Now, we know quite a lot of what has happened to our economy and, in a broader sense, what has happened to our country.
The Republican Bush-supporters will tell you the problems were caused by the Clinton administration, and the Obama supporters will tell you they were caused by the G.W. Bush administration. Actually, the bad policies that caused the present situation go way back many, many decades, and every administration contributed to them.
Briefly and bluntly, we are no longer a free and prosperous country. We have, over these many decades, turned into an authoritarian, socialistic (or fascistic), imperialist country, and free citizens have been turned into subjects, even slaves, as our Founders believed that a citizen is by definition armed and a slave is not.
No one individual can do very much about this. We will simply have to ride it out.
However, every individual can do a great deal to protect himself or herself from the worst of it. It goes a lot farther than exercising your God-given right to obtain an unregistered, unlicensed gun, although I heartily approve of that if you can avoid obtaining a stolen one. Anyone with a speck of honesty who finds himself in possession of stolen property must do everything possible to return it to its rightful owner even if it means getting in trouble with the “authorities” who presume themselves to be some sort of God Junior. Nobody wants that to happen. Also, be sure you have more rounds of ammunition than you think you will ever need, as the fiercely anti-gun outgoing and incoming administrations are seriously discussing the registration of each and every round. My understanding is that stores are running out, so it might be wise to explore the possibility of making your own.
And have an emergency plan in mind ahead of time in case the floor falls out quite suddenly. These “survivalists” might just have the right idea. A generator, candles, matches, batteries, soap, lots of toilet paper and paper towels, non-perishable foods, and canned foods (don't forget the [non-electric] can-opener!) are things it never hurts to have.
But, what about the financial situation? Common sense! Pay down your debts; don't spend money you don't have. Save as much as possible. Buy gold. I am not an investment advisor. This is just one libertarian’s opinion.
I recently heard an interview with Dave Ramsey, a financial adviser. Google him. He has a radio talk show and is also on Fox Business. I think he has all the right ideas. He reminds us that the love of money is the root of all evil (1). Money itself is not. Money is that commodity that is used in exchange for goods and services
The love of money is greed. I think it is the greed that is the root of evils like overbearing government. It is because of government greed that we have so many asinine laws. Drive without a seat belt? Pay Big Brother. Delinquent on paying Big Brother? Pay Big Brother more. Use an ATM at a bank other than where your account is? Pay the fat cats at both banks. Want to use your God-given right to work in a given line of work? Drive a car or boat? Own certain inanimate objects or even a dog? Build a home? Open a business? Grovel for permission and pay Big Brother! Want to renew these permissions later? Toe the line and pay yet again.
Buy a big-ticket item on time? Do not ask “How much down and how much a month?” as you will pay the fat cats big time. Dave Ramsey says ask “How much?” period. I would add pay up front in cash (or a bank draft to be exact) if you possibly can and all the fat cats get is the service charge on the draft.
Credit card debt? Dave Ramsey says pay off the small debts first, then attack the big ones. Getting the small debts paid will free up money to help pay the big ones. I would add to then cut up the credit cards and flush them down the toilet! Never get another credit card! A debit card tied to your checking account is as close as anyone should get to a credit card. Even I have a debit card. It's called “discipline.” It is painful when you subject yourself to it, but it will pay in the long run (2). The long run becomes the short run before we are ready. And, from the get-go, start putting money aside for a rainy day or for retirement.
Dave Ramsey pointed out that the borrower is slave to the lender and the rich rule over the poor (3). Of course, this is not right (meaning just or moral), but it is right (meaning a true statement of fact). The rich, meaning all-powerful government, including the Federal Reserve, rule this country with an iron fist, and they do it through our pocketbooks. We are all subjects, but one who owes money is a slave.
So, get out of debt and shed some major chains. No one can say that one is free any more, even if one is out of debt, as one still has to grovel to Big Brother to do, be, or have ever so many things that God gave each individual the right to.
Last, the most important thing you can do to resist the establishment is educate yourself. If you have read this essay, you have started. As I said in the very beginning, most of the books and seminars the Ludwig von Mises Institute offers, including the Rothbard selections I have reviewed, are on-line for free at http://www.mises.org. Please continue. See you next winter!
(1) Timothy 6:6-10.
(2) Hebrews 12:11.
(3) Proverbs 22:7.