Why worry about how others spend their money?

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I've been monitoring this forum for several days now, and there is one question I have for anyone out there. It seems that some people get really angry about other people stockpiling. Would someone who does not believe that y2k will be anything more than a bump in the road please tell me why you get so angry at the people who are preparing for the worse case. Since when is it anyone else's business how a person decides to spend his or her own money? If my next door neighbor decided to sell all that he owns to get out of the city, I certainly could not care less. I think a good medium ground here is to just let people believe what they want to believe. It's not like they are taking money out of your bank account, is it?

-- Larry Trapp (lawada@tminet.com), April 24, 1999


A wise point of view....

Why do they get angry?

Hmmmm... Misery loves company?

Brainwashing (self-applied) is more powerful than reason, or reality?

Conformity to the group is most important when the group's mass- hypnosis is threatened?

Little people who serve the powerful masters love to rise in their master's defense against fellow-little people?

Hmmmm... can I think of any more? Help me, someone....

-- jor-el (jor-el@krypton.com), April 24, 1999.

That's why I get so ticked off at some of these people. If they want to argue the technical points, or the spin factor, or whatever, that's fine. That's what a forum is all about. But to tell others that they are wasting their money becaues it's all a hoax, or it will all be fixed, or this or that, well, that's just not cool. Everyone has to make up their own mind. Show us the facts, and tell us your opinion, but don't tell us what to do. <:)=

-- Sysman (y2kboard@yahoo.com), April 24, 1999.

Larry, not long ago those who formulate government Y2K policy decided that in order to avoid panic they'd tell people only three days' of supplies are needed. (We're seeing that stretched to a week or more right now, which is something we predicted long ago.) Anyway, at that time (February I think is when it started) government spokespersons started to promulgate the notion that persons who stocked up were actually "hoarding" and would cause shortages and, consequently, panic. Hence, any panic could be blamed on we Get Its.

Doesn't matter that we have surpluses of various foods right now. Doesn't matter that those of us who prudently stockpile will take some of the burden off the government if and when TSHTF. Doesn't matter that it's our money (as you so rightly point out) and we can spend in any damn way we want.

If you look at some past posts (probably in the Food and Government Archives below the New Questions list), you'll find some of this information. And you'll also find more posts where DGI's castigate GI's for "hoarding" and accuse us of "self-fulfilling prophecies" and "shortages" among other things.

I think it might be more of a parental thing; they can't bear for us to be doing something in which they don't believe or of which they don't approve.

-- Old Git (anon@spamproblems.com), April 24, 1999.

Goooood question Larry.

Good answer old gent.

We live in a nosy, nosy world.

Any pollys want to answer Larry's Question???????

-- Jim the Window Washer (rational@man.com), April 24, 1999.

I think that the big worry is that we might start a run on the banks. Spending our money on food and real estate is not itself threatening, but many who do that are also planning (or have already) taken their money out of the banking system. It doesn't take many doing that to cause a financial crisis. However, the arguement that it is our money still holds, IMO.

-- Tricia the Canuck (jayles@telusplanet.net), April 24, 1999.

Well it's changing a little bit as the days go by. Now the tone of the advice is Oh, we're not saying not to prepare; just don't go overboard, don't get carried away, god forbid you'd make a fool of yourself! *sigh*

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 24, 1999.

The reason that many are that a run in the 4th quarter could have more economic impact than the whole Y2K problem to begin with. People buying in great quanities will increase demand on the business sector. If the increase in demand is so great, raw material prices increase as well. As businesses will increase then the price of their products on consumers.

Then by the time that the 1st quarter of 2000 starts, we have too much in supply circulating, a increase in cash circulating(from bank runs), and a deep recession. The whole thing is a self fulfilling prophecy. And it makes some(like me) want to stock up just because of the guy next door is sitting on 10 years worth of food. People stop purchasing, driving down demand, and creating a recession.

Now, before anyone starts to flame for this very simple explanation, let me say that I don't have 10 hours to sit and write about economic conditions or add charts, or even go through 10,000 articles. This is just simple, straight to the point economic understanding.

-- Pat (BAMECW@aol.com), April 24, 1999.

Perceptions sure are interesting. I've seen a few people caution against burning bridges in their lives, or triggering bank runs or other economic bad things.

On the other hand, I've seen *lots* of ranting against anyone who takes any position on y2k that can be stretched into even *implying* that preparations aren't necessary. What, you don't expect massive power failures? Why are you telling us not to prepare? You expect aviation to continue? Why are you telling us not to prepare? You believe that the banking system might survive? Why are you telling us not to prepare?

This gets old pretty quickly. Even insisting that preparation is the most sensible course of action, but it might not turn out to be required, is construed as telling us not to prepare.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 24, 1999.

I never say that someone should prepare or not prepare. I am going to be keeping extra cash on me, about 2 or 3 weeks of food and water. But what I worry about are people being suckered into spending thousands of dollars for "supplies" that anyone can get for a few hundreds bucks at their local grocery store.

