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Grasshopper Nation: Planning For Those Who Aren’t Prepared

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Grasshopper Nation: Planning For Those Who Aren’t Prepared

Whom will you help? And how much will you be able to?

Take a moment to reflect on all the people you care about who aren’t reading this article. Or sites like this, which wrestle with the implications of limits to growth and the concerning unsustainability of the economic and natural systems our society depends upon.

How many of your family members, good friends, and neighbors simply choose to ignore the messages from those of us alarmists on the “doomer” side, and live life trusting that tomorrow will always look and feel pretty much like today? Most of them? All of them?

Look, it’s understandable. Humans aren’t wired well to respond to future risk that isn’t visible as an immediate threat. And temperamentally, we prefer good news over bad, so we seek to overweight the former and discount the latter. Who wants to stress out about what “might” happen tomorrow, anyways — can’t we just enjoy life today?

The rift between the preparedness-minded and those not is age-old, as fables like Aesop’s The Ant & The Grasshopper date at least as far back as the 5th century BCE.

We spend our focus on this website engaging the “ants”, the empirically-minded folks who look at the data and concur that there is sufficient possibility of one or several crises (economic, energy-related, environmental — or a combination of such) occurring in the next several years. And that taking advance action is prudent.

But the ants are the minority.

Forget about planning for the more esoteric risks posed by faulty monetary policy or energy economics — 72% of Americans don’t even have a basic emergency response kit in place should an ordinary kind of disaster strike (power outage, hurricane, tornado, earthquake, etc).

The simple reality is that, if you’re investing your energies towards building resilience against potential hardship, most of those around you likely aren’t.

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

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The Oligarch Recovery – Low Income Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Any Metro Area

The Oligarch Recovery – Low Income Americans Can’t Afford to Live in Any Metro Area

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We were told we needed to bail out Wall Street in order to save Main Street. Well the results are in…

Wall Street has never done better, and Main Street has never done worse.

From the Huffington Post:

Low-income workers and their families do not earn enough to live in even the least expensive metropolitan American communities, according to a new analysis of families’ living costs published Wednesday.

The analysis, released by the left-leaning Economic Policy Institute, is an annual update of the think tank’s Family Budget Calculator that reflects new 2014 data. The Family Budget Calculator is a formula designed to determine the income “required for families to attain a secure yet modest standard of living” in 618 different communities across the country that the U.S. Census Bureau defines as metropolitan areas. The formula uses data collected by the government and some nonprofit groups to measure costs of housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, “other necessities” like clothing, and taxes for families of 10 different compositions in these specific locales.

The updated Family Budget Calculator shows that even the most affordable metropolitan areas in the country are beyond the reach of millions of American families with incomes above the official federal poverty level. The official federal poverty level for a family of two parents and two children in 2014 was $24,008, according to the EPI. But the least expensive metropolitan area in the country for this family type is Morristown, Tennessee, where a family needs an income of $49,114, according to the Economic Policy Institute’s budget calculator.

The Economic Policy Institute also estimates that minimum-wage workers — who almost universally earn less than the federal poverty level — lack the income needed to make an adequate living in any of the communities surveyed, even if they are single and childless. The think tank notes that this includes minimum-wage workers living in cities or states with a higher minimum wage than the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, or $15,080 a year for a full-time worker.

 

…click on the above link to read the rest of the article…

Olduvai IV: Courage
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Olduvai II: Exodus
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