People have been posting doomsday articles on my Facebook page… so delightful. Not. With the world so twitchy and insecure, with change on the world menu wherever we look, it is not at all hard to believe that some catastrophic event could turn us into the newest extinct critters at any moment.
Our natural disasters seem epic in scale ever since Katrina destroyed an old, established and well-loved city and half of the Gulf Coast; ever since the horrific scenes we witnessed in Haiti. The tsunami near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor in Japan was destructive on a scope we have not experienced in our lifetimes, the storms that have hit in the South Pacific (Australia and the Philippines) caused get damage, and just last week two plates crunched together and almost wiped out an enormous swath of Nepal, killing people in numbers we equate only with nuclear disaster. The tsunami that preceded the Japanese tsunami and temporarily erased Sri Lanka and neighboring nations also killed many people, both natives and tourists. The forces unleashed seem enormous and that makes us worry that something more damaging and all-encompassing will happen at any moment.
In 2008, when the housing bubble burst, we felt a shudder of fear run through America, and indeed, much of the world. We knew that with the exodus of our factories the American economy was already having difficulties with full employment. Our unemployment rates were too high, especially among the poor and the middle class. Austerity loomed and only the polarization of our Federal government, which made bipartisan agreement on anything quite unlikely, probably protected us from strict belt-tightening measures. We are pleased that there has been a modicum of recovery, but we are nervous about how many Americans lives have still not found an acceptable degree of individual prosperity or opportunity. We are all aware that a few people around the world have cornered most of the world’s wealth and that they intend to protect it and, basically, hoard it.
So amidst the omens and worries of our new existence come these guys who I am sure have plenty of money. They tell us how nervous they are that they will lose all they have. They tell us that the dollar is no longer a secure currency and they predict that within 6 months we could find ourselves in a 25 year long depression. They write articles about what currencies are safe havens for your wealth. What are those of us with no wealth to think? We have mortgages and credit card bills and car payments. Our money already seems practically useless.
One of these prognosticators is Mr. Rickards who works for the government as an expert in asymmetrical warfare, whatever that is. He has written a book with the subtle title The Death of Money. Of course, we are instantly alerted to the possibility that the word ‘charlatan’ may have relevance here. But a little wedge of our brain keeps whispering that he may know what he is talking about. This stuff is still classified as “conspiracy theory” and “doomsday” nonsense by most. In fact, Rickards project is called The Prophecy Project, not a title that appeals to sane folks who usually don’t pay attention to data from the supernatural realm.
So I give you here the links. Read what these “experts” have to say and make your own decision. It is highly unlikely that we can do any kinds of survivalist crap that will keep us going through a quarter of a century. If money is useless, I doubt that most of us can convert our money to safe haven currencies. I doubt we will be able to hang on to our housing or find a way to produce the energy necessary to maintaining a comfortable lifestyle. In other words, most of us are screwed. It is difficult to understand why these guys would bother to post to hoi polloi on Facebook. Perhaps they are hoping to foment panic so that their predictions will come to pass and increase their wealth and their reputation before we all subside into anarchy. No sense losing sleep over this is what I say. And then I hope I am right.
By Nancy Brisson