Brian and Bill discuss their analysis and reaction to a recent investment conference hosted in Belize.
Off The Grid Radio
Released: June 1, 2010
Brian: Welcome once again to the Solutions from Science radio show, I’m Brian Brawdy and as always our host, Bill Heid. Bill, it’s nice to sit across the table from you. Once again, how are you sir? You got a nice little tan going on over there.
Bill: Well thank you Brian, it’s always a pleasure, just to hang with you and to be in our new place, in our new studio. You look a little red, not as red as maybe I got, snorkeling one day, but…
Brian: Yeah, life’s tough when you’re the boss, you know what I mean, Jeramy, I go down here do this; do that, what you’re doing. Well I think I’ll stay out Saturday and snorkel but, you can go back and edit the audio, so good for you.
Bill: We hung out with some sharks and some rays, and all kinds of sea life, so it was really, really another nice time in Belize, it’s very cool.
Brian: Very cool, and I know and our listeners will soon learn, that you and I went down there and your son was able to join us as well. It was nice to get to hang with him. We went down there for an asset protection program, put on by very knowledgeable attorneys, economists, accountants and the like. So I thought maybe today we could kind of recap for our listeners. You know, we just go to Belize because we thought it would be sunny and beautiful. And it was not, a couple of the days, it rained as hard as anything I’ve ever saw in hurricane Katrina.
Bill: It rained 10 inches that one day. And more than they have ever had that the natives were telling me, people live there for 20 years, it never rained like this. But 10 inches of rain in one day.
Brian: Well that’s what I say to people all the time, Irish luck don’t believe the hype. As soon as I booked my ticket to go there, but of course we should’ve known. But as I said later that day, it’s a rain forest. So I kind of, you know, into every life a little rain must fall. I just wasn’t ready for 10 inches in one day but…
Bill: Every life a lot of rain.
Brian: Every life a lot of rain must fall, buckets were so but it kept us glued to the presenters, not that we needed foul weather to do that. But we had some great presenters at this conference, whose sole purpose was to suggest to folks that the economy might be in a little bit of trouble, and that this is a viable alternative to finding something other than just riding out the storm, that this particular program was about teaching folks, and now our listeners about ways that they may want to be able to protect their assets and as you call it, I love the term, just in case place, a place that may be able to fall back to should need ever arise.
Bill: Sure, and lets go backwards in time a little bit and just sort of prepare the listeners for why we were in Belize to begin with. We were at an asset protection seminar. But the whole thing for me in Belize started out where – actually started in Panama, believe it or not. We went to Panama, my wife and I couple of years ago, when we were looking for some place to open an office, to sell our solar generators in the Caribbean area and Central America. And we wanted to find a place that had a stable government, a place that where there was some degree of stability in currency, where people kind of thought like us in banking and so forth. In other words, we don’t want to go to Venezuela and hand Comrade Chavez you know our assets or whatever it was.
Brian: Didn’t want him to personally hand you a copy of his book?
Bill: Well, you know, maybe I’d read his book, it was in English, I don’t know, it’s only.
Brian: I don’t know either.
Bill: But we wanted to go there, and we’re in Panama, then they get a very, the first time that we went really abroad to this extent, been in Mexico a few times, but as we had our eyes focused on finding a place, it became all too apparent that for me to make a transition over to sort of hanging there for any extended period, I’d have to have English. I couldn’t because I don’t know Spanish, and I think there’s just a little bit of psychic energy that gets taken out of you, when everyone else around you is speaking in a language that you don’t know, and you go to try to get your cheese burger or whatever it is, your fajita and you really have a hard time even doing that.
Brian: I’ll be honest with you, Bill. I don’t like when I’m in a cab, and the cab drivers on his cell phone, 0:03:58.1 New York City, talking about their language, talking in another language. I don’t even like that. Not that I’m disrespectful to driver or his language but I’d like to know what people are saying. You know, in whatever in context I’m in at the moment. So I can imagine.
Bill: So we met in Panama, we met an attorney there who later you met, Joel. And Joel sat and I explained kind of why I was interested in selling solar panels and solar generator and so forth. And he said you might be understood in what’s the only English speaking country, south of the border. And that’s Belize and so I went to Belize in March to something similar that you and I went to. And I learned some of these things about, you know what’s the country like? And what are the sort of surrounding circumstances that might you know, is it a place that you can open up an office and sell solar panels. And my wife and I went there, and it ended up being a beautiful place and that’s why I wanted you to go back down as well as my son, Nick, who is in law school as you know now, and he is sort of studying international law. I wanted both you guys to sort of get that experience and just to see if it was me, am I nuts, is this a good place? Is this you know, kind of a – it’s almost like; it’s going to a place that somewhat under developed. There’s only 300,000 people or so in Belize, it’s a size of Massachusetts. So you’ve got a few hotels coming that we saw, there’s some built, and you have a little bit of tourist trade because it was so close to the reef. But from the business side, is it possible to create an office? And so that’s one of the reasons why I want to get us all down there together and see if there couldn’t be a little bit of synergy between yourself and myself.
Bill: As we, we were intent on discovering whether or not we could open up a business and then this asset thing, asset protection thing kind of it was another major issue. Maybe you want to talk about some of the stuff that struck you as we moved through the asset side. I know the one day you were so taken back by some of the issues that Joel Nagel the jobs bill, didn’t even go out for supper with us that night. You spent all night blogging about that issue, because I think, it just, it floored you with what’s really going on with the jobs bill.
Brian: Well the jobs bill, for me Bill, the first thing that I found interesting was that once again, politicians do a great job of naming a bill that sounds very altruistic, it sounds great, and compassionate and who couldn’t vote for that bill. But then when you read the fine print and you look into what the bill does, there were a couple of things that jumped out to me. Obviously, as I later said in the blog post deputizing bankers to become not only re-enforcers of IRS law, but now also the informants.
Bill: What was the title of your – it was a very friendly.
