Our current national faith, the church of the free market.
You hear the mantra everywhere. From rich to poor. Urban to rural. The unshakable faith that the free market is the solution to all of our problems. Like Prometheus, it is chained to a rock and savaged daily. Like Prometheus, it brought us good things and now is chained.
But man, I watch the news every day. That this market is manipulated may be debated, and I may be wrong in saying so, but this market sure seems to be as crooked as a three-card monte card game in New York being held on a piece of luggage. The shill is there in the form of Hank Paulson. I would peg our President as the lookout, keeping the cops away until the team has finished fleecing the mark. Ben Bernake is the dealer.
So just remember, the free market does not reside on the trading floors of stock exchanges. When you actually read Adam Smith, his distrust and contempt of corporations shows through clearly. I can't remember the exact quote (and there is no way on Gods green earth anyone could, short of gunpoint, force me to read the the Wealth of Nations again) is that Smith felt that corporations , whenever they got together, cheated the public.
No, we are so far away from Smith's free market that it is absurd. The free market in America can be found at flea markets and hippie get togethers. The rest of the mess is nothing but government sponsored looting by corporations.
As preppers, we have to come to grips with the concept and execution of the market. The financial will be the first domino to drop. If it drops then the monetary, government, and social dominoes may well fall after the financials. So we have to keep an eye on the "market" but only in the sense that you have to stay out of the way of the bus.