already things have gotten bad enough in Greece that it gives us an idea of what a full-blown economic collapse in the 21st century may look like. There are reports of food and medicine shortages in Greece, crime and suicides are on the rise and people have been rapidly pulling their money out of the banks. Hopefully this article will give you some ideas that you can use as you prepare for the economic chaos that will soon be unfolding all over the globe.
(Excerpt) Read more at accidentalsurvivalist.wordpress.com ...
“#10 When Things Hit The Fan The Government Will Not Save You”
What? WHAAAT? What else are my tax dollars for? Where’s that Lock Box? Where’s that imaginary ‘Safety Net’ Mother Government has designed for me?
Good list. :)
I was living in a country that saw its banks and currency collapse.
If you had a job that would survive the crash, you still had to survive the crash itself.
The banks closed for a period. All bank accounts were seized and put in a trust. They were paid back a year and a half later as I recall, but at 20 cents on the dollar.
During the transition to the new currency, the banks were closed. For about a month people had to live out of their pantries and with whatever cash they had on hand. Neighbors had to help neighbor.
If you had access to dollars, you were fine, as the tremendous inflation was only in the national currency. As it happened, the upper class was already dollarized for years, rents on upper class properties were listed in dollars, upper class salaries were paid in dollars. Upper class properties were bought and sold in dollars.
This was Ecuador. When the sucre collapsed, they went to the US dollar which extended the advantage of the dollar to the common folk, which the upper class already enjoyed. Previously, contracts were in dollars but blue-collar workers were paid in sucres, which meant with every passing day the dollarized class got a better deal on their labor.
But when the whole country switched to the dollar, the poor were told by the Left that it was a trick to screw the working man. They (with help from Chavez) organized a coup and overthrew the president. But the new government kept the dollar. They still use the dollar.
To put this in US terms, I would say this; if it takes a month to transition to the new banking system, you need a month’s worth of food in the pantry and enough cash on hand to get through the month. Thats if you have a job that will survive the crash. Using what I saw, a month was my bench-mark. But at the time of the crash, a lot of government workers hadn’t been paid in several months. So you may need more. And a skill that you can sell in the unofficial market is worth gold. Everyone always needs plumbers, for example.
The Argentine blogger who writes about living in a collapsed economy has one thing right (well, he has a lot of things right...). When the world ends, it often still looks very normal. But the economy shifts to the unofficial, and you need to be prepared to shift along with it if your job ends during the crash. You have to be much more entrepreneurial than you may have ever expected. Everyone I knew had their own companies and depending upon who had the work, this time I work for you and next time you work for me. Networking was survival.
You list is dead-on.
In Ecuador I didn’t see food shortages but since the currency suddenly lost 80 percent of its value, for ordinary people the price of food went up 500 percent.
In Venezuela, when they made scapegoats out of grocery chains, food disappeared off the shelves instantly. The stores couldn’t re-order since they couldn’t charge enough to pay to re-order.
In Ecuador, the grid was always iffy, so all major buildings, stores, malls, upper class homes even, had generators on automatic switches. They would go on and off all day long seamlessly. The reason was, electricity was subsidized and the government wss broke. So, blackouts for the people without backup.
In Caracas water shortages were common and are more common all the time. When you have the president telling you not to take long showers, something is wrong.
As for credit cards, I’ve already mentioned the banks closing for weeks while they re-organized.
Crime? Rioting? Actually, riots were commonplace, organized by the Left to make the country ungovernable. If we crash, you can expect the same thing. The Left will get people whipped into a frenzy in order to take advantage of the situation; probably many of your own kids may get caught up in it. They’ll especially organize thugs from the slums to take out their enemies; when someone needs to be taught a lesson it gets written off as simple street crime.
Average citizens bartering? Absolutely. The underground economy is the real economy after all. During the crash bartering and neighbor helping neighbor is exactly how you get through. And you start your own little handyman service helping your neighbors, who pay you in whatever they have of value. In a crashed economy, again, people become very entrepreneurial.
And, no, the government won’t save you. They are the reason things crashed in the first place. The government is the ultimate prize and there will be constant turmoil as various factions duel for control. If you need help from a government clerk who hasn’t been paid in three months, you need to find another alternative. People who know how to navigate that problem set themselves up in business doing just that. You’ll hire a guy to work the system for you. He knows the right people. After the collapse you’ll need someone like that from time to time.
