I can’t say I’m all that talented on much of anything important economically. I’ve felt like a lazy ho for many years, as besides my apprenticeship writing career all my self-taught skills are minor and certainly not marketable. Which is probably a good thing since anything that might make money is effectively outlawed or monopolized by the oligarchy ( writing is a field chock-a-block full of slave wage earners, and hence needs no barriers to entry ). But sometimes, you get those introspective moments when you wonder if you’ve made the right choices in training, especially relating to the collapse.
Should I have gone to college or into the trades for a more secure career? I thought I was going into law enforcement, and then I thought I could make a go of it in retail management, but both are really a young man’s game so now I’m left at the end of a working life with little skills. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not lamenting the path I took nor the point I’m now at. I’m happier than a pig in a patch of crap being fattened for the slaughter. No, the only question is, is my money making ability sufficient for the end stage collapse?
Obviously I didn’t miss out on anything by avoiding college, except perhaps a higher wage to invest in for retirement ( I’ve always wanted to own an RV park-nothing fancy, just for working poor folks ). I might have been too hasty deciding to avoid the government pension route, but it would have been a job I despised. And the state of the states financially means pensions are an endangered species with only the timing in question. So, in a macro sense I made all the right choices. But what about localized skills?
That is what leaves me pondering. Should I have pursued more local, neighbor economy trades? I don’t mean that silly laundry list of skills the homesteading magazines all push. About the same as the prepper publications do. You know the ones. Mechanic, potter, landscaping, gunsmith, organic gardener. I mean ones that are too hard for everyone to learn or invest in for the equipment. A back-hoe operator is by dent of costly investment going to have very little competition. I’m not sure about a welder-it might be that Harbor Freight has put that within everyone’s grasp.
Perhaps a potters kiln is too much of an investment for most, but then, most can buy clay vessels at Wal-Mart. If you’ve invested in anything that can be commoditized ( video rentals, glass blowing ), you’ve likely bankrupted your business before you start. If you offer a skill anyone can learn ( bicycle mechanic, baking bread ) you are doomed as soon as the economic downturn forces shrinking budgets. You have to race to the bottom, beat both producers and consumers and make yourself uncompetitive. Avoid debt and live on less than everyone else, and you have a business.
I offer this in the knowledge that a lot of folks want to get out of the city and on their own land and need some kind of income. I’m not advocating homesteading, where you commute to a job and make land payments. All you need for that is a reliable car and a lot of extra time on your hands commuting ( and what most of us do anyway ). Podcasts are the commuters best friend, and the survivalist guru who cornered that market was one smart dude ( to say nothing of Amazon Audio ).
And I’m not talking about a hermitage business, although the forthcoming business ideas mostly apply. I’m thinking more along the lines of junk land, but near neighbors. I don’t even know how feasible these are, because they are REALLY low income stream. And I’m not covering youthful labor. Most places now have Mexicans that will do all of the low skill labor, cheaper. And, that advantage will not last long for them. Most folks can watch a YouTube video and learn to stucco themselves, or buy a lawn mower that pays for itself in one season.
( I also can’t imagine the meat packing industry will stay here too much longer. If you can move an entire car plant to Mexico for $2 an hour labor, slaughter houses cannot be too far behind ) The jobs the Latinos are doing are exactly those you want to avoid. You want to cater to the increasingly poor. Work WITH them, not against them, just as you do gravity. You must offer to save them money. Don’t cost them more. They get enough of that. And remember, you can do this because you know that it is far more important to have less expenses than more money.
Minions have reported very bad things being an E-Bay seller, but what about for Amazon? You can’t beat those crafty little slant eye bastards on price, so don’t try. One thing they cannot do is beat you at used books. If you are close enough to a city where you can go around to all the thrift stores and garage sales ( and even book store discards ), or even advertising to buy bulk and pick up yourself from people’s homes, you can have a used book mail order business.
