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We’ve been warning you about the coming food supply crisis and the future is here…on today’s ‘Off the Grid Radio’, Bill Heid and Brian Brawdy explain how Hugo Chavez has taken over his country’s food supply and how we can learn from it.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: June 24, 2010
Brian: Welcome once again to Off the Grid Radio. I’m Brian Brawdy, and our host, my partner, who is normally–Jeramy, just like wad up a ball of paper and toss it across the studio at him when I need to get his attention, today he’s on the road. He’s being the open road warrior, calling in from Belize, Mr. Bill Heid. Bill, how you doing?
Bill: I’m doing great. Greetings to you, greetings to Jeramy. I’m in Belize City as I’m speaking to you right now and I’m about four hours from where Frank called in from a while ago when we interviewed Frank who is in Guatemala. He told us that story about the day it decided to rain and rain and rains, so we’re not too far from where Frank is, just a little short, four hour bus ride away. It’s warm down here, but perhaps not as warm as it is there. I think it’s 88, 90 degrees here in Belize City.
Brian: Well it’s something else, Bill, for you to be gone because I was going through the news reports yesterday and first thing this morning, as I’m sure you were, but on the off chance that you were busy in jungles there, I wanted to share this quick story that came to us from CNBC because I think it speaks to something very near and dear to your heart.
They’re saying now that Hugo Chavez, President Chavez, spearheads raids as food prices sky rocket. And it opens the piece by saying “Mountains of rotten food found at a Government warehouse, soaring prices and soldiers raiding wholesalers accused of hoarding. Food supply is the latest battle in President Hugo Chavez’s social revolution.” You and I talk about things that have happened in the past, what might very well happen in the future, kind of scary to see that President Chavez is saying, “Look, you turn your food in or we’re going to come after you.”
Bill: Well, this isn’t the first Marxist that has done this; certainly the Vladimir Ilyich Lenin made this a routine proposition during his reign of power in the Soviet Union, killing millions and millions of Ukrainian farmers in order to take their land and their food. It’s happened in communist China. it’s happened all over the world because socialism and communism, the big theme that I always say over and over, always causes shortages because it causes misallocations of capital and when bureaucrats think that they can plan, they’re using human finite reasoning when they make those thoughts. And as our old friend Adam Smith taught us, it’s a better thing to let control the market is the invisible hand. You let the market place adjust prices and let them rise or fall as they may, and you have abundance.
So capitalism works and when I say capitalism I really mean free enterprise, private property. And as we gravitate and move away from that, whether fiercely as in Chavez’s case or in a soft way that’s happening in our country in the United States, you get the sort of shortages, and it ends up being someone’s got to power comes out of the barrel of the gun (Inaudible 0:03:15), so at the end of the day soldiers go grab things.
Brian: Absolutely, and we’re seeing it happen and I suspect not just there but in other places of the world. We just happen to have a report of this particular one. But as I say, it made me think of you with everything from the survival seed bank to the crisis cooker to everything that you and I speak about personally when we have a chance to do it in person. I read that story and I was like. “Man I’ve got to tell Bill that.” I know we got a lot to get into today about where you are, why you’re there and how our listeners, which is always a huge portion of our goal, how our listeners are going to benefit from your latest road trip.
I wanted just to get to that story because it’s almost scary opening up your laptop anymore or turning on the news or snagging your newspaper, via the newspaper or the internet with some of the stories that we’re hearing about things where other people would label people reporting those stories as fear mongers or the chicken little, “The sky is falling. The sky is falling.” But then you see something like this and shouldn’t it make you kind of sit up and pay attention?
Bill: Everybody should sit up and pay attention because these issues don’t stay inside the polite boundaries. They spill out across borders. So the countries bordering Venezuela, when they run out of food, typically what happens is you have a sort of a communist imperialism because at some point, you can’t feed your people. So very much like in the days of the nomadic, maybe the Vikings where you start to do raids. So when you drain all of your resources and you drain the psychic energy out of your people, what you look for then is who is my neighbor and how can I steal what he has after you get done looting your own country.
