re: re: The Free Food Game
IMO, for some while increasing taxes will happen wherever they can be applied. It is how guvmint hopes to share the pain on the way down as long as possible. I almost discount that aspect of near-future living as a given – except for my efforts to use tax policy as much as possible to minimize my designation as one who “has excess resources.” But eventually, the taxation regime peaks, then declines, and finally all but fails. So, too, then, do the various distribution programs. No doubt life will be dark and hard for awhile, largely due to government efforts to manage the decline. At least, that’s what I am planning for.
I don’t think wood stoves will be banned for long here. First, as with gun ownership, almost all Vermonters will simply refuse to comply. Second, as oil becomes scarce and expensive, and solar panels prove inadequate to our winters, wood burning just to survive will be the fall back “necessary evil.” I expect increasing incentives to move people out of the countryside and into our more urban areas on the grounds that groups of people can be centrally provisioned with heat and light far more cheaply and “environmentally” than can dispersed persons in the country, and as climate hysteria builds the effort to corral outliers may intensify. Again, a lot of multi-generational Vermonters will simply refuse to comply, and few sheriffs are going to go along with enforcement – we already saw a significant contingent of local and state LEOs join citizens in opposing new gun control legislation. That contingent is growing. I think there’s a fair chance our small government may decide to leave stubborn country people to their own fate – complete with warnings and public safety messages aimed at getting the weak-kneed off the farm – and focus on those who move in from the cold.
Like Chris, I think the decline is going to be more slope than cliff. But he might be too optimistic about how long it’ll take to slide into real trouble. I think the pace is already increasing; at a certain point the pace of decline becomes quickly exponential. Soon after, time’s up. There’s no time left to put off preparing. Nor is any effort wasted; even if nothing bad happens (an idea I don’t believe), non-fragility is the result of greater self-reliance and self-provision.
I also think real personal liberty is only for yeomen – people who can make their own life with their own hands. To the extent someone depends on what others provide, personal freedom is compromised – that’s particularly true if one must turn to the state for provisioning of any kind, but it also applies to needing a job in someone else’s enterprise. (If one chooses to work for someone rather than having no option, that’s a different story.) Most people will heed the government’s call to collect in urban areas or other “settlement areas” because they don’t know how, nor have the resources, to produce their own lives on their own terms apart from the market economy and resources of the state. Such people are already living in a zombie freedom. They are not really free; even if for the moment the government allows and encourages them to exercise libertinism, that isn’t liberty, it’s bread and circuses.
My main task for as much of the next decade as we have remaining is to build out my plan B food forest that I have the rudiment of but have not prosecuted while redirected on getting the spice blend business to the point I can semi-automate its growth. The food forest is essential in event of a Stalin-like confiscation of garden produce, or in event the weather doesn’t cooperate enough to grow good annual food (I’m expecting cooler average temps for the next 30 years or so, based on sun spot activity), or in event the number of people we’re feeding suddenly grows – if, for example, the kids take us up on our standing invitation for them and their families to relocate here whenever they deem it prudent.