Some theories on the lack of government warninggreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
The Census Bureau says that the median income for all families is $46,737. The median size of all families is 3.18 persons. (1998 figures.)
Think about these numbers for a while. Look at your own family income and size (and realize your basic expenses may not take as great a percentage as for those just starting out at lower incomes). I'm willing to bet most of you, like Sweetie and me, are doing better than the median. It's still not that easy to find the money to prepare, is it?
I'm beginning to think the The Powers That Be looked at these numbers a long time ago and realized that the median family would have a hard time preparing for much more than a week or two, even if given a long lead time. It's possible TPTB also reasoned that if they told the populace to prepare for more than a short time, the reply from too many would be, "We don't have the resources for that--you want us to have it, YOU provide it." I doubt they would have been very happy with government-issued beans and rice back in, say, June. However, if TSHTF, they won't make a murmur.
Income is usually associated with education. It's possible the government knows, as has been speculated herein several times, that the more educated among us will read between the lines of Koskinenese and quietly prepare for any problems. It's not too much of a stretch to wonder if TPTB also reasoned that the more educated of the populace are also those most likely to organize protests about insufficient or nonexistent warnings; hence, if the well-schooled are prepared, they won't cause as much trouble. ("I'm all right, Jack.") If this is so, no wonder the spin has been so careful!
The silence of the prepared will be assured because we all suspect resentment will run high if neighbors know we have lots of stashed goodies and other supplies to make any dire circumstances much easier to bear than for the median. If we protest the government's handling of the situation, we let people know we were aware months ago and are prepared. We will keep a low profile.
Given some months without a public outcry, TPTB might have been able to stockpile enough supplies to help those in need if TSHTF. Leaving disclosure to near the end of the year allows for gratitude that the government is prepared to help but not enough time for a great outcry of protest and questions.
If this is true, I can't say as I blame TPTB. If I were in their position, I might do the very same thing.
This is just speculation, of course, I''ll be the first to admit it. Even so, I'd like to know if anyone else is thinking along parallel lines.
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999
Funny you bring this up... I was just thinking of their slogan this morning.. "We've prepared so you don't have to!!"
If there is a canned goods shortage quickly approching and the US is full of DGI or DWGIs, then who's got the cans???
Keep the faith and hold on...
-- booann (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
It is very simple. If the people do not prepare, then this empowers government.
-- chicken farmer (chicken-farmer@ y2k.farm), October 22, 1999.
My yearly income is about $12,000, and I've been able to prepare, with about a year's food and I'm well hidden in the sticks. Plus I've been able to stash about $2,000 in cash over the past couple of years, so the theory that a family that makes 50 grand a year can't afford to prepare is bull**it..
-- J Werner (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
Old Git, I wish it were as benign as you conjecture that it might be. I believe that you are correct in your first assumption, that those of us who are "intelligent" and "internet -connected" are those they expect to salvage themselves. However, on your second point I refer you to my post in very late August entitled something like "Fairfax County Y2K Meeting," in which I give almost a verbatim dialog between my county's top Y2K person following the meeting, to which I have a credible witness from the Northern Virginia Y2K group of citizens (of which Stan F is also a member.) In it she and her second-in-command respond over and over to me in words which indicated that (1) they knew it would be more than a 3-day disruption (2) they said that the poor would only panic, because they couldn't afford to prepare (3) that many live in small apartments or one rooms and couldn't store more than 3 days' supplies...etc., etc. NOTHING I or my co-GI could say deterred them into thinking positively about salvaging these folks. If you read that post of mine, you will perhaps draw the conclusion that I drew there: that anyone who TPTB assumes cannot prepare for themselves is expendable. It was compelling, shocking and frightening to realize this had all been thought out and the answers to me were rapid-fire and echoed by her compadre.
-- Elaine Seavey (Gods1sheep@aol.com), October 22, 1999.
I don't buy the argument that those 'less fortunate' can't prepare. I had a conversation with a woman last summer who said she only made $32,000 a year and couldn't afford preps. I said "How many movies do you rent each week?" She said "Two". I said "How many magazines do you buy each week?" She said "Four or five". I said "Ok, your spending roughly $100 each month on movies and magazines. Which would you rather do, eat next January or watch movies and read magazines now?" She called me the following week to ask what items she should be stocking up on. It's all just a matter of priorities...
