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Posted: 9/10/2009 5:50:52 AM EST
Is there any reason to believe that financial/government collapse in the US would be any worse than the fall of the soviet union? if so why and how would it be worse?
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 6:15:23 AM EST
Yep - because our citizens are a bunch of pansies compared to the Russians. I've spent a lot of time in Russia in the last 10 years and they are some pretty hardy people. Russia is a weird bunch of contrasts - for instance they may have a space program and a crapload of nukes but the majority of their people outside of the major cities don't have indoor plumbing. A large percentage of the people in the cities have what is called a datchua - which is a little shack outside of the cities where they maintain a garden. Survival is a way of life for them and has been for 800 years. It is also without a doubt one of the most backwards, inefficient, and frustrating places to try to get things done.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 6:34:09 AM EST
The poster above touched on it very well. The average Russian wasn't raised on Sponge Bob and X box. They are a people used to privation.....which is why alcoholism is so prevalent. Nonetheless, they are much hardier than most modern Americans.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 6:51:53 AM EST
We are too dependent on our "modern" way of life... Credit, Debit, electronic payments, plenty of food, lots of stores, go anywhere in our cars, cheap gas, etc, etc.

We would hurt a whole lot more then Russia did after the USSR fell.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:08:09 AM EST
We are too dependent on our "modern" way of life... Credit, Debit, electronic payments, plenty of food, lots of stores, go anywhere in our cars, cheap gas, etc, etc.

We would hurt a whole lot more then Russia did after the USSR fell.



This. We have alot FARTHER to fall and it's going to hurt more when we hit as a result.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:22:34 AM EST
I think the question is could the US collapse like the USSR? How does anyone know if it could happen here. How do you predict something like this? Or could something even worse occur? Or perhaps something not so bad. I really don't think TPTB would give the American people a heads up if they knew. WJ
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:26:01 AM EST
Originally Posted By Will:
We are too dependent on our "modern" way of life... Credit, Debit, electronic payments, plenty of food, lots of stores, go anywhere in our cars, cheap gas, etc, etc.

We would hurt a whole lot more then Russia did after the USSR fell.



This. We have alot FARTHER to fall and it's going to hurt more when we hit as a result.




Agreed, just go out your front door and look either, or both, directions. I'll bet ya dollars to donuts the idiots, oops - I mean neighbors you see wouldn't have a clue what to do if the electric quit and unemployment took off - for real!

I'm not holding myself up as an example of hardy stock by any means but a couple of days after the electric company hadn't shown up, us good Americans are on the phone with an attorney. "Gotta get in on the discrimination settlement, don't ya know!"... The Russians seemed like they still had their heads screwed on straight and doubled up with family or already were and made do. You see those neighbors outside taking in Mom and Dad? The poorly built McMansion will have been foreclosed on by that time and its hard to double up in the, finally paid off, 5 year old Lincoln Navigator. That being the same high priced truck they were looking down their noses at you from when they past you picking up the mail!

Good frickin luck America? Wouldn't want to trade places with those Ruskies but I think their Country will end up looking better if the balloon ever actually goes up here.

Just my opinion, sure you probably live in a better neighborhood than I do...

Prepper

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:50:16 AM EST
Think about how people freak out and "CAN'T GET ANYTHING DONE" if their e-mail or internet is down. This is something that has only become commonplace within the last 10 years. We are such a dependant fragile society....
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:58:22 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 8:03:47 AM EST
I agree completely with preppernation. Had a power outage not to long ago in our neighborhood. The majority of the people had no idea what to do. One of the ladies down the street came outside and started to cry becasue she didn't know what was happening. Had a couple of the neigbors ask me how I was able to open the garage without power. I shit you not. I was so astonished to see the stupidity of the people that I live close to. The family and I just pulled up lawn chairs so we could watch what would happen. Power came back on an hour later. I love california
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 9:54:35 AM EST
While there are many similarities, one glaring DISSIMILARITY is that most Americans still have personal initiative...we don't wait for the Party or the local comissar to tell us to jump before we act.

When the USSR fell apart it was total chaos in many respects.... if the federal government fell apart, while there would no doubt be great turmoil, it wouldn't quite mean the total loss of government as we'd still have local, county, city and state government on some level... plus all of private enterprise (which might just experience a boom what with no taxes to pay or withhold!)
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 10:15:29 AM EST
Originally Posted By dawgm:
Is there any reason to believe that financial/government collapse in the US would be any worse than the fall of the soviet union? if so why and how would it be worse?


Yes, I believe there is reason to think it would be worse.

First, the former Soviet Union didn't rack up trillions of dollars in debt to other foreign countries. The USSR was so isolated internationaly, the opportunity to rack up debt to other countries didn't present itself. If the USA fails, the countries we owe money to are going to come calling on us and it isn't going to be pretty. Since they won't be able to get there money they are going to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Second, the former USSR had unlimited resources available to develop as an industry, most importantly oil. Since the fall of the USSR, the Russians have been working at a fever pitch to develop their oil and natural gas industries to pull themselves up, and it has worked. The USA does not have these types of resources available to develop. We have nothing to sell to the world, in terms of resources, that is in high demand right now.

