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by Poet

 height=This post appeared earlier today in our Forums. We've elevated it here because we think it a useful exercise for the CM.com community to engage in. How realistic is the dream of financial self-sufficiency for today's society?

Are you middle class? Surprisingly, most people who think they are middle class, are not middle class.

Being middle class is being able to afford what most would expect a middle class family of 4 or 5 can afford:

 

Are You Middle Class?
by Poet

 height=This post appeared earlier today in our Forums. We've elevated it here because we think it a useful exercise for the CM.com community to engage in. How realistic is the dream of financial self-sufficiency for today's society?

Are you middle class? Surprisingly, most people who think they are middle class, are not middle class.

Being middle class is being able to afford what most would expect a middle class family of 4 or 5 can afford:

 

by Patrick Killelea

Since many of our members are considering relocating, downsizing and/or finding housing better suited to their future priorities (e.g. greater energy efficiency), we invited Patrick Killelea, founder of the housing news and forum site Patrick.net, to offer his advice to house buyers in today’s market. Patrick was one of the most vocal bloggers warning about the collapse of the U.S. national housing bubble years before it inevitably popped in 2007.

(A note to those of our readers who work in residential real estate: the views expressed here are Patrick’s own, which he has consistently maintained for years. While some of them are not popular with the realty industry, the resulting dialogue they have created about the structure of our national real estate model has been a healthy one.)

If you’re in the market for a house, there are a number of important factors to consider which your agent just isn’t going to tell you.

Buying a House in Today’s Market
by Patrick Killelea

Since many of our members are considering relocating, downsizing and/or finding housing better suited to their future priorities (e.g. greater energy efficiency), we invited Patrick Killelea, founder of the housing news and forum site Patrick.net, to offer his advice to house buyers in today’s market. Patrick was one of the most vocal bloggers warning about the collapse of the U.S. national housing bubble years before it inevitably popped in 2007.

(A note to those of our readers who work in residential real estate: the views expressed here are Patrick’s own, which he has consistently maintained for years. While some of them are not popular with the realty industry, the resulting dialogue they have created about the structure of our national real estate model has been a healthy one.)

If you’re in the market for a house, there are a number of important factors to consider which your agent just isn’t going to tell you.

by thc0655

 height=In my first post on crime, I urged you to accept the reality of the criminal threat and to mentally choose not to allow yourself to be easily victimized.  Hopefully you’re reading this second post because you’ve sworn off the denial, distraction, and passivity that characterizes most people and decided to do whatever you reasonably can to protect yourself, your family, and your home.  If this mindset of yours is authentic and deeply felt, you’re more than halfway to your goal.

 

 

Your next step is to form a self-protection plan. Helping you do that is the purpose of this second post.

Fortifying Yourself And Your Home Against Crime
by thc0655

 height=In my first post on crime, I urged you to accept the reality of the criminal threat and to mentally choose not to allow yourself to be easily victimized.  Hopefully you’re reading this second post because you’ve sworn off the denial, distraction, and passivity that characterizes most people and decided to do whatever you reasonably can to protect yourself, your family, and your home.  If this mindset of yours is authentic and deeply felt, you’re more than halfway to your goal.

 

 

Your next step is to form a self-protection plan. Helping you do that is the purpose of this second post.

by Dogs_In_A_Pile

This short primer was provided by PeakProsperity.com member Dogs_In_A_Pile in the comments to our ongoing post covering the developments in Japan. We are featuring it here given the many questions readers are asking on this topic and the importance at this time of clearly understanding risks we do (and don't) face. It is based on his expertise developed during his military service on nuclear-powered submarines. 

 

 

Radiation and contamination are used interchangeably and they are not the same thing, nor are treatment methods.  You can receive radiation exposure and not need any contamination control, and you can become contaminated and not need treatment for exposure to radiation.  NOTE – I am not saying that if you get contaminated you won't receive any radiation exposure, because you will.  What I am saying is that you may be contaminated with such a low level of contaminated particles that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatments.  The difference is both subtle and vast. 

Here is a quick primer on contamination control measures.

