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gimmethesimplelife
12-14-11, 1:21am
I have here a question I have been pondering for some time in this economy.....Do you believe that the US may collapse? I seriously ponder this as I regularly visit a few websites with the eventual economic collapse of the US as the theme. What I read there sometimes chills me but I also think some of what is there is quite extremist. So I wonder what folks here think? And what do you think might follow a collapse, a change in the political/economic/business/social model of some kind, or? Rob

As to how this relates to personal finance, if you believe that the US may collapse, what are you doing to prepare, financially or otherwise?

Dhiana
12-14-11, 2:20am
Absolutely it will. As have many other powerful civilizations/empires throughout history.

Yet somehow people seem to make it through the difficulties and make the best of what they have.
If it does collapse we'll still be in the same situation as just about everyone around us. No better or no worse off :)

ApatheticNoMore
12-14-11, 2:36am
It's possible. Maybe I'm more likely to believe in a peak oil "long emergency" scenario (if environmental issues don't get us all first). Whew that's cheery. Basically if the U.S. economy does collapse the whole world is probably in trouble and much of it will probably go first or along with (with some exceptions perhaps)

gimmethesimplelife
12-14-11, 2:50am
Absolutely it will. As have many other powerful civilizations/empires throughout history.

Yet somehow people seem to make it through the difficulties and make the best of what they have.
If it does collapse we'll still be in thead same situation as just about everyone around us. No better or no worse off :)Your post made me think of an account I read of a woman who lived through the Great Depression and actually was grateful for it. I don't remember all the details, but she had enough food to get by, had a warm place to sleep, and had time to read which was what gave her the most joy in life. I remember she later married and found factory work when things picked up but missed those days of reading and extremely simple living. Definitely there is someone making the best of their situation.....

redfox
12-14-11, 3:23am
Sure... eventually. Not soon, in my opinion, by which I mean this century.

Zoebird
12-14-11, 5:25am
I agree with Dhiana really. The main thing, i think, is to make local connections with people.

It's my primary earth-quake preparedness kit -- community connections.

Yossarian
12-14-11, 9:12am
On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.

razz
12-14-11, 9:52am
Nope!!!!! Nope!!!!!! Nope !!!!!

The quality of thought that developed North America will cause this continent to adapt and flourish as it learns from its mistakes and sets positive goals.

Will the current state of extreme commercialism, greed, abuse of resources, self-centredness, militarism collapse? Yes!!!!! The sooner, the better!

It is all in the state of thought of the citizens. If they are concerned with simply with commercialism, etc., they will be unhappy and fighting continually, amongst themselves and with the world.

But there is too much innovative, creative, generous, adventurous individual thinking going on right now and when it reaches critical mass, things will take off in positive directions. Then it will cycle through the greed state again and back and forth as society progresses. Will it collapse such as the Roman empire, no. That empire was built on a huge adminstrative role in a largely unsettled primitive society. I firmly believe in the power of the individual and his/her thought to change our world and go in a positive direction and provide leadership in doing so.

I wonder how many US and Can residents truly realize the extent of the impact of their individual freedom of thought and action on society and how other societies simply don't have this freedom? Fight for this with all your might and team up to protect it rather than be a house divided.

OK, I will step off my podium now but this is an important issue for me.

RosieTR
12-14-11, 9:55am
Do you mean "collapse" or "change"? My guess is that it'll be less like Rome and more like Great Britain. Certainly GB's empire collapsed, but for the citizens it was more like long slow change and adjusting to not being the world's power any more. I would be surprised if that didn't happen to the US in my lifetime. As for Rome, people went from having sanitation and civil society in many cases, to subsistence farming. I think that could still happen but would likely take something on the order of serious plague, nuclear winter, asteroid, super volcano eruption, etc. at least at this point. Even if the Euro collapses, it's difficult to say definitely what the effect on the US will be. Bad in the short-term, but it could in other ways preserve the US dominance for awhile longer than otherwise. Or, it could trigger a much worse prolonged depression than what we are experiencing now.

Rogar
12-14-11, 10:08am
Not in the near future.

