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EBT System Crash with James Wesley Rawles

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On this Flashback Friday episode, Jason Hartman welcomes James Wesley Rawles, creator of SurvivalBlog.com and author of Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse. James shares his thoughts on the failures of the EBT (food stamp) system and expatriation. He also discusses general preparedness in economic collapse and what states in the US have the best chance for survival.

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Welcome to this week’s edition of Flashback Friday, your opportunity to get some good review by listening to episodes from the past that Jason has hand-picked to help you today in the present, and propel you into the future. Enjoy.

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Welcome to the holistic survival show with Jason Hartman. The economic storm brewing around the world is set to spill into all aspects of our lives. Are you prepared? Where are you going to turn for the critical life skills necessary to survive and prosper? The holistic survival show is your family’s insurance for a better life. Jason will teach you to think independently to understand threats and how to create the ultimate action plan. sudden change or worst case scenario, you’ll be ready. Welcome to holistic survival, your key resource for protecting the people, places and profits you care about in uncertain times. Ladies and gentlemen, your host, Jason Hartman.

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Welcome to the holistic survival show. This is your host, Jason Hartman, where we talk about protecting the people places and profits you care about in these uncertain times. We have a great interview for you today. And we will be back with that in less than 60 seconds on the holistic survival show. And by the way, be sure to visit our website at holistic survival calm, you can subscribe to our blog, which is totally free has loads of great information. And there’s just a lot of good content for you on the site. So make sure you take advantage of that at holistic survival calm. We’ll be right back.

Hey, it’s my pleasure to welcome James Wesley Rawles back to the show. his new book is entitled ex patriots. And he’s been in the news recently talking about the EBT problem, just what we need a bunch of people who are dependent on government not getting their handout, and causing riots and problems and civil unrest. So we’re going to talk about several things. And you know, we’re going to talk about something we don’t cover too much on the show, which is a little bit on emergency medicine, too. So let’s just dive into it. James, welcome. How are you?

James Wesley Rawles 2:08
Just fine. Thanks for having me on, Jason.

Jason Hartman 2:10
Yeah, it’s good to have you back. What do you want to talk about? Tell us a little bit about your new book, maybe first?

James Wesley Rawles 2:16
Oh, sure. It’s another novel in my patriot series. It’s a novel about socio economic collapse in the near future. It’s set contemporaneously with my previous novel, so there’s no need to have read them first. This one focuses on American expatriates living in the Philippines and in Australia. There’s also a another storyline that takes place in Central Florida. Not too far from Disney World. Yeah, I wanted to, in this book, cover the whole expatriate mindset, and illustrate how tenuous things might be for people living overseas if there is an economic collapse, if nothing else, just the uncertainty of being out of contact with their relatives in the United States.

Jason Hartman 2:59
Okay, well, tell us about that. And if you have any best most and least favorite countries to which is always interesting.

James Wesley Rawles 3:06
Well, I think I generally don’t recommend expatriation. Except for someone who has deep contacts in a host country. The reason being is that if there are economic problems or a natural disaster, you don’t want to be seen as the expendable new guy growing up. Unless you’ve married into a family or have very deep roots in a country, your prospects for survival may not be very good. So my recommendation is don’t expatriate. Unless you have those roots.

Jason Hartman 3:38
Yeah, that’s, that’s sensible.

James Wesley Rawles 3:40
Yeah. For people who do have deep roots overseas, some of the countries that I like, would be the Philippines for one. And Panama, in particular, of all the Central American countries like Panama the best because of its low crime rate. And the very large number of people that speak English, and of course, that there’s considerable trade in American dollars.

Jason Hartman 4:05
And how about the Philippines?

James Wesley Rawles 4:06
Well, the Philippines, of all the Pacific island nations, I like it the best, because it has the best chance for self sufficiency. People there outside of Manila, primarily live a simple agrarian life, either farming or fishing people raise a lot of pigs enjoy. And if things fall apart, I think they will have the opportunity best to revert to a 19th century level of technology.

Jason Hartman 4:35
Interesting, interesting. How about within the US any particular goods and Bad’s in the US I know stay away from Southern California, that’s for sure that’s going to be a disaster in a disaster pardon the pun.

