Does this bother you too? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

Back in the 70's and into the 80's, we subscribed to things such as the Ruff times, and was told to buy gold, silver, food, and head for the hills because the end was near. Then I subscribed to Mcalvaney with the message that we are going under the NWO, and dictatorship, etc., etc., so buy gold ,silver, food, and head for the hills. Now the hue and cry is y2k so buy gold, silver, food and head for the hills. I still have some of that silver I bought about 20 years ago for $8 /oz, because "silver is so cheap, you can't go wrong". While I think y2k may be bad, I sometimes wonder because of all the "crying wolf" in the past that didn't turn out. Will y2k turn out the same way?

-- mf (, November 10, 1998


Only time will tell. Will you bet your life or your families on the chance this is "crying wolf"?

-- Bill (, November 10, 1998.

"Will y2k turn out the same way?"

Wish I knew the answer to that!

(I don't see any hands raised...)

-- Tom Carey (, November 10, 1998.


Ruff recently sent a junkmail free issue of his newsletter. In it he recommends a homerun super investment: Donner Minerals (DML.V). At that time its share price was over UD$1. It's now 37 cents.


-- Creature (, November 10, 1998.

Bad computer code does not care about previous doom-and-gloom sceanios that did not happen.

-- Jack (, November 10, 1998.

The question you have to ask yourself here is:

What are the comparative risks of my actions for a widest range of possible outcomes?

I risk nothing by purchasing food that will eventually be eaten. I risk nothing by buying a couple spair pairs of glasses. I risk nothing by purchasing heavy-duty winter wear that will be used not matter what the outcome of Y2K. I risk only a small amount of interest by withdrawing a few months cash from the bank. I risk possible large gains by getting out of the stock market and into less volatile markets (unless Gary North/Infomagic are correct in their analysis). I risked only a few hundred by purchasing a small 5kw generator - but I've always wanted one anyway - I could just never justify the cost until now. Worst case, I sell it at a loss.

As another specific example, I risk $5,000 by having a hand-pumped well drilled that I might never need. On the other hand, $5,000 will seem a mighty cheap price for an endless supply of clean water should electricity be out for an extended period. Do I think electricity could possibly be out in my area for an extended period? Yes. Do I think it's the most likely possibility? I'm currently undecided on that. But what if I have to move? Then such investment would be worthless (it's not easy to move a well - even a hand-pumped one). I'm still researching alternatives and considering everything at this time but am leaning towards going ahead with it.

We are each responsible for our own selves/families. The risks to each of us are unique and must be weighed individually. Never put all your eggs in one basket (i.e. betting on one specific outcome of Y2K).

I am trying to prepare in ways which will allow for the widest range of possible outcomes. If I bet wrong, for the most part it will not be significant - food will be eaten, cash can be re-deposited, stocks can be bought, clothes and glasses will be worn, etc. My Baygen radio will be kept for the frequent thunderstorm-related outages that occur in my area.

Gold & silver are no different. If it makes sense and you are risking little, then you can feel comfortable doing so, otherwise, it's probably a bad idea for you. For me, it was not the right thing to do. Your mileage may vary.


-- Arnie Rimmer (, November 10, 1998.

Good answers so far.

The essence of the question seems to be based on the previous predictive "success rate" of the gurus mentioned. Ruff is colorful and wrote several books in the 70s & 80s on economic problems... McAlvaney has been predicting economic collapse for over ten years -- almost the same wording in each newsletter, to wit: "I expect in 14-18 months..."

Gary North also has a history of failed predictions -- or ones that didn't turn out as bad as he said.

Even our esteemed friend Infomagic predicted in Sept 97 that he expected the stock market to crash in Oct/Nov of that year -- uh, same thing he's predicting for THIS year.

Y2k, for me, is distinctly different. Here's how: the concern about the problem didn't come from Gold Bugs, from Doom & Gloomers, from Millennialists, or from Militia Guys -- it came from the computer nerds.

Of course, it's been picked up by all the above....undoubtedly because these individuals and groups WANT major changes in society and SEEK evidence of those gives them hope for a better world (in their viewpoint).

But, the computer guys -- Yourdon, Greenspan, Hamasaki, Shmuel -- they don't have a history of predicting D&G on a wide scale. They're almost the last people who would want a world-wide computer snafu ... something to put them out of work for the rest of their comfy lives ...something that would force them away from the monitor and out into the cold to chop wood for the stove. For Yourdon et al to make the kind of statements and take the kinds of actions they have taken....well, to me that's a lot more convincing about the POSSIBILITY of disruptions than all the McAlvaneys and Ruffs combined. Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, November 10, 1998.

