Thank you for posting the article regarding Executive Order-National Defense Resources Preparedness. It was a very illuminating article regarding where our country is currently at economically, politically, and militarily. I understand that some of the vague language used in government documents often allows the government to exercise more power than may be found on the surface of the writing. The best example in this document is, as you pointed out, Section 201b. However, I think we may be getting ahead of ourselves in saying that the government will show up in times of peace and magic away our preps. I would also like to point out that this type of Executive Order is not WHOLLY unprecedented, as you say in SurvivalBlog.
There is a very interesting book called The Homefront U.S.A: America during World War II by Allan M. Winkler, a renowned WWII expert. I think that it should be a mandatory reading for all Americans that label themselves as Patriots. In this book he goes through the many changes implemented by FDR’s Administration which allowed America to quickly mobilize its armed forces and prepare for war with Germany and Japan. Of note in the book are discussions regarding business, industry, and the best allocations of manpower. Mr. Winkler describes in sufficient detail the formation of the War Manpower Commission, whose soul purpose was to determine how workers could best be used. The Selective Service (the draft) fell under the authority of this commission. The commission at first did not have much power, but by 1943 was able to direct where people should be finding jobs (true, they could not mandate it, but many people found themselves in complete agreement with the commissions assessment of their skills and followed their decrees). You may know that by the end of World War II the unemployment rate was 1%, and most of those unemployed were unable to work due to disabilities. What you may not know was that over 500,000 small businesses between 1940-1945 failed. Big Business ruled during World War II, under a Liberal Democratic President, fueling the so-called “Arsenal of Democracy.” So how was the government able to achieve such a low rate of unemployment? They offered incentives and fair wages (even in the face of some inflation), even to women, Black Americans, and Latino Americans (“fair” is a relative term as these groups still made less money than white males). The point I am getting at is that the government understood that to have a successful wartime economy, people needed to be making money. Indeed, despite rationing at home, most folks that lived on the home front of WWII quite enjoyed themselves after the previous decades economic woes. I would wager that if people had experienced the war with little pay and no luxury, the effort to support our troops would have been equally different, perhaps with disastrous implications.
Furthermore, Mr. Winkler mentions agriculture in his book. While the number of actual farms and farmers shrank during WWII as others went to work in factories, the amount of crops grown and distributed grew. Many of the nations policies regarding agriculture were formed in this period of mobilization, and many resources were allocated to the boon of these farmers.
Even in the face of hard decisions and unpopular political sanctions, equal rights groups made large advances.
I know that Barack Obama is no Franklin Delano Roosevelt, not by a long shot. However, even though BHO is unpopular among your readers, I do not believe it is his notion to throw working class America under the bus and steal everything they have dedicated their lives to.
I believe that if the government DID try to force people into jobs with no compensation (as is provisioned for in Section 502), we would have reached a truly desperate point in whatever struggle we faced as a nation. I also believe that in times of total war, such as this executive order hints at, our nation would unite as we did after December 7, 1941, or September 11, 2001. We would be willing to accept the terms our government was providing, even if we did so grudgingly. Many of your readers have named themselves as veterans of our Armed Forces, you yourself served, and as the title of your first novel implies we as preppers mark ourselves as some of this countries most ardent patriots. I believe we would step up if our turn came to aid this country in a time of war. At least I hope we would. The current prepper mindset seems to say that the end is near, but wouldn’t it be amazing if somehow we pulled together to save this country? It is easy to read this document in a time of relative peace (because even though our country has troops deployed, it is nowhere near the 16 million men and women that served between 1940-1945) and despair that our President is quickly turning into a dictator. I am not naive enough to say that our country is not in dire straits, but I will still approach this document with an open mind. Yes, some of the implications are certainly worrisome, but I think that our country is a long way off from a time in which our Government would make such totalitarian moves.
I am not urging anyone to lower your state of readiness, and I am by no means a fan of who our politicians have turned into in this day and age. If there was a man in the upcoming election even half the man that FDR was, you can bet that I would be voting for him. What I am urging, instead, is to keep an open mind to the decisions our government makes. I myself will approach this executive order the way I approach everything else in life, with cautious optimism. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Right?
Keep Safe and God Bless. -The Cautious Husky