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Friday, December 2, 2016

finances for collapse book 2


FINANCES FOR COLLAPSE BOOK 2

FORGET LUXURY

Nobody wants to be a bum with mildewing skin ( one crazy bastard when I lived in Florida had multiple layers of duct tape on his head, as well as tin foil.  I’m assuming to reflect alien thought control rays, or, if he was a prophet far more advanced than us mere mortals,  to keep the NSA from doing the same.  When they had him in the hospital his scalp came off from the lack of air on his head-and I’m not making that one up ) or a dirty greasy hippy.  We are a civilized society with running water and air conditioning.  Nobody needs to live like a savage.  And yet, nobody wants to live in a style below that of the most opulent empire of ages past.  Everyone thinks that flowery rose water squirts out of their ass, that their Special Snowflake Status entitles them to lounge on a couch being fed grapes by one slave as another cools the air with palm fronds.  If you call Oil Age machines run by millions of years of compressed sunshine “Energy Slaves”, as have authors far more talented than I, and think of how we live off of them, it is actually quite embarrassing.

*

We have slaves busy running hither and yon stocking the fireplace or placing blocs of ice in front of fans so that we may never need to live in anything other than a thin toga.  Multiple slaves live in our kitchens so that on a whim we may awaken at midnight and consume delicacies from nations far away.  Slaves brave the storm tossed seas to bring us tropical fruit in the winter.  Slaves are always ready with our chariot-as climate controlled as our homes-to take us to anywhere we desire.  Usually to places serving even more exotic fare so that we may never feel the pangs of hunger or desire for any diet variety ( as long as it is corn derived, of course-we are as dependent on corn for our empire to survive as the Mayans were, and with as much risk of climate disruptions ).  We need to pass the time so we go to “work” which usually just means supervising more slaves.  Sometimes we don’t do much more than chat with other slave owners ( well, few of us actually own the slaves.  We are more like Straw Bosses.  But we don’t realize that ) about what we saw at the theatre last night ( entertainment provided by slave labor with the actors receiving extra slaves as payment ). 

*

Looked at through that prism, not only are we as the most petulant child in the history of Ever, we are weak and vulnerable without our slaves.  Mentally and physically we are weak of will and body.  As survivalists, our mission should NOT be to desperately grasp at keeping our slaves for as long as possible, but to attempt to separate, at least to a small degree, the addiction we have to our slaves.  Almost nobody is going to live in an unheated cave to prepare for the Apocalypse ( I did, for a time, and am the better for it, but I also went back to civilization and central heat afterwards.  Plus, my “fire” was propane so that cooking and coffee kept my underground hovel warm enough winter-round that wool clothing made an actual heater unnecessary.  I cheated, in other words ), but you should attempt to slowly wean yourself away from total slave holding to always trying to eliminate more of them.  It is a matter of degree.  And that makes a lot of difference.

*

Nobody can stockpile enough Oil Age luxury products to last the rest of their lives.  Instead of, say, stockpiling thousands of gallons of propane, use Oil Age construction material to build such an energy efficient dwelling ( it doesn’t need be expensive at all ) that you merely need small handfuls of wood to keep comfortable through the worst weather.  You haven’t eliminated Oil Age luxuries, but you have minimized what you require.  Another example is an off grid refrigerator.  Best to eliminate the need for that appliance, but if that isn’t feasible it is preferable to buy two solar panels and some marine batteries and convert a freezer into a fridge.  The cost is minimal and you eliminate needing a LOT of propane.  Everything is still Oil Age, just as if you had canned all your meat rather than even run a fridge, but it is LESS.

*

Once you realize the need to stop wallowing in luxury and return-to a point-to a simpler life where manual labor isn’t a curse only visited upon illegal immigrants, you will also find that you need far less money.  You will view skills as more important than income.  Sometimes you just need to realize you need to live less like a pampered princess and more like a pioneer.  But every time you discover a way to substitute a luxury item, and you spend less money, you become more independent.  And isn’t that the whole point in being a survivalist, to decouple from the infrastructure that will kill us when it fails?  Being a Pampered Prepper is an oxymoron.  First, because you can NEVER have your cake and eat it too, no matter what anyone tells you.  And second, because money is as much a golden handcuff as petroleum is.  Using money ONCE, or using petroleum products ONCE, that is an investment.  Needing money every two weeks is a DEPENDENCY. 