 

Quick Primer on Contamination Control Measures
by Dogs_In_A_Pile

This short primer was provided by PeakProsperity.com member Dogs_In_A_Pile in the comments to our ongoing post covering the developments in Japan. We are featuring it here given the many questions readers are asking on this topic and the importance at this time of clearly understanding risks we do (and don't) face. It is based on his expertise developed during his military service on nuclear-powered submarines. 

 

 

Radiation and contamination are used interchangeably and they are not the same thing, nor are treatment methods.  You can receive radiation exposure and not need any contamination control, and you can become contaminated and not need treatment for exposure to radiation.  NOTE – I am not saying that if you get contaminated you won't receive any radiation exposure, because you will.  What I am saying is that you may be contaminated with such a low level of contaminated particles that there will be no need for radiation exposure treatments.  The difference is both subtle and vast. 

Here is a quick primer on contamination control measures.

 

by Aaron M

Aaron submitted this post prior to the recent disaster in Japan. As we are now being educated in real-time as to the value of developing preparedness in advance of calamity, the guidance below becomes even more relevant. This article complements Aaron's earlier "Practical Survival Skills 101" posts on fire, water, and shelter.

Preface: What is an emergency? 

 height=There is an awful lot of academic banter in which we try to “identify” emergencies before they happen. Pedantic issues are categorized and specifics are assigned to them as potential resolutions. This is not a “flawed” approach, but it’s endemic in the American mindset, which is obsessed with micromanagement.

In order to distance ourselves from the details, which are too stochastic and specific, we can generally state that an emergency is a shortage of resources.

Resources can be defined as:

 

Practical Survival Skills 101 – Understanding Emergencies
by Aaron M

Aaron submitted this post prior to the recent disaster in Japan. As we are now being educated in real-time as to the value of developing preparedness in advance of calamity, the guidance below becomes even more relevant. This article complements Aaron's earlier "Practical Survival Skills 101" posts on fire, water, and shelter.

Preface: What is an emergency? 

 height=There is an awful lot of academic banter in which we try to “identify” emergencies before they happen. Pedantic issues are categorized and specifics are assigned to them as potential resolutions. This is not a “flawed” approach, but it’s endemic in the American mindset, which is obsessed with micromanagement.

In order to distance ourselves from the details, which are too stochastic and specific, we can generally state that an emergency is a shortage of resources.

Resources can be defined as:

 

by rhare

Given its simple elegance in addressing a question frequently asked on this site, this post has been elevated from the forums section. It has been updated by site members rhare and travlin since its first appearance (the original post can be read here).

I've been working on a way to get across to friends and family how bad the economic situation has become. I find one of the biggest problems is that when numbers are in the billions and trillions they are very hard to imagine, and people get this glazed/deer in the headlights look. So I decided to try to scale the numbers in a way that can be more easily visualized. 

Below is an updated version, with many thanks to members of PeakProsperity.com community who suggested changes/corrections, and particularly to Travlin for rewording much of the message to make it a better story. Hopefully this version will help convince others of the serious nature of the US fiscal outlook. 

My Troubled Relative 

I need your advice. I have a relativewho is in financial trouble. He makes $50,000 a year, but he spent $74,591 last year, and his prospects of making $50,000 this year look kind of bad. There's a good chance he will get a pay cut.

 

How to Explain the Current Economic Situation to Friends & Family
by rhare

Given its simple elegance in addressing a question frequently asked on this site, this post has been elevated from the forums section. It has been updated by site members rhare and travlin since its first appearance (the original post can be read here).

I've been working on a way to get across to friends and family how bad the economic situation has become. I find one of the biggest problems is that when numbers are in the billions and trillions they are very hard to imagine, and people get this glazed/deer in the headlights look. So I decided to try to scale the numbers in a way that can be more easily visualized. 

Below is an updated version, with many thanks to members of PeakProsperity.com community who suggested changes/corrections, and particularly to Travlin for rewording much of the message to make it a better story. Hopefully this version will help convince others of the serious nature of the US fiscal outlook. 

My Troubled Relative 

I need your advice. I have a relativewho is in financial trouble. He makes $50,000 a year, but he spent $74,591 last year, and his prospects of making $50,000 this year look kind of bad. There's a good chance he will get a pay cut.

 

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