A lot of critics who (in only the last few years, really) have warned about the unsustainability of the fractional reserve banking system, or unavoidable "bust" cycles being built into the economic system, are right. They can be faulted for stating their "feeling" of "14-18 months" or whatever, but are they wrong in their fundamentals? Can you keep creating electronic debt, divorcing currency from any commodity of real value, and not expect an eventual collapse? Do you really think the system we live in is sustainable? If it's not sustainable, can't we assume eventual collapse?

Then there's the question of whether it's prudent, in any case, to have food, a well, a shotgun, etc.. Of course it is. Are we to accept the label of "anarchist" or "paranoid" because we seek to hold the fruit of our hard labor in real assests instead of promises? Are we "disruptive" because we seek real assets instead of some private bank's debt-instruments? Are we human beings or hive-insects? People who laugh at those who prepare SHOULD suffer privation, in order to illustrate vividly the folly, and attendant suffering, of passively trusting our fate to bankers, politicians and technocrats. I have zero tolerance for those who advocate blind trust in these elites. Those who trust are as much to blame as those who abuse that trust. Between the both of them, they've brought us to the brink of an abyss.


-- E. Coli (, November 10, 1998.

Hey, even the "boy who cried wolf" was right in the end!

Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, November 10, 1998.

Look: those people who predicted a collapse of debt-financed economy were RIGHT. They were warning against a bust on the other side of this stock-mania boom - and they were RIGHT. Are we or are we not in the midst of a GLOBAL DEPRESSION that has nothing to do with Y2k? Hello! Russia's down for the count; Asia's down for the count; Japan's reeling and about to fall; we just gave Brazil 30 billion to prop up the real to delay panic in the Western Hemisphere - We have NO MORE FOREIGN MARKETS. The only thing that's keeping our economy propped up for the moment is REFUGE CAPITAL; we're like a cancer patient who's just gotten a shot of amphetamine, talking about how everyone else on the ward looks really sick - "but I feel fine!"

I have no hope for you. You will all keep bending over for banking elites until the sun goes nova, and thanking them for it. Here you are on a sinking ship, deriding the very people who have been trying to warn you about the rocks. Now get ready for the Y2k sharks. I'll be watching from the shore, and I won't shed a tear.


-- E. Coli (, November 10, 1998.

There is a difference between the Ruff crowd and Y2K. Ruff and crowd said years of large budget deficits would do in the economy. Maybe, but it was hard to prove.

There is no question about Y2K. Look at what happened to GM's Chrysler plant they Y2K tested--assembly line stops, employee time clock doesn't work, doors lock and no-one can get out of the building...

-- Kevin (, November 10, 1998.

Question to E. Coli.

Many times you have trashed the fractional reserve banking system. Certainly it has its' problems, however we currently have a higher standard of living then any previous generation ever had.

Please tell us what you perceive as a viable alternative to the fractional reserve banking system, how it would work and how it could be reasonably implemented?

-- Craig (, November 10, 1998.

Hey, E. Coli!

You're so busy defending your position that you didn't notice that I wasn't disagreeing! Did I say ANYTHING about fractional reserve banking?

I only talked about Howard Ruff and Don McAlvaney and some others and said their predictions had been wrong in the past; how y2k predictions are coming from a different quarter. In my next post, I said the "boy who cried wolf" was right in the end -- that means THE WOLF ACTUALLY CAME, BUT NOBODY LISTENED!!!

Calm down, take a breath! I SUPPORT PREPAREDNESS!!

(Clear enough?)


Anita E.

-- Anita Evangelista (, November 10, 1998.

It bothers me that McAlvany wants $1,000 for four 55-gallon drums with spigots and some Aerobic-Life water perserver. I called and that is what they are charging. I told them that they were crazy and asked them if they realized that you could find them a heck of a lot cheaper elsewhere.

-- madeline (, November 10, 1998.


I don't support preparedness. I just prepare, anymore. I'm tired of the sneering, the derision, from people I'm trying to warn. They and theirs can eat electrons.

>>Gold Bugs, from Doom & Gloomers, from Millennialists, or from Militia Guys --

Not condescending?

I read your post. You slammed North, Ruff and others for being "wrong," for failed predictions. If you read North (Government by Emergency) his economics are dead-on. We're talking about whether the system is crashing and why, and that involves fractional reserve banking. Is it irrelevant because you don't want to address it? The authors you slammed do. Our banking system is fractional reserve, which is giving private, immensely rich individuals the power to create money out of thin air and loan it out at interest. To governments (among others). Which creates debt. Which leads to insolvency - or perception of same, which leads people to take their money out of banks, which causes a crash. It's not "the way things are". It's the way things are designed. To a purpose. Over centuries...