Brian: I just said that secretary Geithner and his new G-man that this particular law makes it almost impossible, and I guess we should say from the outset, Bill, because they did it at the seminar and you and I are not this way at all. We’re a huge fan of paying the taxes that we owe. Nothing that will ever come out of this show or any other show that you and I privy too would ever suggest that someone breaks the law; we’d never suggest you don’t pay the taxes that you rightfully owe. I think what was offensive to me in reading portions of that bill is that, it doesn’t seem like that they care whether you paid the taxes or not. If you are going to wire money overseas, the bank is now deputized to take 30% of that, whether it’s pre-tax or post-tax. The bank is taxed with taking 30% and then it’s up to you to go back to the IRS and go no, no. no, no here’s my forms, I’ve already paid the tax and then get the money back from the government. The second thing that troubled me about the bill and I’m not an economist, I’m not a lawyer, I’m not an accountant, but then whether you’ve paid you taxes on it or not, in this bill you now have to claim foreign assets, when you fill out your taxes. They want to know, what assets that you have outside of whether they’re taxable or not, they want to know. So to me, I was wondering will they then ask you to put down what gold you have, would they ask you to put down what diamonds you have, will they ask you to put firearms you have. For me an outsider listening to Joel Nagel’s, and we should say he is international law specialist and attorney, listening to his presentation the law which is another example of how you need to kind a sit up and pay attention to what our politicians. You and I know that ignorance is no excuse for the law, if we would violate it, but apparently, ignorance is absolutely your protection when you write and then act these laws, because the politicians themselves don’t always know what’s in these bills. That’s why you’re right, it kept me from dinner and I know you had a chance to listen to a great speaker that evening and I’m sorry that I missed it. But sooner or later, someone’s going to go look, we’re not all as gullible as our elected officials think we are, and that’s why I blogged about it that evening.
Bill: Well it was a great blog and I think you drilled down into the area that the problem with a lot of these bills and here we are in Belize, and we’re talking about something back here. That’s one of the reasons we went down there but I think, in this particular bill, do you remember what it is, it’s H what’s an HR.
Brian: Yes, HR4157 I believe, I’ll pull it up real quick while you’re talking.
Bill: Yeah, you can, you want to know what the actual bill is. But buried in some of these bills and in this bill in general, there is a bunch of stimulus money. Geared as Brian said that sort of create jobs, and whether it will do that or whether you’re 0:09:24.2 and you think that it will do that or not, that’s really kind of aside, personally I don’t but that’s in aside, what’s buried in this thing, is I think the potential monstrosity is now granted, it’s not set to take effect until the first January first on 2013. So there’s a little bit of time before it takes place. But one of the things that we discussed that was in there was a hundred million dollars year mark inside this bill for illegal aliens who are currently in the prison system for help, and I don’t know if that help means help getting them out for attorney’s fees, or help sort of trying to get them back into society, or whatever it is. But there it’s jam-packed full of little things like this that, as we found out later, most congressional staff members and congressmen had never read this bill. They just saw the surface part of it, I think it was only 40 pages, it wasn’t one this big thousand pagers within the range of even a congressman. A congressman is capable of, well most are capable of reading 40 pages, and many of them had no idea that you got a call or something from one congressional office saying that’s not true. All anybody has to do is go look the bill up and find out that these things are true, but they’re going to punish you for having any assets. I supposed if we open an office up in Belize and try to sell our solar panels and that would be us as well. If you have a chair and a desk and a computer down there, and some of our systems down there to sell, I’m not sure how the bill would work but apparently we have to declare anything that you have, and of course that puts it the penalty for wiring money the onus is on the bank to make sure that you’re not doing anything you know, funny from a government standpoint. And I guess that could be terrorist activity, or money laundering or things like that. But I think the part that struck me is, as we continually redefine what words like terrorism is what’s a terrorist today? By 2013 it’s a terrorist someone that does have foreign assets? I don’t know, I mean doesn’t IBM have these offices all over; I mean the corporations in this country have offices all round the world. So I’m trying to figure out in my mind, how’s that going to play out?
Bill: And you know it’s a good point Bill, and the bill I brought back up now is called the hiring incentives to restore employment act. And although it’s been signed into law, it still keep with it its original house of representatives number, and that’s HR2847. But to your point about IBM or other corporations such as yours, what troubled me about the bill is that if I want to go ahead and I’m a company that purchases, jackets, rainwear jackets from China, and I have to go ahead and wire them a quarter of a million dollars, so I can get the product shipped here to be able to redistribute it and to sell it. If the banks says, well and I called it between a rock and a soft place, because you’re absolutely right. The bank is told, if you don’t do this, the IRS is going to hold you accountable for the 30%. If you do it in error, don’t worry, a part of the bill is going to indemnify you. So if my bank does it an error bill, I can’t go back after my banking go, look you messed up. Banks simply go, oh hold on one second, we have to refer you to the IRS. Now I’ve got to go back to the federal government, I’ve got to go back Washington D.C. that got that money. So if you’re a business, is that business going to say, okay well now I’ve got to figure 30% of what I’m sending over is going to be tax. It’s only going to pass the tax onto you and me. So now, do our rain jackets become more expensive because every business like you, you know when you send money overseas to buy any of the products that you purchase, if they’re going to add the 30%, we can’t expect those companies to eat that, even if we could expect, that we know histories proven that they won’t. So that’s what was troubling to me, even if you’re honest, even, where’s the whole concept of being innocent until proven guilty. A bank teller decides.
Brian: Yeah, I think in this case, the bank teller decides and you really can’t blame them because the penalties from the bank are just going to make it such that they have no choice but to levy this pre tax, it’s like pre crime or the pre-tax, and I think that the average guy probably doesn’t look and is going to say, oh that’s for rich people that’s not going to affect me, and I think that’s the biggest problem that we have is that I think the average Joe on the street probably doesn’t see how we interconnected we, are how many goods we get, goods and services that come from other countries whether you were like that fact or not, they do come from another countries and you, can you imagine having a 30% increase across the board for anything imported. What that would do to trade and balances, to prices here and so forth.
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Brian: There was a story this morning; I listened on Fox News coming in the studio that said that particular gentlemen had lost a piece of property in St. Louis to eminent domain. City went ahead, went to court, took the property adjacent to one of the stadiums down there, so that they could build who knows what they were going to build. Well apparently, they took this gentlemen’s property. The developer of that property went bankrupt and the owner of the property goes, well that’s kind of tough! I want my 3 million dollars; you took my property via eminent domain. I want my 3 million dollars, and the city of St. Louis basically says, sue us. So we go ahead and we have this money taken out. If the city of St. Louis can go oh, too bad we messed up; you’re welcome to take to us to court to get your money. What’s our redress against Washington D.C., and I love my tellers, I love my bank, I should say they’re good. My estimation and experience has been good caring folks. But if they’re going to be penalized that 30% and if they don’t, so you know they’re going to take it. You and I would take it if we were banker, you got a cover, you’re short but then if you can’t go after the city of St. Louis, to give you a $3 million dollars from property that they took from you via eminent domain, how’s the little guy like me if ever going to go back to the federal government go, hey by the way my bank took an extra $30, they shouldn’t have, here is this. How long is going to take you, how much is going to cost you, how much is going to cost in attorneys and accountant bills just to prepare the petition to get the 30% back that was already yours? What does that cost, Bill? I mean you’re a smart guy. I mean how many man hours is that and you’re not even guilty.
