The world is becoming a very unstable place, and the pace at which things are changing all around us has become absolutely mind-numbing. In fact, change has become one of the only constants in today's world. Once upon a time, people in the United States could actually make 20 or 30 year plans and feel confident about achieving them. But now, nothing is stable anymore. The financial crisis showed us that some of the biggest corporations on the globe can collapse in a single day. The events of the past few weeks have shown us that entire governments can be brought down in a single week. We live in a world where there are now very few "guarantees" that you can count on. One of the only things that is guaranteed is that technology and information will continue to grow at exponential speeds. This year, the total amount of information produced on electronic devices around the globe is projected to be more than a zettabyte. A zettabyte is equivalent to one sextillion bytes. In other words, imagine a one with more than 21 zeroes following it.
Many of the things that we take for granted today didn't even exist a few short years ago. Facebook has only been with us since 2004. YouTube has only been with us since 2005. Can you imagine a world where those two websites did not exist?
We live in a world of information overload. Once upon a time it would have been possible to go to sleep for a decade and wake up and everything would still be pretty much the same. But today if you were to do that you would be in for a case of severe culture shock.
Do you remember when you could buy a set of encyclopedias and the information in them would still be good a decade or two later?
Well, things do not work that way anymore.
In fact, most of the articles on this website will be obsolete a month from now.
In today's world, you really have to think twice before you say that something is "not possible".
A few months ago, it was absolutely inconceivable that Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak would declare to the world that he has "spent enough time serving Egypt".
Yet here we are.
One week the government of Tunisia seemed perfectly stable and the next week it was toppled.
Do any of you out there still think that you can make realistic "plans for the future" in today's world?
Once upon a time in America, many of us were taught that if we worked really hard in school we could get a great job with a great company. We were promised that if we were faithful to that company for 30 or 40 years that we would be treated fairly and given a good pension.
Well, in today's world you might as well crumple up that plan and throw it into the wastebasket.
There is no such thing as a stable job anymore. Businesses are coming into existence and going out of existence faster than ever before. Today, one out of every four Americans workers has been with their empl0yer for less than a year.
Most Americans still don't really understand that they are now part of a global economy. They keep thinking that things were the way they used to be. They keep thinking that the U.S. economy is invincible.
Well, those days are long gone. The United States is being deindustrialized at lightning speed. Tens of thousands of manufacturing facilities and millions of jobs have been sent overseas. China, once a complete economic backwater, is now kicking the crap out of us on the global economic stage.
Our financial system is certainly on incredibly shaky ground. Will any of us ever forget what happened in 2008?
Do any of us actually believe that it can't happen again?
Our health care system is also incredibly unstable. Today, 46 million Americans have absolutely no health insurance. That means that 46 million Americans are just one major injury or illness away from financial ruin with no protection whatsoever.
Not that those that actually have health insurance are protected. According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that did have health insurance.
So just because you have health insurance does not mean anything. One bad accident or one really bad disease and you could be totally wiped out.
Isn't that comforting?
But the truth is that our entire economy is on the verge of total collapse.
World famous investor Harry Schultz recently published the last issue of his legendary financial newsletter. After 45 years, the following is how Schultz summed up the economic collapse that we are now facing....
"Roughly speaking, the mess we are in is the worst since 17th century financial collapse. Comparisons with the 1930’s are ludicrous. We’ve gone far beyond that. And, alas, the courage & political will to recognize the mess & act wisely to reverse gears, is absent in U.S. leadership, where the problems were hatched & where the rot is by far the deepest."
David Stockman, the former director of the Office of Management and Budget under Ronald Reagan was quoted by Schultz as saying the following about how desperate things are about to become....
"Get some gold, beans, water, anything that Bernanke can’t destroy. Ron Paul is right. We’re entering a global monetary conflagration. If a sell-off of U.S. bonds starts, it will be an Armageddon."
Millions of Americans have become "preppers" in recent years as they have come to realize that our economy is headed down a very dark road.
But sadly, the reality is that the vast majority of Americans are not prepared for any kind of economic or natural disaster. As this week has shown us, just the threat of a major snow storm can wipe out store shelves in a single day.
So what would this country look like if a major disaster fundamentally changed life in America and suddenly people were desperate for food and supplies?
It is a frightening thing to think about.
As the pace of change has accelerated dramatically, the U.S. government and other governments around the world have responded by trying to get a tighter grip on everyone and everything.
To get on an airplane in the United States today, you either have to allow a security goon to use a scanner to look over your completely exposed body, or you have to allow a security goon to feel up all of your private areas with the fronts of his or her hands.
Not only that, but the U.S. government has now deployed VIPR (Visible Intermodal Prevention and Response) teams to set up security checkpoints at bus terminals, subway stations and on major highways.
The America that so many of us once loved is rapidly disappearing.
But it is not just our man-made systems that are rapidly changing. Something seems to be happening to the entire planet. Flooding of biblical proportions has hit Australia, Brazil, China and Pakistan over the past 12 months. Scorching heat caused massive crop failures all over Russia last summer. Record-setting cold temperatures and snowfalls all over the northern hemisphere have scientists scratching their heads. On top of everything else, mass deaths of birds and fish are suddenly being reported all over the globe.
Even the crust of the earth is becoming increasingly unstable. Did you see that volcano go off in Japan the other day? Over the past two years it seems like volcanoes have been suddenly erupting all over the world.
Not only that, but sinkholes have become an absolute epidemic all over the planet. Some of these sinkholes have been so large that they have swallowed entire apartment buildings.
In addition, it seems like there is a magnitude 6 or magnitude 7 earthquake somewhere in the world almost every day now. They have become so common that the mainstream media barely even takes notice of them anymore unless one happens near a very populated area.
None of us really knows what the world is going to look like ten years from now. What will the "new" Facebooks and YouTubes be? Will Ben Bernanke's reckless money printing destroy our economy by then? Will our U.S. dollars still be of any value ten years from now? Will there even still be a U.S. dollar?
Will we still be able to feed most of the people in the world by 2011? Will shortages of food, water and oil start driving people crazy? Could some amazing energy discovery completely transform society?
Who will be the president of the United States? Will there even be a president of the United States? Will war have erupted in the Middle East by that point? Will the United States be in another war by then?
The truth is that things are changing so fast that it is hard to even come up with the right questions to ask. The world is going to change faster this year than it did last year. In 2012 the pace of change will be even faster.
So buckle up and hold on tight because this is going to be one wild ride.
For much more on how incredibly fast the pace of change is in our modern society, check out the video posted below. It is entitled "Did You Know?" and it has been viewed more than 12 million times on YouTube....