Majority of Americans unprepared if economy collapses

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In the 2013 Brad Pitt movie, World War Z, unlike all the world’s other governments caught in the normalcy bias, the government of Israel had a Tenth Man policy which enabled Israel to take seriously an early warning about the impending zombie apocalypse and so secured its borders.

According to the tenth man policy, when nine people agree on something, it’s the tenth man’s responsibility to disagree no matter how improbable the idea.

The normalcy bias refers to human beings’ predisposition to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. Our erroneous assumption is that since a disaster hasn’t occurred, then it never will occur. We then downplay the likelihood of a disaster while, at the same time, interpret warnings in the most optimistic way possible or ignore those warnings entirely.

Our normalcy bias results in our failure as individuals and government to adequately prepare for a disaster, as well as our inability to cope when disaster does strike.

Michael Snyder of The Economic Collapse warns that America is “steamrolling toward the edge of an economic cliff” because “the long-term trends that are destroying our economy have continued to get worse since 2008, and none of the problems that caused the last financial crisis have been fixed.” Most Americans “in our entertainment-addicted society are totally oblivious to what is going on. So they are not doing anything to get ready for the immense economic pain that is coming.”

Are you prepared for the coming economic collapse? Here are 5 questions to ask yourself:

1. Can you come up with $2,000 right now? According to a shocking study by Atif Mian of Princeton University and Amir Sufi of the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, 40% of Americans said they could not come up with $2,000 if an unexpected need arose.

2. Do you have 3 months of income saved in an emergency fund? In that same study, an astounding 60% of Americans said they do not have 3 months emergency funds to cover expenses in case of sickness, job loss, or an economic downturn.

3. Are you living paycheck to paycheck? Another study found that 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. Less than one out of every four Americans (25%) has enough money stored away to cover six months of expenses.

4. How dependent are you on government benefits? More Americans are dependent on the government than ever before. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 49% of U.S. households receive and depend on direct monetary benefits from the federal government.

5. How prepared are you for an emergency lasting just a few days? According to a survey conducted by the Adelphi Center for Health Innovation:

  • 44% don’t have first-aid kits
  • 48% lack emergency supplies
  • 53% do not have a minimum three-day supply of nonperishable food and water at home
  • 55% believe local authorities will come to their rescue if disaster strikes
  • 52% have not designated a family meeting place if they are separated during an emergency
  • 42% do not know the phone numbers of all of their immediate family members
  • 21% don’t know if their workplace has an emergency preparedness plan
  • 37% do not have a list of the drugs they are taking
  • 52% do not have copies of health insurance documents

What do you think is going to happen to these people once the economy collapses and there is chaos in the streets?

One reason why so many Americans are unprepared for an economic disaster is because we are being taxed into oblivion. Americans — the 56.7% of us who actually pay income taxes — now spend more on taxes than we spend on food, clothing and housing combined.


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0 responses to “Majority of Americans unprepared if economy collapses

  1. This is due by and large to poor personal choices, and living beyond ones means. I will rant that there are a few caught in a catch 22, but they are a minority. The majority fails to believe that the government is imploding, they trust upon the staff of a bruised reed, it will rend and bite them.

    • Wildriver, I am in total agreement with what you wrote. It would be very interesting to know the percentage of people in this country that have the sense to prepare for even a serious weather event. I did not understand the thought process of these unprepared people for a long time. I was so happy to have discovered that it was in fact…..plain and simple……a mental condition….and a very common one at that. I also think that there is a connection between normalcy bias and a lack of critical thinking which is pretty much non existent these days since it is no longer taught in the schools. The concept of being prepared is no different than insurance. We have insurance on our vehicles and our homes in case something were to happen. How anyone in their right mind can feel safe and secure in these times is beyond me. Everyone in the country saw what happened when Katrina hit the gulf coast. The government did not help those poor people back then, why would anyone assume it will be any different in the future? Answer…….normalcy bias! And thank you Dr. E…..great post! Hopefully this will be an eyeopener for those that have the resources to prepare.

