Thursday, June 11, 2015

consuming to invest 33


CONSUMING TO INVEST 33

Soap And Candle Maker

Soap making and candle making is another two household skills that precludes widespread use from a consumer source, as with tanning.  It wasn’t so long ago that cash money was too scarce to waste on products you could make yourself on the homestead ( the latest surviving example being the Appalachian backwoods of Foxfire book fame.  The area was so mired in poverty there were no jobs to prop up a consumer economy.  But so voracious is the maw of the bankers and corporations [ and the military as it now needed “volunteers“ from the urban or rural slums, and was happy to see a vicious competition for the best and brightest poor boys ] , this area too was pulled unwillingly from self-sufficiency into wage/debt slavery.  Even if the Welfare State had to pay all the “wages”, at least those One Percenters got a bigger paycheck.  It is frightening to contemplate the mental state of the descendents of the aristocracy who might be precluded from owning their own mansion in the Hamptons ).  In today’s present environment it is easy to go buy a forty four cent bar of soap, much easier than cooking up a big batch of bars for hours on end, but of course what is easily forgotten is that once you make nothing but buy everything, the little things add up in price and extend your servitude.  In the long run, it is slightly cheaper in hours worked to buy any one item, albeit of much lower quality than homemade, but far more expensive in hours once you factor in housing and transportation cost.  Things that used to be free ( local material, free, plus manual labor, the cost of food, and perhaps a small metal tool or two for the cost of some barter.  Everything used to be decentralized, and transportation for the majority was shoe leather ). 

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The point here is that you can’t look into the future as a smaller more quaint version of today, the same but with permaculture gardens and ferocious semi-auto armed militiamen.  The money economy will be dead and buried, and home economics and barter will be the totality of trade on the individual level.  The commercial skills you learn and practice will not be a monopoly but a limited luxury item or a barter item.  Limit your expectations and you will be fine.

*

Today, fat misshapen office trolls complain bitterly about the ambiguity of fatty foods, as if the agribusinesses are to blamed for their lack of discipline and historical lottery winning.  Fat, as well as sugar ( only available to the common man in quantities sufficient to substitute for better calories after the Caribbean islands were populated with African slaves- this was the early boost to British Empire, as the masses pouring into the new factories were fed more, if not better, and provided an early competitive advantage akin to the American Midwest irrigated corn belt feeding at one time most of the world cheaply ), have been historically scarce.  Scarce to the point, in the case of fat, of being health threatening.  Only an availability of surplus fat will succeed in allowing a commercial enterprise requiring that as the basic feedstock.  The lack of a surplus of fat ( assuming beeswax was in short supply ) not only malnourished peasants, it also saw them unclean to the point of danger.

END
 
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17 comments:

  1. Regarding outside costs, I remember reading that if you take the number of miles the average car is driven per year, and divide that by the sum of not just the time spent in traffic but also the time worked to pay for the car, gas, oil, etc., it works out to less than 10 miles per hour.

    I'll bet bicycles used for commuting compare very favorably with that calculation.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bike at 9 mph. And that is an old man shuffle speed. No sweating. Think about it, have your people get back with my people.

      Delete
    2. I'm going over 15mph AVERAGE through Portland Oregon and hitting mid-30's down hills (up hill speed depends on load, hill grade, temp, dehydration/diet, tire air pressure, lube status, and length of climb). That's with a 40+ pound mid-1980's Cro-Mo Fuji Suncrest (26 inch wheels, expensive Schwalbe tires, bell-horn-rack-Kryptolock, 18 speeds but top 3 are used), I bought nearly-new in 1989. Bike all year unless actual ice on the ground.

      Comment on fat: FAT IS GOOD! I particularly like fancy organic butter, Yak butter if someone else is paying. Commercial chicken fat is mostly cat/possum bait, but free-range backyard chicken fat is hoarded in the freezer, along with good pork-beef-wild-critter parts.

      During the winter, I am a pig for fatty goodness from animal sources: but not soy, not corn, not rapeseed oil. GMO/glyphosate-contaminated alleged-food oil is to be avoided like a sex-change operation. Those bad oils burn GREAT in the OM616 during warm weather. Olive oil is all-over-the-place in quality, but it's worth looking for. Nuts/seeds toasted in olive oil are yummy.

      pdxr13

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    3. Avoided like a sex change operation. Unless you are Bruce Jenner.

      Delete
    4. A sex-change operation is subject to buyers remorse. If it's botched badly enough, the victim might just finish themselves off as they should have before demanding to waste the taxpayer money.

      I don't get why (to quote an old drag queen who worked at the antique mall I had a space at) someone would want to go from being a first-class citizen (white male) to anything else.

      pdxr13

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    5. I think folks confuse the temporary welfare state advantages as being permanent and hence mistake being white/male as no longer advantageous.

      Delete
  2. I agree. Soap is so easy, there is no reason not to plan for- and practice- making your own. Fat and Lye. Lye from soaked wood ashes, and Fat from what ever source you have.
    Using soap, clean hot water (filter and solar heat will work) will allow you and your family to maintain a level of hygenie close to the 20th century 1st world norm. A minimal investment now ( a couple hundred bucks at most ) to preserve your health in the face of all sorts of other issues in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And don't forget the tactical advantage of being the only clean ones around. Smell death like substance? Shoot it.

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    2. I hadn't thought about the tactical aspects. Of course here on the wide prairie you are far more apt to see your opponent well before smelling them, but you never know.

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    3. Another tribal marker, a certain soap?

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    4. That was the case in 'Nam supposedly, the 'cong could smell the US troops coming thanks to the odor of the GI provided soaps...

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  3. Damn! i thought we were going to get a new soap recipe...
    ...or maybe i got one and missed it. Are you saying we should make soap and candles out of the Middle Managers, come SHTF?

    -eviltwin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No recipes, sorry. I hate doing tired retreads everyone else is doing. The Lamp Post List is long and varied. Lawyers, politicians, central bankers ( not the minimum wage drones at the teller window, the big muckeemucks ), ex-wives. You can't eat them, so they might as well be candle fat. I'd think twice about soap- you get that in your eye, you might get Mad Cow or something.

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    2. I thought as long as you stay away from brain, spnial, cord, and excessive blood consumption, long pork doesn't have too many draw backs?

      ~SumDude

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    3. Come on! Trying to be funny.

      Delete
  4. Never tried to make soap. But I am a hobby Chandelier (Yes folks, it was, and in some cases, still is an actual occupation).

    I thought about trying my hand at making money at it, but soon determined that it was not possible. You cannot make and sell product as cheaply as Glade, Yankee Candles, and the others so easily, short of massive bulk purchases at wholesale prices.

    Now I had another idea that if I could procure some beehives (Another venture that is hard to make any money at, at least according to the beekeeping forums that I came across?) and with the free wax from the hives, I could do well. The biggest problem was that I would have needed lots of hives. Candles are also often made of soy these days. But the chemistry involved in the process of transforming the soy into soy wax, is unknown to me at this point in time.

    Both of these ventures attempted simultaneously just might provide an income.

    Post collapse, with barter being the norm. Candles and bee barf will be a much desired commodity. Just don't label your jars bee barf, and you will do okay :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually, that sounds like a nifty marketing gimmick "Roy's Grade One Bee Barf"

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