Author Topic: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation  (Read 65090 times)

undercover

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #350 on: June 03, 2017, 07:28:55 PM »
I think there's a correlation between high intelligence and pessimism (see this very thread).  The smarter you are, the more ways you can think of for things to go wrong. 

Conversely, the smarter you are, the more likely you will be able to come up with solutions to all of the problems you worry about. And then, refer to sig. It's all an endless loop.

Classical_Liberal

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #351 on: June 03, 2017, 09:10:20 PM »

Conversely, the smarter you are, the more likely you will be able to come up with solutions to all of the problems you worry about. And then, refer to sig. It's all an endless loop.

Agreed, but isn't this what the OP is doing? 

Hey, I think X and Y are a couple of not so great things that may happen in my life-time.  I really like playing around with Z and it should help alleviate personal hardship if X and Y happen, so I'll get serious about doing Z. 

For that decision he's getting beaten up a bit, at least by the causal reader.  It seems very logical and a healthy way to deal with the anxiety that comes along with being one of those intelligent folks.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #352 on: June 03, 2017, 10:30:08 PM »
This seems to me to be a fear driven thread. I might have misread it, but that's my impression. Nations tend not to rise and fall so much as change markedly over time. The whole rise and fall thing is only seen in far, FAR hindsight. So really, you're just talking about a nation in flux. Change is a time of growth and opportunity as much as it is crisis. When there's blood in the streets, buy property and all that.

Syonyk

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #353 on: June 03, 2017, 10:44:37 PM »
I'll certainly admit to a fear of not being able to provide for my family in extreme situations, but moving in the self sufficiency direction has benefits even if that worst case doesn't happen - which was the point.

Ugh. Damned quail, though. Fat and happy on my garden.

joonifloofeefloo

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #354 on: June 03, 2017, 10:49:23 PM »
I wonder if the optimists are reading it as optimism and the pessimists are reading it as pessimism? I can't imagine the whole BoyScouts motto reflects a pessimist perspective. They have too much fun out there for that :)

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #355 on: June 03, 2017, 10:56:35 PM »
I'll certainly admit to a fear of not being able to provide for my family in extreme situations, but moving in the self sufficiency direction has benefits even if that worst case doesn't happen - which was the point.

Ugh. Damned quail, though. Fat and happy on my garden.

Self sufficiency is a funny thing. It's quite appealing, but the prepper sites are so much garbage. Their research seems to be based on political worst case and quite a lot of what the military might do to survive. Not a one of them seems to have actually looked at what happens in real disaster scenarios - and having lived through a city destroying series of quakes and the aftermath, I feel qualified to comment. You're not going to be able to grab a bug out bag and toddle off to a pristine cabin somewhere after a major natural disaster. You won't get across town, let alone across country. And that'll be 100x worse if the cause is social/political, unless you manage to recognise it coming about 24 months before it actually does. And if that was all that easy, there wouldn't have been anywhere near the number of Jewish people in Germany when things got very bad, would there? By the time most people see it, it's too late.

Syonyk

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #356 on: June 03, 2017, 11:11:09 PM »
Where, in this thread, have I come across as a "prepper"?

It's certainly not intentional. Most of them are loons.

AnnaGrowsAMustache

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #357 on: June 03, 2017, 11:19:10 PM »
Where, in this thread, have I come across as a "prepper"?

It's certainly not intentional. Most of them are loons.

LOL! Sorry. I'm in NZ and I just assumed that our "self sufficiency" is your "prepping". Most of our self sufficient types are loons! It's less about FI and gardening, and more about "freedom camping", which basically means hippy-ing your way around the country pooping in streets and generally annoying everyone.

Many apologies for dumping you in with the loons!

Rife

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #358 on: June 04, 2017, 08:26:26 AM »
I guess I have an issue with the whole idea that the country is in decline.  By what measure and standard?  If you mean standard of living and ease of life and/or how easy it is to become FI, well I'd rather live now in the US than anywhere else in the world or at any other time in the past.  Sh!t, we have so much freaking money and STUFF we have entire movements dedicated to trimming our excess possessions (minimalism).  People in the 50's and 60's didn't sit around and think to themselves "damn, I have SO MUCH stuff, what am I going to do with it all?" 

Seriously, if you are pessimistic nowadays, ESPECIALLY after discovering MMM and the strategies here, well then you just want to be a pessimist and nothing will probably ever change that....

I think what I am confused by is more are we talking about changing world powers or a worldwide decline that leads to us back to the 1800s. We have some problems to work on such as Global warming, but denile will also become harder over time. Regression to the mean would suggest that the dominant country is likely to slow relative to others, but that is a long way from not having food or power distribution.

It is a hobby, and overall probably a good one to have compared to many others. I would stop pretending you need to predict a dire future to do it though. Just say you find it a fun challenge to become more self sufficient.

Syonyk

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #359 on: June 04, 2017, 01:44:49 PM »
Many apologies for dumping you in with the loons!

No problem.  I don't think the "Got mah gunz, got mah beans, got mah bunker" types are worth paying any attention to, since I think the type of thing that works for is incredibly unlikely.  I'm much more interested in the generally sustainable property path, since that works both for quick sudden shocks, as well as for long term decline, and has a lot less to seize/to go bad.

I think what I am confused by is more are we talking about changing world powers or a worldwide decline that leads to us back to the 1800s.