Although we might have some large oil deposits in AK, trying to develop those resources is next to impossible in the modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in.

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 10:28:52 AM EST
While the fall of the Soviet Union is a good parallel to what the US is going through, we are not an (well mostly not) oppressed country. Just the right to freely (well mostly free) own arms is a huge difference compared to the disintegration of any previous nation.

There are many here who joined the military of their own free will. They could of gone off to anything they wanted, but they chose to serve their country. Other nations required military commitment. Our "elections" are closer to the real deal, than that of the USSR. Anyone think Putin is still not running things?

I think even sheep would start to get their wool in a knot, when they are told they can no longer speak, they can't practice their religion, they can no longer own firearms, they have no right of habeas corpus, etc. Or maybe New York and California will think it is ok, but the rest of the States will not?

Our nation is a different breed, and I don't think that true liberty will sink or be cast aside blindly.

As they say, we live in interesting times.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 10:59:51 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 11:02:47 AM EST by Avit187]
Originally Posted By 14TheKid:
Originally Posted By dawgm:
Is there any reason to believe that financial/government collapse in the US would be any worse than the fall of the soviet union? if so why and how would it be worse?


Yes, I believe there is reason to think it would be worse.

First, the former Soviet Union didn't rack up trillions of dollars in debt to other foreign countries. The USSR was so isolated internationaly, the opportunity to rack up debt to other countries didn't present itself. If the USA fails, the countries we owe money to are going to come calling on us and it isn't going to be pretty. Since they won't be able to get there money they are going to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Second, the former USSR had unlimited resources available to develop as an industry, most importantly oil. Since the fall of the USSR, the Russians have been working at a fever pitch to develop their oil and natural gas industries to pull themselves up, and it has worked. The USA does not have these types of resources available to develop. We have nothing to sell to the world, in terms of resources, that is in high demand right now.

Although we might have some large oil deposits in AK, trying to develop those resources is next to impossible in the modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in.



I disagree.

The USSR collapsed financially. It was in debt to tons of international banks and companies. From wiki :

"The Soviet Union's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985.[dubious – discuss] After years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth was at a standstill. Failed attempts at reform, a stagnant economy, and war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe. Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the Moscow regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986, and consequent lack of foreign exchange reserves in following years to purchase grain profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.[1]
Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government. The USSR's trade gap progressively emptied the coffers of the union, leading to eventual bankruptcy"


––-

The US is still a "power house" of natural resources. We have the largest Coal deposits in the world. Not sure of the exact number but something like 75% of the worlds electricity is powered by coal. Also the "modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in. " would no longer exists if the Federal Government were not around. Not too mention the farm land. The US has long been called "Breadbasket of the World". Our capacity to feed ourselves is greater then most other nations. Again if the Fed were not regulating and destroying small local farms in favor of Big Agra-business our countries food production would rise. Steel production, natural gas, Oil (yes we still have some and if we figure out how to use Oil Shale we can say we have the most!)...The US is the fourth largest Gold producing nation. We have salt, copper, iron, the list goes on and on. Once the Fed get out of the way and our people wake up out of this borrow and spend dream world, and rediscover the old American spirit of hard work and ingenuity, this nation will quickly go back to being the greatest place on earth.

Will the fall of the Federal Government be difficult, sure. But only in the short term, when you realize that Big Fed. Gov. and its crony capitalism/corporatism is the source of most of our nations problems, you will see removing that will only lead to success.

Our Country is one of the most abundant places on the earth, and once our people have the ability to once again harness those resources the sky's the limit!!!

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 1:09:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Avit187:
Originally Posted By 14TheKid:
Originally Posted By dawgm:
Is there any reason to believe that financial/government collapse in the US would be any worse than the fall of the soviet union? if so why and how would it be worse?


Yes, I believe there is reason to think it would be worse.

First, the former Soviet Union didn't rack up trillions of dollars in debt to other foreign countries. The USSR was so isolated internationaly, the opportunity to rack up debt to other countries didn't present itself. If the USA fails, the countries we owe money to are going to come calling on us and it isn't going to be pretty. Since they won't be able to get there money they are going to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Second, the former USSR had unlimited resources available to develop as an industry, most importantly oil. Since the fall of the USSR, the Russians have been working at a fever pitch to develop their oil and natural gas industries to pull themselves up, and it has worked. The USA does not have these types of resources available to develop. We have nothing to sell to the world, in terms of resources, that is in high demand right now.

Although we might have some large oil deposits in AK, trying to develop those resources is next to impossible in the modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in.



I disagree.