-- TECH32 (TECH32@NOMAIL.COM), October 22, 1999.
I don't think the government gives a rat's ass about panic, food shortages, violence, or anything like that because they would have no problem putting military out on the streets.
They are trying to protect the banking system from excessive withdrawals, and it is better to say nothing than to start talking about it too much. Their biggest fear is that we will bankrupt the Federal Reserve because they know it is a house of cards. This is their achilles heel, because if we crash the Federal Reserve we take away their power completely.
Our soldiers are not as hungry as the Russians, and most would no longer support the government when it becomes apparent that the money system is a fraud and they will no longer be paid to risk their lives. They will say adios to Uncle Sam and go home to protect their families. The government will be left completely powerless and vulnerable to destruction by their enemies. They have a LOT of enemies, and plenty of reason to be afraid.
-- @ (@@@.@), October 22, 1999.
og,great post. i beleive our Imperial Federal Government quite often "creates" a crisis or issue so that they can then become the saviour and increase their power. Had not actually thought of it as it applies to y2k. I know that they might use the martial law and all the other gloomy things if it happens, but, hadn't thought they might actually MAKE it happen for their benefit.
As for the "less fortunate", there is no such thing. That implies we all just "luck into" money. Hey, I EARN my money, no luck to it. Less fortunate is another word for lazy and stupid.
Darwin is knocking and he is pissed.
-- theletterz (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
"less fortunate" implies that they weren't as lucky as you to have been born with such a big brain and charismatic personality as yours, and so "stupid and lazy" implies a handicap.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
I don't believe that the governments at any level have a carefully orchestrated plan of any kind. Plans, sure, but cold, calculated plans for "reducing the population", nah.
Washington "leaks" like a sieve. There would be more than rumors. Unless they KNOW, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that we are facing an unmitigated disaster despite all efforts.
I don't think they believe that, whether it turns out to be true or not.
Why should we expect those in power to be any less in denial than the rest of the population?
-- mushroom (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
"the less fortunate" are just blind pigs that suckle up to the government teat. the gov't takes money I(we) earn and re-distribute it to TLF in exchange for devotion and votes. why should they prepare? hell, they've never done anything for themselves before, why should y2k be any different. note that the gov't has gone to GREAT pains to state that welfare, medicare/caid, and social insecurity are ready. gotta protect that welfare class!
-- theletterz (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
EXCUUUSE ME, buster!
I gross about $20,000 a year. I work two jobs as a salaried director of two non-profits. (One full time and one part time.) I began working at the age of 16 years old and worked through college. I have been working every day for 31 years. I have raised two kids and never have had a penny of welfare. My daughter has worked two jobs to get through college. My son has been working after school and weekends since he was 15.
We are anything but lazy. You, buster, are the orafice that puckers at the hind end of a equine.
-- anon (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
if you don't collect any welfare, what is your protest? you work hard and support your family. i aplaud you. i do not view you a less fortunate in anyway. what IS your gripe?
-- theletterz (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
Some people lack the economic skills on how to prepare for any disaster. Though the information is right out there in front of them, they can't seem to see beyond their existence of today. I thought I read somewhere where only 10% of the population have prepared for Y2K. That leaves 90% that will be looking to us 10% for help. I don't buy into the the idea that people lack the money and resources to prepare. Food and water is the most important items to survival. The Cocoa Puff crowd gets free money to buy food, but from what I have seen in their carts, it's anything but smart frugal shopping. I spend about 30 minutes a week clipping coupons and scanning the ads to get the most food for the least amount of money. Sometimes I get stuff for free, and sometimes I get name brand products for a few cents. I don't buy into money being the issue of not preparing, it's ignorance that's the problem.
-- bardou (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
I cleared seven grand last year- and support a kid on that as well- another rich farmer here!!:) but- I've managed to prep on that. Of course- I grow much stuff here to eat- and buy all food preps at dented can stores or on sale- takes some effort and thought to do this- can't just order Freeze Dried stuff from a catalog on this type of budget. And no- education is not necessarily tied to income levels- I've got numerous degrees- but I love farming....
don't really think that income levels of the population is the smoking gun here...
-- farmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
You don't really think the government cares about people, do you? People are looked at as a necessary source of income to them. They don't want people to prepare. Children starve, cuts in Medicare, cuts in Soc. Sec. The path of least resistance, as always. The govs objective is to create contingencies to protect themselves. Allow the people to destroy one another, then resurface to rule the remnant. The remnant will be so weakened and in need of goods that they'll bow to the all powerful gov again. Then it starts all over.
-- Disgusted (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
"Median" income (I had no idea it was so high!) is based on two wage earners per household; it has to be. Well, lots of households only have one. We can still prepare on half the "median". We still do not lack the resources to prepare at a figure that's half. Depends on how you handle your resources. I'm a good handler. I've worked since I was 15, except for 10 years "off" to half-raise four kids.
I agree with bardou - the problem isn't money, it's ignorance.
-- Scat (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
Preparation for the masses has not been in the government bag-o- tricks since the beginning. People almost automatically assume that the government full of GIs that have better information than we get and are not in denial. I believe it's the opposite even with the majority of officials at the highest levels. They are the 99% and WE are the 1% of the truly informed and action-takers with this issue. No, I don't think Klinton or Al Bore really know reality to begin with let alone the complexities of Y2K.
-- PJC (email@example.com), October 22, 1999.
J. Werner - I guess I was thinking more of urban families who pay higher prices for household expenses, especially rent, much higher taxes, transportation, and so on. Is your rent or mortgage lower than about $600/month? If so, you have a financial advantage there to begin with. Fast-food workers make about $7-8/hour here in Durham, or $19,500 to 20,600/year. If both husband and wife work in menial jobs, plus the husband does some moonlighting, that would equal the Census Bureau's median income for the family. They live in an apartment and have nowhere to grow food. Their families cannot afford to help them. In any event, I was talking about how TPTB might view an income so far below their own--the average TPTB person makes a hell of a lot more than $47k and would look upon that sum for a family as pocket money.
Elaine, my memory is not clear about much of anything, unfortunately, but I do have a vague recollection of the Fairfax meeting notes. It seems to confirm part of my thinking, that TPTB fear that those unable to prepare (for whatever reason) will panic, make demands, and take up more time than is available. Having lived in tiny two-bedroom apartments with my son, I can attest to the fact that there isn't much storage room but, still, one could find nooks and crannies to store SOMEthing. I wasn't there so cannot say with a great deal of accuracy, but is it possible that what you read as callous expendability might actually be the pragmatism of those who (for whatever reason) have no other solutions? I am not defending these people, just trying to generate some ideas on how they think. If we can discuss several interpretations of their thinking, then we can possibly file away valuable information that will help us second-guess their actions and reactions as the rollover gets closer.
Tech 32, I agree--some people who think they can't afford preps really can. We have cut back on unnecessary spending but it hasn't been a sacrifice. If we see only a BITR next year, we shall have tons of saved grocery money to blow on whatever we want! There are several items we'd like to have but can't really afford--about four more panels, for example. Maybe next year. . . But again, I'm trying to focus on the perception of TPTB on those "low" income levels.
@, I think you're right about trying to protect the banking system. The specter of 1929 is too large. If the military were to find they have no paychecks, yes, they might go home to their families--but maybe not if free food and accommodation are the alternative to the unknown at home.
theletterz, I don't think the government actually created this crisis but I do think they take advantage of crises and I also believe, of course, that they will spin any crisis to their own advantage. I would do the same if I were the TPTB. I didn't mean to say they deliberately withhold information so as to increase their power; more that they withhold the information so as not to lose their power, which is not quite the same thing. They don't know what else to do. I was "less fortunate" for about six months after my first husband took off into the ozone and I was neither lazy nor stupid, so I have some sympathy for those down on their luck, ill, or disabled. I have no sympathy, however, for those who make no effort to help themselves and who demand handouts. But still, TPTB see an income half or less than their own and form their own conclusions.
mushroom, I don't believe the government has plans to reduce the population, either. Why would they--that would reduice the taxes they squander! Yes, I think many of TPTB are in denial and many are just plain ignorant--wasn't it George Bush who was stunned when he saw a grocery scanner (after they had been out for years)? But for many of those in a position to make decisions affecting the population, I have to wonder. I think the Naval War College scenarios, which can easily be used for domestic situations, made me think that SOMEbody up there is not asleep at the helm.
