Author Archives: sierra2one
By: Tom Chatham
If you are reading this then you understand the danger we face or at least want to understand it. The daily assurances by the government and MSM are all that most people need to relieve them of the burden of individual responsibility. Ultimately, the buck stops with you when the welfare of your family is at stake.
In The American Dream Lost I outlined a simple strategy to disaster proof your life if everything falls apart in society. For the benefit of those that have not read it before I will outline the basic strategy here. Time is getting critical and decisions need to be made. The strategy is designed for those with minimal savings to draw on but can be used by those with substantial assets as well.
It does not matter if the emergency is loss of employment, natural disaster, civil unrest or economic collapse. The results are similar. Your ability to care for your family is hampered to some degree and life can become difficult very fast. The credit system we rely on can break down and leave you with few or no resources to continue normal daily living.
As many in the preparedness community have stated many times before, there are certain things you need to have to get by in difficult times when you cannot afford them or possibly find them. Food is universal in all lists but that is not the only critical item to have. Food will keep you fed but there are other environmental conditions that need to be addressed.
Here is a list of critical items you need to have covered no matter what happens.
Food & household items
These are not the only things you should have covered but they are the top of the list.
You need to store enough basic foods to feed your family at least two good meals a day for one year. Three meals a day is better but two is a minimum to prevent starvation and desperation. Basic, inexpensive foods should be emphasized such as flour, cornmeal, beans, rice, oats, pancake mix, cooking oil, powdered milk, canned vegetables, canned fruit, syrup, honey, potato flakes, gravy mix, canned meats and pasta. Cooking essentials should also be included such as granulated sugar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, cocoa and spices. You also need to store basic household items such as dish soap, washing powder, toilet paper, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, razors, shaving cream, sponges and scrubbing pads.
Water filtration is essential where water sources are suspect. Either portable filters or countertop models will insure you can maintain good health during difficult times when potable water is not readily available from the usual sources.
Shelter is a critical element and can determine the quality of life of your family over long durations. If you do not fully own your present shelter you are in danger of losing it if you are unable to maintain payments at some future time. Even if you own it the location may present security problems in the future so other alternatives must be available. A good used camper trailer allows you the ability to shelter your family year round and also provides you with mobility when you need it. A good used camper trailer can be found today for under $3,000 dollars and some for much less but you will have to shop around. The sooner you start looking, the more time you will have to find good deals.
Clothing is an essential need of humans. While most people have ample supplies of clothing to get them through several months, it is good to have a backup supply of some basic clothing for each family member just in case the difficulties last longer than expected or you lose most of your clothing due to disaster. You should buy two complete sets of clothing for each family member and store them in your trailer.
Security is important and its relevance depends on your location. Those in a remote area will have fewer security problems than someone in an urban area depending on the disaster and its aftermath. The ability to defend your family is critical depending on events and you need to have a plan and equipment to take care of unfolding situations. If you do not currently own a gun and have limited gun knowledge a pump shotgun and 500 rounds of ammo would be the best thing to start out with. It will provide you with good defensive capabilities and the ability to hunt.
Energy is a critical element and the longer you must care for yourself, the more critical it becomes. You must have the ability to provide conventional energy for short durations and have an energy plan to cover needs for longterm situations. Propane and a generator work well for short term but once you run out of fuel you will suffer. You must have a way to provide alternative energy for your systems regardless of the situation. One good alternative is to build a wood gassifier unit. You can use this to run your generator and your truck. With a sufficient wood supply you can run most of your items for months or even years on locally available wood supplies. Other systems such as solar, wind or wood stoves are good but they are limited to only a few things where a gassifier can be utilized to provide power for most of your energy needs. A combination of these energy systems would be best if you can afford it.
Transportation is critical if you are not in a safe location when everything destabilizes. If you have a camper trailer you will also need something to pull it. Older pickup trucks can be found for under $1,500. When combined with a wood gassifier, you have a transportation system with almost unlimited range when conventional fuel supplies are cut off or unavailable.
Silver is a good commodity to have when the economic system is not functioning as it should. Holding at least $30 dollars in face value of junk silver coins provides you with the ability to buy items when money is scarce or not accepted. It also provides you with a way to save money over the longterm until it is needed. If you have sufficient financial means, larger amounts of gold and silver provide a medium that is easily stored and transported.
