Society’s Five Stages of Economic Collapse

vox

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Repost from shtfplan.com - http://www.shtfplan.com/emergency-preparedness/societys-five-stages-of-economic-collapse_02282012

I think we're somewhere in late stage 2 or early stage 3. Discuss please...

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Society as we know it will break down and collapse in a five stage process outlined here. While it can be accelerated by certain events like war, a natural disaster, pandemic, terrorist attack, or even an impending asteroid impact, history has shown that economic collapse will essentially happen in this five stage process. To survive the collapse, it is important to read and interpret the signs and understand what assets are important to the current situation so you can be prepared for the worst thereby allowing you to survive intact and with as little damage as possible.

STAGE 1. The Decay Begins

Everything is good and the economy is thriving. A high standard of living has been achieved. This is the way things should be. Goods are cheap and readily available. Everything seems to be in abundance. Stores are filled with retail items ready to be purchased. Life in general is good. The nation’s working infrastructure is solidly intact and working well. However, the idea that everyone is entitled to have what others have earned now permeates society. Redistribution of Wealth Policies are implemented and quietly woven into the fabric of society. Unchecked and under the guise of fairness and equality, these policies slowly decrease productivity and increase dependency on government entitlement and welfare programs.

Primary Assets:

Career
Home Value
Savings
Investments – Stocks and bonds
Health Insurance
Lifestyle Image
Good Credit Rating for Debt Accumulation

STAGE 2. The Slippery Slope

The economy goes into a slow but steadily increasing decline. Unemployment is on the rise. Ever increasing numbers of people receive government assistance in one form or another. People are paid not to work. Government spending has increased dramatically. The price of gold, silver, and other precious metals rise to prices unheard of just a few years earlier. Inflation reaches the double digit levels.

Primary Assets:

Cash
Precious Metals, Gold and Silver coins
Job Stability
Elimination of debt
Health Insurance
Home Equity
Automobile with good MPG
Acquiring secluded land more than 40 miles from densely populated areas

STAGE 3. It is Going to Get Worse

The total collapse of the economy begins after a significant and prolonged decline. The government implements price controls. Shortages on essential goods become widespread. Foreclosed houses sit vacant and deteriorating by the tens of thousands. Middle class neighborhoods begin to look like slums. The government begins to print currency to pay its bills and support the tens of millions on public assistance. Inflation increases even more and unemployment exceeds 25%. Banks and businesses fail at ever increasing rates. Nobody seems to have any money. Many are now homeless. Labor unions instigate strikes, civil unrest, and large scale riots. Government services are interrupted and unreliable. Local and national infrastructure is in decay. Violent gangs begin to appear and assert themselves. The government begins confiscation of firearms from law abiding citizens. Violence is everywhere. Cities and urban areas become very dangerous places to live.

At this stage, the country seems pretty much beyond the point of no return. However, things can still be reversed even at this stage if the right person at the top really believes in the basic fundamental concepts of Freedom, Independence, Liberty, and Individual Rights and is not afraid to do what is necessary to reverse the current trend. He will be vilified and hated because of his attitude toward personal responsibility, cutting entitlements, and ending welfare programs. Of course, if the right person were in power and did what needed to be done, none of this would have happened in the first place.

Primary Assets:

Gold and Silver coins
Cash
Job
Automobile
Home
Short term food supplies
Short term fuel stores
Firearms and ammo
Plans to relocate to a secluded rural hideaway
Small livestock – chicken, rabbit, fish…
A close network of like minded people
Survival knowledge and skills

STAGE 4. The Grab for Power

The collapse can transition to this stage at any time after Stage 3. Most of the middle class have lost everything. What used to be well manicured middle class neighborhoods are filled with the carcasses of empty houses damaged and destroyed by vandals. The nation’s infrastructure has been seriously neglected and is in need of a major overhaul. The power grid becomes unreliable. Rolling blackouts are a daily occurrence. You can no longer buy or sell gold or own foreign currency. Inflation is out of control. Now the economy collapses. There is a rush for everything and the shelves go empty in a matter of hours. Society falls into chaos. The control of urban areas shifts when violent gangs takeover control of the streets and urban neighborhoods. The government issues restrictive measures in an attempt to control the economy. Everything is in short supply and heavily rationed. Food and gasoline is very expensive and there are very long lines to get them when they are available. Affordable quality health care is non-existent and your job is a distant memory. You will do without what you are unable to provide for yourself. You will discover what it is to live in a third world country.