Bill: But this is the kind of bureaucratic problems created by folks that happen to be in higher office that have never ran a business, and they just don’t know what it is like, so they think that they can impose these things on, big business, little business, businesses in the middle, and that there won’t be any unintended consequences. Now the thing we know about economics is, there’s always a trickle down or a trickle up, there’s always things that happen as the result of these actions, and I think you have a class of congressmen, not all certainly but you have a class of congressmen and senators today that really don’t have a clue. They don’t have the clue about the effects of these bills, and they don’t have a clue and they don’t even read the bills to begin with. Now that’s with double whammy.
Brian: I think it too.
Bill: As far as I’m concerned.
Brian: And as I said you know what, it’s ignorance is no excuse for the law. We’ve all heard that if we’re driving through a town and we’re stopped for speeding and we say, well I never saw the speed limit sign. And the patrolman will say, well ignorance is no excuse to the law, but ignorance is absolutely excuse when you’re the legislator that writes and then later enacts the law, it’s okay for you to be ignorant of it. But us, at the other end of the spear – if you will – the other in the stick, we’re the ones held accountable for your ignorance. To me, in a very visceral level, that just doesn’t seem fair. It just doesn’t seem right, and I know I’m a bit a little Pollyannaish. Nothing in life is fair, birds eat worms, I get all that. So for those of you emailing in there, twittering in right now, I get it, I get it, I’m not delusional thinking that everything in life should be fair. But at some level, doesn’t our government have to treat us in a fair and balanced way, Bill?
Bill: Well I think that the founders sort of had that intention, but I think we’re along the ways away from the founders are. And this is a kind of thing that we talked about at the conference, that especially Joel Nagel’s presentation was about, and which I very much enjoyed. I mean, it wasn’t good news obviously but it just was impactful news, and it’s important for everybody to understand what’s coming down the pike. And bills like this are everywhere. So I think everyone’s got to keep their eyes open, with respect to what’s going to affect them because ignorance is not going to be an excuse. When the time rolls around for these things start kicking in, you better be ready, you better have your accountant ready, you better have all of the parts of your business ready too. It’s just going to wipe some people out, some people’s margins, then again business people know that’s 30% to have to just sit in some kitty for a while, which they can use and put in the Treasury Department and sort of you know, pay bills out of it until you can prove that it’s yours. And some businesses, there’s no way they’re going to be able to live with that.
Brian: What did you tell me the other day? It’s like one of those nuisance, what does the dollar amount or there’s a nuisance amount that if you’re sued by someone and it’s going to rise to a certain dollar amount, it’s cheaper just to let them win, to pay them off, than to go through the legal fees. It’s almost like the inverse of that. What it would cost you to get you money back from Washington. Money that’s yours, and again we should keep saying just in case someone comes in, in the middle of our show that we would never advocate. You and I have never not paid our taxes. We fully benefit from the taxes that the government takes from us. So this isn’t about avoiding taxes although some people accused me of that, responding to the blog post. What happened, you’re sticking enough for rich people. I’m sticking up for the people that my end of the spectrum. I’m far from rich, but if that 30 % is going to get passed on, and to your point Bill, one of the things I love about our audience, when you say Brian look, you got to watch these bills. That’s another thing that I took away from Mr. Nagel. You got to watch these bills. What I dig about our audience is they don’t care if Lindsay Lohan didn’t make it back in time. They don’t care what Sheryl Crow is working on this week in the studio, or you know arguably where Lebron James is going to end up next year. I think the media does a great job of distracting us, with all this other stuff going on, that most folks don’t have time, there’s an information overload, and one of the things that we’re committed to our listeners is making sure that you know, we don’t focus on Shrek, and what are the term at the box office, we hope we’re speaking of things that are going to be germane to our listeners and maybe do a little bit of the leg work so that if they haven’t heard about it, they’ll turn to you and I and say look, what are these guys, what they are learning, they got their ear to the rail, they got their feet out on the street. Who do they think is going on?
Bill: Sure I think that’s a great point, and with that, that was just some of the presentations. I guess on one or two sense, this was your first time exposure to this kind of a seminar conference. Was there anything else that really struck you down in Belize that we heard? I mean what really sticks out, maybe or maybe what are some of the subtle things that hit you from the speakers, or maybe just some of the after kind of when we out for supper. We went out to supper with ambassadors and people who are really tuned in. We had the chance to talk to Jack, really a very great and impressive thing. He took maybe; Jack did take up the whole show.
Brian: Absolutely. But he has committed that he’ll be in our show, so we’ll have a chance for those of you that don’t know Dr. Jack Wheeler, you will soon. He is a phenomenal explorer has been his whole life, and probably has done more than a year that I will do in 20 years but a great guy and a great speaker and he’s already committed to be on our show at some point in the future. I’ll be honest with you Bill and I don’t want don’t want to use his name because I know he’s a good friend of yours, I consider him at least a good acquaintance of mine now. But I want to share with our listeners, what he said, but because I haven’t cleared it with him and it wasn’t an official presentation, I don’t want to use his name when I do it, though you know who I am speaking to. And if we get in on the show then I will give full credit for this sentence to him. We’re hanging out, having a great dinner one evening, a bunch of people sitting around us. The guy that I considered to be one of the best presenters of the week was there. And everyone was saying, well you know if the markets turn bad, if this happens, if you watch the news everything going on and the euro, everything going in our markets. What should you do? And what did the young ladies there said; well should you invest in currency? Should you do gold, should you do bonds, and this gentlemen, sticking his fork into his fish without missing a beat said, I’d make sure I’d have enough food and water for my family to last 18 months. That Bill is the sound bite that I left with. Yes, I was infuriated about the law, yes I was awakened to the fact, that yeah once again, they’re going to pass legislation, hoping that we’re as gullible as they believe us to be that we won’t pay attention to it. But for an economist, an accountant, someone that’s listening to his present, an author, I should say, listening to his presentation, for him to look up and say, you can’t eat stocks, you can’t eat bonds, what happens at the dollars isn’t worth the paper or the ink that it was printed on or with. He looked up, without missing a beat, and said I’ll make sure I’d have food and water to last myself and my family 18 months, that I wasn’t prepared for. From an accountant, now if the guy had been farmer, if the guy had any other bias towards, well now, you should buy my food of this you know, if the guy was a snicker salesman, you’d think he was going to be pushing to sell snickers. But this guy wasn’t, you know him, he’s a good friend of yours. That to me was his eye opening a sentence as I’ve heard, probably since, one of the few times that you and I spoken and a lot of the wisdom that you have imparted to me. I put that, right up there with some of the things you that you told me. Make sure you have enough food and water to last your family 18 months. It just blew me away.