With a fully stocked camper trailer and truck, you have the means to get out of harms way very quickly and maintain a reasonable quality of life wherever you go. If you lose your job and home to economic disruptions, it is good to know you can still care for your family properly until you can improve your situation. This is something many people do not think about until it is too late.
Most people like to run things out until they have no resources left to take care of their family. They ignore the threat and then must rely on government assistance to provide the things they need. What happens when you lose everything and there is no government assistance available to you? That is a problem that many will have to deal with in the future and when it happens it will be too late to do things differently. The disinformation coming from multiple sources in the government and media are setting people up for disaster and the people will suffer horribly for it for years to come.
If you have the means to buy a small property in a rural area that you can live on in your trailer that would be ideal but many may not have the resources for that so what can you do? If you live in the city and determine you may need to relocate during some type of disaster you need a preplanned destination. Simply driving around in a collapsing environment will likely end in tragedy.
One thing you might want to do is make friends with a farmer in a rural area. In the event you need to relocate, you may be able to park your trailer on his property in trade for helping him around the farm and keeping an eye on things if the situation deteriorates. If you are already friends with him he is more likely to help you when the time comes.
For those that already have a plan, you are ahead of the curve but for others that have not thought about it this should give you something to think about and begin the process of disaster proofing your life when things go wrong in society. Take this basic plan, adjust it to your needs and abilities and make a plan that works for you. It is your responsibility to care for your family no matter what happens. This is not a responsibility you can farm out to government agencies so get busy now.
By: Tom Chatham
As many have pointed out over the past few days, the port shutdown on the west coast will have longterm effects. There has been a slow down at the ports for a few months but now the work has stopped completely. What many do not understand is that the retailers in the U.S. must make their orders months in advance in order to have the product on the shelf when they need it.
Even if the shutdown only lasts a few weeks, it will cause ripples through the distribution system for months. Even if we are still getting goods in the stores now, when the supply system runs out, the shelves will go empty. Even if the goods are put back into the system within a few weeks before the shelves go empty, there will likely be a dead zone where the products have not had time to make it through the system to the stores. That means a temporary disruption of supply on the shelf.
Many in the preparedness community have talked about supply disruptions as one possible danger that can leave society in need of everyday goods. It does not matter if there are shiploads of goods sitting in the port. If it is not on the shelf when needed it might as well be on the moon. When the shelves start to go empty it will not matter if it is just a temporary problem. People will start to panic buy and exacerbate the problem.
One problem is that if this goes on long enough, the seasonal goods that are needed in stores will not arrive in time to be sold when in demand. This delay will carry on for multiple seasons until the distribution system catches up to the supply. It takes time to unload each ship and transport that cargo to its destination. If it carries on long enough, the transport system will not be able to overcome the backlog of goods. You can only transport so much at one time with the available carriers in the system. As the shutdown goes on it could cause more longterm problems if transportation systems go out of business as a result of the shutdown.
In the shipping industry, when the industry slows down owners tend to sell older, marginally productive ships to the ship breakers. This reduces the number of transports over time and when the economy picks back up the ships are not available to use so new ones must be built. This creates a lag in the industry for a few years until the ships can be built. It is a repeating cycle that the shipping industry operates on. Anyone keeping up with the Baltic Dry Index knows it is now at multi-decade lows which is more incentive for owners to sell. This slowdown will likely exacerbate the reduction of shipping available as ships are sold to maintain bottom lines.
This will also put stress on the credit system as goods are not unloaded and sold so retailers can pay for the products. The 30 day credit system that is the mainstay of our economy will breakdown as we know it. It will ripple all the way from the retailer locations to the producers overseas. This is true of the whole distribution system including the transport sectors like trucking companies and railroads. Companies that are marginal will likely go out of business as everything stagnates.
One good aspect of a long shutdown is the fact that many people will then realize how dependent we are on imports and that may spur a call for more local production, but don’t count on it. Americans have a short attention span and once the supplies are back on the shelf they will likely go back to their iphones and sports channels and forget about any problems in the past.
This will likely resolve itself soon but it may be months before we are able to evaluate the damage that is done to a system that is already hanging by a thread. This is just one more reason to be less reliant on the system as it is. A distribution shutdown means lost revenue for companies and lost pay for all those affected by it. In a time when large numbers of Americans are unemployed and the rest are struggling, it does not bode well for the future.
By: Tom Chatham
The winds of war are now blowing around the world. One day we will look back on these days with longing as one would look back on the gentle breezes of summer as the hurricane blows outside.