Primary Assets:

Relocation to the rural hideaway
Firearms and ammo
Long term food supplies (1 year minimum)
Adequate fuel stores
Security plan to protect the group and assets
Trained dog for security
A working knowledge of survival gardening
Survival knowledge and skills
Once all of the above has come to pass, the realization of the current circumstances at this moment must be all too obvious. It is too late to prepare at this point. What you did not acquire earlier, you are not going to possess now. Anything of value necessary for your survival has already been claimed. The situation gets worse… much worse.

Stage 5 is next… and it is not pretty.

STAGE 5. Freedom, Liberty, and Independence is Lost

The government implements martial law. Fighting between civilians and government forces break out nationwide. Maintaining more than a 30 day supply of food is considered hoarding food and is illegal. Severe poverty and starvation become a common sight. The government offers marginally acceptable food, water and shelter in exchange for your Freedom, Liberty, and Independence. Democracy ends and a Socialist form of government takes over under the guise of fixing society’s problems with the false promise that peace and prosperity will return better than it was just a few years ago. A Totalitarian regime assumes power and the individual freedoms and liberties once enjoyed by the people are completely eliminated.

Primary Assets:

Rural Hideaway
Security plan to protect the group and assets
Living below the radar in a community of like minded people
Firearms and the ability to use them
Guard dog for security
Survival knowledge and skills
A working and producing garden capable of feeding 150% of the group
A stable supply of clean water
Vegetable seeds for long term food production and barter
The will to live and survive in a harsh political climate
As you can see, priorities change as the world changes. Your most prized assets of today – your good credit, luxury automobile, and career are no longer important after the economy collapses.



FAILURE TO PREPARE TODAY WILL INCREASE THE MAGNITUDE OF YOUR SUFFERING TOMORROW.

It is better to prepare 10 years too early than 10 minutes too late. Many who lack vision will say that it will never happen and for those who decide to live unprepared should consider the following statement.

LACK OF PLANNING ON YOUR PART DOES NOT CONSTITUTE AN EMERGENCY ON MY PART.
 

bushi

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There was this study quoted somewhere on Chrismartenson.com by some Russian professor, he was analysing the stages of economic&social collapse of former USSR. Might be worth reading, if you want to get sobered, about how little in reality is between working(somehow) society, and a world superpower - and a completely disfunctional one . With the difference, that in USSR, people were not allowed to own guns, also they were not exactly pampered by their govt, for generations - and were rather used to live in very harsh reality. Well after the collapse, reality got even harsher for them.
 

DoChenRollingBearing

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Vox, great thread!

Discussion:

Mac's thinking may be too linear, there are lots of other ways we could go down (or even, *gasp* not go down).

1) I am too old (56) to properly prepare for anything like a "Stage 5". I do have gold, guns and am working on other preps. But, too slowly...

2) The other alternative for Mr. and Mrs. Bearing is to re-locate to Peru with our assets, which would be substantial by Peruvian standards.

***

My thinking (that I have outlined before) is that there are two main, well, SHTF scenarios:

a) "Great Depression v. 2" In which we have economic and political dislocation and pain on the order of the Great Depression of the 1930s. Which was pretty bad (25% unemployment for starters). Crime would go up, as it apparently did back then. Mr. and Mrs. Bearing could deal with this, as we have no debt and we do have savings. Unless someone killed us while carjacking us...

b) "TEOTWAWKI" In which, whether we arrive there over a longer period (as outlined by Mac above) or all at once (One Second After, by W. Forstchen, what happens after a BIG BAD EMP). The aftermath resembles Stage 5. Mr. and Mrs. Bearing would not do well here (condo dwellers), we are too close to a major city, have no food and water production capability, etc. Our best shot here would be moving to Peru and buying what we would need for a secure life there before all of this comes down. That timing thingy though...
 

vox

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No doubt in my mind right now that we're headed off the cliff.

At this juncture, I'm trying to gauge timelines which is difficult because of so many variables that have impact.
 

pmbug

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I don't believe things are going to go down the way it's outlined in the OP. Strong communities will stay strong and persevere. Should the banking and payment systems break down, new ones will be built.

My larger worry is government over-reaction to civilian discontent. It's already happening with draconian laws abusing the last vestiges of civil liberties we enjoy in the USA.
 

DCFusor

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I'd chime in and agree with DoChen's number one - health has to be a big one, this stuff is real work (which can help with keeping you healthy, but age is age).

And too much government intervention hurts the ability to make all the other preps - you could lose before you realize there's a battle.

I generally think people should do some of those things now, and not wait. For one thing, it leads to a healthier and better life now - it's total win-win to get out of a city and into a better place (defining and finding better is one of the challenges). The less dependent on "The system" I become, the better I feel about it all, every waking moment. I'll never get all the way there - which itself is good - too easy is boring anyway, and having the group of like minded is more fun as well.

