A Trump Presidency Will Be Difficult

Image of Made in USA Certified logoIf you are anything like me and seek out American-made clothes, are disgusted by the cheap picture frames, flimsy plastic toys and poorly made kitchen cookware that doesn’t last more than a year, you may welcome the idea of a Trump Presidency when he continuously talks about equalizing the trade deficit between the U.S. and overseas markets. My ears perk up when I hear Donald Trump speaking about eliminating the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership) and blaming NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) for American jobs going over seas and elsewhere. I relish the idea of manufacturing coming back to the states and returning this country back to greatness. However, these same high ideals that bring much hope for America-made goods and jobs, also bring with it, a lot of concern.

Ease of Trade

shippingWe are dependent on cheap goods, and it’s a direct result of bringing equalization to the world market by undervaluing products made in other countries. Making trade easier for these countries that want to bring products to America is a noble cause, and in theory it would raise the standard of living and bring better living conditions to those workers in China, for example. As this may be happening to some small extent, it’s also lowering the standard for many of us living in America by eliminating jobs here, and further provides incentives to U.S. firms that send their factories overseas, while still making a lot of money for these corporations that have relocated. As a business owner, this makes a lot of sense, and where Donald Trump has benefited, it also makes him very knowledgeable about trade.

In addition to taking advantage of lower wages and having to pay additional benefits, like social security, foreign owned companies (under these Trade Agreements) are allowed to build manufacturing plants right here in America with little regard to our environmental regulations, nor do they pay fees (taxes) that an American company would otherwise be required to pay. Trade tariffs that American businesses pay to sell goods overseas are not the same for foreign companies selling in America, and in some cases, totally non existent for those coming to America. It’s no wonder companies like Carrier are relocating to Mexico. Chinese businessmen are buying up American companies for this very reason. The playing field is far from being equal.

No Pain, No Gain

Trump-and-American-flagA Trump Presidency will eliminate these backroom deals that Donald Trump, himself, has called stupid. He states that these foreign countries have been brilliant at the negotiating table, and our leaders have been foolish. These ideals to “even out the playing field” have good intentions, for who wouldn’t want people in third-world countries to make more money, and have better living conditions. This is what the Fair Trade Movement is all about…bringing goods to market that assure safe working conditions and protecting natural resources all while still making money. It’s what true sustainability represents.

Our government has done a poor job of creating sustainability for America, however, and we’ve been enjoying this free trade for too long. Under a Trump Presidency it will be painful. America, under a Trump Presidency will have to go through a cheap market de-tox, and it will not be very comfortable. You think people are angry, now! Stores like Tuesday Morning and Kohl’s and Target will have empty shelves. Shipping will come to a halt, and truck drivers will run out of boxes to bring to the distribution warehouses, which also, slowly will become empty. Oh sure, we are all for a Greater America; more jobs, less foreign influences and dependencies…but, we don’t want to suffer, or feel any pain.

Prepare Now

The free market that we currently enjoy will sLily_hands in soilee some dramatic changes under a Trump Presidency, and it’s time to start preparing. Not all is hopeless and dire, if we start practicing responsible shopping and thinking about self-sufficiency, today. Prepare by buying less, but buy with intention. Select clothes that are timeless in design and durable. Wash your clothes less often, and think twice before something is thrown away just because there is a newer model on the self. Take your tools to a repair shop for sharpening, and your boots to a cobbler for re-soling. Find a seamstress to repair a tear, and support local businesses, farmers markets and second-hand stores.

America under a Trump Presidency will be difficult only if we insist that “life as we know it” must remain the same. Adapt, by making changes now. Start a garden, and begin to purchase fresh food locally, and when in season. Importing food from Mexico and from overseas may be in limited supplies. Purchase goods that you need, and refrain from buying on impulse. Again, think about the clothes you love, and the inexpensive disposable furniture we see on the market every year. These may be the biggest changes that we see, or don’t see, available in stores.

America has a lot going for her, for we have people ready to work, and a marketplace ready to buy. We have an infrastructure, however, that is in dire need of repair that more manufacturing coming back to America will drive these improvements, AND create more jobs…again, we have a work force ready to work. We have people that are up for the challenge!

A Trump Presidency may just help to create a Lifestyle in Sustainability a little bit easier.