That’s an important thing to give it as a spill over and it’ll spill over there, and of course Venezuela is a big oil producer. Additionally what will happen generally is in these sort of environment if you don’t feed your people even if you’re a dictator, you either have to start shooting those people or they go to the streets and start rioting. And what you end up with is a shortage of oil because you end up with chaos. Whether we like it or not, comrade Chavez controls a very large part of the oil of the world and in our country.
Brian: It often makes me think that when you see a situation like that Bill and we’ve talked about the survival seed bank, I know pretty soon, I don’t know if you’re prepared to do it today but pretty soon you’re going to be making an announcement of yet another solution from science, another aspirin to a common headache that we all could have in the future. You hear stuff like that and you think, well it could never happen here. It might happen in a distant country, in a distant land but we’re set up differently here, wherever the here is, but we’re really not set up all that differently are we?
Bill: We’re not. There is, the middle class in our country does offer a buffer that comrade Chavez doesn’t have but there are limits, when you see a trend in place, there are limits to what the middle class can withstand and eventually that breaks down. There is, as you suggest Brian, a very thin veneer of markets of civilization that exists between us and chaos. I think we don’t have to get crazy at this point I just think well thought out preparation is the order of the day. We’re going to see…
If you want to play in the garden obviously, we’ve talked about this over and over and over, it’s not going to hurt anything at all to have a garden and to continue to stick in those terms because even if you don’t get some sort of apocalyptic thing, what you get is rising prices. The U.N. is forecasting rising food prices and a lot of private forecasters are saying the same thing. I want to sort of, I don’t know how much time we have here before we go to break but as we start to think about food supply we’ve got to think about China and the re-evaluation of the Yuan and how that’s going to affect food supply and other prices of goods that come from China.
Brian: In all of that, Bill, in all the possibility of things that could happen to us in the future, one of the things that I enjoy discussing with you always on the air and off the air is that the sense of self-reliance, of preparedness… You don’t have to be a survival expert, you don’t have to be a two percent body fat, you don’t have to be wonder woman or superman, there are things that we could start to do now, no fear mongering but things that we could start to do right now in our daily lives to prepare for, you and I both hope, with Jeramy, what do we all hope, everyone listening, hopes never happens but being prepared isn’t really all that bad an idea is it?
Bill: It’s a wonderful idea and folks can do simple things. We’d like to have people buy things from us and we have products that we think are good products. We’re introducing new product, including some dehydrated food and other things but you can just go to the store, instead of buying two cans of beans buy four. Canned food is a great thing because it lasts a long time. Prices are still low on food relative to the rest of the world, what the rest of the world pays including down here.
Little things like that, that people can say, “Well I’m on this fixed budget,” we’re on a fixed budget but there’s little things that we can do. A motto that I’ve had and I’ve told you, “Duty is ours, consequences are God’s.” Stonewall Jackson’s motto, it’s a good one. You can do all you can do and then you turn the balance over to God and that’s all any human mortals can accomplish.
Brian: To think, Bill, in our closing minute here before we go to the break, I’m excited to have you both as the host and the guest for the whole hour today. What I want to talk about is that sense of what we can do right now. I know that you’re in Belize and we’re going to talk about that, some of the things that our listeners may be able to learn from you and take advantage of in the future as well.
It is great to hear your voice, even if I don’t get to see you just an arm’s length away. We won’t be able to high five each other today. But ladies and gentlemen when we come, back my co-host Mr. Bill Heid with us from Belize and with some information you are not going to want to miss. As always, here on Off the Grid News, we’re looking at the future; we’re looking at preparing you for that future, whatever it turns out to be. We’re going to go ahead, go to a quick commercial break and then we’re back with Mr. Bill Heid live from Belize.
Brian: Welcome back once again to Off the Grid News, the radio version here at offthegridnews.com. As always don’t forget you can find us at twitter @offgridradio. That’s @offgridradio and of course at Facebook. Just search Off the Grid News. Bill, when I was a little boy my mom used to send me out the backyard and say, “Why don’t you get your little plastic shovel and go dig?” To keep me out there, I suspect, minus a real baby sitter, to keep me out there for hours on end, she’d go, “Bri, just dig, maybe one day you’ll reach China.” I thought about that earlier today when I was doing some of the research for our show. I don’t have to worry about digging to reach China anymore; China is coming for us isn’t it?
