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5 Controversial Ways to Enjoy the Decline
pjmedia.com ^ | by Kathy Shaidle

Posted on 03/15/2013 11:33:11 AM PDT by virgil283

"Is America in decline? I’ve been hearing the United States compared to the Roman Empire since around the 1970s, and I’m sure those apocalyptic sentiments were being expressed long before I was born. However, it’s difficult to read and watch all the depressing stuff posted here on PJ Media and elsewhere and not conclude that, this time, it’s on. America’s going Gibbon. Some books propose possible ways to avert this catastrophe. Aaron Clarey’s Enjoy the Decline isn’t one of them. As his subtitle suggests, this book is about “accepting and living with the death of the United States. #1 — Don’t save for retirement #2 — Don’t go to college #3 — Don’t earn more than $15,000 a year #4 — Don’t have children (sort of)....."

(Excerpt) Read more at pjmedia.com ...


TOPICS: Society
KEYWORDS: decline
........."Clarey insists that “the debate about being an independent, self-reliant individual is moot”:

It’s not about morality, it’s about reality. Most Americans really have no choice. Since the government has become so large, it’s almost impossible to live an entire life without collecting some form of government assistance. The reality has been forced upon you by a short-sighted and ignorant electorate. (…) You can decide to take advantage of it or be taken advantage of.

If you’re always complaining that books about “the end of America” never offer possible solutions to the problem, that’s one thing you can’t say about Enjoy the Decline."..... Remember when the hippy dippy 'peace protesters' would not earn more than $12K ? As not to fund the 'war machine'...?

1 posted on 03/15/2013 11:33:11 AM PDT by virgil283
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To: virgil283

Number 2 makes perfect sense and is exactly what I’m doing...now I have a BS and MA - and my work is in govt intel — but I’m looking as a fall back IT cert’s from MS...IT isn’t going anywhere and MS is global...so that’s good advice!


2 posted on 03/15/2013 11:37:54 AM PDT by BCW (http://babylonscovertwar.com/index.html)
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To: virgil283

“Clarey and I agree: the government is going to seize your savings, assuming you have any left come seizure time.

If you must, Clarey advises, invest in gold, silver, copper, and land – although I don’t see why the government can’t just as easily seize that too. They’ve done it before, from Roosevelt to Kelo.

Clarey “jokingly” recommends the “Smith and Wesson Retirement Plan,” i.e., suicide.”

Nah, I can’t commit suicide, but mark my words, if the government seizes my savings, I will get it back from them, or die trying. As far as I’m concerned, it wouldn’t be theft to make a “withdrawal” from a Federal bank, so long as I only took back what was mine.


3 posted on 03/15/2013 11:41:20 AM PDT by Boogieman
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To: virgil283

If I had my druthers, I would go back to 1998, to the paperwork and intense prayer in preparation for the seminary, and live a life of extreme poverty and prayer. However, I spent years in college, years building a resume, recently married, and now I’m on the other end of the spectrum. Materialism has corrupted the once-idealistic young man I was and turned me into a workplace drone.

I’ll continue to work. I’ll continue to put into my 401(k). When the market crashes, if I’m still employed, I’ll stop contributing to my retirement for the extra cash. When I lose my job, I’ll withdrawal everything from my 401(k), assuming the Fed hasn’t looted it, and I’ll live on what trades I’ve acquired over the years.

The nice thing about being a Catholic idealist in my youth is that at no time have I ever valued money over my life and my faith. If I lost my job and all of my savings tomorrow, I would reflect for a moment on all of the hard work (and not-so-hard work) I’d done and move on.

All of these scenarios revolve around money. If you don’t care or value it over the simple context of “stuff,” you won’t be a slave to it. “Things” can be taken from you. Life, love, and faith are eternal.


