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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Some hardcore survivalists are convinced that a socio-economic collapse is inevitable and that it will result in a complete break down of society. They prepare for a Hobbsian world where armed criminals will be roaming the streets and countryside killing, raping and pillaging everything in their way. And while I have nothing personal against these believes, I don’t consider “prepping” for the doomsday to be high on my list of priorities. This is my story.

I was born in one of the Central Asian Soviet Republics that end with “stan” in a Russian family. Although I don’t remember much of my early childhood, I do remember that food and toys were fairly plentiful. I attended school, hung out with my friends and practiced karate. My family owned a summer cottage with a small orchard and garden and I spent my summers there living a blissful existence. I was 8 when the Soviet Union collapsed and the country became independent.

Things didn’t change much initially, but the country’s economy was going down the drain and the inflation was out of control. A lot of grocery stores have shut down as the country lost its Soviet supply system. The food coupons were issued out to ration out the food, but I don’t remember the details of those troubled times. What I do remember is the aftermath.

My grandparents had a lifelong savings account with enough money to purchase another apartment or more a brand new vehicle, however the banking system was frozen during the transitional period. When they finally got the access to the finances, the inflation turned those savings into just enough money to purchase a Sneakers candy bar. My mother lost her job as a bookkeeper and had trouble finding work. The family’s only income was my grandparents’ pensions. The pensions were pitifully small thanks to the inflation and were behind 6-7 months, but we got by.

The infrastructure remained mainly in tact. The electricity and water continued to run, the public transportation still worked and there was heat during the winter. The water companies would shut down hot water late spring and we had to boil our own for hygiene purposes. The public schools still worked and most did a great job of educating the young population. Some “nonessential” programs such as Art, music and shop were cut, but the scientific core of Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry as well as language training remained.

The “free market” economy boomed as the unemployed tried to meet ends meet by selling “in demand” items, clothing, trinkets and food. Various flee markets has sprung up in the city. The more “well off” entrepreneurs could afford a small metal connex with a display window from which they could pedal their wares. Farmer’s markets were likewise full of people selling produce, vegetables and fruit. My mother got a job selling imported sweaters for somebody else. She got a small portion of the profit for each one sold. The prices were fairly high, but were kept at reasonable levels by competition between the farmers and traders. New clothes were out of our price range, so we had to save up to buy a new pair of shoes, or wear hand me downs. My grandmother knitted and the yarn was cheap enough that we had plenty of warm clothes for the winter. My grandfather was an amateur photographer and used this skill as a way to make some extra money. It worked especially well at our summer cottage, a rustic area, where he would trade his services for milk, cream and eggs to the local farmers.

Meat was rather expensive and we could only afford to buy 2-5 pounds of meat once a month, though vegetables were more reasonably priced. Soups and pasta were a main staple of our diet, though my grandmother was able to create other dishes that tasted fairly good. We didn’t eat well, but I was never hungry. The fruits and vegetables that we cultivated during the summer helped, but made up only a small part of our intake. My grandmother made jams and pickled vegetables for the winter months, though most of ingredients that she used, were bought at the markets.

There was very little violent crime, though burglary and theft were very high. We were never robbed, mainly because we had very little to take. Most burglars would go after rich targets. A thousand dollar reinforced door was a dead giveaway of who had the money and couldn’t stopped a crafty and determined burglar.

Life wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t all gloom and doom. We didn’t have much, but that didn’t stop us from being happy. We appreciated small things and didn’t let petty things let us down. Though I’ve grew accustomed to the easy life in the States, I can confidently say that my family can be happy in almost any condition.
 

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I've been poor before too. For years and years I got by on nothing jobs and farm work for other people. It sucked and I hope that I never have to go back to that lifestyle again. That's why I prep. Unemployment and economic disaster are my main concerns.
 

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Great story!

I think the biggest difference is the location and the caliber of the people. You were raised in a Soviet Republic where people knew how to eat almost anything. Your people survived Stalin and the broken promise of communism.

Here is America, we consider a "Crisis" when our cell phone drops a call. We have people taking to the streets and State houses when someone dares to suggest a 3% increase in employee contribution to their health insurance or pension funds.

We are a spoiled people, are motivations include things like "Dancing with the Stars" or "American Idol".

Ever seen a 2 year old throw a fit? Wait until you see 250 million Americans with empty refrigerators and closed Wally Marts
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
We weren't living great before the fall, but we were living comfortable. We could afford vacations 2-4 times a year and had top of the line electronics.

Most of Gen Y population is certainly spoiled, but I honestly believe that in the unlikely event the economy colapses, they will learn how to Soldier up.

That's the thing about the humanity, we can adapt to almost anything.
 