Bill: Well China has been a trading partner and since 1994, of course our Dollar has been paid to their currency Yuan and so we’ve been able to, as a result of that, export a lot of our domestic inflation and send it to the Chinese market, the workers who are making maybe $8.00 a day or very little amount of money, so we’ve been able to shoot that to them. It’s kind of served us well because the rest of the world, with China being the principal player is kind of taken the brunt of that.
In exchange for that, it’s actually helped their economy, it’s helped people flourish, it’s helped create a middle class. For a while, our big trade deficit with China had worked out to some degree in terms of trading. Certainly we get cheap LED TVs and plasma TVs and other things that are made in China but with the announcement of the re-pegging that the Chinese Government had just accomplished here a day or two ago, that’s going to change the playing field for a long time.
Brian: Okay, and, Bill, of course for our listeners that may not have heard the story yet, we’re talking about this past weekend. The People’s Bank of China announced after a long drawn out process over the years, they announced that they’re going to allow for more flexible currency. You might think, “You know what, that’s going to happen over in China. It’s not going to affect us directly.” Could you go ahead and catch us up on how that’s going to hit us a little bit or could hit a little bit closer to home that some might like.
Bill: Well what you’re going to see, at least this is a prediction of many, is you’re going to see the China Central Bank basically needing fewer bonds and what a lot of folks are saying that’s going to turn into is higher inflation rates over here but as their currency appreciates, what you have to recognize, worldwide they’re going to take in more of their currency and that means they’re going to have more money to bid the prices of commodities up worldwide. Now, that includes food that includes oil that includes timber products, he things that we all buy that we take for granted that we buy.
A crazy thing like this, just as you said earlier, Brian, it sounds like, “How’s that ever going to affect me?” Well, maybe I won’t buy a plasma TV if it goes up too much because of the exchange rate difference and I’ll just forgo that purchase. Yeah, maybe so, as prices rise, fewer Americans will make that decision because it just becomes on the margin and off the board for a lot of folks but try not going to the grocery store, try not going to the gas pump. These are things that I feel are going to be affected by this. It may not be immediate, but it’s going to come sooner or later, as these adjustments are made.
These trends that look like they were going to go on forever were simply unsustainable and it’s over and the pipers are going to be getting to be paid. For sure, within the next year, I’m not so sure in the next few months, there’ll be some short term alterations like when you and I talked on the break a little bit about. Maybe the gold price will go down a little bit. We have to remember the Chinese are big purchasers of gold, so this will even give them more dollars, more Yuan to purchase gold with relative to the dollars that they hold.
Brian: All right, Bill, then so for you and me and the rest of our listeners, then what is our short term list. We could do a short term, a medium and a long term list. What are some of the short term things that we can start to do, so regardless of how this whole thing plays out with China, what are some of the short term, middle term, and then long term things that we can do to kind of edge our bet and we’ve got about four minutes left before we have to go to a break but what can we do to kind of edge our bet to mitigate the effects, if you will for ourselves and our families and our friends?
Bill: Sure, just as it affects our company solutions from science for example, one of the things that we’ve had to do is up the purchase of some of the items like our solar generator and some of these things, the solar panels are made in China that we sell and I apologize to everybody that thinks we ought to buy American. If you bought the same systems from us that we sell now and we had that made in Michigan with Teamster Nation, it would be five to ten times the price of what we’re paying for it. Its solar would just be not plain, not affordable. Now, President Obama wants to switch a lot of our energy supplies to soft energy alternatives like wind and solar but in that effect, this is going to make that dream untrue because you’re going to see the spite of gluttony in a lot of areas as countries run out of money and you’re hoping they stop subsidizing solar as the price of solar panels goes up in China because of this currency thing, we’re just talking about. You’re going to see rising prices there. If I was interested in solar, again, whether you want to buy one of our solar generators or maybe you just want to get your house, have panels put in your house and you do a grid tile system.
Either way, I would try to make my purchase sooner, rather than later because of what I see coming. That’s just a simple thing that’s really close to home for me and as I’ve said, I think food prices, there’s dehydrated food companies and we plan on getting in that game but I would definitely try to buy and have some food on hand and I would try to grow a garden. That way you’re in charge of your own food supply. Those things become not just the polite suggestion but something that’s really going to take shape. It’s going to have traction and you’re going to see the need for it as you begin to go in the grocery store and see prices escalate.