*

Plus, you can never be less financially dependent if you can’t forego some small levels of luxury.  Everyone needs money-our elites have constructed the operating system that way to in fact keep us dependent.  But there are levels of dependency.  Some far worse than others.  Being in debt to have a perfect climate in your home and being in debt to get to work in a perfect climate, that is just stupid.  You still need to work, everyone.  But the guy in debt to have a luxury filled life must work in a far less future security environment.  The guy OUT of debt has wiggle room as the system fails.  The guy in debt certainly does not.  Debt is important because it is the best tool our leaders have of ensuring your compliance and dependency.  And by foregoing a certain amount of luxuries, you can stay out of debt and be a little more free.

END

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29 comments:

  1. James, although you have written on this subject before this article was very well done. I hope this thing called civilization holds together at least a couple years, albeit with increasing prices for everything. I still plan on building my off grid capable small home and I'm saving my ass off to build it debt free. I will use the grid while it is available as my only utility now is electric which I keep at about $100 a month average. That is all electric, with heating being the most expensive even in south Mississippi. My planned shelter will get much of its heat from solar, wood, compact size and insulation. I'm also planning for some solar power, rain catchment, and have more firewood on my land than several families could use.

    As for slave machines? I have acquired alot of hand powered tools for the shop and some for the kitchen. I haven't owned an electric can opener in about 16 years. Yes I have a coffee pot but also an old school stove top percolator.

    If things go south sooner than that I will have to adjust the plans. If I don't get to build as I plan I will drag the wood stove into the trailer and make do. My savings for the house will provide me a good cushion for unemployment, and hopefully I'll still see some of my pensions even at greatly reduced value.

    Enjoyed the article.

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    1. Thanks, I have my more glorious days at the keyboard.

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  2. If, like me one has already put on the shackles of unbreakable debt (aka student loans or child support etc), there are measures one can take to ensure what you currently own does not get seized by the banks.
    1) a Trust - preferably a non-revokable trust with your heirs the beneficiaries or better your heirs heirs,
    Possibly used in conjunction with option 2
    2) a LLC or other corporate or non-profit legal structure.
    Both of these can be set up to hold your assets and allow you to use the assets as long as you live, and then deliver the assets to your heirs or assignees. Setting them up takes a couple of hundred dollars, and an investment of up to a couple of hundred dollars a year to maintain. BUT they also mean that their assets cannot be taken by a suite against you personally.
    With the party that does not hide there love for the banks coming into power next year, expect getting assets securely held in such structures to become harder so start on it now.
    And even if you aren't shackled by such debts now, never forget that anyone can sue you for anything they like, and, even if you can afford to take the case to trial, the sue-r can always get a favorable jury or judge that and take you to the cleaner for any reason they like.
    James this means you too. Get your land in a trust or LLC as soon as you have a couple hundred set aside for the lawyers help doing so (it is pretty boilerplate stuff any place there are families of farmers or ranchers, but you should still see a lawyer so that you get the best structure for your needs in your area.)

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    1. The only issue I see is that they can, at will, change any law. So in the meantime you are out $250 a year, instead of just $25 property tax. For us low income folk, that is a hard sell.

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    2. Have you considered protecting your residence using Nevada's Homestead Law? http://www.clarkcountynv.gov/assessor/services/pages/Homestead.aspx (I realize that the link is for Clark County, and you're in Elko County, but it references overall Nevada state law.)

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    3. No, I haven't. I love this state, better than most, but I have zero trust in the gov-they will screw me at will and using their own laws can't help. Their more expensive lawyer can make the law say what they want it to, compared to my, if any, lawyer. I learned about justice in the divorce laws a long time ago and have zero faith.

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    4. With the defense of undesired (aka junk) land, AND the defense of a homestead, trust, llc, or other legal protection, you can make it much harder to take your land. Trusts, homestead exemptions, etc, have been around centuries with little enough change that you can expect them to last well past anyone alive nows life, after all it is using the same tool the weathy use to protect their assets. The annual costs are variable dependt on location any services needed and you can always just drop the services and protection in most cases if it grows too expensive, or shop for a cheaper alternative.
      Do the research yourself for your area, especially looking at how local farmers and ranchers keep their farm lands in the family for multiple generations...