As long as I can remember there have been as many doomsdayers on the the state of our social and economic stability as religious cults predicting the end of the world. It has been a while since reading them, but I think the reason Scott and Helen Nearing moved to the country and lived the simple life was because Scott belived in America's social collapse. (In my mind he is the father of the simple living movement). I think a far move likely future is that we will drop back into the crowd from being the great world super power and become more like a Canada or a Great Britain as the emerging economies take more away from our middle class and we find we are no longer able to support an international military and other expensive government programs and unemployment and income remain an issue long term.

Longer term, say 20 or 30 plus years out, I think a growing population and prospering global economies are going to put unsustainable and dangerous pressures on food, energy, industial metals and the climate. I don't think this is going to have a good outcome.

flowerseverywhere
12-14-11, 10:31am
some parts of the US will probably collapse. Right now all across the nation heating aid, food stamps, welfare benefits, medicaid and other social services are being reviewed and reduced. There is a large group of people who will see life as they know it change drastically. Instead of food stamp cards more people will depend on their local soup kitchens and food pantries (think of the depression pictures of people standing in line for food). The OWS movement is the tip of the iceberg as more people mobilize to fight for what they believe in.

but also, I read more and more that people are starting to wake up to what is going on around them. Local food movements are taking hold. Opting out of Christmas ridiculous spending is becoming at least mentionable, if not common. I believe that things like car pooling, multiple generations living in one household, saving up for big items as opposed for taking a loan out for them and making do will become more common.

Colleges are ripe for change, as more students realize that taking out huge loans and living on campus may not be affordable for everyone. And higher education may also not be right for many people in the future as the world continues to evolve. High school parking lots full of student cars, four thousand square foot houses with five bathrooms, suv's pulling huge motor homes may all become much less common as the middle class continues to have a lower standard of living.

I do think gradually we will return to a more sustainable economic model than importing lots of cheap junk, and food, from overseas.

There are many problems that are going unaddressed. For example, water will become more of an issue, especially for desert areas.
Life will become more dangerous for the really wealthy, or those that live the life of the rich and famous as the lower class wants a bigger piece of the pie.

So we are in for change, some of it good, some of it bad, some of it very painful. the bad thing is when things were really good in this country we did not pay attention to things like infrastructure and now that times are leaner we are left scratching our heads saying "what now"? Our leaders have not been very good stewards of our money and it is coming home to roost.

bae
12-14-11, 3:36pm
"Collapse" as in The New Dark Ages/Mad Max? Pretty unlikely.

"Change", as resources become limited, suburbs dry up, old-school inner cities rot away, services diminish, the job market continues to be exposed to global competition? Almost certainly. But maybe we'll get fusion reactors working, and it'll all be happy sunshine and unicorns, never can tell.

I frankly think the United States is too big and too complicated and too different from place-to-place to be governed in detail as one nation from one central location. The needs and concerns of people in Montana are vastly different than people living in NYC. Even within a single state, such as the one I live in, concentrated urban populations presume to dictate what is needful to folks living in completely different circumstances, which doesn't work very well.

I expect to see a resurgence of regionalism over the next few decades. Hopefully a polite "we're all just members of a happy family" regionalism, not a "Civil War II" regionalism, which if you recall, was the first time the US "collapsed", and I suspect none of us want a repeat.

As far as my personal preparations, over a decade ago I moved to an isolated rural community with lots of cooperative, self-sufficient, friendly people, where we can easily grow our own food, fish, and hunt. I have been increasingly limiting my exposure to the world economy, building up personal capital, and heading down the techno-Amish path...

Gardenarian
12-14-11, 6:22pm
No, I don't. But, it's not a bad idea.

Like a lot of people I am frustrated by the nonsensical ways our leaders find to make things worse. The banks screw everything up? Let's give them lots of money! Gobal warming? Let's fight another war for oil! The schools aren't providing our kids with a good education? Let's make sure everyone gets a lousy education! Families having a hard time getting by? Let's take control of their reproductive rights! Obesity epidemic? Let's pay the farmers to grow more GMO corn!
Yes, it does seem like things are so messed up that they'll never be right.

I am throwing my hat into the ring and running for a small political position this spring. I'm going to try and change things from within. We'll see.

Zoebird
12-14-11, 7:20pm
I'm with Rosie on this one -- assuming that thing get organized for it, then yeah.