Prepare your mind for the coming crisis – Part 9

Mind Preparedness

Coping with negative feelings: Loneliness and Boredom

Today, I’d like to talk about two of the worst feelings in the world: loneliness and boredom. Now, we’ve all experienced each of these emotions at least one in our lives… and I’m sure you know just how awful they feel… how they get you down to point where you grow accustomed to the feeling and you just sink in it until someone in your family or one of your friends rings the alarm and tries to pull you out.

Take boredom for example. It’s the most common feeling we experience. In fact, it’s so common, we feel its presence every day. But here’s where it gets nasty: our daily dose of boredom comes and goes as easily as we want. Whenever we get bored, we can start another activty, something more entertaining.

In times of crisis, however, it’s not as simple to fight boredom. If a disaster happens and you’re stuck indoors, with almost nothing to do but basic survival activities… then boredom becomes a real, heavy burden. I mean it can literally drive you crazy.

But there are plenty of ways to keep it out of your home and enjoy every moment spent with your family or by yourself. Here are some of them:

Loneliness

If you’ve ever lived by yourself, you should be quite familiar with this feeling. Well, as unpleasant as it may be, you might have to deal with it again when the crisis hits.

You see, during disasters, people usually come together. They help each other go through the danger, they share losses and victories and bond like family. However, when there’s a long-term crisis (like the one waiting just around the corner), people tend to isolate themselves from the world. They get absorbed by their own problems that seem like they’re never going to end… and they get selfish.

Even your spouse and your kids will become less communicative. It’s just what harsh times do to people. But you can change that, by initiating communication with your family and friends.

  • You can cook for your dear ones and invite them to dinner…
  • Or you could ask for their helpwhen you’ve got a problem. They’re not going to say no, because they love you and want to help you out. You just need to tell them that they’re needed…
  • Or simply sit down and talk about their problems. Offer some advice. It’s always welcome.

The bottom line here is: don’t isolate yourself like everyone else does. Don’t let problems ruin communication with your loved ones. Open up to them and ask for the same thing from their part. It may be harder at first, but they’ll come around,

Boredom

As I said before, boredom is a feeling we have to deal with almost daily. And when boredom sets in, what do we do? We immediately try to get rid of it. We break our routine even for 10 minutes, we go get a cup of coffee, or read the news, or whatever it takes to make us feel more entertained.

But what happens when we’re stuck indoors and there’s nothing to do? For example, if a disaster strikes and you’re out of power for a couple weeks… After you’re done repairing damages and get used to the situation, boredom will strike you like never before. And you’ll be surprised to see just how fast it gets installed.

I remember seeing some pictures of people sitting around in a refugee camp, after Katrina hit in 2005. Outside, houses were being  torn to pieces, while people were playing cards inside. They were lying on blankets on the floor, playing cards and getting bored by the minute.

Waiting around for things to get better is actually the hardest part of dealing with a crisis, so here’s what you need to do to avoid boredom:

  • Write. Everyone dreams of writing the Great American Novel, so start writing yours. Ok, it doesn’t have to be the Great American Novel, but you can start with your memoirs. It’s refreshing and it makes you think back on the good moments of your life. Or simply write about the crisis and how you’re handling it. It might help other people some day.
  • Play. If you’ve got small kids or grandkids, play with them. Try to understand their games and get into their world. It will be fascinating, I promise you that. And you’ll get to spend quality time with your family.
  • Read. It’s never too late to start reading a book you’ve always wanted too read, but never had the time to. If you want to entertain your loved ones, as well, read it out loud. You can actually start a routine by reading 20 or 30 pages to them every day. This way, you’ll enjoy the book together.
  • Build. Find some scraps and start building something, like a bird house or a chair or whatever you like (depending on the materials you’ve found). It will take your mind off the crisis and give you a useful occupation. Let the kids in your family help you out. It will be more fun and they’ll learn a lot from the experience.

If you’ve got more suggestions on how to kill boredom during a crisis, please share it with me and the other readers in the comments section. I’d love to see your ideas!

