For most people in the United States, the past three years have been the toughest of their lives for a couple of generations. There are a few people who remember the Carter years, when neighbors in suburbs across America were siphoning gasoline from each other's tanks in the middle of the night in order to avoid the gas-rationing lines in the morning and still get to work. If anything, this situation today is more dire and even more challenging. I'd like to offer my thoughts - based on hard-learned experience - so that people here at Redstate can understand how to cope with another year, living in the Obama Economy.
LEARN TO EAT DIRT
It's all around you when you walk outside and it's even underneath the sidewalks in most of our major cities and townships. Fortunately, for most of us there isn't any need to pry up large sidewalk tablets to get at the rich, life-sustaining loam underneath. For most people in America, dirt is available almost everywhere with a variety of rich mineral compositions depending on where you buy it or scoop it from. Oftentimes, construction companies who are presently out of work will have the best dirt still encrusted on the teeth of their large, industrial digging equipment. You can sneak up in the dead of night, break it off by the pound and literally walk home with it and eat it - and nobody will ever say anything. Think about setting up a dirt co-op in your local neighborhood: the idea is to pool the best varieties of edible dirt from as many places as possible and present it so that it appeals. If you have a gallon or two of runoff water or cat piss, you can pour that on top of the dirt to make it even more delicious.
FIND A NEW JOB
If you don't already work for the government, I know - it's sad, and your job prospects just suck. Your chances of finding a new job at almost any age are really terrible right now. You practically have to wait until someone dies or drives their car off a cliff before an opportunity even opens up, and then there are another 800 people who have already submitted their credentials ahead of yours. It's almost as much trouble as getting a job as a Ph.D. in Computer Science was back in the late 1990s. But don't let that deter you: this is no time to lose hope! Smart people can always come up with new and novel answers in difficult circumstances. For example, many people have found they can't pay their rent, and they're getting thrown out of their residences. Keep an eye out for them, because there are lots of them nowadays and this is your opportunity! This is your time to step up, because they're going to have a lot of things they're just going to have to throw away and be hauled off by waste management corporations. Do not neglect this trove of potentially new products to sell. A little dumpster diving in a few days can easily net you a few hundred cast-off pieces of stuff that can be repackaged using some old food wrap and sold again as new. With a little ingenuity, you're not a dumpster-diver, you're a Product Consultant! Moreover, a lot of the things that people throw away can be successfully sent back to the companies that manufactured them as "defects" - and you can receive a whole new product to sell in the mail.
CONSIDER A NEW LINE OF WORK
Most people in America have spent their adolescent and adult lives aspiring to achieve some form of excellence in a chosen field. In a lot of cases, they've spent a lot of money in an attempt to accumulate the credentials and work experience they'd need to continue to advance their careers. All of that is out the window right now. Not only are they saddled with debt from the futile attempt to break into an already crowded field, at this point so many of those fields are folding up that what was previously fertile soil for their hopes and imaginations are just piles of sand stretching to the parched horizon as far as the eye can see. That's compounded by the fact that let's face it, America has what so many economists and talking heads are calling a "structural unemployment problem." That means that no matter what field you want to go into, there won't be any new jobs in it. This is the time to consider a new line of work. For example, if you had thought it was time to be an industrial engineer, this might just be the time to start digging ditches. If you wanted to be an architect and use your talents manipulating space and materials in order to create new and innovative living environments, I'd cut that out right now and consider understanding the mechanics of switchblade knives instead. Doctors and Lawyers who have graduated in the past three years will have to cut back on their expectations for the future: instead of working in an esteemed hospital or clinic or high-salary partnership, it might be best to consider things like Street Medicine and Street Law. Highly skilled astronaut candidates and nuclear engineers should start thinking about doing new things like painting in Trompe L'Oeil and hanging out at the local pharmacy, packing bags.
LEARN SKILLS THAT MATTER
For almost 100 years the Boy Scouts of America and the US Army have published manuals that can teach you how to tie knots, fell trees, cook food, boil water, find directions using the nighttime sky, erect basic survival structures and learn to live off the land. It turns out that all that old wisdom has become new again - and you will need to use it. Forget about bartering for your intellectual credentials in a developed and highly variegated workplace of skillsets - you're going to need to understand how to start a fire with a few pieces of wood and a flint. Before time runs out, learn how to protect yourself from the basics of airborne and waterborne diseases. Learning how to kill and dress an animal isn't something you should shy away from: Even Dutch Restaurant in New York offers a Rabbit Pot Pie as one of their "comfort" dishes - you'll just need to learn how to prepare it for yourself, which is suprisingly easy.
LEARN TO LAUGH
Listen, for 50 years America has had nothing but people telling themselves that everything was going to keep getting better, forever. Regardless of which party you belonged to, the mainstay of American philosophy for the last century has been that tomorrow, everything would be better than today. We're finding out that it isn't so. It's true for a handful of people given the way our government works, but for most of us it is not true any longer. So all of it was, in a sense, a dirty joke. That's OK, you just need to learn to LAUGH! When America has spent itself into oblivion and the rest of the world's investors take off for other parts of the world, everyone is going to know just how bad a joke it was, but the most important thing you'll need to keep your sanity is to keep laughing, even at all the bad jokes.
MORE TO COME TOMORROW....