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Knowledge is Power Against Fear

Face Your Fears

“So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing to fear is…fear itself” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Fear is debilitating, non-productive and let’s face it; it’s scary. It is hard to move forward when we are being chased by fear. Take for , example, the recent events in Orlando; France; the constant unrest in the Middle East, and may we never forget the terrible events in New York, on September 11th, 2001. These terrorist activities are meant to instill fear. The enemy wants us to be fearful, so we become complacent, weak and vulnerable.

Fear is the enemy.

Being prepared, and having the right tools to combat the enemy takes a little effort, and comes with a tremendous sense of security. Simply enough, we have many of these tools right at our disposal, and we only need to tap into them. Knowing where, and what these tools are, gives us this power to overcome the fear that settles in because we have no idea what to do when the SHTF…ah, but we do! Even if Armageddon never happens in this lifetime, at least you will be ready for those occasional, and nuisance power outages.

Top 12 Things You Need To Know to Combat Fear

#1 – Be aware of the major news events of the day.

Image of a newstand rack of newspapersThe news is filled with depressing stories, and it’s easy to want to ignore it. Putting our heads in the sand does not make it go away, and by forcing ourselves to be aware with what is happening around, can give us power. Remember that the media thrives on sensationalism, and it’s probably worse than it really is. However, by keeping an eye on the current situations of the world, we are better prepared for what may come, and can have further discussions with our friends and family about what is real, and what we can do about it.

Do This: Spend a few moments each day scanning the front page, listening to a 10 minute snippet on the radio, or thumbing through your Twitter feed.

#2 – Be aware of your stored non-perishable foods.

Image of food in pantryMany foods can be stored safely for over a year, and because of the shelf life of many canned and packaged foods, we may forget what we have in the pantry. It’s a good rule of thumb to have at least three days worth of food on hand, per person, at a minimum. Canned meat, like Spam and Kipper Snacks, or packaged meat like Beef Jerky, can be eaten without heating, and like so many sauces, these require no refrigeration. Crackers and Cookies are good tummy fillers, but a stock pile of protein, like nuts and quick energy foods like dried fruit will sustain energy.

Do This: Inspect the pantry monthly, and throw out or eat expiring food. Experiment, and make it an adventure when shopping to try new canned and packaged food with the family.

#3 – Be aware of the water you have stored.

Image of a shelf full of water jugsWe can get by for a few days on the soda and beverages we have around the house, but without clean drinking water, we begin to feel weak, and more susceptible to getting sick. It’s a good rule of thumb to have a gallon of water a day, per person, at a minimum. Know where you keep these emergency supplies of water around the house, and educate yourself on how to drain the water from your water heater, which has over 50 gallons of potable water. Experiment by filtering and boiling it before taste testing.

Do This: Stockpile gallon jugs around the house, and rotate once a year by using it to make coffee, or to cook with. Get into the habit of picking up a gallon each time you go shopping.

#4 – Be aware of emergency lighting and batteries

Image of batteries in a boxFlashlights, candles, and hurricane lamps are most likely a part of your camping supplies and in your home somewhere. These will serve you well and calm down fears when the sun goes down and the power is out. Keep a flashlight in every room, and have them spread around the house, so everyone has access to them immediately at the same time. Keep candles in a secure and cool place, and be sure you know where the matches and/or lighters are.

Do This: Stockpile an assortment of batteries, and check them yearly for expiration dates (batteries die). Check all the flashlights, too and be sure they are in working order.

#5 – Be aware what is in your refrigerator and freezer.

Image of carton of milk being filled with tap waterOur refrigerator has all the food, but the freezer will keep our food colder, longer, when the power goes out. In addition, our freezer will be the place where we make ice for the long haul. Again, think about those three days. Big blocks of ice will last that long, and the freezer is the key, so inspect it regularly and know what you have shoved way in the back. Throw out freezer burned food, for this is what you may be eating three days out.

Do This: Make room in the freezer for at least three blocks (frozen milk jugs) of ice. Keep it stocked with foods that can be eaten without heating, like fruit.

#6 – Be aware of the gasoline you have in the tank.

