Dateline: 29 October 2013
It is high time I finished off this series on how to get through the coming hyperinflation, if it actually does come. What follows is a collection of closing thoughts related to this subject...
ZimbabweI had the pleasure of speaking with Noah Sanders after his recent trip to Zimbabwe, where he learned about the remarkable Foundations For Farming (FfF) ministry. Some truly amazing things are happening in Zimbabwe in the wake of their recent hyperinflationary period, and I hope that what Noah saw and learned will get out to a wider audience soon. America can learn a lot from what has happened in that country, especially when it comes to rebuilding after economic disaster.
Foundations for Farming has, for many years, been focused on teaching the poorest of the poor to be faithful with little and, using Biblical principles, to supply their needs by growing their own food. 85% of the ministry's focus is on teaching people to "wholeheartedly follow Jesus' perfect example in all of life" and 15% of the teaching is on basic, sustainable agricultural principles.
The effectiveness of the FfF approach has been recently noticed by the Zimbabwe government, which is asking the ministry to bring their teaching to schools and other institutions within society. The goal of the government is to improve the food security of the nation.
I believe the Christian-agrarian vision of Foundations for Farming in Africa is the exact same vision that America will need in the years ahead as we rebuild after our hyperinflationary collapse. Solutions will no longer come from a centralized, all-powerful government, they will come from families working the land, from families working together in communities, being faithful with little.
To the modern, westernized mind, such a vision is a nightmare. What could be worse than grubbing an existence out of the earth? Well, Noah told me that, though the native people he met had very little in the way of material possessions, they had joy. I have heard this same report from a friend who went on a missionary trip to South America. He went to a village where the people had nothing but they were the happiest people he had ever seen.
How can poor people possibly be full of joy? The answer is, of course, found in the religious faith of those people. Yes, I truly believe that proud, materialistic Americans can learn a thing or two about joy from poor, humble Christians villagers in Zimbabwe.
If you've grown potatoes before, and the Colorado potato beetle has been a problem, you need a strategy to deal with it. For a small patch of potatoes, the beetle and eggs can be hand-picked. But the best way I know to deal with the beetle is to move your potato patch to new ground every year or two. If the new ground is far enough away from the old, the beetles will not be a problem.
Another strategy is to spray an insecticide. I've been an avid organic gardener practically my whole life, so when I say you can "spray an insecticide" I'm getting into a paradigm change. But the insecticide I'm going to recommend is a "bioinsecticide," which means it's kind of organic.
Bulls-Eye bioinsecticide was recently recommended to me by a friend. He happens to be one of the best gardeners I know, and he knows how important it is to have a supply of potatoes in the root cellar every year (he also has the nicest root cellar I've ever seen). My friend is anticipating an economic collapse and told me he bought enough Bulls-Eye to last for six years. "It's expensive," he said, "but it really works!"
I've bought some and will be giving it a try this year.
Back in 1876, Andrew White, the first president of Cornell University, wrote a book titled Fiat Money Inflation in France. It's not a long book and it reads pretty well. The link above takes you to a free online copy. Or you can watch the two YouTube clips below. I find it fascinating that a country that experienced the collapse of fiat money once would allow itself to go down the same road again, as France did in the 1700's.
As Andrew White writes in his book, patience and self denial are the rarest products of political wisdom when it comes to solving a nation's economic problems. "Few nations have ever been able to exercise these virtues; and France was not one of these few."
To go back to Part 1 of this series