James Wesley Rawles 4:47
The region that I like in the United States is the area that I call the American readout, which consists of Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and the eastern half of Oregon. And the eastern half of Washington State. And I like that inner Mountain region, because of its like population density. Because of its distance to major population centers. It’s quite remote. And it’s got a lot going for in terms of plentiful firewood, there’s potential for micro hydro power and all the grid power that’s there is just by hydroelectric power. And if there’s any place in the United States where grid power will be reestablished quickly, it’s got to be the Northwest, because we export a huge amount of electricity from this region. And a lot of the utilities are actually set up to immediately islands themselves from the rest of the power grid if the National Grid does go down. Island is a technology that’s not very well known outside of the power industry. And most people don’t even stop to think about where their local electricity comes from. And if you’re lucky enough to live in a place like the Pacific Northwest, or perhaps the Four Corners region, where New Mexico and Arizona and Colorado come together, those are power exporting areas. And those are areas where the the power utilities, the Power Co officers are already set up for islanding. And that can be done in less than a minute, they can have power reestablished.

Jason Hartman 6:27
Now, that will help us in a case where the power goes down for any other reason it’s not EMT related, whether it be solar flare, or nuclear. But if we fry the electronics, we fry the electronics with Wi Fi like transformers. That would be nationwide. But

James Wesley Rawles 6:43
there’s just as much potential for the power grid to go down due to lack of supply or in attention as there is solar flares. If we have an economic collapse and rioting in major cities, public utility employees are not going to feel safe to leave their homes to go to work. And in the case of the nuclear power industry, they are required by law to shut down to scram the piles on those nuclear power plants. If they don’t have a certain level of staffing for their power plant.

Jason Hartman 7:16
Well, Jim, there’s been to school of schools of thought about this, the you know, the major school in the survival camp is be in a bug out area or rural location, be more than one tank of gas from a major population center that could be problematic. And bs someplace with natural resources and so forth. That’s, that goes without saying it makes a lot of sense. However, I have certainly heard and read about stories of people who you know, in various places around the world at various times, who were living in the countryside, minding their own business, you know, there’s a big disaster elsewhere, the urban areas are affected, of course, negatively. And these marauding gangs eventually get get to these places that are deserted, because they’re looking for resources and relief, and so forth. And they just wreak havoc, because there’s nobody around to help these people who are basically stranded in the middle of nowhere, which they thought would be isolated. And you know, these gangs will torture them, kill them, take advantage of them, whatever, you know, whatever. Sometimes it may be, it’s it’s better to have people around, it’s better to have a sense of community. And I don’t know, Jason,

James Wesley Rawles 8:30
I’ve never advocated having a completely isolated retreat. Because just one family is not able to handle everything on their own. Even with a large family, you wouldn’t have the manpower you’d need for 24 seven security. Or if you had just barely enough manpower for 24, seven security, you could quietly starve because then you wouldn’t have the extra manpower to do large scale gardening and to take care of livestock. So the best situation, I think, is to be in in at least a Hamlet situation where you have a cluster of homes, and you can provide mutual security. And you would have, hopefully, the advantage of a balanced skill set where you’d have, you know, a butcher, Baker, candlestick, candlestick maker and a doctor, hopefully,

Jason Hartman 9:17
talk to us about the EBT problem. You’ve recently been in the news media talking about this. Give us your your take on it.

James Wesley Rawles 9:23
Well, I think the EBT failure was symptomatic of a much larger problem. And that is an overall dependence upon technology. 10 years ago, that would not have been an issue because everyone was issued food stamps and the supply channel for those could conceivably carry on until the I guess until they ran out of printing resources. But wherever technology has been applied, we get into situations where we become dependent on that technology. The same thing has happened with Just in time inventory control systems for major retailers. Now what you see on the shelves at the at the supermarket is all they have there is no longer a back room with extra magical supplies that they can restock with. There used to restocking every night using an automated inventory control system. That’s something that was developed in Japan, they call it con bond. And they’ve adopted it here in the States. Over and over again, we’ve seen examples of where technology is going to come back and bite us, because it doesn’t take major disruptions to have everything fall apart. And if you look at what happened with Hurricane Katrina, and with Superstorm Sandy, in some cases, supplies completely ran out and others they were razor thin. And a whole tear of communities around Sandy were cleaned out by people emerging from the affected area of the storm. And cleaning out all the gasoline cleaning out all the supermarket shelves and so on. If we have a nationwide problem, all bets are off. It all depends on whether or not the power grid stay up. There’s actually three grids in the United States. There’s an Eastern grid, a Western grid and the Texas Texas

Jason Hartman 11:13
Yeah, yeah. So so it no advantage to being in Texas where they have their own grid.

