I know I beat this topic to death sometimes, but absolutely nothing has added to our personal security like being able to have an increased sense of financial security. That security does not necessarily come from an increase in earnings, but rather a heightened awareness and information about the outflow of money. This is accomplished trough the zero-based budget. Here’s a how-to on that subject: How to Make a Zero-Based Budget. Having an increase in income is always welcome but, even without an income increase, having the budget still really does make it feel like you have more money.
Here’s a repost of an entry from the blog of someone I read. No linkage, but it’s a very interesting real-world example of a problem that is occurring even before we are officially in TEOTWAWKI:
When you are talking about emergency preparedness in a theoretical sort of way you sometimes talk about how you want a place that has a community and good weather and clean water and the ability to grow food. But then you talk about needing to be far away from zombies, i.e., refugees or Mad Max looters, so perhaps more than a tank of gas from a big city or far from an interstate. But, uh, you also want to be able to make a living in the meantime.
I live in a Small Town with 18,000 earnest citizens, many of whom are only a generation removed from the Town Meeting style of government. My town is the county seat and market town for a rural community that is still startlingly agricultural. We have clean water, community policing, responsive government, faith-based communities, and a vast array of social services to shelter our citizens when they fall.
And, bam, that’s what turns out to have attracted the refugees. Other state agencies were tasked with finding them housing and they cast their eyes around and found us. In a world where everyone is strapped, someone who is barely getting by is rich,so we are a healthy community in comparison to most of the failing ones around us. The State showed up with a bunch of indigent people the State was tasked with housing, and a traveler’s hotel on the edge of the interstate that goes through town that was willing to house them for $82/day/room. Then the other small motel – mostly used for events and fall foliage and maybe wedding guests – got into the act, too, and suddenly we have 110 school children to place into our classrooms right this minute, today, and they want lunch, too, and, oh, we are also required to bus them to their former schools if they wish to go. Plus they need meals and jobs and English as a Second Language services and one presumes many of this kids either have or need an IEP, so they’ll get their own aides. The paper interviewed some of them and they said how lovely it is here, and how they want to stay. And bring all their friends, one assumes.
So note this down: if there’s a Days Inn or a Comfort Suites or a rebranded Howard Johnson’s in your town you are going to get economic refugees. They won’t come from rural poverty in a Joad-style pickup truck, they’ll come in a State vehicle. Count the number of hotel rooms. The state says that there must be one 18 year old or older in each hotel room, so we have at least one case reported where a single mother with five children are all required to be in the same room because none of the kids are over 18. (Duh, kids over 18 have their OWN kids.) So count the hotel rooms and multiply by five. That’s how many indigent children your community may find landing on your one crisp fall day.
Also, take a look at the laws your earnest and kind citizens passed. We have no residency duration requirement for what constitutes a family the State will provide 100% support to. In other words, you can move here in January, get evicted without a place to go in February, and be entitled to state-paid housing and food and medical care and individualized education in March. The refugees we saw interviewed do not speak English. They aren’t a local widow or addict or mentally ill person for whom we expected to have a duty of care when we wrote those laws. These are zombies attacking us from the city, draining our scarce resources. My real estate tax bill is over $100/week ($5300/year) for my house. My office building’s real estate taxes are $4800/year. The retired lady living on $14,000 for whom I volunteer pays $2800/year for real estate taxes on her very basic paid-for house she raised her kids in. The State and City budgets are required to be paid for with current earnings, we aren’t allowed to borrow from the future. (We actually do in a hidden way, by not funding our pension obligations, but, as they say, we’ll talk about that another day.) When we’re talking about FEDERAL money it’s all funny money that no one will ever repay – just print up some more dollars and have fun spending it. But when it’s STATE money, or CITY money, we actually have to fork over those real estate taxes, and for most of us they’re more than our Federal and State income tax liabilities combined.
There’s a new law being debated right now that says we have a duty to provide 60 days of free in-home personal care attendants for any senior citizen in [state] whether they can afford it or not. How kind. How loving. This should be… interesting to pay for.
The collapse of society may not happen with a bang and bright flash of light, it may just creep into your life as quietly and as normally as some new folks moving in to a fourplex down the street.