4 posted on 03/15/2013 11:41:53 AM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: virgil283

I have also taught college as an Adjunct - and found that my discipline in doing my assignments, reading and learning the material, showing up to class, and the simple writing skills everyone “should have” was not present in over 66% of the students in my courses - both online and inside the traditional campus...I was amazed that these 66% thought that if they paid their tuition - then the degree was guaranteed - no thought was required. I’m pulling away from that side-job, it requires too much work on my end editing papers and grading - plus I have to spend the first part of the course teaching the students basic writing, thesis, and research - something they should have already learned from high school or lower English courses — but didn’t! The video shown is correct - college is becoming more expensive - and nothing is being gained from it - not like it used to be!


5 posted on 03/15/2013 11:47:28 AM PDT by BCW (http://babylonscovertwar.com/index.html)
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To: rarestia

I am not so good about being detached from money as you are because to me, money = freedom. Unless you have too much, then it is a trap. A certain minimum amount of money = freedom.

But I sure agree with you about stuff! NEVER fall in love with your “stuff”. It can disappear in an instant. Theft. Fire. Flood. Failure. Misplacement. Divorce. Confiscation. Consumption. Your stuff is all only temporary.

I have trained myself to treat all of my worldly possessions as if they are borrowed or rented and can be re-claimed from me at any time. This way, when I lose stuff, I shrug it off pretty easily. Even neat stuff.

I had 2 motorcycle tours around the USA and umpteen around the Western US. Lost all of the digital photos in a computer crash because back-up failed too.

No more beautiful vacation photos. Poof. Gone in an instant. Good thing they were only “borrowed”. Nobody can take the memories though.

I like your attitude on money and stuff. I never wanted for money until I started to travel and until I realized I had never lived in a neighborhood where I really wanted to live.

Money = freedom for me. Beyond that, how much stuff do you need? Really?


6 posted on 03/15/2013 11:51:00 AM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Free goodies for all -- Freedom for none.)
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To: virgil283

Told my kids to not have choldren.


7 posted on 03/15/2013 11:57:12 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: All

I once read (possibly here on Free Republic )..

“You only own what you can carry in your arms at a full run”


8 posted on 03/15/2013 12:12:41 PM PDT by uncle fenders
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To: BenLurkin
My Great Grandmother told my parents on the day of their wedding “don’ta havea children” with an Italian accent that was in 1956 “there too much troubla” lol
9 posted on 03/15/2013 12:15:36 PM PDT by angcat
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To: angcat
I don't want to see progeny born into a world which is becoming increasing depraved and oppressive. If I'd known how bad ti would get an how quickly things were to have fallen apart even in my lifetime, I would not have had children.
10 posted on 03/15/2013 12:19:29 PM PDT by BenLurkin (This is not a statement of fact. It is either opinion or satire; or both)
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To: BenLurkin
BenLurkin you have children and it's too lake just like I have them. Every generation says the same thing. I would not regret the gift god gave to you because of stinkin politicians who have ruined our country! :)
11 posted on 03/15/2013 12:21:06 PM PDT by angcat
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To: virgil283

“The reality has been forced upon you by a short-sighted and ignorant electorate. (…) “

10% of government spending goes into the hands of the media: directly, through consumers spending welfare money, and from subsidized industries.

McLuhan said “the medium is the message”. He was talking about technology but the effect of the means of financing the media is as acute.

Media will inform people that government spending is good until the society collapses.
There are no factors to correct this effect except destruction.


12 posted on 03/15/2013 12:30:14 PM PDT by mrsmith (Dumb sluts: Lifeblood of the Media, Backbone of the Democrat Party!)
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To: rarestia
If I had my druthers, I would go back to 1998,

If I had mine, I'd go back to 1980 and pursue a career in Law Enforcement. I'd be pretty well off now. Fed LEO agencies....heck, even state agency LEOs are the true New Centurions. A protected class. With what's coming...that Blue Line would be one heck of a security blanket.

But then, if wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

13 posted on 03/15/2013 12:38:01 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Here once the embattled farmers stood... And fired the shot heard round the world.)
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To: Bloody Sam Roberts

Seeing the growing disdain for law enforcement, even former LEOs, I would be concerned for them. I only hope they are on our side and are willing to help train us when the SHTF.


