The Coming Hard Times–Wake Up Call!, by Dr. T.

I am writing this essay with a bit of trepidation. I do not want to make you think I am an expert on anything, but I do think a lot and have spent a lot of time studying the economy. Mr. Rawles can verify that my education and training are as follows — I am in the medical profession and also an attorney. I am also in the Air National Guard, after spending many years in the Army Reserve. I was deployed in 2003-04, primarily to Kuwait, but also made trips to Iraq, Qatar, and Djibouti. I also spent most of 1997 in Bosnia.
My concern is that most of the friends and relatives that I have, think preparing for hard times is like taking a weekend camping trip. I am working diligently to get peoples’ attention, as this is so far from what I see coming. Due to my work as an attorney, I have spent considerable time helping clients invest money in non-traditional arenas. Because of this, I have been exposed to two or three people who have studied this extensively. One of them calls the coming trouble “The Big Rollover.”
Ray’s essay a few days ago was very good — the decision-making process is important and most of us never stop to consider it at all. The same is true about the Big Rollover – how many of us stop to really think about what is coming? Oh, I know, you read “Patriots”, but in the back of your mind you think that that could not really happen. I am here to tell you that you might be right, but you might also be way off! Well, maybe not, but what will you do if the bank you go to locks up your account? I have clients that are dealing with this right now! Have any ideas what you can do when the grocery store is out of food? What about fresh bread and milk? How often do you go to Wally World? They use the Just In Time (JIT) delivery system, too, and will have empty shelves just as quickly as local stores.
What will you do when you are notified that your pension fund is bankrupt, gone forever? It happened to thousands of people in my area due to the Enron scandal a few years ago. How long will social insecurity last? Your guess is probably better than mine.
I am just like all the rest of you — I hope and pray that this does not come as quickly or as severely as some people are saying. But, what can you do? I will give you some ideas, take them or leave them:
1. Become fanatical about saving money and stocking up on anything that will store for a long time. Get it organized, and labeled, and learn to manage it well.
2. Be quiet about this and find a way to do this without calling attention to yourself.
3. Think about the failure of the power grid and what you will do if you are out of electricity for a long time — maybe months or years. Gensets, fuel, wind generators, solar collectors are all great, but think about what you will do to keep your windows blacked out if you are the only one with electricity. Talk about a lure for looters. Watch out!
4. Learn to speed read – I have way too much to read, but try to spend one to two hours everyday reading and learning all I can.
5. Make sure you have some extra beds – even if you have to put them in the garage or barn. We already have an adult child and her husband living with us due to a bad landlord, and it does change the dynamics of your household.
6. Learn to garden — find someone who has some dirt and learn to grow vegetables and fruit (BTW, my dearly beloved tomatoes are fruit). Go to and — both good sites and there are other sites out there, too. Eat what you grow and learn how to store it – can, freeze, dry, vacuum pack it or whatever else you can figure out how to do. Also, learn to save seeds. This may actually save your life during the coming trouble.
7. Become an active member of a relatively small local church. If you do not understand this, you are in serious trouble.
8. If you cannot control your addiction to television, throw it out or give it away. I am not kidding.
9. Learn to fix everything you can. If you do not have a knack for fixing things, get to work and learn all you can. This is not an option. When doing this, stock up on parts and supplies for everything you own or want to own.
10. Buy things that will last a long time. I am driving a 20-year old Mercedes Benz now that is in great shape. How many other cars last this long? I can keep it for at least ten more years, but may buy a newer one to last for the next 15 to 20 years of bad times.
11. Make things last longer. I just received back my first knife that a man in Omaha froze to near absolute zero. A friend has been using a disposable razor to shave her legs for a year now with the same treatment. Others surely know about this type of process, but it seems to be truly amazing. And, I am quite a fan of German engineering.
12. Everything I own has synthetic or semi-synthetic oil in it, and has for the past 20 years. I am also putting Cermax® in everything that burns oil products – it somehow embeds a two micron layer of ceramic into the metal. And, Cermax® is cheap – I think the price is $29.95 or soon will be $39.95 for each treatment of two ounces. Go to and look around — you may have to register (free, no obligation) and if you do, my ID is 10075, which they ask for to create an account. I love Amsoil® products, but they are very expensive. I am growing very fond of Schaeffer® oil products – is their site.
13. Decide what to do about medical issues and medications. Learn to live without doctors and drugs. I know this will irritate some people on this site, but these people are the ones who have issues. The medical care system is just about ready to implode, in my opinion, so avoid it as much as you can and when you cannot, develop relationships to help you. Think outside the box – I am very biased, but I have found that some of the best medical thinkers are veterinarians, dentists, and nurses.
