I think many preppers do not realize how any major SHTF scenario will affect employment. Any event that disrupts society or the economy can cause unemployment to spike. Any event that disrupts a fundamental building block of society, such as agriculture, transportation, communication, money, housing, power, etc., is likely to cause the loss of many jobs.
And when many people suddenly lose their jobs, they spend less money on, well, everything. So every business is affected adversely, since there are suddenly fewer customers. This leads to an after-shock of more layoffs and cutbacks on hours for a second wave of job loss.
Then you know what happens next. It’s a vicious cycle. Each job loss wave harms the economy further, leading to more layoffs and eventually business failures. And any business that wants to survive has to cut expenses, cut back on employee hours, employ as few persons as possible, and raise prices.
Now you might think that the government could intervene, to stop this process, by giving people money: unemployment, social security, food stamps (SNAP), etc. But those social safety nets only work to a limited extent. Give away too much money, and money becomes less valuable, prices rise sharply and inflation become uncontrollable. Then, eventually, the social safety net system or the monetary system collapses.
What most people don’t understand about money is that it is only a token representing the good and services produced by work. You can’t solve the problem of poverty or unemployment with money, not really. You can only solve economic problems with work, which is what gives money value. If a society reaches a point where so few persons work that there is not enough good and services to run that society, it collapses.
There is no easy solution here. The economy is more complex, and the U.S. economy is more closely interwoven with the world economy than ever before. An economic catastrophe overseas could set in motion an economic downturn or collapse here. Ultimately, though, work is the foundation of any economy. You can’t just give everyone enough money to live on, a so-called unconditional or universal basic income. If everyone is given an income without working, there will not be enough work to produce enough goods and services for everyone. Work is the only solution to economic problems. That, and a good measure of self-sufficiency.