daily ad

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

moving to unemployment


MOVING TO UNEMPLOYMENT

Okay, let’s venture back to RealityLand.  You know you are going to lose your job.  All of us will.  This is guaranteed.  To work at a well paying job in the first place is to accept that your employer is dependent on surplus in the economy, because none of us work jobs that are truly necessary.  The farmer, for instance, who you would think you need, is only working his job while there is enough surplus to buy the tractor and combine and etcetera that is all dependent on oil from overseas.  Peasants have been known to be able to grow their own food-and they were doing it before mechanization.  You don’t need the centralized farmer, and he needs surplus energy to be able to allow you to sit in a cubicle shuffling papers rather than be wading ass deep in human offal tinged water weeding your plantation owners rice field ( hint: if you live in the lowland South, expect to be slave labor.  Stay up in the hills if you want to have a chance of staying free ).

*

I’m happy for you that you were an intelligent nerd, and were able to go to engineering classes in between D&D ( just as I refuse to call Shotgun News by its new name, I’m equally baffled why I should add an “advanced” in front of the original game I started out in that was a simple box set ) sessions, and that you’ve had a great life earning a living wage and you got your trophy Old Lady and spawned pretty babies.  More power to you, brother.  But success in this life will not translate over to a needed profession after an apocalypse, nor especially during the economic collapse, if it is in any way involves needing excess energy surplus ( obviously, any manmade activity pre-supposes energy surplus.  Cooking our game kills to feed ourselves pre-digested food by fire to feed a larger brain-by bypassing a larger digestive system- assumed a continuous energy surplus from the very beginning of our species.  So when I say surplus I’m talking about excess surplus.  Which is what our Oil Age has been all about.  Cashing in on an abundance of the excess of excessive energy.  But it wasn’t just all about petroleum.  For five hundred years we’ve wallowed in excess, first with overseas colonies ripe for exploitation and then coal and finally oil.  If you think we can find another five centuries of surplus-and remember, populations pretty much stayed stable as we first recovered from our plague in Europe and then wiped out the colonies population with their plagues, so we used all this surplus up with FAR less folks-you are a delusional asshat who should run over to Glenn Beck and offer him a rim job since you love him so much ).

*

Let’s just run down my personal employment history as an example of oxygen wasting from the worker drones up here in this bitch.  The military itself uses up about 2-3% of all the oil consumption in our country, daily, not counted embedded, and almost all of its personnel and equipment is there to defeat another WWII military force.  But nobody is going to fight us that has a similar military because of our nuclear deterrent ( it is nukes that keep us safe from invaders, not our super wonderful Ninja troops ), so our military, who has shown a propensity over fifty years to be unable to find, fight, or defeat guerillas we can’t target with ICBM’s, is pretty close to useless other than to keep our last factories churning out defense weapons.  It was NEVER about anything else, anyway.  The military industrial complex WAS our economy for three quarters of a century.  But my point here is that it runs on surplus energy.  Moving on, I’ve managed quite a few gas stations, an easy gig as if there isn’t too large of a convenience store attached you actually have the rare treat of working with all males ( working with females is just fine-if you are hunting for a mate.  Otherwise, those bitches be nothing but drama ).

*

Gas stations, their attached mechanical bays, the convenience store sales that make a good share of your profit, all nothing but wasting petroleum for profits ( just like the Interstate highway you need to have attached to the store to have any real success in the higher cost of business areas like California ).  What is a convenience store but junk food vending machines in store form, everything there products of corn?  Corn syrup cola, corn syrup candy, corn syrup puffed air Twinkies, corn fed cow based jerked meat products, all the product of oil pumped irrigation water for a crop using Midwest soil as a sponge for artificial fertilizer to grow corn.  Oil irrigation, oil pumping byproduct natural gas feedstock fertilizer ( the Haber-Bosch process which can only work on industrial scales requiring massive chemical stocks, steel processing and the like, none duplicated on a cottage industry level ) shipped by oil from overseas, oil constructed highways for oil burning rigs to ship product to centralized processing facilities and then outwards again to distribution centers who ship it again to the far flung corners thousands of miles away, each drop of corn product traveling tens of thousands of miles in a circular route to its final destination.  You have no idea the embedded energy behind a Twinkie.

