Monday, January 23, 2017

finances for collapse book 10-article 1 of 2 today

( article 1 of 2 today )


A popular online survivalist publication that shall remain nameless, taking time out from preaching to the choir in more ways than one, if you know what I mean, published an article by a guest writer covering teaching oneself the art of leather working.  Now, I don’t know about you, but to me leather working is about like building birdhouses.  There is almost zero barrier to entry past a few tools, as witnessed by my youthful endeavors in said craft-if my parents, who had suffered through numerous godawful attempts at trying to summon up any coordination whatsoever by me trying to play various musical instruments, thought I might make something without losing a digit or an eye, surely anyone not chained to the back table of a Goodwill store would be successful.  You must put effort and work into turning out artistically pleasing items, but almost anyone can create the basics even if they look like a kindergartener had mutilated it.  You still get serviceable products.


Well, to make the articles story much shorter than it originally appeared, a leather backpack of high quality was constructed.  The author professed an unholy attraction to a retail item that sold for $600.  This being an unreasonable price to all but the Yuppie Scum that purchase everything as an advertising peacock feather, his alternative was learning how to work leather.  At the conclusion of his piece he made a claim that in the end, his version cost two to three times the retail one simply because of the time he spend perfecting leather crafting.  Now, pay attention here because this is the main point, your time is worth NOTHING.  Monetarily speaking, of course.  Time is in fact priceless because once you’ve read a James Patterson book or watched a particularly horrid movie, you’ll never get that two hours back.  It is stricken from your allotted hours on earth.  But very importantly, that time is only valuable to you.  Nobody else gives two craps if you waste your time.  In fact, most people willingly sacrifice their own time to waste yours.  That is the basis for most paychecks.  How can I work as little as possible to rip off as much as possible from everyone else? 


Our intrepid leather worker did not spend $2,000 in is time learning to make a backpack.  How could he?  Nobody would pay him to learn that skill.  All they would do is charge him money pretending to teach him better ( akin to getting an English major at college to learn how to write a book.  You want to learn how to write a book?  Write several of them.  Your cost should be $200 for a notebook computer and about $50 in books on plotting and character development.  Or, free if your library has them.  Why pay someone to teach you to do, when only doing will teach you? ).  He thinks his day job translates its pay scale to his time off?  How can it?  Nobody pays you to sleep or cook dinner or scrub your nasty ass.  How can that time be given the same value?  Your time at work isn’t even as valuable as you think, as almost all work benefits from monopolies or scams ( a doctor makes more due to state licensing keeping out foreigners who went to cheaper schools, for instance, or a convenience store worker is paid to check ID’s.  If there were no age restrictions on alcohol or tobacco a vending machine would be a cheaper way to disperse the product than a minimum wage drone ).


I bring all this up because far too many of us are blinded by our own brilliance and will be blindsided by events because of that self imposed glare.  If you think you are so special that Baby Jesus himself would throw a carpet of paper currency at your feet as you merely imperiously strolled past the proletariat, you can’t see that your job is the farthest thing from secure.  Your job could be at the mercy of a banker deciding to give your boss another loan or not.  It certainly is at the mercy of all your customers having spending money.  It is at the mercy of a little slant eyed Nipponese coming up with a robot to replace you ( or, a vodka swilling Slav programming a piece of software making your job obsolete.  Ask any typesetters you can find how their skill set worked out for them ).  The eternal optimists out there actually think that in an energy contraction, other jobs are out there for the asking ( well, for the debt filled college retraining, then begging, then working free as an intern, then begging some more ).  I think we all know better.  Yet we still value our time much higher than any employees.  We are confusing a cost of living with our worth because to an employer you are worth as little BELOW robot replacement cost as he can get you.  Every nickel out of your pocket is one in his. 


I’m not talking trash about the free enterprise system, nor am I belittling the needs of workers.  I’m pointing out that in a resource contraction the pie shrinks and no matter who is right or how they currently benefit, things are going to keep getting worse.  You really need to plan for such.  And one of the tools to do that is to divorce yourself from the money economy as much as you can.  One way is to stop confusing how much your time is worth.  To someone with money, it isn’t worth crap.  He might begrudgingly give you money, now, if your labor brings him a profit.  But in the future as his earnings contract, so does your worth.  Any employer is looking at you like a thief in the night.  You will ALWAYS make too much to suit him.  Anything he can do to cut that amount, he will.  As much good as Austrian Economics has done, one large disservice has been to confuse people about resources.  No matter how free you are, lack of government interference does NOT automatically translate into resource abundance or even availability ( you cannot infinitely grow on a finite planet-regardless of how happy your philosophical paradigm appears ).  Embrace the suck, don’t deny it exists.  I’ll wrap up this book here.  If you haven’t got it by now, my uncompensated time has been wasted.



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  1. Thanks for reminding me of the leather craft idea! I started a few money making ideas a while back and knife making was one of them. Well, the knife idea is costly, and with all the crap from India, China, Pakistan, etc not much hope in it unless ur REAL good. However, leather sheaths are easy and doable. Will be at it again. Thanks! peace Oh! Semper Fi

    1. Best luck in creating a niche market.

    2. LOL - I looked at knife making as a side business as well. As you said, it'd be a difficult market to break into with cheap end of the market cornered.

      At the end of the day I'm a Bison Minion Prepper so we have to do what we can with what we have (not much)

  2. I forgot who made the clarification originally, but I really like it: as we go downward on per-capita energy curve, the amount of WORK will expand, but the amount of PAY will contract.