The Drought, the Depression and Déjà Vu… Presenting Dust Bowl II

Every time I get a little bit optimistic that we might somehow MacGyver our way out of this, I’m jerked back to reality by… well… reality.

According to the talking heads, we are climbing out of a recession, but for those of us who grew up with grandparents from the Depression; this is starting to have a very eerie déjà vu to it. We may indeed have been here before.

It turns out that the perfect storm is no storm at all. Drought, massive, historic crop withering drought is now impacting about 80% of the country, and forecasters are predicting above average temperatures from August through October, then most of the grain belt freezes over.

The word drought is often included in sentences with words like famine, pestilence and plague. When events begin to take on Biblical proportions, it is time to take note.

But, the drought may be a blessing in disguise for those who understand that the corn that is dying was doomed from the beginning. We may have been saved from a catastrophe with implications much worse than the loss of this year’s crop. We needed an act of God to stop these agra-terrorists.

The seeds were genetically modified and were killing everything associated with their cycle. Either way, when you add the loss of most of the nation’s soy bean crop to the loss of corn, this is certain to heighten global poverty and starvation.

Just at a time when Americans are hurting the most; food costs, for those who get food, will be off the charts. Same with energy.

In addition, losses are accruing to businesses, and the employment picture is worsening as a result. And, it isn’t just the agricultural economy that is being devastated. Crop failures affect every aspect of the supply, distribution and retail sectors. Layoffs are a certainty.

For all of our-self-confidence, our mastery over anything has been largely the result of good luck.

But, we have run out of luck, out of time, and out of money. We pissed in the well and Monsanto ate our seed corn. We can’t drink the water, breathe the air, or eat the food.

In pristine Portland, Oregon, there is a boil water order in effect because e-coli has contaminated their primary water source.

And, remember the “balance of nature” that people used to refer to? We are killing our planet while those in charge spend our resources to cover up the evidence.

Call it global warming or whatever you want, but only a cretin could continue to assume that dumping all manner of toxic chemicals, prescription medicine, and sewage into our water and denuding the planet of vital forests wouldn’t have consequences.

But, they lie and they lie, and they lie about it. We have no idea how bad things really are because we now know that all information is sanitized.

Increasingly bad news is spun in a way that makes it seem positive. The unemployment numbers are cooked, and there never was a recovery from anything–just more made up numbers.

If more people knew and understood the truth about what is going on, we’d have our leaders’ heads on pikes by the weekend. So, they lie and they lie and they lie.

Dr. Stephen Covey passed away recently. Details of his death have been sketchy, but one of my most unreliable sources swears he was there when it happened.

Apparently, high on ecstasy, the good doctor rode his bike off of a Utah mountainside shouting “Begin with the end in mind!”

He was a giant and he will be missed.

The author of Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, Dr. Covey was a man who taught people how to create and implement a blue-print for the life they wanted to lead.

One of his main pillars was the notion that you have to “be realistic about your situation.”

That is a biggie right there. In order to act appropriately, it is vital. And yet, we are continually being deceived about our public finances, the performance of our employees in government, the condition of the environment, the safety of our food, and the revolving, Halliburton driven, series of endless, pointless, winless wars.

So what is the reality of our situation? Sometime between tomorrow and the end of next year, the series of compounding problems will no longer be manageable under any known scenario. There will be extreme craziness for a while, and then the muddling through will begin.

Despite all of the factual information that I have cited in my articles, I still get occasional push-back on what I say because, well frankly, people just don’t like it.

But, it is usually more in the form of shooting the messenger. I’ve been called almost every disparaging phrase you can think of: lefty, righty, tea partier, liberal, neo-con, bleeding heart, cold as ice, racist, and the new one that has been showing up, “hater.”

My favorite is the assumption that I am depressed, miserable, angry or unhappy because of the things I research and write about.

Quite the contrary; seeing and understanding the future is really quite reassuring. I am prepared. I know how to prepare. And, having prepared, I am able to focus on the joys of the here and now.

In case you missed,

It is actually liberating to know that in some ways, we are powerless in regard to the future. I simply watch it unfold with the curiosity and wonder of a child, not the harsh judgments of an adult.

For good or ill, we are living in a period leading up to a great upheaval. There will be casualties, many, many casualties. Some of us will unavoidably become victims of chaos.

We have been living in a fantasy. We believe there will be food, water, power, money and order. Maybe there will be…for you. But, it isn’t as certain as you might think.

Having done what I can do to prepare, I leave the rest in God’s hands. A man doesn’t need a strong faith when everything is going well; he needs it when his challenges seem greater than his ability to respond.

God gave me the ability to find something amusing in almost any situation, even a hopeless one, and you cannot be depressed and laughing at the same time.

For those who think it can never happen again, you haven’t been paying attention. Dust off your old copy of John Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath and ask yourself, isn’t the same frustration that pushed Tom Joad over the edge becoming more commonplace in the lives of people you know?

George W. Mantor
The Real Estate Professor
Founder, American Foreclosure Resistance Movement