14 posted on 03/15/2013 12:42:47 PM PDT by rarestia (It's time to water the Tree of Liberty.)
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To: virgil283

(Kathy simply forgot which way she was counting; just pretend the numbers aren’t there.)

#1 — Don’t save for retirement
#2 — Don’t go to college
#3 — Don’t earn more than $15,000 a year
#2 — Don’t have children (sort of)
#1 – Plunder

5 Controversial Ways to Enjoy the Decline of America
“Captain Capitalism” wants you to tune in, drop out and go Galt. by
Bio (KATHY SHAIDLE is a blogging pioneer who runs FiveFeetOfFury, now in its 12th year. She’s been called “one of the great virtuoso polemicists of our time,” by MARK STEYN. Her latest book is Acoustic Ladyland: Kathy Shaidle Unplugged
Kathy Shaidle

Bio
March 5, 2013 - 7:00 amTweet

Is America in decline?

I’ve been hearing the United States compared to the Roman Empire since around the 1970s, and I’m sure those apocalyptic sentiments were being expressed long before I was born.

However, it’s difficult to read and watch all the depressing stuff posted here on PJ Media and elsewhere and not conclude that, this time, it’s on.

America’s going Gibbon.

Some books propose possible ways to avert this catastrophe.

Aaron Clarey’s Enjoy the Decline isn’t one of them.

As his subtitle suggests, this book is about “accepting and living with the death of the United States.”

It’s full of counterintuitive, amusing, and sometimes infuriating advice:

What country should I move to?

What should I pack in a bug-out bag?

Why don’t black people go to national parks?

This book features something to offend everyone.

#1 — Don’t save for retirement
Clarey — who blogs as “Captain Capitalism” — writes:

In 2008 Argentina stole the private pensions of its workers, nationalizing those funds to deal with their own debt problems. Bolivia did the same in 2010, as did Hungary. And Bulgaria did their own scaled-down version of confiscating people’s private pensions in 2011. (…)

Unfortunately, the Democrats took note of what Argentina did in 2008 and have since bantered around ideas of rescinding the tax benefits of those programs, even outright nationalizing them.

Until very recently, the whole notion of retirement didn’t even exist.

Then governments decided to curtail restless citizens’ revolutionary sentiments – in Germany, America, and elsewhere – by doling out goodies such as old-age pensions.

Of course, 65 was chosen as the retirement age because few people lived to be older than 65 anyhow.

In other words:

No one was ever even supposed to collect this money!

Private- and public-sector pensions are unsustainable Ponzi schemes.

Retirement is a fad. Having a retirement plan is like having a “hula hoop plan” or a “Charleston plan.”

Clarey and I agree: the government is going to seize your savings, assuming you have any left come seizure time.

If you must, Clarey advises, invest in gold, silver, copper, and land – although I don’t see why the government can’t just as easily seize that too. They’ve done it before, from Roosevelt to Kelo.

Clarey “jokingly” recommends the “Smith and Wesson Retirement Plan,” i.e., suicide.

Like him, I don’t see the point in saving money your whole life just so you can bankrupt your family trying desperately to stay alive for the last six (crippled, diaper-wearing, mush-eating) months of your life.

While I’m not prepared to go as far as Clarey (yet), it’s true:

My retirement plan is death.

#2 — Don’t go to college
Clarey (and I) have written about this before.

Take all the money you were saving up for college and start your own business, as long as, Clarey writes, it isn’t “something stupid like ‘horse farms’ or ‘coffee shops’ or other such profitless hobbies that only morons pursue.”

