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Tuesday, June 13, 2017

normal cans


NORMAL CANS

Most of us, not the Fracker Fags that collect AR magazines in anticipation of The Great Apocalyptic Hurricane, but those of us perhaps just a smidge friggin worried that Optimism isn’t a very thorough survival strategy and that maybe just probably a finite earth filling with unlimited people could in all probability lead to systematic collapse and an ensuing Dark Age as it has all through the last twelve thousand years of the Agricultural Revolution and no amount of American Greatness hubris is going to change that and I’m sorry that Mister Hubbert in High School history class was a perverted looking weirdo and all he covered was dates and names and you really hate the subject but history does friggin matter so pay attention to it.  And yet even if we are worried, we are all trolling in Normalcy Bias and think Kicking The Can will be occupying the rest of our sorry sad sack lives.  You need to fight against this sort of thinking every day, as if you were a fat bastard ( who wants the OTHER, other white meat ) who has to deny himself the Siren call of Twinkies every waking moment.

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While it is true that there is no such thing as a three hundred year collapse ( which starts when resources start to contract, not when normal shenanigans such as inflation or corruption begin-which they can for other reasons ), nor is a literal overnight collapse very probable ( possible, such as nuclear war, asteroids, solar flares or super volcanoes, but rarely probable ), you still need to be on your toes for Quick rather than Instant collapses.  The beginning of the War Of Northern Colonialism was a Quick Collapse, for Southerners.  In four short years they would see women and children dying of famine after the scorched earth policy of Grant/Sherman destroyed their crops and livestock ( which, on top of three years of malnutrition, quickly became famine.  You won’t read about that in Northern approved school texts ).  If you had been looking at the rear view mirror and expected Business As Usual to continue, you would have erroneously believed that the fight would have remained political and distant.

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If you thought that 1973 would have been 1967 Kicking The Can you would not have been prepared for the OPEC oil wars and the death of manufacturing in the US.  No one expects you to see with a crystal ball.  We have no ideas the strange happenings afoot ( who knew to bury gold the day FDR was elected? It was mere weeks after the inauguration he stole all the private gold for 40% discounted Greenbacks ).  The problem becomes one when you get used to the idea things will just slowly get worse.  As you can see from just the obvious examples, things go in fits and starts, not in straight downward slopes.  And those were in resource growth eras.  To expect yet more Kick The Can in an era of resource contraction is retarded.   Why are you wasting your time fighting to believe the resources are back to growing, magically?  Very recent history tells us otherwise.  Fracking is the same show and dance they tried to conjure up with Hydrogen Economies and Ethanol Independence. 

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Fracking gas and oil is a product of negative financial investment.  Banks invest in fantasy profits for the simple reason that our economy needs energy for growth to pay the interest on old loans to the banks.  You need oil to drive to work to pay your mortgage, auto loan, credit cards and student debt, and your job needs oil to ship products for profits.  Banks lose a little money on the fracking oil to NOT lose money on all the other debt in the country.  When the companies can’t even pay the interest on the old wells which already saw 80% production decline, the banks just float another loan for the interest payments plus drilling another well.  THAT was the Kicking The Can for the last decade.  And it was far from the worse idea they could have come up with to save the economy.  Your problem, if you think this was American Innovation & Energy Independence, is you can’t see this as Can Kicking and think we have far more time than we do.  Frankly my dear, I don’t think you’ll go wrong panicking at this point.

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NOBODY, and I mean nobody thinks it is a good idea to panic to the point of imprudence, except perhaps the idiots on Doomsday Preppers ( if you don’t get cable, watch on YouTube.  Type in “doomsday preppers” and then, as an example,  “S02E01” where S is season, 02 is season number two, E is episode and 01 is episode one.  Searching another way usually doesn’t give you exactly what you want.  I’ve tried to watch a few more than the original season one that used to be on NetFlix and inevitably have to turn it off in disgust ).  Whatever you do, stay legal and smart as you quickly liquidate assets of an Oil Age nature to exchange for assets and tools for the Waterfall Collapse.  Because here is the thing.  As idiotic as it is to try to time the collapse, I can think of few reasons why you shouldn’t be panicking early.  Forget the simplistic ruse of Republican verses Democrat.  That kabuki theatre is a show for the rubes.  Just look at the massive decline in federal government performance since the turn of the century.