The winter season of the fourth turning is increasing with intensity as most people are fooled into believing that summer is just a few days off. When the winds become deadly and the snow begins to pile up, many will not be prepared to care for themselves. They will find themselves helpless and unprepared for this new weather system. Many will die and many more will suffer as they are cut off from the supplies and materials they depend on for normal living. They will become immobile and have little communication to tell them what to do. When the weather has them at their most vulnerable, the wolves will begin to show up at their door.
It cannot be over emphasized as to the amount of danger America is facing. We are being systematically cut off and separated from our allies and will eventually stand alone to face the fury of the hurricane that approaches. We are currently being set up to take a fall that some hope will be the end of this nation as we know it. The treason and treachery being perpetrated on this nation is a result of the mutation of the population from ants to grasshoppers. We are about to get exactly what we voted for and most people do not understand what that means.
Our birthright has been sold for a hand full of magic beans that will turn out to be rancid leftovers from someone’s failed business adventures. The wealth this nation has amassed over the decades is rapidly dwindling and will suddenly disappear in its entirety as the nation sleeps one night in the near future. The masses will awake one morning in a strange new land that holds no future for them or their children. They will be dumbstruck as to how they got there. The warnings will have been dismissed as insane talk by delusional people that don’t conform to societies norms.
It will be these few delusional, insane people that will determine the future of the once great nation. They will be the only ones that understand the dangers and are prepared to deal with the deadly winter weather. When the snow piles up they will have supplies and heat. When the wolves appear at the door they will have the weapons to fight them off. When the winds blow away the shelters of society the few will be safe in their structures reinforced to handle the tempest.
Those that deny the coming weather will be laid naked before it and will pay the price. No amount of facts or pleading will change the mind of most of these grasshoppers until it is too late.
There is a storm approaching and measures must be taken before it is too late to prepare. Just as you would prepare for a hurricane, the population must lay in stores of food and supplies to maintain their standard of living for the duration of the destruction. They must make sure they are in a safe location that will not get brown away or inundated with water from the storm surge. They must have the means to provide heat and cook food when the power system goes down. They must be able to protect themselves from any wolves that appear in any form. They must be prepared to rebuild after the storm passes. They must be prepared to weather this storm for 10 to 20 years until it blows itself out.
War is being fomented in the Middle East and in Europe and when it comes the U.S. will be hard pressed to survive it. Our military is being downsized, weapons systems are being reduced and many senior commanders are being fired for dubious reasons at best. The civil population is being systematically impoverished while government operatives tell them the nation is strong and getting stronger. Our manufacturing base has been dismantled and over 17% of our food is imported today. We have bankers that are stealing hard assets with fiat funny money and plan to steal peoples savings with new government regulations and laws. We are on the verge of losing reserve currency status and our banking system as we know it.
We are being inundated by foreigners that seek government entitlements and refuse to assimilate the American culture or language further dividing the civil population into domestic tribes hostile to one another. We have terrorist training camps within our borders and a lack of border control. We have members of the Muslim Brotherhood in the highest levels of our government and leaders that are ignorant at best and treasonous at worst.
In 1996 Thomas Chittum wrote a book called Civil War Two where he describes the breakup of America into ethnic regions. Many of the things he wrote about are evident today in society and spell doom for this nation as it is, even if we were not threatened with world war we would be headed for balkanization. The increasingly dysfunctional nature of this nation as it is will provide its citizens with many difficulties to overcome in the coming years.
War is coming to the world and to America on many levels and it cannot be stopped. The best anyone can do is to prepare and try to stay out of the way of the most serious fighting and bide their time until they can get the upper hand in their locality. The world is about to change in a very radical way and many are not prepared for it either physically or mentally. The forecast has been given and the storm flags are up.
By: Tom Chatham
Richard Russell made an interesting statement recently. He believes wealth trumps income and after thing about it, I have to agree. Many people today do not understand the difference between wealth and income. They think one equates to the other.
When people look at someone else today they immediately try to determine how much they make as a way to determine how wealthy they are. While it is true that the more you make, the easier it is to accumulate wealth, that is not a guaranteed outcome. What you do with your money is more important than how much you make in most cases.
The psychological aspect of income is all most people immediately respond to. A recent study indicates that most women will not even consider dating a man that does not have a steady job. While there are exceptions, this indicates that most women see income as the most important element when it comes to finding a mate. While having a job is one indicator of potential wealth, it is not the only defining one. There are many people today making over $100k per year and find it difficult to survive because they spend more than they make.
