Party Like Its 1929!
By Matthew Stein, P.E., Author of When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency, ISBN #978-1933392455, Chelsea Green Publishing, White River Junction, VT (800) 639-4099 www.chelseagreen.com www.whentechfails.com
Could You Get By, Like Your Grandparents Did Back In 1929 When Their Jobs and Savings Evaporated?
When the stock market crashed in 1929, most Americans saw the value of their investments evaporate overnight, and then watched helplessly as their cash disappeared in a seemingly endless stream of bank closings. During the Great Depression, few people had jobs, few people had access to any cash, but life still went on. Much business was done on the barter system. Friends and neighbors helped each other when they could, and people with skills traded their labor and crafts for food, wood to heat their homes, items of clothing, etc. Shanty towns sprung up all over the country when people lost their homes and farms to foreclosure in what has been described as, “The greatest land-grab in history.”.
On Christmas day in 1991, the
In the days of our grandparent’s, someone in each town knew how to grow, fabricate, or manufacture everything that was necessary to lead a reasonably comfortable life. In those days, if the ships stopped sailing due to war or weather, one might miss a few luxuries and comforts, but life went on quite well with what could be found, fabricated, or grown locally. Not so anymore! In 1998, the average item of American food traveled 1,518 miles before reaching our homes! Most of our shoes, clothing, household goods and small appliances are fabricated in far-off lands and the factories and skills to make many of these items have long since disappeared from American soil.
How will you fare if the local utility shuts down? Can you grow your own food or fabricate the basic clothing and shelter you need for your family? What skills and essential goods do you possess that you can trade or barter for food and other essential items? If you don’t have the money to pay for medical services, do you possess a knowledge of alternative low-tech healing methods to cure most diseases with minimal expense? It certainly couldn’t hurt to do a little digging in your back yard garden, or to bone up on some of your self reliant skills. The old Yankee adage of, “preparing for the worst while hoping for the best” is sound advice in these uncertain times.
Until recently, most of us thought that economic crisis
was something that happened to other people in other countries (Zimbabwe,
Argentina, even Japan in the 1990’s). When our economy has been down before, I have
heard people say, “We need a good war to get the economy moving again.” The war
To me, the writing is on the wall. We need a
Roosevelt-like New Deal, and we need it fast. It is high time we put
There is an old Chinese saying, “Is it not already too
late if one waits until one is thirsty to begin digging a well?”
Do your best to change the world!
Do your best to be ready for the changes in the world!