Brian: Bill, I was thinking this morning as I was having breakfast at a local restaurant, there was a family in there and before we go to break, I want to just kind of leave our listeners with this thought. I was amazed, although you shouldn’t have to be reminded of it, but I was amazed watching a particular parent interact with two children and just how the lessons are incul… Jeramy’s shaking his head right now because he knows exactly, our producer Jeramy, he’s shaking his head, he knows exactly what I’m talking about. The lessons that parents teach their children, even if, Bill, everything that you and I will discuss on this show and in subsequent shows, even if it doesn’t befall us right now, this day, this week, this month, this year.
For me as a parent and I know for you as a parent for sure and our listeners, these are trains of thought or preparedness ideas are plans that we can start to teach our children now should, heaven forbid, something like this befalls them in the future. We’ve given them a great foundation, a great leg up to go, “Hey you know what, there might not always be food at the grocery store, you might not always be able to flick the switch and have electricity. You might have to look for your own water; you might have to grow your own garden.” Bill, what you’re advocating is always at Off the Grid News is for yourself but also teaching the young ones in your family a possible way of combating the future.
Bill: That’s a great observation, Brian, I do concur with that. There’s an axiom that we use at home, when it has been passed on to me from my wife’s grandfather, Warren Parker, and he would always use to tell me that the farmer’s shadow makes the best fertilizer, just meaning if you’re there, that means a lot just to the crops because you’re going to see things and so the same thing is true with your kids. If they see you doing these things and not just talking about it, you don’t want one of those do as I say, not as I do sort of perspective you want your children, not only do you want to discuss it at the supper table what’s going on in the world and why, but your children also need to see you preparing. They need to see your hands a little dirty from the gardening.
Brian: I think that’s a great point and a point that we’re going to be able to think about Bill during the commercial break. Ladies and gentlemen we’re going to jump here real quick. Please come back for the entire hour on the road today, road warrior, my partner Mr. Bill Heid, when we come back after the break.
Brian: Welcome back once again to Off the Grid News radio. Of course you can also find us at offthegridnews.com and on Twitter @offgridradio and Facebook. All you have to do is search Off the Grid News; Facebook will go ahead and pop it right up. Ladies and gentlemen, today, my partner, the road warrior Bill Heid is coming to us from Belize and Bill, I wish out viewers could be a fly on the wall. I wish they could have the experience that you and I did the last time we were in Belize and then marry that to what you’ve learned on this trip and previous trips because I really think they would dig to know why we went, why you’re there and why Belize might very well play a pretty decent size role in your future, so could you go ahead and try to catch up our listeners up on why you’re there and why you’re so fired up?
Bill: Well thank you again. If listeners want to hear our conversations I think we can go back on the podcast, if I’m not mistaken, to hear the first one, maybe it’s not as well produced but we did cover some of the basic ground work for Belize on that and just to continue why I think it’s a good idea for everyone to think in terms of, should you have a place to go, should you have a bank account in some other place that perhaps they can talk to you about other investments, not just investments that are limited by legal obligations in the United States. For example mutual funds, out of all the mutual funds in the world you can probably talk about 25 percent of them by the law in the United States.
Your investment broker, if you have an investment counselor in Belize and you come down here to Belize and you talk to somebody, “Where should I put my money,” then you can talk about perhaps the other 75 percent. As we get into this financial mess that we think is on the Horizon, I think Americans, especially are going to need to have more options available to them and I just believe there’s a place, it’s a very simple place… As we said, English speaking, you’ve got what I would say is an under developed, you were here Brian, it’s an under developed country. There’s probably only 300,000 people here. There’s just not that many people here and it’s a little bit like maybe not quite like the Wild West but there is a little sense that you’re at the beginning.
This is a relatively new country, it used to be British Honduras and so there is a sense that you’re kind of a bit of a pioneer by coming down here.
Brian: I’ve got to be honest with you, Bill, when I was there I kind of dig that. I like that idea being an explorer, an adventurer and whether you’re on the beach or you’re working your way inland a little more, I enjoyed the climate, I found the people to be very welcoming. Obviously, we were there to attend a seminar, so the presenters of the seminar were from other parts of the country of the world for that matter but some were also from in country. These were people that relocated to Belize and they swear by it now. No doubt you’re bumping into a lot of those folks again.