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  3. Good article James. I do think it's possible to eliminate dependency to the point of no longer needing a steady paycheck. My bills are a $100 a month (Not counting living necessities) and that $100 is all in luxury items that can be eliminated. Admittedly, I do not pay rent, but am allowed to park my RV for free. But even if I didn't have this option, I'd simply be at my junk land already. But it's worth noting that this is much easier to pull off for those without a family. Add a wife and kids to the mix, and it becomes much more complicated. In certain jurisdictions, such a lifestyle could be considered “child abuse”, so I urge caution for those with families that are attempting such a break from the system. Getting the family to willingly go along with it is another story, and I wish the best to anyone attempting this sort of thing when they have others to answer to. Even that Long fellow that wrote the living without a salary book, mentioned that his wife and kids would love nothing more than to put him to work in order to bring in an income.

    For refrigeration I would try to avoid perishables as much as possible, and lean more towards the traditional ice box. Ice, when kept in an insulated structure such as the old time ice houses, or in a corner of your root cellar, will last for months. Even if you dug a hole on the north side of structure or a hill, and stuck an old refrigerator in it, it would still work fairly well.

    And for long term living quarters, I don't see any other option outside of Earth sheltered, unless you wish to be wrapped up in multiple layers of blankets the entire winter in order to survive. Remember that you will not have fossil fuels for heating at this point.

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    1. Granted, having a spouse does make this stuff a lot more difficult. Spoiled bitches. Go for a vacation property, perhaps? The "retirement ruse"? Become an Earth Hugger?

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    2. You could always give it a go James, but the “vacation property” angle might be a tough sell when it comes to junk land.


      While no where as good as Earth sheltered, I do have an idea on an above ground building for cold weather. This would not be my first choice, but it's a possible consideration.

      The building would probably not be your main living quarters due to its diminutive size, but somewhere where you would retreat to in very cold temperatures.

      Small, around 8'x8'.

      In addition to the walls, an insulated roof and floor.

      Walls framed with 2'x6's for thicker insulation. If not, frame with 2'x4's and additionally add exterior insulation which would add another layer of siding over the insulation. You could do both together if your budget permitted.

      Large, south facing window, triple paned, with shudders to close off at night.

      Very small woodstove or free standing fireplace for heat, possibly custom made due to its smaller than conventional size. You would also want a small porch or overhang to keep your wood out of the weather.




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    3. I still think a dug-out is preferable. It isn't underground, so it has most of the good with few of the bad. Just sink down two or four feet, then have a slopping roof all away around except over the door or window, with plastic sheeting and an inch of dirt. Save on roofing and siding costs to pay for the extra lumber.

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    4. “I still think a dug-out is preferable.”


      Yes, so do I James, it was just a possible alternative, though a less desirable one. The real way to go about it is too make the full on Earth sheltered structure with the standard 4' of Earth covering. A compromise is the dugout as you've mentioned. I'd go with perhaps a variation of the Storey's root cellar, particularly for building the roof structure, since someone had to have determined the load capability. I sent you a copy some time back, so dig it up when you get chance and have a look at it. I like the idea of a layer of straw flakes, then cover with Earth to keep the weight down, but the insulating properties up.

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    5. A good alternative without earth is to double insulate by having two walls with alternating studs, with fiberglass. Place rigid board inbetween. A 8x8 lumber cube is $300. Add insulation to the one wall is an additional $200. $500 total. Double walls lumber cost $150. Double the fiberglass, add $200. Insert rigidboard for $300 ( varies according to thickness ). Total cost $1100. A bit more than double the construction cost but heating costs go down exponentially.

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  4. "Using money ONCE, or using petroleum products ONCE, that is an investment. Needing money every two weeks is a DEPENDENCY."

    That is perhaps the most precise and concise summary of preparedness that I have ever read. You truly have a way with words, LB.

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    1. Well, to be honest, I way a way with SOME words. You usually have to slog through thousands before you get to a few really good ones :)

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  5. For getting used to living like our ancestors, I highly encourage reading the book, "Surviving Off-Off Grid" by Michael Bunker. I think the only solar powered item in his house is a ceiling fan for air circulation. Great book, very encouraging. I don't fully agree with some aspects of his religious persuasion, but that can be overlooked.

    In yesterdays comments you mentioned adding glass to the BPOD for solar heat gain. Have you considered Lexan Twinwall sheet that's used for greenhouses? A wall of it would probably be cheaper than one sliding glass door (new). It'd probably last about 10 years and would be mostly immune from earthquake damage, hail, and thrown rocks. You could plug holes with caulking if it became damaged, but it's difficult to see clearly through if that's an issue. Also, you could store a couple sheets out of the sun for replacement which would be a lot more convenient than figuring out a repair or replacement for irreplaceable glass.
    Peace out

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    1. Not a bad point about irreplaceable glass, but I like that glass can last multiple decades rather than one. I think if I buy "off" pieces from a glass shop and stockpile extras, plus use a relatively small piece, that would be better.