You might only be making fifty cents or a dollar per book, and you might be holding on to them for some time before they sell, but you are beating that $4 surcharge all used books are now burdened with. Since all small communities have lost book stores, you are selling to a large market of folks outside the city. Sure, it is a lot of work for a little money, but it is also location rather than skill based. Which might be just for you. Worse case, you are stuck with a bunch of twenty-five cent books to read or use as apocalypse toilet paper.
I’ll continue tomorrow.
( .Y. )
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Following. Minions are cautioned to plan their enterprise to be capable of functionality or transitional to post collapse conditions. If you are a full on mail orderReplyDelete
or internet business that can muddle along in a disfunctional but operating economy then that is o.k. but if it is all of your income source eggs in that business model basket then that can end immediately. Then there is no or little adaptation ability and you are stuck in place. Same as a storefront model, that gets beat out by internet sales or big box competitors across town. That fixed location enterprise can be emminent domained out or overun in conflicts and be behind enemy lines overnight. If you are able via zoning to be a jack of all trades type out of your domicile that may be more desirable. Like old timey codgers that have signs all down the front of his barn with all the things done by the proprietor. Like buggy whips, everything now will not be the same or applicable later or post apoc.
By definition, a paying job now will end with the collapse of the money system. All post-collapse jobs will NOT be paying but rather self-sufficiency. There will be no other model as there will be no surplus for trade. Of course, just for the practice alone having a currently paying post collapse business would be great, but how viable is a post-carbon local source business right now? Who wants the services of a thatcher? A cooper? Plus, if you have to use carbon fuel inputs, it isn't really viable practice.Delete
That's a narrow way of looking at it Jim. You're jumping from now to 17th century in one big step and not thinking of all the little steps in between.Delete
I've never done coopering or thatching but I do have long term and recent experience in other things that lead in that direction. I have carpentry and woodworking experience and tools and I have farming and gardening experience and tools. It would be easier for me to learn coopering and thatching than say, an office boi who's big skill is resetting his gadgets and downloading all new apps.
As with any goal, the target should be big, and include all the little steps to get to it. Rationally, it's all the little steps that "might" make the target real, and not the other way around.
The key in all long term ventures is to choose wisely and only things you really enjoy. If you don't enjoy them you won't want to do them and you'll eventually fail, probably sooner than later. Start today! Because today if the first day in the rest of your life.
You are looking at it from a Stairstep Collapse viewpoint and mine is a Waterfall Collapse. We are both right from our universe. I'm just looking at the economic system to crash hard and fast and first. I hope I'm wrong. We aren't just talking a job or a skill but combining them, yes?Delete
“Should I have gone to college or into the trades for a more secure career? I thought I was going into law enforcement, and then I thought I could make a go of it in retail management, but both are really a young man’s game so now I’m left at the end of a working life with little skills.”ReplyDelete
The thing that I think that most white dude’s don’t realize is that in practical terms, you really only have about a 20 year window in which you are guaranteed to earn an income (And no, I’m not referring to you self employed types, or the dude that graduated from MIT at the top of his class with a degree in electrical engineering, I’m talking about the majority of us). Unless you are exceptional in your chosen field, affirmative action hirelings will take priority over you every time. Once you get into your 40’s, should you find yourself suddenly unemployed, all bets are off. That’s why if you are gainfully employed well into you 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, etc, it’s okay to look around at your options, but never quit that job unless you have another one lined up to replace it. (And yes, I know all of this from personal experience).
Some people have reported that they were able to make a decent income by telecommuting at the various Crowdsource sites (Amazon’s Mechanical Turk is probably one of the better known Crowdsource sites). If you have skills such as programming, this makes it even easier. But just being a fast typist can yield an decent income. Some people have reported earning up to a $100 a day at these sites (To be clear, I’m not spamming here, or trying to push these sites. In fact, I’ve never had very good success at these sites. You mileage may vary though).
