Our family is pretty serious about preparedness. Yes, we have a year’s supply of wheat stored away, and a hand grinder so we can make flour. We have solar power and solar hot water; they don’t provide everything we need, but they help. We have medical supplies and ammunition. This seems like common sense when you live out in the middle of nowhere. The power used to fail regularly, and at times the road has been impassable.
As an accountant, I love numbers. Some of the numbers I find are pretty scary. For example, from 2000 through 2012, the U.S. GDP grew by 25%. Over the same period, the money supply, as measured by M-2, grew by 125%. The national debt more than tripled, from $5.6 trillion to $16.1 trillion. And it grew from 55% of GDP to 98% of GDP (IMF puts it at 106% of GDP). That puts our nation in the company of such stellar-performing nations as Greece, Italy, and the Sudan.
As the real estate crash rippled through the economy, the possibility of a complete economic collapse seemed very real. We began to wonder how prepared we really were. What would we do if the trucks stopped delivering to our local Walmart? What would we do without cell phones and internet? Would we survive? How?
Thus was born the idea for Ordinary World, the story of a family living much like we do, facing the collapse of the U.S. economy. Some of the challenges they face they find solutions for without too much difficulty, often because they were prepared. They are also fortunate to live in a community that helps each other, and they often find the right person or idea at just the right time. But for some challenges, there are no easy solutions. The world they live in is much less comfortable than ours, though they often describe it as far more rewarding.
I wrote Ordinary World mainly for my family, and have read it to my wife aloud several times. It has helped us look at preparedness more seriously. I can’t explain how surprised I was to find that so many other people were actually reading it! If you’re one of those people, thank you – I hope you enjoyed it. If you haven’t read it yet, I hope you’ll consider it. Whether or not you find it likely that the economy will collapse any time soon, this may suggest some new ideas for being prepared. And even if not, I hope it’s a fun read.