The USSR collapsed financially. It was in debt to tons of international banks and companies. From wiki :

"The Soviet Union's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985.[dubious – discuss] After years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth was at a standstill. Failed attempts at reform, a stagnant economy, and war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe. Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the Moscow regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986, and consequent lack of foreign exchange reserves in following years to purchase grain profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.[1]
Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government. The USSR's trade gap progressively emptied the coffers of the union, leading to eventual bankruptcy"


––-

The US is still a "power house" of natural resources. We have the largest Coal deposits in the world. Not sure of the exact number but something like 75% of the worlds electricity is powered by coal. Also the "modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in. " would no longer exists if the Federal Government were not around. Not too mention the farm land. The US has long been called "Breadbasket of the World". Our capacity to feed ourselves is greater then most other nations. Again if the Fed were not regulating and destroying small local farms in favor of Big Agra-business our countries food production would rise. Steel production, natural gas, Oil (yes we still have some and if we figure out how to use Oil Shale we can say we have the most!)...The US is the fourth largest Gold producing nation. We have salt, copper, iron, the list goes on and on. Once the Fed get out of the way and our people wake up out of this borrow and spend dream world, and rediscover the old American spirit of hard work and ingenuity, this nation will quickly go back to being the greatest place on earth.

Will the fall of the Federal Government be difficult, sure. But only in the short term, when you realize that Big Fed. Gov. and its crony capitalism/corporatism is the source of most of our nations problems, you will see removing that will only lead to success.

Our Country is one of the most abundant places on the earth, and once our people have the ability to once again harness those resources the sky's the limit!!!



I'll have to disagree with you on the natural resources part - Russia has way more natural resources than we do - mostly un-tapped. The poster that mentioned initiative is correct though - many Americans have initiative and most Russians don't.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 1:14:38 PM EST
Would a better question be: Are we seeing the United States transitioned into what Germany was in 1933? Our economy is not nearly as bad as the German economy in the early 30's(yet). However, we are seeing the rise of power of a mediocre, inexperienced politician who is wildly grabbing power, circumnavigating established government policy/regulation and entrenching himself to change the very fundamentals of this country.

The sheeple of this country like American Idol. They have that as the President of the United States now.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 1:17:36 PM EST
It is true to say that many Americans have initiate, but after working in Philadelphia today, I am not sure if "most (as in more that 50%)" of Americans have initiate left.

I do think there will be a surprising number of Americans that will show themselves as an example in leadership, but I am not sure this will have much effect in the high population areas of the country, other than to make them targets.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 1:17:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 1:19:47 PM EST by tiberias]
As for US resources I have heard that we have huge untapped oil fields to possibly last 100 years, but big oil won't drill as it will squash the oil prices and they have so much influence on Capitol Hill that even the small companies can't get permits.

Link Posted: 9/10/2009 1:30:45 PM EST
Originally Posted By tiberias:
As for US resources I have heard that we have huge untapped oil fields to possibly last 100 years, but big oil won't drill as it will squash the oil prices and they have so much influence on Capitol Hill that even the small companies can't get permits.



I'm in the oil industry and I can tell you the big oil not drilling part is B.S. - they'll drill everywhere they can. We have some decent untapped reserves - not 100 years worth - trouble is they are in places it is illegal to drill or too expensive.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 2:00:40 PM EST
I
agree completely with preppernation. Had a power outage not to long ago in our neighborhood. The majority of the people had no idea what to do. One of the ladies down the street came outside and started to cry becasue she didn't know what was happening. Had a couple of the neigbors ask me how I was able to open the garage without power. I shit you not. I was so astonished to see the stupidity of the people that I live close to. The family and I just pulled up lawn chairs so we could watch what would happen. Power came back on an hour later. I love california


That is so funny, but you are looking at the worst of the American people. The semi rural and rural people will still go on. Many will prosper, I work with quite a few survivalist types, most you would not have imagined would be so inclined. I want to gear up to a mini farm, we have an acre and with a collapse a bit more may come my way.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 3:03:47 PM EST
Originally Posted By Icee169:
I agree completely with preppernation. Had a power outage not to long ago in our neighborhood. The majority of the people had no idea what to do. One of the ladies down the street came outside and started to cry becasue she didn't know what was happening. Had a couple of the neigbors ask me how I was able to open the garage without power. I shit you not. I was so astonished to see the stupidity of the people that I live close to. The family and I just pulled up lawn chairs so we could watch what would happen. Power came back on an hour later. I love california


I was in the post office the other day (This was in the Bay Area part of California BTW). These two guys were in front of me in the line. When they got to the counter, they asked how to mail a letter. Seems these guys had a written letter (words on paper) but no idea how to mail it. No stamps, no envelope, just the paper with the words on it. I listened in and they didn't even know the address it need to go to. These two guys were in their late 20's or early 30's. The got real upset when the person behind the counter wouldn't just do everything for them.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 3:07:01 PM EST
Tag for late nite reading.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 3:18:23 PM EST
Russians are used to harder life, long lines, deprivation and an oppressive government.