Alternately, he advises, join the military or learn a trade:

Another benefit of the trades is that trade certification is a lot cheaper than earning a four year degree. Most trade programs are only two year, granting you an associate degree in that field, and nearly all of them offer better employment prospects than your average liberal arts degrees because they are a “skill.” Additionally, because they are a “skill,” you are immediately put to work. A friend of mine graduated with a degree in auto mechanics. His first job wasn’t not filing or faxing or fetching coffee. He didn’t have to “work his way up” to being a mechanic. And there was no ass-kissing or brown-nosing required to ingratiate himself to his bosses so they’d be kind enough to let him finally start wrenching on cars. His skill was too valuable and his employer needed him to do what he was trained to do — work on cars.

#3 — Don’t earn more than $15,000 a year
I grew up poor and now I have money. Having money is better.

I also dated a guy like Clarey once: a brilliant, handsome, thoughtful thirty-something man who still had roommates, shopped at thrift stores, drove a motorcycle instead of a car, and so on.

His goal was to live on very little because he valued his freedom from convention, bosses, and the taxman.

(Eventually I married a guy who made way more money and owned a car.)

When we think of “going Galt,” we think of it as something only rich men can afford to do.

Clarey cleverly turns that notion upside down, and posits the idea that you can actually go Galt faster the less money you have.

When you remove yourself from the tax rolls, you stop hosting society’s parasites – the tens of millions of citizens who suck on the government teat:

In making only $15,000 a year you are essentially shrinking yourself (the host) so much that the parasites cannot live off of you. (…) You will no longer get mad when you see another ringless mother buying diapers with an EBT card. (…) It’s no longer your money they are using to pay for it. It’s somebody else’s. You may still be unhappy about the general direction of the country, but at least you’re no longer a sucker who has to pay for it.

Clarey’s on to something.

It’s sad but true: I find myself trying to make less than a certain amount of money lest certain taxes kick in.

But Clarey’s number — $15,000 – is way too low for me.

(I live in Canada, which is a comparative tax haven. Sorry, Land of the Free…)

Like much of Clarey’s advice, this minimalist plan can only work within a narrow framework of circumstances.

Good luck getting your mom back and forth from chemo on the back of your Harley. In December.

#2 — Don’t have children (sort of)
Again, I’ve gone over this.

Here’s Clarey:

While I’m not saying “don’t have children,” children are very expensive “stuffs.” The average kid costs $250,000 to raise and that doesn’t even include college tuition. Also, unlike your X-Box or your computer, they bring in communicable diseases. I have also found out that they do not have “off buttons” and the authorities frown on it if you try to sell them. If you already have children or you really want children, by all means certainly have them. But if you can do without, it certainly makes Going Galt a lot easier.

Many writers insist that the best way to reverse the decline of the West is to increase the birth rate.

The trouble is, having children is one of the biggest excuses people use for not fighting for free speech and other Western values; they’re afraid their kids’ teachers will punish them for having outspoken parents; they might lose their job (and therefore their precious dental plan, and those kids need braces, you know…)

And besides: have you seen (and heard) some of the kids people are having?

I’m not convinced that creating a new crop of conformist, politically correct, helmet-wearing, nut-allergic, obese citizens is really in America’s best interest.

(CONTENT WARNING:)

#1 – Plunder
In the tradition of Abbie Hoffman’s Steal This Book, Clarey’s Enjoy the Decline includes a chapter about how to get stuff for free.

Hoffman’s hippie handbook offered advice about now-anachronistic scams like phone phreaking, and gave addresses to free clinics that apparently most of his readers didn’t visit until it was too late.

Clarey, on the other hand, gives out the websites that spell out what kinds of federal, state, and local handouts you can get.

His rationale is spelled out in the Ayn Rand quotation that opens the chapter:

Whenever the welfare-state laws offer [the victims of looters] some small restitution, the victims should take it.

I’m guessing that even with Rand’s imprimatur, most of the proudly capitalist libertarians in Clarey’s readership will be most put off by this chapter.

Clarey insists that “the debate about being an independent, self-reliant individual is moot”:

It’s not about morality, it’s about reality. Most Americans really have no choice. Since the government has become so large, it’s almost impossible to live an entire life without collecting some form of government assistance. The reality has been forced upon you by a short-sighted and ignorant electorate. (…) You can decide to take advantage of it or be taken advantage of.