American after the crash is Third World America. A disfunctional government. A country that works only because of the unofficial economy, and because people learn to do without the disfunctional government. They find work-arounds, they barter, they use foreign currency in place of their own, they work off the books, and families and friends look after one another.
Can I please be added to this ping list
Greece is going to be educational for those who understand that it could happen here.
I know many folks read these threads with a sincere interest in prepping so I will offer a tip that I rarely see mentioned.
For those who plan to garden or start a garden (I am sure many of you know it already) -
The forest floor (even pine forests) has a wonderful layer of soil that will grow just about anything. You can also find great soil in a creekbed or drainage ditch where there is lots of decaying vegetation. This soil usually requires less water than screened topsoil because the decaying vegetation retains water and attracts worms (improves root health).
If you are ever faced with creating a survival garden you should rake the top 12 inches of soil (chunks and all) from the forest or ditch to use for your garden soil. Give it a few days to remove any new weeds that germinate while keeping it moist before you plant your seeds. It wont look like screened topsoil or the bagged stuff you get at the garden store and that is okay! It will still grow a great crop with good light and water.
If you have access to pine needles or leaves you should mulch after the plants are established. This will conserve moisture, cut down on new weeds, attract worms (Gods premium soil makers), and provide a constant food source for your vegetables as the mulch decays on top of the soil. The mulch also helps regulate soil temperatures and your plants will thank you.
I dont see enough gardening information on these threads so I hope it helps somebody out that wants (or needs) to start a garden. If you plan on gardening when you need extra food you should be gardening now, even if its just in your backyard or pots on the apartment balcony. Gardening now will provide experience and confidence later.
Best of luck!
*** reposted here because the other thread got locked ***
Because ending the freedom of Americans seems to be the lusted for prize of so many non-Americans, if our economy collapses and chaos rises, I fully expect powerful military enemies to take full advantage of our chaos. I will not go into details on an open forum, but suffice it to say those with family in the military need to pray their loved ones are on this continent when the collapse comes. We have a real internal enemy who will not hesitate to strand our military personnel wherever they are deployed. They will be sitting ducks without resupply and possibly dwindling fuel.
Thanks for relaying you experience and your insights. Being prepared is very important.
Thanks for the post; good perspective.
The best tomatoes we ever had was when granny was growing them down on the river bottom. The roots grew down into the water.
JustaDumbBlonde hosts the gardening thread every Friday morning. Lots of great advice there for home gardeners. This week’s link: http://freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2893081/posts
Meant to ping you that I mentioned the garden thread here.
That should read, "Will Stop Working". They are nothing but worthless pieces of plastic.
Early on in all of this meltdown, an Englishman, a banker, stepped in front of a train over there. I had this image of a guy in a beige trenchcoat, without a belt, just straight, holding an empty briefcase, and just walking out, Anna Karenina style.
I knew there were horrific times coming. But after the stories coming from GREECE, the cradle of Western civilization, lazy, spoiled, unionized Greece, I will not speak ill of Greece again. They’ll sell their statues and national treasures. They’ll sell their islands. They’ll auction off their culture.
There’s no words for it. Well, maybe there is one: Detroit.
What happens to things like mortgages? Are foreclosures forced? Or do banks just have “write them off” and prefer an occupied property to an abandoned one subject to vandalization or destruction?
Thats a good question.
Something that comes to mind is this; if the currency collapses in value, then a thousand "old" dollars are suddenly not worth much. Once past the crash, as people adjust to the new reality, your old mortgage is suddenly very affordable. Minimum wage might be $50 an hour (in "new" dollars) or $500 an hour. I think this is what the muckty-mucks are thinking, that the only way out of our current mess is to inflate our way out of it. A thousand dollars is a lot of money now, but by the time they collapse the currency it won't be much money at all.
In a real hard crash you might see a mortgage amnesty, but who knows. Hard to imagine them countenancing mass evictions in an already collapsed economy. We're in a slow-motion collapse now, and we're seeing some evictions, and others being allowed to stay in their homes. They are limiting the numbers of evictions to the numbers of properties that can be discounted and absorbed by the market, I guess.
More than likely in a hard crash scenario the old currency is worth 20% of what it was, so your mortgage is 20% of what it was (while your house is worth 5 times what it was). If you don't lose your house along the way, if you are able to hang on to it.
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