*

I’ve worked at casino’s in Nevada.  The industry is close to dead now but when I started that was prior to every Indian tribe or state lottery starting up and draining away business-now rather than a tourist trap they survive on locals in a rush to get rid of their paychecks.  But back in the day, folks from all over the country and sometimes the world would fill airplanes flying into various points of the state, eagerly intent on spending money gambling and visiting the brothels.  And you pretty much had to fly unless you lived close by.  The only other competition was Atlantic City and who the Hell wanted their YankeeLand pricks as customers?  Let them have New Yoykas and Jewousy State’s surplus money.  Surplus money wasn’t really such a surplus energy source, but flying by air is an atrocious drain of fuel alone, never mind the ships and infrastructure ( I’ve read, but understood at least some is a bit of hyperbole, that one cross Atlantic flight consumed more kilocalories than it took to build the pyramids of Egypt ).

*

And working at a Food Bank?  It ain’t about picking up scraps out of a dumpster.  Our entire food industry factors in waste for profit.  The stores overstock shelves hoping to increase sales-not that this works anymore with increased unemployment and cut hours and increased medical costs ( itself a ten to twenty percent direct tax to the bankers ), but folks in corporate business are about as dumb as a box of rocks as that is directly correlated to job security, and the myth persists that building a better field means they will come.  We’ve talked about the insane tax breaks corporates get for donating food.  So, waste is encouraged, at least to the point of desire for public relations and tax write-downs.  And you waste energy hauling all that extra food, after you’ve wasted energy growing it, so then a food bank wastes even more energy picking it up and storing it and the clients waste energy coming to get it and throwing away some of it that goes bad. 

*

All of our jobs are about wasting and consuming excess energy.  That is what we do, that is ALL that we do ( “Terminator” reference ).  And so, ipso facto, what in the name of all the gods do you think happens when the oil starts running out?  Well, it has already happened, hasn’t it?  We no longer consume 20 million barrels of oil in this country every day, but now more like 18.  Ten percent.  That is the loss-not even counting the EROI loss-of energy we’ve seen due to economic contraction and the beginning of the petrodollar collapse.  We aren’t burning more after the price dropped nicely because we don’t have the means fair or foul to procure the extra oil.  All these problems you see now?  The EROI collapse, the unemployment through the roof, the retail industry free-falling, the near sudden failure of the college industry and the medical industry, the huge government spending deficits,  and everything else that is seriously wrong suddenly, that is from ten percent less oil available.  What happens when it drops another 10%?  Or more?  Got Job?  Of course you don’t, silly rabbit.

*

I understand why you would feel it necessary to cling stubbornly to your job.  Me, I sucked in enough stress to effect my health to keep I job I didn’t even need for the money.  I was just following all of our life script.  Ya gots at work, period.  Stop.  I can imagine most of you actually have far more financial obligations.  So not only is working expected, what other choice do you have?  But, you can’t keep your job all that much longer.  Remember, DURING the fracking miracle, so called, was when we lost that ten percent oil supply.  What happens as the fracking numbers decline?  They have already leveled out.  You know, that pesky bell curve deal?  The only thing you are doing by stubbornly clinging to the illusion you’ll die before your job will is that you can’t imagine the alternative.  Which is, you don’t work.  Oh, you’ll work.  You’ll be manually doing everything that your suddenly no longer affordable machines used to do for you.  You just won’t get paid to do it.  You’ll work like a dog but not for a paycheck.