Brian: Well it’s something that we’ve been saying for a long time, but again to hear it from people, it’s not Pastor Butch or Alex Jones or people like that. You’re hearing it from someone who really, he could’ve quite well it said, now, you need to buy some gold, or you’re just saying you need to buy this or this, but I think you, do you have the cover bases. And we’ve saying that with our survival seed bank and so forth. There are some things that you just need to cover before you move on to the next thing. And it was really refreshing to hear – not only this gentlemen but, a number of the speakers there really who probably hadn’t come to some of these conclusions, 18 months ago, who are very rapidly coming to conclusions. And I wonder what the world would be like when the average person comes to that conclusion that they need a supply of food. I think that will be a very – America will be a very – I think that time is coming, between now and 2012, but I think America will look like very different place because panic those things to people, as we’ve discussed that just good times don’t, you really get the best and the worst out of people during these times of trials.
Brian: And I think sitting there that day looking out the window, and there was a monsoon, and you watch the wind and the rain falling, it took me back to hurricane Katrina. And I hear people say, all of the time Bill, well Brian, it will never happen here in the Unites States. That kind of breakdown could never happen, and I witnessed it firsthand in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. When you can’t find food, when you can’t find water, just as important, when you can’t find electrical power, which I know this is good as sound like a commercial and there will be commercials later the show. But that’s why I’m a such a huge fan of the power source and the power hub. For that reason, I’ve seen what happens to a community, forget the 35 foot wall of water coming in, what it does to the buildings. I’ve watch what it does to the people, and when you can’t produce electrical power, when you don’t have your own food, when you don’t have your own water, when you can’t pick up the phone to dial 911, expecting someone to come and help you or save you, what that does to a community, and that was a turning point for me, as you know in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. So I looked at having met you, everything that happened in hurricane Katrina, and now attending this conference, that there’s something fairly sharp folks, you got to give yourselves credit, some pretty smart people going, look, we’re not saying this is the collapse, this is one of many collapses that have happened in the history, and you’re a great history, buff as was your son, I found out this past weekend, your son is as well. A lot of the things happening now Bill and I’d like you to expand on a little bit, a lot of the things happening now, we saw before the Great Depression. We’ve seen it in different cycles, to know whether when the bubble finally breaks, the level to which that kind of anarchy and chaos rises is slightly different from time to time but this isn’t a new gig, is it?
Bill: It’s not a new thing at all, I mean history is replete with examples of countries, who have risen and fallen, whose currencies have risen and fallen. I’ve made a point of talking a little bit about this at the conference when I had a chance to just make some brief comments. That, what was the Roman currency worth? We look at what’s Byzantium, what was the currency of the east of Byzantium, and there’s an empire that lasts a thousand years. And civilization used to be in North Africa, that’s the hard civilization used to be in Alexandria and Carthage and places like that, so it comes and goes and there’s absolutely no reason and I love this country as much as you do Brian – there’s absolutely no reason that we have some privileged place in history. And I say that with a little bit of sadness, but I think it’s just helpful to look at the reality of what history has. I mean history – we can look backwards and we can see just what’s happening and if we don’t use that information, if we don’t think about it, ponder it and make decisions based on what’s happen before us. Then it’s difficult, and it’s a play on George Santayana’s you know, if you don’t learn your history, and the mistakes from history then your destined to repeat it. And I think those are words of wisdom and that’s basically what were saying. That was a big issue at the conference where we batted that went around a little bit amongst the attendees as well as the speakers, and it’s interesting, we got different responses. Some people think that America is invincible because, we had big banks or something, I’m not sure there’s a lot of – I see it like we do the best we can, but the trajectory that we’re on, I think is what, what I have most concern with.
Brian: And George even – when you said that quote earlier made me think he had one that said that fanaticism consists of redoubling your effort, without checking your aim. How much longer can we continue to tax folks? How much longer can we continue to take the money into the government and turn around and spend it right out and however you feel about entitlements, however you feel about government spending now, to me what I learned this weekend is it really does become a matter of math. But now, I don’t want our listeners thinking, good golly guys, you know it is all negative, all negative, all negative, you’re fear mongering. I would tell you as you know, I’ll tell our listeners the same speaker said, that immediately following the depression, more millionaires were created in our country than in any other time preceding or after the depression and he feels, just as optimistic. If the collapse comes, it’s going to be really though, but for the people that survive that initial eighteen months to two years, he was equally as optimistic and why I think all of our listeners would agree with you that we love this country, because we’ve always risen to challenges. This is going to be a big challenge but he said look, this will create more millionaires probably in this day and age more billionaires, but you know what I mean just economies of scale, but that here in the United States, this would create more wealthy people, after the fact that it had before and to me that’s a reason to be optimistic. Think about how you’re going to get through the most tumultuous of the initial times. And then you know light at the end of the tunnel is going to be for those people that are adventurous, survival experts, the preparedness folks, there’s a pretty good chance coming out at the other end that you’ll be able to rebuild or maybe for the first time build your own fortune. So for me that’s what, I left with a smile on my face. Will it be tough? Yes, but as the function of the American West, what I believe our framers intended when they wrote the constitution, the top or the cream will rise to the top, and you will stand a great chance of being able to build after the fact.
Bill: Yeah what’s the Chinese 0:31:35.5, opportunity mixed with difficulty, I mean that’s what we’re facing? The opportunity to make money, to lose money, you’re just going to have opportunities galore because you’re entering into a period of time that’s going to be a little bit confusing. It’s not going to be stable like it’s been, so expect I would say tumultuous episodes in the next two years.
