At first you might think this has little to nothing to do with survivalism, but as you shall see this is a discussion of consumer spending behavior and hence is indirectly related. I understand a lot of you still think that hard work and innovation and all around grooviness will win you the wage race, and that is definitely true in the immediate and very near future. But long term, as our economy contracts, that is only an intermediate strategy. At the end we will all be living in a POST currency economy, with barter alone consumption and wealth food only, with cottage industry the only form of production. A feudal society is what you get when you have no energy surplus to build and defend transportation and all trade shrinks to local. It is a non-surplus economy. I can’t imagine where you think you’ll be living otherwise. Beyond the gangs that control the salvage, there will be NO ore extraction, as twenty years ago excess energy, when energy was dirt cheap from the newly opened Siberian region, was used to start mining for very diffuse ores, replacing most played out conventional mines. This DOESN’T mean that there is an abundance of mineral wealth, only that we are using up the last of it. Salvage and local agriculture are it for economic activity, and your poor ass isn’t invited.
The future is no money, and the first thing you need to do to get your head right is to stop trying to get so much of it. Learn to need less money. Inflation doesn’t mean you get more wages, it means your dwindling paycheck doesn’t buy as much. Of course, obviously, you can’t do without any money. Our entire economy has been monetized and you are penalized for not having money ( try paying your property tax in wood or corn ). But if you can try to minimize what you need, cut back of your consumables, you are easing into the future with less pain and needed adjustments. Again, you need to consume. No one can grow all their own food and if you can you need some other income to pay your taxes. The government gives you a choice. Be a wage earner or starve. That is what taxes in currency only do ( as opposed to “taxes in kind“ which were the aforementioned wood and corn-we used to allow that kind of tax until the central bank started monetizing everything ). Then, when the currency is devalued and you can’t work, you starve anyway because all those wages disappear and you haven’t been able to grow your own food.
Needing less money means you are going to be better resistant to falling real wages and growing unemployment. It also means you are grouped amongst poor unworthy deplorable scumbags. We have been trained all our lives to equate money to security. And of course, it is, until the moment it isn’t worth dingus. Remember, money is just company town chits only good in the company store at inflated prices. Only the store accepts the chits. They are only as valuable as the company is liquid. Any one with half a brain cashes in the chits rather than saves them. Yet, we all save our chits, don’t we? It is the only real daily currency we can use ( precious metals are not practically tradable on a daily basis ) and we keep acting as if that was security. We might tell ourselves they are soon to be inflated to worthlessness, but then we ACT otherwise, by hoarding our company chits. But there is one difference between the companies currency and Uncle Sam’s. The company couldn’t be bothered to offer anything other than bare necessities whereas the dollar can buy a whole lot more choices.
The company store gave you enough to eat, a shelter and clothing and that was about it. All that, let alone anything extra, was a drain on profits. The US economy on the other hand, is by definition all about consumption as profit is made by selling crap. All the small fish in the pond build and sell, and the big fish control the currency that these small fish need. The big fish do nothing but have a monopoly on creating currency ( which used to be easy, as oil was money and more oil was created all the time and you just created X more dollars than there was oil and you kept inflation under control. Now, as oil supplies contract, so does the ability to back the currency with anything. All those old loans need the interest paid but now the currency created isn’t backed by oil so JUST to pay the interest on loans the currency created is more inflationary ). It is nice to be a big fish, until your pond dries up. But until the big fish dies, you can take advantage of the way the economy is constructed, no matter how dysfunctional it is. And the way you do that is to, quite simply, consume less. Even factoring in prepping purchases, you need to be consuming less.
So let’s meander over to a minor factor in consumption, and that is the manufacturing of desire. Advertising is old hat and has been around as a major force in modern society for a hundred years. And advertising is just a subset of propaganda, which is part of brainwashing. As the Nazi’s liked to point out, repeat a lie enough times and it becomes the truth. Advertise enough and you begin to accept that you need a product. Who makes their own soap anymore? Why not? It is relatively simple, no more complicated than changing your own oil or sparkplugs. Perhaps because all your life you’ve been told to buy everything you need, especially soap ( soap operas started on the radio and contained advertisements for what? ). It is cheap enough, so why make your own? That is the other part of the equation-goods had to be cheap enough that your cottage industries were uncompetitive so you would want to buy the products. And all that was fine and dandy. We worked at a factory and bought factory goods and everyone was happy. But…
There isn’t a lot of profit in soap, even if everyone is using it every day. So you needed to also, or especially, buy unneeded items. Luxury items. In fact, far better to sell luxury items to the working poor than the rich, as there are a lot more poor than rich ( the rich wanted to buy cottage industry items, anyway, not mass manufactured ones ). So how did the process begin? The rich bought their status symbols, and the upper middle class tried to emulate them ( and going down the line… ). One thing humans can’t overcome, besides the sexual drive ( women’s beauty products, cigarettes, diet fads and fashion all tap into the sexual motive ), is status seeking, a tribal leftover. Both genders strive to win the race against others to be the most important. If you see this drive as being exploited for profit, a lot of economic behavior makes more sense. Cars used to be the exclusive toy of the rich. Once factories started churning them out for those wishing to appear rich ( even farmers, buying a working vehicle, were status symbol seeking over the poor dirt farmers with mules-granted, this was buying efficiency which upped profits, but profits are status markers ), the rich moved upscale on luxury cars or got chauffeurs.