Nothing wrong at all with preparing, just don't buy items that you will not need after a few weeks into 2000.

Pat "Don't trust the gov't. Don't trust business. They all lie. But I can sell you piece of mind for the low price of $10,000. You can trust me, I can sell you the stuff you need to survive."

-- Pat (BAMECW@aol.com), April 24, 1999.

Pat said: "...Nothing wrong at all with preparing, just don't buy items that you will not need after a few weeks into 2000."

Why, Pat? That's the whole point of this post; if an individual wants to store enough for the next 20 years, who cares? It may prove to be a wise thing. As it has been said many times before here, if we are wrong, then we save on our grocery bills for a long time. If we are right, we don't starve.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 24, 1999.

Sara, Pat didn't say 'food', he said 'items'. But food can spoil if you have more than you can eat within that time.

I think what Pat is driving at is, just how much wisdom is there in allocating limited resources towards unlikely items? Should I charge $500 on my credit card for a generator? Or is that credit card debt going to cause me a lot more grief than the generator will save me? Should I undertake big long-term payments for rural property? What might I gain, and what might I lose?

In a nutshell, ask yourself this: If y2k turns out to be nothing much, will your preparations have hampered your life unreasonably? If not, fine. If so, will you be able to say, well, turns out I didn't need what I did, but I'm glad I did it? If yes, fine. Just don't shoot yourself in the foot.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 24, 1999.

Exactly Flint, right on the money. =>

-- Pat (BAMECW@aol.com), April 24, 1999.

I understand Pat's point. Food is one example only.

I think the best way to prepare is to select methods of preparation that don't have a down side. For example, one could chose to garden instead of buying food to store. This has no real down side. It adds fresher, healthier food into the diet and some degree of control on your food supply.

If alternative energy sources like solar or wind generators are affordable, they will cut electric and gas bills later, Y2K or no.

No one promotes *pressuring* people to prepare any certain way, but it's important to try to help the people you love weather the storm.

I'd rather see someone extend themselves a little, financially, to become more self-sufficient; they will reap the payback later.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 24, 1999.


Seriously, I agree that increasing your self-sufficiency can be valuable. But real life is full of tradeoffs, and as practical considerations these are very important.

You say there is no down side to gardening instead of buying food at the store. Since I have never been a gardner, maybe you can help me out here. First, I am at work during all daylight hours, and exhausted by sundown. Can gardening be done only at night? I have very little time except on some weekends. Can gardening be successful if only done on some weekends? I'm certainly not willing to quit my job to reduce my grocery bills. I love my job, and rely on the income for far more than just food. It would seem that the tradeoff here is a lot of time and energy. I can't afford either one without making sacrifices FAR out of proportion to any slight gains. Sure, I have seeds and I have books telling me how to use them. And if I must, I'll read the books and plant the seeds. Because then I'll have the time to devote to the exercise. But from my viewpoint that hardly sounds idyllic. It sounds like desperation.

Alternative energy supplies sound good on paper. But Ed Yourdon recently wrote that in his Taos NM home he has both wind and solar generators. He pointed out that his arrangement was extremely expensive (these things start around $20,000) and all together they generate enough power to run FOUR 75-watt lightbulbs. That's IT! And the Taos area is noted for having an abundance of both wind and sunlight. Are YOU willing to shell out 20 grand to run 4 lightbulbs? Could you possibly think of any wiser way to spend that money?

There's no free lunch, but some lunches are WAY overpriced.

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 24, 1999.

Let's not be disingenuous.

The people on this forum who disagree with Ed Yourdon's analysis are not saying, "Don't shoot yourself in the foot."

Au contraire, they are saying, "Bite me, Fart Lips."

Much of this preparedness movement is based upon the belief that those in power are lying to the rest of us.

On this forum, the apologists for those in power *always* resort to vulgar non sequitur insults.

If that's the best they can do, I am going to believe that those who suggest that the leaders of government and business are lying to us are correct.

-- GA Russell (garussell@russellga.com), April 24, 1999.


Which one comes first is important. Once we get past the rabid government-haters, we can look at this two ways. Either the government is lying in saying things won't be bad, in which case we'd better prepare, or else we've decided things will be bad enough to warrant preparation, in which case the government must be lying.

That first formulation is very difficult to sustain. It's saying in essence that *on principle* we should do the opposite of what the government recommends. We need no further information.

I think most on this forum work from the second formulation. Enough information exists to convince a small minority that things will be very bad indeed (this has always been true. You can fool some of the people all of the time). Once you adopt this conviction, you view all information through this same lense, and end up seeing your own reflection no matter where you look. Anyone who sees anything else must be lying. QED.

By the way, your 'bite me' quote is from Paul Milne, NOT from any pollyanna. But who needs facts when you have convictions, right?

-- Flint (flintc@mindspring.com), April 24, 1999.

