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Thursday, March 3, 2011

Doing Something Smart

I've been sitting at my desk all morning wondering if I shouldn't just throw my hands up and forget it. I have some work ahead, but not enough to do much more than position me well for the coming calamity. I work with drilling machinery and it always breaks. There is always something expensive to go wrong and without it, one is out of business.

I bring this up, not as a pity party, no one should pity me. Everything I have done, I have done with eyes wide open and cognizant of the consequences. I took a gamble on staying in business long enough to make things work. For going on three years I have been holding on, waiting for some sanity to return to the economy. My business is largely reliant on the construction business, but I am not a carpenter. I cannot lay down my hammer and pick it up later when things get better. There are a lot of capital costs involved, a lot of expensive machinery that cannot be sold in a flooded market. I can't keep making payments on things that are worth half of what they were before and if I let them go back, I will not be able to purchase like equipment in the future because my credit is already shot trying to hang onto the business.

The reason I do bring this up is I have been racking my brain trying to figure out what might improve the economy when there is no interest in doing so in Washington, DC. As Americans we are taught to believe that an economy should not be reliant on the congress to flourish. An economy ought to function no matter what Washington does. That's when I realized how much the policies of the Obama Administration are restraining the economy, purposefully, or not. That doesn't mean that they were designed to restrain the economy, but I do recognize that they were intended to restrain some sectors of the economy. The only sectors of the economy the Obama Administration has put any effort to improve are the public and the automobile manufacturing sectors, two of the most heavily unionized sectors. The events in Wisconsin explain better than I could why.

So, I have been sitting here thinking: "What can I be doing that is smarter than what I have been doing?" That is something that has been driving me crazy. See, I don't look to the government to make my life better, or to solve my problems. I look inward, because I know that is where all the real answers lie. Yes, the construction of new homes is down. Yes, the commercial activity that usually puts money in the pockets of my typical customers has been lacking. Yes, the price of diesel and gasoline have been robbing even more money from the pockets of would be customers and drastically increase the costs associated with my services. Yes, with the Middle East in flames the prospect that fuel costs will rise and possibly crash the stock market, sending what's left of my market into the toilet.

As I think about my situation I realize that everything I have worked hard for all of these years is now worth nothing. When I think of the value that has been drained from my home, my cars and trucks, my equipment, my business, it reminds me that a lot more was lost in the compression of value that came with the bursting of the housing bubble than can really be accounted for. When I look out at the fiscal landscape and I realize that there are whole sectors of the economy that may never again rise from the ashes I am given pause. By nature we tend to think that there is some eventual correction for the state we are in, but maybe there is not. I know, they speak of the "new normal" well, you know, there is no "new normal" there is normal and extraordinary and this is extraordinary.

What I know is this: I should be doing something smart right now and I am not. I'm willing to think outside the box. I could let everything go if something new presented itself. I look at opportunities in other businesses, in other industries. I am not afraid to go into something new or to take some risks. None of these things are preventing me from doing the smart thing.

Okay, so you might be thinking to yourself "All right, T.L., what the hell does this have to do with anything?" Well, here it is: No matter what "smart" thing I come up with it will already have been done. By dividing my thoughts between what to do next and how to handle the day to day, I am mimicking the society as a whole, stuck between one thing and another, just waiting for something to happen, something to provide guidance. Good and bad don't enter into it. We are, as a society, adrift, leaderless. We are left to float out there, with all of our previously understood realities shattered, to try and make sense of the future. It can't be done. This is chaos, most people are just going to work out of habit. They aren't doing anything other than waiting for the next calamity, like me. We have fallen into the trap.

Our elected representatives are right now trying desperately to divert attention from themselves. They want to show us that they are working on the problems. It's all for nothing. There is nothing they can do. They are not unlike me. They are cognizant that it is all too late, but are unable to do anything other than perform the daily tasks. Take a vote, sit on a committee, read the news, scratch their heads.

What I want to warn you about is that there are others, those who have created this chaos. There are those who need us impotent and busily repeating yesterday's tasks so that they, with their focus, can plan their future based on new standards and practices, methods alien to us, even inconceivable. They are not lost as I am, they are found, they are busy and like those in Madison, they draw oxygen from the flames. They gather strength in our weakness. These are the true enemies of liberty and they are at the highest levels of government. Eric Holder said it as plain as it can be said, basically acknowledging that when it comes to "their people" be that black, white, Latino, or Asian, their "people" are reds, communists, collectivists, i.e., the enemies of liberty and they will use our laws to protect them, our structure to shield them from harm. They will use our police to deny us liberty. In our busily distracted lives, they have arranged their pieces and will soon call for the start of the game.

I suggest you come out swinging.

If you want to understand the technical mechanics of what has taken place READ THIS by Gardenserf.

Graciously linked at Keep It Simple Survival.
Graciously linked and quoted at Refreshing the Tree of Liberty.