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You needn’t look far into the economy to see how scary it is.  Again, avoid the Retard Show of gammed numbers such as the stock market or the official unemployment numbers.  We’ve been in The Great Depression unemployment levels for eight or nine years now.  Sure, you can find a job.  At twenty or at most thirty hours a week and at minimum wage.  And college degrees gets you a job 25% over minimum ( even if you have to work for free as an intern to do so ).  Need health care?  Sorry, polar bears need ice, too, as do people in Hell.  Want in one hand, dude.  Going out there looking for a job, and trying to live with less than two other roommates, you know the economy is humped.  You don’t need to look at fake government numbers to figure that one out.  Your mistake might be in thinking this is a soon to be resolved recession rather than the Great-er Depression it actually is, but you can still easily see how things are screwed.

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If the fracking numbers aren’t gamed and we actually are at full production, that is up to one third of our total oil supply used daily that we must pump at a financial loss ( spreading that banker loss to other industries such as insurance ) which is at a net energy of about 5 to 1.  Those numbers can’t be good news to any but the most Optimistic Ollie.  Now, throw in the Canadian tar sands with even worse EROI numbers.  Don’t forget ethanol.  Up to half of the oil we use daily is from Fake Oil.  Not conventional petroleum which is probably in the 20 to 1 range today, at best.  If global EROI is 13 or 14 to 1, and most Fake Oils are 4 to 1, with up to half the volume used fake oil that pencils out about right.  But the US is not at the average.  We have a lot of deep well oil from the Gulf Of Mexico and Alaskan oil is high sulfur crap with that volume dropping.  We are more likely at most 10 to 1 EROI.  I’d wager 8 to 1 isn’t unrealistic.  Take that as worse case, of course.  I don’t mean to imply we All Are Going To Die Tomorrow.  Just that with those numbers, we are ripe for a Quick Collapse.  Not necessarily the Civilization Collapse we keep worrying about but another repeat of the Civil War, Great Depression, Oil Shock kind of quick economic contraction. 

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We were almost there in 2008.  Without Fracking Oil we would have been humped.  That injected 25% of our oil use from Must Be Imported to Can Be In-House Financed ( it also is a quite vivid demonstration how weak our PetroDollar imposition is if we couldn’t keep relying on that foreign oil and must instead procure in domestically.  Debt backed PetroDollars buy free oil.  Fracking Oil costs some real buying power currency.  Just like with a mortgage backed security, SOME of the financing must be used for labor and materials, it isn’t ALL just a magic number in a ledger.  PetroDollar oil was 100% free oil.  Fracking takes a good size haircut.  Even if that is only 10%, it is still a more expensive oil.  Lower EROI is just the salt in the wound ).  If you believe the fracking numbers are already declining, as I do, that can only mean rapid EROI decrease and financial calamity.

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Again, I’m not saying this HAS to lead to Civilization Collapse ( although it COULD, which has been my previous warning ), but if all it is is a quick Economic Collapse, as has happened previously in resource increasing times, we need to beware a sudden unexpected bolt out of the blue.  In a resource contracting era, this will be far worse.  The problem with thinking in Uber Slow Collapse is you do nothing.  The problem with just thinking in Overnight Collapse is you don’t plan on anything other than business as usual until you can break out your nuclear war bunker kit.  As I said many moons ago, far before the ‘08 meltdown or even the official Peak Oil date, you can’t pay for your property tax with freeze dried food.  If ALL you are planning on is instant collapse, you are screwing yourself.  For instance, by staying at your job in the megacity, in the midst of ghetto guerrilla warriors, you are betting normalcy continues until you are ready to bug out.

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Make no mistake, you must lose money to prepare for Quick Collapses.  Buried money means you pay the Inflation Tax, as well as the monthly fees from your bank for having under the minimum balance.  You pay that extra to avoid losing it all right away in a Bank Holiday ( we’ve had plenty of those, nothing new there ) or a banker Bail-In.  I can’t stand losing the one, but it is better than the other.  We’ve talked of Opportunity Costs before.  My point here is that you need to beware of the Opportunity Costs you are not aware of, or aren’t paying attention to, because all indicators surely point to some kind of massive correction/reaction very soon.  You need to stop looking at the problems as non-events because we’ve weathered them before.  The last energy crash we survived because of Alaskan oil.  The last economic crash we weathered from Fracking Oil.  The last money confiscation we did just fine.  The last Civil War was survivable.  Remember, those were Resource Increase eras, not resource contractions ( the 1971 US peak oil was a decrease in the increase of oil, which was recessionary.  Now we are seeing increases in the decreases, which is a whole other ball of wax ).

