Sunday, January 21, 2018

selling steins 2 of 2


SELLING STEINS 2

Eliminating one olive from each salad on an in flight meal on one airline sixty years ago was a profitable start at eliminating inefficiency ( at the time, fares were federally regulated.  So, airlines competed by offering the best service.  Removing one olive was the first chip in reducing that mountain of service to a pile of rubble.  Killing service to make a profit, when services got you customers-way to be more efficient! ), leading to the logical conclusion of killing customers through deferred  service ( luckily, a lot of the planes can’t get off the ground-so the death toll remains low ).

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Removing inefficiencies is also called removing barriers to failure.  To be more efficient, you stock less items on the shelf.  Losing that customer who is tired of making the trip to NOT find what he wanted.  The inefficiencies gained you customers.  It was inefficient to pay soldiers to work in the mess hall,  so you hired private contractors.  Now, you didn’t have extra men to pick up weapons to defend the base.  But that reduced payroll sure is efficient!  It sure is inefficient to pay police to merely patrol.  Far better to keep them busy generating revenue through traffic tickets.  So what if they can’t deter crime elsewhere!  They sure are efficient!

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And it sure as God made little green apples is inefficient to pay out more in wages than is needed.  We don’t want to sell our product to our workers anyway, we’ll just sell it to the middle class and affluent!  Much more efficient!  Until everyone is so efficient there are no more customers ( have you heard the current joke about taxing the robots wages  to pay everyone a Universal Wage to buy the products the robots make? ).  There are no more middle class since it was more efficient for the banks to make rent unaffordable, and more profitable for the  medical industry to raise prices at South Hemisphere Dictatorship inflation rates.

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And since it is inefficient to reduce interest rates on credit cards ( those customers have the audacity to go bankrupt when we implode the housing market! ), or even more inefficient to issue credit in the first place ( it is inefficient to accept any kind of delinquency payers ), there are no more middle class customers left ( if it wasn’t the higher rents, higher medical or lowered credit issuance, it would be the extra layoffs and closings leading to more unemployment ) which only leaves the affluent customers.  Who don’t shop at working class establishments ( a mint leaf next to an escargot drizzled with a exotic sauce leaves something to be desired compared to a Big Mac, but one doesn’t mingle with the proletariat ).

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So, the core question becomes, who is going to buy your damn beer stein?  Ah, the humble beer stein, the poster child Backwoods Home Magazine always pins up to sell the dream of country retreats/farms mortgaged for thirty years.  No economic collapse to see here!  Move along, please.  Now, I am certainly NOT saying you shouldn’t sell your version of a hand crafted wooden beer stein.  Your skills as a craftsman will be the coin of the next realm.  No, what I am saying is, is that the money economy is crashing and a cash paying job is not the same as a craft.

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Twenty years ago, Rawles and Backwoods Home were right as rain.  Today, they are sucking ass through a straw.  The 90’s was the last of the abundant conventional oil giving us Damn Skippy cheap oil.  And-AND-I might add for you five and a half cent Wal-Mart rimfire ammo purchasers ( NOT four-I just went in there ) trying to claim otherwise, the 90’s also saw the beginning of the global diffuse ore extraction using that cheap energy.  Now we are running out of even that ore, and coupled with expensive Fake Fuel ( unconventional fuel delivering less BTU ), our economy will never recover.  You no longer have the time to pay a thirty year mortgage, and especially not on the type of land they advocate which SCREAMED up into the stratosphere in price alongside the housing bubble.

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Nor is there the real unemployment the 90’s had.  The unemployment today is HIGHER than during the Great Depression.  Only welfare ( to ALL classes, not just the poor.  Yeh, talking to you ya egotistical Rush Limbaugh listening pukes on Social Security, civil service wages or government contractor retirement ) is keeping the country out of revolution.  You want a revolution you Hippie Freak?  See what happens when the welfare spigot is turned off “to increase efficiency”.  I’m surrounded by Special Ed kids willingly taking it up the ass by the bankers.  Please, Sir!  May I have another?

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If the money is dying, jobs for money are dying.  Acting as if a hobby will keep your wages coming in, when the wages left over from the few remaining workers are shrinking, is NOT a viable plan.  Your customers don’t have the extra money for beer steins!  Period.  It doesn’t matter how good they are.  Stop pretending making money is a solution.  Spending less to need less and increasing the skills to NOT buy other services or products-that is the key.