And if you’d like to read more articles on survival topics, visit www.myfamilysurvivalplan.com.

Is Wal-Mart Destroying America? 20 Facts About Wal-Mart That Will Absolutely Shock You

Is Wal-Mart Destroying America? 20 Facts About Wal-Mart

America absolutely loves Wal-Mart. 100 million customers visit Wal-Mart every single week in this country. But is Wal-Mart good for America? That is a question that most people never stop and ask.

Most of us love shopping in big, clean stores that are packed with super cheap merchandise, but the truth is that Wal-Mart is destroying America in a lot of ways.

As you will see below, Wal-Mart has destroyed tens of thousands of small businesses and countless manufacturing jobs over the past couple of decades. Wal-Mart has become a gigantic retail behemoth that sells five times more stuff than any other retailer in the United States. Unfortunately, about 85 percent of all the stuff sold at Wal-Mart is made overseas. What that is costing the U.S. economy in terms of lost jobs and lost revenue is incalculable. But Wal-Mart is a perfect example of where our economic system is headed.

Our economy is becoming completely and totally dominated by highly centralized monolithic predator corporations that ruthlessly crush all competition and that will stoop to just about anything in order to cut costs. In the future, will we all be working for gigantic communal entities that funnel all of the wealth and economic rewards to a very tiny elite? That sounds very much like how communist China works, and red-blooded Americans should want no part of that. America is supposed to be about free enterprise and competition and working together to build up this country, and Wal-Mart is destroying all of that.

The following are 20 facts about Wal-Mart that will absolutely shock you….

#1 The average U.S. family now spends more than $4000 a year at Wal-Mart.

#2 In 2010, Wal-Mart had revenues of 421 billion dollars. That amount was greater than the GDP of 170 different countries including Norway, Venezuela and the United Arab Emirates.

#3 If Wal-Mart was a nation, it would have the 23rd largest GDP in the world.

#4 Wal-Mart now sells more groceries than anyone else in America does. In the United States today, one out of every four grocery dollars is spent at Wal-Mart.

#5 Amazingly, 100 million customers shop at Wal-Mart every single week.

#6 Wal-Mart has opened more than 1,100 “supercenters” since 2005 alone.

#7 Today, Wal-Mart has more than 2 million employees.

#8 If Wal-Mart was an army, it would be the second largest military on the planet behind China.

#9 Wal-Mart is the largest employer in 25 different U.S. states.

#10 According to the Economic Policy Institute, trade between Wal-Mart and China resulted in the loss of 133,000 manufacturing jobs in the United States between 2001 and 2006.

#11 The CEO of Wal-Mart makes more in a single hour than a full-time Wal-Mart associate makes in an entire year.

#12 Tens of thousands of Wal-Mart employees and their children are enrolled in Medicaid and are dependent on the government for healthcare.

#13 Between 2001 and 2007, the value of products that Wal-Mart imported from China grew from $9 billion to $27 billion.

#14 Sadly, about 85 percent of all the products sold at Wal-Mart are made outside of the United States.

#15 It is being reported that about 80 percent of all Wal-Mart suppliers are in China at this point.

#16 Amazingly, 96 percent of all Americans now live within 20 miles of a Wal-Mart.

#17 The number of “independent retailers” in the United States declined by 60,000 between 1992 and 2007.

#18 According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Wal-Mart spent 7.8 million dollars on political lobbying during 2011. That number does not even include campaign contributions.

#19 Today, Wal-Mart has five times the sales of the second largest U.S. retailer (Costco).

#20 The combined net worth of six members of the Walton family is roughly equal to the combined net worth of the poorest 30 percent of all Americans.

All over the country, independent retailers are going out of business because they cannot compete with Wal-Mart and their super cheap Chinese products. Often communities will give Wal-Mart huge tax breaks just to move in to their areas. But what many communities don’t take into account is that the introduction of a Wal-Mart is often absolutely devastating to small businesses….

