For many years [dating back to the late 1970's or early 1980's when the documentary series Connections aired on PBS] I have understood the fact that we reside in a house of cards. However, I always perceived it as a technical matter with the bottom tier being made up of several layers of Federal infrastructure such as roads and highways, electric, gas and phone lines, etc. etc.
That would be bad enough--but the reality is far worse. It turns out that the bottom tier of our card-house was trust. Without trust the economy falls apart. Without an economy, repairs of the existing infrastructure can't be paid for. Without the infrastructure, the shipping of goods [including food, water, gasoline, etc. etc. etc.] becomes impossible.
So, with all this in mind, I'm sitting on my hands until January when a major change is due to occur in this country. If the current downward spiral halts, I'll do nothing. If it continues, I plan to go to the nearest garden center and lay in a supply of vegetable seeds-- everything from corn to bell peppers. And, last month, I bought a small compost maker. I may buy another-- while I can still be assured of delivery.
In fact, I'm one of the lucky ones. I recently moved to Florida and I live in a community that already has a number of citrus trees scattered throughout. It also has a fairly large amount of common ground that can be converted into several cooperative gardens.
Living in the north could become somewhat of a luxury that many of us may no longer be able to afford.
Recently, there has been a lot of talk comparing the current situation to what happened in 1929. However, people don't mention some pretty glaring differences:
Back then, the population of the country was a lot smaller and, mostly, it was rural. Today, this far larger population is primarily urban and, therefore, much more dependent on the infrastructure that, in fact, began being built in response to the last economic meltdown.
If our next president recognizes the efficacy of the New Deal and emulates it, the infrastructure may survive-- even grow. Traditionally, Republicans have not only disdained the New Deal but have worked to undermine and dismantle it. Would McCain do a 180 and embrace it? I find that unlikely. I think Obama may meet the crisis by pushing for a new New Deal both to rebuild the economy by becoming a major employer, as the Federal Government did in the 1930's, and to rebuild the infrastructure that has deteriorated in recent years.
At this point, all I can do is hope for a Democratic win next month that might help me survive the coming whirlwind-- and prepare for a Republican win that would, imo, almost certainly throw me back upon my own resources.