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job offer

My daughter has an opportunity to leave her $60,000 (in 2008 dollars) Boise job to repair their Seattle shop for $100,000 per year. While there are ramifications in a zillion directions, what I didn’t want her to overlook in her decision-making process is sneaking up on all of us like an angry bull rhinoceros approaching our front lawn croquet game.

I have been studying culture, politics and the economy since the 90’s. I don’t mean listening to tv and mainstream pundits, but serious study from sources who go deeper and look farther than the soundbites and slogans that pass for knowledge today. It is why I moved to Idaho.

You shouldn’t make any decision based on the world as it was last year and for the decades that preceded it. We are at the end of a pattern that has been repeated for thousands of years in hundreds of cultures. Change is guaranteed. Many of the challenges that people will be facing are certain.

The economic news doesn’t lie. People cannot spend like they did. Boeing will not be selling airplanes. Shipping into Seattle will turn to a trickle. Employment in that area will drop by 60% or more – quite possibly a lot more. And there are a whole lot more mouths there than there is agriculture. That will be one rough neighborhood.

These headlines are not something that is happening to OTHER PEOPLE. They are happening right here, right now. Anticipating the changes that are right in front of our faces and structuring our lives for a changed world can mean the difference between misery and a tolerable life for our families.

11/13 Jobless Rolls Reach 25-Year High, Exports Slump
11/12 Paulson Shifts Focus of Rescue to Consumer Lending
11/12 U.S. Pressures Banks to Lend, Warns on Dividends
11/12 Congress Panel Eyes $25 Billion Automaker Loan Bill
11/11 Obama Urges Stimulus Package Amid Gloomy Economic Data
11/11 Home Sales Plummet to New Low as Nationwide Says Lending Has Dropped 70%
11/10 Fed Defies Transparency Aim in Refusal to Disclose
11/10 Bernanke Put Shows Fed Securing Markets Beyond Greenspan Grasp
11/07 Unemployment Jumps to 6.5%, job loss worse than expected
11/07 Jobless Rate Climbs to 14-Year High
11/07 Pending Sales of Existing Homes in U.S. Fell 4.6%
11/07 Fed’s Lockhart: Now not the time to be tentative
11/07 States try to stem losses in public pension funds
11/06 U.S. Initial Jobless Claims Rose Higher Than Forecast

As comforting as it might seem to believe the politicians have it all under control, they don’t and they can’t. In fact, most of what they are doing is exactly the wrong thing. I have a few books you can read on that subject if you have the time and the mood someday. Much of what they are doing is planned, deliberate theft, but that goes into several other subjects that we don’t have time for now.

When it gets grim, family will be a lot better support structure than all but extremely rare best friends. Agricultural states will be better off than urban states. Cultures with a sense of self-sufficiency will be far better off than those looking to government programs for salvation. I think we will all be gardening in our yard next spring. Meanwhile, make sure you have plenty of beans, rice and potatoes to get through till then.

Thousands of people would give up friends and family to move FROM the huggy-feely population centers of the coast (like I did) TO Boise, Idaho if they could just get a job as a toe-hold. As jobless rates climb, there numbers will multiply – but toeholds here will be hard to come by. Newcomers without support structure and connections won’t have a chance here .. or anywhere else they haven’t lived long enough to establish those links.

It is hugely flattering that they look to you to fix a broken shop. Wow, that says so much. But if you write the pro’s and con’s down you will find the weight heavily on the side of staying here. If you add the changes that are taking place in the world, there isn’t a choice at all.