Keep Our Service Free-Donate

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Americans are unprepared for the next recession...

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Americans are unprepared for the next recession...


 According to a 2015 Federal Reserve survey, one-third of Americans reported they couldn't cover their expenses for three months if they lost their income. That's even if they used their retirement accounts as a lifesaver.

Part of that could be the result of consumer debt now approaching its 2008 levels, when it reached its all-time peak. Plus, debt is growing fast. Americans added $460 billion in debt this year alone, the largest increase in 10 years.

But financially sound Americans are not immune from a recession either, especially those with retirement investments and 401(k) accounts. After all, recessions do the most damage to the stock market.

Though our economy has seen its share of recessions, one of the most damaging downturns in history was none other than the fairly recent Great Recession that lasted from 2007 to 2009. During that time, the housing and financial markets collapsed, and countless workers lost their savings, jobs, and even their homes. The Great Recession was so bad that a large number of Americans have yet to fully recover even to this date.

Given the number of current workers who lived through that ordeal, you'd think more folks would be taking steps to protect themselves from a recurrence. But a recent study by GOBankingRates shows just how unprepared for a recession the majority of us are.

Cartels, state-corporate governance. Structurally, large banks and corporations have aggregated wealth and political power to the degree that they can enforce cartels and quasi-monopolies with a combination of market heft and regulatory capture (a complicit state enforces monopoly under the guise of consumer protection or other cover). The owners/managers of the cartels skim enormous profits while providing poor-quality products and services to consumers who have little choice in a rigged market.


The Pie Is Shrinking So Much The 99% Are Beginning To Starve

How much longer until the pitchforks come out?

by Charles Hugh Smith

Social movements arise to solve problems of inequality, injustice, exploitation and oppression. In other words, they are solutions to society-wide problems plaguing the many but not the few (i.e. the elites at the top of the wealth-power pyramid).

The basic assumption of social movements is that Utopia is within reach, if only the sources of the problems can be identified and remedied.  Since inequality, injustice, exploitation and oppression arise from the asymmetry of power between the few (the financial and political elites) and the many, the solution is a reduction of the asymmetry; that is a tectonic realignment of the social structure that shifts some power—economic and/or political—from the few to the many.

In some instances, the power asymmetry is between ethnic or gender classes, or economic classes (for example, labor and the owners of capital).

Social movements are characterized by profound conflict because the beneficiaries of the power asymmetry resist the demands for a fairer share of the power and privileges, while those who’ve held the short end of the stick have tired of the asymmetry and refuse to back down.

Two dynamics assist a social, political and economic resolution that transfers power from those with too much power to those with too little power: 1) the engines of the economy have shifted productive capacity definitively in favor of those demanding their fair share of power, and 2) the elites recognize that their resistance to power-sharing invites a less predictable and thus far more dangerous open conflict with forces that have much less to lose and much more to gain.

In other words, ceding 40% of their wealth-power still conserves 60%, while stubborn resistance might trigger a revolution that takes 100% of their wealth-power.

History provides numerous examples of these dynamics.  Once the primary sources of wealth-generation shifted from elite feudal landowners to merchants and industrialists, the wealth (and thus the political power) of the landed elites declined. As the industrialists hired vast numbers of laborers drawn from small farms and workshops, this mass industrialized labor became the source of the wealth generation; after decades of conflict, this labor class gained a significant share of the wealth and political power.

The civil rights and women’s liberation movements realigned the political and economic power of minorities and females more in line with their productive output, reducing the asymmetries of ethnic and gender privileges.

In broad-brush, progressive social movements seek to broaden opportunities and level the playing field by reducing the asymmetric privileges of dominant classes defined by power and privilege.  The core mechanism of this transition is the recognition and granting of universal human rights: the right to vote, the right to equal opportunity, and rights to economic security, i.e. entitlements that are extended universally to all citizens for education, healthcare, old-age pensions and income security.

Again in broad-brush, these movements have largely been categorized as politically Left, though many institutions deemed conservative (for example, various churches) have often provided bedrock support for progressive movements.

Social movements which seek to limit the excesses of state power tend to be categorized as conservative or politically Right, as they seek to realign the asymmetry of power held by the state in favor of the individual, family and the traditional social order.