The military was attractive for the very reason that used to be the problem-everyone had to work to 65. So all our plans and decisions reflected that. Then they changed the rules on us, like the wankers they are. And it has nothing to do with buggy whips, and everything to do with the coming civil war. Well, we just carry on...Delete
I looked it up Jim, and from what I’m gathering, you can still retire after 20 years in the military, unless I’m missing something? Not the life for me I’m afraid, but regardless, I’m too old now, so that option has long since closed up for me. But if you’re the type of person that could have handled that kind of life, it might have been something to consider at one point (Though I’d imagine that serving in a PC military would suck even far worse than the military did prior to that). You could have lived on base and saved your entire check. Get some land and a cabin, and have it paid off long before getting out. You could have had quite a nest egg in savings. The thing is, 20 years from now is a long ways off, considering the current state of affairs that the US is in, so it’s probably safe to say that this is no longer a viable option.Delete
I shudder to think what things will be like in 2 decades. Though it’s probably also safe to say that English will be a second language….
Sorry, when I said "changed the rules" I didn't mean they changed the 20 years to military retirement. I meant you couldn't work until sixty-five as a civilian, most industries. Now, if most white males are screwed after about 45, the military would be more attractive as an option. Not that I wanted to stay in, even with my civilian stint in between enlistments counting towards retirement ( a free 1.5 years ). And now, I imagine sometime in the next 20 you will be forced to know Spanish, like in the Border Patrol. If the FedGov even stays solvent that long-not.Delete
I'm taking today off. Kinda. Have stuff to do around here. I know a guy that is an occasional Flipper. He buys a house cheap, cleans it up, hires a gunfighter real estate company and sells it. In the past 3 years he has done this 8 times earning at least $50k each after everything. Not bad.ReplyDelete
The past 4 days I have been been chiseling about 2000 sf of tile off the concrete slab of his latest project. This entails a shovel handled steel industrial scraper and a file to sharpen it, then after about 15 mins of chiseling, shoveling it into a wheelbarrow then out the door and up the ramp and dump it in the trailer which will be hauled to the landfill at the end of the day. I got a big propane fired heat thrower in the house so it's not unbearably cold. I go at my own pace and make about $150 cash a day. When I want a change of pace there are other things I'm doing in that house too. Tearing out mid-century wood cabinets, plumbing fixtures, appliances, doors, etc. I get to keep anything I want. (I removed the 1 hp 3450 rpm motor off the 40 year old washer that I'm going to use to build a new wood lathe with) I'm a woodworker so I'm hauling some of that stuff back here to the shop. I need a bigger shop.
Since Mon I have made $600 and that's $600 more than I made last week. If you add the expenses borne into a "real" job it equates to over $1000. Not bad for 4 days. This is mostly unskilled labor and I am looking only at the good parts. Anybody can do this. I have worked on all of this persons previous jobs and I'm guessing I've made $20k over the past few years from him. And he is just one person I do work for. Again, this is all what is called under the table work. I will do no other kind from here on out. However, I am also a business owner, self employed, so that I can write off everything and come out ahead at the end of the year. If I was employed by someone else, full time or part, I would not be able to do that and would be like most other people - poor as fuck, hate my work, behind in lots of bills, in debt up to my eyes, and single - pussyless, and pissed off all the time. I don't like any of those things so I stopped doing the things that cause that stuff. You make your own bed and you get to sleep in it.
You are benefiting from a system still in surplus. Otherwise no one would pay such sums for real estate. I'm glad it works for you, seriously. Me? My head is always in the future and I can't view things as oppertunities. More like traps ready to spring on me. It makes more for an interesting life :)Delete
"You are benefiting from a system still in surplus."Delete
Well, yeah, so is everyone else, what else is new?
This is where I am, so why WOULDN'T I try to benefit?
As things change I will change accordingly.
"Otherwise no one would pay such sums for real estate."
