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Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must?

Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must? thumbnail

This gives an extreme advantage to those few who move first, long before they must. The financial advantage for first movers is equally extreme.

Moving is a difficult decision, so we hesitate. But when the window to do so closes, it’s too late. We always think we have all the time in the world to ponder, calculate and explore, and then things change and the options we once had are gone for good.

Moving to a new locale is difficult for those of us who are well-established in the place we call home. Add in a house we love, jobs/work, kids in school, a parent living with us and all the emotional attachments to friends, extended family, colleagues and favorite haunts, and for many (and likely most) people, moving is out of the question.

Many of us have fond memories of moving when we were in our late teens or early 20s–everything we owned fit in the backseat and trunk of a beaten up old car, and off we went.

Once you put down roots in a home, work/enterprise, schools, neighborhood and networks, it’s a herculean task to move. Moving to another state or province isn’t just a matter of the physical movement of possessions and buying / renting a new dwelling, itself an arduous process; the transfer of medical and auto insurance, finding new dentists and doctors, opening local bank/credit union accounts, obtaining local business licenses and a staggering list of institutions and enterprises that require an address change is complicated and time-consuming.

Knowing this, I don’t ask this question lightly: Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must? The question is consequential because the window in which we still have options can slam shut with little warning.

The origin of the question will be visible to those who have read my blog posts in 2021 on systemic fragility, our dependence on long, brittle supply chains, the vulnerabilities created by these dependencies and my polite (I hope) suggestions to fashion not just a Plan B for temporary disruptions but a Plan C for permanent disruptions.

My new book Global Crisis, National Renewal: A (Revolutionary) Grand Strategy for the United States is a result of realities few are willing to face: the extreme inequality we now have in the U.S. leads to social collapse. That’s the lesson of history. So to believe as if collapse is impossible is to ignore the evidence that social collapse is inevitable when inequality reaches extremes. Human and nature dynamics (HANDY): Modeling inequality and use of resources in the collapse or sustainability of societies.

Social collapse has consequences, and so we have to ask: where do we want to be in the vast human herd when social order unravels?

My new book also addresses the transition that’s obvious but easily denied: we’ve transitioned from an era of abundance to an era of scarcity. There are many historical examples of what happens as scarcity diminishes living standards and puts increasing stress on individuals, families, communities and nations.

There are ways to adapt to scarcity (that’s the point of my book) but nation-states and the elites who run them are optimized for abundance, not scarcity, so they lack the means to adapt to scarcity. Their default setting to is keep pursuing a return to higher consumption (“growth”) by increasingly extreme means–for example, printing trillions of dollars and giving it to wealthy elites and corporations, and printing additional trillions to give away as bread and circuses (stimulus) to the masses.

There is no historical evidence that this vast, endless creation of currency is consequence-free or successful.

This delusional pursuit of endless “growth” that is no longer possible due to resource depletion and soaring costs of extraction, transport, etc. also leads to collapse. This is the modern-day equivalent of squandering the last resources available on ever-more elaborate (and completely unproductive) temples in the hopes of appeasing the gods of “growth.”

As I also detail in the book, the status quo is fantastically wasteful and ineffective. It now takes 20-25 years to build a single bridge or tunnel, and each project is billions of dollars over budget, yet we’re assured that the entire nation will seamlessly and painlessly transition away from hydrocarbon fuels to alternative energy in 20-25 years.

Never mind that this would require building a new nuclear plant or equivalent every month for the next 20 years; skeptics are just naysayers.

While a successful transition to a degrowth economy and society is certainly physically possible, the current status quo lacks the will, structure, leadership or desire to manage such a transition.

While no one is entirely independent of long supply chains and energy-intensive industrial economies, the lower one’s dependency and one’s exposure to the risks of social disorder, the better off one will be. Put another way, the greater one’s self-reliance and independence from global supply chains, the lower the impact should things break down.

The closer one is to local sources of energy, fresh water, food, etc., the lower the likelihood of losing all access to these essentials.

The wealthiest few hedge their risks by having one or more homes they can escape to if urban life breaks down. When risks rise, the wealthy start buying rural homes sight unseen for double the price locals paid a few months earlier.

Here’s the problem: roughly 81% of Americans live in urban zones (270 million people), and around 19% (60 million people) live in rural areas.