On the flip side, how many wealthy old men do you see with beautiful young wives? If you see a well dressed man throwing around hundred dollar bills and getting into a limo, few people ask if he has a job. They only see a wealthy person and respond to that perception. This is getting off the track a bit but is something to think about.
Wealth is a matter of what manages to “stick” to an individual over the course of time. I actually know someone that inherited around 50 million dollars some years ago. Within 10 years it was all gone and he had nothing to show for it. As unbelievable as that sounds, it is a true story.
Someone that makes $10k a year and is careful with their funds can actually have more wealth within a few years than someone making $50k a year and spending freely trying to live like their neighbors. As I have said before, wealth is not the paper assets you have but the physical things you buy with it. This includes knowledge. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “when a man pours his wallet into his head, no one can take it from him”. Knowledge is a form of wealth that you can spend over and over again and never run out.
Getting back to the wealth trumps income statement, it is obvious over time that the amount of money that sticks to you is independent of income and ultimately determines your wealth. This is why wealth is ultimately more important than income on many levels. Your income can be cut off at any time and leave you with nothing but bills you cannot pay but wealth is already in your hands and being used every day in the form of physical goods to maintain your current standard of living.
You don’t need income when you have sufficient real wealth. Real wealth is what allows you to sleep at night no matter how good or bad the economy is. That is something someone with a safe full of gold or a self sufficient homestead knows. Granted, some income is necessary these days if for nothing more than to pay taxes but the need for income is greatly reduced when you have real wealth that provides the things you need to survive from day to day in a nominal state of comfort.
For those that contemplate the future with dread as the economy sinks ever lower, it is important to realize what has the most impact on your economic future. Making sure that much of the income you get will stick will make a larger impact on your standard of living than anything else. You can try to wing it through life as most people do or you can sit down and decide how to leverage the funds you get and amass true wealth to insure you can take care of your family no matter what the economy does in the future. How much you make is not as important as what you do with it.
By: Tom Chatham
On the surface that question may make some examine how much wealth they have but in the context of this article it means, how much are you worth in the job market. It is a foregone conclusion that the more a person knows, the more they are worth when it comes to getting a particular job done.
If you wanted to be a high paid athlete, movie star or brain surgeon you must first prove your skills and worth. You cannot expect to start out at the top in most cases. There are a few exceptions from time to time but for most people you need to prove your worth before the big payday comes. This requires knowledge and training.
Government shills keep telling the people that if only they had more education they would be able to find a good job. This is the sick joke that insiders already know and laugh about. Upon closer examination of the current job market you will find that those businesses willing to hire are with few exceptions, looking for cheap labor not necessarily the most educated. Hence the immigration problems we now have. Why move a factory to another country when you can just bring the slave laborers here.
The job situation in the U.S. will not get any better in the years to come and will likely get even worse. Those with the least value in society will have a hard time getting by. By value I mean abilities. This is what people need to focus on if they want to maintain some semblance of a decent standard of living in the future.
Your value in society in the future will depend on the skills and knowledge you have that society will need to get by. Your ability to convert those skills into real goods and services will determine your worth. You need to forget about working for some large company that sees you as expendable and take your value directly to the end user in society. That is where we are headed and the sooner you acclimate your thinking to this type of economy the better off you will be.
It is easy to teach someone to put rod A into slot B on an assembly line but those that can think and be creative in an ever changing environment will be the most sought after by people that need things. Those that can grow healthy food, build furniture and buildings, make cloth and clothing, work metal, butcher meat, heal wounds, make alternate power systems, fix vehicles and a hundred other jobs that are necessary in local communities, will be the people with true worth to society in the future.
When the economy finally gives its last sigh and rolls over in complete dysfunction, those with actual skills will stand alone among the rubble with the knowledge to function. That is where our economy is headed and the more knowledge and skills you have the more likely you will be to continue earning a living. The current economy built on crony capitalism and fiat money has almost come to its inevitable conclusion. When it ends the people will once again look for real things that they need and those that can provide them will be king.
When that day arrives you will be judged by what you can do and sadly many people will have no real value in society. Many of those people will likely meet with a bad end as a result. You have more control over your future than you may think but only if you take the necessary actions and give yourself some value. You determine how valuable you will be in the future and any failure to instill that value will be entirely on you. So, how much are you worth now?
By: Tom Chatham
For those keeping up with the economic game of bumper cars we are playing, it seems likely that money printing will continue to the point of possible hyperinflation at some point. It is not a foregone conclusion but it seems likely. In that event what is the individual to do?