I didn't mention any selling prices, but rest assured, the prices he is selling these fixer uppers at are very competitive and thats why they don't sit long. There is no point in discussing how low prices were in the past cause we don't live in the past, but the here and now.
I'm all about grabbing as much cash as possible NOW cause, as you agree, it might be all gone tomorrow. No one can prepare for tomorrow, today, unless they shake that money maker right now. Opportunities are what you make of them. You better grab em while you can!
I've got 9 solid wood doors that weigh at least 50 pounds each that I have to find a place for in that workshop. At least one of them is going to be made into an 8' long farm style dining table. Last summer I turned some wild maple from the forest in our backyard into 4 nice table legs that I will install under it. Now, this door has a door handle hole in it. What to do, what to do? I'm going to drill the same size holes all over that door and then put a big piece of glass all over the top. Might take 100 or more holes. Who'd a thunk it? I never seen a table top like that before so someone might think it is unique and want to buy it. From waste (door) and free and renewable (trees in backyard) to dollars in my ass pocket, all the while doing something I enjoy - woodworking. That's an opportunity, but only if you see it that way. FWIW, I've seen farm tables go for $1,000 and more but none of them had that unique feature mine will have.
Agree on making hay while the sun shines, of course. I'm doing the same. It is just a mindset trying to keep sharp that is WILL go away without warning. I probably take it too far, but I'm okay with that.Delete
I'm wondering if selling low cost but high quality tools that would be very difficult to manufacture in a SHTF world would work. One of the most basic tools is the pocket knife. A Swiss Army knife is often called the pocket tool box. Given the proper skills, a person could accomplish a lot with one of these.ReplyDelete
So if these were no longer available for sale, would there be a market for them ? I think so - maybe.
You are competing with dollar stores and the like. I was going to originally include this, but here is the problem. What do you stock? How much? How can your neighbors get access? Why choose you over going into town and shop there? Much much inventory are you willing to stock? Do you go to their house, or have them tear up your yard and dwelling? This is a micro business for money. As soon as the money system crashes, we are in bandit country, not traders country. I know it was just an example, but Swiss Army Knives blow. It has many tools, none of which work very well.Delete
Sorry, but I have to disagree. The Swiss Army knife is a high-quality tool for light to moderate (with care) duty.Delete
Check this book for making whole bushcraft camps and outdoor projects from a single Swiss Army knife.
Some people think the corkscrew is a worthless tool on the Swiss Army knife. Incorrect, it is actually the best tool available for UNTYING knots. It also holds the micro screwdriver that threads into the corkscrew for tightening your eyeglasses frames. It wouldn't do any good to be wandering the wasteland and have your glasses gradually self-disassemble would it? And you can't forget the straight pin that inserts under the corkscrew to assist the tweezers with removing splinters. The models with the pliers are a bit too light for something like lifting your pot out of the fire, but you can have a Leatherman and a smaller Swiss Army knife that covers the tools that the Leatherman doesn't include. BUY A SWISS ARMY KNIFE!
I never had any luck, but I also only had generics. I see your point, of course.Delete
I ended up getting the Swiss Tool, Swiss Spirit X, which is the multi-tool version of the Swiss Army Knife. I find the tools to be more usable, due to their increased size over the knife.Delete
My first knife I bought was a Chinese (I assume) copy of a real Swiss Army knife. Piece of junk and a waste of $6. There wasn't a single tool even close to quality on it. The real ones are a world apart.Delete
I've tried a couple of muti-tool knives, and some very expensive Leatherman tools. Never found then of much use. They just don't transmit/convert the force necessary to do most jobs. Cute little buggers, but weak. Even for mere cutting the hinge is always a problem. Folding knives and pistols are only used for convenience. Who would bring a pistol to a predicted gunfight?Delete
Well, maybe GS, who does everything better than I can.
I do a lot of things half assed, and few things pretty good.
