VMI77 wrote:It depends on the kind of catastrophe of course, but people miss their TV's and get hungry pretty quickly, and a bout of hyperinflation, which continued "quantitative easing" is making increasingly plausible, can clear the grocery store shelves in a matter of days (though we would probably ease into empty shelves over a period of weeks). A lot of people don't behave all that well when they know the worst will be over in a few days or a couple weeks. After two weeks or so of empty supermarket shelves and unknown prospects, the entitlement crowd is going to get very restless.
No one can explain to me why the billionaires who run this country would allow hyperinflation to occur (even if most of their fortunes are in Dubai and denominated in Swiss francs or euros).
The U.S. market and workforce are the source of their fortunes.
This country had real food shortages in the 1930s and 40s. The government dealt with them. People grumbled and literally tightened their belts, but there were no food riots.
I'm not saying that bad stuff can't happen—it can, does, and will. I'm trying to say that we need to be prepared for the most likely bad stuff with the limited resources that we have.
It isn't a matter of allowing it; If it happens it will be because the people operating the financial system aren't as smart at they think they are, and the actions they take have consequences they don't expect, either because they don't have all the necessary information to make the right decisions, their Keynesian money theories are wrong, or actions taken by other players, mistakenly or otherwise, affect system fundamentals in ways that defy correction. Furthermore, the system is complex, timing alone is a critical component to actions taken, and even if they make all the right theoretical decisions, unintended consequences may occur just because they act too soon or too late.
Also, I don't share the optimism implied by your comparison with the Great Depression. This isn't the America of the 30's, culturally, morally, or economically. For one thing, there was no entitlement class in 1930; and for another, our economy was based on production, not service.
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From the WeaponsMan blog, weaponsman.com