*

This is what used to  be known as the household economy.  You will, for instance, walk down to the creek for water, several times a day.  Before, you did the following to get water.  You went into debt to get job training, then went to work to afford a mortgage payment to be close to work.  You paid most of your wages for that house payment, as the local monopoly on force charged a HUGE mark-up to pump water to your house ( along with the paved roads, power lines and etcetera ).  Do you honestly think a quarter of your mortgage payment is worth police protection, sewer, water and power lines?  Our town of 20k has a budget of $20 million a year.  Call it four people per household.  Five thousand homes paying at least three thousand each a year ( this also pays state and county, of course ) is fifteen million.  Obviously there are more taxes than that, but think about what you are paying every month just for infrastructure.  The water bill is separate, a quarter million a month for operations to the town, as is the electric bill.  If your mortgage is half your pay and a quarter of that is taxes to bring you water, you are paying fifteen percent of your mortgage for the privilege of not having to schlep water ( yes, I know it isn’t quite that high as there are other services, but close enough ).

*

 I think I’d rather carry water.  And don’t pull out the Old Humper Card on me.  Your ancestors somehow got water without electronic pumps, even into old age.  Why should this be rocket science?  Would you REALLY like to calculate the cost of your electric?  Those poles are built into the price of your home, just like water pipes, and THEN you pay again for government services and THEN you pay from a meter with usage.  Taking my rural property, to get a pole out to my land, a mere 300 feet, I’m looking at four to five grand ( the transformer alone is three ).  That is almost the cost of the land.  Urban property is less of course, and much less than the land cost, but it still adds 2% cost to your mortgage.  Add another probably 8% for roads and water and sewer.  Now pay interest on that for thirty years.  I mean, seriously, how hard is it to haul water and watch your use on electric so you can have solar?  And, I might point out, all this power, water and sewer costs you are paying?  That whole legacy system has been falling apart for decades, the governments neglecting maintenance even as they raise prices.  Soon, all that money you are paying, equal to fifteen to twenty percent of your mortgage if not your gross income, will be for naught as the delivery system fails.  Why wouldn’t you want to be utility independent, even if it was a bit extra work?  Smart answer is independence is now much smarter, safer and cheaper. 

*

If you want convenience, you must work for a paycheck the rest of your life.  Convenience locks you into dependency.  And yet, thank you mad scramble by everyone to try to make money so niche products are both widely available and made cheaply in China, it has never been easier or cheaper to be off grid than it is now.  You can live very close to the lifestyle you lead now with never little sacrifice.  You don’t even need all that much in the way of solar panels or batteries.  If you have a Honda generator ( better an Indian made cast iron low RPM generator but I don’t know if they are any easier to get than they were before when you had to search hard and mess with importation ) you can run the curling iron, vacuum, pre-cook the days meals in the microwave and perform other high watt tasks for an hour every morning, all on one gallon of gasoline a week.  Then, your very small solar and battery set-up is the only thing you need for minimal lighting and TV during the night ( use your computer during the day “off battery” as it were )( the refrigerator can have its own panels and batteries ).  12v water pumps are able to mostly mimic city water pressure, if you haven’t gotten a gravity system set up.

*

So, after a Honda generator costing a grand, a solar fridge at about $500, lights and TV taking only $200 in panels, perhaps a more energy efficient computer, you are still comfortable under two thousand bucks to live very close to on grid power-wise.  Even another panel and battery set-up to run a pellet stove ( believe it or not there are a lot of locations that don’t have wood-we aren’t talking about post apoc survival here but about a turn key proto-OnGrid set up to insure the wife isn’t living in squalor and will hence fight you on a move to off grid ) is only $200.  Still under $2k total.

*

You can live in a travel trailer if necessary, just strip the walls down to the frame and install 2x4’s and sheetrock.  Roomier, more like a real living space, and much brighter and cheerier.  Cabinets and stained fake wood do not a home make ( I know us guys don’t care.  Girls do.  Treat Mama right and she’ll return the favor.  If she won’t, leave here in town ).  Add a enclosed porch to make it far more comfortable-and safer to install that stove.  You are still looking at chump change and your quality of life improves.  All for another thousand bucks or so.  And you can do all this a few hundred bucks at a time.  No need to get into debt or stress not having the cash up front.  Now, you have a much smaller home but one that is mostly energy self-sufficient, all for a few thousand dollars.  Say, three for the land and three for home improvements.  Two to build an actual small home.  All on small payments and cash savings and cash flow.  You’ve just moved off grid, comfortably.  Now you can think about why you want to keep working.