14. In spite of my passionate dislike for television, we are stocking up on clothes, books (, movies, toys for our grandchildren, board games, outdoor games, and more.
15. Learn not to be too imperialistic. I am the head of my household, but I am not a dictator. I am a fairly high ranking officer in the guard, and have to be careful when I come home from duty times, not to bark too many orders! But, in the changing dynamics of our economy and our families, someone has to be in charge in every situation and to be a good leader, you also need to know how to take orders yourself, at times.
16. Be careful about what you eat. The big food companies do not actually put the true ingredients on many labels and we now consume so much processed food it is frightening. Try to not go to the store more than once a week, then once a month. What will you do if this is the actual scenario that comes in a couple of years? How long will you survive if you cannot get to the store? I have heard it said that you can live three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food.
17. One of the large, untapped markets in America, in my opinion, is growing and selling organic fruits and vegetables. Go to the above link, and see how you can spend a few hundred dollars and get one, two, or three of Len Pense’s raised beds operational (cost $417.00 each plus the cement blocks, plus shipping or transportation) and grow lots of crops you can sell. Then, in the coming years it costs about $50.00 per raised bed per year to maintain them. Also, I am working on a patent for a plant breeder, who has a couple of special tomatoes that sell in his area (Washington state) for $3.95 to as high as $6.95 a pound. In my area, if I can get $2.00 to $3.00 a pound, I would do well. You may not become a trillionaire, but you can make some decent money and won’t starve in the process. Mr. Pense does not use any soil, so his crops are 100% organic and free of weeds and bacteria (e.g. E. Coli H0157). I can put you in touch with the tomato breeder and you can grow these plants directly from the seeds. I am a privacy freak, but you can email and I will contact you.
18. Another great way to make some money is by growing dirt-raised chickens. See this site – – the information about Polyface Farm Intensive Farming methods are very intriguing. I receive $90.00 per acre per year from the chemical farmer who farms the dirt here in the midwest. If I can turn one acre into $1,500 per year of profit, even with a bit of work, that is very tempting. The big key looks to me like it is marketing the product, but this may not be as hard as one thinks initially.
In the summer of 1929, in northwest Kansas, where I was born, my maternal grandfather (who passed away three months before I was born) bought a farm on a handshake. A few weeks later he told my grandmother, whom I knew well and did not pass away until I was 30 years old, that he thought he should go pay for this farm. He made a trip to a bank in a nearby Nebraska town, just a few miles north of their farm. He got the money out of this bank, which nearly depleted his account, and paid for the farm and recorded the deed in the courthouse. A few weeks later, along came October 29, 1929, and you know what happened.
Well, my grandmother told me several times how much they benefited because during the Great Depression they had this farm bought and paid for, but the bank where the money was eventually closed, and their account would have been totally lost. This farm is still owned by one of my cousins, and every time I drive by it I think about this lesson.
I think you should have some cold, hard greenbacks stored up, just for emergencies. And, have some gold and silver, because we may need them for barter before you know it. Pay off your debts as fast as you can. And, if you cannot, rotate your debts to protect yourself as much as possible.
One advisor says “you cannot be too wealthy going into the Big Rollover, ” and he is probably right. I am not sure where it is safe to store money now – I think JWR is probably right, it is better to buy stuff, than have money in a bank. But, now this takes some big changes in our thinking. My clients, for the most part, have a comfort level with money and this comfort level is almost always related to their bank account balance.
A good web site to go belongs to Harry Dent, who has written several good books about the coming trouble and he is using demographics to map out what he sees coming. He says that the downturn will start in 2009 or 2010. At Dent’s site there is a 15 page report dated October 31, 2006, that is pretty good reading.
Acres USA is a very good magazine for organic farming and gardening.
An adviser whom I trust a lot, says that late 2008 to early 2009, will start the trouble. He describes 16 major forces converging in this time frame that all affect our economy. He says, correctly, that it is not possible to accurately predict the timing nor the severity, that you need to be prepared as much as you can.
I have six rules for clients who invest money and these are not optional:
1. Diversify
2. Diversify
3. Diversify
4. Make Your Money Work For You
5. Spend Less Than You Earn & Earn More Than You Spend
6. The Most Important Things In Life Cannot Be Bought Nor Sold With Money
So, in conclusion, wake up and smell the coffee – trouble is brewing, and I do not have all the answers, but I do know that we need to be prepared for years of living without many or even most of the conveniences we have all become accustomed to having without even thinking about how it happens!
My list of ideas is not complete nor exhaustive. Actually, I am of the opinion that preparation is a work in progress and for many it is a complete lifestyle change.
I am an optimist – my parents were both born during the Great Depression and their families survived, but since then, in America, we have become fat, lazy and stupid. We will survive this one, too!
Keep thinking!