James Wesley Rawles 11:18
Well, there’s some advantages, they actually do produce nearly all of their own power there. But they actually do buy some power. From the other grids, for example, they have power come in, through an intermediate what they call the western interconnect all the way from Bonneville Dam in Washington State, so they don’t quite produce enough power to provide all of their own needs in Texas. I guess the exception might be Hawaii, they have their own little grid on the Big Island, and each island has their own power utility. But they’re they’re dependent upon liquefied natural gas, and ships arriving once every couple of months. A great big pressure pressure vessels of LNG. And once that stops arriving, they’re going to be out of luck.

Jason Hartman 12:04
Yeah, I’m not too keen about ideology in Hawaii, though, either. You know, I think that’s another thing you have to look at is just the, the ideology of the people in a given area. Are they slackers who are feeding off the government with a liberal liberal mentality? Or are they you know, are they resourceful, rugged, individual types?

James Wesley Rawles 12:26
Well, there’s kind of a mixed bag shouldn’t lay on on every Island except the Big Island, there really is too much population density, especially a wahoo would be an absolute loss, cause that’s going to be practically a cannibalism scenario there. If they get cut off from outside supply, because there’s a tremendous population density. And the tropical fruit will last about two days. Yeah.

Jason Hartman 12:52
Not Not good, not good. Are there any other thoughts? You know, say, for example, someone can’t move to like that inner Mountain West area that you mentioned, or they don’t want to do something that far Are there any other areas that are sort of like your session in your favor. Another

James Wesley Rawles 13:05
area that I really recommend is the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, it actually straddles that Tennessee, Kentucky line that region. In fact, I said part of one of my novels in that region, and in a little town called muddy pond, which is a predominantly Mennonite community, there are some areas like that where you have advantageous terrain, the Cumberland Plateau, sits fully 1500 feet higher than all the surrounding area. If you ever wanted to isolate yourself, the folks living there would certainly have the opportunity, all they have to do is blockade three or four major roads, and they could pretty well isolate themselves. There’s a few other areas, you know, there’s parts of Maine that I think would be quite good. There’s a, you know, areas in the Ozarks, for example, that might be decent, but generally I don’t recommend anywhere east of the Missouri River, unless people absolutely have to stay there just because the population density is so much higher. If you look at a a nighttime satellite photo of the United States, it’s dramatically apparent the population density difference between the eastern United States and the western states. Yeah,

Jason Hartman 14:24
well, hey, looking at those satellite photos at night, we all know North Korea’s and very lit up just

James Wesley Rawles 14:32
like dark Stafford Yeah,

Jason Hartman 14:33
it’s unbelievable. What a What a mess. Talk to us a little bit about some general preparedness, anything that maybe other people aren’t saying non mainstream ideas and, you know, I want to touch on to them, the medical stuff. We haven’t done much on that before on the show. Well,

James Wesley Rawles 14:49
I think it’s important that people train to the very best of their ability. I strongly encourage people to get involved with volunteer fire departments and local paramedic organizations. There, you can get training for free or almost free. And the opportunity to work with some really great people and pick up some great skills. I also recommend something unusual. And that is I do recommend that people buy all the equipment they would need for minor surgery, even if they’re not yet qualified to do that. Because we may end up with a situation if there is a disaster, where doctors may end up fleeing their homes, they may end up as refugees, but without the tools they’ll need where they arrived. So if you have the chance to pick up some inexpensive Pakistani made stainless steel instruments, by all means, buy a set, is there a certain kit that you recommend on your website on amazon.com? No, not in particular. But if you look around on the internet, just look for surgery kits and also dental kits, I think it’s important that for the same reason, you know, you’d be set up with a full set of dental instruments, extractors in particular, because everyone will default to extraction. It’s kind of 19th century style, but you have a rotten tooth, you don’t want to try to pull it out with pliers, your odds are you’re going to break and shatter that the tooth and cause all sorts of problems, including abscesses. So dental extractors and lifters are particularly important. And again, I do recommend the Pakistani made instruments a lot. They’re so inexpensive that a lot of hospitals actually buy those in sterile form pre wrapped, and then they use them as disposable instruments. Wow.

Jason Hartman 16:29
Well, I’ll give you an example. As you were talking, Jim, I just looked up on Amazon, you’ve got a US military style field medic kit for $9.99. And it’s got four and a half stars. It’s like your books, 56 reviews, so a lot of reviews and good star rating. So that’s that’s pretty good.

James Wesley Rawles 16:50
Okay, well, yeah, that’s just one example. And I do recommend that that people stock up on of course, all the medicines they’ll need for, especially for any chronic health conditions, large quantity of vitamins, and food supplements that they might need. I’m also a big believer in sprouting. sprouts are tremendous. Not only are they very compact, but they have a long shelf life. And the nutritive value that they generate is fantastic. I’m not sure about anybody on your show. No, no, no.

