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going galt, a journey

Posted by xau 3 months, 2 weeks ago to Going Galt
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Just landed.

In the outside world, I have promoted fiscal discipline and sound monetary policy in a belief that if government finances can be made sustainable, everything else can be managed. Monetary policy may ultimately have a greater impact due to how it erodes purchasing power, increases the wealth gap and fuels populism, but monetary policy is ultimately a reflection of fiscal policy.

My otherwise natural optimism was shattered when I read John Cogan's 'The High Cost of Good Intentions: a History of U.S. Federal Entitlement Programs". Of course I have known US finances are and have been on an unsustainable course; what was demoralizing, though, to more fully appreciate the dynamics. Until then, I knew in the abstract where things may be heading, with humility on timing given the talented can kickers in government. Illuminating was Cogan's discussion of how Madison's reading of the Constitution has been trampled, shaking my belief that if we only foster strong institutions, we can get through this.

What to do? I appreciate this virtual Gulch, and I look forward to potentially connecting with some inspirational people, but not for the sake of escaping mentally, but to build a real Gulch. At least for me, this is a journey - rather than vanishing, it is a place to spend an increasing amount of time. I have done just that. My Gulch is a 100 acre property where I can hone many skills with manual labor, fixing machinery, automation and increasing efficiency of the irrigation, etc.

To get to my mini Gulch, I often fly in my Cessna to a nearby airport. So I gather that qualifies as a Gulch. Except that I couldn't stop there and have been working on a helicopter rating. You get the idea.

However, to me, this mostly a proof of concept. That's in part because this mini Gulch is still in the US. I've actively been chewing on setting up a more nomadic lifestyle, spending a few months a year in different places. And that's part of why I'm reaching out to this group, for inspiration of places to consider. It doesn't necessarily need to be a ranch - different locations might call for different type of engagement.

I have a few years to plan this out, actively working to increase my options as I see dark clouds on the geo-political space. Call it diversification. I'm not the person to buy spam to collect in the basement. No, I plan to enjoy the journey, have some serious fun along the way. I intend to continue working for quite a few years, so my nomadic lifestyle will factor in not just idealism, but also practicalities - in part because of years of planning, I am in the incredible fortunate situation that I have more options than many. I have several ideas, but would welcome your input as I execute a vision that is quite consistent with the Gulch.

As indicated, I just landed in this Gulch; I trust others have discussed locations to consider; indeed, I am aware of several. What I am looking for is input/inspiration to execute a grand vision, not merely an escape hatch.





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  • Posted by chad 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Living separate from the statists is the goal. Since the implementation of electronic information gathering monitoring of and control of 'citizens' is ever easier and more economical for the state. Defying the state is to invite retaliation. Methods for living in parallel without revealing your intentions might be the best method. The economist Robert Higgs moved to Mexico, it is perhaps easier to bribe local officials to look away. My friend moved to Thailand for the same reason, a $100 Bhat bribe ($2.98) gets you out of most problems with the state.
    The Corona Virus pandemic has revealed that the deep state exercises control in every country at every level as indicated by mask wearing conformists in every village in every country of the world. Finding a place where there is no state control might be impossible. The best alternative is to live so as not to be noticed. Read 'How to Live Free in an Unfree World' for ideas. Skill in electronic surveillance and avoidance may be crucial as well as basic survival skills.
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    • Posted by nsnelson 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      Can you say more about the book recommendation? I’m having trouble finding it.
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      • Posted by chad 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        It may be out of print now. It had good concepts and information that proved workable for the time. In the mid-1970's 95% of the information the government had you gave them, so quit filling out forms and giving them information and you essentially disappeared. The government didn't know if you died, moved to a different region and were filing your information there. Another bit of information was to not do anything that would draw attention to yourself and thus alert someone to investigate you. Don't put up banners declaring government actions as immoral, don't place stickers on your car, don't challenge or intimidate control officers. Just appear to be a happy Magoo and keep to yourself. Realize that those in control are there because they like controlling people and trying to convert them is a waste of time.
        I did this for a long time and it worked very well. Then computers came along, then the internet. Gathering information on individuals became involuntary and most importantly for the government economical. It does not need vast armies of thugs to hunt down individuals and search their information using analog methods. A simple computer analysis program and it alerts the enforcers and identifies your location, job status and income. Declaring everyplace public and ruling that you have no expectations of privacy in public gave the enforcement the excuse needed to collect your information. Every banking institution or any information collecting organization capitulates immediately to requests from the government. Your need to function means you must connect in order to purchase needed goods, to work to collect what is due you and to pay what you owe. The increased use of these tools makes individuals vulnerable. The government goons feel they are 'protecting' America and indeed they are. They are protecting the state that demands to know everything and control everything. The contract (constitution) that declared the limits of the government is now being used to declare the limits of the individuals, the government declares you are free only as long as you obey its demands and conform to its controls.
        Any serious discussion of exactly how to do this should only be done in person. This site, phone communication, letters are all monitored due to Patriot Act, FISA courts (secret courts) and investigations. I have some ideas, nothing successful yet.
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        • Posted by $ Abaco 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Very interesting. Your comment reminded me of something I experienced about 25 years ago. On a whim I took a series of courses at the local university. One of the classes was Unix. Unix was, and I believe still is, a large operating system within governments. I remember one day I was writing scripts in Unix and it dawned on me that it would be very easy to scour every email through a system, look for a few key words, and dump a copy of each "offending" email into a special file. I remember sitting there mulling that over. Then over the next couple days I brought it up to a couple colleagues. We'd look at each other, wheels turning, and say, "Naw! Why would anybody want to do that!?" Makes me smile thinking back on that...
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  • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Escaping from the terrors of ever expanding government control is a daunting task to be sure. We have enjoyed a pretty good standard of living in the USA- we dont have to farm for our food, medical care is available, rescue services are available, utilities are pretty much available, internet service and cell service is available, transportation is readily available.

