DEATH TO PREPPING
I just finished stating that Trump didn’t kill prepping because the last time the economy was good ( it sucks, but the perception is that it has improved ) the prepping industry was awash in spending. Good economies don’t slow disaster spending, they increase it. Now, you could say that the prepping industry killed itself, so desperate for sales growth to pay for all the debt they incurred ( new print magazine start-ups, more freeze dried equipment ) that their Boy Cries Wolf constant doomer blather eventually killed off customers. And I’m sure there is something to that. But it can’t be all. I had also just talked about how there will always be customers for doomer equipment, just that it will once again become a boutique industry with high prices ( or a low cost hobby business ). The doomer industry will never die, but it will shrink and eliminate companies in debt or hooked on growth. But, still, we are left with the question of why they are dying off.
Granted, industry greed drove some away. Economic contraction drove many away. Yet, when you look around at the masses driving to view the solar eclipse, see the roads chock a block full of traffic 24/7, wonder how so many folks can eat out when it costs twice as much as it did five years ago, with worse tasting food, see all the shiny new cars that START at twenty grand, it is hard to see how consumer spending is suffering and you wonder how the prepper industry has fallen on such hard times ( the illusion of prosperity given by the stock market and the crowded restaurants won’t drive away potential preppers. Perhaps those only serious on a camping trip duration emergency, but these were never serious preppers, just industry wet dream potential new customers ). I have no definitive answers ( and I usually take great pride in coming up with them when all others are stumped ), but I have a few theories I’d like to try out on you.
First, the industry sabotaged itself. Not by the Boy Cries Wolf issue of turning everything into fear mongering, but by actually pacifying everyone. The fear mongering actually reduced fears by trivializing any warnings, and so most eagerly embraced the Business As Usual with the industry which was a combination of both Yuppie Scum Gear Buying and the Panic Enough To Buy But Not Enough To Leave The Consumer Stable. In other words, despite the illusion of Doomer Porn being normal, the effect was to get everyone to focus on ONLY short term disasters. Most preppers probably looked at “EMP attack” or “solar flare” or “Yellowstone erupting” as they did “Gore Warming Will Kill Us All”. They discounted the hype and easily convinced themselves that they just needed a month or three of food and plenty of guns and ammo. The sky high prices kept them at a lower planning duration. Oops, that is what is known as cutting off your nose to spite your face. Great profits at first, but then no customers.
So, with the de facto emphasis on short term prepping, when you get done with three to six months worth of food, you are done. You are no longer a customer. So companies had to get more and more marginal, less fanatical or dedicated customers. They also started selling a lot of crap that was unnecessary and too costly. Which, I’m guessing, quickly moved over to Amazon from the niche doomer companies. The Chinese see a profit item, boom, the knock off crap is weeks away from filling up a cargo ship. And plenty of Americans, seeing no employment out there, are only too happy to see an opportunity to open a doomer business with that nonsense. But Amazon has got your ass beat on prices. They don’t even have to invest in inventory. A third party vendor is only too willing to put his money into that. Amazon just cashes in on its eyeballs. If you have a hard time visualizing this, just look at the zombie novel publishing industry. Ruined by amateurs flooding the market with zero start up costs, now reduced to the need to give their crap away for free with Kindle Unlimited and write a lot of sequels. The writing quality equals that of the cheap flashlights or filters or whatever Amazon now offers to frugal preppers.
Then there is the old issue of Wives Permission. I don’t need to elaborate, you all know the pain and suffering. If you lucked out with a good wife, you were allowed a bare minimum of prepping budget. Then, hours were cut and medical costs went up, and the prepping allowance stopped. The eating out ( I used to have a wife that insisting on eating out regularly regardless of how it effected the budget. Perhaps I’m not alone ) and the newer cars, they don’t stop. My theory for that is that less males work as more females do, plus the age old control afforded to the wife in all household matters to include the budget, and the two pronged lifestyle paradigm is reinforced. First, females are geared towards form over function. Just their nature-not a judgment. Second, as we moved more towards a digital reality, everyone is more aligned with a unicorn glittery unreal fantasy world. If the economy LOOKS good, it is. And if the car LOOKS good, you don’t have to worry about it breaking down as much. If the eating out meal LOOKS better than homemade, it must be. If the illusion is supported there will be more illusion.
So, why do you need MORE prepping supplies? It looks like enough, right? The budget is tight, so no more prep supplies. You have enough for the hurricane hitting and a week of no electric. The collapse of western civilization? Are you insane? Even if your neighbors can’t find a job, The Donald is getting money to them. Everyone is driving cars, eating out and we got Fracking Forever. If you are allowed or even want more prep supplies, just get them from Amazon. No need to pay more through the Doomer Vendors. That is on top of the advertising model of business failing, on top of the mass unemployment. Remember, it’s never just ONE cause, right?
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* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there