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    2. Perhaps you should only buy the "off" glass that you can get two of the exact same size for the one framed opening. That way you can keep one in reserve and replace your destroyed windows after you believe your homestead has just been attacked for the last time (resource wars ya know) and just hope it doesn't happen again. If you can't duplicate the discount glass/window purchase, you can always get sheet vinyl from the sewing/crafts department at your local China-Mart. The sheet vinyl lasts a lot longer (not sure how much longer) under UV rays than regular plastic sheeting. Then you just need quality duct tape to attach it and be prepared to replace it every year or two.
      Peace out

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    3. If I saw it correctly, cutting glass is just a small tool and a certain stone to polish the edge. That would be a good investment anyway, for salvage.

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  6. Jim we are spoiled but this reminds me of the Druids' Lakeland republic. Every thing we use/do has a simpler lower cost alternative. Car /bike is your favorite example then solar vs. grid . As a brain exercise imagine an 1850 homesteader out fitting his isolated farm with a choice of old and modern items.

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    1. I liked the Druid's book and will probably buy a copy to keep a good writer supported. I think I have all his other collapse themed books. A little disappointed it came out so soon after the blog as I won't be ready to re-read for a year or two.

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  7. For overview of how expensive, inferior and rare glass was just 150 years ago, look at archives of PPG (Philadelphia Plate Glass co). We built caves of stone and wood, and damaged our lungs with fire for light before glass. The workaround was thin sheets of mica or stretched greased skins that let in some light on a bright day (when you could just open a hatch and put bug netting in). The combination of Edison electric lights (with Edison wet cell batteries) and inexpensive large glass panes must have been an amazing upgrade for our tough ancestors. We have mere incremental upgrade to LED and Lexan, which are both made of magic not to be easily duplicated with cave man manufacturing, afaict. Betcha Edison tech will come back quickly, if knowledge that it's possible and examples exist. The Soviets were greatly encouraged in A-bomb building by knowing for-sure that it was possible (and having all of the plans from spies).

    pdxr13

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    1. The sci-fi stories where "if we know it, they will come" are right up there with unlimited energy fantasies. The ancients knew enough but had resource bottlenecks. Same with the future. Charcoal could only do so much before coal and only oil does certain things. Without them you once again hit a ceiling in energy output.

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    2. One precaution to take would be to place a heavy screen protector over the exterior of the windows (Think in terms of the heavy screen protectors over the headlamps of off road vehicles and ATV's). This will at least protect them from being broken from outside interferences such as rocks, kids balls, etc.

      The Lexan sheets that the poster above mentioned are durable. Place one on a window on the north side of your structure and out of the sunlight to avoid direct UV exposure, and it should last a lifetime. I'd also keep on hand some other cheaper and easier to store alternatives such as waxed paper or plastic sheeting.

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    3. Both great ideas. I had thought of the screen, myself, but of course went off on other tangents as per usual.

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    4. An overshoot paddlewheel mill for grinding grain allowed for more population in an area. Add power take-off and generate some power for LED's or battery charging, or electrolytic plating/stripping metals. We are not going to move back to a metal free hunter-gatherer economy , just an import-free and liquid fuel shortage economy where the US Dollar will be just another banana republic fiat currency to buy with in the market. Savings will be pm's and land, labor will be cheap (in pm's, compared to now), and gardens will be better than ever. After a couple of years of "disorder", natch'.

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    5. Correct me if I'm wrong, but even a homemade battery has a finite life as the metals dissolve ( or whatever they do, degrading ). LED's last a long time but are fragile and not water proof. Whatever you do, you need trade. And without petroleum you can't mine too many areas anymore, globally. What about sea trade? Needs a monopoly of force. In a contraction, trade localizes. The US will NOT survive as a nation state. How do we trade?

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    6. Edison batteries have multi decade lifespans, as do the smaller spread out watertight LEDs. LEDs are cheap enough to stock up on as well, and Edison batteries, like any other battery, can be rebuilt at small town workshop level with little in the way of outside resources needed (other than energy inputs of course).

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    7. You don't need more nickel and copper to rebuild a battery?

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