While researching a new book project I bought both of Mel Tappan’s books. For those of you who don’t know, he was pretty much the Godfather of the prepper movement. They called it Survival back then, but Tappan ruled the market in those bleak Jimmy Carter years. Although he died young and unexpectedly, his book “Survival Guns” is a classic. After his death his wife put together some of his columns from Guns and Ammo and Solider of Fortune and created the book, Tappan on Survival.
I read both of these books back when they were first published and I never missed his G&A column. It was interesting; particularly the gun stuff, but I didn’t take it very seriously. I was young and had nothing, so I figured I had nothing to lose. But, right now I am looking at it all with a more mature perspective than I had back in the seventies when I was young, dumb and bulletproof.
I am amazed at not only the high quality of his writing, but on just how right he got most of it. Of course the gun stuff is very dated today, but at the time he was “right on” (as we liked to say back then.) In the seventies the world didn’t have GLOCKS or other high cap, plastic pistols. The semi-auto, fighting rifle options were extremely limited and ammo, particularly for handguns, was just starting to claw its way out of the muck of the lead, round-nose era.
As might be expected with anybody who wrote predictive material about what might happen, almost 40 years later some of it has proven foolishly wrong. He has a skeptical warning about global cooling which proved to be just hysteria. I am sure not unlike how today’s global warming alarmists will be viewed thirty years from now. He also wrote a lot about the possibility of nuclear war with Russia. For many years we would have thought that too was dated and just past paranoia, but recent events have it back on the table. In fact, with the actions of the Obama presidency it’s probably a more dangerous scenario now than it was in the 1970’s.
Tappan was convinced that there was no way to avoid an economic meltdown. He was concerned about the National Debt, which was $650 billion at the time and exceeded the amount of money in circulation. In other words, the government owed more money than existed, which is a bad thing. He also pointed out that the way inflation happens is by the government printing more money, which devalues the currency. If a piece of silver is worth one dollar, by printing enough money to double the amount in circulation the silver is now worth fifty-cents. For those of us who remember the Carter years, it was happening and inflation was 14% when Reagan took office.
As of July 2, 2014 there was 1.24 Trillion U.S. dollars in world circulation in the form of Federal Reserve Notes, which have no backing with anything of value. The national debt as of today, September 4, 2014 is $17,726,027,548,123.81. That’s almost eighteen trillion dollars! It is increasing at a rate of $2.39 billion per day!
In fact, the debt took a record jump today, September 4th , of more than $300 billion. This apparently was the first day the federal government was able to borrow money under a deal President Obama and Congress sealed last week. Did you know anything about it? Me neither. The press is part of this because they are not doing their job. We are approaching eighteen trillion dollars in debt and they don’t think it’s worth mentioning?
Not to worry, Obama has it all figured out. His answer to record debt that we cannot possibly ever pay back is to borrow even more money. That and to print more under the foolish illusion that printing money has no consequences. The Federal Reserve is printing money as fast as they can, increasing the amount of money in circulation and reducing the value of each and every dollar. They are keeping inflation rates down artificially by manipulating interest rates and other means such as the Fed buying an unprecedented number of bonds, but that can’t hold. This has been tried before in other economies and it always ends in disaster.
While America is distracted by hacked nude photos of talentless actresses (who were slutty enough to have them on their phones to start with) we are not even noticing that our future is being tossed in the dumpster by the children we elected to run our country.
What Tappan failed to see was Ronald Reagan. With his election, we dodged a huge bullet and delayed the crash. If we had reelected Carter, America would probably be a much different place.
But, we did reelect Obama and he is making Carter look like the JV team when it comes to destroying America.
This is not sustainable and America is headed for very bad times. How and when is anybody’s guess, but at this point it appears to be unavoidable.
Tappan warned that the average U.S. household has less than two weeks’ worth of food on hand. He said that the average U. S. city only had eight days’ worth of food and the world wide supply was just 84 days’ worth of food. I know that the Average American household number has dropped to something like three days, but I can’t find any data on the rest. However, I suspect it’s lower than it was in 1980.
The anniversary of 9-11 is coming up and a lot of very smart people are worried about something bad happening. If the wheels of commerce stop and we are left on our own, are you ready? How much food do you have in your house? What means to you have to protect it from being stolen from you? Do you have a plan? Do you even care?
I sincerely hope none of this happens, that we will put grownups back into charge soon. In fact, I think that is the most likely scenario. It won’t stop the inevitable, but it will delay it for a while.
But the odds of going the other way are increasing every single day and at an escalating rate. Wouldn’t it be smart to prepare at least a little? What’s the worst that could happen? That you have too much food and too much ammo in your house? I’ll bet that’s a problem you can handle.
On the other hand, what’s the worst that can happen if you do nothing?
I’ll let you figure that one out yourself.