Mary Pitt: Re-Educate For The New Future
Re-Educate For The New Future
by Mary Pitt
President Bush is right! We need to re-educate ourselves in order to prepare for the future which faces us, and not only in the job market. The imminent crash of the dollar on the world market, the ballooning debt that our government is incurring in an effort to control the world, and the descent of our trade balances, along with the out-sourcing of jobs to Mexico and the Orient, will require us to take desperate measures to prepare for the second world-wide depression in a century.
It would behoove us all to consult those who have survived the last depression at an age when they truly remember the trials and the measures necessary to endure them. This requires finding a family member or a close friend who was born in the nineteen-twenties or the early 'thirties as those born later may recall the privations of World War II, but that doesn't count. Once that war began, life was a walk in the park by comparison to what we had just endured. Failure to do so could add your name to the long list of "money-men" who saved themselves the embarassment of losing everything by jumping out of the windows of their offices and oozed out their disgrace by spilling their lifeblood on the streets below.
The first advice you will receive is this: Simplify, simplify, simplify! Forget your high-dollar profession. People will not have the money to pay for your services. You will find yourself happily accepting foodstuffs in payment. Plan to get out of the city. If you do not have enough yard space for a garden, move to some place where you will have this essential. Home-grown veggies may be your only sustenance. A large enough property for a milch cow or even a goat will assure calcium so your children will have strong bones and good teeth. And. by the way, while you still have the funds, buy and study books on agronomy if you don't already have a "green thumb". You won't have time to learn "on the job" as your family suffers from diseases which are caused by a lack of dietary nutrients.
If your beautiful home is not mortgage-free, sell it now and buy one that you can pay for with your equity. A roof over your head is a prime requirement for surviving a cashless economy. While you're in the mood for wheeling and dealing, trade down that gas-hog SUV. You won't be able to afford the gas to run it, it will make lousy yard-art, and you do need some sort of inexpensive transportation to do your monthly shopping for household staples. Besides, it will probabIy be forfeited in the bankruptcy which will be necessary to dispose of all those credit card balances. It would help, also, if you would have a yard sale where you could convert all those electronic toys, jam boxes, and cell phones that the kids absolutely "had to have" in order to keep up with the other kids, into cash to purchase something they are really going to need.. Tell them that, soon, the other kids will be willing to swap all the expensive junk for some item of clothing that does not have holes in it.
Send your wife and daughters, along with selected sons, to night classes to learn "home economics". They can learn that it is possible for a family to stave off starvation with a meal of boiled beans, a slice of home-made bread, and some margarine. (A bit of ham bone will make the beans taste even better!) Be sure to encourage your children to relish the taste of oatmeal, cheap and filling. It would also be well to sell off the fancy furniture. It won't all fit in the smaller house, anyway, and your wife will be much too busy with the garden, the cooking, and other household chores to spend all that time dusting and polishing with last year's underwear which she has not yet learned to mend.
Learn about simple home remedies and herbal medicine in order to treat minor illnesses and accidents. You won't be able to dash to the doctor or emergency room every time Junior gets a skinned knee or the sniffles. It would cost too many chickens which, otherwise, would make delicious Sunday dinner entrees. Learn to make stitch-tapes and the home use of Epsom salts, iodine, and Vicks Vapo-Rub and to make cough syrup with honey and lemon juice. Encourage the kids to learn to read. This will be a prime recreation when the electricity has been turned off so that the television and the computers are "temporarily disabled" due to lack of abilty to pay the current electric bills. Besides, they might learn something! When they get "fidgety", suggest that a little whittling or needle-work would keep their fingers from wanting to dip into a snack tray.
You will not be as isolated as those who survived the last depression. There will still be adequate transportation and communications systems but, again, they will require some cash expenditure which will be hard to obtain. You may live in a multi-generational household since Mom and Pop will no longer be receiving Social Security and will need your help. They will also supply asssistance in learning the survival methods which will be so essential to life, all those things which you resisted learning because they were "irrelevant". Children will leave home earlier, many to live as servants in order to "earn their keep" or to work their way through the higher education system in order to become "professionals" who will, again, work for chickens and satisfaction. Paying jobs will be hard to find, but there will be people who require help and will provide room and board for the essential assistance.
The "bread-winner" may be absent from home for long periods of time in the search for employment. While it may never be necessary, those in good physical condition would benefit from an evening in a "hobo jungle", learning how to travel long distances by rail without wasting time sojourning in the jails of tiny towns. This could prove vital in obtaining tiny amounts of money which will be very important to the families struggling for existence in your absence. There will always be some bills which can only be paid in cash.
Lastly, repair your relationship with your Church. Your faith will be sorely tested and you will have much about which to pray, especially for forgiveness for all those times during the week that you uttered the shameful words, "F*** Bush!" In light of the current fiscal situation, you may also want to learn to say them in Chinese!
Mary Pitt is a septuagenarian Kansan who is
self-employed and active in the political arena. Her
concerns are her four-generation family and the continuance
of the United States as a democracy with a government "of
the people, by the people, and for the people". Comments and
criticism may be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org