The 10 Fragile Systems that can get you killed
Have you ever stood on or rode something that seemed stable to you, but after you got on it, said “Woe, I almost broke my neck on that thing”. The first time I ever rode a horse was like that. It was a real nice friendly horse and we got along well but once our guide took us from the beginner trail onto the advanced trail, things got a little hairy and old Betsy almost backed off a cliff. First and last time I ever rode a horse. I was real comfortable riding her, but once the terrain changed, the risk had increased without me being able to have control over the outcome. We can be doing that every day and not even know about it. When all things being equal becomes not so equal, the systems we really on being stable become a death trap to us. We live complex lives; we rely on things to work without having to worry about how it all works. These 10 system are things we rely on every day to make our lives easier but they are becoming our worst nightmare.
#1 – The Financial System
Today most people are aware of how the financial system and economy can drastically affect their lives. Most people know the hardship of what’s been called the great recession. If they haven’t lost their jobs or experienced a devaluation in their net worth, they undoubtedly know someone who has been. As I write this, the stock markets indexes are at record highs and the value of the dollar is also relatively high and we are told unemployment is going down. Can’t we assume that we are in a lasting recovery when these indicators look so favorable? It would be a mistake to rely on these as a measure of financial health. Many of the problems with our financial system have been swept under the rug. The patches to the system, Quantitative Easing, and near zero interest rate policy have only papered over our problems and put off our day of reckoning. One of the biggest problems facing the world is a $600 trillion derivatives time bomb. A derivative is a highly leveraged financial instrument that combines one or more underlying assent. What’s the problem here? Well the worlds GDP is only 65 trillion. Imagine 600 people playing a game musical chairs with 65 seats; people may drop out from exhaustion but its all well and good with no losers as long as the music keeps playing. What keeps the music playing? Money printing and Inflation through–you guessed it–QE and ZIRP. Monetary polices don’t provide more chairs. In fact, it takes them away. It only allows the music to play on. All it will take is a big bank or two to go under to get the dominoes all falling into one another. So what’s the harm in inflation? It’s robbery–pure and simple–you and I as ordinary individuals need to work for our money. Central bank are printing money out of thin air to give to the banks to keep them afloat. The money we save from our work and effort doesn’t buy as much today as it can tomorrow. You may ask how come we aren’t seeing wild inflation in the things we buy if so much money is being printed. Good question… one, we can see the money being used to re-inflate the stock market but also because inflation is being exported to other countries as well as hidden through tinkering with the measures of inflation. In the US, we have benefited from being the world reserve currency. For other countries to buy and sell real commodities and assets, they need to do their transactions in US dollars. Other countries act like a sponge to absorb the dollars we print. As a result, our standard of living in the US has been better than others countries. Our allies that are closer to the water spigot also benefit. So what happens when the other countries don’t want to play by our rules? The vacuum that was switched to suck to take our dollars suddenly goes to blow. All those excess dollars will come home to us in a tsunami of hyper inflation. This very thing is happening as we speak, the BRICS countries (Brazil Russia India China and South Africa) are banding together with other countries to set up an alternative trade system that doesn’t rely on the US dollar. Can you say “uh oh”?
#2 – Food System
Every day we go to the grocery stores, we expect the things we need to plentifully stocked on the shelves. The only glimpse we get of scarcity is when bad weather approaches; supplies of bread and milk quickly disappear from the shelf. There aren’t warehouses that stock the essentials close to the stores any more. Supermarkets are only stocked with 3 days worth of food. Goods are stored in a sense in the transportation system, Just In Time inventories bring the goods “Just in the Time” they are needed. This is an efficient system of supply that doesn’t need the cost of warehousing goods. But this only works if the cost of transportation is low and stable. As we will learn later, our systems of cheap energy and transportation are not to be relied on and our prices are also stabilized in the US by the dollar trade system, or as its called when its applied to oil and gas, the petrodollar. When we go to the supermarket we can find apples from New Zealand, Strawberries from Chile, and coffee from Africa. Without a cheap cost of energy and a dollar trade settlement, these niceties from across the globe would be cost prohibitive.
Just imagine the most horrible living condition for animals, then imagine it 10 times worse.
