Finding Opportunity in Crisis
More than three-quarters of a million young people believe that they have nothing to live for, according to a study by the Prince’s Trust Youth Index. The research goes on to say that young people who are unable to find jobs are more than twice as likely to be prescribed antidepressants. Also, out of one poll of 2,181 people 16 to 25 years old, 40% reported symptoms of mental illness including thoughts of suicide.
We do not have statistics on older adults but we suspect they would be similar. We face challenging times indeed. Every bit of news we get seems to be negative. Fukushima is dumping radiation in the ocean, Yellowstone Park caldera is threatening to erupt. Muslims are out to get us, Obama keeps poking Putin in the eye, illegals are crossing the border, and so on. It is important to know the risks, of course, because if we know them we can take steps to mitigate against them. But once we know, it’s time to turn off the TV, make our list of things to do, and get busy. Well we don’t think the TV is a good information source. We don’t have TV but when traveling we often turn on the TV in the hotel room just to see what the masses are watching. Even the programming is bad news. What ever happened to upbeat programs like Father Knows Best and the Andy Griffith Show?
The fact is that there ARE problems in the world today, but tough times always bring with them opportunity for those who have eyes to see them.
Our focus here is independence, as you know. We believe in returning to a healthy lifestyle with the goal of becoming independent of pharmacies and doctors (aside from routine checkups if you so choose). But another interesting facet of independence is job independence. Our schools direct the thinking of our children into a very narrow, limiting tunnel, Where can I find someone who will give me a job? That’s it. They are not encouraged to think independently. A home schooling parent can easily change this but we will leave that for another day.
We don’t oppose a job if that is the best opportunity at the time. But you can set an entrepreneur down almost anywhere and he will eventually find a way to make money. It may take him a little time but he will do it. We here at Four Flags Journal observe entrepreneurs with fascination. They can be bankrupted but give them a few years and they will be back on their entrepreneurial feet again.
One example from our own experience was a man who owned three supermarkets and went from being very successful and wealthy–to bankruptcy–because of a lawsuit and bad legal advice. To pay the bills, he got a job cleaning pools for a pool company. Observing that there was no distributor of pool chemicals in the immediate area, but that the chemicals had to be delivered from a nearby city, he added a business of his own on the side–distributor of pool chemicals. He died an early death, sadly, and to his family’s surprise, his estate included $8,000 a month residual income that he had built up from the distributorship. And that was a few years ago when $8,000 bought more than it does today!
It takes practice to train our minds to see opportunity. It is our belief here that thinking is a learned skill. We don’t just have the skill or not have it. Like any other skill, it comes from practice, including the practice of looking for opportunity. How many reasonably intelligent pool cleaners were there in the Virginia-Washington D.C. area (where he was located) who just went to work and cleaned the pools for the boss, then went home every night and turned on the TV. Their minds were not trained to look for opportunity but it was right in front of them all the time. Our friend was a man who had trained his mind to see opportunity as he went about his everyday life.
Trends and economic cycles have always been with us. In fact we have statistics to track them back for about two centuries. The serious crises came around in the United States about every 50 years, with mild recessions in between. That is a normal cycle. The reason for that is that when things are good for a while, it is normal for certain sectors to heat up, become overbought and then prices will drop. We saw that happen in recent years in the U. S. housing market. Prices kept heating up over a few years until they became crazy. But once everybody that is part of the mania has bought, and there are no more buyers, then, often suddenly, sanity returns. Prices fall, and usually they fall too far to counter for the bubble. And therein, you have the opportunity. You have a slow time until that shakes out. It is all determined by mass psychology and human nature. Consequently it is smart to take that into account and not get over extended on finances ourselves in the affluent times so that we can weather the downturns.
But we were told by the talking heads on TV that we now know how to prevent that, Keynesian economics had arrived and all will be wonderful from here on out. Yeah, right! It was good for the banksters and the home builders and the new car dealers–but not for some of us. We need to get our own economic education separately from those talking heads. In fact, the less we allow the talking heads access to our living rooms, probably the more successful we will be.
We did a little research into the current economic trends and, as usual, we turn to the most dependable trends forecaster that we know: Gerald Celente. Although his record isn’t perfect, it is close. Incidentally, trends usually last for about 20 years. Some can last much longer. Here are some trends that he sees ahead:
(1) There will be no rioting in the U.S. He says that the American spirit is gone.
(2) People will be turning now to look for quality stuff instead of cheap stuff.
(3) Clean food will be huge. People will want food that is not genetically modified and without poison.
(3) Fish will drop off as people realize the toxicity in the fish from the fish farms.
(4) There will be a strong trend to buy local. This will be good for small and mom and pop businesses. The big box stores in the United States are already hurting as this change is under way.
(5) Anything to do with health care, particularly alternative health care
(6) Internet learning
Trends help us to know where the money is likely to go in the future. Not always, but sometimes a good bet for seeing opportunity is to follow the money. Looking at trends can get us started in the thinking process, but let’s not forget–our bankrupted friend just observed a need in his own town–and filled it.
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