Americans are unhappy if there's a blackout. Russians would take blackouts for granted as normal life. Americans are unhappy to wait in long lines at a fast food drive through. Russians would be happy to know that there was something there when they got to the head of the line. Russians have a superior education. Our kids' brains have been turned to mush by pop-culture, TV and the entertainment industry.

When Russia collapsed, people still kept working. When we collapse, we'll blame someone else and deny any personal responsibility for our plight.

I think the Arfcomers here in the outdoor forum are more cognizant of what is happening around them and will make it through hardship a lot easier than most Americans. Kudos to the crew here.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 4:53:58 PM EST
Try reading Reinventing Collapse: the Soviet Example and American Prospects, by Dmitry Orlov. I found it at my local library. Orlov was in and out of former Soviet Union during and after the collapse there, and he thinks that it is going to happen here, and that it will be much worse here than it was there.

Orlov is a believer in Peak Oil, and he thinks that the American facination/dependence on the automobile, and our dispersed surburbs, will cause the deaths of many Americans when TSHTF.


Steve
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 4:58:04 PM EST
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
Try reading Reinventing Collapse: the Soviet Example and American Prospects, by Dmitry Orlov. I found it at my local library. Orlov was in and out of former Soviet Union during and after the collapse there, and he thinks that it is going to happen here, and that it will be much worse here than it was there.

Orlov is a believer in Peak Oil, and he thinks that the American facination/dependence on the automobile, and our dispersed surburbs, will cause the deaths of many Americans when TSHTF.


Steve


Here is one of Orlov's Presentations - he has some valid points.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:21:28 PM EST
OK, let's game out a realistic scenario....

It's late October and Obama & co. get Healthcare nationalization and Cap n Tax passed via some tomfoolery. China and Japan stop buying Treasuries and the Dow faces a bond trader revolt. Suddenly things spin out of control and tax collections drop like a rock as people don't show up to buy for Christmas...

Fed can't borrow any more to pay out SS, Medicair/aid, or welfare checks. There's just no money.

Now the big urban centers, the big Democratic strong holds (Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing...) would implode into riots and mayhem. But how far do you think the desperate "have nothing to lose" mobs would get or 'make it' into the suburbs much less farm country or woods of Michigan? I don't think they'd make it very far beyond their own neighborhoods.

Once the initial rebellion/insurrection, anarchy is put down forcibly, we might go into a sort of libertarian/armed standoff sort of condition as some businesses keep going but no one collects taxes. All those rules, regs, red tape that snarls up countless businesses....might just be tossed.

Once people realize that they can educate their own children, the grossly bloated and inefficient public school system will never be the same...imagine if property taxes were cut in half or 3/4th because the education of our children was handled largely at home (because now at least one parent was staying home rather than have both in the factory).

A couple of weeks of anarchy and armed ad hoc neighborhood watches (aka 'militias') would reveal pretty quick what Americans are made of and how many decent people are still alive and kicking.... There are about 700 registered voters in my neck of the woods and I've seen a dozen or so USMC flags or bumper stickers in my immediate area.... I know there's got to be enough good men around here to patrol if not secure the place if it came right down to it.

What public service do we need that we couldn't - if we had to - provide for ourselves?

If your folks lost all Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid....government welfare, would they starve and die or would you and your siblings take them in? I'm thinking Americans would jettison the arbitrary idea that parents don't live with children and start providing shelter, room and board to the seniors again (like it was in all civilizations from the beginning of time until about 1950).

Look at the federal government's obligations: take away Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, and we have a huge windfall of money with which to pay off our debt. If the top ten major cities were reduced to shells post-riot, how much longer would we need a HUD? Ever take a look at their federal budget? It's nearly the size of the DoD!

Once we started to care for the seniors would we easily go back to letting them be put out to pasture in Florida or nursing homes? I don't think so... I think anarchy might force us to be just independent enough to break the plantation concept of the Democrat/marxists... if families were forced to live with one another, 'child care' would be solved, and so would 'senior care' in one fell swoop. Not needing 4 mortgages for 3 families, (if all pulled back to a single albeit crowded home) would free up enormous sums of money that right now is poured into sustaining the summer home, the winter home, and the various homes for each sibling...

So while I don't advocate or hope for such a catastrophe, I do see how it could shake out to our benefit as a society in unsuspected ways.....

I don't see how urban gangs could penetrate very far afield before being literally blown off the road from a thousand scoped deer rifles and shotguns. If the cities were gutted and the gangs disappeared, we'd be left with the down-town sky scrapers, the sports complexes, and the 'industrial parks' to police and sustain. I'm going to guess that'd be cheaper to do than what we have right now.