Bill: That’s a good point; we’re bumping into a lot of the same people. It takes a sort of spirit and this is the spirit that the pioneers had when they moved across this country from say the Eastern townies, like say the Boston area and someone said, “Hey, there’s land out West.” Well, most people said don’t live here, what kind of fool are you? There’s Indians there, there’s this there and of course there was no infrastructure. You talk about Off the Grid when you go to a place like Thompson, Illinois, right around the turn of the century in 1805 or something and you’re talking about a very off the grid way of looking at the world. There’s more of a grid down here than that but by downtown Chicago standards, this place is off the grid and it’s also off the radar for a lot of people.
Brian: Bill, I think a lot when people, they’ll approach me or they’ll send me email or a call and go, “Oh I’ve heard a lot about this Of The Grid,” it’s become pretty popular and obviously in terms of the website and everything we do here, the numbers are through the roof, but I think what I’d like to remind folks, is that this whole concept of off the grid, we may have forgotten it but it’s a part of us. Humanity is Nomadic, we have been since the beginning, so it might be a little challenge without a microwave, without electric garage door opener, without some of the rest of that but you’re not talking about some alien, foreign concept of living off the grid. We’ve been doing it as a people forever.
Bill: Well, and not only that what happens I think when the grid becomes too well developed and here’s a concept maybe we should talk about more often, when the grid becomes too well and we have that high division of labor where people make$100,000 a year painting other people’s finger nails or even teaching people how to paint other people’s finger nails, a concept my grandfather never understood, this is a simpler place. One of the things that we talked about today is maybe what we can call off the grid community or off the grid living because in this country, here the Government doesn’t have a lot of money.
That doesn’t mean that there is no Government, it doesn’t mean that there is lawlessness here but like the old west, you’re not necessarily able to get to a hospital, you’re not able to call 911 in the same way that you can in the States. Here’s what that means for a lot of our listeners, this has a profound implication because we used to say in the old days, the virtuous society had a frame work, had a saying that was less responsibility… They would say, less Government, excuse me, less Government more responsibility and with God’s help a better world. If we continue to say, we don’t want the Government everywhere we go, we have to start saying what are we going to do, what forms of Government can we implement that are just part of that human psyche as you alluded to. What forms of Government and I just want to touch base and we’ll go back into history a little bit and talk about Abraham Kuiper. If anybody gets a chance go Google Abraham Kuiper and read a little bit about him.
He did what was called (Inaudible 0:33:57) and the concept of it, which meant, unlike the way you talk about Government now and we tend to think of civil Government when we talk about Government. Someone says, “Hey the Government is on our backs again” or something like that. That wasn’t a concept that was in this country at the early part of its onset. The stages of Government that Kuiper talked about and were a part of the backbone of our country were self-government, family government, church government, school government, and lastly civil government, so government to Benjamin Franklin or Thomas Jefferson or John Adams were something very different, the word has changed to mean civil.
I’m going someplace with that down here because down here, the Government doesn’t have a lot of money to get into your affairs. They don’t have a lot of money to cart you around if you have a 911 call, so they’re just kind of not present in the same way they are in our country but what’s that mean? It’s not a cradle to grave thing; down here they’re not here to support you from the time you’re born until the time you die. Where does that fall? That falls back on the church and the community down here, so you have very strong communities, people don’t go at it alone. As a matter of fact, folks might find it a little strange that there’s a very nice Mennonite population. The Mennonites are very well respected here in Belize.
Brian: Bill, I think you’re absolutely right when you talk about that from cradle to grave. I started to think of it of late as the Bonsai mind set, where you anticipate to be able to grow and thrive on our planet but there’s going to be someone there to use their trough on the earth. There’s going to be someone to use the shears or the cutters to prune you back but that’s contrary to human nature. There’s not supposed to be outside agency that cultivates and then controls absolutely everything that happens in your life from the moment you’re born.
