Many of the residents are also without food.
Many of the low-income residents receive cash and supplemental nutritional assistance from the state electronically through what the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance calls Electronic Benefit Cards (EBT.)
Recipients buying eligible foods are suppose to swipe their EBT cards like any other credit card for their purchases but since Hurricane Sandy hit, most Lower East Side stores don’t have electricity to run credit card transactions and are only accepting cash. Leaving many people on EBT with empty wallets, empty refrigerators and no access to food.
“The supermarkets don’t even really want to sell anything. They’re open but if you don’t have cash, you messed up. And everybody in these projects, they take EBT…food stamps,” a La Guardia Houses resident told WNYC’s Marianne McCune. ]
Ordinarily I wouldn’t put a story like this in the blog, especially with a far greater financial crisis all around us, but there is a valuable lesson to be gleaned from the brief story above. That valuable lesson is the consequences, both intentional & unintentional, of the banker designed “cashless society” that has been quietly erected all around us in the name of the progression of technology. But technology has its consequences, especially when mother nature throws a fit and renders the cashless society handicapped at best with the lack of the much needed power to run the machines.
This blog has argued the deceiving nature of the ‘electronic soup lines’ many times that serve as a means to hide the growing number of dependent people who need assistance from others, specifically the govt., to acquire food to put in their bellies. But this is not the focus today, instead I’m choosing to focus on the fact that the govt. is still putting money on the electronic welfare cards but if the stores don’t have power they are useless. There have been conspiracy theorists who have claimed that moving all of our banking business to an entirely electronic system would empower those in charge to ‘shut off’ a citizens ability to affect commerce as a means of control but this is mother nature stepping in & having her way. Whether there are nefarious intentions behind this movement or not are irrelevant at this point, but what is relevant is the fact that govt. handouts keep a coming but cant be taken advantage of thanks to the lack of power. So what now? Does the govt. come in and hand out food stuffs to the less fortunate? Do they keep a transaction log to track the amount of goods these people have consumed & later dock the total of goods consumed from future credits to the recipients cards? This can easily be identified as a major problem that is further complicating an already hairy situation as tempers are flaring & looting is common place.
Lets extrapolate this problematic nightmare a little farther out & see just how it may eventually, under the right conditions, affect those that aren’t on food stamps or govt. welfare rolls. Let’s say that the stock market has a seismic seizure reminiscent of the 1987 disaster & you wisely decide to pull half of your entire portfolio in an effort to hedge the impending doom that is coming from the stock market bloodbath, only to be informed that the electronic transfer lines have been suspended by the banks. This would be explained to you as an effort to protect their balance sheets so they don’t buckle themselves under the weight of the massive stock market losses & unfortunately a necessary evil that must be done as the alternate outcome would be total financial devastation. That can’t happen you say. . . because after all that’s your money right? Well you might want to do a little homework before you speak so ‘as a matter of fact’ on that point. The banks have obviously been the govt. & the FEDs most important focal point since the housing crash began. If you doubt that consider that they have been allowed to escape justice for their financial crimes for starters as well as being given tens of trillions of freebie bailouts that apparently aren’t quite enough as the FED has now launched unlimited QE3. The FED also announced they intend to stay the course until pumping tens of trillions of fiat dollars into the banks eventually & magically makes the unemployment numbers go down . . . huh? The FED has changed policies regarding your access to your money market accounts which represent roughly $1.7 trillion in US deposits. This “modification to the terms” permits the banks, at their discretion, to refuse access to withdraw to you in an effort to shield the banks balance sheets from the impending monetary crisis! The rules have also been changed regarding your ability to liquidate your stock & bond investments since the act of liquidation requires those liquid funds to be first transferred into your ‘money market account’ first before they can be rerouted to you! If you can’t see the writing on the wall the banks have all your money & apparently need it more than you or I do according to policy makers & financial deities. Anyway, this isn’t going to get any better anytime soon so you may want to go a different direction until common sense comes back into fashion.
Common sense suggests that you relocate a portion of your portfolio into a more manageable asset that YOU CONTROL & will no longer put you at the mercy of those who brought this financial disaster into you life. The common sense answer is simply establishing a precious metals insurance policy that would afford you the ability to own an asset that benefits from the global currency war that is poised to thrash the value of all fiat currencies that derive their value from the US dollar as the world reserve currency base. This will expose the occupants of the world to a true wealth destruction phenomenon the likes of which mankind has never known. Should this be the case this is when the banks will be able to close ranks in order to protect themselves from the waves of emotional market convulsions as they will be holding your money on their balance sheets & those in charge will endorse this for the greater good. All of this may not come to pass, but the logistics have been ironed out so that it could, should they need to, come to fruition in the most inconvenient of times. The ONLY way to avoid this possibility is to move out of the reach of the bankers & their ability to call what is yours, theirs at the point where you will need it the most. Physical gold & silver bullion are the only monetary assets that benefit from the currency destruction while they are monetary assets that you can barter or trade for things of value you need. Do you think these people in New York would be complaining about the EBT cards not working if they had $1,000 of silver & gold coins at home? I know that EBT cards & gold coins usually don’t go hand in hand, but you get the point here. If you had an alternative medium of exchange that was widely recognized as money like gold & silver coins you would be able to wheel & deal for the tank of gas or food you needed to provide for your family. The current inflation rate of roughly 10% can, if ignored for long enough, morph into hyperinflation very quickly in the right circumstances. The same way that our ‘recession’