      One last bit of “heads up info”…… grocery stores now days stock around 3 days worth of food. In times of an emergency situation, the shelves will be bare in roughly 2 hrs. and if you are lucky enough to get inside the store, you will not see many happy shoppers. Most of you can avoid all this chaos to at least some degree according to your capabilities.

  2. Pretty much so… not an inconvenience, but end of life as we know it if stuff gets disrupted for many.

  3. It is good to have these things, but if the dollar collapses and is worth nothing more than wall paper. it won’t matter whether you have $2000.00 or an emergency fund. There was a book out years ago, entitled How to Prepare for the Coming Crash. It listed some very good ideas. My mother always had a little cash stashed away somewhere in case of a banking holiday. There is no guarantee that everything that happened in the Great Depression can’t happen again. It would be good to have something to trade or use in case the dollar is no longer acceptable. A coin collection containing small silver coins, small pieces of jewelry- anything that is valuable in itself. Paper money is only valuable if people are willing to accept it as money. There is also no guarantee that the government will not switch currencies. By the way, I am a survivor of Katrina. Many people won’t like to read this, but believe me, one of the things you need in any emergency kit is a gun.

  4. This is all I think about and prepare for. However, my grown kids with kids of their own make no effort. Starving to death is not and option. Plan for no electric also or fuel. Much to think about and plan. People think Im a loon.

    • You are NOT a loon. I used to think my mother was a loon, saving this and that, but she was right. Someday your kids will learn you are a wise person.

    • Just be careful who you share your plans with. When TSHTF people will turn into animals. If they know who has prepared they will head there first and many of them will not be ringing your doorbell.

  5. Leeann Springer

    The best thing we can do as individuals is to be self-sufficient. We become so, by living within our means. There is a method to managing money and if we don’t, then money will manage us. I’ve seen some of my friends go “belly up” because they wanted to live high on the hog, so to speak. I have heard people say “well, if the government shuts down I will go live with my parents or even friends who are preppers”. I have been a prepper most of my life, as a way of life. I’m not a cheapskate and I do share with others, but I’ve always been able to squirrel a few things back for emergencies. People need food, shelter and water, and it’s sad to know that so many through bad management, have a hard time meeting those needs. Most will find also, people who do not prep, plan or have a thought about survival are the ones who will not pay back loans also. I agree 100% with Dr. Eowyn about paying high taxes though and it is partly responsible why some have a hard time getting ahead. Oilag: I’m going to give you some tried and true advice: You need to allow your children to be self-sufficient and if you continue to help them all the time, they will become people caught in a snare of “learned helplessness” and they will never be free from your wallet. Sometimes if you continue to help people, they will stop helping themselves. I had to put my foot down with my adult son and yes, he learned to like Ramen Noodles, but he is finally standing on his feet and staying the heck off of mine. When I cut him adrift, he was angry and it proved that he was never grateful for the help he received because he thought of it as a benefit. The best thing I ever did was to stop paying his way. Personally, I would hang my head in shame to ever ask my mother or father for help, because it is a pride issue. Also EVH: You are right, a gun is very important to have on hand. Self-preservation, sometimes, depends on equalizing your protection. I always encourage people to take shooting lessons and know your firearm. Blessings to all, Leeann Springer

  6. The question is not IF, the question is WHEN will the economy and America collapse. As long as this current administration and the go-along congress remains at the controls, America is destined to fall off the cliff, as planned.

    Be prepared with $$$ (or other valuable trading items), food supplies and water, backup cooking means, necessary medicines, guns and ammo for a collapse of a minimum of 6 months duration.

    When the cities are devastated and destroyed, the vunnables and takers will spread to the rural areas looking for food and survival items.

    It won’t be pretty.

    I hope I’m wrong . . . but I’m ready for the worst case scenario.

  7. Thank you Dr. Eowyn for this excellent post and for reminding all of us that we must be prepared for the worst. Our economy has never been worse, nor have we ever been ruled by a king as we are now.


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