Some that have seen this possibility have come to realize that holding large amounts of debt before hyperinflation hits would allow them to pay off this debt with basically worthless currency and come out way ahead in the wealth game. That works in theory but how about in reality?
The bankers and politicians control the money supply and are even now cashing in their paper wealth for tangibles that are actually worth something. These people want it all and you can be assured of one thing. They will take the people to the cleaners before they are done with their redistribution of wealth.
Some may find themselves in a position to come ahead during any hyperinflation but they will be few and far between. The majority will not be allowed to come ahead at the bankers expense. The bankers after all created all of this easy credit that everyone uses and the sole purpose is to use it to separate the population from the hard assets that exist.
For those with substantial wealth accumulated, the first priority is to steal that paper wealth from the people. With that wealth gone they will not be able to preserve the hard assets they have that are not fully owned yet. Once that paper wealth is gone the bankers will need to inflate the money supply and force the majority into default on their assets. In a hyperinflation paychecks will not be able to keep up with rising prices and people will slowly fall behind until they lose it all.
For those that continue getting paid every week, the inflating pay will eat away at the debts faster and faster. To avoid losing real money, the bankers may index debts in order to prevent losing the leverage they created from nothing. When you index you basically increase the value of the debt at the same rate as inflation.
For those that say this will not work because they have a contract with the bank fixing the payment I can only say, do you really think these people will let you get over on them. These are the people that own the government and change the rules on a daily basis when it suits their needs. All that needs to happen is the government pass a law allowing the banks to index all debts and it will be a done deal.
I am not saying this will happen, but it could happen so you need to think about that and incorporate it into any plans you make to get through a currency collapse. If your plan is simply to pay off debt with devaluing currency and they index, you will not be in any better position than everyone else.
One way some will come out ahead is by having their excess wealth in precious metals. These assets will increase at or above the rate of inflation and allow the holders to maintain their buying power. The U.S. called in the gold in 1933 and could do it again but it is not likely. The main reason is that in 1933 gold was still part of the money supply and was held by the general population in large amounts. Very few people hold gold today and most of the ones that do are the very people that make the laws and they will not shoot themselves in the foot.
They may place a tax on any precious metals that are sold and use that as a way to control the smaller holders of metals but a house to house confiscation is not likely unless they just happen to target you for some other reason and find some in your possession and decide to take it. Ultimately, any paper currency only has the value that those printing it will give you. Metals can be used worldwide and have universal value. That is what makes metals more appealing than paper.
If currencies are destroyed in the future you can be assured that the perpetrators have a plan in place to prevent the majority from profiting from it on any large scale. Those that create the credit only care about owning everything they can get their hands on. Their greed knows no limits. With ownership of all assets comes complete control of the population. That is the end game for many. For those that see danger on the horizon it only makes sense to look ahead and plan for any contingency that may cost you everything you have.
By: Tom Chatham
Something very bad will soon come to pass in this country. When the system collapses and support systems necessary for normal living no longer function adequately, we will devolve into a society with few codes of conduct and an every man for himself attitude. A breakdown of the social system will almost assuredly cause the government to react in a violent fashion toward the civil population in an effort to maintain control and simply survive itself.
When the government engages in open warfare against the population it will likely trigger the activation of patriots across the nation waging unrestricted war on the government and its control apparatus nationwide. This will be a conflagration that consumes men and resources at a vicious pace. Those that are preparing for that fateful day will be limited by their financial resources to prepare for combat with an entity that has vastly superior resources at its disposal. The average person cannot hope to stock all of the supplies necessary for a prolonged fight, so some sort of resupply system needs to be in place before resources are constrained or cut off completely.
In any warfare, the fighters depend on a supply network to keep them in the fight. This network requires many individuals for every trigger puller in the field. When the individual fighters resources are exhausted they will depend on these supplies coming from some other source sympathetic to the cause. The lack of this support will mean that individual fighters will be occupied with finding resources rather than conducting combat operations.
There will likely be many in the area of conflict that wish for patriot victory but lack the ability to fight along side them. These people ,can participate in the cause by becoming a supply source for those on the front lines. This would entail storing extra supplies relevant to the fighters needs in addition to storing supplies for their own use. For a few hundred dollars in extra supplies, the supporters could insure continued fighting ability for many weeks or months. Several supporters for every fighter would mean several years of resupply for the cause.