Brian: Well if you think back to Frederick Douglas when he was in debates with Abraham Lincoln, one of my favorite quotes of his, it says that there is no struggle, there is no progress. I got to tell you, you know me well now; people have accused me a little bit of crazy. If it happens that’s what I’ve spend all my time preparing for, you know when it comes to, you know that it could me a tumultuous time, I’ve hiked across the Everglades, I’ve hiked across death valley, I’ve hiked across Alaska. So for an outdoor adventure expert if you will, wow having to find my own food, having to find my own water, having to supply my own electricity, that’s a memorial day weekend for me out in the middle of nowhere. So there’s a group of us I think that are fans of yours and a fans of Solution From Science that are going to go, okay great bring it on. If we’re not the ones, if we’re working hard, if we’re paying our taxes, and this is what’s meant to be, this is what’s going to befall us, you have a saying that you say all the time that the action is ours and the results, the work is ours and then.
Bill: It’s Stonewall Jackson’s famous axiom, it’s duty is ours, consequences are God’s. So we do what we can and we don’t get anxious about the things that we can’t do because there’s always going to be things we can’t do. One of the problems that I think exists in the current American 0:33:21.0 if you will, is that we always want to totally eliminate risk, and you know there’s never been a time in history, when you’ve eliminated risk. Can you imagine the pioneers coming across from the East, and coming through this area as they’re heading out West? Some people settled here, quite successfully. This is the area the black hawk – his tribe in – and after he was gone people, can you imagine saying we’re not going to leave Boston, and go out West, hit the Oregon Trail or whatever it might be.
Bill: Unless we’re 100%, sure that life is going to, not only work out okay, but work out in a grandiose manner, where we’re going to have this continued progress, more goods and services, everything gets better and better. And you know it’s just not like that, the world is not like that, so we’ve got to begin to sort of, take a look at how we look at risks and just start to accept some more risks. Sometimes things don’t go well for you, sometimes you strike out, when I was a little kid I struck out a lot but what I learned from striking out in Little League is how to hit a baseball.
Brian: Well I would offer I know you’re a great basketball player, how important were the first group of folks that blocked your jump shot. You probably give them more credit for the athlete that you are as a basketball player because, look the more they grew proficient at blocking your shots, the more you had to work on a way of getting that shot around their defense. I mean I bet your daughter is a brilliant basket ballplayer or was in college, I bet if you ask her, she would say she owes her greatness to the defense.
Bill: I was that guy that blocked her shots. —-I wouldn’t let her shoot. You know, she had to figure out a way to make it and that strengthened her, and we’re using a metaphor that’s in this case an athletic metaphor but this applies anywhere. You can give you kids too much, life can be too easy, and I think anyone that have been around people, that have been pampered their whole life, it’s a pretty boring conversation at a supper table or dinner table. If you go hang around someone like Jack Wheeler or someone like yourself Brian that’s really bent through some broken glass and paid a price to get where you are, that’s a whole different conversation and a much more interesting conversation.
Brian: Well it makes me smile when you say it, you know if we don’t want to use metaphor, let’s take it biologically a minute for the muscle. A muscle only gets stronger through progressive adaptation. If you don’t lift weights, if you don’t run faster, if you don’t have to struggle, your muscle atrophies. So folks, it’s a nice Bill and Brian sitting there, waxing poetic about metaphor, then take it back to something as personal as your own body. You don’t do curls, you don’t lift some heavy boxes, your biceps never grow beyond that of a second grader, you don’t lift with your lower back, you don’t lift with your leg, you don’t do some other things, your muscle atrophies. In all of nature, if you believe that life is supposed to be risk free, then you have an unnatural set of glasses on. The natural part of life is the risk is the progressive adaptation, is the challenge, is getting in there and mixing it up Roosevelt’s quote – to get in there and mix it up in the arena but come out with blood and mud and sweat on your face. That’s what the human beings, that’s what we’re supposed to do is that sense of struggle, that sense of progressive adaptation which makes us stronger in the end.
Bill: We’re used to use the word retarded and I don’t mean any damage to anybody that maybe has someone with special learning disabilities. I certainly have family that has that but, I think you’re genuinely retarded when you’ve got too much and I think one of the best things we can do to prepare for hard times is practicing with the muscle that I’ll call just generosity. Practice giving your time away, practice giving your stuff away, I’m you know an advocate of tithing and so forth, and I think that skill set of giving and practicing – because if your someone that’s just got that tight fist the whole time, you don’t want to give anything away and you get into a situation we’re there’s hard times, you’re going to have a very hard time dealing in the next or greater depression as they’re calling it. You look at the history of the people that really did survive and do well, if you read Steinbeck and so forth, the people that did well and made it who didn’t have, a lot of rich people jumped out windows. But the people did well were the people that had a sense of charity, that people that were flexible, the people that didn’t see everything in stone and had the ability to adapt with the times, but if you read from that period of time, people moved in with each other, and you think about big, you know families had all moved apart because we all got plenty of money. What happens when everyone comes back home. When our fussy little world that we have, the kids come back home, grandparents after moving whatever it is, you don’t have a Walton’s kind of a situation. You’re going to have people wanting their own way, the difference between then and now, that depression period and the period now, is locked up in the psyche of the people in the period. The people during the depression can do very relaxed mentality, and I think that people today, if they don’t start practicing charity, and patience are going to find it very troubling time. Not only financially, this is a whole new area of talking. Not only financially Brian they are going to have a hard time getting through it, but just psychologically and spiritually I think they’re going to struggle.
Brian: And that’s, why I did Bill about our listeners and most certainly the people that send, I read some of the emails that you get at Solutions From Science from people. You know when you say we’re preaching to the choir who were doing it; I think it’s those folks that are the most interested in preparing, in being ready, in knowing that the human being is about self reliance at least at some levels. So that’s why I’ve always enjoyed the opportunity to work with you and do the different things that we do at Solutions From Science, because its folks that are of a like mind, of wanting to do the heavy lifting now, so heaven that forbid, if it hits, look, no one would be happier to be wrong. I know you, no one would be happier to be wrong than you. No one would ask that the market not crash, all these other things, no one looking for that to befall humans. But the people that are fans of Solutions From Science are so I believe is because they model your understanding of slap and step in the slap-shot, or jump-shot down when she was little. They look at nature and go come on, I know what you got, that if there’s no struggle, there is no progress, and I think there are ready for it. Or I should say they are ready they preparing for it.