A study of small and rural towns in Iowa showed lost sales for local businesses ranging from -17.2% in small towns to -61.4% in rural areas, amounting to a total dollar loss of $2.46 BILLION over a 13-year period.

When we buy stuff made by people working for slave labor wages in China, we destroy good paying American jobs and we make America poorer. This is a point that I have tried to make over and over.

Wal-Mart often tells one thing to the public and then does another thing in private. Sadly, the truth is that Wal-Mart does not care about U.S. manufacturing jobs. Wal-Mart just wants to get products as cheaply as they possibly can, and most of the time that means getting them from China.

Just check out this first-hand testimony from an 81-year-old retired apparel manufacturer….

I was president of the Southwestern Apparel Manufacturers Association. There was ameeting sometime between 1985 and 1990. Walmart had contacted our organization and asked if they could meet with us at our beautiful Apparel Mart we had here in Dallas, which has now been razed, because all the independent merchants don’t exist that used to come to it. Two people from Walmart came down and they said they were going to be sourcing goods from overseas and we would have to meet those prices for consumer products and to get ready for it—we are going to be sourcing the world. Walmart was the only company that came out and said this.

It was sort of shocking: I was selling them some merchandise at the time. On the back of their trucks it was saying ‘Bring it Back to America!’ They had the big ‘keep it in America’ program going at that time on the big signs in the stores. Meanwhile when I reminded the buyer of that, she told me, ‘that is just for domestic consumption, we’re going to buy at the cheapest we can anywhere on earth.’

As I have written about previously, the United States has lost more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

We are losing millions of good jobs that cannot be replaced. If you can believe it, the United States has actually lost an average of about 50,000 manufacturing jobs a month since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001.

Last year, the U.S. trade deficit with China was the biggest trade deficit that one nation has had with another nation in the history of the world, and Wal-Mart played a huge role in that.

In fact, Wal-Mart has actually been forcing some U.S. manufacturers to pack up and move overseas. The following is from a recent article by Amy Traub….

Walmart’s market power is so immense that the even the largest suppliers must comply with its demands for lower and lower prices because they cannot afford to have their goods taken off its shelves. Companies that used to manufacture products in the United States, from Levi’s jeans to lock maker Master Lock, were pressured to shut their U.S. factories and moved manufacturing abroad to meet Walmart’s demand for low prices.

Unfortunately, the vast wealth that Wal-Mart is sucking out of our communities is not put back into our communities. The profits are funneled out to Wal-Mart executives and shareholders. We may enjoy the low prices, but very little of the money that we give to Wal-Mart gets recycled in our local areas.

In the old days, you could actually support a family selling electronics or running a general store. But you can’t support a family working at Wal-Mart. The vast majority of the jobs that Wal-Mart creates are very low paying. Large numbers of Wal-Mart employees are actually on welfare, and this is part of the reason why we have seen such an explosion in the number of the working poor in America.

At this point, more than 40 percent of all jobs in America are low wage jobs and the middle class is rapidly disappearing.

If we do not support American jobs and American manufacturers they will continue to go away and the welfare rolls in this country will continue to explode.

There is not going to be any prosperity in this country without jobs. Unfortunately, most Americans simply do not understand how good jobs are being systematically destroyed in America every single day.

The path that America is headed on today is only going to end in complete and total disaster. We are being transformed from a wealthy nation into a poor nation. In the end, we will be dominated by a very tiny elite and everyone else will either be among the working poor or will be totally dependent on the government.

Our system is supposed to be about open, honest competition. But that is not what Wal-Mart is about. Wal-Mart is about crushing small businesses and manufacturers here in America and getting us all to buy their super cheap Chinese-made goods.

The saddest part? The original founder, Sam Walton, based his company on all-American values. He insisted on only selling USA-made goods and ran his operation with such remarkable skill that the company took off. How far, now, the values from the original ethos behind the company.

So what do all of you think about Wal-Mart? Please feel free to post a comment with your thoughts below….

This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog.  Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.