I think we can kind of dovetail when we talk about the lessons that we teach our children when we talk about independence and self-reliance and picking yourself up off the ground and making it happen. I’m hoping that they strike a chord within our children and within our grandchildren for that matter because that chord exists. It’s innate in every human being to want to thrive in their own unique and passionate way. We’re going to go ahead Bill, please stick around for the next segment, as I know you will. Before I let our listeners go into break, remember you can find us on twitter @offgridradio, and of course as always, just search for Off the Grid News on Facebook. We’re going to be back after a short break. Don’t go anywhere, Bill Heid for the closing segment here at Off the Grid Radio.
Brian: Welcome back once again to Off the Grid News Radio, I’m Brian Brawdy and today my co-host is with us live from Belize in Central America and Bill I should say not just live from Belize but on a Belizean cell phone. I think we’ve done a good job of letting our listeners know that it’s the young west remember in our country, head west young man but there’s some creature comforts that are still there so I thought in the closing segment, the time that we have, you could make mention the Belizean banking system, some of the real estate, some of the creature comfort that aren’t foreign to us in the foreign country of Belize.
Bill: Well, I’m sitting right now in the Radisson, not too far from the water and it’s a very nice hotel so you’ve got the creature comforts, as you mentioned. If you want to go to places where there are more and more businesses coming here and of course more infrastructure coming here all the time. Within an hour or less I can be in the Mayan ruins, I can be in the jungle, I can be in the country where they grow different types of woods and so forth. Unlike what (Inaudible 0:42:23) says, like being in L.A. or Chicago, where you’re driving on concrete for a long time, you’ve got some creature comforts in your town and then you get out of town and you get a pretty fast dissipation of those things but generally, lies the opportunity.
As we drove to some Mayan ruins a day ago, we were able to see some of the properties that’s for sale and again this is a country where you can visit a realtor and you can talk to people in English about it and you can take your time, nobody is in a hurry, but here’s the thing, property prices aren’t anywhere near where they are in our country. Not only that, Brian; the important thing is when the world crashed, when the housing market crashed, everything started to crash in 2008. The property prices here, well I can’t say that they didn’t go up, they went up, they did not fall, so you’ve got low real estate prices which means tremendous opportunity for people if they want to come down here and buy a five acre farm or a 20 acre farm or something.
They can do it at just a fraction of what they can do in the United States. If someone who wants to establish a just-in-case place, they can do it down here for a fraction of what they could do at home, so in the real estate business this is a very solid place to be.
Brian: Also, Brian, the thought just came to me, we discussed it briefly before but maybe what we could do is have our listeners drop us a line at offthegridnews.com or on our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Maybe it would be pretty cool one day to offer up the audio cassette program, taking people through some of the things that you do and I know you’ve taken members of your family down there which, if you’re a parent listening, going “You know what, I’d be a little concerned about taking my family down there.” You take your family there all the time, maybe that’s something to kick around if you’re listening to our discussion and you’re thinking… “You know what; I’d like a little bit more detailed information.” You know what I’m thinking, Bill, like a step-by-step plan on how you did it, then go ahead drop us an email. Hit us up on Twitter or on our Facebook account, give us an idea of what you’re looking for and then maybe Bill there’d be a way to put together a program that we can get out to our listener, kind of like being in Bill Heid’s backpack, what you’ve learned along the way that they could incorporate into their own search.
Bill: By all means if people are interested in learning more about Belize or maybe you’d like to come down here with Brian and I sometime and we can show you firsthand what it’s like. We’d be happy to do that, so get a hold of us through our email or through anyone of the ways that Brian had said. One of the original things that we wanted to do when we came down here and we didn’t come down here necessarily to find some of the same things that other people are looking for. We came down; our initial idea was to sell our solar equipment down here.
Brian: That’s right…
Bill: We sell Off the Grid solutions to people down here that don’t have a grid, so because our solutions are somewhat inexpensive compared to Grid tie, that’s what we decided we need to establish a business. We thought the business environment, the Government doesn’t want to attack you, they want you here and the word “Gringo” down here, that’s not derogatory. If someone says “Hey you’re a gringo,” that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be here, that’s just descriptive of…. They’re not politically correct here so that’s just descriptive of who you are, what’s your skin color. People talk about skin color all the time but they don’t care, this place is a melting pot.
