My father and I sometimes feed on each other’s gloom. A case in point was last night, on the drive back from bucking hay for a single sister, when we started discussing the debt crisis. Would it end in hyper-inflation or default coupled with abrupt austerity or both?

From there we got on to the subject of what to do about it. The problem is that systemic collapses are unpredictable and tend to bring everyone down with them. Shorting the Titanic is no good is you happen to be sailing on it. Gold and silver are ridiculously high-priced right now, and eminently confiscatable anyway. The best answer appears to be having a years supply, getting on with your neighbors, getting on with God, and expecting no immunity from history.

Our civilization also has a demography problem that has predictable economic effects. Problem is, there is no clear investment strategy for it either. An entrepeneur could make an effort to find high-quality young foreigners and help them immigrate to the US in return for some of their future earnings, but our legal system doesn’t accommodate that scheme, either on the immigration side or the earnings side.

The Book of Mormon clearly teaches that peace and prosperity are societal blessings, not individual ones. We Mormons have forgot that over the years. We’ve been living in a basically peaceful and prosperous society where individual effort and individual restraint is rewarded, so we’ve started to think that the pride cycle applies to individuals. It doesn’t. We should not think that, because we are righteous, we will be spared the consequences of our society’s sins.

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