27 Astonishing Things That Every American Should Know About The National Debt

27 Things That Every American Should Know About The National Debt

The U.S. government has racked up an insane debt of $15,876,457,645,132.66 which has a devastating consequence on future generations of Americans. We continue to add well over a hundred million dollars to that total every single day day. The 15 trillion dollar binge that we have been on over the past 30 years has fueled the greatest standard of living (on cheap imported goods) the world has ever seen, but this wonderful prosperity that we have been enjoying has been a lie. It isn’t real.

Most people cannot really conceptualize a trillion dollars. Imagine a football field stacked nine feet high in hundred dollar bills. Yes. That much. Check out this astonishing infographic just to get your head around the insanity of this: http://usdebt.kleptocracy.us/

We have been living way above our means for so long that we do not have any idea of what “normal” actually is anymore. But every debt addict hits “the wall” eventually, and the same thing is going to happen to us as a nation. At some point the weight of our national debt is going to cause our financial system to implode, and every American will feel the pain of that collapse. Under our current system, there is no mathematical way that this debt can ever be paid back. The road that we are on will either lead to default or to hyperinflation. We have piled up the biggest debt in the history of the world, and if there are future generations of Americans they will look back and curse us for what we did to them. We like to think of ourselves as much wiser than previous generations of Americans, but the truth is that we have been so foolish that it is hard to put it into words.

Whenever I do an article about the national debt, Democrats leave comments blaming the Republicans and Republicans leave comments blaming the Democrats.

Well you know what? Both parties are to blame. Both of them get a failing grade.

If the Republicans really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.

If the Democrats really wanted to stop the federal government from running up all this debt they could have done it.

So let’s not pretend that one of the political parties is “the hero” in this little drama.

The damage has been done, and both parties will go down in history as being grossly negligent on fiscal issues during this period of American history.

Sadly, neither party is showing any signs of changing their ways. They both talk about how the budget will be balanced “someday”, but as we have seen so many times in the past, “someday” never comes.

I didn’t mean to get all political in this article, but the truth is that the national debt threatens to destroy everything that previous generations have built, and our politicians continue to give us nothing but excuses.

The following are 27 things that every American should know about the national debt….

#1 It took more than 200 years for the U.S. national debt to reach 1 trillion dollars. In 1986, the U.S. national debt reached 2 trillion dollars. In 1992, the U.S. national debt reached 4 trillion dollars. In 2005, the U.S. national debt doubled again and reached 8 trillion dollars. Now the U.S. national debt is about to cross the 16 trillion dollar mark. How long can this kind of exponential growth go on?

#2 If the average interest rate on U.S. government debt rises to just 7 percent, the U.S. government will find itself spending more than a trillion dollars per year just on interest on the national debt.

#3 If right this moment you went out and started spending one dollar every single second, it would take you more than 31,000 years to spend one trillion dollars.

#4 Since Barack Obama entered the White House, the U.S. national debt has increased by an average of more than $64,000 per taxpayer.

#5 Barack Obama became the first president to run deficits of more than a trillion dollars during each of his first four years in office.

#6 If you were alive when Jesus Christ was born and you spent one million dollars every single day since that point, you still would not have spent one trillion dollars by now.

#7 The U.S. national debt has increased by more than 1.6 trillion dollars since the Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives. So far, this Congress has added more to the national debt than the first 97 Congresses combined.

#8 During the Obama administration, the U.S. government has accumulated more new debt than it did from the time that George Washington became president to the time that Bill Clinton became president.

#9 If Bill Gates gave every single penny of his fortune to the U.S. government, it would only cover the U.S. budget deficit for 15 days.

#10 As Bill Whittle has shown, you could take every single penny that every American earns above $250,000 and it would only fund about 38 percent of the federal budget.

#11 Today, the government debt to GDP ratio in the United States is well over 100 percent.

#12 A recently revised IMF policy paper entitled “An Analysis of U.S. Fiscal and Generational Imbalances: Who Will Pay and How?” projects that U.S. government debt will rise to about 400 percent of GDP by the year 2050.

