(NaturalNews) As the new year rolls in, the mainstream media seems to be saying now that 2008 is over, things will automatically get better for the economy. “Good bye 2008!” say the headlines. And “Hello New Year!”

The trouble is, in Washington D.C. there have been no decisions made whatsoever that could reasonably be expected to produce a better result this year. Let me review where we are right now as 2009 rolls in:

• The health care system in America remains a complete disaster, costing the nation over 20 percent of its GDP in disease treatment costs while investing zero dollars in real disease prevention. The government health regulators are crooks, the health industry is run by for-profit corporations, the doctors are nutritionally illiterate, the medical journals are run by Big Pharma interests and now even the Nobel Prize Foundation is influenced by drug companies.

Meanwhile, the free speech rights of health supplement companies continue to be illegally censored by the FDA, leaving consumes in a state of nutritional illiteracy and forcing them to resort to the use of dangerous medications to treat symptoms (rather than using safe nutritional supplements that actually prevent disease).

From a health perspective, there is no evidence whatsoever to support the notion that 2009 will be better than 2008. In fact, all the evidence points to a continued worsening of public health as long as Big Pharma runs the medical agenda.

• On the financial front, the picture is even worse: Not only was there absolutely nothing done in 2008 that would make the financial picture in 2009 look better, most of the financial decisions made in 2008 have primed the pump to make 2009 look even worse!

Case in point: Instead of letting incompetent companies and financial institutions fail so that stupid decision makers could be removed from the economic gene pool, the Federal Reserve actually conspired with the U.S. Treasury to counterfeit trillions of dollars in new debt and deliver it directly into the hands of the most incompetent people they could find!

They called it a bail out, but in reality it was an organized looting of the public’s salaries and savings by a bunch of Washington crooks. And it won’t rescue anything: Since when did rewarding incompetent people with more cash ever result in smarter economic decisions being made?

If anything, 2009 is going to be even worse than 2008 in terms of real economic effects on the nation. And in addition to all the new jobless, the new wave of homeless and the ever-expanding numbers of the clueless, we are now facing the looming threat of currency inflation that will kick in once the economic plunge hits bottom and levels off.

The bottom line? On both health and wealth issues, the American people are being screwed, as usual. It’s not just the American people, of course: The Brits are also being screwed by their own government, which is about the same as being screwed by the American government but with a lot more surveillance cameras.

Is there any good news?

Astonishingly, I’m not a pessimist, and I do see some areas of possibility for good news in 2009.

The first, most noticeable opportunity for change involves a new administration in the White House. But as I’ve said before, those who think Barack Obama will magically sweep away the problems are kidding themselves: Obama may be from a different political party, but he’s still a product of a corrupt political culture that inevitably appeases the corporations while betraying the People.

I strongly suspect Obama was simply “allowed” to be elected so he could be the fall guy for a collapsing economy. It’s the ol’ “Blame the black guy!” tactic.

Still, if he’s clever enough, he might be able to engineer a few victories against Big Pharma and other exploitive industries that continue to threaten the People and the environment.

Regardless of what Obama is able to accomplish, there are plenty of things you can do to make sure you’re prepared as much as possible for 2009.

Ten things you need to prepare for 2009

Here are ten things you need to have ready for 2009, in my opinion:

1. Protect your health – Free yourself from dependence on the conventional medical system by getting off all pharmaceuticals, if you can. Get onto natural supplements and disease prevention strategies combined with regular exercise, sunlight and stress reduction. The more you’re in charge of your own health, the less likely you are to become a victim of a failed health care system.

2. Continue to collect precious metals – While prices may be high right now, they look likely to go even higher in the next few years. Gold could be headed towards $2500 / ounce in a financial collapse scenario, for example. Many of the advisors I trust the most believe gold will get cheaper during the first quarter of 2009 (perhaps dipping below $700 an ounce), but in the long term may skyrocket to new highs. My recommended source of raw gold and silver bars? http://www.goldenlionmint.com/

3. Stock up on anti-virals – One scenario I’ve reviewed involves the following: Skyrocketing prices on food, leading to the enforcement of price controls on food, followed by widespread shortages of affordable food, which causes a new wave of starvation among America’s poor. That, in turn, could lead to new outbreaks of infectious disease in urban areas, and that means it’s smart to stock up on plenty of anti-virals. Baseline Nutritionals sells the best I’ve ever found. It’s called “Super Viragon” and you can find it at http://www.baselinenutritionals.com/

4. Reduce your debt – To the extent you can, get out of debt or take steps to drastically reduce your debt. Debt is like a prison, and in an economy where jobs are becoming more scarce and incomes could become increasingly worthless, you don’t need the added burden of debt. As many people are doing right now, consider downgrading your lifestyle to live more simply, more cheaply and more responsibly.

5. Establish your own income – Along with reducing your debt, it’s important to establish your own income streams that can’t be taken away from you. The new, emerging direct sales companies continue to provide the best opportunities for that, and the two I’m participating in are Moxxor (www.NaturalNews.com/moxxor-information.html) and ShopToEarth. ShopToEarth is already growing rapidly as brick-and-mortar retailers go belly up and consumers shift their buying to online retailers. With ShopToEarth, you can earn commission checks as people shop online at hundreds of different retailers, including natural health companies. To learn more, email suzyk@naturalnews.com or call Suzy at 209-710-8299. If you’re on the East Coast, call Jonathan at 516-510-2204.

