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Old 09-22-2009, 03:48 AM
204 posts, read 529,390 times
Reputation: 253


"Brain Drain" reminded me of my cousins (we're all 50+ in age) in rural Indiana who weren't farmers, but graduated high school and found good paying jobs in local manufacturing. Those jobs are gone and have been replaced with jobs in fast food and big box retailers. Two of the things crucial for saving these rural areas are discussed in the article.....having a trained workforce and attracting actual good jobs for them to go to. One thing I'm not comfortable with is the early routing of the non-college bound into vocational training at the expense of a much needed general education in this increasingly dumbed down society.
It's great that this kind of research is being done. I'll check out the book when it comes out.
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Old 09-22-2009, 06:07 AM
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,384,996 times
Reputation: 9551
You know, all of this is mostly why we moved to NE.

I specifically looked for a place where population was declining, land would sustain life, and where there was no influx of development. I lived in a place (SC) where education was considered a waste of time, schools were no more than babysitting dens (the high schools had gov-sponsored day cares on campus for the students' children) big box stores and fast food places and motels were considered the ultimate employment. When a young friend of mine was accosted at gunpoint in a store parking lot (she escaped by screaming and throwing her purchases at him) by a man who had robbed an elderly couple of their car earlier in the day, then assaulted the police officer who tried to arrest him and forced the cop to shoot him - and for the next week his family was all over the news, whining about how everyone should have just given him what he wanted, he was only doing it to buy Christmas presents for his children! - I said, you know what, to hell with this stupidity. I worked with multibillion dollar companies on development projects, succeeding in bringing much development to the area - and all that happened was that illegals poured into the area to do the construction and maintenance, while the present population whined about how they couldn't find a job that catered to their drug and alcohol addictions. When the boom was over, the illegals stayed, severely impacting the infrastructures of schools, roads, medical care, police and fire, even water and sewer. Yay. Growth. But that was what everyone said they wanted...

I don't think there will be sustainable growth until and unless the third leg of manufacturing is brought back into the equation. Since that is not only impractical but well nigh impossible in the current political climate, I decided to move to a place where there was no growth and become an quasi-independent self-sustaining farmer and animal husbander. I see this movement everywhere - folks fleeing the over-ordinanced cities and looking to grow their own food and sustenance. Unfortunately, many of them - like the commune hippies of the 60's - have no knowledge nor experience with this sort of day-to-day, hard living, are/will be unable to put their hopes and dreams into practice, and will fail miserably.

However, some of them do not. Local farmers' groups are springing up everywhere, and some are emphasizing healthy and organic growing practices, even making a profit, selling to their neighbors or at farmer's markets. I believe that this trend will continue and grow, especially as food supplies become more and more unreliable from China and South America. The more populous areas and cities will see further and further declines in food availability and production as well as safety - and many are too ignorant to know any better than to buy green meat or sanded sugar. The dumbing down of society can only result in a society that is too ignorant to take care of itself, that is dependent on government or other succor to survive - and a pandemic, easily and swiftly passed human to human in close-packed cities (I am more concerned about MRSA and tuberculosis than H1N1), or a global catastrophe such as Kilimanjaro erupting or Yellowstone, that affects the weather to ruin food supplies, will further decrease the human population, and affect the remaining population with increased crime, growing starvation and escalating poverty. When people cannot afford what even the massive agribusinesses produce at a profit, I foresee mass rioting, mass violence, and massive debt unhoming and starving even those who currently think that they are "safe". Those who cannot at least minimally sustain themselves will suffer losses and die.

If trends continue, in three decades, the US will, on the whole, be a third-world country, depending on imports for their very survival, warring amongst themselves for simple basics. It will not be the hoboes going door to door, asking for work, or people sharing what they have, community to community - it will be a scenario straight out of Mad Max or Somalia, with warlords taking, murdering, and looting, and those who are unable to defend or survive starving or becoming enslaved.

JMHO - I could be wrong. But "I seen the elephant" especially in the cities, and he is big and ugly and hungry, and the refusal of people to see the potential of his growth, to pretend that he isn't even in the room or down their street, is what will cripple and kill them in the end. The government's fiscal irresponsibility and total ignorance of basic economics of the last 20 years has fed this elephant, nursed it, and cared for it - and it will stomp them into oblivion, as they stand on the sidewalks screaming "we MUST DO SOMETHING! Call out the National Guard! Call out the SWAT teams!" Only those who can depend not just on themselves and their families, but on their small communities for defense, food, and basic survival skills will survive. Again, JMHO. Prosperity is not the goal - survival is. Prosperity will only be a by-product - if it occurs at all.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:12 AM
12,825 posts, read 20,051,326 times
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What the previous post describes is the onset of a Dark Age.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:15 AM
12,825 posts, read 20,051,326 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
Personally, I think we are less than 10 years--maybe less than 5 years--away from a major worldwide famine. That will lead to a major die-down in the Third World, may ignite disease epidemics the likes we have not seen for centuries in all countries, and--if all of that ain't bad enough--may touch off World War III.
I agree.
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Old 09-22-2009, 09:19 AM
16,505 posts, read 20,899,000 times
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Great post by SCGranny!
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Old 09-22-2009, 02:05 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,230 posts, read 7,238,813 times
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Originally Posted by jazzlover View Post
I disagree with the projected timing of a population crash as after 2050. I think the wheels are already set in motion to cause it much sooner. An energy crisis of epic proportions is on the way within a few years. Americans like to think of that as a) not possible and b) something that will only affect their ability to live in suburbia and drive all they want. What they fail to understand is that the worldwide food production and transportation system is based on cheap and plentiful fuel supplies. When fuel is no longer cheap and plentiful, food won't be either. Personally, I think we are less than 10 years--maybe less than 5 years--away from a major worldwide famine. That will lead to a major die-down in the Third World, may ignite disease epidemics the likes we have not seen for centuries in all countries, and--if all of that ain't bad enough--may touch off World War III.

