The Beginning Of The End
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Anarchy Along The Jersey Shore And On Long Island In The Aftermath Of Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy is another reminder of just how incredibly fragile the thin veneer of civilization that we all take for granted on a daily basis really is.  Many of the hardest hit areas along the Jersey shore and the coast of Long Island have descended into a state of anarchy.  More than 7 million people live on Long Island, and millions more live along the Jersey shore and right now they are getting a taste of what life would be like during a total economic meltdown.  At the moment, there are still approximately 4.7 million homes and businesses that do not have power.  Officials say that some of those homes and businesses may not have their power restored until the weekend of November 10th and 11th.  Meanwhile, it is getting very cold at night.  This weekend the low temperatures on Long Island are supposed to dip into the upper thirties.  There have been reports of people diving into dumpsters behind supermarkets in a desperate search for food, and there have been other reports of roaming gangs of criminals posing as officials from FEMA or Con Edison and then robbing families at gunpoint once they have gained entrance into their homes.  If people will behave like this during a temporary emergency that lasts only a few days, what would they do during a total economic collapse?  That is a frightening thing to think about.

Most gas stations along the Jersey shore and on Long Island are either totally out of gasoline or they don’t have any power to operate the gas pumps.  It is estimated that more than half of all gas stations in New York City are closed at the moment, and officials say that more than 80 percent of all gas stations in New Jersey are not able to sell gas right now.  So needless to say, the lines at the gas stations that remain open are horrific.

It is being reported that some people are waiting in line for hours for gasoline in some areas and that state troopers have actually been deployed at every gas station along the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden State Parkway.

The following is how one New Jersey mayor described the situation

“Gas lines are stretching for a couple of miles,” said Anthony Ammiano, mayor of Freehold, N.J., who recalled the oil crisis of the 1970s. “It’s like the Jimmy Carter years. It’s a flashback of bad memories.”

There have even been reports of people literally fighting each other over gasoline…

“It’s so crazy. Cars are pulling up and people are fighting each other. There is no gas around here,” said Mena Aziz, who manages a Gulf Express station in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “It’s been so busy.”

According to Breitbart, there have been continuous reports of “fistfights and people bringing guns to gas stations” on Twitter.  The following are a couple of examples…

Just awful! RT @metrogypsy: Someone just pulled a knife at Greenpoint #gas station as line stretches with hours long wait #gettingrealFAST

— Camila Xavier (@camilaxavier) November 1, 2012

You know things are bad when you ask the gas station attendent “when do you think you’re going to get more gas?” and he just laughs at you.

— Prede (@predederva) November 1, 2012

Unfortunately, authorities are projecting that the gas shortage may last for another week at least.

How angry and frustrated will people get by that time?

There are vast stretches of the Jersey Shore and the coast of Long Island that will never be the same again.  The following is an excerpt from a comment that a reader of mine from Long Island left on one of my recent articles

I live in Massapequa NY …..No power to 95%. almost every home south of Merrick Road ( 1.5 miles from open water ) has been flooded. No electricity, no supermarkets in immediate area, no gas (approx 80% of gas stations closed on Long Island).

This was not just another storm.  It was a life-altering event for millions of people.

Unfortunately, just as we have seen after every other major storm in recent years, looters are taking advantage of the chaos caused by Hurricane Sandy.

According to the New York Post, a number of arrests for looting have already been made on Long Island…

In the Rockaways, lowlifes were sneaking into clothing stores and cleaning out pizzerias. Two men and a woman were arrested for robbing a BP gas station on Beach Channel Drive, three men and one woman were cuffed for pillaging a Radio Shack on Beach 88th Street, and two people were arrested for raiding a clothing store near Beach 86th Street, cops said. Stores were emptied along a two-block stretch of Mermaid Avenue in Coney Island. Seven people were busted.

Over on Coney Island, looting appeared to be out of control during the immediate aftermath of the storm…

Thieves broke in to the badly damaged Mega Aid Pharmacy on Mermaid Avenue and reportedly stole more than 10,000 pharmaceutical items, including prescription drugs.

“The water went away and these people started walking down the streets and just robbed stores,” a pharmacy worker told HuffPo’s Andy Campbell.

Manager Stan Gutkin said the major heist essentially “breaks the business.”

Looters reportedly also targeted banks, other shops, and other pharmacies.

And residents are noticing.

“People are turning on each other — they’re attacking each other,” Ocean Towers resident Dena Wells told Campbell.

Amazingly, a number of not-so-smart looters have actually been displaying their looted goods on Twitter.  Just check out the shocking photos in this article.

But most people living in the areas that were most affected by Hurricane Sandy are decent people that just want some assistance.  One resident of Hoboken, New Jersey became so frustrated that he inflated an air mattress and used it to float down to city hall in an attempt to get some answers…

Nearly 20,000 people have been trapped at home in the New Jersey city of Hoboken, just across the Hudson River from New York City, amid accusations that officials were slow to deliver food and water.

