Small Towns and Local Currency

By: Tom Chatham

The idea that life is about to take a turn for the worst is taken as a foregone conclusion by those tracking current events. It has been a long time coming and we are not at the end of the beginning yet but it is coming into view. In the days ahead two of the items you need to plan for are where you will live and what medium of exchange you will use.

Many have taken the stance that you should move to a small town to ride out the events that may unfold. This is not a bad idea but simply moving to a small town is not a cure-all for what will likely unfold. In many cases, the small towns in America are merely smaller versions of the city in many ways.

The small towns have a smaller population that allows many of the people to actually know their neighbors which in times of chaos can help due to the cohesiveness of the neighborhood. This is only one aspect that many people think of. A more serious aspect that needs to be examined is the production capability of the community.

If the distribution system stops for any reason, the small towns will lose their supplies just like the major cities will. Most small towns today are far different from the ones just a few generations ago. These small towns rely on a constant supply of goods from all over the world to maintain normalcy just as their city cousins.

Long gone are the days when many of the goods needed by the community are made in the local area. When the distribution system stops, the availability of local goods will be a primary factor in how well the community weathers the emergency.

Because of this, it is necessary to not only look for a small town but one that has a host of local production assets that will allow the citizens to maintain a certain degree of commerce of necessary items such as food, clothing, energy and medical care. Just because there are a lot of farms in an area it is not an indicator of sufficient local production. Many farmers rely on the grocery store for most of their food needs because many farms are mono crop farms now not the small diversified farms of yesterday.

A town may be surrounded by thousands of acres of wheat but what is their capability to convert that wheat into flour. This can be said for any type of grain produced in the area. Butchering a deer during hunting season is one thing but how about a few dozen beef cattle per week? Are there any chicken houses in the area and what is their ability to provide enough chicken and eggs to the community? Are there any dairy farms around and what is their production ability? Can the local farmers produce another crop after supplies are cut off? Do they have the capability to produce their own seeds and fertilizer? These are just some of the things a small town will need the ability to do to be a good place to stay after something happens.

The other issue is what medium of exchange you will use. It is now evident that banks and government entities are pushing us towards a cashless society. Chase will begin to charge large depositors a 1% fee for bank deposits in the near future. Some smaller banks around the country have sent notices to their business customers informing them that they will be charged a fee for bank deposits in the near future.

Negative interest rates are now here and it will only get worse. When banks start charging their customers for the privilege of holding their money, the system is seriously broken. This is one way the bankers are trying to induce spending into the broken economy. People will be forced to spend their money as fast as possible to avoid bank charges.

At the same time cash is becoming the new threat. Remember the alerts from the government implying people that use cash may be terrorists. This is the set up for removing cash from the system. That will allow the government to track all purchases you make and even freeze your account if you become a naughty person by utilizing your free speech or other rights against the government. If there is no cash to be used it will make being on the run from authorities almost impossible. It will be the end of anonymous purchases.

Because of this it will be imperative to have some type of medium of exchange to conduct business with other individuals if this comes to pass. The most obvious types of currency will be gold and silver coins. These items will be out of the reach of the government in most cases. They are not the only types of currency though. Other types of currency can take the form of local script, certain foods, salt, tea, ammo, spices and sugar to name a few. The commodity may be different from one community to another depending on the location and availability of common items.

Knowing now what types of production are available and what types of alternative mediums of exchange would work best in a particular community are two of the things you need to keep in mind as you plan alternatives to your current lifestyle. A small town will only be as good as its people and its production capability in the days to come.

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Posted on May 5, 2015, in Economics, Preparedness and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. Very good article Tom. You have accurately described potential problems. I think most people who might be without employment would need to exchange their labor for food, much like tenant farmers of the past. Growing food on the shares, perhaps provide all the labor for half the food. Small towns are closer to land available to grow food. Some prepper items I see as important include garden tools. I know many farmers who might have some land they could use for food production, but they don’t have a large supply of hand tools for others to use. Garden tools can be much more valuable than a multitude of gadgets for survival (?) in the woods.

  2. Bobcat-Prepper

    thanks for the post – thought provoking. Here’s my two cents:

    Any merchant foolish enough to take US currency when the economic system is suspect may end up with a handful of useless paper and an empty shop.

    While using gold or silver sounds like an attractive solution, it would require an up-front expenditure of public funds for a city to have a stockpile ready, and the cost of the program wouldn’t pass muster with the sheeple.

    There could be freshness and purity issues with commodities for currency.

    Therefore, the best solution would be to have a method ready to issue local scrip. It would be low-cost, and would not have to be too high-tech, as the counterfeiting capabilities of outside groups would be minimal after a disaster.

    • Thanks bobcat, all good points. The whole idea is to get people thinking about these issues before they become a problem. As far as a city stockpiling PMs, I can’t see government at any level being part of the solution, its just their nature to do what is in their best interest which usually runs contrary to the public’s best interest. It would be a lot easier to transition if local governments were on board but don’t hold your breath.

  3. Reblogged this on Henri's Web Space and commented:
    I do not usually re-blog posts without adding something extra based on my own research, but this article speaks for itself.

  4. Hi Tom – I guess you remember the TV Series called “Jericho”, which illustrated how a small town may cope in a post-apocalyptic world; another depiction of what the powers that be intend to do to us if we let them…

    • The prevailing problem is that most people , rural or urban will not be prepared for what is coming. We will truly be living in interesting times.

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