Damned if you do, Damned if you don’t.
Back in the heady days of 2011, when I thought I knew everything about metals markets and the impending collapse and the silver moon-shot that would make me a very rich man, I decided to start “prepping” because a collapse would surely make life hard on all of us. I knew just what to do: 1) build a fence around my 5 acres, 2) begin some serious gardening and chicken ranching, 3) become buddies with all my neighbors, 4) store food and seeds, and 5)cautiously take profits from the moonshot and pay off all my debt.
I am still waiting.
I have been “damned,” metaphorically, financially, by investing in metal and other prepping needs while the economy has kept limping into a new bubble. My God! What if I had stayed in mutual funds until last fall, then, cashed out and bought metals with sub 1100 gold? I could have made a lot of fiat had I not been convinced that each month was the last one. But I might have been “damned” without metals or preparing for hard times.
I should have listened to Darth Vader, “You don’t know the power of the dark side!”
The past five years feels like the opening scene in Indiana Jones where he is running out of the cave, and the large round boulder is following him, getting closer and closer, and when you thought he was about to get crushed, it just gets even closer, but doesn’t quite get him because it seems to be a bit farther away now, then it gets closer but still doesn’t quite get him, then he leaps to safety, so he thinks, holding the golden idol, only to face spears, arrows and a gun.
We are here:
Now, I am kind of hopin’ that when I dive out of that cave entrance and roll to my feet that there is not a sociopath with a gun, and a dozen armed savages waiting to take my gold. I have to have hope, or else I’ll sink into the mire of depression about all this.
To resolve my cognitive dissonance over the entire maddening situation, I have advocated that we all keep prepping AND make fiat in this economy as long as it lasts. And I hope that is what my family has been doing. I ended up selling my 5 acres, moving out west (USA) and purchasing a two acre property. But the end didn’t come yet, so we rented it out to make some fiat. We currently live in a condo near the university where I work..
Lately, we have decided , while still waiting for the end, that the land up around Cortez, Colorado, near home, where I have many relatives, has better farmland, dependable wells and a large reservoir—not to mention more distance from large cities, nuclear power plants, military bases and, well, everything—we decided that this land would be a better place to put down some long term roots.
And here we are facing a critical election that probably does not matter, with Jim Willie quoting his mysterious sources, citing seven bank failures and overnight bailouts--sources who are surprised we made it this far and don’t expect us to make it until January.
It is driving me crazy!
I cannot actually go live anywhere else yet, as long as I hold a teaching position. If I do invest in some nice land in Colorado, I may be tying up valuable resources while we wait another few years for a collapse.
But If I do not, and a collapse arrives in the meantime, we could find our family less prepared than we wanted on that fateful day.
Meanwhile (especially when I read Zerohedge), I look over my shoulder and see that boulder still approaching. My perspective is limited. I cannot tell how close it is, how large how fast it is moving, or even how fast I am running. All I can do is keep running. All I can do is keep doing everything—stacking, preparing, working at my job, planning for a future where life is stable, but also where life becomes a Mad Max world.
That boulder seems to be getting really close.
But then again, collapse seemed immanent nearly every month since 2011… Is it just an illusion?
It has driven me mad. I can’t take it anymore… but I have to.
So we are still trying to earn some fiat, hold down a career, stack more, pay off all debt, sell our last three rental properties, and find a property where we really would like to live the rest of our lives—whether in a peaceful recovered economy retirement (Ha!) or as a subsistence farmer, enjoying life in southwest Colorado the way my great grandparents did (Aaah!).
So, to earn fiat in the meantime, I am digging in at my employer, and we are buying RV travel trailers, one at a time, and renovating them. We sell and make some fiat and buy another. If things collapse we are stuck with a house on wheels that somebody could live in. Seems like a good middle ground to me.
The entirety of that old saying is this:
You can and you can’t,
you will and you won’t,
you’re damned if you do, and
you’re damned if you don’t.
It was minister Lorenzo Dow’s reply when he was publicly challenged in 1815 to explain what Calvinism was—Calvinism: that predestination theology that offered hope only to the few, the elect--but you could never know if you were one of them. (Alas that I have good friends waiting for me to agree with them on this theology. They will have to wait a while)
I don't accept "either-or" arguments. They are a logical fallacy.
Conversely, I argue that we all have a high degree of choice, reaching far beyond religion. My family can survive; my family will survive. And we are not damned, regardless of how things unfold. Though we may face hard times either way, we plan to face them on our terms, inasmuch as that is possible.
I went for a long walk in the woods today with my daughter and our feisty dog.
Choose wisely. Above all, choose your future. Stack, prep, trade, start a yogurt shop, and keep living life.