One man blew up an air mattress and floated to City Hall, demanding to know why supplies had not reached residents – at least a quarter of homes there are flooded and 90% do not have power.

Just like we saw after Hurricane Katrina, the response by the federal government and by big aid agencies such as the Red Cross has been very slow.  In fact, Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has gone so far as to call the Red Cross an “absolute disgrace” and is urging people that live in his area to quit giving money to them…

“You know, I went to a shelter Monday night after the storm. People were coming in with no socks, with no shoes. They were in desperate need. Their housing was destroyed. They were crying. Where was the Red Cross? Isn’t that their function? They collect millions of dollars. Whenever there’s a drive in Staten Island, we give openly and honestly. Where are they? Where are they? I was at the South Shore yesterday, people were buried in their homes. There the dogs are trying to find bodies. The people there, the neighbors who had no electricity, were making soup. Making soup. It’s very emotional because the lack of a response. The lack of a response. They’re supposed to be here….They should be on the front lines fighting, and helping the people.”

If this is how angry and frustrated that people become over a temporary disaster, how angry and frustrated would they get if there was a total economic meltdown that was permanent?

Sadly, the truth is that what we are seeing during the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is just a very small preview of what is coming on a national level.

Our economy is a complete and total mess right now, and things are going to get a whole lot worse.

When unemployment starts skyrocketing again and large segments of the population realize that there is no hope for a turnaround, many of them are going to totally give in to despair and become very desperate.

And as we are seeing along the Jersey Shore and on Long Island right now, desperate people do desperate things.

That is why I am constantly pounding on the need to prepare for what is ahead.  There are signs of social decay all around us, and most Americans are not equipped to deal with the pressures that come with a major emergency.  When things totally fall apart, you don’t want your family to be totally unprepared and surrounded by millions of angry and desperate people.

Hopefully Hurricane Sandy will serve as a wake up call for millions of American families.  Time is definitely running out, and we all need to get prepared while we still can.

What Is The Best Place To Live In The United States To Prepare For The Coming Economic Collapse?

What is the best place to live in the United States?  I get asked that question all the time.  My answer can be summed up in two words: it depends.  The truth is that the answer is going to be different for each person.  All of us have different goals and different needs.  If you have a very strong network of family and friends where you live right now, you might want to think twice before moving hundreds or thousands of miles away.  If you have a great job where you live right now, you might want to hold on to it.  You should not just assume that you are going to be able to pick up and move to another part of the country and be able to get a similar job right away.  The United States is in the midst of a very serious economic decline right now, and wherever you live you are going to have to provide for your family.  Just because you move somewhere new does not mean that you are going to leave your problems behind.  In fact, you might find that they moved right along with you.  With all that being said, the reality is that there are some places in the U.S. that are going to be much more desirable than others when the economy totally falls apart.  For example, during a total economic collapse it will not be good to be living in a large city or in a densely populated area.  Just think about what happened in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  If the entire nation is going through something like that, you don’t want to have hundreds of thousands of close neighbors at that point.  So when thinking about where you want to be when everything falls apart, population density should be a major factor.  But there are other factors as well and no area of the United States is perfect.

If you live in or near a major city right now, that is okay.  Most Americans do.  Even if you have limited financial resources at the moment, you can start developing a plan that will get you where you eventually want to go.  If you want to move to another part of the country you can start applying for jobs out there.  You can also be working hard to develop a business that would enable you to move.  Perhaps you have friends or family in more isolated areas that would allow you to stay with them during an economic collapse.

Those that possess more financial resources could start thinking about getting a second home in a location that is more rural.

The key is to come up with a plan and to be working towards accomplishing that plan.

If you don’t have a plan yet, hopefully the following information will give you something to think about.  Not all areas of the United States are equal, and all of them do have problems.

The following are some thoughts about the best place to live in the United States….

The Northeast

A major problem with the Northeast is that it is just so darn crowded.  Yes, there are some rural areas, but the overall population density of the region is so high that it would be really hard to go unnoticed for long in the event of a major economic collapse.

Another thing that is not great about the Northeast is that so much of the population lives near the coast.  As we saw in Japan recently, living near a coastline is not necessarily a good thing.  While it is likely safer to live along the east coast then the west coast, the truth is that there is an inherent level of insecurity when it comes to living in coastal areas.  You never know when the next hurricane, oil spill or tsunami is going to strike.

Also, the Northeast is really quite cold.  So staying warm and growing your own food would be more difficult than in some other areas of the country.

The Mid-Atlantic

The Mid-Atlantic is one of the most beautiful areas of the nation.  Unfortunately, it suffers from many of the same problems that the Northeast does.

