What Skills Do You Really Have?
By: Tom Chatham – Author of The American Dream Lost
Most people go to work every morning for the most part to earn a paycheck in order to buy the things they need. Some people are better at this than others and the expensive homes and cars they drive attest to that but do these people have critical skills that justify the pay they earn? In a major corporation, being good with numbers and knowing the best sales tactics may be worth a great deal but if the financial world that we know suddenly stopped functioning, what would those sales skills be worth? If consumers no longer had money to buy the products you were selling, what would your paycheck start to look like?
The U.S. now has a service economy where people do things for other people so they don’t have to do it themselves. When people cease to have the extra money to pay others to do things for them and start doing the job themselves, it reduces the amount of money flowing through the economy and sets in motion a spiral to a slower, weaker economy where everyone becomes poorer. This is the situation we now have in the U.S. where unemployment is increasing and we can’t seem to stop it. Most of these unemployed used to have service related jobs that now others cannot afford to pay for.
A nation creates wealth by having a product to sell. When the only thing you have to sell is your labor, you are suddenly forced to compete with everyone else on similar terms and labor is a commodity like everything else. It is dictated by supply and demand. The more people that are trying to get a job, the less they are willing to take just to have that job. The U.S. became rich because we produced products that others wanted and could not get anywhere else. As we allowed our manufacturing to move overseas we became dependant on service related jobs to fill the gap and it worked until recently when the wealth we had stored away began to run out. Now we have no wealth and no products to sell to create more wealth. Until this changes we as a nation had better get used to living a much simpler and poorer lifestyle.
We are basically headed back to where we started 200 years ago. From now on if Americans want to have certain things they will need to produce something of value to sell or trade for it. If you are the only person in town that sells fresh eggs then you have a vehicle to get the things you need and want. Producing a product or providing a skill that others don’t posses is where we are headed as a nation and the sooner people realize it the sooner a real recovery can commence.
This nation is headed for a massive breakdown of our social and economic systems and only those that are ready to adapt and move forward will be prosperous. An accountant, firefighter or bus driver is an honest profession but those things are not critical to the day to day necessities that people need to get by in life when the whole system stops working properly. People need food, water, shelter, clothing, security, medical services and household goods. If you can produce one or more of these critical items then you will have a skill that will be in high demand in the coming months and years.
A critical skill is growing or producing food. If you can grow vegetables, grains or produce seeds to sell you have a very useful skill. If you can raise livestock and produce eggs, meat, milk, honey or other items you will have a commodity to sell. In difficult times people will need medicine and treatments even more than ever but a lack of production or extreme prices by large companies will create a vacuum that can be filled by local medicinal cures that can be created at home if you know how. This could become a lucrative business if you learn to grow plants and make herbal remedies now while you can. Can you make soap, candles, toothpaste, laundry soap or household cleaners?
People will still need furniture and other household items for day to day living so if you know how to make tables and chairs, wood stoves or garden tools you will have a good product to sell. If you know how to repair or make clothing and have the equipment to do this you will have a good skill to sell or trade. You may know how to repair or make weapons for protection or have equipment to reload ammo. Welding, small engine repair or knowing how to build a windmill to pump water or produce electrical power would be useful. There are many useful skills that are necessary and productive but few people in modern society know any of them. If you want to insure a good future for you and your family you need to seriously think about what skills you can provide should things get desperate in this country in the near future.
Now is the time to plan for a secondary vocation and acquire the materials and equipment to provide a stream of income should you need something to fall back on. Most people have jobs in the service sector that can go away very quickly if the economy suddenly stops for any reason. Very few plan for a catastrophic failure of the system but given the current situation we find ourselves in, it could happen at any time. It is only prudent to plan for these situations in order to get through them as well as possible and maintain an acceptable standard of living. Most knowledge is free so you should avail yourself of it as much as possible in the coming months. No matter what happens in the future, you will not have wasted your time.