Now that brings us next to what is refereed to as food. The stream lining of supply extends into what are still called farms. Although what they refer to as farms is far different from what we picture in our heads or what we see on commercials and packaging. “Farms” and the “Food” they produce these days are geared toward bringing down costs, got to hide that inflation, and not nourishing our bodies. If we were lucky this food would sicken us instantly, but unfortunately it degenerates us over time so as to not give a clue as to its source. No wonder people are increasingly sicker at younger and younger ages when we have a sick food system. There is no better example of this than Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFOs). I can write a whole other article on this topic and will at some point. Just imagine the most horrible living condition for animals, then imagine it 10 times worse. It’s not only cruel to the animals, but cruel to everyone consuming it’s output. Conditions are so bad that the over use of antibiotics on these animals have contributed to our failing health and the rise of super bugs we don’t have antibiotics strong enough to treat sickness. The cost to produce this food has not been cheap at all. It might keep the cost of the average basket of goods down, but the cost spills over into other areas such as health care, government tax subsidies, and lastly the environmental impact associated with having a concentration of animal waste.
Industrial Farming practices are not just limited to animals, but also to the planting fields. The practice of mono cropping might seem cost-effective, but again, the cost to over health and environment suffers. Planting the same crop in a very large area deprives the soil of the nutrients needed for that plant to grow healthy. Other plant species are needed to bring nutrients from varying depths to their level of soil; without this, the nutrients that are needed by the main crop are supplied by petrol chemical fertilizers. You might be asking yourself “petrol”? Yup, there is a common theme developing here isn’t there? But that’s only half the story, the nutrients needed by the crops to look fresh and healthy are way fewer that the nutrients we need to keep us looking fresh and healthy.
So farmers have to use more and more pesticides which is making them look more like bio chemical technicians in bunny suits rather than the stereotypical overalls with hay stalks sticking out of their mouths.
All of the same plant species in one place has another side effect: a concentration of the pests that feed on those plants. So farmers have to use more and more pesticides which is making them look more like bio chemical technicians in bunny suits rather than the stereotypical overalls with hay stalks sticking out of their mouths. Pesticides have a bad wrap even with John and Jane Q. Public. So what do you think the agricultural industrial complex does next? Why, lets grow the pesticides in the DNA of the plant. If the wee beasties eat this corn or other GMO crop, their tiny stomachs will explode. But lets just ignore the fact that digestive disorders are on the rise. There are many more traits being spliced into the DNA of crops. Again, I wont go on an on about this one here.
We are dealing with the repercussions today as well from the “agriculture revolution”, low-cost of production does not translate into healthy food for us to eat. During this agricultural revolution, the genetics of wheat were altered greatly to make it inexpensive and plentiful for the masses. Today we see a booming industry that caters to all the health ills of gluten sensitivity and intolerance. This is a result of those changes that were introduced by this tampering which isn’t even technically GMO.
The health issues don’t stop at the farm. Once food is processed and preserved, a whole new leave of health problems are introduced. Our food is making us sick and killing us. From the preservative and artificial sweeteners like aspartame to the MSG that tricks us into thinking the food we eat is tasty (in actuality is a neuron toxin), the food industry places costs over our health and uses marketing claims in commercials and on its packaging to trick us into believing the food we eat is healthy. Even the packaging makes us sick and leaches estrogen mimickers into our food.
#3 – Health Care System
The systems we depend on are interwoven. Health care costs aren’t being gamed as much as our food system. There is nowhere else to defer the costs other than spreading the cost to those who are not yet sick. I won’t even go into the affordable health care act because the bottom line is its paying for a broken system. I won’t dispute the necessity and quality of crisis medicine. If you get hit by a bus, you want to get scooped up quickly by an ambulance and patched up quickly. Efficiency has done wonders to the success of saving people’s lives from spontaneous traumatic events. It’s many of the other specialties in medicine where there is a serious problem.
Iatrogenesis is a term that is not as widely known as it should be, but it is the effect of the treatment being worse then the sickness. Iatrogenesis, I believe, is a majorly under reported cause for many illness. Many of the causes result from Allopathic Medicine which looks at treating the symptoms of patients and not the body as a whole. More and more people are undergoing unnecessary procedures to fatten the payments from actually paying customers but also because of the risk of frivolous law suits for not doing certain procedures. Such is the case with C-Sections that are preformed more frequently as a result. Have you ever heard a drug ad and wondered who in their right mind would take these things? Once people start taking one prescription drug, it’s not too long before they start taking others. Many times they take these drugs to deal with symptoms of the first one taken. Drugs aren’t tested very often for problems with interactions. If some one taking these drugs is lucky,the drug they are taking was tested with one, or maybe two other popular drugs, never mind the multiple prescriptions that are given by a myriad of specialists to patients under the care of a doctor. As we’ve already learned with animals, antibiotics are being so over prescribed that super drug resistant bacteria are rising. May times the very place you go to become healthy is the breeding ground for these super bugs. Someone going in for a minor procedure can die as a result of what they can be infected with at the hospital.