If you’re always complaining that books about “the end of America” never offer possible solutions to the problem, that’s one thing you can’t say about Enjoy the Decline.

Whether any of Clarey’s suggestions are practical or even morally sound is a decision only the reader can make.

Why not read it and see what you think?

****


15 posted on 03/15/2013 12:45:34 PM PDT by meadsjn
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To: rarestia
I only hope they are on our side and are willing to help train us when the SHTF.

I have friends and acquaintances on my local PD and some in other towns.

When the SHTF...and I mean blowing at a 300mph clip so it all sticks where it is headed....real nasty ass situations...99% will be on the side of the citizenry they have been interacting with for most of their careers. Families come first but I don't see them complying with unlawful or unconstitutional orders. Most of them are very cool customers.

16 posted on 03/15/2013 1:43:23 PM PDT by Bloody Sam Roberts (Here once the embattled farmers stood... And fired the shot heard round the world.)
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To: BenLurkin

You and your children have each other. While it pains any parent to see or imagine their children in distress, your family is also your source of comfort.


17 posted on 03/15/2013 3:57:56 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: BipolarBob

bfl


18 posted on 03/15/2013 5:29:34 PM PDT by BipolarBob (Happy Hunger Games! May the odds be ever in your favor.)
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To: Amberdawn
You and your children have each other.

Not for always, ma'am. Parents have this habit of dying before their children do. And once you're gone, they're on their own...and unfortunately, they're going to live in a world that I don't think you would want to live in.

If I were a young man today there is no way that I would bring children into this world. I once was young and at that time, thank goodness, I never became a father, by choice.

19 posted on 03/15/2013 6:00:44 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

No, nothing is forever, but not even running the race isn’t an option either, merely a cop-out.


20 posted on 03/15/2013 8:44:15 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: Amberdawn

You’re relating creating a human to live a life in a time of perilous turmoil to a race?


21 posted on 03/16/2013 4:54:57 AM PDT by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

—SIGH— Not really OldPossum, just saying that people shouldn’t give up having a family they MAY want because times are hard. Now, you have voluntarily chosen to be without one and that’s fine, but imagine if all people felt the way you did. People have feared for the future forever, but life goes on.


22 posted on 03/16/2013 9:20:27 AM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: Amberdawn

—SIGH—Of course, I knew what you were saying; I just thought that it was an odd way of wording it.

Yes, people have always worried about the future but this time it seems that there is much more of a basis for concern. We are definitely at the beginning of a depression, what with unemployment rates in excess of 15 percent—maybe more. We have never faced government deficits on the order of what is transpiring today. And we all should know that this precedes horribly high inflation rates.

People should worry because things could become horribly worse. It’s just the intervention of government (unemployment insurance, food stamps, etc.) that is temporarily shielding people from the truth of their economic circumstances.

I am particularly thankful that I am not a grandfather with grandchildren facing an economic and political future that could be very difficult to live through.

In summary: we just disagree, Amberdawn.


23 posted on 03/16/2013 12:24:52 PM PDT by OldPossum
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To: OldPossum

Yes, we do disagree.


24 posted on 03/16/2013 3:25:51 PM PDT by Amberdawn
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To: virgil283

Just finished reading this book.

Will probably read it again and let it all sink in.

I recommend it. It reads much like a FReeper wrote it in some passages. What I got the most from it wasn’t really the specifics on how to prepare as much as the mindset.

If I had to summarize, it would be - look around, see the world as it is, forget about what was or might have been, then put on your big boy (or big girl) pants and deal with it in the best way possible for you. And don’t forget you’re gonna die so you better make the best of your life while you can.

Sometimes we all need to be hit up side the head, and this book did it for me.


25 posted on 03/22/2013 8:07:29 PM PDT by chrisser (Senseless legislation does nothing to solve senseless violence.)
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