*

If you have no debt and no rent, the only thing keeping you working is your car and habit.  I can see not wanting to give up the car-almost everyone loves the vile pieces of crap.  So you’ll at least need enough cash flow to keep your beater running and even without a car payment there is still insurance and gas.  Plus eventual larger surprise payments like the clutch or trannie giving out ( how is that “cars make me free and independent” thing working out for you? ).  And of course life is always full of extra expenses such as replacement shoes and clothing and repairing the homestead to avoid entropy, and entertainment costs and the like.  No one can be unemployed without money, you are just minimizing the amount of money needed so you can survive on a casual income rather than needing a regular paycheck. 

*

Just don’t fall for the crap about a second income being a safety net.  If you don’t have a job and neither does anyone else, how successful do you think your “home craftsman” business is going to be?  Once their jobs go, there goes your home business for lack of customers.  So your own home business is not the answer to the economic collapse past a certain point.  Living off grid with almost no bills and having a casual income business is just about you improving your quality of life.  It buys you no extra time in the collapse.  But it also does one very important thing living in town paying rent can’t do.  It is hands on experience in living on less, living off grid and surviving without a paycheck.  You can’t live all comfortably on grid while working and then magically suddenly have the coping mechanism to adjust to life without that.  Nor will you have the means ( granted, living the well paid on grid life is fine if you are also building your off grid bug out location-bugging out is fine as long as its within reasonable walking distance, and that journey is reasonably safe ).

*

With a bug out location you at least have the skills and resources for living off grid.  Great.  You don’t have the skill for living without a paycheck, and that adjustment will blow, but at least you set up the needed resources to be able to make the adjustment.  So, really, prepping to be unemployed presupposes your preps are in place and your paid for junk land retreat is in place.  Then it isn’t a necessity but a quality of life decision.  Remember, it isn’t about doing nothing.  You’ll work harder than ever unemployed.  As long as you have the preps for it.  If you don’t, you’ll be living out of a car in the ghetto and lacking the tools to live on Food Stamps.  That will suck.  From both the homeless and guys I’ve known living off grid on their own land, without the proper kitchen tools it is hard to live on affordable food.  Anyone can buy a $4 pack of pre-cooked chicken or a $2 can of Spam, and that is what you do when you are unprepared.  But that gets old quick.  So does paying extra for a single serving of raw meat you buy on the way home to your off grid place.  You need a way to process, cook and store bulk meat or your food bill will never be met by Food Stamps.

*

If you aren’t making your own tofu for fake meat, which isn’t the worst idea ( soy is pure toxins if not processed properly, kind of like acorns, but tofu is one of the ways to properly process it and with a industrial size container of meat flavor you can have fake meat cheaply ), you need refrigeration and canning for your meat budget to stay low enough for your frugal lifestyle.  I’m not saying Food Stamps will be around forever, or that it is even a good idea to be on them, but it is a current back-up plan you should at least consider.  But to return to deciding to leave the work rat race, with no rent and a half car expense, with only incidentals as your monthly expense outside of food, a couple can live off grid and only need $200 or $300 each to stay comfortable.  Once you eliminate the need for all the ways to stay close to a job, it doesn’t take much to live on.  So why are you still working?  To what purpose? 

*

Some folks are perfectly content to work like a dog all their life.  I spent the last twenty seven years working two jobs.  Some years I might have been down to an extra hour a day only, other times up to four or six.  I had something to show for it, mostly in the form of preps and the tools to live a very frugal lifestyle, but once those were in place it was harder and harder to justify all the extra work as anything other than Killing Time and Habitual Inertia.  Spinning my wheels.  I stayed working for a paycheck years after the effort wasn’t justified.  Not because I hated hard work, just that I hated working hard for morons who used it to their advantage only and then kicked me like a dog.  Even an idiot dog eventually smartens up enough to move out of range.  Be smarter than me and leave early rather than late.  You are just beating the inevitable, leaving on your own term under better conditions.