  1. As I've told my wife countless times "I don't know the smart thing to do, but I do know the safe thing to do." And that being sell everything in Carteret county (house, mobile home & shop) which would enable us to go back to Dixieland (Tarboro) without owing any money, but she keeps thinking it will get better.

  2. Personally, I think the smartest thing you can do is go Galt. You are letting the collectivist monkeys feed on your carcass. They will continue to consume you until there's nothing left but bone, if you let them. This system is done for. Anything you do now simply feeds the monkeys, so the best you can do is to reduce your exposure to them as much as possible. Stop killing yourself for their sake. As you can see, it's not doing you any good...

  3. "In our busily distracted lives, they have arranged their pieces and will soon call for the start of the game.

    I suggest you come out swinging."


    Thanks for the piece, TL. Although not exactly an upbeat article, I find it oddly encouraging.



  4. I am also in construction. We have been very lucky.

    I think we are resetting to the new normal. I saw a pretty good article awhile back saying that house prices were still too high. I try to avoid the too economic stuff because there are a number good ones out there already. Maybe I should make an exception.

    You would be surprised how unimaginative a lot of people are in construction. A lot of people are tradesmen who became business people and are not real comfortable changing their business approach. You don't have to do something completely novel. All you have to do is reduce your competition. I don't completely follow which area you are in, but one item that comes to mind is to call your manufacturers rep on the equipment side (versus material) and ask them what "other" types of use people put the equipment to.

  5. This is all by design to get us to throw up our hands and ask for help. We have to keep thinking outside their box. TL, I've followed your posts for some time now and you're a helluva lot smarter than I am but I'm gonna post a suggestion or 2 anyway. Not sure of the type of drilling you do but can it adapt to farming, wells, fence post holes, fish ponds, etc? Would you be able drill holes for pole barns, greenhouses and things of that sort? Guess I'm just searching as well, hoping to spark an idea you haven't considered. Wish I had more. May He bless you and yours.

  6. Some background: 31 years as a community banker, last 12 as an executive. In 2006, saw the writing on the financial wall, started planning personal exit strategy.

    "What do people want and/or need? Is that want or need a consumable (meaning they have to/can come back for more)?"

    I saw an upcoming economic collapse and the resulting social unrest (remember, this was 5 years ago and not so obvious!). Started an emergency prep/firearms training company in 2008, and a gold/silver bullion company in 2010. LOTS of repeat customers for both businesses.

    How can you position your resources - money, energy, time, experience - to best benefit from what you believe lies before us? What is your region, state or city experiencing?

    You truly can to well by doing good.

  7. T.L. There seem to be a lot of preppers,needing wells drilled. Perhaps drilling wells at a fair price. Possibly on payments or part barter part cash. Just a thought.


  8. T.L. - It's not just construction good sir. My wife owns a vet clinic and traditionally veterinarians are the safest profession there is in an economy. So we started her own clinic just 3 years ago before the whole thing went belly up. We are still here, but sales reps and the trade magazines tell us this once solid recession proof profession is in deep kim shee. And like you we can't just walk away. We have everything sunk into this and it is a business with much specialty equipment and inventory that can't just be liquidated. God has blessed and we are still here, but humanly speaking it does wear thin and brings on the grey hairs.

    Maybe as an encouragement, but as I tell my wife it ain't our fault. THere are forces trying to kill this once great country of ours and its economy. So if we go belly up we will know we have played the game as smart as is humanly possible for we have lasted 3 years, even as a start-up in a bad economy.

    Understand your position though

  9. Instead of waiting for something to happen, maybe it's about time you, me and few others in the same boat MAKE something happen.

  10. Thanks all for your comments. I drill water wells. The equipment costs so much to run that it isn't worth it to do anything other than drill water wells. It is too shallow though for oil or gas, at least around here.

    God generally provides and leaves me with some work to do, but I just wonder when the day to drop what we are doing is going to come and when it will be time to evict those in Washington DC.

  11. Too many People X Too little Energy = Depopulation

    When the equation balances, then the pieces will be gathered and grown again.

    Or find more energy....

  12. Everything as already been set into motion, I don't know myself what is coming next. The future looks bleak for everyone with rising fuel and food prices. When the Government Finally admits the "we" are out of money. and everyone finally sees that the end is coming the end will already be here. This has been coming for a long time it's like everything since LBJ has been leading up to this next collapse. We are in deep Do-Do and nobody has got any wader's. Wish I could think of something Smart to do also, but the things that I could have done to stop what is about to happen would have been insignificant cause nobody was willing to listen.

    I "think" that for now all we can do is grab ahold of something solid and be ready to try to rebuild after this train wreck.


  13. Great article, Thanks. We are simply fighting against evil programs and processes. Our best hope is prayer and rely on our Good Lord to use His omnipotence to overcome the evil in this world. Otherwise we will be swallowed up in depression and fear that we cannot effect change. But we can. Stand your ground of faith, stand, and stand again until the forces of evil collapse. There is no reason for dismay.
    Old man


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