Back in January, I finally published a book I had on the burner for many years called, Survive and Thrive After the Collapse of the Dollar. I was completely unprepared for the huge success of this book. For years, I have been of the opinion that people are simply not interested in hearing that our country is in danger of bankruptcy, that this will mean the end of our nation, and we should begin now preparing for that outcome. However, I decided to finalize the book and publish it anyway. I couldn’t have been more wrong about how concerned people really are. That book quickly became a best-seller for me and is now available in both Kindle format and paperback. I began with Kindle, then decided based on sales, to publish in paperback–the paperback edition is now outstripping the Kindle 2 to 1. However, I am beginning to feel that my success is a Pyrrhic Victory. How so?
As soon as I found that the first book performed well, I quickly began pulling my notes for the follow-up and published this week Survive and Thrive: 100 Tips for Obtaining Food After the Stores Close. In just a few days, this new book is already matching the interest of the first and I have just gone paperback with it as well. In fact, as of yesterday it was ranked #3 on Kindle in Economic Conditions. It would seem that I have another Best-selling book.
But Why are so many people interested in these books? Is the nation really facing such a reality?
If you have read my first book, you already know my argument there. Basically, I argue what many already are beginning to see: The United States is on a collision course with the foolish budgetary choices made by our representatives. Indeed, with the budget discussions looming in March, many understand that without raising the debt ceiling, the nation will be unable to pay for programs which we have already spent the money for. And if we do raise the debt ceiling, Congress is simply going to go even more spend crazy. We are faced with a damned if we do, damned if we don’t situation. This is why Congress has agreed to put off such discussions until May 2013. The fact is, they don’t want to deal with the quagmire they created.
The facts have been staring so many in the face for so long now that many are beginning to see the sad reality that perhaps there is no saving our sinking ship of state. For too many years, Congress dipped into the Social Security Trust fund to help hide their overspending. This they can no longer do for a surplus in that fund no longer exists. It would have had they left it alone, but they wanted to hide the truth from the American people and now the chicken has come home to roost.
In addition, Congress has made it clear that they have no intention of cutting back on defense spending even though this is the primary reason for the serious deficit we now face. Hence, we are staring a Pyrrhic victory in the face. If we don’t spend, we face the potential of increased terrorism; if we do spend, we face the loss of our nation through sure bankruptcy. It seems that the only viable course is to cut the spending and hope for the best. I think I would rather have a country and face attacks than to not have a country and be sitting ducks for anyone who wants to invade.
Indeed, the term Pyrrhic victory is derived from a king named Pyrrhus who fought a war against Korykra in the 3rd Century B.C. In that war, Tarentum came to his aid and the two became allies. When Tarentum was thus attacked by Rome, Pyrrhus naturally returned the favor. This was followed by a string of victories by Pyrrhus which led to Rome seeking alliances with others. One was Carthage, who had been approached by Pyrrhus as an ally, but Carthage viewed Pyrrhus as a greater threat than Rome. So the Carthaginians allied with Rome against Pyrrhus and Tarentum. In addition, numerous alliances were formed and eventually this war became major. In fact, one could actually refer to this as the original first World War, so involved were other nations in the conflict.
This war was significant because it began as a minor conflict with Rome. However, because of the policy choices made by Pyrrhus at the time, the conflict escallated into more than simply a minor conflict. Pyrrhus had to put everything he had into the effort and eventually Pyrrhus was so victorious that far more nations sided with Rome than he out of fear of the Giant, Pyrrhus. In fact, Pyrrhus won so many victories that his forces became depleted to the point that in his final fight with Rome at Maleventum, two-thirds of his forces were eliminated. He returned to Tarentum but while in route, the Tarantines surrendered to Rome. Pyrrhus had won far more victories than Rome, but in the process made far more enemies such that he had to entirely deplete is resources and lost his nation in the process.
What does this have to do with America and my books?
First, it is becoming clear that America is fighting far too much and we simply can no longer afford to fight. We can win victories, but at what cost? If we go bankrupt from overspending, we lose anyway. As for my books, I have wanted all my life to be a writer. I love playing with words and being a stay-at-home dad. It is a wonderful thing. But I cannot help but think about how now that I have two best-sellers (and perhaps more one the way), these will be futile because once the nation is dissolved through bankruptcy, who is going to have the money to buy books? Mine, like America’s and King Pyrrhus, seems destined to be a Pyrrhic victory.
On the plus side, I did not write the books for making money really. I only published the first in the hopes that people may benefit from the information when eventually the nation collapsed. I just did not expect that collapse to appear so soon in coming. I am more convinced than ever that that event is not far off. Thus, the time to prepare is short and I am working as fast as I can to complete the remaining books I had planned years ago for the series. For now, there are two that I hope will be useful to my readers.