26 May 2009

Obama Stimulates Survival Economy

Across the United States, Americans are stocking up for the coming hard times. In cities and suburbs from coast to coast, stock brokers, physicians, accountants and small business owners are preparing for empty supermarket shelves and food riots in the coming age of scarcity.
Six months ago, Jim Wiseman didn't even have a spare nutrition bar in his kitchen cabinet.

Now, the 54-year-old businessman and father of five has a backup generator, a water filter, a grain mill and a 4-foot-tall pile of emergency food tucked in his home in the expensive San Diego suburb of La Jolla.

Wiseman isn't alone. Emergency supply retailers and military surplus stores nationwide have seen business boom in the past few months as an increasing number of Americans spooked by the economy rush to stock up on gear that was once the domain of hardcore survivalists.

These people snapping up everything from water purification tablets to thermal blankets shatter the survivalist stereotype: they are mostly urban professionals with mortgages, SUVs, solid jobs and a twinge of embarrassment about their newfound hobby.

From teachers to real estate agents, these budding emergency gurus say the dismal economy has made them prepare for financial collapse as if it were an oncoming Category 5 hurricane. They worry about rampant inflation, runs on banks, bare grocery shelves and widespread power failures that could make taps run dry.

... Joe Branin, owner of the online emergency supply store Living Fresh, said he's seen a 700 percent increase in orders for water purification tablets in the past month and a similar increase in orders for sterile water pouches.

He is shipping meals ready to eat and food bars by the case to residential addresses nationwide.

"You're hearing from the people you will always hear from, who will build their own bunkers and stuff," he said. "But then you're hearing from people who usually wouldn't think about this, but now it's in their heads: 'What if something comes to the worst?'"

Online interest in survivalism has increased too. The niche Web site SurvivalBlog.com has seen its page views triple in the past 14 months to nearly 137,000 unique visitors a week. Jim Rawles, a self-described survivalist who runs the site, calls the newcomers "11th hour believers." He charges $100 an hour for phone consulting on emergency preparedness and says that business also has tripled.

"There's so many people who are concerned about the economy that there's a huge interest in preparedness, and it pretty much crosses all lines, social, economic, political and religious," he said. "There's a steep learning curve going on right now." _Breitbart
Americans do not know quite what to expect from their inexperienced, seemingly inept new government, so they are wisely stocking up on guns, ammunition, food, water purification, medicines, power generation equipment, hard currencies and barter supplies. The smarter ones are sharpening skills apt to be much in demand during an extended Obama depression.

Not since President Carter has the survival hum been so loud across all parts of the US. Americans are increasingly sensing incompetence in their leadership, as they did in the late 1970s. In times of hunger and scarcity, all people lose their emotional equilibrium. But highly divided societies -- such as the current US -- are apt to lose their equilibrium quite quickly in a crisis. That is why people are stocking up.

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