Jason Hartman 17:22
Tell us about that. What kind of sprouts,

James Wesley Rawles 17:24
All sorts. I like bean sprouts, wheat, grass sprouts, alfalfa sprouts, you can get an assortment. There’s a number of vendors, for example, on my, my blog site, several of my advertisers sell sprouting kits. And they don’t need to be really, you don’t need a really sophisticated sprouter. All you need is a screen lid for a mason jar, and away you go. And you can even make your own. And so I do recommend sprouting. I think that it gives you the most bang for your buck. It’s incredibly nutritious. And as a as a fringe benefit. They’re also very compact. So if you’re in a bug out situation, you can have the equivalent of 200 heads of lettuce sitting there, in a just one hand full of sprouted seeds.

Jason Hartman 18:13
How likely do you think the need for all of this stuff is? I’m sure you’re gonna say very likely. But I guess maybe Jim, my major question is, what do you think the biggest likelihood of a problem is? Because that that determines to some extent, how we how we react and prepare, you know,

James Wesley Rawles 18:30
I would say right now the biggest threat is economic. We’re right on the cusp of a another global credit crisis. And that could very well morph into $1 crisis where we’re just on the precipice. We have a government that has spending completely out of control, obviously. Yeah. And the only reason that they’re able to maintain their their current level of debt is because they’ve also instituted zurb, which is the zero interest rate policy. if interest rates were ever to spike two or 3%. Our government would be unable to service its debt period.

Jason Hartman 19:09
Well, it can just print more fake running

James Wesley Rawles 19:10
close to two economic collapse. Yeah.

Jason Hartman 19:14
But but the government can just print more money.

James Wesley Rawles 19:18
That’s the problem. That’s the escape hatch for that would be hyperinflation. Right now they’re creating what is it $92 billion a month via quantitative easing? Who’s to say it couldn’t be $900 billion a month. And if our foreign creditors ever stopped rolling over their Treasury paper, or if they started demanding 10 or 15% interest on their Treasury paper, the party’s going to be over.

Jason Hartman 19:46
But you know, mathematically, I mean, we talk about this stuff every single day on the various shows that I publish. And mathematically, Jim, you are absolutely right. I mean, this is nonsensical, what is going on? 17 trillion in debt somewhere. between 60 and 200 trillion in unfunded entitlement obligations over the next two decades, it’s complete absurdity. However, the US has the largest military, and it has so many advantages. I mean, people around the world still want to come here. You know, we’ve still got as silly as it is, and as bad as our education system has become, you know, we’ve still got a lot of innovation taking place here. You know, there’s, there’s, there’s new stuff every day coming out of the tech world. That’s fascinating. We’ve got the reserve currency for as long as we can keep it and we can use our military. Well, that’s what I was saying about the military. My point was, we can use our military to bully people around to make sure we keep it. I mean, we’ve got this completely overextended Empire, I’m the first to agree with that. However, we can’t have hyperinflation until our foreign creditors say, screw you, we’re not buying your debt anymore, unless you pay us an extremely high interest rate. But I don’t know that they get to do that ever. They can kick this can down the road a long time, I think.

James Wesley Rawles 21:08
Well, conceivably. And there’s one other possibility, Jason and that is, there could be an economic crisis in Europe, a year or two in advance of where we might have ours. And if that happens, the United States might actually be seen as a relative safe haven. And a lot of European capital could flow into the United States that you talked about kicking the can down the road that that could go on for several years, conceivably. But I do think that there is going to be a financial reckoning day, sometime between now and 2020. And what’s that

Jason Hartman 21:45
gonna look? Right? Yeah, what’s that gonna look like?

James Wesley Rawles 21:48
When it does happen? It’s going to be pretty ugly, because anyone on a fixed income is going to be wiped out by mass inflation, the interest rates are going to skyrocket. The unemployment rate is going to skyrocket. Simultaneously, the stock markets will crash. It’s gonna be a very ugly situation. It we may, we’ll probably be webside whipsawed initially with deflation and then mass inflation in rapid succession. And that’s something that very few people are going to be able to get through unscathed. That’s why I recommend hedging into tangibles as much as possible. And the tangibles I like are not so much precious metals as productive farmland, guns, ammunition, common caliber ammunition, high capacity magazines, for for firearms, tools, and reference books. That’s, that’s where I put my money. And I think that it’s it’s wise to do so. Of course, once some beans, bullets and Band Aid squared away, then yes, it might be a good time to buy some silver as well. I’m a big believer in tangible silver in your personal possession, not in a safe deposit box, not in some ETF. It’s got to be physical silver that you have in your hand that you can barter with,

Jason Hartman 23:09
Hey, you know what economic crisis I’m predicting besides inflation. And that is that the komax and these ETFs these are built on these are just built on BS. I don’t think there’s enough metal there behind the my eye. I think this is a scheme. Yeah, Ponzi and when that when that Ponzi is, is exposed, and people lose faith in those markets, wow. There’s gonna be hell to pay. That’s gonna be that’s gonna be really ugly.

