freedom: Ok, works for me.
I understand now where you’re getting your theoretical numbers, but I want to again stress that the scenario I was discussing was not an outright coup, with the government simply coming out and trying to take over. If they were going to try implementing a government take over, the best way for them to do so, at least in the short term, would be a false flag event, like taking down the grid and blaming it on foreign elements as you suggest.
However, I can assure you that taking the grid down would not be necessary to prevent mass communications. The internet can be taken down relatively quickly and easily, at least for the common citizen. Hackers and techs would still be able to use the network backbone and access TOR, maybe even some commerical and institutional sites, but the average Joe would be out of luck. Cell phones would be very easy to take out; they are essentially short-range radios, so killing the towers and/or routing switches would kill the network. Landline phones would be even easier. The hardest thing for them to kill would be shortwave radios, but honestly, how many people know how to use those anymore (note to self: I REALLY need to get on top of getting smart on shortwave operation).
Killing the grid would cause so much ancillary damage that it would render the return on investment too small, maybe even a negative return. Plus we (the US) have demonstrated that we’re pretty terrible at false flag operations in the long run. We always end up being called out on it.
So why run a false flag at all? We have certainly made enough of a mess of foreign relations that we have a whole slew of actual adversaries that we could just let slip in the back door (southern border, anyone?) and coax into doing the dirty work for us. Look at all the FBI stings where we actually give the would-be terrorist the “equipment” and “training” to carry out a mission, then point and laugh when we arrest them with a dummy bomb and prosecute the crap out of them. So we’re pretty good at doing that. But again, allowing the destruction of the grid would give them power over…what? An almost pre-industrial nation? To what gain?
Now that being said, you mentioned that they might be willing to let the masses die. It’s very interesting you say that, especially right on the heels of dreamer’s post. I mentioned Agenda 21 in my response to her. Of all things nefarious, that one concerns me the most. I don’t want to go into all the nuts and bolts of it, but one of the goals of Agenda 21 is to curb global population to “sustainable levels”, whatever that means. There are a bunch of numbers in the document from which I’m sure someone with time and motivation could use to derive what the UN’s idea of a “sustainable” global population would be, but that isn’t me, at least not at the moment. They talk about how much water there is, how much arable land there is, so from that an equation could be derived for their target population, but my point is they believe the current global population is too high. The US has signed on as a supporting member, but it isn’t binding as a treaty, and therefore Congress never signed off on it. However, half of the cities and towns signed up in support of Agenda 21’s offspring, the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), are in the US. That means all these local ordinances restricting things like rainwater catchment systems and what plants you can grow and how many animals you can husband, these are often based on Agenda 21 ideals, even when the local authorities have no idea what Agenda 21 is. So yes, I think it is certainly in the realm of possibility that there is a concept out there to promote population reduction through warfare and the resulting attrition (starvation, lack of healthcare, all the things that you see happening in places like Iraq and Syria). Note I said “in the realm of possibility”, not “likely” or “probable”.
Back to your question, I live in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. I just moved here some months ago. It is absolutely the last place I want to be if an all out SHTF scenario goes down, for a variety of reasons. For me, bugging out is an absolute last case option. If I’m bugging out, things are really, really bad, and it would essentially mean I have reason to believe there will be a total or near total collapse of the federal government. So I’ll just reorganize my prepping priorities and see where I can get before SHTF.