About 31% of urban residents live in dense urban cores, about 25% live in suburban counties and the remaining 24% live in urban clusters and metropolitan areas–smaller cities, etc.

Rural regions have plenty of land but relatively few dwellings due to the low population density. Much of the land is owned by government agencies, corporations or large landowners, so a relatively small percentage is available for housing. Many rural economies have stagnated for decades, so the housing stock has not grown by much and older homes have deteriorated due to being abandoned or poorly maintained. Few building contractors survived the stagnation and so finding crews to build a new home is also non-trivial.

So when the wealthiest few rush out to buy second or third homes in desirable rural areas in Idaho, Montana, Utah, Colorado, North Carolina, etc., they find a very restricted supply of homes available. This generates a bidding war for the relatively few homes considered acceptable and prices skyrocket, pricing out locals who soon resent the wealthy newcomers’ financial power and fear the inevitable rise of the political and commercial power their wealth can buy. (Cough, billgates, cough.)

At present, few anticipate urban America becoming a dicey place to live and own a home. But inequality and the hollowing out of the economy by globalization and financialization has left cities entirely dependent on diesel fueled trucks to deliver virtually everything.

This is also true of rural communities, of course, but some rural areas still produce energy and food, and given the lower population density, these communities are less dependent on global supply chains and are therefore more self-sufficient. Rural households have more opportunities to raise animals, grow vegetables, etc., and more opportunities to have supportive relationships with neighbors who actually produce something tangible and essential.

Dependence is a matter of scale: if you can get by on 5 gallons of gasoline a month, you’re much more likely to put your hands on enough fuel to get by than if you need a minimum of 50 gallons of fuel to survive. The same is true of food, fresh water and other essentials: the less you need, the more you supply yourself, the lower your vulnerability to supply disruptions.

Lower population densities lend themselves to greater self-sufficiency / resilience and to community cohesion. Roving mobs are less likely to form simply because the low density makes such mobs difficult to assemble.

As I explain in my book, social cohesion is a combination of civic virtue, shared purpose, agency (having a stake in the local economy and a say in decisions which affect everyone) and moral legitimacy, i.e. a community that isn’t divided into a self-serving elite that owns the vast majority of the wealth, capital and political power and a relatively powerless majority (i.e. debt-serfs and tax donkeys).

In my analysis, social cohesion in most urban zones has already eroded to the point of no return. The tattered remnants will crumble with one swift kick.

The conventional view is the urban populace will continue to grow at the expense of rural regions, a trend that’s been in place for hundreds of years. But this trend exactly parallels the rise of hydrocarbon energy. Large cities existed long before hydrocarbon energy, but these cities arose and fell depending on the availability of essential resources within reach.

Imperial Rome, for example, likely had 1 million residents at the apex of its power, residents who were largely dependent on grain grown in North African colonies and shipped across the Mediterranean to Rome’s port of Ostia.

Once those wheat-exporting colonies were lost, Rome’s population fell precipitously, reaching a nadir of perhaps 10,000 residents living amidst the ruins of a once great metropolis.

More recently, economic and social shifts hollowed out many city cores in the 1970s as residents and jobs moved to the suburbs.

A reversal of this trend in favor of small cities/towns and rural areas may already be gathering momentum under the radar.

All this is abstract until the attractions of city living fade and economic vitality declines to the point of civic and financial bankruptcy. Cities have cycles of expansion, decay and decline just like societies and economies, and it behooves us to monitor the fragility, dependency and risk of the place we inhabit.

At nadirs, homes and buildings that were once worth a fortune are abandoned, or their value drops to a fraction of its former value.

Putting these dynamics together, the problem boils down to a systemic scarcity of housing in attractive, productive rural towns and regions and a massive oversupply of urban residents who may decide to move once urban zones unravel.

Let’s assume that a mere 5% of urban residents decamp for rural regions. Given that there are about 130 million households in the U.S. and 81% of that total is 105 million households, 5% is 5.25 million households. Given that the number of rural communities that have all the desirable characteristics is not that large, we can estimate that it might be difficult for even 500,000 urban households to relocate to their first choice, never mind 5 million.