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If you disagree a complete collapse is here, fine.  You assume a economic collapse.  Which we’ve survived before.  But before, growth continued.  Now, we have not seen growth in eight years and never will again.  Stair Step Collapse doesn’t mean we adapt and overcome every rung down, it means we keep having less resources to adapt and overcome each time.  Since we’ve already been in a stair step collapse for fifty years, you can safely assume at some step down you’ll lose all your resources to adjust.  Why do you think the truly poor never recover?  They aren’t lazy, hump you very much Rush “I’m A Pimp For The Bankers” Limbaugh.  They don’t have the resources, and keep losing access to them with every setback.  When I got divorced from Baby Momma, I forever lost my ability to recover a middle class lifestyle.  My resource base contracted too much.  Luckily for me, and for you as you bask in my wisdom and expertise, I embraced a lower, lower economic lifestyle, and I did it in plenty of time to stockpile resources so that I was assured of a cushion long after the average person.  I embraced the collapse early and profited off of it.  If I had kept trying to stay middle class I would have just kept sliding backwards ( and in another welcome series of events, all other wives following the first focused on the middle class baubles I still had rather than those assets I was using to live far below that lifestyle ).

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The average advice for staying middle class is to live frugally so that you can have that kind of lifestyle at half the wages.  Smart move, if you started following that advice in the 1990’s.  By now you are out of debt and living luxuriously.  You can both work minimum wage ( granted, full time rather than part ) and live like someone getting twice to three times that in earnings.  You are ahead of the curve.  Me?  I look far beyond that, like how to survive with one person on half wages rather than two on full.  One reason I’m so paranoid about property tax burdens.  A very modest home, on modest property, can now very easily cost you ten hours of minimum wage a week.  If you are only working twenty, and the wife loses her job, you guys are screwed.  You were doing fine for twenty years downsizing, but you downsized to middle class without debt.  Today, you must live BELOW that metric, in order to survive.  How’s that for a kick in the ass?  All that work, that great foresight, the sacrifice, and you get humped.

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You keep losing assets.  Lose of assets means lose of adaptability.  Even moving into genteel poverty requires some resources.  And all of the above?  That was in a time of no great upsets.  Yes, I understand in 2008 you lost your house equity and became the proud owner of an underwater asset.  But that equity was illusionary wealth.  If you didn’t lose your job, that just meant you had lost a fictitious profit.  It meant you became a lifetime debt serf.  Not a great change, but certainly not an event you weren’t able to financially adjust to ( that time in coming, of course ).  At any time you could suddenly down size and save to invest, as long as you had the job that was paying for all that middle class goodness.  You had options.  Just Business As Usual chipped away at those options, severely, in one single generation.  But you still retained resources to pursue options.  But if we keep losing resources, in good times, think how much we lose in one upcoming major event.

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Look, 2008 was THE event that affected us all.  But our masters had become so good at kicking the can that most of us barely felt it.  It was the equivalent of the mass introduction of credit cards in the ‘70’s so as to allow debt to cushion any lifestyle blows.  But those blows were eventually absorbed and suffered for.  We have yet to suffer for 2008.  Wait for it!  What I am suggesting is that you look beyond the fifty year attempt at trying to live a dying middle class life and just accept the inevitable and voluntarily step down in lifestyle.  So as to survive and thrive ( as much as I despise that saying and attitude ), using assets as they are available rather than waiting too late.  Not only are you unable to time the waterfall collapse, neither can you foresee lesser events that will effect your ability to adapt.  You need to stay proactive.  Word to the wise.

END

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5 comments:

  1. I recommend you live in states that have 'homestead exemptions' for property taxes - you still have to pay, but cannot in your lifetime while occupying your land loose the land in many such states.
    Note the caveats - must occupy the land, while you live, etc.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good article. Hubby and I were lucky that we panicked early and bought our land in 1992. (We started with 10 timbered acres for $15,000.)

    Now working part time and at low wage jobs, there is no way we could afford to buy land up here unless we brought the money with us from working in town.

    But it's not too late for newbie peppers. Food and water are still fairly cheap so stock it deep. You can still find inexpensive land but it probably won't have trees and water on it.

    It's better to attempt to do something than sit around and do nothing.

    Idaho Homesteader

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Backwoods Home isn't helping anyone, trying to sell the bucolic homestead fantasy few can afford. Really just as bad as Rawlesian Concrete Bunker And Semi Arsenal Monthly. Buy ANY land, at least you divorce the landlord.

      Delete
    2. I think "Backwoods Home" was the way to go back in the the 1990's when the magazine first started. The original publisher had started his own homestead after a divorce. So he was writing from first hand experience.

      Unfortunately, you had to be paying attention and panic early to ride this wave.

      Idaho Homesteader

      Delete
    3. It pisses me off I wasn't panicking back that early, still on the Mormon one year schtick. I could have been a dozen years ahead of the game.

      Delete

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