James Wesley Rawles 23:39
Yeah, the other situation that’s not very well understood by most people is the forward leasing of precious metals, particularly gold. And tell us about that. There’s a tremendous amount of for forward leasing that’s going on by both governments and private institutions. And that’s essentially all synthetic or paper gold that may all go poof, someday. Well,

Jason Hartman 24:01
how did we ever get ourselves into this mess? Jim? I mean, isn’t this crazy? We we live in this economy built on smoke and mirrors? It’s just this house of cards. It’s It’s ridiculous.

James Wesley Rawles 24:11
Yeah, we have a mountain of debt that’s been accumulated over generations. And unfortunately, we’ve had a political class that is only concerned with the next election. And they have for they’ve been very opportunistic, in recognizing that as long as things hold together while they’re in office, and they can pass along problems to the next generation. They can make themselves smell like a rose. And that’s been going on basically since the FDR administration. So at some point, though, the debts are going to become so huge, and the value of the dollar is is going to be so well eradicated that we’re going to see A complete, toppling all the major institutions of our country, politically, economically, socially. You name it, it’s, it’s going to be a tremendous reckoning day. And I certainly wouldn’t want to be living in a big city when it happens.

Jason Hartman 25:18
Yep. It’s hard for me to disagree with that. It’s hard for me to disagree without the problem is the cities are such attractive places, obviously, in so many ways, with the ability to walk to things and, you know, entertainment, cultural activities. I, it’s just amazing to me to picture this kind of an America that all of us have this picture in our mind of what we expect from our society. And I really wonder if it can be reversed so quickly, if, if people will, will tolerate it, you know, if everything will just collapse that way?

James Wesley Rawles 25:53
Well, I think we’re more likely to see a slow slide. And I think in 10 or 15 years, we won’t just have one Detroit, we’ll probably have 20 or 30 of them. All the major cities will resemble Detroit. That’s my personal prediction. But regardless, I do feel much more comfortable in the country. Yes, it’s inconvenient having to drive over an hour to the nearest Walmart, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We live surrounded by National Forest, we’ve got a nice river running through the backend of our property. We have hot and cold running elk. Although recently, we’ve also had hot and cold running mountain lions.

Jason Hartman 26:32
Watch out for those.

James Wesley Rawles 26:33
Yeah, be careful. But I think the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages. We really enjoy homeschooling our kids, we enjoy the fresh air, the pure water. There’s no crime, no smog, no traffic, the stress level is very low. And we have neighbors that we know we can trust.

Jason Hartman 26:52
Well, that that is good to hear that is good to hear. Any other things you want to cover before you go, you know, any other topics, ideas, advice?

James Wesley Rawles 27:01
Well, I would like to make one recommendation. And that is for even for your listeners who have no interest in reading novels, please take full advantage of my website at survivalblog. It’s been published almost daily, for the last eight years. If you were to print out everything at the survivalblog site, it would be over 9000 pages. We have incredibly deep and rich archives. They’re all available free, and they’re fully searchable. I highly recommend that your listeners take full advantage of that resource. And for any particularly important articles that deal with survival. I would recommend that people do print out some hard copies and make themselves a reference binder.

Jason Hartman 27:44
The hardcopy idea is a good one, definitely. And you got tons of resources here. So let me just give out that domain name again, because it got cut off a little bit with a connection. It’s survival blog.com survival blog calm. And an interesting thing you do is you put your IP address right on your website so people can can jot it down in case that domain name ever goes away for whatever reason, whether by government or some hacker attack, right? That’s right. Yeah, very interesting idea. Well over 300,000 visitors per month, and week, per week. Thank you. I stand corrected per week. And you’ve just got some fantastic resources here. So great to have you back on again, and we welcome you back anytime and folks, get a copy of Jim’s novels. They’re very interesting and very thorough and, and very true to life. James Wesley rolls. Thank you so much for joining us again.

James Wesley Rawles 28:36
Thanks for having me on. Jason, God bless you and your listeners.

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