END

Please support Bison by buying through the Amazon ad graphics at the top of the page. ***You can support me through Patreon ( go to www.patreon.com/bison )***You can make donations or book purchases through PayPal ( www.paypal.me/jimd303 )

*** Unless you are in extreme poverty, spend a buck a month here, by the above donation methods or buy a book. If you don't do Kindle, send me a buck and I'll e-mail it to you.  Or, send an extra buck and I'll send you a CD ( the file is in PDF.  I’ll waive this fee if you order three or more books at one time ).  My e-mail is: jimd303@reagan.com  My address is: James M Dakin, 181 W Bullion Rd #12, Elko NV 89801-4184

*** Pay your author-no one works for free.  I’m nice enough to publish for barely above Mere Book Money, so do your part.***   Land In Elko*  Lord Bison* my bio & biblio*   my web site is www.bisonprepper.com *** Wal-Mart wheat***Amazon Author Page
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there

 

 

16 comments:

  1. I agree with the "Complex Society" aspect that we work to justify a paycheck and maintain an illusion.

    However people will again accumulate wealth, if only by their own work, and the tent might become a cabin and then a real house (with real walls, and not this cardboard and styrofoam mix they use in Suburbia) on real land.

    This, however, would happen one to two generations after the collapse. The collapse in itself will be quite comprehensive. There is no way urban and suburban populations will survive due to their numbers, their geography and the decisionmaking that led them in that situation.

    Even in Elko people will be "disappeared", this will be off the books and nobody is going to try harming that crazy Lee-Enfield guy that used to have a blog (that I'm sure Elko police reads daily if only for the laughs).

    This is where the slavery bit is interesting. If the local police (& friends like DHS) are setting up a "work gang" (=slaves) to "clean up" the city during the collapse (or "help them helping themselves", like Work Houses and Poor Houses in the Victorian era), who is going to stop them ?

    Those slavers will leave the armed alone, because they're no fools, but they will attack the weak - and most people will mumble "one less mouth to feed" and nobody is going to oppose them.

    The collapse means paychecks and cash will be uselss, but some groups will find ways to keep eating in a "civilized" way.

    Many western movies from the 50's that feature "independent farmes" Vs large land owners / ranchers are somewhat post-apocalyptic in a sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My wager ( you bet your life! ) is that this area has nothing to offer the oppressors. Not suitable for farming, so slavery is probably not the issue. Those left will quickly kill each other as supplies dwindle.

      Delete
    2. I totally agree that slavery will disguise itself (again) It is already here with prisoners working for the profit of the privately owned prison. They will just end up making so many things a crime that they will be able to make almost anyone a criminal (especially if you cant afford the necessary attorney or bribes).

      Delete
  2. Excellent post.

    I think the emphasis you have is very visual and should be "real" enough for everyone to see -- positioning yourself to live unemployed, forever.

    In today's economy between automation, outsourcing, immigration, reduced resources, predatory governments, etc, this is a legitimate concern for EVERYONE.

    The CEO can be laid off as well as the line person, even the self employed can lose their customers. When the economy goes down, there is no money. Period.

    That nifty Plan B you have of holding a permanent yard sale, selling figurines on eBay, mowing lawns, cutting firewood for sale.... guess what, everyone else is doing it to.

    Your best bet is to become a Jack of all trades and take care of all your own necessities. If you have a little surplus, you can sell or barter that. If it doesn't sell, you just absorb it into your own household. For example, your potato patch really produced well this year and you have all you really need. You can trade or sell the extra for something else you need or if it does sell, you just eat a few more potatoes that year. No down side because you have a lot of other things that you did for yourself to round things out. Potatoes was just one of the two dozen things you grew this year.

    If you specialize and only do one thing, you are trapped in having a customer base. This is fine for good times but sucks during bad times when everyone is scrambling and no one has customers.

