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William Stoecker / January 2, 2015

The Seven Lean Years

In the Old Testament, the Hebrew Joseph has a prophetic dream and warns Egypt’s Pharaoh to prepare for “seven lean years,” which, in Egypt, would mean a prolonged drought in the Ethiopian Highlands, causing a failure of the Nile Floods that brought both water and new topsoil to Egypt’s fields. Wiser and more benevolent than America’s current leaders, the Pharaoh stockpiled grain and Egypt pulled through. But it is not a question of if, but when “lean years” will come, and America today is woefully unprepared. Far from stockpiling and preparing, creating “slack” in our economy, we have frittered away our nation’s wealth on welfare benefits, foreign aid, bailouts for huge corporations, and grants to radical groups. America is like a house where costly decorations are added to the upper floors, while the foundation is neglected, or, worse, pillaged to provide material for the decorations.

The first and most obvious problem is our national debt, which is now over $18 trillion dollars, which is eighteen thousand billions, or eighteen million millions. Short of something I will suggest later, there is no way to repay this debt, owed to huge banks, often foreign. We must pay interest on this debt, and, as it grows due to deficit spending (our yearly deficit is well over $479 billion), the interest becomes an ever-larger part of our annual budget. Sooner or later the banks will no longer agree to loan to us, or, at least, will loan at a higher interest rate, and this could well trigger a collapse of the entire house of cards. It is no comfort at all to know that America is not alone; all the major nations are deeply indebted. To our national debt add the debts of state and local governments within the US, and the indebtedness of many of the citizens, including the huge student loan debt – some estimates show it to be over a trillion dollars.

Then there are the “unfunded liabilities”; the amount in this case is open to interpretation. Basically, Social Security and Medicare and other entitlements are projected to cost more and more, but the money to pay these future entitlements simply is not there. We might drastically reduce payments to future retirees, and even do a bit of “income redistribution” by lowering the amount of the highest benefits. We might curtail or even eliminate benefits to spouses, children, widows, and widowers. We might reform the corrupt disability program, where leftist hearing judges award benefits to people with little or no impairment (I speak from experience here, having been a Claims Representative for the Social Security Administration). But I predict that our glorious leaders, thinking no further ahead than the next election, will do none of the above.

And then there are the derivatives. The finance “industry,” like the legal profession or Herr Gruber (architect of Obama Care), deliberately makes everything as complex and confusing as possible to confound us peasants, but derivatives are a class of very risky but high-return investments, which Wikipedia defines as “futures contracts or options, which are derived from other forms of assets.” As of 2008 outstanding derivatives in Futures Markets totaled $81 trillion worldwide, and over the counter outstanding derivatives in 2009 totaled $615 trillion, a total of almost $700 trillion. The nine largest US banks have a $200 trillion derivatives exposure, three times the entire global economy. This does not mean that all of this will be lost, just that these are risky investments, and the FDIC cannot cover more than a fraction of the costs if there are widespread bank failures. Banks have become even more reckless since the 2008 crash. The 1933 Glass-Steagall Act prevented commercial banks (but not investment banks) from such risky ventures, but it was effectively repealed in 1999. What this means is that if the major banks suffer massive losses, the bank accounts of ordinary citizens will be lost, just as in 1929 and the years following.

Then there is the nation’s infrastructure – roads, dams, bridges, canals, water and sewer mains, and the electrical grid. As of 2013 the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) gave America’s infrastructure a grade of D+, and estimated that it would cost us $3.6 trillion to repair it fully.

Obviously, any act of terrorism or natural disaster could set off a chain reaction that would result in massive loss of life, and impoverishment for the survivors, as well as giving our current regime an excuse for martial law. Our power grid is vulnerable to Electromagnetic Pulse, or EMP. Massive earthquakes can happen anywhere, not just in California – the Cascadia Subduction Zone in the Pacific Northwest and the New Madrid Fault Zone in the Midwest are particularly scary. Drought, like the one we are presently suffering in the West, could well trigger a collapse. Another volcanic eruption could do it; Mt. Shasta could cut Interstate Five, our major north-south corridor on the West Coast, as well as the rail lines, power, and phone lines. Even a large meteor impact in the wrong place is a very real possibility.

We might possibly eradicate the national debt by the sale of the federal government’s vast land holdings, particularly in the Western states. Based on a fair appraisal of its value, the land might be deeded over to the banks holding the debt – with strings attached. For example, a foreign bank would, among other things, have to hire American citizens for any construction or development, and offer any oil, gas, etc. for sale here in America at current market costs. We could do this, and we could solve our other problems as well – but we won’t. Our current ruling elites will not bother to address any of these concerns; Obama has even refused to harden our grid against EMP. Rather than mocking preppers as conspiracy theorists, we citizens should follow their example. We must take care of ourselves, for no one else will.

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