Monday, April 23, 2012

Episode 96, Stockholm Syndrome for 300 Million People

Pictured: Patty Hearst, the poster child of the Stockholm Syndrome.

We come to love that which we endure. We are such creatures of habit, and we are so prone to accept our circumstances, that over time we become blind to what's really happening, and we fail to realize there are better alternatives.

While I was enduring another TSA grope-fest at the airport the other day, a fellow passenger (fortunately a stranger to me) actually THANKED the agents for checking his bags and bathing him in radiation while photographing his genitals. Not exactly in those terms, but he made it clear, in a loud voice, that he appreciated the glamorless, thankless job they were all doing.

That's the Stockholm Syndrome--the prisoner thanking his jailors.

And I think Stockholm Syndrome describes what has happened to most of us living in America today. We are prisoners of a mindset that long ago learned to tolerate, and has now come to demand, that government do a laundry list of things not just at the expense of our liberties, but at times for the implicit (or explicit) purpose of reducing our liberties.

This mental prison keeps large majorities from accepting free market alternatives to government which would improve our lives immensely. This thinking is so ingrained it is hard to imagine persuading enough people to force a reversal via the ballot box. Fortunately, the upside of the impending collapse is the opening it will provide for us to replace the massively failed American state with what we have begun calling on TSOP "Free America".

Free America will be difficult to achieve. To get there, we need to expand the preparations we are making for the crash. In addition to prepping to survive the crash, we need to use the time left to us to study the alternatives to the coercive monopoly of government.

Our chance is coming to hit the reset button on the American experiment, and bring about the Free America that some of the original founders intended. Your job will be to fight to keep your local community from reflexively rebuilding the old, failed systems. Be the change!

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

Episode 95, Will There be a Boom Before the Crash?

Time to engage in some "contrary thinking" on The Shrugging Out Podcast, mainly just to make sure that we're still thinking!

In the early days of "modern survivalism", prepping for the crash was contrary thinking--few people indeed believed that bad times were coming, and that we should be preparing to survive them.

Nowadays survivalist thinking has become much more prevalent, if not exactly mainstream, marked by the numbers of people, blogs, and even TV shows talking about oncoming hard times and prepping.

In this show, I quote heavily from a very interesting article by Jesse Columbo called "We May be on the Verge of the Next Major Bubble Boom" in which he identifies eight possible economic bubbles that could produce an economic boom before the collapse we are all expecting. His acronym is "CCC ACHES" which stands for:
- China
- Commodities
- Canada
- Australia
- College in the US
- Health care in the US
- Emerging markets, and
- Social media & tech bubble 2.0.

Nobody can predict when the Big Collapse will come, or what will happen between now and the collapse. Columbo's thinking is certainly contrary to the prevailing gloom shared by most of us. He's not suggesting the crash won't come, he's suggesting we may not be finished with short-term "bubble booms" before the Big Collapse finally arrives.

In other words, we can't assume that it is all downhill from here.

History suggests we should respect and occasionally engage in contrary thinking to avoid tunnel vision and stay flexible in the face of uncertainty.

The lesson? Have a plan, and work your plan. But have a Plan B, and maybe a Plan C. And keep paying attention, and thinking about what is actually happening, and what else COULD happen.

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