Long term unemployed and standard youth unemployment are two terms which are now coming into play in our literature and economic evaluations. Europe has ha this situation for quite some time. France for example has a long term youth unemployment factor of 27% and long term basically means there will be no jobs for that percentage of young people--no matter what.
Long term unemployment for adults is a kindly method of advising that these individuals job type---will not be coming back at all. That these unemployed individuals due to occupation or location will remain unemployed no matter how hard they work at attempting to reenter the work force. There are estimates that range up to 22% for this category of unemployed.
The United States has always viewed unemployment as either a temporary situation or a lifestyle choice by the lazy and inept. This cultural belief will have to change due to this depression and it's long term results. Let us say that in the United States when all is said and done, we wind up with a total, unmoving, long term unemployment rate of 22% both adult and youth. Our society as a whole will have to develop or allow to develop some type of a black market, underground economy involving this almost 1/3 of our population, simply to survive. I visualize this as the Bridge society in William Gibson's novels.
It may be that this underground economy becomes the real economy as government services collapse...taxes become irrelevant....and government enforcement of rules and ethics become a bribe circumstance at our personal levels rather than on major political levels as it is now. The major problem will be the fall of industrial food production. This is not a fantasy---industrial food production collapsed in the Soviet Union and in Cuba when their economies failed. The result was dependence on intensive small plot gardening. The underground economy will without will begin with locally produced food products offered for sale...soon followed by any and everything to be traded, bartered or sold outright. But FOOD will be the most important. Look around your neighborhood and think how few gardeners there are, how little most of them produce and then understand how expensive a potato will become.
There has been a small amount of progress this week, thank God. Any progress makes me feel better mentally----Our 9 solar panels are now mounted on the residence roof, wiring run to the basement..but that's the weeks worth of labor by the installer. It's better than what was going on--which was nothing. I got our trauma kits rigged, we are planting in the garden, the automatic irrigation system is in place, and i filed the appropriate paperwork with the electric utility to register as a small unit electric producer! I am still somewhat in the betwixt and between time---I do not feel organized or accomplished yet for the upcoming summer.
Against the constant media and political spin of "the economy's getting better!" I am positive in my belief that the down spiral continues. Which increases my mental demands for homestead organization and completion. I do believe that JoJo and I can survive with what we will have accomplished by the time we are completed....but the march to completion is frustrating me. I do not feel time pressured because what we will have done will be what we have to live with...it is just frustrating to work within the confines of the limited time i have available.
I reworked my vehicle hike out pack this weekend...I've started calling it my Eli pack? I received my on sale mummy bag this week and stored it in my pack. My on sale hiking boots also came in and are now in the vehicle with the pack. I have one or two items left on my list for inclusion in the pack out to home system but all in all i am happy with the results. So far.
In the preparation for entering the retirement zone JoJo and I have been back and forthing over what type of vehicle to buy before I pull the pin at work. This has been going on for some time now and I felt we would never actually agree on the retirement vehicle until I brought up the Honda Element and making ours into a type of camping van as a modern version of the old VW Bus. This wound up being something we both could get involved with and accept. Pictured below is pretty much our exact plan--roof top tent and tail gate extension tent.
We've decided to buy a full time 4 wheel drive Element--and use it as the retirement travel/camping vehicle and for our full time only motor transport in geezer world. We will trade or sell our Prius and Matrix and rely on the recumbent bike and the Segway for non gasoline transport in town. I am also considering the purchase of a small covered utility trailer to tow behind us and carry our junk for camping, very small and very utility.
It's nice to have a plan --- purchase will probably be in 2011 pre-retirement to insure pay off by geezer world time. The camping element will also serve as an excellent Bug out Vehicle if necessary.
Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.
E. B. White
E. B. White