Your arrogant "boy who cried wolf" analogy says that they were wrong the first time. I'm saying they were incorrect in the timing, but right in their predictions of what IS HAPPENING NOW. In this sense, they were right all along. Y2k is the icing on the cake; this would be happening regardless, and Ruff, North et al were right on target - if not on time to the minute, as you seem to require.

Craig: you go on concentrating on your sweet little "quality of life." Never mind democracy or liberty, concentration of wealth, or any of that ideological stuff.

You imply that said quality of life comes from this system, when in fact all it does is concentrate wealth in the hands of a very few individuals - as it was designed to do. But you're right, it does cause an increase in "quality of life." You can duplicate this effect in the microcosm of your own life by applying for 12 credit cards and drawing cash and goods out of them. Then quit your job and you will have more time to enjoy this "quality." In the larger scheme of things, we're at the end of this unsustainable debt-financed global economy right now. It's inherently unsustainable, so -guess what?- it collapsed.

I am of the opinion that it was designed to crash, so that it could be rebuilt. Our "collapse" just means things become more malleable for the people that own it all - i.e., real commodities, real estate and factories. The current system is but one phase of multi-stage, multigenerational alchemical operation. You talk like it's "our" system, to be replaced if we want something better (try that, and see what happens! I have absolutely no interest in going down that road). It will be succeeded by the next stage when the time comes, and I guarantee, The People -maybe you among them- will proudly say "we did it!" I have no doubt that this hideous charade will keep playing out like a broken record until the sun goes nova.

But by all means, Craig, don't let me scare you into taking your money out of the bank!


-- E. Coli (, November 10, 1998.

Interesting comments by all. But back to the original question, which seems to be, why should I pay attention to THIS D&G scenario when the the others were wrong (at least in timing?

The answer is simple. You can personally get your hands on objective computer code that fails 1/1/2000 rollover. No opinions here-objective fact. The rest is extrapolation and that extrapolation is what causes the variance in opinion in likely severity. I might observe that those who have worked in many mainframe shops over the past couple decades tend to be the most serious supporters of Milne and Infomagic. I have written a lot of code for companies in the Fortune 100. I absolutely know much of it will fail without serious and difficult remediation of code and data. So in summary, objectively defective computer code defines this problem, not economic ideologies.

-- R. D..Herring (, November 10, 1998.

Interesting thread. Good comments (save for the ankle- biting).

I've said before that living through the '70s was the best possible preparation for the '90s. Part of that was listening to the original iteration of folks like Howard Ruff and a couple who are no longer with us like Mel Tappan.

The essential truth here as I see it is that there was no really overwhelming reason that the so called doomers and gloomers of the '70s were all that wrong. It still seems sort of unbelieveable to me that we have actually gotten away with the economic and political shenanigans we've pulled over the past two decades. There's no real fundamental reason that the economy didn't sink resoundingly save for the fact that it dodged the major icebergs. You can call me a permabear or a pessimist if you want. You could well be right.

This could be a rerun of the unnecessary concerns from the '70s. Maybe it's the existence of the net that's gotten the word and the worries around to more people this time.

Or it could be the 'big bad bug' for real. I am convinced the economic bear is a bigger threat than the digital bug. Maybe it's the bug that will launch the bear. Could be wrong there too. But it seems foolish to me not to take reasonable precautions given the unyielding nature of the calendar.


-- nemo (, November 10, 1998.


Mel Tappan? Now there's a name I haven't heard in a long time. A long time. I have two cassettes of Mel Tappan on survival that I bought from the FHU in the early '80s (sorry, 1980s!). He expected hard times within 18 months to two years of when the tape was made.

Here's a quote from near the beginning of the tape: "The country is virtually bankrupt. Right now. Everything that needs to happen for a complete economic collapse has happened."

Well, the collapse never happened, and I never moved to southwest Oregon. The tape still has great preparedness tips, though, and I know I'm going to need some of them to deal with Y2K.

-- Kevin (, November 10, 1998.

I think a good clue is watching the money. Several weeks ago the MD11 Swissair accidently went down off Nova Scotia. It contained 151 million dollars in cut diamonds, 52 million dollars in bundles of U.S. currency and millions in art treasures and paintings all going to bank vaults in Zurich for safe keeping. It was just one plane load and no one would have known about it but for the accident. How many planes leave Kennedy each day. Abandon ship is what it appears like.

-- tom format (tom format @, November 10, 1998.

Don't forget the supposed 1995 financial meltdown that never happened. Yes, I bought into alot of those stories too...that is the reason I have been researching this one myself instead of letting everyone else tell me the "stats". Seems the evidence is definately weighted towards "preparing"


-- deborah cunningham (, November 13, 1998.

Anita,..I just noticed a list of must have books for Y2K and post...I noticed your exact name. Is that you?

-- Donna Barthuley (, November 13, 1998.

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