The Mid-Atlantic has a very high population density.  For example, the area around Washington D.C. is pretty much all suburbs for 50 miles in all directions.

The weather is nicer than in the Northeast and there are some less dense areas once you get south of Washington D.C.

If you think that the Mid-Atlantic might be for you, you might want to check out North Carolina or South Carolina.  The people tend to get friendlier the further south you go and there are definitely some areas that could potentially work.

Florida

Florida is generally not going to be a place that you want to be during an economic collapse.  The housing market has absolutely collapsed down there and the crime rate is already very high.  It is also very densely populated.

The weather is very nice down in Florida, but one big thing that you need to consider when it comes to Florida is the fact that it is very flat and most of Florida is just barely above sea level.  In fact, quite a bit of Florida is actually below sea level.

In addition, hurricanes are always a major threat in Florida.  It is a beautiful state, but there is a lot of risk to living down there.

The Southeast

The Southeast has really taken a pounding over the last few years.  First it was Hurricane Katrina, and then it was the BP oil spill and then it was the tornadoes of 2011.

There is a lot of poverty in that area of the country.  There is also a lot of crime.

There are a lot of great people who live down in the Southeast, but if you do not know your way around it can be a very difficult place to move to.

The Mid-South

One of my favorite places east of the Mississippi River are the mountains along the Tennessee/North Carolina border.  If you must be in the eastern half of the United States, that is not a bad choice.

Where you do not want to be is anywhere near the New Madrid fault zone.  The New Madrid fault zone covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi.  The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were caused by the New Madrid fault. Many are convinced that we are going to see an absolutely catastrophic earthquake along the New Madrid fault at some point.

So if you want to live in the Mid-South, it is highly recommended that you stay far away from the New Madrid fault zone.

The Upper Midwest

The Upper Midwest was once one of the great manufacturing regions of the world, but now much of it is known as the “rust belt”.

Formerly great manufacturing cities such as Detroit are now absolute hellholes.  Tens of thousands of our factories and millions of our jobs have been shipped overseas.

There are some really great people (including some good friends of this column) that live up there, but the truth is that the region is really cold and unemployment is rampant.

The Upper Midwest is an area that people want to get out of.  It is probably not a great place to move to.

However, if you do need a job, one place to look is a little bit west of there.  Thanks to an abundance of natural resources, unemployment in North Dakota and South Dakota is very low.  If you really need a job you might want to look into those two states.

The Southwest

In the Southwest there are a whole lot of freedom-loving Americans, the weather is very warm and there is a lot of space to get lost.

However, the Southwest is also very dry and in many areas there is not a lot of water.  Drought and wildfires are quite common.

In addition, illegal immigration is rampant and is a constant security threat.

If you are familiar with that area of the country it is not a bad choice, but if you do not know what you are doing it could end up being disastrous for you.

The Great Plains

As long as you are far enough away from the New Madrid fault, the Great Plains is not a bad choice.

It is very, very flat out there, and it can be quite windy, but the good news is that you should be able to grow your own food.

In addition, the population density is generally very low in most areas.

One big negative, as we have seen recently, is tornadoes.  The United States experiences more tornadoes that anywhere else in the world, and “tornado alley” generally gets the worst of it.

The West Coast

During an economic collapse, the West Coast is not a place that you will really want to be.  Just take a look at the state of California already.  It is an economic nightmare.

Millions of people have left California over the past couple of decades.  The millions of people that have left have been replaced mostly with illegal aliens.

Oregon is better, although they have very high taxes and they are experiencing huge economic problems right now as well.

The best area along the West Coast is the Seattle area, but you won’t want to be anywhere near a major population center when things totally fall apart.

Also, the West Coast lies along the “Ring of Fire“.  Considering what just happened in Japan and what has been happening in other areas along the Ring of Fire lately, the West Coast is not an area that a lot of people are recommending.

The Northwest

Large numbers of freedom-loving Americans have been moving to the states of Montana, Idaho and Wyoming.  You can also throw eastern Washington and eastern Oregon into this category as well.

It gets cold up in the Northwest, but not as cold as the Upper Midwest.  There are lots of rivers, streams and lakes and in certain areas there is plenty of rain.

The population density is very low in most areas and there is an abundance of wildlife.  Housing prices are reasonable and in many areas you can grow your own food.

The Northwest is one of the favorite areas of the United States for preppers.  It is far from perfect, but it does have a lot of advantages.

Alaska And Hawaii

Neither Alaska or Hawaii is recommended.  Alaska lies along the “Ring of Fire” and it is very, very cold.  Also, almost everything has to be either shipped or flown into Alaska.  In the event of a real economic collapse, supplies to Alaska could be cut off and shortages could develop very quickly.

