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Sam Andy Survival TimesTM
Newsletter SPECIAL REPORT

ARE THERE HOLES IN YOUR SAFETY NET?

Do you have a "Plan B"…a secure fallback plan if you lose your job or income?

IT COULDN'T HAPPEN HERE…BUT IT DID!
The horrendous events of September 11, 2001 were a wake-up call to all in the Western world who had been taking the "good life" for granted. More especially to Americans, it was but a bellwether event to an already faltering economy. While some 415,000 jobs were eliminated right after 9/11, this jolt only served to intensify the economy's pre-Sept. 11 weaknesses. The result was a surge in unemployment, to 5.4 percent from 4.9 percent in September.

Layoffs impact families, not just individuals
Any layoff, let alone a constant flow of them, sends a chill through all of us. The Sears number alone affects 4,900 families, most of whom will face the personal anguish of meeting mortgage payments, school costs and other obligations that cannot be turned off as swiftly as their income can be terminated. These lives are impacted not by a "fly-by-night" dot com, but a solid company (Sears) that expects to boost operating income by 50 percent over the next three years. Eventually., many furloughed Sears employees may be re-hired, but during the meantime, what happens? It's a reality that, while some of these jobs will come back, they won't be all at once. No one hires 4,900 employees at one time, and the first fired will be the last re-hired.

Safety net for unemployed not adequate
This, at a time when millions of unemployed workers are finding the U.S. "safety net" in shreds. From an article by J. Laurier and P. Sherrer, 7 Nov. 2001 WSWS News and Analysis, "The prospect of mass unemployment once again threatens the American working class. Officially, 7.7 million (emphasis added) people were out of work in the U.S. in October, an increase of 2.2 million over the same month in 2000, according to Labor Dept. statistics. With the pace of layoffs accelerating as the economy moves into recession, economic forecasters predict that another 1.5 million jobs may be slashed over the next three quarters."

They point out that Unemployment Insurance (UI), the principal program for jobless workers, has emerged as the most significant element of what remains (after two decades of whittling away at social programs under the guise of welfare "reform") of the social safety net. However, since the Reagan years of the 1980's this program, initiated in 1935, has systematically been eroded.

Jobless benefits insufficient
Fewer than 40 percent of jobless workers received jobless benefits last year. Since 1982, the federal government has ceased making zero-interest loans to those states with insolvent UI trust funds, thus raising the state's cost of borrowing and effectively forcing states to reduce spending for benefits to out of work workers. The amount of earnings required to qualify for UI benefits varies from state to state and a minimum weekly benefit can be as little as $32.00 per week (in Florida). Since 1990, the percentage of lost income replaced by UI benefits across the 50 states has fallen by five percentage points, so that in 1999, UI benefits replaced only 33 percent of an average worker's lost earnings. And, unemployment benefits are provided a maximum of 26 weeks. Could YOU live, and more importantly, feed your family comfortably, on 33% of your usual income for six months to a year, or longer?

With average consumer (credit card) debt ranging from $5,000 to $8,000, mortgage delinquencies rising and bankruptcies expected to reach a record 1.4 million in the near-term, seeing that YOUR family has a safe and secure strategy for weather tumultuous economic times is a paramount responsibility.

Economic "stimulus package" not adequate
In the wake of the September 11 tragedy, the Bush administration has proposed an economic stimulus package that provides only token assistance to unemployed workers. The administration originally proposed an extension of unemployment benefits for only an additional 13 weeks and ONLY in the three states most affected by the terrorist attacks, AND in those where unemployment rates increased by 30 percent or more. Downsizing and mergers have cost many more jobs than 9/11, and the average length of time to land a new position is three to nine months, often at lower pay than the job that was lost.

When you read the fine print, away from the politicians' three-second "sound-bites," it becomes clear that it is up to each individual - NOT the federal, or the state's governments, to look out for themselves and their families. Bush then began backing a Congressional proposal, which gives money to state governments without requiring them to increase the amount or duration of UI benefits. Having cut unemployment tax rates during the years of economic growth, and now facing a sharp loss of income due to the economic downturn, most states will likely use these federal funds as a stopgap to maintain their present level of benefits. Currently, many states lack sufficient UI funds to weather even a minor economic downturn, let alone a serious or deep recession.

What we are seeing from Washington is less and less money to cover greater and greater need, domestically. Even the most generous Congressional plans fall far below the estimated $35 billion needed to fund the same level of unemployment benefits obtainable during the 1991 recession, which in turn were far below what was available during the earlier recessions of the mid 1970's and early 1980's.

Unpredictable weather adds to insecurities
Added to the now ever-constant threat of "domestic terrorism" taking many forms, from bombs to plagues, there is the "constant" of unstable weather conditions. Right after Thanksgiving in 2001, when storms and tornadoes spawned by summer's unsettling conditions should have been over, "deadly thunderstorms swept across the lower Mississippi Valley, killing at least eight, injuring dozens of others, flattening homes and poultry farms, and ripping down power lines." (AP News). In addition, a tornado struck downtown Haleyville, Alabama, damaging businesses and injuring at least 11 people, one critically. A separate twister attacked the other side of the state. The severe weather was part of a line of thunderstorms that spanned the Ohio and Mississippi valleys from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico as a cold front swept through the region. Storms earlier had passed through parts of Louisiana, Oklahoma, Missouri and Texas.
When 22,000 customers are without electricity all at one time due to a storm (Mississippi 11/24/01), might that not impact your local grocery store OR food in the refrigerator?

So, if you can't count on your job, but you can rest assured it may take longer to find another one, and it will probably be lower-paying - if you can't count on the government to be there when you need them, OR with sufficient funding to tide you over - if you can't count on the weather to be stable and predictable - who does that leave?

It leaves YOU! There are steps you can take to rest assured that whatever comes your way, you and your family will at least have food on the table. Sam Andy has been in the long-term, food storage and preparedness business for nearly half a century. We have helped individuals, church groups and even foreign aid workers and the military know that good, healthy, economical food products will be there when they most need them - in times of crisis, political upheaval, economic downturns, loss of a job or the breadwinner's health, or storms brought on by Mother Nature.

The single most valuable resource or investment you can have, as we, a nation, work our way back to a more stable and secure worlds is not your 50-hour a week job - no job is secure any more - it's not your portfolio - you can't eat stock certificates - and realistically, it's not the government. Security can be had only in taking personal responsibility for assuring your own future. You'll sleep better at night knowing that you have taken one of the most important steps, in stocking up with an affordable Sam Andy long-term food storage unit for your family!

Let us help you TODAY to be more secure for tomorrow! Call our toll-free number NOW and let a Preparedness Counselor help you with strategic planning and careful preparation that will stand you in good stead for the future.

Sam Andy - Toll-free 1-888-331-0358
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