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Again, I’m NOT discouraging self-employment or you trying to supplement your shrinking income.  I’m saying you MUST wean yourself from the money economy to the best extent you can.  If you do that while starting a business you’ll be fine.  But the day has already passed when you can rely on customers with enough disposable income to pay you enough to live conventionally.  It should be enough to keep you living in genteel poverty, but if you want more than that you will be disappointed as the trend moves against you.

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Just because you are a competent plumber doesn’t mean your customers can afford you ( if you slowly become the last plumber due to others incompetence and lack of skill, you’ll eek out a living.  But for every successful you, there were many losers in the self-employment game.  More losers than winners.  I’m saying your odds are better at losing as the economic pie shrinks ).  Just because you acquired a niche market now doesn’t mean it will survive an economic contraction.  Never assume the world needs you enough to pay your mortgage or car payment.

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There is a lot of denial around this subject, for the simple fact that we spend a lifetime gaining a skill we are proud of.  To contemplate that becoming irrelevant is disconcerting, to say the least.  And no one is saying go Full Retard Panic and move out into the hills and pick up aluminum cans ( which will also be a short lived job.  It doesn’t matter how precious aluminum becomes if less wages necessitate buying less beverages bottled in the metal ).  Just beware the need to be far more inefficient and have back-ups to ALL your back-ups.  That doesn’t JUST mean a second job.  That means a back-up to earning ANY money. 

END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2FIwb0R )
 
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11 comments:

  1. Jim, great service to your minions. A true leader will quash the misguided notions of those before they go astray and get hurt by ill advised ideas. I do just about all my own work on things because I am a tightwad and obstinate. I won't need much of any body else's services. A little amount of trade and barter to add to or replace existing stockpiles or get some nice to haves might occur. Don't leave the compound as charlie is out there any way. Study other events as mental exercises, (leningrad seige,rhodesia,ugoslavia war/breakup,rawanda,venezuala,etc.etc.etc.)

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    1. Almost all ideas commonplace in the field do have merit, they just simply haven't been thought through and adjusted properly.

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    2. RE: Yugoslavia breakup. I have spoken to refuges from this horrible event. Because I spoke with them personally I learned their lessons more than the ones I read about in other places, other times.

      But yes, learn from others because oft times people don't survive catastrophic societal collapse

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  2. Efficient and Effective are two different things, as you know. It pays the wise to know and exploit the difference.

    I do agree that debt is a type of volunteer slavery. Paying interest is a killer.

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    1. The sad part is you don't realize how free you are until you aren't in debt.

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  3. "I’m saying you MUST wean yourself from the money economy to the best extent you can. "
    Just like everyone wanting to go to solar and wind power for their homes - they MUST learn to conserve first. It just doesn't make sense otherwise. Solar PV power is GREAT but the upfront cost to set a standard home up to use the standard amount of electricity with solar PV is totally outrageous. Conserve first and foremost, living on less - less electricity, and less of the other needs provided by the global economic system. A couple of one time upfront costs to get off the 'grid' that way makes sense- Insulation, Solar Panels, Garden Seeds (heirloom), etc. Stuff you can put in place and have provide some of your needs, preferably a little at a time but cutting future costs and dependencies down the road.
    Conserve first, then store surplus,and only Then get the panels, or side jobs, or ammo reloading equipment, etc. Simple concept Jim of the fine hair. But not one easily embraced.

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    1. Right :) Simple concert, difficult execution. Isn't that most of life?

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    2. I guess we could all live the lives of ascetic monks, weaving our own clothes, growing our own food out of our own sh@7, etc. but that seems less practical than just stockpiling the goods of the industrial oil age at this point, while positioning ourselves to be able to live as monks...

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    3. Buying is far more feasible. I could buy twenty years of eating with grain for less than the cost of a piece of junk land that won't grow anything. The trick is, you buy the monk lifestyle, not that of the king. Which is what most preppers try to do-be kings.

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    4. Or, at least, buy the monk lifestyle first, and live as close to it now as you can, THEN upgrade to the lifestyle of the skilled artisan or merchant, living no better than that now even if you have the wages of a prince.

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    5. Right, living below your means.

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