This gives an extreme advantage to those few who move first, long before they must. The financial advantage for first movers is equally extreme, as they can still sell their urban homes for a great deal more money than they will fetch once conditions deteriorate. (The value of homes can drop to zero, as Detroit has shown.)

Those few who decide to join the early movers even though the difficulties are many have all the advantages. Those who wait until conditions slip off a cliff may find their once valuable home has lost most or all of its value and the communities they would have chosen are out of reach financially.

Most people reckon they have plenty of time to act–decades, or at least many years. The problem with systemic fragility was aptly described by Seneca: “Increases are of sluggish growth but the way to ruin is rapid.”

My own expectation is a self-reinforcing unraveling that gathers momentum to breaking points by 2024-25, only a few years away. Rather than fix the systemic problems of inequality and scarcity, the status quo’s expedient fixes (printing trillions out of thin air and hoping there will be no adverse consequences from distributing free money to financiers and bread and circuses) will only accelerate the unraveling. There may not be as much time as we think.

New readers pondering these dynamics may find value in one of the more widely read of my essaysThe Art of Survival, Taoism and the Warring States (June 27, 2008) which discusses the importance of being a helpful and productive member of a tight-knit community and the futility of having an isolated “bug-out” cabin as Plan C.

The vista of solid ground stretching endlessly to the horizon may turn out to be a mirage, and the cliff edge is closer than we imagine.

OfTwoMinds blog



11 Comments on "Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must?"

  1. Biden's hairplug on Mon, 17th Jan 2022 6:03 am 

    “Should You Move While You Can, Or When You Must?”

    Avoid the rush and prepare NOW. That means for a Yank: leaving the coastal areas and moving to white, conservative areas (just count the pro-Trump signs), where the feds have the least influence.

    “the extreme inequality we now have in the U.S. leads to social collapse.”

    As always, the real reason for collapse (=racial tensions) is avoided.

    “This gives an extreme advantage to those few who move first, long before they must. The financial advantage for first movers is equally extreme.”

    100% correct.

    Btw, our friend of many years, makati1 (Bill T.) hasn’t showed up lately, for several weeks now or more. Did he return to the US, as he should, avoiding ending up in a POW-camp, run by the PLA? He claimed to be in good health, so it is unlikely that he passed away, unless he caught the coof, all of a sudden.

  2. shock elite whitey supertard Nicholas Tennant MUZZ-19 himself with reckless abandon GOING TO SAINT PETERS on Mon, 17th Jan 2022 10:06 am 

    realnotrare

    please feel at ease among friends, we’re all lovers of supremacist muzzies here.

  3. Makati1's hairplug on Mon, 17th Jan 2022 2:15 pm 

    My death has been greatly exaggerated. I still love fondling Goat testicles in the Philippines.

  4. Theedrich on Mon, 17th Jan 2022 5:55 pm 

    The U.S. septic tank festers on. Sewer dwellers of every description increase and multiply in it, with millions more being imported yearly by the Chosenite billionaires who feed the bribe-ocracy.  Distractions of every sort — about Hollywood celebrities, about White boogeymen, about nasty Russians who need to be nuked, and so forth.

    Meanwhile the masses demand more brain poisons made in China and bum-rushed by darkfilth in through the southern border, more COVID and other diseases swarming in through the same route, plus millions more parasites of the lower races, as though we did not already have enough of our own.  Oh yes, and the extremely cheap labor, not to mention a sea of whores, to satisfy the sacred American “economy.”

    Half and more of the indigenous Whites are interested in needling themselves up as members of primitive tribes with tatoos — the more garish the better.  And to make sure everyone notices how much they identify with the “poor,” vast numbers clothe themselves with garments sporting ready-made holes and ragged tears on them.  The most stupid and violent race is apotheosized and held up as the model for social behavior.  Crime is idealized as a sport.  Mulattoes are glorified, and Mohammedan murderers from oillands are sympathized with by the Adminstration.  Because that is what the herd wants.

    The entire jungle is kept entertained and schooled by Chosenite social media and TV, whose masters make sure no sane objections to the mass suicide are made known.  Yankee academe is now a mockery of education, focussing on how Whitey needs to commit genosuicide after being accused by Jews and the mentally disturbed of of Jew-invented “racism.”

    The federal government is in the control of the International Jew and his thugs and mouthpieces.  In former ages, that government would have been instantly arrested and thrown out.  But the current one is welcomed and embraced.