Both, though different people pick different aspects.  We have a very fragile technology base that handles things like "food" and "communication" at this point - so if something in that chain fails, we have problems, quickly.  There's certainly a lot of effort that goes into maintaining the order of things, but look at how much chaos even short power outages cause.

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We have some problems to work on such as Global warming, but denile will also become harder over time.

So, once we're deep into runaway positive feedback loops, people will look up and scratch their heads, and do... what, exactly?  "Too little, too late" applies to pretty much anything, at that point.

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It is a hobby, and overall probably a good one to have compared to many others. I would stop pretending you need to predict a dire future to do it though. Just say you find it a fun challenge to become more self sufficient.

Going back to my original post on it, I was trying, somewhat unsuccessfully, to have a discussion about things that are useful both if things keep going well, and if things don't.  Ideally, it's things that can scale a bit as needed - having a good understanding of how to garden on my soil is useful if I need to expand it quickly in a few years.  Having a good working understand of off grid solar is proving surprisingly useful (I'm starting to get invites to all sorts of fun places to go look at systems and make recommendations).  Etc.

GodlessCommie

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #360 on: June 05, 2017, 08:55:45 AM »
Having lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, I find the doom and gloom scenarios amusing but irrelevant. Human societies are way more resilient than we give them credit for. Don't get me wrong, it was no fun - but it didn't take long for things to hit a bottom and start to improve. Electric grid continued to function, even if not 100% stable. Running water kept running. Having a plot of land and knowing how to grow staples helped but was not 100% necessary. Lawyers and politicians and a lot of other people with seemingly impractical skills did just fine - much better, in fact, than people with practical skills who faced a lot of competition and diminished incomes.

Things that one should really be afraid of are
- war
- totalitarian/hardline authoritarian regime

This is when S really HTF. But a country in decline can be perfectly livable for a long, long time. Heck, most every European country is well past its prime and they are full of happy, healthy, affluent people. On the other hand, China and India are on the rise but Chinese and Indians are not necessarily happier, healthier or wealthier.

Jrr85

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #361 on: June 05, 2017, 09:42:46 AM »

I think what I am confused by is more are we talking about changing world powers or a worldwide decline that leads to us back to the 1800s.

I'm sure there are some people worried about maybe an asteroid strike or carrington event that actually calls our relatively complex (and possibly fragile?) supply chains to break down and leave us with a few months or a year of scarcity, but my impression is that most of them are looking for things like Venezuela. 

 

StephenP

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #362 on: June 06, 2017, 12:32:30 PM »
Nations rise and fall - we see this throughout history.  Generally, a nation will last hundreds of years before falling down the dustbin of history into irrelevance, and nations that strive for stability over all else can last thousands.

Kind of an over generalization, especially in the context of FIRE. England is often considered a "declining nation." Their FIRE industry is still one of the largest and strongest in the world. The US has one advantage that no other country in the world has, the currency *is* the global currency. Over 84% of global transactions are conducted in US dollars, so even countries that are competing for the top spot have a vested interest in seeing the economy succeed. The yuan will be a close competitor if it ever goes convertible, but China's debt problems are bigger the than any problem in the US right now.

The US isn't on the massive decline that everyone thinks it is, a quick look at the equity and fixed income markets will tell you that.

qval

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #363 on: June 12, 2017, 02:49:16 PM »
Having lived through the collapse of the Soviet Union, I find the doom and gloom scenarios amusing but irrelevant. Human societies are way more resilient than we give them credit for.

At the risk of being a pessimist, I'd argue that the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US will ever be: They didn't have a foreclosure crisis: people had their houses/apartments. Food was more scarce, but eastern Europeans had much worse famines in living memory. Even jobs kinda just kept going  (we pretend to work, they pretend to pay us).

I think a collapse in the USA will be way uglier than the 1991 collapse, but I also think it's muuuch less likely... Us Americans live pampered lives; taking that away can cause some bad convulsions.

Syonyk, I think building up those skills is not a bad idea, but make sure your priorities align with your values. Don't raise chickens because that'll help you survive the apocalypse, do it because you like their company and their eggs.

Syonyk

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #364 on: June 12, 2017, 03:01:33 PM »
At the risk of being a pessimist, I'd argue that the USSR was better prepared for collapse than the US will ever be: They didn't have a foreclosure crisis: people had their houses/apartments. Food was more scarce, but eastern Europeans had much worse famines in living memory. Even jobs kinda just kept going  (we pretend to work, they pretend to pay us).

Orlov has certainly made that argument, having lived through it.

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Syonyk, I think building up those skills is not a bad idea, but make sure your priorities align with your values. Don't raise chickens because that'll help you survive the apocalypse, do it because you like their company and their eggs.

Actually, mostly, I'm hoping they eat cheatgrass... everything else is a bonus.

powskier

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Re: Thoughts on FIRE in a declining nation
« Reply #365 on: June 12, 2017, 11:30:08 PM »
I am constantly amazed about this obsession that Americans have with everything collapsing.

So many people are now just like that crazy old guy waving around his "The end is near" sign for the past many centuries. it's the same silliness as calling a top or bottom to the market.
Further more, even if everything did collapse, preppers would become targets for the hordes.
I find it much more reasonable to train the mind to adapt to new situations, rather than dig a mental ditch and build a wall around it. This allows for taking advantage of opportunities now and likely being able to adapt to whatever the future brings.