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From my viewpoint, I expect that the list of systems that will still be operating (transportation, food, law enforcement, etc.) is not realistic. The city we are essentially tied to in this area, cannot afford to pay police decently and there has been a major exodus from the PD. And the criminals know it, as evidenced by their stepped up activity. City services have already been curtailed in major ways, and there is significant talk of raising taxes. Businesses are closing, and a nearby military installation is in the process of losing a very, very significant number of personnel, both military and civilian. That equals payroll that is no longer available to the community, and the spiral continues. Houses are up for sail all over as people are trying to get out, yet property values have gone down significantly, so people can’t sell and replace anywhere else for anywhere near the same money. Foreclosures, already a significant factor in lowered home prices, will ramp up significantly as the jobs are lost. Some larger companies are closing up shop in the local area and moving operations elsewhere. And I’m not sure what’s going on, but a couple of YouTube videos I saw recently about Wal-Mart shelves being significantly understocked for extended periods, has been going on here as well – for quite a while. I can’t find any credible explanations for it.

So with reduced police protection, increased crime, significant job losses, significant empty housing (including nice neighborhoods), reduced city services, and increasing unemployment, that takes down the tax base, further hurts the government’s ability to do what it’s supposed to do, and the spiral continues. While some areas in the nation aren’t experiencing this – yet – the macroeconomic factors are looking less and less good, and the political machine is entirely out of the hands of the population, effectively, at both the national and state levels. That’s why I see a shell that looks intact, but is “in the midst of collapse.” The supporting stucture is simply not there – a Twin Towers that’s had its support weakened to a point where one more failure internally leads to a pancaking downward very rapidly.

I guess we’re just looking at it differently, but still seeing many of the same fundamental problems. Could it go on for a while yet? I suppose. But not indefinitely. The brilliant (but unfortunately largely unknown) music artist, John Hartford, wrote a song years ago that contained the following words: “Oh, when my body stops, my brain has to slam on its brakes, will it skid on a few more feet before it crashes?” We’re almost at the body stopping and the brain slamming in its brakes stage, but the sliding stage may look like it’s still going for a little while at least.