Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Episode 6: Which Shrug Out strategy should you choose?

We start with a reminder that we all need periodically from the daily news...on just how much the Dependency Culture and the Parasitical Elites despise you.

Why does your Shrugging Out strategy depend on your life situation?

What is your Co-Dependency Footprint? (You need to know it to properly choose your strategy.)

What are you assuming if your strategy is Doing Nothing?

Which of the following strategies are the best fit for you?

- The "Dependency Prevention" strategy

- The "Shrink Out" strategy

- The "Total Shrug Out" or TSO strategy

What are some simple things that anyone can do to reduce their Co-dependency Footprint?

Which state in the U.S. might be the right state to shrug out to?

Regardless of your shrug out strategy, what should you NEVER do?

Monday, March 29, 2010

Episode 5: How will the Dependency Culture unravel?

The Dependency Culture pits the Dependents against the Co-Dependents who enable them. Everyone is somewhere on the Dependency/Co-dependency continuum. But there is a third option--what is it?

Will the Dependency Culture undergo a long, slow (or not so slow) decline? Or an abrupt catastrophe?

What will politicians do regarding Dependents and Co-Dependents as the decline accelerates?

How will the oscillation of control from Democrats to Republicans (and back) affect the decline?

What will happen to taxes? What will happen to the economy?

What types of unrest and disruption will impact the Dependency Culture?

What are the opportunities for reform that could avoid or reduce the decline?

What will happen to the stock market?

Will we have hyperinflation? What might cause deflation?

A sobering show, but it's important to examine the information we have and to be realistic if we are to take effective action in our lives.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Old Irish Blessing (2 minute audio treat for Shrugging Out podcast listeners)

This famous tune is gorgeously sung by the Texas A&M Century Singers, an 80-voice mixed choral group. Warning:  This may bring a tear to your eye, it is so beautiful. (Click on the title of this posting to listen.)

May the road rise to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
The sun shine down upon your face
The rain fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again may God,
May God,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
May the Lord bless you and keep you.
May the Lord cause His face to shine on you
And give you peace.
I recorded this during the group's March 27, 2010 performance at Trietsh Memorial United Methodist Church in Flower Mound, Texas.  Four of the singers were guests in our home overnight, and they spent the late evening listening to the concert I'd recorded, 18 songs in all, singing along and critiquing their performance of just an hour before.  Remarkable evening.

Recorded with Zoom H4n recorder using the built-in stereo microphones, and no live or post-processing enhancements.  Amazing quality.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Episode 4: Shrugging Out vs. Bugging Out--What's the difference?

Notes from today's show:
  • (offtopic) Where did the show music come from?

  • Quick reminder of what Shrugging Out is and is NOT.
  • What is "Bugging Out", and where does it come from?  

What's a "Bug Out Bag", and what's in it?

  Why do Shrugging Out and Survivalism go hand in hand?

  • Where should you go to learn more about Bugging Out and Survivalism?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Episode 3: Shrugging out--How to get started

Today's podcast on shrugging out and how to get started:

1.  Remember what Shrugging Out is and why you want to do it.  The goal is your independence.  Not sticking it to anybody else.

2.  What is the IDEAL end state of independence for you, your "Shangri La"?  Paint a vivid picture of that for you and those shrugging out with you.

3.  Do you need a more achievable or realistic intermediate goal?  Visualize that.  (Important aside:  Consider disaster survival, see and listen to The Survival Podcast ( with Jack Spirko).

4.  Turn down your desire for material things.  Easier said than done, because you've been carefully trained to want them, but it's essential.  

5.  Get to work on your debt.  Use the "debt snowball" method.

6.  Economize your weekly and monthly purchases (food, clothing, cable/satellite TV, cellphones, etc.).  Cut weekly and monthly entertainment expenses (eating out, movies, gaming, etc.) as much as you can.  Apply these savings to your debt snowball, and/or to your cash reserves.

7.  Go through your garage and attic with an eye out for anything you haven't used in the past year.  Keep nothing that isn't of emergency value or future family value (such as a crib your son might use for his future children).  Sell what you can on Craigslist or a garage sale.  (Or give it to charity.)  Develop a mindset that you don't need a lot of "stuff" surrounding you and cluttering up your life.

8.  Go through the rest of your home with the same eye.  Which things do you no longer use, or no longer need?  Re-do this assessment every now and then, as you gain momentum toward achieving your goals for independence.

9.  Take a look at the kind of home and neighborhood in which you live, compared with what it is costing you.  Consider how downsizing into a more affordable home and neighborhood would accelerate your progress towards independence. When you're ready, do it.

10.  Take stock of where you are periodically, and CELEBRATE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Episode 2: What is "Atlas Shrugged" all about?

Lots of people know the novel Atlas Shrugged but plenty do not.  And even if you do, it's interesting to review, and discuss why it's important.

So here's a quick discussion of Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism, her magnum opus Atlas Shrugged, and how it inspires the "Shrugging Out" concept.

Ayn Rand:

Episode 1: Why shrug out?

Why shrug out?  What is "shrugging out" anyway?

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The Shrugging Out Podcast theme song

Click on the title to listen.  This is a recording of the player piano in the lobby of the Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas, and the perfect theme music for the modern welfare state.  Complicated, laboring hard, significantly out of tune, sounding as though it is falling apart.  Recorded on March 18, 2010.  Many thanks to the hotel staff for firing up the old geezer (the piano) so we could enjoy it and record it.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Shrugging Off the Dependency Culture

What is the Dependency Culture?

It is the environment, and the mindset, that leads an ever-increasing share of adults to provide less and less for themselves and their families, exchanging their independence for more and more reliance on government programs.

The Dependency Culture is largely the result of us allowing the seven deadly sins, most especially greed, envy, and sloth, to gain control of our governments.

The Dependency Culture has many more beneficiaries than benefactors.  This is convenient in a democracy as it allows the majority to vote themselves benefits without pain.

In the Dependency Culture, dependents are not the ONLY ones who benefit.  A class of parasitical Elites, including politicians, public servants, and others, arises to feed from the host, and facilitate its growth.

The Dependency Culture in the America is very mature, in the sense that relatively few people are completely independent of all government entitlement programs.  A huge majority of taxpayers receive some form of entitlement from the government, and in time virtually every person does, in the form of Social Security and Medicare if nothing else.  A continuum of dependency exists, and everyone is on it, with very few being on the "Wholly Independent" end of the scale.

There is no natural, orderly counter-force to govern or reverse the growth of the Dependency Culture.  A movement for reform on the part of the Dependents could do it, but human nature and the role of the Elites lobby against it. 

The Dependency Culture is unsustainable.  Absent an unlikely reform undertaken by the Dependents, the Dependency Culture will eventually take down American society as we have come to know it.

The demise of the Dependency Culture, again absent sweeping reforms, will be disruptive at least, and more likely catastrophic in its impact upon society and our economy.

So what are we to do?  Two things.  Number One, if you are part of the Dependency Culture, do whatever you must to leave it.  (Keep in mind that few of us are wholly Independent.)  Number Two, if you are primarily an Independent, do whatever you must to stop contributing to the Dependency Culture.  And whether you are Dependent or Independent now, prepare diligently for the abrupt and disorderly demise of the Dependency Culture.

In summary, what should you do about the Dependency Culture?  Shrug it off!