Many in the prepping community see multiple potential Mad Max scenarios taking place in the U.S. over the coming years. I propose a different possibility, The Mad Maxine Scenario.
Will the Rule of Law break down completely under a Maxine scenario? No. If it does, it will be in relative local areas, on a temporary basis. Will humans resort to cannibalism due to lack of food and water/breakdown of critical infrastructure? Not under a Maxine scenario. Under Mad Maxine, the cost of city water, city gas, any water or gas, as well as food, particularly meat, will go up. Under Maxine conditions, consumer goods will become more expensive at a rate of about 10-20% per year, while real wages (after inflation) go down. This will be spun by the Government-Media Complex by saying “But household incomes are going up” But that is an easy statistic to manipulate, when they fail to mention that average persons per household – doubles.
Which brings us to the crux of what a Mad Maxine really is. It is a sustained breakdown over a multiple year period, of the Standard of Living. Example, lets say you spend 15% of your income on food currently, well, in a mad Maxine scenario, two years later you may be spending 25% of your income on food. And to boot, perhaps your meat intake was T-Bones and now its Tuna. That’s a harder set of datum to quantify. And going from T-Bones To Tuna Fish may not be the only area lives go south of cheese. The thermostat in your house may have been running at 67 degrees F all winter, now it might be set at 60. You are having your old computer repaired instead of replaced this year. Your not replacing all 4 tires on your car, just two. You have had to learn how to sew torn clothes, because a pair of pants that costed you 30.00 dollars two years ago, now costs you 45.00 dollars, and the price of food has already put your budget in a serious pinch.
Your gardening now, and not flowers for show, the back yard is ripped up and your preserving corn, putting sacks of spuds in the cellar, ect. Power might be shut off during peak hours in summer, so you keep candles in the house for those days, rechargable batteries, and you have raincatchers (50 gallon drums) positioned along one side of the house.
Gas might be 10.00 dollars a gallon, so you make sure groceries are picked up on the way home from work. Mad Max would mean no work, just hunting and gathering. Unlikely. Mad Maxine means you cannot afford an expensive rifle and time off from work on the slim chance you might bag 30 pounds of meat. You use your resources much more efficiently, including your time. Since you no longer have cable TV, instead of replacing that tube TV with an LCD, you might just save a few hundred dollars and buy a radio, and a couple of good books.
Many people might already be living by some of these rules right now, but its unlikely all of them. Gas is still cheap. LCD TV’s are relatively cheap, and still coming down in price, as are droid phones, computers, and other electronics.
Mad Maxine is worse than the 1970’s stagflationary economy with gas lines. And in some respects, similar to the Great Depression of the 1930’s. But likely not identical at all. Many may have to relocate to work. Many could be drafted and sent to war. Many could wait in lines for rationed Obama/Romney Care, or for Food Vouchers. Where in Mad Max, the guy down the street might be roasting your kid on a spit over a bon-fire in his back yard….Mad Maxine conditions mean your kid is fine, he just doesn’t get an XBox or PS 4 because all you could afford was marbles, which is what all the other kids are playing with now anyway.
I think we are in a Mad Maxine-Lite scenario right now, I think hyper-inflation is far less likely than stagflation, which is slow or no or reverse growth (oxy-M) and rising prices. You made 10 bucks an hour last year, your making 11 bucks an hour this year, but you’re getting less vacation (three weeks to two weeks) and a loaf of bread costs 2.99, up from 2.39 last year.
I think there’s lots of room for the standard of living to continue dropping from here on out. I don’t think we will be living in caves and using our blood to write on the walls. The era of Obamunism and Neo-con-umism will be an era of lower standards, in general, and a slowly heating up social upheaval. Protests, abandoned houses, occasional riots in urban areas, higher crime rates, lower birth rates, ect…
This happens when governments run amuck. What frightens me are stats that show for the first time ever, parents think their children will be worse off, and not better off. And I think their right. The political pendulum will swing to the right this November, likely again in 2012, and there’s no dramatic uptick in chatter about throwing that pendulum out. People like being bullshitted to, it makes them feel better. There may be a breaking point, a period of impeachments (not elections), but that point may be a decade or more off. And even that, I don’t think, will be close to Mad Max. It will be the peak before the trough of Mad Maxine…which we are just barely entering now.