In the fall of 2007, when the U.S. economy first seemed in peril, I began answering reader queries here on the Business Desk. I still do so, but this page has expanded to include posts from eminent economists, "far-flung correspondents," and a variety of voices that have intriguing and/or useful things to say about economics, broadly defined. Please feel encouraged to respond to any and all of them.
What Would Happen if the U.S. Government Collapsed?
U.S. Capitol at night; file photo
Paul Solman answers questions from the NewsHour audience on business and economic news here on his Making Sen$e page. Here is Monday's query:
Question: In the event of a total collapse of the U.S. government, what would happen to the individual financial institutions, i.e., would money be worth anything, what would be the best thing to have in order to "purchase" needed supplies? Gold? Salt? Would there be an IRS anymore? Would anyone have to worry about paying property taxes? Would all government agencies stop including police, fire? Would it be anarchy?
Paul Solman: For the Cormac McCarthy/Mad Max endgame, I was going to recommend salt, Teri. But then I noticed from your email that you're from Logan, Utah, which looks to be no more than 20 miles from the Great Salt Lake. In your case, then, I'd opt for water, canned goods, and what a friend from Idaho calls "primer-back securities": rifle ammunition. But first, let's try to avoid that fate, shall we?