The huge population of drug addicts and sex perverts would definitely be an on-going challenge if inter-state commerce ground to a halt.... but if everyone was forced to live close to home, forced to meet the neighbors and 'deal' with their issues, in a crisis situation where there are sirens going off, columns of smoke on the horizon, gun shots echoing in the night and an armed and dangerous populace milling about.... how long do you think drug users, pushers, and perverts will survive should they suddenly run out of 'stuff' and start to act out?

Right now drug and prostitution rings are run out of suburban homes with casual frequency because most of us don't know our neighbors.... we don't have to.... if we HAD TO, I don't think secrets would be easy to keep and thus, I don't think dirty, evil, or self-destructive habits would be easy to hide either....

Certainly mental illness in the form of PTSD would be a near universal problem 'post' crisis (say by 2013 or so) but if society experienced a year or two of total anarchy we might just see the near annihilation of most gangs, inner city power structures, drug networks and sex pervert cells....

Of course the American habit of owning pets of all species would also suffer a blow - pet food and care would be a thing of the past if we were forced to grub for food.... wild dogs and cats would become a fact of life and probably do more to wipe out the fauna of North America than all the desperate human hunters combined.

Subdivisions located far from water, food distribution hubs, etc. would be exchanged for more European style hamlet arrangements - small town like groups of 100 to 1000 families with church, store, school, gas, pharmacy protected in the middle, with berms or barriers on the outside...

Take away an intrusive and bloated bureaucracy and I think we could adapt. It would be bloody and hard but I think Americans have enough flexibility and diversity of backgrounds to handle it. Much more so than pre-1989 Soviet Union.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:46:13 PM EST
Our old neighbors (was a builder, got foreclosed on and moved) are Russian immigrants. In some ways, they are the most self-sufficient people I know. They raise chickens, geese, couple steers, grow a huge garden, cook from scratch, etc.

I think I told the story about how the wife was in tears after the election, because they had seen what happens when the government starts taking things away from people and giving it to others...
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 5:55:39 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 5:56:27 PM EST by Chizult]
Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
OK, let's game out a realistic scenario....

(snip)


Sounds nice and all, but what are you folks going to eat up in MI come winter? And how are you gonna stay warm? Even if you're prepped, think everybody in your community is? I think it could eventually work out as you forecast, but it's going to be real ugly for everyone for at least a year or two while things get shaken out.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 7:06:58 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2009 7:35:37 PM EST by VectorTX]
Originally Posted By HubMcCaan:
Yep - because our citizens are a bunch of pansies compared to the Russians. I've spent a lot of time in Russia in the last 10 years and they are some pretty hardy people. Russia is a weird bunch of contrasts - for instance they may have a space program and a crapload of nukes but the majority of their people outside of the major cities don't have indoor plumbing. A large percentage of the people in the cities have what is called a datchua - which is a little shack outside of the cities where they maintain a garden. Survival is a way of life for them and has been for 800 years. It is also without a doubt one of the most backwards, inefficient, and frustrating places to try to get things done.


Exactly. A collapse in the US would be worse, because most of our citizens are totally dependent on supermarkets(processed food from distant locations) and gas and electricity conveniences for daily living.
As noted, a lot of Russians grow at least some of their own food, and are used to more spartan conditions and taking care of themselves.

Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
OK, let's game out a realistic scenario....
...
I don't see how urban gangs could penetrate very far afield before being literally blown off the road from a thousand scoped deer rifles and shotguns. If the cities were gutted and the gangs disappeared, we'd be left with the down-town sky scrapers, the sports complexes, and the 'industrial parks' to police and sustain. I'm going to guess that'd be cheaper to do than what we have right now.
...
Certainly mental illness in the form of PTSD would be a near universal problem 'post' crisis (say by 2013 or so) but if society experienced a year or two of total anarchy we might just see the near annihilation of most gangs, inner city power structures, drug networks and sex pervert cells....
...
Take away an intrusive and bloated bureaucracy and I think we could adapt. It would be bloody and hard but I think Americans have enough flexibility and diversity of backgrounds to handle it. Much more so than pre-1989 Soviet Union.


I agree that hard-working citizens would band together and find a way to survive, but your scenario includes a lot of violence, mass killing and population dislocations...... yet at the end you imply we would handle this better than the Soviet Union? I think many of us were pointing out that because the Soviet citizens were more self-sufficient, and already living together in modest conditions, they were able to handle the economic collapse of their country much more gracefully than the US is likely to. And by "gracefully", I mean without mass starvation and violence/mass killings. You have to give the Soviet citizens some credit.... the breakup wasn't violent, and didn't involve mass starvation since people were still able to take care of themselves.
Link Posted: 9/10/2009 8:26:46 PM EST
Link Posted: 9/11/2009 4:02:05 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/11/2009 4:10:29 PM EST by jeffers_mz]
Originally Posted By JusAdBellum:
OK, let's game out a realistic scenario....

