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Old 07-14-2009, 09:56 PM
 
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I suspect that largely depends on your stage of life, health, and location.
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Old 07-15-2009, 06:16 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,155 posts, read 16,873,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nightbird47 View Post
Don't forget that those with skills that help survival who are not as physically fit matter too. Can you make clothes by hand? Can you properly stack a fire? Can you make food from what you have in front of you? Do you like to experiment and can make something to fill a need?

The people who like crafts and do it yourself are also of a lot of value.

And those who have had survival experience, even in this society, and understand the core basics and how they matter over all need to be there or you don't even get past the beginning.
It's comforting to know that I'm all set, then.

Many people don't know how to make a meal, if it doesn't come from a box with microwave directions; or to sew on a button, not to mention actually making a garment. But, without taking it that far back, what would it do to one's standard of living if trucks weren't running with all the the goods they transport to us, and store shelves were empty. It doesn't matter how much money you have or don't have, if you can't buy what you need because you can't get to the store, or the goods just aren't there. We're assuming that stores will still be stocked, but that we'll just be able to buy less due to lower net income. That may not be the case.
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Old 07-15-2009, 11:28 AM
 
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Originally Posted by newenglandgirl View Post
IMO it's getting to the point at which purchasing the very basics (food, shelter, clothing) and paying taxes IS living beyond our means. Wondering if anyone else feels the same, or if you think America is largely doing just fine....
I don't think that America is general is doing just fine, but I know many individuals who are barely feeling this recession. Some areas and generations are suffering more than others. My hometown in the Midwest is hanging on by a thread with skyrocketing unemployment & foreclosure rates, but the city where I live now is humming along nicely.
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Old 07-15-2009, 07:42 PM
 
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Originally Posted by baystater View Post
So America has had a great run of success for the last fifty or so years. Things for the most part I would say were bright for most American. A growing middle class, high product output (industrial), and an ability basically have what ever we wanted when ever we wanted it. Yes overall it thinks times were good for America with a few hiccups along the way.
But now. I think (only my thought) that America is heading for a long and probably rather painful economic slide. While I don't see us as rolling into a third world country. I do believe we will be more like a Briton or perhaps a Spain. (Basically we won't be the center of the universe economically any more.) And while we will still have ability to have the basics and then some comforts on top of that. The ability of most Americanís of getting what you want all the time, I believe will be gone.
No latest, greatest I-phone, gaming systems. No more getting/leasing a new car every couple of years, No more betting your life saving into the speculative stock market looking to become the next millionaire. No more asking ridiculous sums of money for a box where you hang your hat at the end of the day (otherwise known as a house.) etc., etc.
Yes I think irrational exuberance is out the window at this point. And yes I do see our standard of living lower overall. This actually if you really look at was pretty damned high.

So at this point let me get to the questions I want to ask all the Good people of the CD community.

If it comes down to it.

Are you prepared for a lower standard of living than you have lived in the past?

Do you think America/Americans will be able (in the shorter term) to handle their standard of living at a lower level?


Let me just say one thing I don't believe it all doom and gloom out there. America I believe has on trump card to play against other nations if needed. That would be the ability of America to produce food. We are (I believe) extremely good at this. And can still make a good profit in this area. Granted Monsanto overall is not making it easy for independent farmer to make their grade. But that is another issue.
I already don't have a car or a job. I live with my parents. When I read about such things as a lower standard of living, I am not really worried about myself. I figure that I already live a somewhat odd living. I don't have a car, I walk everywhere, I live with my parents, I live like a bachelor to the fullest, no girlfriend to spend money on or anything. I don't own an iPhone or iPod, so I really don't care. In fact, this computer isn't mine. How could crap really get worse for me? It is my friends who have to fill their tanks up with gas who have to worry. It is my father who has to think about this. Yes, he has a college degree and I am currently working on mine. It doesn't always guarantee he'll always be employed, but I hope he stays employed. The persons around me are the ones I should be concerned for.
Personally, I don't care if the USA is not at the center of the universe. That is fine by me. I think it will take the pressure off.
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:19 AM
 
Location: a nation with hope
13,155 posts, read 16,873,712 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
I already don't have a car or a job. I live with my parents. When I read about such things as a lower standard of living, I am not really worried about myself. I figure that I already live a somewhat odd living. I don't have a car, I walk everywhere, I live with my parents, I live like a bachelor to the fullest, no girlfriend to spend money on or anything. I don't own an iPhone or iPod, so I really don't care. In fact, this computer isn't mine. How could crap really get worse for me? It is my friends who have to fill their tanks up with gas who have to worry. It is my father who has to think about this. Yes, he has a college degree and I am currently working on mine. It doesn't always guarantee he'll always be employed, but I hope he stays employed. The persons around me are the ones I should be concerned for.
Personally, I don't care if the USA is not at the center of the universe. That is fine by me. I think it will take the pressure off.
Then, let me ask the question: Are you ready for your parents to have a lower standard of living (seeing as you're enjoying their standard now).
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Old 07-16-2009, 07:36 AM
 
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Originally Posted by southward bound View Post
Then, let me ask the question: Are you ready for your parents to have a lower standard of living (seeing as you're enjoying their standard now).
LIke I said, it is my parents I have to worry about. Strangely enough, they don't own a new car or an iPod either.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:06 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,061,524 times
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Seems to me that the less" stuff" and intricate socio-economic inter-relationships each of us has, the better off we are given what's happening or what's coming. Better to not be burdened!