I bought a multi tool long ago as I was swept up in all the marketing (see, I'm like everybody else!) and was disappointed. It wasn't cheap neither., think I paid about $80 for it. Lots of stuff, difficult to use any of it, and none of it performs even half as good as cheap versions of individual tools. Try to really bear down on a multi tool set of pliers. You're hand will scream bloody murder. Never in my life did I have an instant need for a shitload of half assed tools. 3 steps in any direction here on the compound and I'll have quality stuff in my hand. Out on the road, for fixing a blown radiator hose or whatever? Please. That's what cellphones are for.
Same with the swiss army toy. Cheap plastic over hyped junk. I'd rather have 1 good solid blade than 3 cheezy little bullshit blades. I see those things recommended all the time and just shake my head. I'm not a tool snob, though I wish I was wealthy enough to be, I have purchased lots of stuff at Horror Fright and other cheap joints. I have some quality stuff too but they are in the minority.
Minions, think and apply these ideas and activities into two versions of your future. One, obvious parallel is the venezuala type slow collapse and grinding poverty that will devour all of the above examples surely but slowly enough that many will eventually be caught with pants down like an outhouse door flung open, while trying to hang on to your business plan or model till the last minute game buzzer. Other parallel is like syria or other hot conflict zones that go up fast and all those plans outside of an adaptation quickly to a full on black market endevour will be useless when under fire or perpetual hunkering and evacuation. The blog has "prepper" in the title somewhere so that topic should be part of the end game planning for your economic viability contingency planning. NOT some version of pbs suzie ormand's retirement financial planning and retirement seminar program. Flush out your helmets.ReplyDelete
Ah, PBS, Jerry Lewis telethon fund raising for Pravda.Delete
It’s kind of hard not to love a guy that introduces an imaginary character named Jesse, The Illiterate Faggot, 18 hours into his annual Labor Day telethon :DDelete
Though you gotta wonder how much of a role that played in him eventually stepping down as host of his own telethon?
Funny you mentioned Venezuela. The MSM had some tripe about their problems and how we need to act. I got into trouble because I got really hot under the collar. So I got to say my piece when the report was done.Delete
I told everyone that venuzuala has to go through the pain so that they can know that socialism is not for them. It's an internal matter. They nationalized (stole) industry & whaddya know? There's more to running a company than merely possessing it. And what a surprise that machines break down & the expertise & parts aren't available because the people who you stole the company from aren't keen to help.
They also had sick / dying kids. Yeah? Remember the Iraqis killing babies in hospitals? The kids stunned and covered in dust in Syria? What about the rapes of white kids in England? Yeah, kids suffering sucks the sweat from a donkeys testicles but invading a country because they are experiencing the fruits of socialism is dumb
Beware our elites propaganda. It isn't a socialism thing, its a disinformation campaign against a regeme who had the balls to resist American imperialism. They rejected the US Dollar!!!! The Humanity!!! Why do you think we just meddled in the Brazilian election? They were making noises similarly. Why did London refuse to give back Venezuela her gold? Was it because they were socialist? So is England. But England does American bidding ( remember all the market scandles coming out of London a few years back, with the Libor and similar? ) financially, as well as imperially ( their troops in Iraq, why? That is a long way from the North Atlantic the treaty protects against invasion. Did Iraq invade a NATO country? ). Look at the disinformation campaign in Iran sixty years ago. Rejecting American rule, and they are STILL a target of smear campaigns and actual attack still to this day.Delete
Read the Jerry Lewis article. It seemed very tongue in cheek. But, boy, did all those commentors go off the deep end about it.Delete
Yeah, but he actually did get into hot water over it Jim, it wasn’t just that one article, which seemed to have a pro-fag bent to it (What doesn’t anymore). I recall that he had to apologize for it, and it seemed that it wasn’t too long after that that he was no longer hosting the telethon that he started.Delete
Personally, I laughed my ass off, and let out an “Alright Jerry” :D
I just thought he was so friggin old he didn't want to host anymore, but yeah, I can see the connection.Delete