#13 The United States already has more government debt per capita than Greece, Portugal, Italy, Ireland or Spain does.

#14 At this point, the United States government is responsible for more than a third of all the government debt in the entire world.

#15 The amount of U.S. government debt held by foreigners is about 5 times larger than it was just a decade ago.

#16 The U.S. national debt is now more than 22 times larger than it was when Jimmy Carter became president.

#17 It is being projected that the U.S. national debt will surpass 23 trillion dollars in 2015.

#18 Mandatory federal spending surpassed total federal revenue for the first time ever in fiscal 2011. That was not supposed to happen until 50 years from now.

#19 Between 2007 and 2010, U.S. GDP grew by only 4.26%, but the U.S. national debt soared by 61% during that same time period.

#20 The U.S. government has total assets of 2.7 trillion dollars and has total liabilities of 17.5 trillion dollars. The liabilities do not even count 4.7 trillion dollars of intragovernmental debt that is currently outstanding.

#21 U.S. households are now actually receiving more money directly from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#22 The U.S. government is wasting your money on some of the stupidest things imaginable. For example, in 2011 the National Institutes of Health spent $592,527 on a study that sought to figure out once and for all why chimpanzees throw poop.

#23 If the federal government used GAAP accounting standards like publicly traded corporations do, the real federal budget deficit for last year would have been 5 trillion dollars instead of 1.3 trillion dollars.

#24 The Federal Reserve purchased approximately 61 percent of all government debt issued by the U.S. Treasury Department during 2011.

#25 At this point, the U.S. national debt is more than 5000 times larger than it was when the Federal Reserve was first created.

#26 If the federal government began right at this moment to repay the U.S. national debt at a rate of one dollar per second, it would take over 480,000 years to completely pay off the national debt.

#27 The official government debt figure does not even account for massive unfunded liabilities that the U.S. government will be hit with in the years ahead. According to Professor Laurence J. Kotlikoff, the U.S. government is facing a future “fiscal gap” of more than 200 trillion dollars.

As the U.S. economy continues to crumble, even more Americans are going to become financially dependent on the federal government.

For example, spending on food stamps has doubled since 2008. Millions of Americans have lost their jobs and have needed some assistance from the government. Since Obama became president the number of Americans on food stamps has gone from 32 million to 46 million.

But the Obama administration believes that a lot more Americans should be enrolled in the food stamp program. The Obama administration is now spending millions of dollars on ads that urge even more people to sign up for food stamps. In fact, their efforts to get even more Americans to sign up for food stamps have become very creative….

The government has been targeting Spanish speakers with radio “novelas” promoting food stamp usage as part of a stated mission to increase participation in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or food stamps.

Each novela, comprising a 10-part series called “PARQUE ALEGRIA,” or “HOPE PARK,” presents a semi-dramatic scenario involving characters convincing others to get on food stamps, or explaining how much healthier it is to be on food stamps.

I’m all for helping those that cannot feed themselves, but do we really need to run ads urging more people to become dependent on the government?

Of course Obamacare is going to cause our debt to balloon in size as well. It is being projected that Obamacare will add more than 2.6 trillion dollars to the U.S. national debt over the first decade alone.

So where are we going to get all this money?

We can’t keep spending money that we do not have. We have got to prioritize. Every single category of government spending needs to be cut.

But instead we feel like we can keep ripping off future generations of Americans and that we will always be able to get away with it.

What we have done to our children and our grandchildren is beyond criminal.

The truth is that we should have listened to the warnings of our founding fathers about government debt. For example, Thomas Jefferson once said that if he could add just one more amendment to the U.S. Constitution it would be a complete ban on all borrowing by the federal government….

I wish it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our Constitution. I would be willing to depend on that alone for the reduction of the administration of our government to the genuine principles of its Constitution; I mean an additional article, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing.

Where would we be today if we had taken the advice of Thomas Jefferson?

That is something to think about.

This article is released by www.theeconomiccollapseblog.com

37 Things You Should Hoard

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