Responsibilitygreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
I apologize if this was linked or posted before - I know I've seen snips posted somewhere, including Gary Norths. The point I have to make here is this:
If this guy were right (he isn't), we have cost people a litlle time, money, and frustration for nothing. If this guy is wrong .... he has the blood of the families he talked out of preparing on his hands.
I can't even say "May God have mercy on him."
YEAR 2000 (Y2K) Fears and the Common Person (An essay by Timothy V. Kelly, author Bits and Bytes, Y2K and Beyond)
Recently I had the opportunity to attend a seminar sponsored by a local morning radio show regarding Year 2000 (Y2K). It was billed as a seminar that would define "everything one needed to know about understanding and preparing for Y2K. They brought in a speaker who had been billed as having "National Marquee" appeal on the Y2K Problem.
It was a packed audience of several hundred people, mostly working folks, young families including children and older couples. For 90 solid minutes the presenter read overhead slides which made numerous predictions regarding Y2K. Like for example: the banking system is going to collapse, our currency will become worthless, our food supply chains are going to crumble, planes will be falling from the sky and this one I'm still chuckling about, President Clinton is in reality the head of the Bible Belt Mafia, and is planning to use Y2K as the justification for becoming the Don of the entire civilized world. The speaker was not laughing at all throughout his presentation. He attempted to convey unequivocal doom & gloom.
Prior to the break, the speaker went into a sales pitch to sell right there, "at the tables to the right and left", a dehydrated food bundle for $5,000 which could support 2 people for 1 year. He suggested multiple bundles for larger families and groups and did indeed give quantity purchase discounts. The food bundles are his solution to what he defines as the "impending Y2K food shortage". His other products available there included gold coins. He also had plans available for converting stocks, annuities and cash savings to his line of gold coins. The gold coins of course being his solution to what he defines as the "impending Y2K collapse of the currency and banking" systems.
During the break some of us began to chat about the content of the seminar. A gentleman with his wife and another couple, all who appeared to be in their 30s and dressed casually asked me what I thought about what the speaker was saying. I said it would not be appropriate to criticize at this time.
The guy said "Why not? You bought your $15 ticket like the rest of us and as far as I know we still have free speech! I said, "O.K., everything he is saying is completely irrational and all of his numbers are incorrect based on my research of the Y2K Set of Problems." He said, "What do you think about his statement that we are going to run out of food?"
I said, "let's look at the McDonald's Corporation, you know, home of the'Big Mac' and 'keep your eyes on them fries.' A few years back they started working on getting their entire corporation Y2K Compliant. Last year they achieved 100% compliance. Then they started, at their own expense, to reach out to their Supplier Chains. You know, where they get their hamburger patties, buns and so forth. (At this point a small crowd was gathering around us.)
Most of their Suppliers are now Y2K Compliant. By the end of 1998, 100% of their supplier chain is expected to be 100% compliant for Y2K. So, if come the Year 2000 you find that you can't get any food at the supermarket, keep in mind that you can always resort to going to your nearest McDonald's to get a 1/4 pounder, Happy Meal or whatever your pleasure may be."
Everyone tuning in to our little sidebar laughed rather loud. It was like comic relief after a large dose of doom & gloom. At this point, if looks could kill, I would be dead about seven times over because the entire staff of the presenter was staring me down and apparently the expected crowd at the tables to the left and right never materialized.
Needless to say the remainder of the seminar was as severe as the first half. People trickled out for the balance of the evening. But the seminar brings home a very important item which we as a society need to face. Y2K is going to bring out many vendors of Y2K paraphernalia. It appears likely that there will be many rationales behind Y2K products and services. For example: if the vendor tells you that we will have no heat or electricity, then that rationalizes his pitch for selling a portable generator or wood-burning stove. Many people impulse-buy based on fear, rather than on what they truly need.
Consequently, caveat emptor, buyer beware, should be something that we as a society reemphasize anew in light of Y2K. Get the information you need to make an informed judgment about what you consider for purchase.
We will have some problems to work through with Y2K. But much work across the country is being done to make sure we will get through it. All of the banks will be ready, and in fact are already within 2-3% of being fully compliant. I know the speaker above refutes this. But we know the government that insures your bank's deposits has mandated that all banks will need to be 100% compliant by 2nd quarter of 1999 or face shutdown.
