I just finished reading a terrific post on the Gates Of Vienna blog, written by its owner, Baron Bodissey. He spoke of the inevitability of an economic collapse due to the extent of our nation's debt, a debt that can not possibly be repaid without the total shutdown of the major entitlement issues of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Since that will never happen (at least until it happens on its own, via the collapse of our economy), the only way our country can continue is through defaulting on our debt or through hyperinflation. Again, either route necessarily ending our economy. He doesn't say we won't survive, but alludes to the fact that it will definitely be ugly, no matter which way it goes.
I disagree with the cataclysmic scenario that has been described. When the currency collapses people who live in cities will find it very difficult and may resort to looting, rioting and murder. All systems will break down and older people will die off quickly, as will children and all non-productive people. These are the expensive populations that are dragging us down. As the population decreases, the jobs per person will increase and people will go back to work to remain alive. The population will then be filled with lean and mean people who are willing to work to survive. Chaos will give way to productivity and everything will be fine again.
While visions of sugarplums dance in your head, you might consider the fact that A) a lot of us older folks have skills you younger folks don't have that enable survival when normal economies and modes of exchange fail. Grown a garden lately, young man? Milked a goat or a cow? Hitched a team of horses and plowed or logged? Hunted for food, reloaded your own ammunition, done any veterinary work? Built a house, or even a cabin, done any stonework, built a springhouse? The list goes on, and you might be surprised by how resilient some of us older folk are. A community that survives the initial damage of an economic collapse might find a lot more use in keeping me around than you.
B) We aren't so easy to kill off. In spite of the infirmities of old age, we still manage. Many of us have prepared for hard times, putting away the things that might be needed with the same amount of money younger folks have spent on their iPads, iPhones, speedboats and Seadoos, health club memberships and mochaccino lattes. And those of us with a little foresight have been doing it for a lot longer than even the smarter younger folks.
I have read posts from a few of the younger folks who have also spoken of how - when times get tough - they won't let their family starve. They'll take what they need from the folks who "hoarded" (who saved and scrimped to put aside the food and things they knew they might need) while those younger folks spent their money on cars and toys and vacations. They feel that those "hoarders" certainly don't need as much as they have all just for themselves. Not when their family is starving (due to their poor planning and refusal to do what was necessary.)
Wonder of wonders, those older folks also put their money towards the guns and ammunition needed to see that those who want to "help themselves" to their property end up sucking dirt. And those same old folks spent time in the military and in law enforcement, and got the training to prevail over those foolish enough to think buying a gun would enable them to simply take what they wanted from whoever had "hoarded" it.
So, don't count us out too quickly. Don't color us gone too soon. We just might surprise you.