There are many types of support that individuals can provide for future operations but here are a few logistics you might want to consider.
Oats 1 bu.
Rice 36 lbs.
Coconut oil 32 oz.
Milk powder 30 qt.
Brown sugar 4 lbs.
Instant coffee 8 oz.
Hard candy 200pcs.
Seasalt 2 lbs.
Pepper 4 oz.
Ground cinnamon 4oz.
Multi-vitamins 360 ea.
Ibuprophen 24 ea.
Triple antibiotic ointment
Bourbon 16 oz.
Ammo 500 rds.
Cleaning eq. ( oil, solvent, pipe cleaners, Q tips, rags, bore snake)
Soap 12 bars
Toothpaste 6 oz. tube
Toilet paper 4 rolls
Disposable razors 12 ea.
Foot powder 4 oz.
Wool long underwear
Thermal socks 2pr.
AA batteries 8ea.
D batteries 8 ea.
Chem lites 24 ea.
550 cord 100’
Duct tape 1 roll
Laundry powder 2 lbs.
Anyone storing supplies will need to analyze the needs specific to your area of the country. Variables such as location, food production capability, weapons type and environmental conditions will determine to a large degree what will be stored by locals.
While it may not be possible to store everything that an individual will need, having the basics available to build on will make local foraging for supplies, to flesh out needs, much easier. The storing of bulk grains will solve much of the problems with food supplies and storage. A bushel of grain will go a long way when processed for consumption.
Even if you are not sure at this time if these supplies will be needed it will provide you with extra for your own use or for trade in the event others you wish to help are in desperate need. Everything on the list above is basic and will find use in most locations in any event.
The thought of something requiring this type of preparation is inconceivable to many but the fact remains we now find ourselves in a situation that may require just such forethought to insure a chance of events unfolding in favor of those that support the republic we now inhabit. Chance favors the prepared mind. When the time comes that you may need these things, it may already be too late to get them. Plan ahead now.
By: Tom Chatham
There are many people that give you a list of things you should have if something bad suddenly happens. There is nothing wrong with that but many people never give much thought as to why those things are valuable during or after a crisis.
How many times has someone told you to hold physical stock certificates or treasuries in case the banks are shut down or keep your credit card paid up just in case you need to make emergency purchases? I’m guessing not very often. Why is that? In normal times it might be a smart thing to do but in a serious crisis that has the capacity to change society, those things become worthless.
Everyone has read the many stories about what would happen if the power grid were to go down. Basically everything that depends on electricity would stop working and become useless. Well, if the banking system were to shut down because of economic collapse, cyber attack or a grid down scenario, everything connected to the banking system would stop working as well.
If you were holding a credit card, what good would it do when it is issued by a bank and depends on credit created by the bank to work? No bank, no credit, no working card. Having a physical stock certificate in hand might seem smart but once the banking system is shut down, what will you do with that piece of paper? Even if you could find someone to buy it, how will you get paid? If the monetary system has collapsed, what medium will you take payment in? Even if you find a person to buy it, and they give you cash, is that medium of exchange going to be worth anything?
That certificate shows you have ownership in a company but with the monetary system shut down, how much will that company be worth as time goes on? If you have money in retirement accounts, savings accounts or checking accounts and the banks shut down, all you have to prove you have money is a monthly statement. You have nothing. Paper assets only have potential value if normalcy returns to the system following a crisis.
In normal times, little pieces of paper or plastic make everyday life possible but when normal times end you need something in hand you can actually use. Keep in mind that any wealth you have invested or in the bank or retirement account is potential wealth. It only becomes actual wealth when you trade it in for something you actually need or want. It only becomes wealth when you trade it for hard assets.
There is a reason people give lists of physical goods to deal with a crisis. You cannot use potential wealth to provide everyday needs, it takes physical goods. Many people like to say you cannot eat gold, well a paper certificate does not make a very good meal either. The primary difference is that gold has a store of value because it takes work to produce it just like copper, nickel or any other metal, it just happens to be worth more because it is harder to produce than others due to lower quantities in the ground.
When potential wealth no longer exists or is unavailable for extraction from the system, if you do not have physical goods on hand to provide for your needs you will suffer. It is that simple. That is the whole idea behind buying physical goods for later use. When you buy and store it you have actual wealth at hand and no counter party risk.
