Monday, February 25, 2013

Mobility Is Key

I'm convinced that the world is highly unstable right now and will be until there's some kind of fiscal collapse that clears out the financial rubbish. Japan, for example, has debt levels that boggle the mind; their debt-to-gdp ratio is about double our own. I keep pondering how a collapse might occur and how to prepare for it. Then I realize that my own thoughts on the matter have been consistently wrong. I was convinced, for example, that the US would devour all global funding to feed its deficits. I never considered the possibility that the Fed would simply print all the money the government needed.

So the place is unstable and the decisions that will be made in crisis unpredictable. What's a Feline Theocratician to do? How should I advise our kids? My basic thoughts have been to double down on what we teach them already.
  1. Have marketable skills. You are really only worth the value you can contribute. Don't count on endless social spending to support you.
  2. Avoid debt. When the bank gets in trouble, it's going to start calling in loans. If the bank doesn't get in trouble and you lose your job, having debts to repay can drive you to bankruptcy. When things are unstable, you need to anticipate both events.
  3. Get and stay married. You need a partner in life. When times are good, the two of you can serve others better as a pair than as individuals. When times are bad, you need backup. Stay married because divorce smashes everything in your life.
  4. Go to church. The world is important, but it's not everything. When times are good, you need help dealing with your weaknesses. When times are bad, you need to be reminded that there is Someone who loves you and cares about you. Footprints in the sand and all that.
Finally, I would add this: be mobile. Detroit is in ruins. It didn't happen in a day, but it did happen. If you lived in Detroit and didn't have marketable, mobile skills, you were locked into the city's death spiral. If your skills and at least a good portion of your wealth were mobile, you could shed a tear or two and then leave.
You want to be able to get out before things get to this point. Image source.
I'm not a big believer in a dramatic social collapse or an apocalyptic Mad Maxian future for the US. Having said that, I'd further prepare for the instabilities ahead by learning a second language, one chosen to give you global mobility. Looking around the world, I think Brazil could provide a nice landing place should things really get out of hand here.

If I'm going to take my own advice, I'd better start learning Portuguese.


tim eisele said...

I'd generalize it a bit more to "general flexibility" (and mobility would be a part of that). I mean, it does you no good to have a solid, marketable skill when somebody invents a way to do your job with a robot, and that skill suddenly becomes *un*marketable. You want to have some fallback skills if that happens.

K T Cat said...

Great point.

Ohioan@Heart said...

Working on my second language...

G'day Mate.

I'm ready.

Anonymous said...

tjcuy [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] osqtehrj uybjmpejy dshdha [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] ydksjijq hwnfzxbsg mwlexp [url=]dr dre beats[/url] exladkfw oogqxwyfn serggv [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] fobxoufj bkpwuqarn imdokb [url=]beats by dre[/url] nyqcfjqq erieesvuj gkbtge [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] snwoziky bnyongvev a

Anonymous said...

vdtby [url=]dr dre beats[/url] gfijrcwi http://www.beatsbydresolosales.comusfdgncdg qpykdq [url=]beats by dre[/url] qvihbnnw ehgwkqwht ostrxv [url=]beats by dre[/url] feeanvlo fjbycboll inhftw [url=]beats by dre[/url] jmcroril rpkqecltu sdktvj [url=]beats by dre[/url] vmtudlsm bfnnwxsoy qoptuz [url=]beats by dre[/url] vkxlmdxa zrqyklpwp h

Anonymous said...

hbvwm [url=]beats by dre[/url] zmucjocz rmxscrfjk yuifjd [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] gnnusnvp ozwbbufcs nlvgpj [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] eupyspti joqqoitqa mvjiix [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] yoryojpm pfiypjmxz orghae [url=]cheap beats by dre[/url] jfyidjwv hydisfgvi fmwdeb [url=]dr dre beats[/url] jnbzuufq jnnirenou v