When this whole discussion is boiled down to facts instead of semantics and 'what the meaning of is is', it comes down to one thing:

Every adult individual is solely responsible for the consequences of their actions (or inactions).

I for one am very tired of having people try to run my life (whether they be well intentioned or not). If I choose to not go to movies or to eat home instead of out to save money for my preparations, THAT IS MY CHOICE ALONE. NOBODY ELSE SUFFERS FOR MY CHOICE. My money goes into circulation just as if I had spent it at the mall. Yeah, somebody might make a buck off me. SO WHAT! My choice.

You speak of people spending 5 or 6 thousand to buy food. I have no problem with that. It's their money and they are 'adults'. If the people doing that bothers you, why aren't you just as incensed at the folks that send Bennie Hinn 25 or 30 dollars a week for 'the needy'. That's 1500 a year and I believe that most of his 'parishoners' are 55+.

Get real folks....let's argue about something worthwhile.

-- Lobo (atthelair@yahoo.com), April 25, 1999.


I've heard different reasons from the optimistic why they are so concerned about our Y2K preparations. The most honest answer I've seen an "optimistic" person give is this one...

Capitalism is not perfect, but it will solve most Y2K problems. Of course, there are forces that can exacerbate Y2Kprimarily public panic and government intervention. The true danger of Y2K is economic recession or depression due to public panic and a subsequent loss or personal or economic freedoms through government intervention. As a nation, staying calm and rational will deter centralized government "solutions."

I believe that whether there is stockpiling by the general public late this year or early next year, depends on whether the world starting working on Y2K soon enough. The person with the quote above, though, already came to a decision about Y2K because of his politcal beliefs.

-- Kevin (mixesmusic@worldnet.att.net), April 25, 1999.


You say how absurd it is to spend $20,000 for a solar system to run 4 light bulbs: You are dramatizing to make a point, and you know it.

Even I know that a well thought-out solar system to run 4 lights would cost just $1500 tops. Of course, this isn't four 150-watt AC lights which you want to run simultaneously, 24 hours a day off of an inverter.

For those who have the bucks to spend on lots of solar--have at it. For me with my present finances, I can't even begin to consider trying to replace my grid-connected lifestyle with solar, but for Y2k disruptions that isn't my goal anyway. A small backup solar system for radio, small power tools and electronics, battery charging, and lights in the evening, would be highly useful, and not that costly if there turned out not to be outages.

Conservation--using energy-efficient appliances and finding non-electric alternatives exist for most things, can pare the cost of solar WAY down, while still letting it be useful. Just to set the record straight.

-- Debbie (dbspence@usa.net), April 25, 1999.

What gets me is that businesses are stockpiling to handle JIT problems, the govt. is stockpiling and doing contingency for this thing...

Why is it that when we as individuals try to do the same, they get labeled nut-cases, loonies, etc.?

Is it "do as we say...not as we do?" Are there two sets of rules here, or what?

-- Tim (pixmo@pixelquest.com), April 25, 1999.

Why is it that when we as individuals try to do the same, they get labeled nut-cases, loonies, etc.? was supposed to be...
Why is it that when we as individuals try to do the same, we get labeled nut-cases, loonies, etc.?

-- Tim (pixelquest@pixelquest.com), April 25, 1999.

Yes, Flint, it can be done. Growing your own food can be done a number of ways I never realized before research into my Y2K preparation began. Try container gardening with easy-to-grow basics. Containers are easier to control, warm, shield from wind, and nurture. Or, try a "square foot garden". OR...

better yet, try working with other folks in your community or apt. building. All of you exhausted folks can try to work cooperatively to share the effort... and the rewards.

Who knows, you might get to know each other better, to enjoy the touch of real earth in your life?

You may discover that your wonderful job isn't *everything* and that there is value in scaling back your lifestyle to include crafts or capabilities that we all have nearly lost.

You don't need a $20,000 solar system, especially with your ideas about preparation. That's for someone who holds another viewpoint, and, of course, is able to do it.

Debbie has the right idea: just a small backup solar system for radio, small power tools and electronics, battery charging, and lights in the evening. Candles are good, too.

You don't have to be "all or nothing" on this one. Just think through what you really would miss, should Y2K interruptions become "frequent, unexpected disruptions" and then "unfortunate delays and outages" and then "extended downtime".

Perhaps you'll find there is another part of yourself that this could draw out, a good part.

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 25, 1999.

Flint, one more thing.

This is no longer really about who's right or wrong, or how likely each scenario may be.

Y2K has prompted me to realize my own dependence on the system for infrastructure services, for food, for power,etc., etc.

Now, I have a desire to learn to be more self-sufficient, and to seek out a daily life that has its roots in the land, in the community, and in my family. The solutions for everyday needs lie in creativity, not push-button convenience.

I guess, I would be proud to be called a "survivalist" if I can pull it off. Wouldn't you?

-- Sara Nealy (keithn@aloha.net), April 25, 1999.

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