There’s Spanish, there’s Mayans, there’s English, there’s a lot of Canadians here. There’s 2,700 people from the United States and Canada here that exist. They live here full or part time and the Government of Belize has got an excellent, qualified retirement program. They want you to come down here, so unlike a lot of other places in the world, I can’t think of too many places in the world want Americans. The Swiss, try going over there and becoming a citizen or getting involved in a retirement program in Switzerland, they don’t want you there. It’s very unique because of how friendly they are and it’s a melting pot and the people are really laid back and cool and they have no presupposed ideas about hating Americans which is, you know, pretty nice.
Brian: Bill, you have the ability to travel and to have your just-in-case place almost anywhere in the world. The listeners might not know you to that degree but I certainly know you could take off and explore anywhere you wanted to. Could you catch us up real quick on why did you first pick Belize? What was the very first time that you ever heard of it and why you thought that this would be cool place to go and explore?
Bill: Well, as part of, the infrastructure was important but I wanted a bank… What concerns me most about what’s going on in our country is the stability of the banking system. I’m not sure if a lot of people know how stable or lack of stability that we have there in the United States. It’s a little precarious. Before the 2008 debacle, the embezzled Switzerland, we have the bank of International (Inaudible 0:47:38) they recommended an eight percent reserve rate for banks across the world, that’s eight percent reserve rate. Right before the 2008 crash, the world had a 6.7 percent reserve rate. That’s the average of all the banks. The United States may have been a little bit on the soft side of that, maybe closer to two, some bankers could correct me on that but here’s the scary thing that people don’t realize. We went from that 6.7% worldwide… Are you ready for this?
Bill: Right at the beginning of 2010, to 0.7 percent.
Brian: 0.7, Bill?
Bill: The lowest in history, 0.7 percent. The world almost came unglued during that period of time, which means to a lot of people listening, your credit card is not going to work. They’re just going to be a lot of the survival folks, the things they’ve been saying if you listen carefully. You’d have the establishment of some of those prophecies will be taking place. You wouldn’t be able to go to the bank and get your money. My guess would be that your credit card wouldn’t work, your ATM card wouldn’t work because there will be a default. With that in mind as kind of a backdrop. What I like about Belize is the law and the central bank…
My wife and I had supper on her birthday the other day at a little restaurant called Celebrity and it’s right next to the central bank, beautiful bank with Mayan architecture. They require, and again, are you ready for this, 24 percent liquidity, so the banks here are probably in my opinion, some of the safest banks in the world. The bank that we use and we could talk about the people privately sometimes, the bank that we use is in the 30’s as reserve ratio. You’re talking about the safest banks, you’re talking about privacy, you’re talking about, probably more private than Swiss banks and it’s definitely under the radar. If someone has a Swiss bank account as we see with all the stories and headlines that they’re under scrutiny and attack.
This is a little country and it’s not something, it’s actually against the law for bankers to even mention Brian Brawdy had a bank account here. You would go to jail if you’re a Belizean banker if Bill Heid came up as an outsider says, “I want to know if Brian Brawdy has a bank account in this bank Mr. Banker and if that banker says yes, he could go to prison in this country.
Brian: That’s amazing.
Bill: For just saying, “Yes, Brian Brawdy has got a bank account here.” Very secure and you have a nice, growth opportunity. It’s not like even Panama that’s much further along in terms of being developed. It’s right at the right time and it’s the right place. It’s a couple hours from America and believe it or not our doctor’s coming down here and he’s going to meet with us tomorrow about Off the Grid healthcare. That’s something that we’ll be taking up in subsequent issues and subsequent radio episodes as well as our website. With Obama care coming, what’s Off the Grid healthcare going to look like, when you need a place to go, get your hip operation if you can’t get on in a socialized system?
Brian: Sure. Well Bill, that’s going to take us right up to the top of the hour. Here’s what I’d like to do, thank you, we had promised each other and Jeramy that we wouldn’t hold you up all day because the weather is probably beautiful there. We’ll let you go and get back. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m going to say goodbye to Mr. Bill Heid. I wanted to remind you if you like the idea to get more information you can leave us a voice mail at area code 815-902-0252 or of course https://[email protected], at Twitter @offgridradio, and Facebook at Off the Grid News. Until next time, on behalf of Mr. Bill Heid coming from Belize, Jeramy, our producer, I’m Brian Brawdy, please stay tuned to Off the Grid Radio.