Bill: Well I think that our core group of costumers and readers, I think exactly Brian, as you were saying. I think that there are people for whatever reason, and it’s kind of unusual, you know, we’ll talk about the interview maybe that you had with John Williams on WGN, and just how a certain percentage of the population, and when I say just don’t get it, I mean all the facts in the world the market could drop a thousand point, there could be so many different facts and they just are, they have a recalcitrant attitude toward this whole thing, as if you know, we’re coming from way out of left field drinking the Cool Aid with a little banter that you and him had going back and forth. But I’m very interested on the idea on why do some people tend to get it and some people not get it. And it has nothing to do with money or educational level. It has nothing to do with that, and I will introduce the word worldview. It has lot to do with the network of beliefs that our customers and our reader have. They tend to coincide with the network of beliefs that we had, so it tends to reinforce itself and as you said, I’d love to be wrong. I’m sure a lot of folks that are predicting not so good times would love to be wrong because things – this isn’t going to just be something that affects a blip on your computer screen and all I’ve got less money in my bank account. This has real life implications. I mean real things happen, and we just saw a little bit of it in Greece, sure we’ll see more in Spain, as they go through and Portugal and some of these countries, but that believe me when I tell you, something similar to that is coming here on some level when we shut the checks off, when the money is not worth anything, however we decide to get out of this mess, either by printing out money or by just defaulting. There’s going to be a lot of people who are just crazy upset about the fact that their way of living, their standard of life has changed forever. And many people will jump out windows and I don’t say that 0:42:11.0, I say families will be destroyed, and so let’s prepare also in addition to let’s get our food and all this. Let’s start to prepare spiritually, let’s start to practice patience and charity and let’s grow some food for our neighbor. I think that’s a good strategy as well we talks about self reliance, I think part of self reliance, the outflow of that would be if you don’t want a hungry neighbor who’s going to come to your house asking you for food, now he may not get it, and I think we have to sort of forgive some of those people that don’t get it. My attitude is that may be God sort of woke some people up in front of others. But let’s be forgiving of the folks that don’t get it right away, they’ll come on board. The question is – are you going to have enough food for them as well, and water for them as well, and a warm hand for them and all of that as well.
Brian: And I thinks the flip is our listeners will learn that you and I a lot of times think down the same path but have a different way. I would say that the folks that don’t get it, it’s not that the inverse has woken up; it’s that there are some people that are falling asleep. Our history is about thinking on your feet, our history. Now as you and I have discussed before even out of the garden of Eden or out of the Savannas of Africa, there came a point in our life they where we walked out, and we were – whether evicted from the garden or otherwise, we walked out and had to think on our feet. We have to be able to supply for ourselves and for the people you know, in our group, in our pod, in our gang, in our click whatever it is. So, I would say that there are good bit of people that have fallen asleep that don’t think as you talked about in the interview that I had to talk with the gentlemen. Really more of a smack down I think he invented in an interview, but that’s okay, you know everything is for a reason. But I would say that there are people that had just fallen asleep and forgot what human beings are capable of, when you say when they bridge, the physical and the spiritual. You know, I’ve been interviewed countless times. You know what happens if you’re in car that’s on the bridge that collapses in Minneapolis? What happens if you’re on Mount Hood and you’re one of the climbers that got lost? What happens if you’re stock here or stuck there? And I say all the time that the human being has a tremendous ability to survive almost anything, when it has a certain a bit of skill set, a few tools that most time it is more temperament than technology, a few tools but the why, why do you want to live, why do you want to survive, why do you want to come out on the other end of it and human beings are uniquely manufactured, to be able to come out on the other end and survive almost anything. It’s latent in us to have that type of challenge, so that’s why when I look into the future, I’m not all that discouraged or disappointed because the folks that are preparing for it now are going to come out the other end and they’re going to very happy and they will have met this challenge and they will be better people because of it.
Bill: I totally agree, and I think what you’re getting to there is engineering the why.
Bill: How we can engineer the why, maybe, it’s a picture of your children, your grand children, maybe it’s a picture of Washington and Hamilton and Jefferson above you that realizes that you’re part of something in history, you’re not isolated, you’re part of something that’s moving through history, wherever if you will and how can we continually motivate ourselves and engineer that why, because that real I think you’ve touch on it there Brian. I think if you’ve got a reason to get up in the morning, you’ve got a reason to survive; you’ve got a reason that gives you a tremendous head start of the game. You could have all the tools in the world, you can have a million dollars but if you don’t care about getting up in the morning, if you don’t care about the future of this country, if you don’t care the direction of your family, the safety of your family, what does all of that mean?
Brian: And I will bring it down to the micro level, I think it was just this past March 1st, was the year anniversary of four gentlemen getting on a boat, in the gulf of Mexico, bright sunny day, they decided to go out and go fishing, three of them are professional football players. These three they were the biggest, strongest, fastest most muscle by far, they didn’t survive when the boat capsized. And they ask the sole survivor, a guy name Nick, he’s written a book about that and I think his last name is Skyler, they asked him, how did you survive? You weren’t the strongest, you weren’t the fastest, all of it, how did you survive? And to your point Bill he said, I couldn’t imagine my mom going to her only son’s funeral. And the entire time I clung to that boat, I wasn’t going to be the reason that my mom stood over my coffin and cried. So he said I treaded water and treaded water and treaded water, because I didn’t want my mom to see me dead. I mean talk about at the macro level, when you say oh for country, for family, for constitution, but even as we all start to create those pictures in our minds now, could you tread water? I think he was there for three days, wasn’t it Bill, three or four, something, a huge amount of time. He said, I did not want my mom to cry and I kept that picture in my mind. I pictured my mom standing over my coffin weeping and that’s what kept me going. So to your point, having that why, here’s something modern time, modern day four go into the water, the three strongest, the most muscle bound, the most athletically capable of survival didn’t, because they didn’t in my estimation, and our hearts obviously go to their families, but in my estimation, they did not have the why that Nick did. So I would be with you, what can our listeners do now, to cultivate as you say picture your children, think about what can they do right now to cultivate the why, and when you have that why, you can blow off anything.