    To retreat into a Galts Gulch would either mean giving up most of these things, or somehow recreating them without being detected by the powers that be. The leftists would want to immediately expropriate anything of value in the gulch that they became aware of.

    I think that eliminates a USA based gulch. I used to have a plant in Tecate Mexico, and there is a lot of remote land that one could use to set up a compound. Locals and local police are easily and cheaply "bribed" in that culture (look at what the cartels get away with), unlike in the USA.

    Other south american countries are probably similar (like colombia). For older people, medical care is pretty important. For all people, defense is very important.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      I gather we want to have our cake and eat it. When I think of "Going Galt", I think of increasing optionality, not vanishing from the known world. If I wanted to vanish, "hiding in plain sight" might be a lot easier than finding a valley no one knows about. I do think it is feasible to substantially reduce the influence others have over you, and to engage/trade with a network of friends who live up to a shared value system / principles.
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      • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        Going "partially galt" is indeed an option. Mixing that with "hiding in plain sight" can make life even here in the USA more palatable. Giving Biden and his confiscatorial policies, this would require substantially reducing living expenses to avoid the need to have a lot of income, and to avoid the sales taxe and property tax burden. BUT, that said, we spend way too much on frivolous purchases anyway. 10-20% reduction is certainly possible without drastic cuts.
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        • Posted by term2 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          I have reduced expenses by about 15
          % already- heading for 20%. Its very disturbing to pay taxes that then are turned around to decrease my freedom. Enough is enough.
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          • Posted by $ Abaco 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I've got a lot of expenses lately, along with a fair amount of property. The property is my own little defense against inflation. But...I'm growing tired of all the bills and property tax. Which reminds me...I want to see that movie "Nomadland"....
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  • Posted by $ TomB666 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Some things to think about: do you use the Internet, do you use credit cards and banks, do you have any licenses (drivers, concealed carry, occupational, etc.)? The government is working to do away with 'cash' which forces us to use some sort of a banking system, be it digital or credit cards or checks. I've found myself sucked in to the use of credit cards for my convenience, but that makes me trackable :-(
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  • Posted by GaryL 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    I live in my own gulch but I fear you won't easily find the place you seek. I am the caretaker for a 120 acre parcel with 4 homes on the road side but 110 acres of deep woods. You can run but I doubt we can really hide these days even off the grid. I know for sure there are places you could be left alone in but that takes lots of money and you simply can't do it on your own without outside help and therein lies the problem. I think you would quickly find that even those who you trust will have deep jealousies and want what you have. Big Brother, Government, will find you no matter where you go and will want their cut. Can any of us truly "Live off the land"? Forget that idea these days. Something as simple as a fire for heat and cooking will send up a smoke signal. I suggest you look all around you and decide everything you can live without and what you absolutely must have and take it from there. Even a big fancy fully contained motorhome with a big box filled with cash would get you arrested in this society.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      thanks. I agree. I'm not a hermit, and I would argue Galt's Gulch isn't designed to be one, either. In the book, the idea is to build a community. To me, this doesn't need to be literal, i.e. it doesn't mean to have peers come and built a cottage next to mine. In many ways, I think each of us desire a level of sanity - whichever way each one of us defines this. I see the "live off your land" as a desirable optionality for a true crisis, but not as a dogma to be lived by - quite the contrary, I believe in trade, and that includes buying food. Similarly, Big Brother is unlikely to go away, but there are ways to mitigate its influence.
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      • Posted by GaryL 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        More than anything, we love our privacy and the ability to do pretty much anything we enjoy within the legal limits of our community. I can target practice off my back porch and take a deer during the season just past the wood line if I want venison. Growing my own vegetables or raising my own food animals is too much trouble out here with all the other animals that also have to eat. Maintaining a rather small circle of friends and buddies is what I adore the most and venturing into town is a chore I would prefer to avoid but necessary once a week for staples.
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  • Posted by $ ArtIficiarius 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Is the Gulch physical or virtual? I am moving with some energy toward a true nomadic, even biblical, lifestyle. This still requires some "crash-pads" at least as far as handling age-related health issues. No?
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  • Posted by $ Abaco 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    Interesting. I wish you the best on all this.

    I'm starting to transition to a somewhat similar mode after July. The only thing that will keep me attached to the general public at all is my kids and golf - haha...
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    • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
      that's right. Youngest child still at home, in part the reason why I'm giving myself a few years to plan the next phase. I also think we're in the roaring twenties, giving some runway (although I'm aware reasonable people disagree on that), even if those roaring twenties didn't end so well.
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  • Posted by $ katrinam41 3 months, 2 weeks ago
    We have to Gulch in place for now, but that means time for sorting, tossing, re-stocking and eventually implementing what little we can do at our age and health. To us, a mental Gulch has to be the start, and maybe our only one.
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