The food coming out of my garden tastes better no matter what.

You could call all that prepping for now, rather than TEOTW. As DoChen points out, some of it is a race against time - in my case, making it all more automatic and low effort faster than my health to do it all by brute human force declines is challenge enough. I like the results of my own efforts to be ready for the now, even if I didn't do it over concerns about a societal collapse - that comes along for the ride, mainly.

In some views, the transition during my lifetime of "don't do wrong" to "don't get caught" IS the societal collapse, anyway.
 

benjamen

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I don't believe things are going to go down the way it's outlined in the OP. Strong communities will stay strong and persevere. Should the banking and payment systems break down, new ones will be built.

My larger worry is government over-reaction to civilian discontent. It's already happening with draconian laws abusing the last vestiges of civil liberties we enjoy in the USA.
Let's see, civilian discontent check:
http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2012/07/21/officer-involved-shooting-reported-in-anaheim/

Government over-reaction check:
http://co-ironwill.blogspot.ch/2012/07/anaheim-police-dressed-in-acus-stop.html

I really need to move out of the major city I live in.
 

ancona

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I recently re-read William Strauss and Neil Howe's The Fourth Turning, and reminded myself of what is really the most important thing in my life; My Family and Friends. If I have those, the rest will come.

We are definitely entering the bread and circus phase of empire, and have started down the icy slope of decline. There are many souls who haunt this and other boards who have/are prepared for a protracted period of re-set, but there are far, far more who have no clue. It is exactly those people that strike fear in my heart.
 

rblong2us

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fantastic comment from 'Think for yourself'

good article too -
http://www.zerohedge.com/news/guest-post-most-often-forgotten-survival-preparations

We're always waiting for the crash. Waiting for what comes next. Waiting for fraudsters to get jailed. Waiting for presidents to be impeached. Waiting for international corps to get sued, dismantled. Waiting for unethical laws to be struck down. Waiting for the matrix to run out of batteries... or even waiting for the next bubble, hoping for hope, for the next breath.

Meanwhile, that very matrix feeds off our hopelessness. It feeds off our despondency. It feeds on our fear. It even feeds off our righteous anger.

Some think, this can't go on. It will stop, crash and burn by itself. They keep taking part in it, even while they take on themselves the role of the loser.

Others grab their balls in their hands, and say, I cannot let this go on. It has to change. I will fight it! They keep taking part in it, becoming resolute in coming out the winner.

Although one looks better than the other, it isn't. Fighting against the system is falling into the game. The game is conflict; the game is one of negative emotions. Whether you feel fear because you think you are losing, or anger because you think the system shouldn't be allowed to win - in either case you fall into the game, you pick a side. Either you will win or you will lose.

But the game is rigged. You can't win. Not by remaining who you are. The matrix wields much more force than you have power - at least until you actually develop your power, in a way that the game doesn't let you conceive. You'll have to fight dirty. You'll have to be treacherous; you'll have to use violence. By the time you win, you'll have lost; you'll be one of them.

The only winning move is not to play.

Withdraw yourself from that fight; remove the conflict for your life. The world is as it is; there is suffering, there is egoism, there is violence, there is treachery, there is fear. Let it be, raise yourself over the muddy, heaving waters. Fly above the conflict, so that you may remain unaffected.

Then you realize your liberty. You realize your sovereignty; you don't need to be affected, and you only are if you decide to take part. Then you can start fixing yourself, making yourself whole, healthy, holy. You can work to substract yourself of the mechanicalness of it all, of the conditionnings, deep ruts dug in the individuals and the collective, over millenia and millenia. You can become a master of yourself.

Then, once you interact with the reality around you, it won't be as a machine, as a cog, as a prop. You won't be living in conflict solely because the world around you is conflicted; you'll know how to substract yourself from outside influences, how to be your own sovereign; how to be a real actor, a creator of your experience. Instead of the affected, you will be the effecting.

Only then does the real change begin. How can you change something, how can you direct yourself, when you let who you are be defined by what is going on outside of yourself? One second you are someone; with the next changing circumstance you are somebody else.

Find your center. Anchor yourself deeply. From that stability you can go out and explore; you can reach out.

There is real truth in this; real revolution can only start from within.
 

Shelby-villian

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My larger worry is government over-reaction to civilian discontent. It's already happening with draconian laws abusing the last vestiges of civil liberties we enjoy in the USA.
Check out the youtube link I put in the Anaheim thread. Tell me that isn't over-reaction!
 

pmbug

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I fear that Anaheim is only the tip of the iceberg of what is coming. DHS is militarizing the police for a reason.
 
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