Finally, vaccines are often the cause of more diseases than the initial sickness they were trying to prevent. Not even going into the mercury adjuvant and cancer viruses intentionally put into vaccines; the list of awful side effects are worse than what you hear spoken over prescription commercials. No wonder you will never see a vaccine commercial for fear they’d have to list them. You will only see PSA’s telling you to take your vaccine. And who needs advertising when governments push them on school aged children.
#4 – Governmental System
Most people aren’t anarchists, even Republicans and main line tea partiers known for wanting smaller government will tell you that you are crazy if you think we can live without big government solutions, legislating morality, and spending oodles of money on defense contracts. By its nature, governments are boated and inefficient; without the metric of profit, government managers rely on budget allocation and head counts to judge their effectiveness. Agencies must use all their funding or lose it for next years budget, not to mention the fact that their budgets are increased when they fail.
There is an alphabet soup of government agencies looking to grow in power and scope that many don’t even realize how far they overreach their role and puts them in danger. FEMA has had quite a bit of notoriety over the past few years as a result of hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. What many people don’t realize is their mission is continuity of government. They don’t have your best interests or survival in mind. FEMA can even take away your possessions and put you into forced servitude(aka slavery) if it feels necessary. Competing with FEMA theses days for most dysfunctional agency is the CDC. It seems they have thrown out all the text books on how to handle infectious disease with the spread of Ebola in this country. The FBI and ATF these days are known for creating their own cases to prosecute. I can cite multiple occurrences of half wit domestic terrorists that were radicalized by FBI handlers then busted when goaded into carrying out plots hatched by the very agency. People can also do a Google search if they aren’t familiar with Operation Gun Walker carried out by the ATF, the plan was for them to give guns to people who would use them for nefarious acts. Yeah they really did that. Some of the agencies with the most outrageous over reach and unconstitutional powers have been two of the new agencies since 9/11, DHS which is tasked with control over much of the other alphabet agencies and the TSA whose agents have the power to touch your genitalia or make you pass through ‘Naked’ body scanners. According to its mission, the CIA must work outside the US. How long did it take before it saw factions inside working against the interests of the people of this nation? At what lengths will it go to develop its black budgets to implement super top-secret missions. I don’t know for sure, there have definitely been incidents of drug running that have made the news papers. The creation of the IRS is another agency whose pedigree has been challenged as unconstitutional. The agency has been accused of wielding it’s power to score political points and punish it’s “enemies”. Finally, we’ve already discussed the unholy connection of food with the medical system, the agency charged with officiating over both of these sectors is none other than the FDA. I can’t think of a better example of fascism within our government. Forget about saying anything that you grow can heal you, only those drugs that run on TV with the list of side effects a mile long can say that. These guys even raid the Amish for selling milk armed to the teeth!
#5 – Political System
Government is a blind beast; it takes politics and politicians to steer it in the path of destruction they want, or choose to guide it for public or private benefit(but mostly private). Democrats and Occupiers will point to monied interests as the root of the ills of humanity while Republicans and Tea Party say it’s big government putting restrictions on business men and companies. The problem we have is moneyed interests wielding the power of big government to remove their competition so they stay super wealthy and there is no upward mobility. This is Fascism, and you thought fascist only wore big ostentatious military uniforms, didn’t you? There exists a revolving door; the people you elect to office because they care for the little guy so much appoints people to positions from these big companies and conglomerates to come and write the laws they want. The laws they write put enough rules and regulations in place as a stumbling block for smaller, more agile competitors who can afford the team of lawyers to skirt the laws that are put in place. Then when the politician leaves there’s a position or big money speaking engagements waiting for them at the company they helped get a leg up. Our De Facto two-party system doesn’t do anything to change this cycle. For all the back and forth arguing, at the end of the day they will only go so far to give it a good show but leave the status quo intact. Idealists don’t make it through the ranks of the two parties and any third parties get shut out right at the gate. Politicians will tinker with the statistics to make it seem like they are doing such a wonderful job. If someone does strike a chord with the voters from the outside, politicians and corporations need to dig deeper in their bag of tricks to fraudulently steal elections going so far as to even rig voting machines. The only people who hold the reigns of power are the corrupted and compromised. They do what they are told or else the dirty little secrets start coming out. The sooner people realize we are watching political theater, the sooner they will lose their trust in the political process the sooner we can all make a real difference.
