News Pandemic

When everyone has lost their minds..

My family is voluntarily ‘sheltering in place‘, I’m fortunate enough to have a job that is allowing us to work from home. I went out very early this morning and bought some groceries, but we are pretty well stocked up. I suppose in the back of my mind I want us to have more long-term food items, but I know we have more than the average household has stored, by a lot.

So as I said, we’re staying home, we’re feeling fine, no symptoms, but I think that the more people isolate themselves, the more they are losing their minds. I live in a city (which I despise) that has folks posting online, insanity like ‘The city should mandate that all rent, mortgages, utility bills, etc should be waived until this is over.’ (as if a city had that kind of power or influence over huge, national corporations.)

I work with a guy that grew up in the city I live in, I’ll be completely transparent and say that I have only lived here (originally from another state) for the last six years, but my co-worker is about my age, and he understands the mentality of the people that live here.  He said ‘The people there are phony rich, they have the big houses, and the fancy cars, but they cant afford it all, and they work paycheck to paycheck and are in debt up to their eyeballs.’

I believe him too.

So you get posts from people like the guy expecting the city to postpone financial responsibility until this pandemic is over. But when will it be over?

The city doesn’t want to shut down local businesses, and yes, Texas is probably one of the least active states as far as locking things down, but at the root of it all, I think it’s about the continuation of the retail process, the psychosis that we call consumerism. We need to buy things, and businesses depend on your addition to the shiny things.

For a while, I lived in a small town called Jefferson Indiana, it’s located on the banks of the Ohio River, and I really enjoyed living there. As you can imagine, being right next to that river, at times, flooding occurs and so years ago, the city created earthen floodgates that have intermittent openings where streets allow people access to the river bank areas, here is a picture to illustrate what I’m taking about

These floodgates are located inland a good ways, and so both neighborhoods, and, now pay attention, businesses… are located on what would be the flooded side of the gates, if the river were to rise too high.

During the time I lived there, the Ohio River rose 17 feet in 24 hours, and show no signs of stopping, the people of the town called on the Mayor to put the machine of government into motion, and have the city block off the floodgates, and protect the town. This operation is not automatic, it takes teams of men with heavy equipment to drive the gate out to the location, and then hoist it into it’s intended place. There were many of these floodgates, and so it could take a day or more to get everything completed.

But what about all the residents (and remember..) the businesses that were located on the banks of the river? Well they absolutely did NOT want those gates closed up..

‘If we lose any business, we won’t survive as a business..’ the restaurant owners were crying, and I’ll be fair, the gigantic majority of businesses on the banks of the river were food joints that offered great views.

The people that lived there, many of them, lived in historic houses that had been renovated, and had invested a LOT of money in them, they were less vocal..

The Mayor couldnt make a decision, and his position was complicated by the fact that even if he gave the all clear to install the gates, it’d take a while and by then, water could be rushing through the opened areas..

He finally decided to go with it, and they got all of the floodgates blocked up and the area actually saw very little flooding. No businesses when under, it wasnt the end of the world..

Which leads me back to current times, and being surrounded by Idiots that spent all of their money on houses they couldnt afford, and big fancy cars they cant afford, who don’t cook, but eat all of their meals out every day, that are now complaining that they want the government to further shutdown the money-eating machine in the area.

God Money don’t want everything, he wants it all.  -Trent Reznor

Have you ever felt like you were the only person in the room that actually understood what was happening? I feel like I’m the only person in the city that has a clue.

 

So, what lessons can be learned from this situation, if you (like me) are living in an area like this, we now have fantastic data that shows how the local government can be expected to fix things, in short, they cant and are largely powerless. So my takeaways are:

 

  1. Live within your means, and get rid of all your debt. This is absolutely possible, you don’t NEED a Porsche SUV..
  2. Expect NOTHING from your local government, right now we have local police operating out of a Library, because an officer tested positive for COVID19. The Police are not bound to protect you, read up on that, it’s true.
  3. Have your resources built up as well as you can, ie: food. I understand not everyone can go spend thousands of dollars on a bunker-filled with oatmeal, but you CAN buy a couple extra cans of soup, or tuna, or whatever when you go shopping, practice copy canning, it works.
  4. Expect to be responsible for your own, and your families security. Don’t expect that calling 911 will solve your problems. What happens if most of the Police Department is at home, sick with this virus? Who is rushing to your house because you heard a noise at your door at 2:00am?
  5. Make peace with whatever power, or God you have. This will get worse, it may not be the virus that makes it worse, it might be people losing control, if you think that things can get worse, then you wont be surprised if they DO get worse. Hope for the best, and expect the worst..

The government isnt here to help you, you have to see that, understand that, and accept that.. it’s here to GOVERN you, there’s no immediate benefit in helping people right now, and the only real benefit in ‘helping’ you, is to ensure you are actively paying your taxes to keep the grease on the cash-eating machine..

 

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