Prepetorial #3: Running on Empty

By John Galt

November 7, 2007

AS the digital counter displayed ‘4.50’ in the Gallons portion of the pump’s display, the shocking portion was the price which displayed $39.92 which shocked me every week. Despite the level of price controls imposed by the President’s Bureau of Economic Stabilization, it was still hard for me to grasp these prices. Since 4.5 gallons is all I was allocated each week, I removed the ECARD in frustration from the activation slot added to all gas pumps several months ago. The rationing program was working smoothly except for the fact that some folks have figured out how to buy other people’s cards and get their rations, much to the chagrin of the government. I remember the old days, not even nine years ago when forty bucks would fill the tank of my SUV and the V-8 meant power to work and drive in comfort. With the new pollution controls and driving limits, the V-8 meant you were stuck with a lemon; a dinosaur that no one wanted any part of.

After a short drive home, thankfully, I walked in the door and immediately my wife was ranting and screaming even more than ever while waiving a piece of paper in my face madly screaming obscenities. I calmed her down and said “now what honey?” which was the wrong thing to say, and she threw the paper and the envelope my way as she huffed out of the room. At the top of the letter was the EAA (Energy Allocation Administration) and the notice in big bold letters:


While that was disturbing enough, it was enough to make me boil an egg on my head. My friends in Richmond said they never heard of such a thing and no mention was ever made on the news. Add in the fact that it was now December and getting pretty darned cold and the handwriting was on the wall: They wanted to make sure that the big cities had enough power for the winter and to help reduce our so-called pollution emissions. I never understood that. Don’t these idiots see that the economic depression is already reducing everything, including the number of elderly survivors who are now freezing to death in rural America?

Being a glass is half full kind of guy, I reflected back on the good news that I did not live in Richmond or a big city though. When they have brownouts, accidental or not, crime runs rampant. I remember hearing from my old friends in Florida that when Orlando had a 3 night blackout, crime increased 400% in just that one week and still, several months later, they were averaging 2 murders per day. Thank God for bureaucrats I figured. They love to keep us awake at night trying to take something else from us just to keep their voting base happy. Ugh. If they cut the power during a football game, I’m heading into the hills…..

But of course being a good little sheeple, the story subject above will continue to recycle, won’t complain about the brownouts to his political representatives, may lose some food in his refrigerator every now and then when they have trouble bringing the grid back up, and won’t do a thing to prep for these eventualities because the idiot box still works most of the time. The husband and wife might think about riding a bike to work or the store every now and then but a soon to be imposed bicycle license will hurt even worse in this time of rationing and super inflationary spikes. Heck, I wouldn’t put it past the politicians to impose sidewalk usage fees or toll booths to make sure they collect more funds. All because America’s energy independence is ending and we are electing to surrender our sovereignty to the U.N. This raises the essential economic question of our time:

How will America survive the coming economic and energy crash when their cyclical time lines intersect?

The answer: We won’t.

Not at least as our nation is configured now. The precedent for rationing was established in World War II and in the 1970’s gas crisis. The technological nightmare needed to enforce it is now practical, easy to implement and in place. A lot of people forgot about the news articles from Oregon (Oregon Road Tax Pilot Tests Alternative to Gas Tax) and that was just a floater. Then Alex Jones a few years ago broke the story about the RFID chips in the license plates in Texas (I think that was on, but I’m not sure). The concept of charging tax by the mile is not much different than restricting usage through economic allocation. So if you’re a maid or grocery clerk, you don’t need that much gas so you can take public transportation and your allocation will be way below that of a traveling salesman or politician. With the new magnetic strip and RFID technologies, people can be issued ration cards (ECARDS in the story) which have pre-programmed limits on your weekly purchases with the ability to request variances online or in person at select locations. Needless to say you would have to justify those purchases or pay a penalty to expand your fuel purchases that week. Keep this in mind as we approach the rationing time as that aspect will not only impact your survival planning, but any escape you might consider into the boonies to escape the suburban nightmare about to unfold.

This will not only be a gasoline 1970’s rationing story with modern trappings though. The electrical grid is not only woefully ancient but the infrastructure and ability to bring additional resources online is practically nil. The result will eventually be rationing of power for the cities and rural areas to keep the lights on in various parts of the country. The inability of our government to over ride the desires of the Marxist left and actually build needed infrastructure like clean burning coal plants and nuclear plants along with LPG terminals and oil refineries will generate the exact result they desire: a strong central government which allocates all of the economic resources, which are about to get very limited, to those states and cities which need them most. Think about that if you live in small town America and a city like Chicago is nearby.

This is the time to start reviewing your energy plan. Not just to have a generator and four cans of gasoline, but to seriously start planning for a potential nightmare as inflicted the only way a centralized bureaucracy knows how to impose. This is not a fictional part of the story, that is a fact coming at you like a freight train out of control at 70 mph.

Pray your plan is solid and get off the tracks before it hits you.

Or pray the train runs out of diesel and you don’t get wiped out by your lack of foresight.

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