It's late October and Obama & co. get Healthcare nationalization and Cap n Tax passed via some tomfoolery. China and Japan stop buying Treasuries and the Dow faces a bond trader revolt. Suddenly things spin out of control and tax collections drop like a rock as people don't show up to buy for Christmas...

Fed can't borrow any more to pay out SS, Medicair/aid, or welfare checks. There's just no money.

Obama has said he will print. He is printing. he either doesnt realize how hard it is to stop printing, or else he does realize how hard it is and wants to hurt us, or else he doesn't plan to ever stop printing.

Now the big urban centers, the big Democratic strong holds (Detroit, Pontiac, Flint, Grand Rapids, Lansing...) would implode into riots and mayhem.

This won't happen, not this way, which renders the rest of the scenario moot.

snip

.


Welfare and other vote-producing services will be the last things Obama cuts. He will print however much money it takes to keep these payments flowing. If he doesn't, he knows full well the entitlement crowd will revolt, steal everything within three blocks of their homes, then burn the empty shells. When that food runs out, they will go out and riot again, until they get fed regularly, or else they consume everything there is and die off or are killed off trying to loot.

Here, the Russian model become useful. First the government borrows. Then they print to meet debt service payments, and entitlement programs, while all else gets cut.

The printing increases supply of currency, but demand stays steady or drops. At this point supply exceeds demand, and currency value, measured against gold or foreign currency, drops, slowly at first, then rapidly. Prices rise across the board, the most volatile first, like food prices. It takes longer for employees to re-negotiate wages with employers, wages rise more slowly. It takes longer still for long term contracts to end, be renegotiated, and reflect the higher prices. It can take up to two decades for the entire spectrum of prices to rise and reflect the currency's new value.

(This is one reason why a gold standard is so critical. Money relationships are personal and social relationships. If the rules (prices) change constantly, your relationship with all other changes constantly. Sooner than later, one party disagrees, negotiations break down, and the relationship dissolves in acrimony, or even violence. Stable currency values mean at least the potential for stable interpersonal relationships. Unstable currency values mean that social relationships are constantly in flux, some segments of the price spectrum rising, while others decline as policy shifts back and forth over years, leading to chaos, RIGHT where we are right now.)

The problem Russia ran into, that Obama will run into, is that everyone becomes dependant on new, unearned money in the system, more each month, like a drug dependancy, so he can't stop printing. OPEC won't take 10 less valuable rubles for a barrel of oil anymore, they charge 20 rubles now. The poor have plenty of currency in their pockets, but they still can't afford basic necessities. Instead of cracking under a sudden strain, all at once, the general level of crime increases, but in the case of individuals, it seems to be random.

Eventually the government realizes there are no longer any easy choices.

They either have to officially devalue the currency to the value at that time, and stop printing new money, officially locking in losses for eveyone who holds that currency, or else they have to deflate the currency, stop printing and make the value of each note more, but tightening supply, so nobody has any physical notes to buy things with, which means people starve waiting for currency to buy food with, (with prices remaining high, remember the ten to twenty year lag), or else they keep printing and just let the currency inflate until everything crashes, the government runs away, and a new regime is left to rebuild the society on the ashes of the old (see Iceland.)

None is an attractive choice, all will hurt the people, all can lead to revolution. The successful instances of this in the past have usually been to quit printing, reducing taxes and tariffs to remove barriers to trade, waiting till the growth of an economy made deflation less painful, then finally repegged the currency to either a (perceived) stable external currency, or repegged the currency to gold.

Russia was in prime shape to peg to gold, or to the dollar. They had tons of civilian savings accounts, tons of rubles, tons of gold. But they feared the "unknown" of currency pegs, so they sat still and did nothing.

The ruble inflated, prices rose, until nobody could afford anything. Factory workers were "paid" in factory goods, and the black market dominated the visible economy. Workers at toilet paper factories took home crates of toilet paper, and traded that for food, or goods, that other workers took home from work, at open air "markets' which the government knew about but was ultimately unable to crack down on.

The ruble still continued to inflate, until the government forced all the people to convert large ruble notes to smaller ones. They put in a limit, only 1000 rubles could be redeemed per person. In effect, the Russians "saved" their government by confiscating everyone's bank account. With the surplus of government owned money, Russia was able to cut taxes, and companies began "coming in out of the cold" re-entering the visible economy, dealing in rubles rather than barter. The ruble eventually stabilized near its current price and Russia unofficially pegged the ruble to the dollar at that currency value rate.

Basically the same thing Roosevelt accomplished back in 1931, except Roosevelt confiscated all the private gold instead of the people's bank accounts to make up the inflation shortfall, repegged the dollar to a lower value against gold, and kept all the profit, using that to repeg the dollar to gold, fully backed, at $35 per ounce, where it had been $20 and change before. In effect Roosevelt stole one full years worth of total US tax revenue from the people, without their consent, to make up for government overspending and economic incompetence.

