daily ad

Monday, January 9, 2017

frozen porch gnome 2 of 2


FROZEN PORCH GNOME 2

In our last article, to refresh your memory after a wild weekend of hookers and cocaine ( is anyone aware of where that saying originated from?  I’m thinking it was a recent politician scandal ), we thought it might be a good idea to Test The Preps.  Yes, “we”.  I know you think it is a good idea.  Prepping is such an analytical activity it sometimes veers off from reality and you need to introduce the ideas and concepts to real life.  Now, obviously, we can’t test our dum-dum ammunition on living flesh, or for that matter taste human flesh to see if you even could, but there are legal and ethical ( remember, after the nation state invalidates its legitimacy by failing to protect or provide for its citizens, and we return to tribalism-which got a bad rap when viewed through Arab insurgents but is THE proven organizational way to win a guerrilla war-it then becomes ethical to mistreat all Not Of Your People.  You can call me misogynist when I tell you girls can’t be equal warriors and you can call me xenophobic or whatever when I discus reality After Oil, and I don’t really care.  My job is to point out Real Life.  Please go elsewhere for fantasy ) tests you can easily conduct.

*

I hope we all know that Equal Unemployment is coming to most.  Be it in an organized economic contraction or be it from far more disruptive violent methods ( I’m not sure why you would need money if worse than 1929 Great Depression Redux occurred, but generally in unemployment prepping you take least worst case scenario first and move on from there ), the economic collapse happening globally means that sooner or later you can’t count on employment much longer.  Trade is coming to a screeching halt as money velocity slows to a trickle and over capacity in everything ( yes, including oil.  That doesn’t mean that it isn’t running out.  The Acceptable Level BTU stuff is pretty much all gone, as was the high grade coal long ago.  Even the Saudi’s are not pumping as much sweet as they are high impurity crap from marginal wells ) means that factories need to shut down, as well as everything that feeds off that product production.  Things like civil servants, truck transport, lawyers, retail, etc. 

*

So now you need to do an Unemployment Test.  I don’t know about you but I’ve only ever been unemployed for three weeks recently.  I was unemployed for four or five weeks once, in the Eighties before I abandoned all better judgment and re-enlisted for the military after being out a year and a half.  I ate nothing but potatoes and margarine and read from a box of paperbacks I already owned, plus drew down on my cigarette stash.  That was unemployment with no planning and no money.  The next time I was much better prepared, twenty-two years later.  I had savings and a variety of food and all other requirements.  But real unemployment?  Never.  One reason was I never owned property that anchored me to a place ( the ones I own now, being junk land, is beneficial for unemployment, not detrimental ) and I could move at will to decent employment areas.  Plus, being Baby Jesus’ favorite, things just work out for me.  I KIND of know how to live unemployed.  Subtracting land payment, child support, transportation for a wife, liquor for same, cigarettes, and I already know how to live on a couple of hundred bucks a month.  But what about you?  Can you live on unemployment?

*

Find out what your state pays in unemployment.  See if you would qualify for food stamps.  Add in the amount you have saved.  Now, go open a separate savings account ( or, if you prefer, just stuff an envelope with cash you keep at home.  The point is to tally your results ).  With your still regular employment, take each paycheck and subtract the following.  Commuting gasoline cost, the equivalent of your unemployment check and food stamp amount ( you can go online and check out all these benefits without actually applying ).  Any leftover from your check goes into the special savings.  Your REGULAR savings, what you already had prior to this exercise, may be used how you see fit.  The point is to see if you can make it without the paycheck leftover, and for how long.  Now, let’s say your cable bill comes due.  If you can’t pay it with your reduced amount, it is effectively “canceled” for the purpose of the exercise.  Pay it from the new savings with a money order or whatever, but in your record keeping this is now a non-bill.  It ceases to be recurring because it is no longer a service/product you can afford on unemployment.