    The executioner is welcomed by a death-seeking population.

  5. shock as elite whitey supertard Miriam Thomson MUZZ-19 herself with reckless abandon GOING TO SAINT PETERS on Mon, 17th Jan 2022 7:23 pm 

    realnotrare

    please feel at ease among friends, we’re all lovers of supremacist muzzies here.

  6. Biden’s hairplug on Tue, 18th Jan 2022 12:59 am 

    “British troops are sent to Ukraine: Hi-tech weapons and ‘training personnel’ are dispatched amid fears of Russian invasion but Berlin BANS the RAF planes from German airspace and repeats vow to ‘do everything to avoid escalating the crisis’“

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-10411583/UK-says-supplying-Ukraine-weapons-defend-against-Russia.html#comments

    According to BBC Newsnight, the former anglophile Dutch government closed its airspace too for these deliveries. The UK as always does what the US wants, the EU doesn’t. Now it is the turn of the EU to get Brexit done, quietly sneak out of the West and defect towards Russia and its essential energy resources and park itself in the winning Eurasian coalition.

    Der Spiegel is screaming this morning that the ruling “SPD party has a Russia problem”.

    https://www.spiegel.de/ausland/deutsche-aussenpolitik-die-spd-hat-ein-russland-problem-a-63028853-7793-4b98-bf44-e0c5b2954c23

    “Die SPD hat ein Russland-Problem”

    No, it doesn’t. Germany has a Spiegel problem, a problem that can be easily solved as der Spiegel building in Hamburg has a least 10 stories from which leftist pro-US journalists can be smashed against the pavement by angry, pro-Russian populists, who don’t like sitting in the dark and cold.

    Apparently, the SPD doesn’t do what the US & der Spiegel want: seeking confrontation with Russia.

    WW3: AUKUS vs Eurasia.

    If Russia closes the tap, the social order would vanish in Germany and the SPD knows it. Oh and former chancellor Schroeder has an important function at Gazprom and is Putin buddy. He once remarked on television that the only thing he likes about America was Elvis.

    Everything is moving in the right direction.
    Date Olympics: 4-20 Feb.
    The geopolitical fun starts after that.
    Say goodbye to the US empire and Anglos in general.

  7. Biden's hairplug on Tue, 18th Jan 2022 4:19 am 

    The Russians are leaving the Ukraine while they still can:

    “Russia evacuating embassy in Ukraine – media”

    https://www.rt.com/russia/546357-moscow-evacuate-embassy-ukraine/

    “Canada deploys special forces to Ukraine – media”

    https://www.rt.com/russia/546343-canada-special-forces-ukraine/

    The Canadians are there to help evacuate Canadians FROM the Ukraine.lol

  8. Biden's hairplug on Wed, 19th Jan 2022 4:08 am 

    In other Chinese news:

    “Coronavirus: 2,000 hamsters to be culled over fears of first animal-to-human transmission in Hong Kong, pet store customers ordered into quarantine”

    https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/article/3163775/coronavirus-hong-kong-leader-worried-about-community-outbreak

  9. Cloggie on Sat, 22nd Jan 2022 3:11 am 

    Strong town Groningen – how the world dould look like after the car:

    https://youtu.be/Bt4c1J3iHAU

  10. Disneyplus on Tue, 29th Mar 2022 4:03 am 

    Disneyplus.com/begin is a well-known and well-oriented streaming application with its own streaming network. It streams many movies, tv shows, news, sports web series, and newly released shows. Even Disney releases its own animated movies on the Disney plus begin.
    https://disneyplus.combegins.com/

  11. makati1 on Tue, 29th Mar 2022 7:22 am 

    ANAL CAPTURE++

    SHOCK elite whitey supertard makati1 MUZZ-19

    thecovidblog

    SHOCK elite whitey supertard makati1 pushed daisies

    ANAL CAPTURE SHOCK elite darkie supertard (streetshitter) Sohrab Lutchmedial hates elite whitey supertards – punch anti-vaxers in THE FACE

    thecovidblog

    ANAL CAPTURE SHOCK streetshitter MUZZ-19

    ANAL CAPTURE SHOCK streetshitter pushed daisies

    thecovidblog

    please ease we love muzz

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