Saturday, September 27, 2008

The revolution is personal

"Financial Crisis: The next decade could be our very own Great Depression" says the economics editor of the Daily Telegraph.

Towards the end of the 90s, I was expecting a major crash. Then, I was in a laughable and condescended-to minority, it seems. And I'm certainly not important enough for anyone in the City of London to give me a minute of their heavily-overremunerated time. Even last year, warning on Cafe Hayek that America could become dirt-poor financially, I was mocked for my ignorance of "purchasing power parity".

I was unfamiliar with the phrase at that time, but I still think my instincts were right. I don't know what ordinary people are going to live on, in the US and the UK, when everything we used to make can be made cheaper elsewhere and the world's average income (in Purchasing Power Parity terms) is $5,000 a year.

Being right is no use at all, except on a personal level: I re-entered the despised public sector at the end of 1999 so that I would have something to live on when the financial world unravelled. Now, you need to make your own survival plans - it shouldn't (I earnestly hope) be guns and dried food, but what line of work will you be doing and how much can you sell to get rid of debt?
It's not too late. The Equitable Life mess took a long time to reach its endpoint, and there was quite a window of opportunity to get out of their with-profits fund with a reasonable amount of your savings intact. Similarly, houses have dipped in price, but (in my view) nowhere near hit bottom; nor do I expect them to return to current levels for a generation (in real terms; if the government permits hyperinflation, they may return in nominal terms, but that'll be no comfort when a loaf of bread costs £10).

When the government runs nearly everything, as it seems determined to do, maybe "if you can't beat them, join them". Here in the UK, the next administration will have very limited freedom of action, as the present one expects (perhaps wrongly) to lose the coming General Election and so has adopted a "Götterdämmerung" strategy - selling our nuclear power firm to the French, undermining the Monarchy, and generally assaulting anything that will hold us together politically, culturally and financially. In a way, I hope Labour wins again; but then again, it would be no punishment - they'd continue to eat and drink well while perfecting our destruction.
My newsagent told me this morning that he works 90 hours a week. He referred to a Daily Express front page story from yesterday, which said that it was indeed better to live on benefits. I'm not surprised. In ancient times, it was understood that if you wanted a good job doing, you employed a freedman, since slaves were complacent and lazy. Democracy has become a process whereby slaves appoint masters who will feed, clothe and house them.

In case you imagine I am politically biased, please note that I hold no brief for the pack of smoothies that is the current Tory Party, any more than for the Fifth Columnists who have spent 11 years destroying the country from the top. Both seem to see their future as part of the Euro-elite and think the common people depend on their bull****, as koalas depend on eucalyptus leaves.

Abandon all belief in these charlatans and concentrate on your personal life plan.


matt said...

What do you think that best store of value will be in the coming flood? Precious metals? Rural real estate?

Deb Acle said...

Gosh, you're shooting straight from the survivalist hip here.

Americans who're more savvy have been saying this for the past 3-4 years. Then they looked like alarmist radicals or even conspiracy freaks talking about all their food and energy stocks.

Personally, my solution would involve getting out of the EU pronto and concentrating the nation's efforts on what we do best: selling Britain as a unique and historical pageant, financial industry (the old fashioned honest version), high quality manufacture of premium goods, academia, science, the arts etc.

What you say about the Fifth Columnists is what I've been thinking for several years now. It's a very hard view to sustain when all around are induging themselves in delusional bubbles of tra-la-la, everything's fine! In your opinion, has this destruction been deliberate or is it the result of the worst gvt administration and management in - well, modern times?


Hi Deb

Not quite survivalist in the American way - we can't get away from people on our island. And I don't imagine that our politicians really want to preside over actual anarchy. But some jobs will still have to be done in a recession - including looking after brats who'd otherwise be on the streets and looking to burgle or attack you. So that's what I did.

As to what really goes on in the sort-of-clever, tiny, twisted minds of the Love Generation Left, who can say? Maybe, like many of us, they think that however hard they saw at the branch they're sitting on, they can't fall off. And there is the phenomenon of the rich socialist - partying hard while working to smash the system. That's really having it both ways, eh?


Matt - my brother has gone for living on rural real estate, but in the USA that's a viable option. Faber observed a few days ago that people are less likely to drop a bomb on you if you're living on a farm - disturbing that he's starting to talk that way - - but remember that he lives in fairly rural northern Thailand, and close to more than one international border.

My suspicion - and remember how little I know - is that we'll be well-placed if we have no debt, then hold cash with maybe some physical gold, and meanwhile keep an eye on what the government is doing so that if we predict significant inflation we'll have time to get rid of our cash.

If you're a real pessimist, then rural USA, dried food, medicines, bottled water, ammo, circle of friends for mutual defence etc.

In the UK the best you could do is to go somewhere that people overlook, because they can get to you in a day's drive. So the best defence here is camouflage. I'd pose as a silly middle-aged duffer in a camper van ("Bless you, love, we'e just on our way back from Bournemouth, had a lovely time"). Not geared up for that yet.

Deb Acle said...

Silly middle-aged but not middle-class....there seems to be a distinct prejudice against us. Another example of undermining 'Britishness'...? (Which the middle-class have ever upheld, for good or ill)

Sounds like you have a good strategy there, Sackerson. I got a taste of the party-harders early on. It was quite incongruous as I remember. I suppose I saw the scribble on the wall even then, and didn't want to, but never thought it could go this far.

Anonymous said...

Bullshit can get you to the top but can't keep you there. I think we will find that out soon.

It is interesting to note that most of our freedoms were guaranteed by Kings and Queens whilst democracy has tended to remove them. Kings and Queens realsied that their illegitimate lording over the rest of us could be ended abruptly in decapitation if the game wasn't played to our best interests, whereas democratic government believes it has a legitimate right to enslave us in our own best interests.