Hawaii has a huge population and it does not have a lot of room.  Like Alaska, most supplies have to be either shipped in or flown in.  And one really bad tsunami could pretty much wipe Hawaii out.

But once again, there is no “right answer”.  There are areas of just about every U.S. state that could potentially work well during a major economic collapse.

When assessing where “the best place to live in the United States” is, it is important to examine your own personal factors.  What will work for me and for my family will not necessarily work for you and your family.

So what do all of you think about this list?  Which area of the country do you think is best for those Americans who are seeking to prepare themselves for the coming economic collapse?

24 Signs Of Economic Decline In America

The United States is in the middle of a devastating long-term economic decline and it is getting really hard to deny it.  Over the past year I have included literally thousands of depressing statistics in my articles about the U.S. economy.  I have done this in order to make an overwhelming case that the U.S. economy is in deep decline and is dying a little bit more every single day.  Until we understand exactly how bad our problems are we will never be willing to accept the solutions.  The truth is that our leaders have absolutely wrecked the greatest economic machine that the world has ever seen.  Most Americans just assume that we will always experience overwhelming prosperity, but that is not anywhere close to the truth.  We are not guaranteed anything.  Our manufacturing base has been gutted, the number of jobs is declining, more Americans are dependent on government handouts than ever before, our dollar is dying and as a nation we are absolutely drowning in debt.  The economists that are trumpeting an “economic recovery” and that are declaring that the U.S. economy will soon be “better than ever” are delusional.  We really are steamrolling toward a complete and total economic collapse and our leaders are doing nothing to stop it.

The following are 24 more signs of economic decline in America.  Hopefully you will not get too depressed as you read them….

#1 On Monday, Standard & Poor’s altered its outlook on U.S. government debt from “stable” to “negative” and warned the U.S. that it could soon lose its AAA rating.  This is yet another sign that the rest of the world is losing faith in the U.S. dollar and in U.S. Treasuries.

#2 China has announced that they are going to be reducing their holdings of U.S. dollars.  In fact, there are persistent rumors that this has already been happening.

#3 Hedge fund manager Dennis Gartman says that “panic dollar selling is setting in” and that the U.S. dollar could be in for a huge decline.

#4 The biggest bond fund in the world, PIMCO, is now shorting U.S. government bonds.

#5 This cruel economy is causing “ghost towns” to appear all across the United States.  There are quite a few counties across the nation that now have home vacancy rates of over 50%.

#6 There are now about 7.25 million less jobs in America than when the recession began back in 2007.

#7 The average American family is having a really tough time right now.  Only 45.4% of Americans had a job during 2010.  The last time the employment level was that low was back in 1983.

#8 Only 66.8% of American men had a job last year.  That was the lowest level that has ever been recorded in all of U.S. history.

#9 According to a new report from the AFL-CIO, the average CEO made 343 times more money than the average American did last year.

#10 Gas prices reached five dollars per gallon at a gas station in Washington, DC on April 19th, 2011.  Could we see $6 gas soon?

#11 Over the past 12 months the average price of gasoline in the United States has gone up by about 30%.

#12 Due to rising fuel prices, American Airlines lost a staggering $436 million during the first quarter of 2011.

#13 U.S. households are now receiving more income from the U.S. government than they are paying to the government in taxes.

#14 Approximately one out of every four dollars that the U.S. government borrows goes to pay the interest on the national debt.

#15 Total home mortgage debt in the United States is now about 5 times larger than it was just 20 years ago.

#16 Total credit card debt in the United States is now more than 8 times larger than it was just 30 years ago.

#17 Average household debt in the United States has now reached a level of 136% of average household income.  In China, average household debt is only 17% of average household income.

#18 The average American now spends approximately 23 percent of his or her income on food and gas.

#19 In a recent survey conducted by Deloitte Consulting, 74 percent of Americans said that they planned to slow down their spending in coming months due to rising prices.

#20 59 percent of all Americans now receive money from the federal government in one form or another.

#21 According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average length of unemployment in the U.S. is now an all-time record 39 weeks.

#22 As the economy continues to collapse, frustration among young people will continue to grow and we will see more seemingly “random acts of violence”.  One shocking example of this happened in the Atlanta area recently.  The following is how a local Atlanta newspaper described the attack….

Roughly two dozen teens, chanting the name of a well-known Atlanta gang, brought mob rule to MARTA early Sunday morning, overwhelming nervous passengers and assaulting two Delta flight attendants.

#23 Some Americans have become so desperate for cash that they are literally popping the gold teeth right out of their mouths and selling them to pawn shops.

#24 As the economy has declined, the American people have been gobbling up larger and larger amounts of antidepressants and other prescription drugs.  In fact, the American people spent 60 billion dollars more on prescription drugs in 2010 than they did in 2005.

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