Within five years, I’m expecting two things to happen:
1. My ungrateful government will stop paying me Social Security retirement benefits unless I can prove that I lived for at least three or four months in the U.S. during the previous calendar year; and
2. My inept government will destroy the value of the dollar by allowing it to lose its place as the world’s reserve currency and the currency in which oil is valued for sale.
I hope that I’m wrong, but there is every reason to believe that both of these things will come to pass in that time frame.
This is just two of the things that will affect me. I own neither stocks nor bonds, and I no longer own any real estate within the United States. If you own any of those things, you have more to worry about than I do. Also, the total amount that I owe to all sources is under twenty dollars, which is the total of my Amazon book purchases for last month. I’ll be paying that off any day now. If you are carrying more debt than me, and virtually everyone in the country is, then you have more cause for worry on that score as well.
Number one is becoming more important ever year to the pirates currently running our country. Many Americans, and I’m one of them, can no longer afford to live in the U.S. The number of Americans living overseas will soon exceed ten million people, and many of that number receive Social Security benefits. As soon as the payments to people not living in America reach an amount worth stealing, they will be stolen.
Number two may happen by means of: 1) an accident that is beyond anyone’s control; 2) some misadventure due to the foolishness of our government officials; or 3) the machinations of other players in our new multi-polar “superpower” world. In order to avoid this disastrous result, we would need a fully staffed and vigorous State Department, a fully staffed and well-led foreign intelligence apparatus, and a Treasury Department that knew its ass from a hot rock. We have none of those things, and please note that there are three possible ways for thing number two to happen, so the odds that it will happen are very favorable. If I could get odds like that in Vegas, I’d be there now.
My job now is to prepare for this inevitable double disaster. It’s my second job, I guess, because I still have an actual day-job, which I will keep as long as I can walk and talk (or as long as my benefactor-employer lets me). I have a couple of ideas, and I am not without resources. I should be fine. My heart goes out to those Americans living overseas who will have no adequate response to these shocks. Many Americans that I have met here in Thailand will have no way to survive without their Social Security, even if they have some money in the bank (minus the one-third to one-half that the crash of the dollar will destroy). Many of them, if they return to America to get the Social Security, will have no one left of family or friends to offer assistance. They will have no way to even get set up in a place to live, much less pay all of the huge monthly expenses associated with living in the U.S. Their existence will be rough, and no one in America is in the offering-help business anymore.
A sincere “good luck” also to people living in trailer-parks in Sunbelt states who rely on Social Security and savings to make ends meet. The crash of the dollar will reduce the spending power of both things.
Look ahead, my fellow Americans . . . smell the coffee . . . see which way the wind is blowing . . . read those tea leaves. Don’t believe everything that you read, including this blog post. Go see for yourselves, and then do what you can to prepare. Recall that the week before the Wall Street crash of 1929 all of the papers were unanimously saying that the bull market of the 1920s had a long way to run before slowing down. That was days before the whole thing charged over a cliff into oblivion, taking the American economy with it. It’s probably a good bet to assume that everyone is lying to you. Everyone except me, of course. I might be wrong from time to time, but I’d never lie to you.
I’m no financial expert, nor do I have a Crystal Ball, but I’m pretty comfortable predicting the above mentioned two things. If I’m just exercising an overabundance of caution, might not you wish to do the same?