What kinds of hard assets should you hold? That answer will be different for different people. For someone with limited skills it may be necessary to hold things such as precious metals so you will be able to trade for the things you cannot produce yourself. You may also want to hold books that provide you with the knowledge you lack. For someone with skills, some of those hard assets may be held in the form of tools that they can use to perform their skill or service.
There are some hard assets that are universal such as food, water filtration, weapons, energy production equipment, medical supplies or clothing. Some hard assets are durable, they can be reused, such as weapons and water filters and some are expendable, you only use once, such as medical supplies or food. You need to distinguish between the different types of hard assets and hold them in the appropriate quantities as you deem necessary.
One of the primary things people need is shelter. A home could be considered a hard asset but if that home burns down or you do not own it in full it is no longer an asset. As far as that goes, the land under that home is a good hard asset to own in full. All hard assets are not created equal so you need to give each of them the value they deserve.
When fiat currencies fail, one of the only things of value left standing will be hard assets that are needed by individuals for everyday needs. The paper promises will dissolve along with the public confidence in the banking system. One of the other things left will be the knowledge and skills people posses that can be turned into hard assets. In a sense, a knowledgeable person is a hard asset that can be utilized to secure needs and services so don’t overlook that.
A hard asset is something that will maintain its usefulness through good times and bad, especially when normal times turn into chaos. If you have not done so already, now is a good time to determine what hard assets you have that you can depend on when the system fails. Everything works until it doesn’t. This is especially true for ponzi schemes and fiat currencies. Don’t be the last one holding paper when chaos strikes. You may live to regret it.
By: Tom Chatham
Recently, Casey Research carried an article on some obscure ideas Thomas Jefferson wrote to colleagues about. When the new constitution was finished he knew they had failed to create a perfect document. By 1810 he felt sure that there would be problems stemming from the constitution they had written and set about to provide ideas to fix the inherent problems with it. It has been called Jefferson’s Hundreds.
The regulatory structure we now have has morphed from the small government one that was created into a behemoth that is all encompassing and intrusive into individuals lives. This has come about due to the large voting blocks that have risen to power that now control the national direction. In Virginia, Fairfax County is a good example. This one county has the power to determine the outcome of state elections regardless of the people in the majority of the rest of the state.
The people in flyover country know this problem well. The politics in this nation have led to a small number of cities and states having a disproportionate amount of control over the rest of society. One of the things that keeps this reasonably in check during national elections is the electoral collage. This helps to keep a handfull of states from controlling all the rest but even that system is under attack.
Many now want to eliminate the electoral collage and go to a simple majority vote. If that happens it is easy to look at population densities and determine that only a handful of coastal states would be sufficient to override the will of the rest of the nation. This is close to becoming reality. It is no secret why the Democrats pour so much money into states like California, New York and Illinois. These states have large populations that are beholden to government handouts and they vote appropriately.
To buttress this type of corruption Jefferson suggested dividing the nation into smaller units than even counties. He suggested breaking it down into units of one hundred people each. This hundred person ward would in effect be its own sovereign entity or republic. It would only give the powers to state and federal governments that IT decided to cede to them. This ward would have its own leadership, school, justice of the peace, constable, captain of the militia and infrastructure that it needed to take care of itself.
While I like the idea, I think a unit of 200-300 would be more functional today but the idea is the same. Small groups that retain their full sovereignty would be difficult to corrupt like they are today. Units that small have the advantage of knowing and living near the leadership and can deal with corrupt officials face to face on a daily basis when necessary. One corrupt ward would have little effect on other wards due to their separate governing bodies.
You could still have counties, states and national governing bodies to deal with larger issues but the power would be retained in the individual units. It would also eliminate the redistribution of wealth from producing units to non-producing units which is a major cause of the corruption in society. Every ward would be responsible for its own well being. I also feel giving these individual wards one electoral vote each would go a long way toward more equitable elections at the state and federal level for offices such as President, U.S. Senator, Governor and state attorney general. State senators and representatives and U.S. Representatives could still be elected by majority votes.
If this nation enters another civil war in the future, I believe this type of governing structure will come about out of necessity as communities struggle to survive the destruction and protect themselves from the inevitable lawlessness that would follow. Small communities creating their own laws and institutions to protect their property and way of life is the only way forward if freedom and private property rights are to survive the current course we are now on.
Crony capitalism and rigged elections have led to the reigns of power being concentrated in a small number of hands. This is not only dangerous to society in terms of freedom but also in financial terms as wealth and hard work are siphoned off for the benefit of the few at the cost of the many. The decentralization of power is the only way to remove the sociopaths that now control our destinies. This was evident to Jefferson in his day.