anon--I don't think anyone is looking at you as what they mean by the term "less fortunate." I was able to get off food stamps by moonlighting (and paying a babysitter too) , and I think others should do be able to do the same. When I was grossing $12k (GROSSING!) in 1980, I made more by working for college students every spare moment I had. I didn't get much sleep. If it hadn't been for the Big Brothers program I don't know what would have happened to my son while I was busy trying to keep a roof over our heads. (I helped pay back by typing their newsletter each month.)
bardou, you're right about ignorance. I had a lady who helped me clean my house for a while earlier this year. I was able to teach her how to make her own window cleaner and pancake mix, where to buy good used clothing and furniture, and other money-saving tactics. She had never even heard of Y2K so I sat her in front of the computer and pulled up a Y2K info page in Spanish so she could read it. She understood and said she would start to put away a few things each week. She didn't get the local paper and therefore no coupons. But she did look at the grocery store flyer for sale items. Generally speaking, if you don't have the money, you don't have the education to be able to find bargains. But, again, I'm trying to get a handle on the perceptions and reasoning of TPTB, not ours.
Farmer--you cleared seven grand. But I have to wonder what sort of paper deductions you took. I also wonder if your home and land are paid for or at least partly deductible as a business expense. Maybe your vehicle too. I suspect you have low real estate taxes as well. For you, an apparently low income doesn't keep you from preparing. What about a mother and child clearing $7k and living in a city apartment with nowhere to grow food? And I'm not saying that income levels are why people aren't preparing, you see, I'm saying TPTB looked at those levels and TO THEM they were too low to prepare from their high-five-figure or six-figure vantage point..
Disgusted, see answers above.
Scat, right, generally based on two wage-earners, I'm sure. Possibly three if one child is old enough to work part-time after school. But please try to think about this from TPTB perspective. How do THEY see it?
PJC, I was thinking more of the real PTB, the high-figure career government and military folks, like those who participated in the Naval War College brain-storming sessions. They will be the ones to whom the denialist leaders turn when it's blatantly obvious that TS will HTF. They're the ones who've been doing the real thinking and strategy. And I do believe you're right, that Clinton and Gore are ignorant of the possibilities.
I really appreciate your thoughtful responses and opinions. Could we keep thinking about this and, when another bit of information sparks something, come back and add some more?
-- Old Git (firstname.lastname@example.org), October 22, 1999.
From: Y2K, ` la Carte by Dancr (pic), near Monterey, California
I think TPTB, from experience in trying to get folks to prepare for earthquakes and hurricanes, knew for a fact that few would prepare, no matter what they said. If they harped on it for years, then it would be hard to talk people down off the walls as the deadline grew closer.
The reason people won't take responsibility for themselves is that excessive schooling teaches them to not take initiative. I don't know whether TPTB are aware of this part or not. Certainly there are some thinkers who believe that they know this full well, and in fact purposely designed the educational system for with this feature in mind.
What I'd really like to know is whether any steps at all have been taken to take care of people after 72-hours are up. I don't really see any sign that there have been any. Wouldn't it have been beneficial for us to have focused not so much on arguing with pollyticians over whether there would or would not be problems, but instead on what provisions are or would be in place in case things go sour?
I believe they're well aware of the danger that we are in, based upon their behavior and some of the leaks that have been parsed to death on this forum.
Many times this year I have been reminded of a game that I used to play with my dad. We called it "racecars." I don't know if anybody else plays it, or just us. Here's how it works. You take a piece of graph paper and draw a racetrack on it. (If you have a lot of time you can tape two pages together to make a bigger one.) The game is good for two or more players. Each chooses a geometric symbol to represent their car. Players take turns advancing their car and drawing their symbol in the next square to which they have advanced. On any given turn, you can go the same speed and direction as you had on the previous turn, or you can choose any of the eight cells surrounding that current target cell. If you hit a wall (or another car), you (or you both) have to lose a turn and start from that location at zero velocity and acceleration. The object of the game is to be the first one to the finish line.
Sometimes it makes sense to hit the wall on purpose. Sometimes things happen and you can see that you're going to hit the wall no matter what, so you may as well hit it as fast as you can, since there's no additional penalty for hitting it hard, and at least you can get some mileage out of the run up.
I'm not saying this is a good way to run a country, but it could explain some of how people are behaving.
-- Dancr (email@example.com), October 23, 1999.