#6 – Judicial System
One mark of a fascist country we do have the dishonor of holding is the largest per capita prison population in the world. I’m not saying violent criminals shouldn’t be put into jail, but with the prison rate so much higher than other countries, this means you have a greater probability you or some one you know can wind up in jail. Part of the problem is private for profit prison. More profit means more detention facilities and occupants to fill them. This is something that there shouldn’t be a profit incentive attached to. Part of the problem too is that most Americans don’t understand the jury system. The people have the power to nullify bad laws by refusing to put defendants in jail even if what was done fits the letter of the law. Compound this with an overly unsympathetic attitude to anyone one the wrong side of the Law and a misplaced idealization of law enforcement we have a big and still growing problem in this country.So next time you see that you have a jury summons don’t look to get out of it but as your opportunity to set right a broken system. Only one person is needed to make a difference in the life of another by acquitting those unfairly persecuted by bad laws.
#7 – Educational System
So many people put their hopes in the education system. I have talked to many people who are unable to find a job and want to go back to school for another in that hopes that the degree will unlock their success. There were times when a degree did do this, but not any longer. We can see how inflation isn’t hidden in college tuition. Despite the high cost, people still surprisingly find the money to go. With student loans, there is a lot of money coming into the system. Today, total student loan debt stands at over 1 trillion dollars. With jobs not being create how will the loans be paid off? The problems with the education system don’t end with the students. There are major problems with the educational institutions as well. Primary education seems a little more than instruction on how to do what your told blindly. Once you get into higher eduction, it seems more like an echo chamber–a new religious dogma, as it were. If you don’t sing from their hymnals, you don’t get published in their peered reviewed journals and you therefore don’t have any credibility. Grant money is the same way; you don’t get any if you don’t come to the required conclusions.
#8 – Retirement System
You’ve got another thing coming if you think you will receive anything money from social security when you retire. It still may be running as they actuary what the age needs to be to start collect to the amount of people who will be dead before they collect a cent. You need more people to pay into social security. In order for the system to keep going, new workers need to pay in, that’s kind of hard in this country where we have an aging population. Even if you do get paid, what you do get paid doesn’t keep up with inflation. It’s supposed to adjust for inflation, but that doesn’t help when they tinker with the inflation numbers. Speaking of aging population according to AARP, today are about 7 people aged 45-64 to care for each person who is 80 or older. By 2050 that number drops to around 3 or 4.
#9 – Transportation System
Americas infrastructure is also showing it’s age. Are you putting your life at risk when you travel? American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) seem to think so; they gave the U.S. infrastructure an overall grade of D+. As time goes on and improvements aren’t made, it’s riskier and riskier to use transportation. Every couple of years you hear of bridges collapsing and trains derailing.
#10 – Grid and Power System
Finally, our electrical grid is failing. The problem sounds like it didn’t scale well as it grew. As I understand, it is a very fragile web of interconnected grids. I remember well the black out of 2003 that took out the power of the north-east and some mid west states. Wouldn’t you have thought something as basic as power would be a little more robust in the 21st century? Didn’t we think we’d be buzzing around in Jetsons cars by now? We have many people today who are warning us how vulnerable our electrical system is. This is our soft underbelly that can take use out badly if we experience a solar flare like the Carrington Event of 1859 or a terrorist strike. In addition to a failing grid, energy prices aren’t going to be cheap forever. We have plentiful supplies of coal in this country, but that doesn’t do us any good if we keep shutting down coal-fired power plants. As we extract more and more resources from the planet, we run out of cheap sources of those resources. There might be more still available, but hard and more expensive to get at. There had been lots of promise with nuclear energy, but the toll can be catastrophic to the environment as we have seen with the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan. Cheap, on demand energy is what keeps everything running smoothly. These resources are finite and if peak oil proponents are correct, we will feel the ramifications of shortages sooner than most realize.
People don’t want to hear bad news. They rather be happily ignorant of the problems they face then be aware and deal with it. Statistics are hidden to mislead those who might not choose to be willfully ignorant. There are also the vultures; those who are aware of the problem or even hasten it so they can profit from collapses. Be aware, and don’t fall prey. If you’ve gotten through all 10 of these fragile systems, congratulations. Knowing the problem is the first step in working to fix it. Continue to follow GridRebellion.com as we not only look at the problems, but tell you how to extract yourself from not being dependent on fragile system and to declare your sovereignty so you can meet the challenges that face us as a society.