We touched on some of these topics earlier in posts like “Charlie’s Plan B“, but I want to revisit the topic of being prepared for “when the shit hits the fan” (WTSHTF). We have only gotten closer to another major melt down since the last time we discussed these topics. The US has made all the wrong moves, acquired more debt, continued to give corporate bailouts and ever increasing entitlements. The US now has record numbers of people on food stamps, disability and other forms of welfare. The situation is quite simply unsustainable. Any one of a number of things could trigger all kinds of mayhem from riots, to bank holidays to a complete freeze up of global financial markets and who knows if martial law might be the icing on that cake.
I don’t know about you guys but I’m voting with my feet in this election – I’m done with the US, forever. If you must vote, vote for Gary Johnson but I’m also a big supporter of the “Nobody for President” campaign. Unfortunately the US makes it really hard for it’s citizens to opt out of all their bullshit. The US is one of only two countries in the world (last I checked) that still tries to fuck its citizens with taxes even when they don’t live within the US, earn any income within the US or have any assets within the US and those taxes will certainly be increasing.
Taxes are not the only way the US really goes out of its way to make life for US citizen expats as miserable as humanly possible. They also have instruments of torture like the upcoming FATCA legislation and draconian proposals to revoke your passport just because you are suspected of owing back taxes – not convicted, but suspected of owing back taxes. As if that’s not scary enough a growing number of financial institutions outside the US don’t even want to deal with US citizens because of all the red tape and reporting requirements and this is before FATCA has taken effect, this will only get worse! You see because of the way the banking system currently works the US can hold a gun to the head of pretty much any bank in the world as long as the US Dollar is still the global reserve currency. Why? Any transaction involving US Dollars has to clear through the Federal Reserve, even if you are in Buenos Aires wiring money across the street from one bank to another, that transaction is going to clear through the Fed. What this means is the US Government gets to say “You will abide by any regulations we put forth or you will not transact in US Dollars”. That may not matter much in five to ten years but for the time being you can’t really be taken seriously as a financial institution if you’re not able to transact in US Dollars, losing that privilege is pretty much a death sentence of all but the smallest community bank and maybe even for some of them depending on what country they’re in.
So what the hell is a single dude to do about all this? Well luckily for you I’m going to give you a step by step bullet point list on what you should do. Each of the points will be (or has already been) covered in detail with a followup article, however this should get you started doing your own research on each of these important points. So without further adieu, here is the Single Dude’s Guide to Preparedness:
- Escape the corporate prison – You can’t be free if you’re chained to a desk and you can’t avoid harm if your part of the world starts to meltdown while you’re depending on an employer as your sole source of income that dictates your location. You need to become what is commonly known as a “Location Independent Person” (LIP). One way to do that is to start a business that you can run remotely, but there are other ways – The Four Hour Work Week is an entire book dedicated to that topic.
- Move abroad now – The US is no longer the land of opportunity and it isn’t going to be the land of opportunity again for some time, if ever. It also doesn’t represent a good value in terms of cost of living, taxation, etc. Moving abroad is also going to help you accomplish the next bullet point.
- Citizenship, residency and business interests in three different sovereign states – The best way to prevent a rogue government from really raining on your parade is by hedging your bets and not putting all your eggs in one basket. You can accomplish this faster than you would think. Get your livelihood and you residence outside of the US and beyond the reach of the tyrannical government.
- If you are a US citizen, get a second passport now – This one is easier said than done, unfortunately. Most of the places that were once easy to obtain a passport from have been closing the loopholes. Because the US, and many other western countries, are headed down such a disastrous road, even the most farcical banana republics have woken up to the fact that, for a US citizen, a second passport, any second passport, has significant value. You have places like St. Kitts and St. Nevis requiring you to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars even though it’s a place no sane person would want to invest a dime considering their murder rate of 38.2 per 100,000 landing them number nine on the list of highest murder rate locales in the world! This topic of course warrants it’s own article which we will put together after we’ve done a little more research. In the mean time don’t let the difficulty of this task deter you from putting together a personal plan to get you to this important goal. That little blue booklet you have will not offer you all the advantages it did in the past in the future and it could cost you lots of money or maybe even your life. A useful link in your research might be this list of countries ranked by freedom and corruption levels, incidentally New Zealand is number one and it is possible to become a citizen there but it takes time (here is an alternate, similar ranking).
- Own some hard currency and store it outside the US – In this era of global fiat toilet paper, hard currency means gold and silver. Where to store it is debatable, some are “bury it in your backyard” types and others are of the mindset “anywhere but a bank”, I personally tend to lean toward the latter. Other than perhaps a small amount for emergency getaway money if you still live in the US, you do not want your precious metals in a safety deposit box in the US under any circumstances. Who knows when the government will hand down some bullshit legislation instructing banks to inventory all their boxes, or worse, just confiscating your metals outright. Plus, if anything happens to you that box will be frozen and the scum in the government will take a big bite out of whatever is there before turning the scraps over to your grieving loved ones. We will be writing a followup article on how and where to buy and store gold – stay tuned, it will be super useful.
- A little bit of survival training goes a long way – Read Neil Strauss’ excellent book, “Emergency” and decide how much training is right for you. It certainly doesn’t hurt to at least be able to survive for a couple days without a microwave and running water. Purchasing and learning how to fire a gun is probably not a bad idea either if it’s legal where you live. The point is modern man has become a huge pussy that can’t deal with the world without all his modern conveniences, don’t be one of those guys, it might save your life.
- If you can afford it, buy a hideaway – A house in the countryside could be a really good investment, especially considering how little it costs in many beautiful and desirable locations. Much has been written about the topic of the ideal “bugout house” (and see here), but one thing is certain, most ideal bugout locations tend to have cheap real estate because you are expressly trying to avoid all the things that tend to make real estate expensive – i.e. places with high population density in or near large cities.
I think that about covers it. If you do all these things you will be all but bullet proof. Some of these things are easy and some are hard but all are worth looking into if not doing. There isn’t any reason a reasonably young, healthy single dude cannot accomplish all of the bullet points listed above within a one to three year time horizon. Get busy though, windows of opportunity are slamming shut everywhere as evidenced by how much harder it is to get that second passport.