*

Keep a journey or whatever way allows you to track your progress.  See how long it takes to lose the car, or until the bank would foreclose on the house ( remember, the new savings account covers actual shortfalls, but then the exercise reflects a failure to pay ).  I would use this as an excuse to wipe out all unnecessary items such as that cable or a cell phone or whatever, but that is not the point.  The point is to see in concrete form how long you could survive of a government check if unemployed.  I plan my unemployment on cash savings only, foregoing government checks in my worse case scenario.  I would HOPE I get a check from Trump, the greedy orange bastard, as it would keep me from dipping into my prep stash and make life easy as far as off-grid power generation and such with a little extra cash every month, but only time will tell on that.  Also, on the exercise/journal, I would advise actually moving money around to give the illusion of unavailability.  Just a paper-only test is too abstract and may not have the same stress related wake up call you need.  These three tests, being without electric, being without heat and being without wages, are an every day occurrence and don’t depend on a collapse.  If you aren’t even ready for those, how prepared are you for an actual collapse?

END

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page.  IF YOU DON’T SEE THE AD, DISABLE AD BLOCK ( go to the Ad Blocker while on my page and scroll down the menu to “disable this site” ). You can purchase anything, not just the linked item. Enter Amazon through my item link and then go to whatever other item you desire. As long as you don’t leave Amazon until after the order is placed, I get credit for your purchase.  For those that can’t get the ads because they are blocked by your software, just PayPal me occasionally or buy me something from my Amazon Wish List once a year.  Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for mere Book Money, so do your part.*** 
*Contact Information*  Links To Other Blogs *  Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com           *wal-mart wheat
*Link To All My Published Books
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

22 comments:

  1. Got a real life test as water froze, electricity went out, roads got drifted over, just for a day. water still frozen been melting snow on wood stove. might try drive to town today, not to bad when you know its temporary...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Right, temporary is not much stress. Throw on a sweater and attach an LED book light to your reading material. Longer term, how do you get coffee, save the fridge contents, etc.

      Delete
  2. Off topic from today's post:
    Have you read "Empire of the Summer Moon"? I just finished this book and thought it might be of interest to you. I usually don't care for history books, but this one was pretty interesting in its descriptions of how the Comanche frustrated the White settlers for many, many decades. Much of what the White settlers did in Texas sounds like the prepper's wet dream of a self-sufficient, static fortress in hostile territory. But, the settlers did not fare very well against a mobile group that did not have permanent villages and could travel long distances in short amounts of time. For example, the Comanche would just ride around the forts and find a soft target to attack and steal things from. The settlers also tended to underestimate the Comanche and fell for the same military maneuvers over and over again. The book challenges a lot of my automatic thoughts about how one might maintain one's security in a hostile world.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This book also challenges the Mystic Red Man Myth. Read it from the library, it was so good I ordered a copy AND got the authors other work on Stonewall.

      Delete
  3. At the very least having a plan on what to do when unemployed is essential.
    Filing for unemployment, hunting for new work, dealing with depression, etc. are all stressors that will fill your life if you are unemployed. You wont have time to analyze what else you need to do until it is too late if you don't have a plan.
    (plan to ask for as much as you can get from your former employer, i.e. pay for unused vacation and sick time, severance pay, to keep any tools of the trade in your possession, etc, etc. Also plan to file for unemployment and other aid immediately - even if your state has a waiting period and you think you have another job lined up. Figure out what expenses must be cut immediately, which ones you need to keep, which ones you need to scale back on, how long you can keep the kept expenses, etc. Have all this written out somewhere so that you can refer to it when that time comes- and it will most likely come for all of us at one point or another.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looking for another job was stressful enough, and that had warning and prep.

      Delete
    2. Exactly. And, of course, when other people know you are unemployed they assume you have nothing but free time and try to tie you down with every sort of time wasting obligation they can think of i.e. " Oh, can you watch my petunias for me, they only need to be sang to for an hour every other hour and given sparkling water every 3rd hour if it is raining, thanks!"

      Delete
    3. But if you repo the pick-up truck, at least you don't have to help anyone move.

      Delete
    4. Unfortunately you are wrong, they still expect you to help them fill their rented u-haul - after all you are 'unemployed' and have nothing better to do. It doesn't matter how heavy their boxes are, or that they are up 3 flights of stairs.