The Expanding Pie Fueled Expanding Entitlements

Writer Ugo Bardi recently drew another distinction between Left and Right social movements: “Traditionally, the Left has emphasized rights while the Right has emphasized duties.

As rights manifested as economic entitlements rather than political (civil liberty) entitlements, rights accrue economic costs. As Bardi observes: “Having rights is nicer than having duties, but the problem is that human rights have a cost and that this cost was paid, so far, by fossil fuels. Now that fossil fuels are on their way out, who's going to pay?”

I would argue that the cost was also paid by higher productivity enabled by the technological, financial and social innovations of the Third Industrial Revolution, roughly speaking the interconnected advances of the second half of the 20th century.

These advances can be characterized as expanding the economic pie; that is, generating more energy, credit, technological tools, opportunities, security and capital (which includes financial, infrastructural, intellectual and social capital) for all to share in a socio-political-financial allocation broad enough to make everyone feel like they were making some forward progress.

This long-term, secular expansion of the pie naturally generated more demands for additional entitlements and rights, as the economy could clearly support the extra costs of allocating additional wealth and resources to the many.  From the point of view of the few (the elites), their own wealth continued expanding, so there was little resistance to expanding retirement, education and healthcare entitlements.

But in the 21st century, the expansion of the pie stagnated, and for many, it reversed. Adjusted for real-world inflation many households have seen their net incomes and wealth decline in the past decade.

Despite the endless media rah-rah about “growth” and “recovery,” it is self-evident to anyone who bothers to look beneath the surface of this facile PR that the pie is now shrinking. This dynamic is increasing inequality rather than reducing it.

Part 1: The Pie Is Shrinking So Much The 99% Are Beginning To Starve, available free to all readers, please click here to read it first.


Special Offer for our Readers

 72-hour Emergency Meal kit that's being offered contains 16 total servings of such delicious meals as Blue Ribbon Creamy Chicken Rice, the always-loved Granny's Homestyle Potato Soup and the stick-to-your-ribs breakfast favorite Maple Grove Oatmeal.

This kit normally sells for $27, plus shipping and handling and is rated 4½ out of five stars by customers.

While supplies last, these kits are available for only $21.95 and that includes Priority Shipping [we were force to increase prices due to another round of USPS price hikes]. Go here for this deal:


Yours for smarter living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’



Additional FREE Resources

How to Survive the War on the Middle Class

14 of the best reports I’ve assembled on protecting your freedom…Here is the download link.


The Poor Man’s Essential Survival Package

--The Doctors Protocol: Secrets of Survival

--How to Survive the Coming Economic Collapse

--Guide to Self Reliant Living

--Becoming Self Sufficient for Six Months

--How I Found Freedom in an Un-free World

Living Frugally In Suburbia
You live differently than your neighbors.


Food Storage Inventory Spreadsheets You Can Download For Free



14 Frugal Food-Rescuing Tips from Grandma
These depression-era frugal tips still work today!


8 Simple Ways to Put More Money in Your Pocket
Have more money without working harder!


Other notes of interest…

Arguably as exciting as Halloween or Christmas, January 28th, was Data Privacy Day. A creation of the National Cyber Security Alliance, a consortium that includes ADP, Cisco, Google, Visa, and a lot of other groups that make money with your private data, it's a good reminder to shore up your digital privacy. PCMag can help. First, set up two-factor authentication on the services that support it. Next, hit your social networking accounts and perform privacy checks. If you want to go the extra mile, sign up for a VPN service. If all of this is too much, just delete your accounts from the internet entirely. Sometimes, it's only the way to be sure.


The Dutch security service known as the AIVD reportedly spied on the Russian hacking team Cozy Bear as it breached the Democratic National Committee.

Contributors and subscribers enable the Poor Man Survivor to post 150+ free essays & free reports that I provide annually. It is for this reason they are Heroes and Heroines of New Media. Without your financial support, the free content would disappear for the simple reason that I cannot keep body and soul together on my meager book sales & ecommerce alone.  You can make a donation at top of this page via PayPal.

Find survival related books here!

Support our efforts by shopping my storefront…




A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production



Frank said...

We are plagued by a lot of non-thinking souls in this nation...look at how many are still protesting against Trump for instance despite his efforts at helping our economy and job picture [which seems to be working]...

Ralph said...

You're one of the FEW bloggers who actually provides useful tools one can use to really survive when the SHTF-thanks!