One way or another, Obama will stop printing fake money or else he will steal our money to make up the shortfall, there is no other way, UNLESS he lowers tax rates enough to allow the economy to grow dollar value back to where it needs to be.

Obama is not going to lower taxes. In fact, he will pass a one trillion dollar tax increase, for 'free' health care, probably early next week. Cap and Trade will amount to an additional tax on everything that requires energy to produce, deliver, or sell, so...everything. Worse, Cap and Trade will also amount to a tariff, an extra price foreign producers pay to sell goods in the US. Standard response to tariffs over centuries of trade are retaliatory tariffs, imposed by the injured countries on the injuring country. So Cap and Trade will make prices go up here, and additionally, force other countries to put a tariff on anything we export, making sure we sell less, so our income will decline while our consumption declines, both due to higher prices, as well.

It's real simple. Obama crossed the line, begain printing money we don't really have, and since he won't lower taxes and let the US economy grow back into previous dollar values, he has no choice but to come after your savings, retirement, home, whatever he decides he is most likely to succeed with.

Outside the period when prices are rising faster than entitlements, the poor will not notice, they have nothing for Obama to steal to make up the shortfall, and this Obama fully understands, and embraces. He said he was going to redistribute the wealth, and unless you see it coming, in detail, and take detailed steps to stand out of Obama's reach, he WILL redistribute YOUR wealth, one way or another, even if it requires tanking the US dollar, or the US economy, or both, to do it.



Link Posted: 9/15/2009 4:57:17 PM EST
Originally Posted By Avit187:
Originally Posted By 14TheKid:
Originally Posted By dawgm:
Is there any reason to believe that financial/government collapse in the US would be any worse than the fall of the soviet union? if so why and how would it be worse?


Yes, I believe there is reason to think it would be worse.

First, the former Soviet Union didn't rack up trillions of dollars in debt to other foreign countries. The USSR was so isolated internationaly, the opportunity to rack up debt to other countries didn't present itself. If the USA fails, the countries we owe money to are going to come calling on us and it isn't going to be pretty. Since they won't be able to get there money they are going to take whatever they can get their hands on.

Second, the former USSR had unlimited resources available to develop as an industry, most importantly oil. Since the fall of the USSR, the Russians have been working at a fever pitch to develop their oil and natural gas industries to pull themselves up, and it has worked. The USA does not have these types of resources available to develop. We have nothing to sell to the world, in terms of resources, that is in high demand right now.

Although we might have some large oil deposits in AK, trying to develop those resources is next to impossible in the modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in.



I disagree.

The USSR collapsed financially. It was in debt to tons of international banks and companies. From wiki :

"The Soviet Union's collapse into independent nations began early in 1985.[dubious – discuss] After years of Soviet military buildup at the expense of domestic development, economic growth was at a standstill. Failed attempts at reform, a stagnant economy, and war in Afghanistan led to a general feeling of discontent, especially in the Baltic republics and Eastern Europe. Greater political and social freedoms, instituted by the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, created an atmosphere of open criticism of the Moscow regime. The dramatic drop of the price of oil in 1985 and 1986, and consequent lack of foreign exchange reserves in following years to purchase grain profoundly influenced actions of the Soviet leadership.[1]
Several Soviet Socialist Republics began resisting central control, and increasing democratization led to a weakening of the central government. The USSR's trade gap progressively emptied the coffers of the union, leading to eventual bankruptcy"


––-

The US is still a "power house" of natural resources. We have the largest Coal deposits in the world. Not sure of the exact number but something like 75% of the worlds electricity is powered by coal. Also the "modern day "enviro-wacko" climate we find ourselves in. " would no longer exists if the Federal Government were not around. Not too mention the farm land. The US has long been called "Breadbasket of the World". Our capacity to feed ourselves is greater then most other nations. Again if the Fed were not regulating and destroying small local farms in favor of Big Agra-business our countries food production would rise. Steel production, natural gas, Oil (yes we still have some and if we figure out how to use Oil Shale we can say we have the most!)...The US is the fourth largest Gold producing nation. We have salt, copper, iron, the list goes on and on. Once the Fed get out of the way and our people wake up out of this borrow and spend dream world, and rediscover the old American spirit of hard work and ingenuity, this nation will quickly go back to being the greatest place on earth.

Will the fall of the Federal Government be difficult, sure. But only in the short term, when you realize that Big Fed. Gov. and its crony capitalism/corporatism is the source of most of our nations problems, you will see removing that will only lead to success.

Our Country is one of the most abundant places on the earth, and once our people have the ability to once again harness those resources the sky's the limit!!!



And what is your replacement for this crony capitalism. Surely not cap and trade that the messiah just passed.
I hope you realize Obiwan is a Marxist..his mentor in Hawaii was a Marxist...those are facts...