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Agree

We weren't living great before the fall, but we were living comfortable. We could afford vacations 2-4 times a year and had top of the line electronics.

Most of Gen Y population is certainly spoiled, but I honestly believe that in the unlikely event the economy colapses, they will learn how to Soldier up.

That's the thing about the humanity, we can adapt to almost anything.
This sounds like the barber shop.
"This younger generation......"
I agree economic collapse is unlikely,and people get too depressed when they listen too only the MSM,recessions are just part of the business cycle.
 

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Great story

I agree with what your saying but I think that it will take some time before folks learn to adapt to the new way it is. Yes we are spoiled but in the long run we will soldier up and learn to live the way we have to to survive. I don't think the majority of people will just roll over and die.
 

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I agree economic collapse is unlikely...
I believe that an economic collapse is a 100% certainty. The USA is broke at every level (federal, state, city). Our idiot politicians in Washington D.C. are arguing about the "drastic" $61 Billion cuts the republicans are promoting. That $61 Billion is not even as much as the INCREASE in the projected current deficit SINCE DECEMBER. As you may recall, the projected current year deficit given by the government in December was $1.45 TRILLION - now it is $1.65 TRILLION. The $61 Billion Republican cuts are only 1/4th of the increase!!!

I'll be very surprised if we make it to the end of the year without a total collapse. Time is running out.
 

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We weren't living great before the fall, but we were living comfortable. We could afford vacations 2-4 times a year and had top of the line electronics.

Most of Gen Y population is certainly spoiled, but I honestly believe that in the unlikely event the economy colapses, they will learn how to Soldier up.

That's the thing about the humanity, we can adapt to almost anything.

It's not just gen Y but even baby boomers have had, for the most part, an easy life.

The people from the Great Depression are mostly gone or so old their kids want to put them in the 'old folks home' just so they don't have to deal with them.

We've grown up in a disposable society.

Some have known hardship but not that many. Ohioman is right. Watch the news and see folks beating up employees at McDonald's because they're out of chicken nuggets or something.

With the possibility of an economic downturn look for cuts to eventually being cut in all the entitlements. Half our country gets some so you're looking at 150 million upset people. Folks are already on edge and we really haven't even started very far on the downward trend.

I think it'll get very bad in the near future. Maybe not this year but certainly in the next decade.
 

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Prepared Firebird
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Great story

I agree with what your saying but I think that it will take some time before folks learn to adapt to the new way it is. Yes we are spoiled but in the long run we will soldier up and learn to live the way we have to to survive. I don't think the majority of people will just roll over and die.
*********************

Soldier up???? Don't make me laugh.

It is much more likely that at least 50% will freeze in place like a deer in the headlights and wait for government to save them. They will wait for the cavalry to come over the hill until they are too weak and disoriented to do anything to save themselves.

Denial of reality is widespread in America.
 

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Here is America, we consider a "Crisis" when our cell phone drops a call. We have people taking to the streets and State houses when someone dares to suggest a 3% increase in employee contribution to their health insurance or pension funds.
The protests are about a bit more than that, my friend.

If it were only about the increases in contributions, Wisconsin would probably have a budget bill passed.

I'm one of those people who will pay more. For years it's been the case that we've forgone higher pay for better benefits; now we'll simply be paid less, which is what I'll see in my paychecks as take home pay.

But most have accepted that this is necessary; the other elements of Walker's approach, including but not limited to busting the unions, is what the protesting is about.


Karl Marx predicted capitalism would fail, but he was wrong because A) he didn't realize that a capitalist society requires an educated labor force which can demand higher wages, and B) he never foresaw the rise of labor unions which ultimately defined what a middle class wage meant.

Now, we're seeing a dismantling of the educational system, and a systematic attack on unions. I used to teach that so long as those two conditions above held, Marx would forever be wrong. Those two factors created a large middle class, and middle classes don't foment revolution.

Guess what I teach now.


It's all a grand experiment. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. Meanwhile, I'm so very glad my children are done with the public school system. Those of you with young children, you have my sympathies.
 
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Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience with us. It is interesting and fascinating to hear from people who have grown up outside the spoiled borders we call America. I can certainly understand how your family adapted so well in the face of adversity and think there are lessons to learn from your experiences. However having been born and raised here in the good ole USA I think things will be much different for us. We have generations of people who are used to and feel entitled to help from the government when things aren't exactly going as they planned. We have generations of young kids/teenagers/young adults who can barely read or write, who have no basic skills or common sense, and are who think a tragedy is when the can't get cell phone coverage.
You were lucky you had extended family members who knew how to cook with limited resources, who knew how to knit, who knew how to do without. I think you have greatly overestimated just well Americans will adjust. In my opinion I think people will resort to the worse side of themselves in an attempt to salvage any type of normal lifestyle. I don't think the soccer mom down the street who has her blackberry surgically implanted into her ear will know how to cope and I don't think the more deviant types of our society will be willing to play nicey nicey in the face of tshtf.
Thank you for seeing Americans differently than me unfortunatley I just don't share your optimism.
 