Bill: That’s a great point, and to go just a little bit further and maybe give as we start to finish up a little bit here today, just give that book would be a good book to read, to practice engineering the why. And I know there’s a lot of books by holocaust survivors who had to endure tremendous things, so I think just a little time on Amazon and I think a guy or a girl whatever should be reading some of these books and have that part of their mind being stimulated. The reason why part, so that if something slips out, you never know when this thing could go, it could go – I think at the conference, some of the speaker are very knowledgeable people thought that it could be any time within two weeks to two-years, when there’s going to be a few financial slips that take place. They’re going to have a cascading effect and not only this economy but the world wide economy, and we could sort of go down, for a while as it were.
Brian: And one of the most interesting things for me Bill, you’re a businessman so you can address this much better to Bill than I can, they talked about it’s going to be a one little thing.
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Brian: Everyone is waiting on this big ohh this is going to happen. One little thing, one Bank in Europe saying, nope we’re going to default, there will be that one little tipping point, and everyone’s going to sitting around waiting for this big monstrosity of a media event, and they were like no, when this goes, you’re not even going to know lynch pin was pulled. It’s going to be such a minor little event but the preponderance is so great, that that little thing is got to become the tipping point. What did you think about that as you heard that?
Bill: Well I think that’s true, in the great depression, I think it was the Credit Anstalt Bank in Germany or Austria I can’t remember that really started the whole thing. Most people talk about it was something here that happened, it was something very similar to the sort of line up that we have, in the world today of all the economies and what money deposited. You know Americans – American banks have money deposited in European banks and as that starts to slip, it eventually comes back home, because they want their money, they want their money, and they want their money. And they have default, and they have default, we can’t pay and its likes a set of dominos, which would make a good title of a book.
Brian: Of the book – go ahead and that might be…
Bill: If someone were to write a book, think that’s just naturally happens that way and again we’re in a place where history is just going to repeat itself , and where its just going to be come from, it’s probably going to be as you say, out of the blue, but it’s out there just ready to happen.
Brian: Bill, can I and I know we’ll get ready to wrap up. If can I ask you another question, you know we hear people lamenting that there could be a New World Order, we hear that a lot, but aren’t we already there? I mean if one bank, in Portugal can decide that, you know what we’re done, then it could bring down the stock exchange in New York City, we’re so integrated already, it’s almost like it’s here but we may not recognize it.
Bill: Well, yeah, I think we do have a New World Order, an international order, an order of interdependence of some economies might say. I think what we haven’t really experienced yet where, we have to divide this up into so what are the market mechanisms like? Right now my assumption is I can put money in a Spanish bank or so could Citibank and so that is one aspect of we’re able to trade with China, we’re able to trade and do different things internationally. The other side of it that I think scares myself as well as probably some of the listeners is the muscle enforcement arm of that. So when something goes awry, that affects this international linking, you’re going to get a response that’s international, in its makeup and so that’s when you’re going to see lots of issues of sovereignty, whose borders now are we talking about. And so you see the breakdown of many national sovereignty issues because these things are international. So we’re kind of you need international police to solve these international issues. I’m not saying I’m for that, I’m very much against that, but that’s what’s coming as well. Because of the interrelated nature that we have today, it’s a different world than it was and you know hundred ago or 200 years ago when the founders put this thing together. We are daily life, we buy T.V. sets, you and I are both looking at computers that were made some place other than this country and we have them at pretty low price because of labor issues in some of these other countries where they can produce them cheaper, and imagine what this computer would cost the ones we’re both looking at if they were made in Detroit by triple union wages that a computer I’m looking at would be $8000 or something.
Brian: So to your point 0:54:03.0 all over this, we can’t look to one particular group and blame them, like its popular I think for people who got, oh those dastardly bankers, or those congressman, or those this or that. Now some of them might have a little more pull. Some are dastardly, you know what I mean, but were all involved in it, you know that I am guilty as anyone that I bought from China so, arguably you could say hey Brian you what, why didn’t you spend that $15,000? I can even to be honest with you, I’m not sure I could tell you the name of the laptop computer, that would be comparative that’s made in our country so, I guess we all share in a little bit of the blame.
Bill: The division of labor has taken us to tremendous places in health, wealth, medicine all those of things and again I would say if these issues if we have a contraction in any of these issues where we can’t buy these computers, maybe North Korea goes to war with South Korea, and Russia has a pact with North Korea and they have to sign up all of a sudden, that to think that wouldn’t have implications at Wal-Mart when you walk is just to not get it.
Brian: Well you think back to the assassination and I’ve heard back Glenn Beck say this last night and your friend, the author that I reference to the speech, amended as well I mean, when is it that you’ve flown to Belize that you’d have to hear the name Archduke Ferdinand. I never to tell you, that’s a universe guy said to me, hey Brian, you heard it in Belize, you heard it on Glenn Beck, there’s something you know about a foreign leader being assassinated and what did that lead us into? Well a World War.
Bill: It led us into a World war and then another world war, after that and we’re still paying a price and effect so.
Brian: Before I let you go, do you want to comment at all on the oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico, do you want to throw a little bit of foresight in how you see that playing out or shall we save that for another show?
Bill: Just I mean briefly, my only take on it is that it’s interesting the way it’s all played out. The president and VP just some of the confusion that exists, I think as time goes on, we’re going to find out a whole lot more about this that there’s some things that were not being told now. I don’t know what, I don’t want to pretend to know what they are, I’m not holding any secret information or anything but I think that we’re going to find a lot more about this that we’re all going to just roll our eyes when we hear the facts, and its coming.
Brian: And I think for me the first thing I rolled my eyes, is when Secretary Salazar says, look the VP doesn’t do it, we’re going to push him out of the way. And then the next day there’s a press conference from Admiral Thad Allen and he says what are we going to replace them with? The United States isn’t ready to repair a well, that’s 5000 feet deep. We don’t have the technology Shepherd Smith says on Fox we don’t even have the submarines. There are five countries in the world that have a submarine that could get down that far to do the repairs and guess who doesn’t own one, you and me. So I’m a little worried, it’s always with Tommy Thompson after September 11th suggested everybody out, run out and buy duct tape and plastic bag in case there is a chemical attack, and then thirty seconds later, people starts scratching their heads going, well if you could seal a room off, with duct tape and plastic bagging, to keep the chemicals out, guess what else can keep in, the carbon you exhale, you’d suffocate yourself first, but here is a head of the government going on, come on, let’s run and buy duct tape and plastic sheeting. So it makes me wonder at times if some of the advice that we get isn’t even though their candidate level officials, even though their secretaries, you may want to trust your own gut when it comes to some of the staff, what do you think?