      Delete
    5. LOL. That is what you get for having friends or living near family :)

      Delete
  4. Years ago I was told a story by a guy who lost his job when the factory he worked at closed down.

    He told me that they were working 6 days a week with plenty of overtime and the workers were raking the cash in. He was smart and saved everything above what he would get for a standard week whilst his co-workers spent that extra on toys and booze, the rest they wasted (it's an old joke I know)

    Well one day, out of the blue they arrived at work the gates were locked. They were all out of a job.

    Because it was such big news the politicians ensured that everyone went onto social security straight away. Everyone that is, except old mate who saved. He had to wait until his savings were exhausted and no, he couldn't go out and blow it on toys and booze like his co-workers had. Social security worked out how long his savings should last and told him when he could re-apply.

    Boy was he ever bitter about that. I met him when I was into buying Gold and Silver.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nowadays of course, it just wouldn't do to put cash in the bank, so that avoids that problem. Other problems crop up, of course.

      Delete
    2. That situation only worked because he had all that money in the bank, and/or was likely honest about how much savings he had. If he had kept it under the mattress and kept mum about it he would still have much of it today.
      Better still if it had been invested in greenhouses, paying off debt, etc, it would not depreciate with inflation.
      A couple months expenses in savings plus property tax is the max you want to ever have in a bank and cash

      Delete
    3. Anymore, most places, once unemployment hits it pretty much can be a permanent state of affairs. That is why unemployment figures decreased-they stopped looking for work after no more jobs were available. No lookie, not officially unemployed. Rethink only short term expenses.

      Delete
    4. Oh, I agree. I will probably never have another full time job when this one (hopefully later rather than sooner) goes away. But the point is the savings is mostly just for the transition and a little left over for emergencies. Anything else will be used against you for getting benefits.
      Instead transition to as you state, spending almost nothing aka extreme frugality.
      Me, I'll have to cut cable, cellphones, internet and move out the camper on our land ASAP to cut rent. File for the homestead tax exemptions the following week, etc, etc,

      Delete
    5. Okay, sorry, I thought we were going under the assumption that all savings were off the govt radar. And best of luck to you on that later rather than sooner, a condition most of us hope for even knowing the reality.

      Delete
  5. Most people don't realize how much is available if you make the effort to get it. In 2007, I was laid off and a elderly friend took me to the food bank. WOW, just the food bank could have fed a family of 4 (yes, ribeyes, rack of lamb, always eggs and chicken, always fresh veggies)I actually liked working part time for cash and using the system resources that were going bad because the food bank had too much food to give out. The people that could use the food were too lazy to get up early in the morning and get it!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Food bank donations from private sources maxed out in 2007. Downhill since. Since then, grocery store donations have increased exponentially. Before, they were being charitable. Now, taking the tax break to offset lost sales. Soon enough, some will start closing. The market is oversaturated.

      Delete
  6. Sort of reminds me of an article I put up after being inspired (I forget if it was by you or Druid'dude)
    http://pointingouttheabsurdandoutragous.blogspot.com/2015/08/unemployment-at-any-time-so-with-price.html
    Comes back to - expect it.
    Plan for it.
    write that plan.
    Take measurable steps to mitigate it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good article. And good for you, escaping the publishing treadmill. I'm too hooked, like a ho on crack, but it is nice to see those who could fight the addiction.

      Delete
    2. Naw, I am a publishing consumer, not a writer (much). I am quite addicted to the tune of about 5 fiction books a week and as many as 2 non-fiction a month (depending on subject and depth). Only table top RPG's can break my cravings without actually holding a book. I have tried TV, Movies, other hobbies, etc, but fiction books do the best. Oddly I don't find post apoc fiction that much use anymore. Probably because we are too close the the real thing.

      Delete
    3. I trust you are using Kindle Unlimited-really an insane bargain if you read that much fiction. Try Roy F Chandler and Rob Leininger for mostly non-post apoc works.

      Delete

I must moderate-trust me. You don't want to see what happens otherwise. Sometimes it takes awhile to respond as I only check two or three times a day. No N-Bombs, nothing to get me libeled. Otherwise, have at it. If you criticize me, make sure to praise my hair first.