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There is no doubt that disaster can strike at any time, but unfortunately there is no one, uniform type of disaster. On any day, at any time, you could fall victim to a natural disaster, war/invasion, or just about any other terrible thing that you could think of. Being prepared for that disaster is something you can do that separates you from a large majority of the rest of the population. While it goes without saying that you will need ample food, water, and shelter should a disaster strike, what if I said that gold should be added to that list?
Confirmation bias negatively impacts human thinking on both sides of the sound money debate. If nothing else, I hope I have conveyed through my past articles that I’m a believer in sound monetary principals and a strong advocate of precious metals for personal and financial survival during the upcoming storm. I hold that for those on the other side of the aisle, Keynesians who have placed their faith in the folly of fiat currency and widely accepted investing options during this period (stocks and bonds), will be economically ruined over the next few years. I believe that one can even prosper during and after the impending upheaval if well positioned financially with physical specie and perhaps some well chosen mining and oil stocks. But it is also instructive to recognize the mistakes being made by those who share similar views so I and my readers do not commit the same errors. After all, it would be tragic on a personal level to have been so right in predicting and preparing for financial calamity but still to have lost out because of some overlooked assumption or nuance - right church wrong pew, so to speak.
The complexities and risk built into the Modern World have increased its fragility and the likelihood of an unpredictable extreme event, or Black Swan. In his masterful book of the same title, Nassim Taleb labels this age as one of “Extremistan” where severe, wild outcomes are the norm. These events can be political, economic, or militaristic and like ripples on a pond, they spread across the globe with effects that can last for years. The collapse of the hedge fund management firm Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) in 1998 due to the Russian Bond Crises and the attacks of 9-11 are two such events. Both were largely beyond the imaginations (let alone predictably) of those who cared and the result of poor risk assessment. The nature of this new reality means that predicting status quo over a reasonable time is less likely than the occurrence of an extreme event due to fragility built into the System. In other words, one would perform better by making multiple calculated “extreme” predictions than forecasting “business as usual.” While, the strong majority of these outliers will not fruition, a twenty to thirty percent rate would be a success.
Explanations for the results of the recent U.S. Presidential Elections abound: improper messaging on the part of the Romney ticket, a lack of inclusiveness on the part of the Republican Party, simple tribalism as a result of changing demographics, a belief in Santa Claus, or a combination thereof. A French philosopher once observed that “Nations get the Governments they deserve” and the history of the Western World since the end of the Second World War has been for Nations to elect Governments that allow people to enjoy lifestyles they are unwilling to fully work for. There have been, of course, exceptions, particularly in the U.S. which might have slowed the trends, but broadly speaking, these are mere bumps on the road which neither changed nor altered the greater trends towards increasing the size of the welfare state, and by extension, their corresponding Governments. The recent election represents the popular approval of the growth of entitlements, or as some have more colorfully labeled it: “Santa Claus”.
Often, when one party expresses an opinion in favor of the benefits of acquiring gold, the opposing side will express disapproval with the glib retort: “You can’t eat gold.” Intended to convey a practical perspective, this flippant response betrays a breathtaking level of historic economic ignorance, and I would argue, a poor ability to quantify future risk vis-à-vis the coming financial collapse and ensuing struggles.
The problem is simple to identify: a politician’s primary purpose in life is not to represent his constituents or pass laws or social engineer (though he does these things to various degrees), but rather, it is to get re-elected and augment his power. Barring the occasional exception which does not disprove the rule, this is a universal truth even in our formerly Constitutional-revering Republic. When viewed through this lens, the long and gradual process perverting the American system of Government and property rights becomes clear.
The unseen glue which holds the credit system and the Western World together is trust. We take it for granted and do not consider how it affects every aspect of our lives. What has traditionally separated the West (particularly the English-speaking World) from the Third World is the strength of contract law and the general faith that there will be enforcement of penalties meted out through judicial process to those who break their bond. This trust has been eroding more recently at a rate which is becoming more apparent even to the non-observer.
While many visiting this site and in the broader “Prepper” realm have differing views of what the degree and final make-up of the struggles ahead will resemble when TSHTF, my personal interactions with fellow like minded individuals have indicated that most see this in some way stemming from some variety of economic collapse. I could not agree more.
If you want to have silver for prepping purposes, I would concentrate on purchasing junk silver. Some preppers believe that if the dollar were to collapse, junk silver coins would provide an alternative to paper money. Before you get into purchasing silver, first you need to understand what junk silver is, and how much it is worth. Additionally, you must also understand that the price of junk silver changes every day, as it fluctuates with the price of silver.