the dollar vigilante blog

The Weekend Vigilante June 29, 2013

Hello from Dallas, Texas,

I left Acapulco and arrived in Houston a few days ago and after an hour wait to have my papers checked and be interrogated like a criminal I dropped off my luggage for a connection to Shreveport.  The Bush crime family international airport is a huge and unwieldy place and I was delayed through customs. I looked at the connecting bag checkers who put luggage on the belt and none of them seemed to be in any rush at all.  In fact, almost all the bags were sitting beside the belt and from time to time a person would meander through and look at a bag.  I pretty much knew my bag was gone at that point and it was.

It did show up the next day, so that was nice.  It was bad timing, however, to not have a toothbrush because the day before, in Acapulco, I was stung by a scorpion in my home office.

Being from Kanada, I had no idea what to do and I posted on Facebook, "What do you do if you get stung by a scorpion?".  Within seconds, dozens of people gave me all kinds of advice, but I decided to walk upstairs to my bedroom and ask my Acapulquena wife the same question.

She said, "Can you breathe?"

I said yes and she just laughed and said, "drink some milk and eat a clove of garlic... and Skype me if you can't breathe."

So I did, and other than my foot being numb the next day like it had just been treated by a dentist, I was fine.  But I feel bad for anyone who spoke with me for the next day since I didn't even have a toothbrush.

As is often the case, a TDVer was kind enough to meet me at the airport in Shreveport, near where he lives and I even stayed over at his house after a night out on the town prior to driving to Dallas for the Liberty Masterminds Symposium (which was excellent, by the way).

My friend hadn't really gone out in years. But he took me out, telling me we should have plenty of fun.  He was stunned, however.  It was a Thursday evening and even though we tried ten different bars, there were never more than 4 or 5 people in each.  

"Wow, I didn't realize how bad it's gotten here," he said.

Most of the bars were really worn down... it felt very much like a third world country... everyone seemed depressed.  We saw more cops than we did anyone else.

The only girls we even saw were on the street as they ran up to us and they looked scared.  We asked them what's wrong and they asked us to walk them to their car.  They said a homeless man was chasing them.

Every time I go to the US now it feels like a mix between a zombie movie and a documentary on the Soviet Union.  Everything, almost everywhere is run down and not least of all the people who generally seem sketchy, weird, unhappy or downright depressed.  About half the people I meet seem to understand that the US is now the USSA.  After being told by a cop or another slave not to do something like smoke a cigarette outside I'll usually say, "it's hard to handle all this freedom."  Half the people nod and quietly say "what freedom?" while looking around for surveillance cameras or undercover cops.

The other half are slow to realize that they don't live in anything even close to the land of the free.  But, slowly, everyday, more wake up.  It's hard not to when you see the daily occurrences happening here.  Just read this accounting of another day of freedom in the US from The Daily Caller:

"A University of Virginia student spent a night and good part of the next day in jail after seven plain-clothes agents from the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Control division ambushed her.  The student, 20-year-old Elizabeth Daly, made the mistake of walking to her car with bottled water, cookie dough and ice cream in a dark supermarket parking lot near the UVA campus, reports The Daily Progress.  The seven agents sprung aggressively into action, suspecting that the student was carrying was a 12-pack of beer. She was actually carrying a sky-blue carton of LaCroix sparkling water. Police admit that one of the high-strung agents vaulted onto the hood of Daly’s car. She contends that one of them also drew a gun.  It’s not clear what about Daly’s appearance gave the six police officers the belief that they had probable cause to confront her en masse."

The funny/sad part of that story is the girl's reaction.  After being accosted by a roving gang of thugs and, rightfully, wanting to escape, the only thing she could think of to do was to call 911!  Unarmed and brainwashed into believing in centralized policing people in the US often call 911 after being brutally assaulted by the police.  

More than half the population here are on drugs which, of course, explains part of the sketchiness.  And, of course, when I say drugs I mean real drugs.  Chemicals.  Not a healthy plant like marijuana. The Mayo Clinic released a new study on the amount of prescription drugs Americans consume.  The study found that 70% of Americans are on at least one prescription, more than half are on at least two prescriptions and 20% are on five or more prescriptions.

Libertarian News did the math:

The study determined that 17 percent of those studied were prescribed antibiotics, 13 percent were taking antidepressants and 13 percent were on opioids.  Doing some quick math, 70% of 310 million is 217 million.  13% of 217 million is 28,210,000.  If I’m reading the numbers right, roughly 28 million Americans are taking opioid pain killers and another 28 million are on antidepressants, although some may be taking both.

For comparison, there are roughly 2 million heroin users, with roughly 700,000 addicts, according to the CIA.  That means prescription opioid usage outstrips heroin usage by 14 to 1.

You combine almost the entire population on hard drugs with the fact that almost everyone here is a paycheck away from living on the street and it creates an interesting environment.

According to a survey done by Bankrate.com, roughly three-quarters of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck, with little to no emergency savings.
 
Fewer than one in four Americans have enough money in their savings account to cover at least six months of expenses, enough to help cushion the blow of a job loss, medical emergency or some other unexpected event, according to the survey of 1,000 adults. Meanwhile, 50% of those surveyed have less than a three-month cushion and 27% had no savings at all. 

As the US descends into a depression unlike any before and, possibly, at the same time, hyperinflation... this place will be the last place on Earth you'll want to be for a period of time.  Americans will be showing up on the shores of North Korea in a raft begging for refuge!

There is some hope, however.  Detroit has gone bankrupt and many of the "services" that government provide have dissappeared.  But, many free-marketeers have jumped in to fill the need.  Private policing agencies have sprouted up to rave reviews (you'll never go back to public policing once you've had private policing) and many other private services such as the Detroit Bus Company.

According to Policymic.com:

Law enforcement isn't the only "essential government service" that the private sector is taking over and flourishing in. The Detroit Bus Company (DBC) is a private bus service that began last year and truly shows a stark contrast in how the market and government operates. Founded by 25-year-old Andy Didorosi, the company avoids the traditionally stuffy, cagey government buses and uses beautiful vehicles with graffiti-laden exterior designs that match the heart of the Motor City. There are no standard bus routes; a live-tracking app, a call or a text is all you need to get picked up in one of their buses run on soy-based biofuel. All the buses feature wi-fi, music, and you can even drink your own alcohol on board! The payment system is, of course, far cheaper and fairer.

Wow, Detroit is almost catching up to Acapulco, which has had private buses for decades.  

So, there is some hope that after the dollar and government collapses that private services and money, like bitcoin and gold, will jump right in.  However, I don't think this is going to be a smooth transition.  I really hope it is but Homeland Insecurity seems to be preparing to make it messy.  

So, in the meantime, I try not to come up here too much.  It's not very much fun, anyway, as everyone is on drugs and broke and kidnappings and beatings by local roving gangs of thugs in uniforms is rampant.  Everytime I leave Mexico to come up here, all my Mexican friends ask me why I would go to the US and ask me to please keep safe while up here.

But I did survive another venture into the home of the slave... I'm glad to be on my way out, after one last grope from the TSA.  I'm off to Lima, Peru this evening and then on to Galt's Gulch, Chile, manana.

If you live in the USSA, keep safe!

 

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Anarcho-Capitalist.  Libertarian.  Freedom fighter against mankind’s two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks.  Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast.  Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world’s freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.



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