You think cars are a necessity, but they started out as just for the rich. As did college degrees and contractor built verses self built homes. Now, obviously, not everything is a Me-Too slavish emulation of the well off for seeking peacock feather status. A lot has to do with the rich FORCING you to consume items. Try working legally at most trades without a college degree. Try riding a horse in city streets. Or building your own house without paying the city and county so many bribes you HAVE to finance. But there was still a lot of status seeking going on nonetheless. And since it is human nature, it is a built in market. After the apocalypse, there will still be females using products to enhance their appearances ( it may not be monetized but it will be practiced ), and there will always be conflict to rise in status. Now we do it with wages and consumption, later it will be through combat. Human nature. So, what did the smart rich guys do? Did they keep buying more and more, costlier and gaudier consumer items? Only to a degree. They also invested in the trend. They owned the companies that sold the Now New Lower Class Must Have Necessity items.
You, emulating your forefathers, kept consuming as the status symbols were upped in their ante. They became necessities rather than luxuries because their possession was a bare minimum for your status in the hierarchy. But what were you really doing? Just making the rich investor money. You thought you were working for your status but what you ended up doing was enhancing the status of your boss or the 1% dudes. All that work, your whole life, so much effort above and beyond bare necessities of food and shelter, was to wear status symbols which did nothing to elevate you but which helped your social superiors adorn themselves with much nicer feathers. And your response to that? Wishing to have the even better feathers yourself, you started spewing capitalistic jingoistic party lines. Free market! Pull yourself up by the bootstraps! Rush Limbaugh! Greed is good! He who dies with the most toys wins! More brainwashing, yo.
While you evaluate your spending habits, ask yourself which are needed and which are just peacock feathers. If you can do this honestly, you can cut way back on what you consume, and free up lots of prepping budget. And perhaps free yourself of more golden handcuffs. You’ll certainly make things easier for yourself, and as a bonus you screw over the rich humpers just a little.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2wYShKi )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there
My Favorite Firework Is The Fountain Called MadDog,ReplyDelete
It Starts Of Slowly, 1 or 2 Small Shoots, Then It Go's
4 Or 5 Bursts, Then The Grand Finale, 10 Bursts Of High Raging Flames And Color!
This Is How I See The North Korea Missile Conflict.
He Has Already Lite The MadDog, We Are At His Grand Finale, !0 To !2 Missiles Aimed At Washington State, Oregon, And California. All Of The 5 Shipping Ports. Wipe Them Out And All Trade Ends And The USofA Wilts On The Vine!
Plan To Stock And Prepare Accordingly.
Could the threat be real? Of course. It is possible. More probable? It is a diversion, and instead we'll see a cyber attack or petro$ desertion enmasse. Or something similar.Delete
I reckon the Chinese will deliver the NORKS nukes via container ships.Delete
Not a bad guess-focus on the missiles, deliver the bombs another way. Of course, it never happens like we think, right?Delete
I was more thinking in another direction, a stock for resale.ReplyDelete
Most of our neighbours are short-sighted (and gullible and stupid). It's not necessary to take a less conspicuous item instead of a genuine good-working one, you will still have one and they won't. And they'll need one themselves.
So instead of waiting for them to kill you and take it, why not have some more and be prepared to trade them ?
Of course they will say "but this is an emergency and you can't specualte on our misery !" which is a first round of negociation.
This would actually be a good opportunity to separate the wheat from the chaff.
Hence the importance of knowing people beforehand. What they have at Hour S (for SHTF Hour) doesn't matter, what they can do or what they can be is more of interest.
Also, setting up a stockpile for "redistribution" is IMHO les capital-intesive than other options.