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Good story! but there is one thing I wish to remind everyone about the differences of the situation in that story and what we are facing today.

1 - This is a global meltdown that is taking place not a regional one.

2 - America and Europe have a lynch pin called oil, Russia, a net exporter of oil did not have that problem.

3 - Russia had and still has a sense of Nationalism that all of the major cities in America DO NOT HAVE. {Patriotism will bring people together, while Race / economic / political strife has divided America.}

4 - The standard of living for those in Russian cities was far lower than it is in America Today. {The advancements in technology in the last 20+ years contribute to that factor as well as the economic growth America has gone through in the late 90's and in the mid 2000's. In other words we have had 20 years of growth on top of the disparity that was in existence then.}

just my 2 cents... take it or leave it, your choice.
 

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Some hardcore survivalists are convinced that a socio-economic collapse is inevitable and that it will result in a complete break down of society. They prepare for a Hobbsian world where armed criminals will be roaming the streets and countryside killing, raping and pillaging everything in their way. And while I have nothing personal against these believes, I don’t consider “prepping” for the doomsday to be high on my list of priorities. This is my story.
You don't really want to burst the bubble now do you?;)

Life wasn’t easy, but it wasn’t all gloom and doom. We didn’t have much, but that didn’t stop us from being happy. We appreciated small things and didn’t let petty things let us down. Though I’ve grew accustomed to the easy life in the States, I can confidently say that my family can be happy in almost any condition.
How would your life be now if you stayed?

The problem is the US of A is still the beacon of hope to the world, we go down that hope goes with it. Then how will people of the world react? No hope No escape just despair.
 

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Thank you for your story. I can see why you are a survivor. It is in your blood now. Just as it is in mine too - though for different reasons.

What I had and what you had, it seems to me, was family. We had strong ties and the children, much as we may have hated it way back when, had discipline - and we were taught respect. So when there were hard times, we naturally pulled together.

Unfortunately, I think the real difference in western society today comes down to the basic absence of the above. My parents instilled in me and my siblings the same things that the next door neighbours instilled in theirs. They raised us with love but also with a firm hand and that approach was also followed by everyone around us, and sanctioned by society as a whole. Today, that is no longer the truth in many families, and definitely not in society as a whole.

When I raised my daughter, I fought a losing battle on the 'respect for authority' front. The teachers at school told her to call them by their first names. There was no 'discipline' there and kids were taught to scream to anyone who would listen if even sent to their rooms as punishment for unruly behaviour. If I had spanked her adorable little bottom for running across the street in front of passing cars, I would have been chastised openly. I was not backed by society for wanting to ensure my daughter lived up to her abilities. She was given 'extra' marks just for being 'present' or knowing how to put her name on the paper. She could have been an A student but why bother since the school was going to pass anyone who had a heartbeat and who showed up half of the time - 'no child left behind' no matter how little effort they put into anything. :(

Things have changed. Many families will not 'pull together'. It is not just about people not having basic survival skills imho. It is about the loss of cohesive 'family' and a supportive society too.
 

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Great story

I agree with what your saying but I think that it will take some time before folks learn to adapt to the new way it is. Yes we are spoiled but in the long run we will soldier up and learn to live the way we have to to survive. I don't think the majority of people will just roll over and die.
I'm sure there will be a few that will soldier up in time. But there are far too many that simply won't because the conditioning runs to deep. It's going to be a very dangerous time indeed as long as these types are still running around in panic, doing whatever they have to do to survive. Even the ones that do soldier up in time are going to be a threat until they do. It's going to sort the men from the boys, and unfortunately there are a lot of boys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Thank you very much for sharing your personal experience with us. It is interesting and fascinating to hear from people who have grown up outside the spoiled borders we call America. I can certainly understand how your family adapted so well in the face of adversity and think there are lessons to learn from your experiences. However having been born and raised here in the good ole USA I think things will be much different for us. We have generations of people who are used to and feel entitled to help from the government when things aren't exactly going as they planned. We have generations of young kids/teenagers/young adults who can barely read or write, who have no basic skills or common sense, and are who think a tragedy is when the can't get cell phone coverage.
You were lucky you had extended family members who knew how to cook with limited resources, who knew how to knit, who knew how to do without. I think you have greatly overestimated just well Americans will adjust. In my opinion I think people will resort to the worse side of themselves in an attempt to salvage any type of normal lifestyle. I don't think the soccer mom down the street who has her blackberry surgically implanted into her ear will know how to cope and I don't think the more deviant types of our society will be willing to play nicey nicey in the face of tshtf.
Thank you for seeing Americans differently than me unfortunatley I just don't share your optimism.
It might be just the circle of people that I keep around me, but they are all outstanding people. And they are in the 20-28 year old demographic. Some of my blue collar friends are more mechanically inclined, but other college educated friends know a thing or ten about hunting and fishing and how to wire up a house correctly or fix a broken engine. I've several female friends that like to knit and croche, and they do it as a hobby, another one can outshoot 99% of the posters on these boards.