Banks in many ways have been working on the problem for years. After all they make their money by lending money. Long-term loans and mortgages, extending in term well beyond Y2K are among a bank's most lucrative products. To sell a loan that extends beyond 2000 you gotta be able to calculate principle, interest and balance on a daily basis for the life of the loan.
Similarly all utilities have mandates from the government to be 100% compliant by June, 1999 or face loss of license to operate. We will have electricity, gas and water come Y2K.
Y2K will be resolved and become a non-issue. It is a man-made problem. It is being resolved by man. It will require more work over the next few years to resolve completely. It will perhaps touch everyone in one way or another, from time to time, in the form of time loss and frustration.
Hey we been there before. Who remembers when you couldn't "Fold, Bend, or Mutilate" your paycheck. Who remembers when you had to actually wait in line to deposit that paycheck? Remember having to pay for groceries in cash?
However no one will starve or freeze to death solely because of Y2K. The message is clear to organizations across the country. If you want to do business in the Year 2000, you need to be Y2K compliant. The rest of the solution is good old American, can-do, spirit. Some call it "Capitalism", others refer to it as "Free Economy". Some say it is basically Supply and Demand. Essentially the desire to make money and continue to make money, and the desire to avoid losing money are perhaps the strongest motivators imaginable for organizations to get themselves Y2K compliant.
We consumers have more power than we realize over the Y2K Set of Problems. If come Y2K our usual supplier of goods is out of stock, we go to another supplier. Competition is another strong motivator. So if you are moved by Y2K fears to stock up on dehydrated food bundles and/or to liquidate your life savings into gold coins, keep in mind that it is highly unlikely that you will ever get back the value for the money you will have invested. But one thing is for sure come Y2K. McDonald's will be closing in on l00 Billion sold.
-- Jon Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 1999
Apparently " the government has mandated 100% compliance" is the new "in vogue" phrase. This guy is so dumb it hurts.
-- Jon Johnson (email@example.com), March 19, 1999.
You're dead wrong Jon. Y2K prep is an individual decision. You do the homework, you weigh the information as it pertains to your situation, you take or don't take action, and take responsibility for your actions. People are free to have dissenting opinions. Without freedom of speech, there would be very little information on Y2K.
If someone tells me to jump off a cliff into a lake because he thinks it's "therapeutic" and I listen to him and end up dying, who's responsible?
I would be, because I didn't have the common sense to weigh the risks of the situation and make a decision for myself.
Whether or not you think that this guy is right or wrong is immaterial. His opinion is just as valid as yours. With all of the information and disinformation flying around, nobody has the ability to say who is right and who is wrong, on either side.
-- larryb (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 1999.
What a moron.
-- Vic (Roadrunner@compliant.com), March 19, 1999.
'With all of the information and disinformation flying around, nobody has the ability to say who is right and who is wrong, on either side.'
That's exactly why I'm preparing for Y2K!
-- (email@example.com), March 19, 1999.
The thought the statement "utilities have to be Y2K complaint by June, 1999" or face a license to operate. Wonder what kind of panic that would send everyone. Can you imagine every power plant in the US shutting down? Furthermore, so what if McDonalds is compliant, and they are working on their vendors being compliant. Are they going to open up and feed everyone a free meal? If the power plants have been shut down, McDonalds won't be open either. I'll take my chances with preparing my own food supply, and McDonald's isn't included in my plans (their hamburgers taste terrible, and no telling where those hands have been that have prepared it!)
-- bardou (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 1999.
You got that one right! I once knew a guy who had worked at McD's. He said that whenever someone gave him a hard time over the speaker, he'd spit in their hamburger!
On those few occasions since when I've gone to a drive-thru, I've been very polite. . .
-- Hardliner (email@example.com), March 19, 1999.
What struck me most in this article was the writer's characterization of the people attending the seminar, and that he doesn't seem at all aware of the implications of what he says about them. During the break, all he had to say was "Bump in the road", and a crowd of disciples gathered around him, and began leaving the seminar. He implies that, had he not been there, the crowd would have been the speaker's disciples and stood in line to buy merchandise because the presenter said "TEOTWAWKI." I think that would have been a more interesting point than that some people may try to profit (*gasp*) from Y2k preparations.
-- Wanda (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 19, 1999.
Now after bad-naming the whole thing he can go back to sleep and won't have to take RESPONSIBILTY for himself for finding out if the presenter did indeed have "something" to take seriously Lazy, but representative of most of Amerika now. A socialist democracy. This midset is why even a bump-in-the road will cause massive problems.
-- PJC (email@example.com), March 19, 1999.