Originally published January 29, 2010.
A few weeks ago, First Wife and I were standing in line at the market, and ahead of us was a woman with a cart full of junk food. Hidden among the junk was a coloring book strategically placed there by the little girl darting around her as the child worked to place the items on the conveyor. During a moment of inattention by the mother, up went the coloring book, partly covered by a bag of death doughnuts. The coloring book inched its way toward the cashier, until, at the last moment as the clerk’s hand reached for it, the mother sprang into action. Snatching it away, she chided the girl, “I told you we don’t buy this kind of trash.” Of course not. Why should she want to help the girl improve her mind or her artistic ability for the price of a half-bag of doughnuts? After all, that’s not the mother’s responsibility, is it?
This clearly wasn’t the first such disappointment for the girl, as she stood there with stoic eyes while the mother fumbled around in her wallet, eventually producing a little debit card with a big Georgia peach on it. And then I understood.
Here in Georgia, as in many states, entitlements such as food stamps are now implemented electronically. Recipients of this largesse now carry EBT (Electronic Benefits Transfer) cards, which for all intents and purposes, function as normal debit cards. Recipients even get to check their account information online through a system maintained by JPMorganChase. Of course it is. Sadly, I’m not making any of this up.
A few days ago, Russ Longcore wrote an article (Secession and Economic Collapse) about the effect of a banking collapse and incipient hyperinflation. The picture he paints in that article is realistically grim. If anything, his article may be too optimistic. I say this because for the first time in human history, we are staring down the maw of impending hyperinflation in which the parasites will be insulated from tragedy, while the productive will be singled out for economic and personal destruction. And programs such as the peach card, administered by our wards at JPMorganChase, will be instrumental in this sequence of destruction.
Regardless of the precipitating causes, once an economic crisis begins in earnest, as Russ correctly predicts, all of your money in the bank will immediately become inaccessible. Your credit cards will probably become inaccessible soon after, since the banks will reasonably assume that you won’t have the ability to pay them back, or will want to pay them back in little tiny hyperinflated dollars. But fortunately, our fellow card-holding citizens won’t have this problem.
It is obvious that during periods of hyperinflation governments respond by printing more money, worsening the hyperinflation. But printing money doesn’t necessarily mean ink and paper. Our government can easily print more money right now, with zero materials cost, simply by adding more zeroes to the end of all those EBT accounts. What yesterday was a peach card (or longhorn card or whatever) with a balance of five hundred dollars could tomorrow easily contain five thousand dollars, or five million dollars. Spend all you want, they’ll make more. Overnight, food stamp recipients could become the richest people you know. Meanwhile, you won’t even be able to buy a carton of eggs. Maybe they’ll let you wash their cars for a few crumbs from their plates.
And why would our government charge up those cards with fake money? Why, for the same reason that they issued all those cards in the first place: to attract and keep a solid block of voters. This isn’t rocket science.
But what about food shortages? Won’t the shelves be bare? Not necessarily, at least to start. For a while, those rapidly inflating Electronic Benefits Transfer cards (I never get tired of appreciating the honesty in that name) will keep the supermarkets afloat. Because our peach card heroes will be able to sustain their purchases of expensive junk food, the stores will keep pace with hyperinflation and be able to continue to bring goods in to stock. It will be a surreal situation: stores stocked with goods, but you won’t be able to afford to buy any of it. How do you think that will make you feel, standing in line behind someone who can buy anything they want, while you had to scrape together enough to buy a half-dozen eggs? Of course, they are buying these goods with money created by destroying your savings, but hey, that’s just a detail.
But it isn’t just food stamp recipients. No sir. With a little bit of imagination, one can easily uncover many more groups who will benefit from executive orders pumping up their equivalent of peach cards. Retirees living on fixed incomes from Social Security could easily enjoy the same hyperinflated perk with a stroke of a pen. As could government employees, including the military, law enforcement, and key government contractors; in short, anyone who gets a government check. In the depth of such a crisis, producers of original value will suddenly find themselves impoverished; yet surrounded by public servants and beneficiaries of enforced charity who barely notice anything is wrong. Other than that your attitude suddenly got a lot worse. Maybe they ought to take your guns away, just in case you start getting ideas.
We can actually already see the seeds of this situation in action today. If you have a stable government job, for example, it is a great time to buy a house. You will probably qualify for all you need to buy a great house at rock bottom prices. Too bad for the sap who spent his life saving to buy that house and now can’t afford the payments. Never mind that increasingly oppressive regulations, combined with tightening of credit, drove him out of business or cost him his job. He should have been smart enough to have a government job in the first place. Everyone knows that’s where the real action is. For those getting the checks with all the flags on them, or their electronic equivalent, these are boom times. Couldn’t be better, in fact, except with more of the same, of course.
I’ve maintained for a while that they, the unproductive parasites, do indeed surround us, the productive few who generate original value. Parasites rarely decide to become productive. Worse, some currently productive people, with enough coercion and misery, will, in desperation, turn to parasitism. Facing poverty, that former body shop owner might decide to join Obama’s domestic security forces, for example. That’s a great path out of poverty, but too bad it makes him a little more unsympathetic to your particular plight. Maybe the tasering won’t kill you when you lose it and start yelling at that peach card leech ahead of you in line at the store. If it does kill you, at least your family will get your tiny little insurance dollars. Oh wait, I forgot, you were committing the crimes of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest at the time. Sorry, no insurance either.
The bottom line is, we are surrounded, and we will become more surrounded with each passing day. Crises will only work to increase the rate at which our fellow man decides to jump sides. Eventually, there will be very few of us left.
So, what do we, the productive people, do about this? Scribble some more signs and have more rallies? Nope. These things only waste your precious time, because our enemies aren’t simply innocent sheeple. No, by now each of these people have made conscious decisions to eat you alive. We have to get over the idea that with enough education, people will wake up and set things straight. There are just too many of them now who profit from taking everything you have worked for your entire lives, and destroying everything of value in this country. We have to understand who the real enemies of liberty are. The leaders whose names we know are merely the agents of the teeming, anonymous masses.
But, there is hope for us. Oddly enough, our salvation will come by steering a course directly through the heart of the storm. One of the neat features about crises is that they so easily spin out of control, almost by definition. Some of those guys who decided to join the parasites to police you happened to be filling an essential economic cog unawares. We never know how the ripples of economic activity splash and slosh, but at some point, some farmer isn’t going to get his feed or fuel delivery, and ten thousand chickens will die. Or a crop doesn’t get harvested in time, or the pipeline breaks and the guy who knows how to fix it has been replaced by a quota. Or went into cardiac arrest or cracked his head after being tasered for yelling at some leech in the supermarket.
The unpredictable and uncontrollable free market economy which tyrants disdain is exactly the economy which feeds, houses, clothes, and warms four hundred million people (illegals included) in this country. Wrap a chain around that economy, and it will start leaking value in every direction, none of them good. No matter how bad it gets for the productive individual in the short term, the leeches will receive their due some winter. All you need to do until then is to be able to survive through that winter. Other authors help prepare you accordingly for that. In the meantime, as discussed in my article “How Many Shoes?”, prepare yourself for long-term survival by learning something useful which you can trade later with your productive brethren.
Later, trimmed of all the fat in the herd, we will then be able to restore Constitutional principles to their rightful place without all the parasites who think that great document just gets in their way of stealing from you.
Tom Baugh is the author of “Starving The Monkeys: Fight Bank Smarter”. He is also a former Marine, patented inventor, entrepreneur and professional irritant.