A lot of problems with the young generation is that their parents let TV and schools do all the parenting. And then they wonder why there is a disconnect in the family. My younger brother is like that, nothing against my mother she worked her whole life to raise us, but he seems to care more about video games then anything else. So one day, when I was visiting home I took him fishing and for the remainder of my visit he kept bugging me to go and do more fishing. The interest is there, it's up to the parents to nurture it.

Good story! but there is one thing I wish to remind everyone about the differences of the situation in that story and what we are facing today.

1 - This is a global meltdown that is taking place not a regional one.

2 - America and Europe have a lynch pin called oil, Russia, a net exporter of oil did not have that problem.

3 - Russia had and still has a sense of Nationalism that all of the major cities in America DO NOT HAVE. {Patriotism will bring people together, while Race / economic / political strife has divided America.}

4 - The standard of living for those in Russian cities was far lower than it is in America Today. {The advancements in technology in the last 20+ years contribute to that factor as well as the economic growth America has gone through in the late 90's and in the mid 2000's. In other words we have had 20 years of growth on top of the disparity that was in existence then.}

just my 2 cents... take it or leave it, your choice.
Unfortunatly I didn't live in Russia. Russia and certain republics that had alot of natural resources faired far better then my country.

My country had a sense of nationalism, but most Russian people that lived there didn't share the sentiment. Racism was a dirty little secret of the Soviet Union. Russians have a stereotype for every ethnicity in the former Soviet Union, none of which were positive. Russians consider other cultures to be inferior, it didn't help that my country's sense of nationalism was deeply rooted in ethnic pride. Last time I checked, the demographics changed from 30% Russians before the fall, to just under 5% now.

While the standard of living was definetly lower then it is in America today, we lived comfortably, think lower middle class. After the colapse, we were living below poverty line by American standards. It was a pretty drastic change, yet everybody adapted.
You don't really want to burst the bubble now do you?;)


How would your life be now if you stayed?

The problem is the US of A is still the beacon of hope to the world, we go down that hope goes with it. Then how will people of the world react? No hope No escape just despair.
I'd imagine it would be different. I would be in Russia, because we have some relatives there who would help us set up. Standard of living in Russia is currently fairly high, don't care what you think about Putin, but he got a good handle on the speculants that tried to bankrupt the country. I'd imagine I would study to be a lawyer and work for my greatuncle and live fairly comforatble.
 

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The protests are about a bit more than that, my friend.

If it were only about the increases in contributions, Wisconsin would probably have a budget bill passed.

I'm one of those people who will pay more. For years it's been the case that we've forgone higher pay for better benefits; now we'll simply be paid less, which is what I'll see in my paychecks as take home pay.

But most have accepted that this is necessary; the other elements of Walker's approach, including but not limited to busting the unions, is what the protesting is about.


Karl Marx predicted capitalism would fail, but he was wrong because A) he didn't realize that a capitalist society requires an educated labor force which can demand higher wages, and B) he never foresaw the rise of labor unions which ultimately defined what a middle class wage meant.

Now, we're seeing a dismantling of the educational system, and a systematic attack on unions. I used to teach that so long as those two conditions above held, Marx would forever be wrong. Those two factors created a large middle class, and middle classes don't foment revolution.

Guess what I teach now.


It's all a grand experiment. It'll be interesting to see how it turns out. Meanwhile, I'm so very glad my children are done with the public school system. Those of you with young children, you have my sympathies.
Sorry Sir, I 100% disagree on nearly everything!

Your in luck, I made 22K less last year than the year before, so I'm not that impressed with the "Union Screams" of "help us"!!!

You would also be glad to hear I am married to a forced Unionized Teacher for over 20 years. She wants nothing more than to rid herself of this out-dated, overbearing, cash sucking pig called the "Union".

She hopes before she retires to see this pathetic dinosaur finally killed off and join the rest of the 90% of Americans who are proudly NON-UNION!!

Sorry we disagree!
 
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