6. Have some long-term storable food – The Federal Reserve is right now taking credit for averting a total financial collapse in 2008. That’s interesting, because they never used those words during the event, only after. But they’re right about one thing: The world’s financial system very nearly did collapse in early October, 2008. What does all this have to do with food? If the financial situation gets worse in 2009, we could experience disruptions in the food supply (because the production and delivery of food requires a financial infrastructure to be working), and that means those who don’t have some stored food set aside could end up going hungry. (It’s the new national weight loss plan!)

7. Share a message of optimistic preparedness – Don’t be the only person on your block (or in your building) who’s prepared for the expected. The better prepared your neighbors are, the safer YOU are. So spread the word about basic preparedness, but don’t tell people the whole truth about what you suspect might be coming, or you’ll freak them out. Just talk about family preparedness and safety, and don’t use words like “collapse” or “starvation.” Remember, when you’re talking to mainstream Americans, you have to water it down to their level of ignorance, and most Americans still believe idiotic things like “the Federal Reserve is helping me!” or “the FDA is protecting me!” so you sort of have to talk to them within the frame of a belief system they can grasp.

8. Acquire basic preparedness items – Have you stored water yet? Do you have a dynamo flashlight? (The Freeplay brand is the best.) How about a supplemental source of heat? Do you have a cold-weather sleeping bag that’s portable? Do you have a good pair of shoes for hiking across town in mud or snow? Do you have a lighter? A good pocket knife? Topical antiseptics? Ceramic water filter? Dynamo-powered radio? If you didn’t answer YES to each of these questions, then you’re just begging to be victimized in 2009 by something: Natural disaster, power grid failure, social unrest, bank holidays, gas shortages, crop failures, earthquake or who knows what. By the way, I offer hundreds of suggestions and recommendations on all this in my audio course on health preparedness and financial protection. See http://www.truthpublishing.com/Health_Ranger_Live_p/live-cat21507.htm

9. Get your herbal medicine chest ready – Do you have a collection of herbs (or herbal products) to treat acute health conditions? Growing some aloe, peppermint, rosemary and cilantro can add significantly to your “live” medicine chest, and you can also supplement with dried bulk herbs from various sources. I also happen to stock my emergency medicine chest with a few over-the-counter drugs for emergency situations, including topical antibiotics, topical dental anesthetic, rubbing alcohol and a few other similar items. I would only use them as a last resort, of course, but it’s wise to have them available if needed for acute, emergency situations. If you have a friendly doctor, see if you can get a prescription of Cipro or other hard-core antibiotics, for emergency use only. They have a shelf life of several years.

10. Get your head straight! I see too many Americans on both extremes of the preparedness spectrum. On one side are the gullible sheeple who won’t prepare anything because they foolishly believe their government will protect them no matter what happens. (How quickly they forgot Hurricane Katrina, huh?) On the other extreme are the “Holy crap the world is going to end!” worriers who freak out and think they’re doomed. The world isn’t going to end, even if the United States of America as we know it does end in the coming years. Don’t freak out. Things will get better after this storm passes, so stay healthy, stay optimistic and simply be prepared to cover your basic needs from 2009 – 2012. At the very least, you’ll feel more confident. You might even save your own life.

Welcome to 2009!

2009 is here, and we don’t know exactly what it will bring, but we do know that those individuals who prepare for the unknown will have the best outcomes. If you want to have a brighter future for yourself and your family, then continue to make wise decisions about your health, your finances and your safety.

Remember: It’s the decisions you make today that will determine your experiences tomorrow. If you want to find yourself calm, assured and well protected through 2012, then follow the steps outlined here and get wisely prepared. However, if you prefer to lose your mind and panic, then just do nothing! Panic does not require planning.

By the way, panic is the path that has been chosen by more than 90% of the population. Through their denial of reality, their refusal to prepare for even minor disruptions in the complexity of modern society, and their outright abandonment of basic safety sense, they are practically begging — through their lack of action — to be harmed, starved or killed by unknown events in 2009 and beyond.

Remember this above all: No government will save you. FEMA is a joke. The National Guard is spread too thin. And there are far too many unprepared victims for any government to be able to handle them all. The only reason emergency services in society are able to operate today is because only a tiny fraction of a percent of the population ever needs them at any one time. Raise the number of desperate victims to just 2% of the population, and emergency services are instantly and utterly overwhelmed.

If you’re up for some reading, I strongly encourage you to read this book by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jared Diamond: COLLAPSE: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed (http://www.amazon.com/Collapse-Societies-Choose-Fail-Succeed/dp/0143036556). This book focuses more on the environmental causes of collapse, but its lessons apply to all such “unintended disasters” unleashed by complex societies, including financial storms and food supply threats posed by monoculture practices.

That book will teach you a lot about the weaknesses in the complex supply chains of our modern society, from finance to manufacturing and agriculture.