Bill Bonner wrote:In modern America, long complex chains of production and distribution put food on your table and gas in your car.
Any engineer with experience knows that cascading failures sometimes occur. The more complex a system is, the higher is the probability of such failure. This does not mean complicated: a pile of sand with steady addition at the top is simple, but not simplex, and can have cascading failures. So can snowfall on a slope. Remember the story about Honor's rescue operations at the ski resort? IMHO the current economic system is both complex and unstable.
It's far more palatable for governments to inflate away their bad debts by devaluing their currencies – which can then always be blamed on someone else – than to write off those debts or default.
It is wise to plan for success or failure. When failure means problems getting necessities, the backup plans should be simple and probably effective. Knowledge of wild foods can help for a short time, but there is a reason why farmer/gardener/rancher societies have higher population densities than hunter/gatherer types. The former replace the means of production, the latter depend on natural replacement which is much slower.
In our current society, there are certain to be problems from those who have been trained to get more by taking or tantrums (riots) rather than improving production. For some reason, riots usually include infrastructure destruction, with dire results
We are working on our paper assets. This is done by studying on-line information, seeing how well it works, and picking the best method. The latest method varies between slightly negative (very short time) to over 40% annualized (also very short time), averaging 20+% annualized since that method was put into practice. This is expected to fail suddenly, so we are prepared.
We also garden and work on ways of using local resources. The relative importance to us can be seen by the fact that time at the computer is normally time when weather makes outdoor projects need breaks to warm up, cool down, or dry out.
Bill Bonner wrote:Well, either we all band together and take care of one another…
Or American society begins to break apart… People turn on each other…
It’s hard to say, but we can look at the past for examples…
We had a thread discussing sustainable (correct the present system) and survivalist (survive the breakdown) practices. There are many on-line resources. The suggestion is to study them. Properly planned, this can be done without increasing expenses, although more labor and planning is needed.