Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Sobering Times - Or, Don't We All Need a Bailout?

As I look at the economy in the United States, I'm becoming more nervous than ever. The call of the leaders of the Church to be prepared, to build reserves of food and other supplies, to live more providently, is becoming more urgent than ever.

The price of wheat has more than doubled in the past year. Any of you with tons of wheat in the basement pleased with the wisdom of your past investment there? I doubt it - it's a sobering development. Other commodities have shown dramatic price increases in the past few years, largely associated with the decline in our dollar.

As part of the "stimulus" package for the economy, billions are being handed out - a so called "tax rebate." But those stuck in the highest tax brackets get nothing, and those who pay the least are getting the most. In the old days, this cash handout would be called "redistribution of wealth" and would be immediately recognized as Marxist. Only it's being pushed by so-called conservatives, who are increasingly difficult to distinguish from other flavors of big-government politicians who believe that government needs to spend, spend, spend, implement various forms of socialism, and be in charge of all aspects of our lives in order to take care of us from cradle to grave.

Also in the name of helping the "people," certain huge companies like Bear Stearns are getting massive bailouts from the government, meaning that YOU are paying for the mistakes and worthless investments of these companies. And it will come out of your pocket and go into theirs. Don't worry about the $1200 stimulus check the leaders of those banks aren't getting - the millions they get will take away that sting. Another form of redistribution of wealth. I've made some bad decisions in all sorts of area - would you mind bailing me out, too? Don't we all need a bail out?

The economy will keep moving forward, the sun will rise, life will go on - but there are dramatic changes looming that call for us to be wiser and more prudent than ever. Build reserves of food, water, cash, etc., and especially reserves of spiritual strength to see you through troubled times. There's a flood of economic trouble coming, and with it will come social trouble of many kinds. Prepare now will you still can, and keep adding to your education and skills in your career to increase your value and flexibility.

I hope I'm wrong. I hope we are at a bottom where we will see increasing numbers of good domestic jobs, a stronger dollar, lower taxes, a sound economy, a smaller government, a balanced budget, and a free-range chicken in every pot. I would just love it if all the prophetic warnings about widespread war, hatred, and afflictions of all kinds in the last days were simply irrelevant for the next few generations. But I still think we need to prepare as if grave problems are ahead. Then, when they strike, we can not only help our own family, perhaps we'll be there to bail out our neighbors. That, to me, is one of the greatest blessings of following the prophets and pursuing personal preparation for rough times: it gives us the ability to really help when disaster strikes, just like those in New Orleans who had food and water stored were able to help their neighbors immediately, long before government agencies were on the scene. That's the right way to bail others out.

Well, that's just a temporal bail out, but it will be appreciated. Of course, the real bail out that we all need is the eternal bail out offered through the abundant credit of our Savior. That's what we all really need most. But as long as we are in this mortal sphere, we also need food, water, shelter, and other essentials for survivals, so please, be prepared to help.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

GOOD
(And don't delete this one!!!)

RWW said...

There's a flood of economic trouble coming, and with it will come social trouble of many kinds. Prepare now will you still can...

I hope you don't mind if I suggest that maybe, possibly, that preparation might include buying a firearm if you don't own one yet. Just a thought.


That's the right way to bail others out.

True; the right way to do anything is voluntarily.

Mormanity said...

I've got a large collection of high-caliber snow shovels. And a baseball bat. Hope that's good enough. But I understand the sentiment and am a strong advocate of the 2nd Amendment (along with many other neglected parts of the Constitution).

J. Neil Birch said...

I read your post about food storage,etc. just at the right time. We are both in our seventies, my wife and I. We returned from a full time mission two years ago to Finland where I served as a young man. We are living just on our retirements and social security and so we have to really focus on our finances to build up our food storeage.

We are grateful for the good supply of wheat we have in our shed. I didn't realize the price of wheat had gone up so much until I read your post. We don't have any water storage nor do we have much other food storage than wheat. Nonethelss, we will begin focusing more on those challenges.

I have just started a blog in which I intend to assist non-members learn about the Restored Gospel and particularly the Book of Mormon. I appreciated reading your posts on the PBS documentary. That helped me much particulary in my post I published yesterday. I intend to really stick with my blog despite challenges. As a 76 year old I have learned to stick with challenges until they are fully met.

Neil Birch

Kalola said...

I highly recommend this book:

America in Danger, What You Must Know to Protect Yourself by Stephen M. Studdert

Anonymous said...

From Peter Schiff:

"Paper dollars are technically Federal Reserve Notes, which means they are liabilities of the Fed. When it puts newly minted notes into circulation it does so by buying assets, usually U.S. treasuries, which it then holds on its balance sheet to offset that liability. By swapping treasuries for mortgages, the Fed effectively alters the compilation of its balance sheet and the backing of its notes.

However, backing paper money with mortgages is nothing new. The French tried it in the late 18th Century, and it lead to hyperinflation. Assignats, which were first issued in 1790 to help finance the French revolution, were backed by mortgages on confiscated church properties. Although the stolen underlying collateral did have some value, the revolutionaries saw no reason to limit how many Assignats were printed, which resulted in massive depreciation. Within three years, price controls were introduced and failure to accept Assignats, initially an offence subject to six years in prison, was made a capital crime. By 1799 the currency was completely worthless.

If even the threat of death could not prop up the Assignat, does anyone believe that the currency could have been saved if Robespierre had forcefully mouthed a “strong Assignat policy” as President Bush is now doing with the dollar? Rather than repeating the mistakes of history we should learn from them. Our own failed experiment with the Continental currency as well as the Great Depression should prove conclusively that it is Austrian, and not French, economics we should be following."

(http://www.kitco.com/ind/Schiff/mar142008.html)