    Different strategies are needed during hard times. What Jim is trying to do is open everyone's eyes to the fact that we have reached the hard times. Your plans need to be adjusted accordingly. Do this early before everyone else and the easier it is.

    Idaho Homesteader

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know I was one of those who celebrated the idea we escaped the economic collapse in 2008. Nothing has reinforced this view however, so it is time to give up on the Prepper Business As Usual.

      Delete
    2. IH, this is spot on. I'd like to add that we are doing way to much without noticing. We will probably have to downscale on that as well.

      I have a problem in my inner ear that makes me tried quite quickly, so I had to cut down my activity drastically. For instance after four hours of teaching per day I am exhausted and unable to do much more, whereas a couple of years ago I could so some sewing or even just clean up the place.

      Malnutrition, disease and depression may well lead to a similar situation : the few ressources you still have are just sufficient to keep yourself alive (not even necessarily clean, if for instance you have to fetch extra water for that).

      The one with more ressources can do more in a day and hence accumulate more wealth and/or local importance.

      It is documented that peasants were considered very lazy during the industrial revolution, but conscription also revealed many peasants were malnourished and weak.

      The Zero-Skill Approach is also aimed at that sort of issue : all your solution must be so few and also so simple that a weak person can do it with as little effort as possible.

      Delete
    3. 2008 bailouts and various other pretenses gave us the appearance of a stay of execution in the collapse. But it is only the appearance we are still collapsing, we are just hiding it from ourselves.

      Delete
    4. wellll..... Sorta. The fronts of the buildings are kept looking nice, and maybe even the customers/client areas, but the rest of the buildings and hidden infrastructure is allowed to go to pot. We don't have enough capital to fix it (energy resources labor) but we did have just enough then (2008ish) to slap on a coat of paint that looked good for a little while. The paint is chipping, and another coat would strain what we can afford and just make things look worse, as we can not afford even to do the paint right anymore.

      Delete
    5. ave is correct.
      southerners were considered to be worthless and lazy but it was found that parasitic worms were endemic.
      scaling your preparations to be feasible for those who are weak, ill, old is excellent idea. it will make your work easier while you are young and healthy, and make work possible after an illness or age weaken you.
      i've noticed that most tools are made heavy and large, obviously for young men or amazons.
      why, i don't know.
      lighter tools have a wider user base.
      remember, the first efficiency expert discovered that 12 pound capacity shovels got more fuel moved than the 16 pounders because men could work longer and faster with a lighter load.
      it's a thought, as is the making doorways wider when you are young in case an injury requires use of a wheelchair in the house. it is painful to scrape your knuckles on door posts.
      think about other small modifications like this when you are building or remodelling.

      Delete
    6. I wrote an article on planning for old age, should be posting any day now. I hadn't heard about either the parasites or the shovel study-interesting!

      Delete
    7. JJ-now that's funny-we can't afford the paint for the Potemkin Village!

      Delete
  3. Maybe a different tack on the trailer build. Instead of tearing off insides, maybe removing outside skin and installing insulation board on OUTSIDE of environment envelope would work better. Wall is good, but where you really want some extra board is on the roof. Insulate around the sides, install new cladding on that and let the roof insulation panels overlap the walls on side for extra shade.

    That is where I would start that project.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, an outside envelope would work 300% better. Or more. It just seems a shame to kill the best part of the trailer which is the fireproof outer shell.

      Delete
    2. If you install two layers of outside board, offset the seams of the panels for less place for wind to get through. Fire retardent can be added to a stucco outside finish for a pretty good fire barrier.

      Thinking more of your idea of gutting interior trailer finishes, an open plan does sound like a better deal. Some benches and fold against the wall counters that provide storage space below - nice ! Make a great man cave, we tend to keep things simple don't we ?

      Delete
    3. The last trailer, the couch was broken so I finally took it out along with the table. Made a raised platform for a more insulated floor and put a recliner in ( that was fun, getting it through the two foot door ). I didn't get rid of the cabnets but even so just that one thing made a much nicer living room.

      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.