Bill: I think that’s a really good point, and I think if you look at something like Chernobyl that happened where you had this tremendous crisis and the government now, people would say well that’s Russia or the Soviet Union and we’re us. To me, I think government agencies always have a tension going on where they’re trying to release information but they don’t want to lose control. And I think that can be a very bad thing for the person on the street. So they were unwilling in Chernobyl to sort of say what was really going on, so the average guy couldn’t really take any action until it was too late. And I think that things like that are going to happen where do we release this information, do we hold it, the government – our government certainly is going to be, no matter who’s in an office, a republican or democrat, are they’re going to face those critical issues and generally when that happens and historically where I can say when that happen is that guy on the street is the loser.
Brian: But if you listen to your intuition, if you think like on your feet, and like our listeners will certainly then turn out to be the winner because there’s nothing you and I – as much we want to believe you know one human, one vote that we can change our government and this and that. Although it’s true at macro level or at the micro level, we’re somewhat helpless as to what the big wigs in the government and the banking system do. But where we’re absolutely empowered is what we do in our own lives where the rubber meets the road, thinking on our own feet if day in and day out, we can’t control what happens to us ultimately.
Bill: We got to find exactly, we have to find a circle of trust, and we have to find private sources of information. Fortunately, we still have the internet though that can be cut off too and I think everyone has to make plans for not being able to watch T.V at some point, in the same way that we do now, or perhaps not have access to the internet in the same way that we do now. But so you know just spend time closing your eyes, what’s the world look like if you don’t have that ability? It’s a very different place.
Brian: Sure. And for me you know it’s, you know it’s a weekends in the mountains of Colorado with a backpack on, which is what just I’m saying and to our listeners, do we have listeners going, yeah that’s being out in the lake fishing for, you know what I mean, hitting my hunting blind, or doing this other things. So for me this some of the news coming up is terribly encouraging, for some discouraging but for our listeners and some other folks, terribly encouraging because you’re like, let me see it Brian, I got to go through a certain period of time without internet, I’ll be able to generate my own electricity, I have my own garden, I have my own meat, I have my own chickens, and so why am I bugged, why I am worried about all this stuff that you were talking about. So for some of our listeners, I think they’re probably going, yeah you know what I think I can handle this when it comes.
Bill: I think you got to be adaptable, and I think you have to have patience. Some of the attributes that we don’t have now, but just have learn to cultivate those things. We can practice patience and charity, as I said before on a daily level and I think that’s what it’s going to take. I think that surviving personality in this case is going to be someone who has not strung out type A about their business – hey let’s talk about one of our friends down there that made a wonderful comment before we finish up here. One morning I had breakfast with someone who was a multi-multi millionaire and worked on a lot of large projects with solar and geothermal. He said something that really fascinated me and it’s been in my head. He certainly believes the same way that we believe that we’re in sort of period of confusion, a period of turmoil. And he said you don’t have a lot of friends of mine, semi wealthy people and very wealthy people that I know and in contact with all time. He said, I don’t know if you remember him saying this, but he said who would rather die of cancer, they’d rather contract cancer and die than see their business lose money or see their personal fortune wrecked by something tumultuous.
Brian: I do remember that, was he the medical doctor?
Bill: No, no, no, he was the guy who is involved in the geothermal.
Brian: I do remember, he said twice, he said that twice.
Bill: He said that at breakfast and he also said that at the seminar and I encouraged him to just sort of develop that thought because I thought it was a very interesting though. And I think that’s the danger that have here if we hold on into our gold, if hold on to our business, if we hold onto so many of these things that our physical, and we forget about the things that aren’t physical, the things that are spiritual, then I think we won’t make it through this thing. But I think the people are going to survive are the people going to learn how to be flexible, adaptable and who over a period time who develop an attitude, where for a period of time they can say it’s like going back, it’s going to the duck blind, but there’s no place to come back to, you’re there.
Brian: You go to the duck blind and you’re there.
Bill: When do I want to go back home, I’m used to air-conditioning or heater whatever, and so you’ve got to be able to just relax a little bit and accept what’s in front of you and do the best with what you’ve got.
Brian: You know I chuckled when you said, you know, you’re going back to the air-conditioning. I remember when I was a little boy, we didn’t have air-conditioning. I remember when I was a little boy, we don’t have microwave, and look at me now, I’m in decent size, so I ate enough. I’ve had skin cancer so I have survived enough time out the sun, I think we can live, but to your point when people think they’re going to use the garage opener, run home fire up the microwave, order Domino’s Pizza, if they hear someone knocking at the back door, and they can pick up the phone, call 911 and the police are going to come. People that are dependent on that type of life surviving this, they’re going to be the ones that are hurting, but optimistically we will remind people, we’ve done a pretty good job for over two thousand years of being able to think on our feet. We made it without colored TV; I know everyone listening is going right; we made it without flat screen high definition televisions. Yes there was a time in our life we made it without the internet, we made it without cell phones, heaven forbid. So I think as a people, we can come out of this and to that point I want to remind our listeners to log on to SolutionsFromScience.com and you can send Bill questions, if there are things that you would like Bill to discuss, or you would like to get of some of his wisdom, that we can distill down on the 1:03:49.5 pretty soon, you’ll have the ability, send him an email, and we will answer your questions with your permission, we will answer your question on our show as well. Bill because I know your busy and I’ve kept you here longer than I thought I would, but that always happens when you and I get together and talk. Any other comments you want to make before we had to the break and then finally out of here.
Bill: No I’m just looking forward to continuing to talk with you about some of these things, Brian. We’ve got a lot to discuss, more on Belize, but more on preparation and survival personality and so forth as well.
Brian: Well thank you my friend. My grandfather taught me a saying when I was really little – that an hour across the table from a wise man, or a wise woman I’m sure he would have said, but a wise man or a wise woman is worth a year’s study in books. And I always look at an hour across the table, even though we’re separated by two computers, three microphones, a producer – our producer, Jeramy and a couple of headsets; an hour across the table from you is always worth that year study for me. So thank you for your time.
Bill: Thank you so much.