Actually Russia or the soviet union had no where to go but up. When your waiting in line for hours for a loaf of bread...
Well it can only get better. The same lady in her 20, until she was 70, waited and waited for the lies to be truth. Still she
waited for the most basic of things, soap, tooth paste, bread. Living under that oppression no wonder alcoholism was
the end result. Now we have a govt trying to convert us to the same terrible lifestyle. It will not fly.

What is in store for us is worse. We will go from throwing out stale bread simply based on a date, to fighting over crumbs.

But once we throw out the unions, the lobbyists, corrupted politicians, oh and the Marxists, from hollywood to D.C.
We will rise like the Phoenix...

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 3:41:06 AM EST
Originally Posted By jeffers_mz:

Welfare and other vote-producing services will be the last things Obama cuts. He will print however much money it takes to keep these payments flowing. If he doesn't, he knows full well the entitlement crowd will revolt, steal everything within three blocks of their homes, then burn the empty shells. When that food runs out, they will go out and riot again, until they get fed regularly, or else they consume everything there is and die off or are killed off trying to loot.




This is absolutely the truth.
Obama will have Joe Biden hand delivering the welfare checks if that's what it takes.
Our older retired citizens, who have paid into the system all their lives will be screwed first, because the government knows they won't do the things described above. It's starting now with his healthcare bill. Watch the cuts in Medicare, but not in welfare.

Makes me sick,
a-bare

Link Posted: 9/16/2009 5:18:53 PM EST
Oh a US collapse would be much worse!
The average American is a pretty weak human but we are very armed on average. The average American has never really even faced any real adversity in their lives. Like food, communication, water, shelter, heat, even air conditioning.
The USSR provided the food or bread after the central gov failed. They didn’t have home loans, the power was provided for them. They were raised to grow in a life we can’t imagine. Like no country can fathom the credit and debt we have here. Personal debt or national.

I read that we as a nation are spending 350% of our GDP right now. So in time we will all know what it’s like to live in a failed nation……

PS
The Government knows that it is going to fail. The evidence is screaming at every man woman and child.
Why would the Gov be slamming the spending down our throat for all the control. Because when the music stops and there is no chair we the people will “need” the big nanny handouts. Thus they keep power over us. Then we can actually compete with 3rd world nations- because we will be one!

Link Posted: 9/17/2009 1:32:49 AM EST
Look at it this way.....People tend to be lazy. If you can get away with not doing something, most people WILL not do it. That's the attraction of most of the hugely expensive government programs....it's all APPARENTLY about making it mindlessly easy to have some necessity covered - service or good provided for "for free".

Social Security - it's the Governments' "job" to provide retirement coverage. So what happens? For the first time in recorded HISTORY, old folks started moving away from their children rather than choosing a home and living with their kids. Try paying a mortgage on SS. living on a fixed income is no fun - and it could have been much better had people just set aside all those taxes over 30 years themselves...

Now, what happens when SS goes bankrupt? People who were counting on gov for money are going to be left scrambling...

The urban poor, gangs, etc. don't have to stock pile food, water, medicine, etc. to get by so most don't. If a Katrina type event - like the fed gov running out of cash to redistribute were to happen, tens of millions of urban poor would literally be days away from running out of food, etc.

Things would get ugly. If there were no local cops, the local charities would go dry very quickly and pull out and national charities wouldn't risk the danger to volunteers.... now, if I woke up tomorrow, had no job, no savings, no 401k, and no income - opened the pantry door and found junk food and half empty cereal boxes.... I'd be pretty upset. The predictable demagogues would rise and blame the 'evil' rich people in the suburbs and the justifications for armed robbery to stay alive are, well, pretty 'easy' to stomach when you're starving.

Trouble is, tossing away the social compact, the basic ground rules, is a two way street. If it becomes 'common knowledge' that armed robbery is acceptable behavior, then it'll also become common knowledge that armed resistance to armed robbery will be acceptable behavior.

I don't think we'll have a full stop like this. I don't hope for it, I dread it. Innocent people will out number the guilty 100 to 1 in awful deaths in such a scenario...

But IF it happened I think gangs and common criminals would INITIALLY think they ruled the world....until cops vanished and the "REO" of vigilante justice reveals itself to be pretty savage indeed. Panicked homeowners or outraged husbands or daddies catching thugs messing with their women will lead to summary executions. Due process and Miranda rights? You gotta be kidding me. Panic and desperation works both ways.

Again, I'm not advocating it, I just think human nature needs to be accounted for. Law abiding people are so because they've accepted the ground rules and find they flourish best under these rules..... but should the rules be taken away - should their flourishing no longer depend on law abiding because there's no law enforcement.... new 'gangs' or militias would form. Human nature.

Who here thinks military vets, engineers, chemists, electricians, and other white collar types couldn't put together a far more 'effective' 'gang' than under educated highschool drop outs?

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