Of course what someone considers a reasonable standard of living would put others into apoplexy; some Hollywood type who spends 10,000 a week in "living expenses" (for example, it was calculated that the wonderfully frugal Paris Hilton spends about $425,00 a month just to scrape along...). Others, such as my family, living way out in the country, make do with let's say a lot less than Paris "requires".

I'll be worried when I can't afford the chicken "scratch" (feed) we trade, in essence, to have fresh eggs, the few gallons of diesel for our truck that we use each week, and the electric and nat/gas bill. Otherwise, we enjoy life itself absent the frills many others consider mandatory. But to the specific OP, yes, I'm prepared to deal with some reductions, but I predict it will hurt us less than the young yuppies who have to have it all.

You know, when you have to throw away the latest Williams-Sonoma catalog without having bought the latest veggy slicer/Blackberry?
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:09 AM
 
44,564 posts, read 43,103,689 times
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Originally Posted by rifleman View Post
Seems to me that the less" stuff" and intricate socio-economic inter-relationships each of us has, the better off we are given what's happening or what's coming. Better to not be burdened!

Of course what someone considers a reasonable standard of living would put others into apoplexy; some Hollywood type who spends 10,000 a week in "living expenses" (for example, it was calculated that the wonderfully frugal Paris Hilton spends about $425,00 a month just to scrape along...). Others, such as my family, living way out in the country, make do with let's say a lot less than Paris "requires".

I'll be worried when I can't afford the chicken "scratch" (feed) we trade, in essence, to have fresh eggs, the few gallons of diesel for our truck that we use each week, and the electric and nat/gas bill. Otherwise, we enjoy life itself absent the frills many others consider mandatory. But to the specific OP, yes, I'm prepared to deal with some reductions, but I predict it will hurt us less than the young yuppies who have to have it all.
I don't know if my family is prepared. We pretty much buy everything and don't grow anything. I made an attempt to grow tomatoes in my backyard. It never worked. I might still be able to think of something.
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Old 07-16-2009, 08:35 AM
 
Location: Somewhere out there
9,616 posts, read 11,061,524 times
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Default "Pass the brandied plums, would you please?"

Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
I don't know if my family is prepared. We pretty much buy everything and don't grow anything. I made an attempt to grow tomatoes in my backyard. It never worked. I might still be able to think of something.
I'd humbly suggest that it's worth it to experiment, to learn how to grow stuff. It's amazingly liberating, pirate, to have a meal based on your own efforts, to "flip off", if you will, the entire intricate interdependent complex of systems that most folks assume are absolutely mandatory for us to live.

It's true that the huge majority of Americans both need that system and will suffer significantly when it fails (which it is and will). Imagine those who live in central Los Angeles, Orange County, Phoenix, Seattle, Chicago, Atlanta or New York City if/when the national trucking & rail systems hickup! Yikes.

By comparison, we recently had a meal of orange-brandy glazed pheasant, wild rice, tomatos and lettuce and cucs and green onions in a salad from our garden, and broccolli from my neigbour's plot. We had a glass of locally produced wine; I can drive over to the winery in less than ten minutes. As a hobby, I also bake my own bread, and am currently focusing on the finer points of a good French baguette-style loaf.

Even our water is from a natural well. The water quality of which has proven to be especially high. We also have a major trout stream and river (the Yakima) within an easy drive, and I'm one of those heartless hunters who would rather take personal responsibility for acquiring my own protein than to be responsible for supporting the hugely artificial and vastly cruel beef industry!

Our home-generated meals are both tasty and empowering. Go for it, pirate; buy some seeds and plant a bean plant in a pot, and water it for a few weeks. (It is a bit late in the year unless you live in the far south, but it will still be instructive and empowering!).

Given the generally high quality and insight of your posts, I'd hate to see you suffer and become a socio-economic statistic just because you haven't yet learned the intricacies of self-sufficiency! (Oh, and BTW, that should be expanded to cover self-defence in the form of a .45 auto sidearm. i'm just sayin', man! I mean, the truly desperate will soon enough be roaming the streets and they might notice you eating that glazed pheasant!)
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Old 07-16-2009, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,045 posts, read 18,260,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pirate_lafitte View Post
I already don't have a car or a job. I live with my parents. When I read about such things as a lower standard of living, I am not really worried about myself. I figure that I already live a somewhat odd living. I don't have a car, I walk everywhere, I live with my parents, I live like a bachelor to the fullest, no girlfriend to spend money on or anything. I don't own an iPhone or iPod, so I really don't care. In fact, this computer isn't mine. How could crap really get worse for me? It is my friends who have to fill their tanks up with gas who have to worry. It is my father who has to think about this. Yes, he has a college degree and I am currently working on mine. It doesn't always guarantee he'll always be employed, but I hope he stays employed. The persons around me are the ones I should be concerned for.
Personally, I don't care if the USA is not at the center of the universe. That is fine by me. I think it will take the pressure off.
Your generation is the one that needs hardcore survival skills the most. The middle-agers and elderly might squeak by their lifetimes with no debilitating global meltdown. And, BTW all, just b/c there is a claim out there that theres lots and lots of sources for fuel for our gas tanks and lawnmowers etc, doesn't mean we should be ravaging the earth for what's left...b/c sooner or later we will run out of resources (populations and fast growing countries, remember?) and then what? Or are we just going to refuse to let this be our problem?
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