Letter to William B. Giles, 1825:
I see with the deepest affliction, the rapid strides with which the federal branch of our government is advancing towards the usurpation of all the rights reserved to the States, and the consolidation in itself of all powers, foreign and domestic; and that too, by constructions which, if legitimate, leave no limits to their power.
Today when any county or state attempts to stand up to the corrupt policies dictated to us from national podiums, they are confronted with the only things that can be used against them. They are first threatened with the termination of federal funds and if that does not work the threat of physical force is used. Usually, the simple threat of loss of funds is sufficient to end the revolt as local governments are addicted to federal money like a heroin addict to drugs.
Until local governments free themselves from the financial chains of government subsidies and grants, and they develop their own economies and armed forces, will they be free from the tyranny that seeks to totally subdue them. Only when local communities have the ability to say NO will they regain their birthright.
By: Tom Chatham
A recent article by Dave Hodges shines a light on a little thought of situation that many people may find themselves in during some future war or civil disturbance. That situation is you coming up against superior technology that you have no defense against. So, how do you deal with this threat?
Lets get right to the chase. Every weapons system is designed to operate in a certain environment and do a certain task within that environment. Because of that, every weapons system has weak points that it cannot hide from once you change that environment.
In WWII Sherman tanks were outmatched by German Tiger tanks. They were able to overcome this disadvantage by superior numbers and by putting the Tigers in situations that gave the Sherman the advantage. The Shermans were smaller and more maneuverable so they would try to engage tigers in dense areas where they could not maneuver and turn their guns because of obstacles. This allowed the Shermans to get behind the tigers and shoot them in their only weak point, their ass. The Tiger might get three Shermans but there was usually a fourth one that managed to get the Tiger.
When radar began to be used in WWII the RAF soon came up against German flak batteries that had radar. To get past this threat they came up with a simple solution. They deployed strips of aluminum foil, code named windows, that confused the radars and allowed the planes to get through. The Germans soon figured out how to deal with this but for a time it made their systems almost useless.
When you are faced with superior weapons you need to do two things.
Determine what its limitations are.
Determine how to attack it in that weak spot.
Those two things are the basis of counter weapons development for centuries. Not long after we got the tank we then developed anti-tank weapons. It’s the same with any new weapons system. Sometimes you need to develop your own superior technology to use against it and sometimes you need to resort to caveman technology.
Killer robots may come after us one day and be able to outrun us but how well do they rappel down a mountain or swim? They may be impervious to rifle bullets but what happens when they are hit by a 6 lb. steel ball from a cannon? A solid object traveling at high speed can do a lot of damage when it hits something. Just look at the DUC rounds the M1 Abrams fires or when a large meteor hits Earth. How do robots handle the bumper of a large truck traveling at high speeds? I have two words for the backyard inventors out there, rail gun.
New optical systems may be able to scan our retinas a mile away and tell who we are but how well do those optical systems work in fog, smoke or covered with mud or paint?
Those new MRAPs may be hard but how well do they operate in woods that have no roads? How well can they drive when all of the windows are covered with paint or other materials that blind them? How fast can they go when they are laying on their side or sitting in three feet of mud? The people in that vehicle must get in at some point and get out at some time. That is a weak point. That vehicle must be refueled at some time. That is a weak point. Are you getting the picture?
How well does any weapons system work when it is hosed down with fuel and ignited? How well does it work without fuel? How well does it work without ammo? How well does it work without repair parts or human operators? How well does it work when it cannot “see”? How well can it operate when it has no traction? How well can it operate in bad weather? What does it take to disable its electronics? What does it take to put a hole in it? What happens to an attack helicopter when a steel cable is suddenly propelled up into its rotors? How well can the operators function when they have no air to breathe?
Every system has a certain environment it works well in. Your job is to get it into a situation that is outside of its operating box so you have the advantage. That is the advantage that humans have over technology. We have the ability to adapt to new situations and learn new tricks. Most weapons systems cannot do that. Even if they can adapt they do not have our imagination. How many weapons systems would think of giving a group of enemy fighters diarrhea to reduce their combat effectiveness?
Our ability to think outside of the box is our greatest advantage. That is what we need to depend on in the days to come. Having weapon systems to fight back with will be important but the most destructive thing we have is our mind. Remember, it was a human that made that new weapon and it will be a human that designs the countermeasure to it.