Image of a fuel gauge from a dashboardGasoline may be hard to aquire during an emergency, and at the very least, you may need to wait in a line for a very long time in order to fill up your vehicle’s tank. It would be terrible to run out while waiting in line. Keep the tank in your car half full at a minimum, at all times. Another method is to have a few gallons of gasoline stored at home, in a safe place, and rotate this every 6 months to insure the gasoline stays fresh.

Do This: Be in the habit of checking the gauges when driving home. When pulling into your driveway, be sure your tank is filled, and don’t put it off until tomorrow.

#7 – Be aware of the cash and assets you have on hand.

Image of cash spread out on a deskWe are reliant on many things that are tied into the internet and power grid. When these things shut down, ATM machines and debit cards will not be of any use. Cash will be needed, and it’s important to have a stash on hand at all times. Some believe that precious metals, like gold and silver, will be important to have available, also. Anything that you think of that might make a valuable commodity, or asset that could be traded, build on it. This may be your home garden, or your gun collection.

Do This: Keep items, such as cash, locked away safe, but easy to access. Continue to add to your supply of assets.

#8 – Be aware of your neighbors, and who they are.

Image of a neighborhood houseYour neighbors are the first people you will have contact with, if something happens and our phone service, our power is unavailable. Naturally we will want to know if anyone else is having the same issue, and you will have a tremendous advantage if these people you live near, can be trusted. It will also be very impotant to know who the people are that cannot. Additionally, your neighbors may have something to trade that you need, and vise-a-versa.

Do This: Go outside and be visable to your neighbors. They want to know you, too. Acknowledgement is the first step, and soon you will have an opprotunity to be aquainted.

#9 – Be aware of where your utilities are connected.

Image of a waterheaterThe companies and municipalities that provide services to our homes will be unavailable for some time, if at all. We may need to turn off the gas, or water coming into our homes as a precaution against chemical warfare, or surges. Additionally, if the power grid goes down, or gas lines are severed, these utilities will eventually come back online and meters will need to be reset. Appliances, such as the stove and waterheater might need to be re-lit, and these should be shut off to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning in case of a leak.

Do This: Inspect your home and know where the electricity, natural gas and municiple water is coming into your home, and if necessary, talk to a professional about how to turn them off.

#10 – Be aware of the weather.

Image of The Weather Channel app on an iPadThe weather has a tremendous amount of impact on how we live, and in the case of a SHTF scenario, it could just be the weather, and nothing to do with what man has caused. See Anthropogenic Global Warming. In all truth, the climate IS changing, and as a result, a storm might bring rainfall in amounts we have never seen, or we may experience a drying pattern, and extreme heat that may bring drought conditions with no rain for many months.

Do This: Make it a habit to monitor the weather every day and look at the forecast for the week ahead. All smartphones come with a weather app in the programming.

#11 – Be aware of what you allow through your front door.

Image of an opened front doorOur front door is the mouth of our home, and this is the opening where toxins and negativity has a chance to come through. In order to combat this and make our entryway a portal of positive energy and fresh air, the front door should be welcoming, but secure. Keep this area fresh, and free of debris, including cobwebs and dust. Sweep the area around the threshold and replace the door mat, if worn and tattered.

Do This: Inspect the front door yearly and adjust hinges, tighten door knob screws and do a thorough cleaning of the surface; perhaps with a fresh coat of paint.

#12 – Be aware of how you are protected against intruders.

Image of a handgun in holsterIntruders can come in many forms, and at the same time, we can protect ourselves in many ways. Windows need to be secure, not necessarily with bars and cages, but with secure locks. Our entry doors need to have strong deadbolts. Know how to lock down your home when you leave for an extended period of time, as well as when tucked in for the night. Security cameras and alarms are another method. Firearms might be essential in certain circumstances, and if you are a gun person, you already know about the safety aspect.

Do This: Inspect the locks on all openings yearly, and make the necssary adjustments. Keep all security equipment and monitoring devices updated.

Be Brave and Aware

Be proactive in the fight against fear. Educate your family on the areas outlined above, and they will feel more secure, and be able to assist, if and when, the time comes. As you become knowledgeable in your surroundings, you become confident, and the fear that once kept you stifled, and in bondage, will be set free; your life will organically become more self-sufficient in doing so. This self-sufficiency is the genesis of a Lifestyle in Sustainability.

 

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