People just do not realize how fragile the whole food production and transportation system is in this country--in this state. Even a relatively minor disruption in the supply of fuel could leave those supermarket shelves bare in less than a week. It's pretty sobering--I used to work in agriculture and our ill-preparedness for food supply disruptions scares the hell out of me. Of course, Washington and the general public is way too busy worrying about how to bail out idiot lenders, borrowers, auto companies, etc., etc. rather than addressing what are the real issues confronting us--namely, how the hell we are going adjust our living arrangement to survive in a resource-constrained world.
Even with the population of today we are totally dependent on our technology. To see what a collapse of that technology could result in read the book ONE SECOND AFTER by Robert (?) Forstchner.

The premise of the story is what happens to a community in NC and the United States immediately and up to one year after an Electromagnetic Pulse weapon is detonated over the United States.

The really scary thing about the book is the possibility of those events coming about.

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Old 09-23-2009, 05:10 PM
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,384,996 times
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Just a note... was sitting at the local watering hole last night, and one of the rancher's sons called to say that his girlfriend's parents had just taken their cattle to auction. Prices have dropped to $0.90 a lb for beef cattle. When/if they go to $0.85 or below, it will cost too much to raise, breed, inoculate and feed them through the winter. Another rancher said that a local wheat farmer has determined that it costs him $6.35 a bushel to raise wheat. Prices for wheat yesterday for him were quoted at $2.95 a bushel. He has a choice that the beef ranchers don't have - to store the wheat and hope that the prices go up, to file for government subsidies and/or purchase of his wheat, or to sell his wheat for less than half what it cost him to produce it - and go bankrupt.

Something else that was brought up too - the FedGov is using American tax dollars to purchase beef cattle at artificially-influenced, low prices, and then are trading them to Argentina for oil. If this is true - and I am not claiming that it is, because I do not know it for a fact - what is the tradeoff, cow for barrel? and who is footing the bill? And what is, what can be, the ultimate outcome?

Think about these things when thinking about the fluctuation of your food prices at the store - and think about what items you buy that involve either beef or beef byproducts, or wheat and grain by-products. How will this end, what are the ultimate results going to be? Because if you do your own shopping at the store, you know that end-consumers are not getting price reductions.

GL2, I have heard of this scenario; several books and movies have alluded to the Electromagnetic Pulse or even the rapid rise in sunspots as causative factors in the total disruption of society. Even cars, tractors, communications, electric companies, gas and oil companies, water and sewer companies, the intravenous pumps or EKGs in the hospitals, use computers to regulate every facet of our lives. What happens if they are all wiped out in a split second, regionally or globally?

There are a lot of possibilities out there for "end of the world" aka SHTF scenarios. But when you have any impact on food distribution or health that is regional, much less global, you will see a very rapid, emotional, and physically devastating reaction. "Be Prepared" is a fine motto - as long as you know what and how to prepare. I seriously doubt that many are partially prepared, or know what to prepare for, or even the very basics of how to prepare. Even right now, today, many who survived the housing bust or the unemployment figures (so far) are busily going out to eat, partying, meeting friends for dinner, spending real money on sports packages or concert tickets, pretending that everything is great or at least fine - fiddling while Rome burns.
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Old 09-23-2009, 06:30 PM
Location: Rhode Island (Splash!)
1,150 posts, read 2,352,490 times
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Originally Posted by livecontent View Post
No, I have not seen that movie...I find most movies a waste of my time.
LC, may I suggest a rental of Prince Of Foxes?

If you like knights and castles, super-hot old-school dames, Orson Welles, and flying flaming balls of hot pitch, it's really a satisfying hum-dinger of a movie!

Big hello from the damp, arthritic Northeast!
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Old 09-24-2009, 02:14 AM
Location: Denver, CO
1,627 posts, read 3,709,124 times
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I'm wondering how a thread about an alternative view of prosperity became a thread about the end-of-days. I thought we were trying to accentuate the positive and take a new approach to avoid such cataclysms in a discussion such as this...not wax poetic about its nihilistic inevitability.
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Old 09-24-2009, 08:49 AM
Location: Wherabouts Unknown!
7,764 posts, read 16,834,005 times
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Hey zen.....There are those who obviously feel obligated to put a negative spin on everything....but these guys (http://community.gjsentinel.com/sites/mojo/2009/09/22/stay-positive-movements-roots-in-grand-junction-branches-nationally/ - broken link) are not among that crowd.
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