Category Archives: Economics
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
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
The events of the past few months seem astounding when taken in all at once. The plan to destroy the U.S. dollar and the American middle class is moving at an ever increasing speed.
At the recent G20 meeting the nations agreed that bank deposits would no longer be considered money. These bank deposits become the property of the banking institution and as such can be used any way the bank wants. This means that any money you deposit in a bank now is no longer yours but makes you an investor in the bank and subject to lose that money if a banking crisis takes down the bank.
The spending bill just passed by congress makes the American taxpayer responsible for any derivatives loses that banks may suffer. These derivative holders now have first priority when any funds are paid out and depositors are relegated to last place. FDIC insurance will have to pay out these funds but it has no where near enough money to pay the more than 300 trillion in losses that will be suffered in a banking crisis. That means any depositor has little hope of getting anything back. In order for depositors to get anything back massive money printing would have to take place making any payout amount to only pennies on the dollar.
And if you don’t think there is any danger of a banking crisis in America you may want to keep in mind that the Treasury Dept. has recently ordered $200k worth of 72 hr emergency kits for dispersion to every major bank in America. These are known by many as bug-out-bags and are used to support individuals when disaster strikes and they have to care for themselves for the first few days of crisis.
New legislation now gives pension plans the ability to cut benefits to pensioners in the future making the future welfare of these people uncertain. They say it is necessary to prevent these funds from going bankrupt. It will “apply to multi-employer pensions, where a group of businesses in the same industry join forces with unions to provide pension coverage for employees. The plans cover some 10 million U.S. workers,” You may be happy to know this will not affect congressional pensions, as long as they are funded by the taxpayers.
The sanctions being placed on Russia are beginning to destabilize the world in many ways. The sudden drop in oil prices will send ripples through many foreign nations and cause an already tense situation to become highly flammable. It seems this is what is wanted to provoke a new world war and hide the complicity of bankers and politicians in the coming destruction of the economy.
For the past few years those elite with knowledge of the coming monetary destruction have been putting their fiat dollars into any hard assets they can find. The recent record prices paid at auction for collectables is just one more indication that those in the know are moving into hard assets as fast as they can to preserve their wealth.
This diversification includes precious metals and land as well. I believe when there are no more metals or suitable properties available for purchase, these entities in control of this game will pull the plug and let everything collapse. Those holding fiat paper, electrons or other paper promises will be devastated as those assets evaporate into thin air.
You may feel some security knowing you have a good job but among the deposits that disappear will be billions in commercial accounts that belong to businesses. When these businesses lose this money, many will likely close destroying many jobs in the process. This will send ripples through the transportation, production and distribution system when it happens. In an economy made up of 70% consumer spending, this will be fast and devastating to those with few resources to fall back on when it happens.
There are three lessons that many people will learn in the coming months. If you do not have it already you may not be able to get it. If you do not have it physically in your hands you do not own it. If you cannot protect it you will not have it for long.
By: Tom Chatham
In these days of declining paychecks and rising prices, people are hard pressed to get the most for their money. With every new dollar that is printed the value of your hard earned savings decreases and much buying power is lost. The conventional way to offset this decrease is to invest your money where it can earn interest and increase your holdings in real terms or at least keep up with inflation.
If you put your savings in the bank you might get .25% these days if you are lucky. This is at a time when real inflation is running close to 9% annually. In order to earn a better return on your funds you must put them in increasingly risky investments that have counter party risk that many may not fully appreciate until something happens. Just ask those fleeced by the MF Global bankruptcy.
There are few things one can place their money in these days that will maintain value or even grow. The normal safe haven in times like this are usually precious metals or investment grade collectables but those things must be sold in the marketplace in order to utilize the value of those items. What the average person needs is a safe haven they can hold and use at will and still reap the full value of those items.
When you earn interest on investments, your Uncle Sam will be standing there with his hand out when you liquidate that item so he can get his share. This just adds insult to injury when you loose buying power through inflation. There must be a better way to store wealth on a small scale that average people need and can use. That way is through commodities that you use every day.
When you buy a can of soup for .50 cents and put it on the shelf for several months and finally use it after the price has increased to .65 cents, you have effectively earned 30% interest on that can of soup. Where can you earn 30% interest these days with no counter party risk?
What makes this even better is that you pay no tax on that 30% interest. Can it get any better than that? This type of investment plan will work for anyone because everyone buys food on a regular basis. Not only that but the other things you use at home such as hygiene supplies, paper products, cleaning products, and hardware supplies will likely go up in price as time goes on and offer you the opportunity to save on your future needs. This also applies to things such as ammo, clothing, auto parts and energy supplies.
Some may say this is a waste of time because many of these things will have to be used within some time limit, but you will need to buy these things anyway at some point so why not increase your buying power by making purchases in a different manner than you normally do.
If you store a years supply of food at home and the real inflation rate is 8% annually, when you replace those goods that you use you may pay more but you will essentially be eating at last years prices. If inflation gets even worse in the future you will have more available purchasing power than others because you will not have to buy necessities every week like everyone else. You can wait for specials, deals on bulk purchases or seasonal fluctuations.
In a serious situation you would be able to stop purchases for up to a year and use that money for other things such as equipment to grow and can your own food. In the event of unemployment, it is also one less expense you will need to worry about. While food is a natural for this type of savings plan other household products may work even better due to longer shelf life.
Just imagine if you had everything you would need for the next ten years stored in your basement. How much would you save in inflated prices over that time period? With a real inflation rate of 8% prices would almost double every ten years. It is unlikely that your paycheck would increase at a similar rate. This type of savings plan is better than putting money in the bank because a bank can go out of business or outright steal your funds because of new laws that are now in place. The amount of money you spend on everyday necessities over several years can run into the thousands of dollars and that is sufficient to preserve a lot of money.
It is important for each person to analyze their financial position at regular intervals and you must be aware of the real inflation rate in order to devise a plan to get the most from every dollar you spend. This will become ever more important as the economy becomes more unstable as time goes on. In the end it is up to you to protect your hard earned money from loss due to economic conditions that are controlled by those that wish to destroy it.
By: Tom Chatham
When the great depression hit in the 1930’s, many people had a difficult time surviving. When the system they depended on ceased to function properly, they no longer had the ability to earn a living wage and care for their families. Even at a time when you could get a meal for a nickel, many people struggled to feed themselves.
In many rural areas, farmers faced the difficulty of being able to even grow enough to feed themselves. The drought that accompanied the depression left many no choice but to move to more hospitable locations where jobs could be found.
Some people were in a much better position to weather the national problems than others. They were not rich in monetary terms but they had a stable living condition that enabled them to get by as always.
In the rural community that my family had called home for over 100 years, my family got by better than most. The fact that many of the people were watermen, that made their living on the Chesapeake Bay catching various types of seafood throughout the year, made the depression different for them. As my father related to me, they really didn’t know there was a depression going on most of the time.
The men went to work every morning catching what they could. Anything they couldn’t sell was taken home for dinner. Everyone had a garden and maybe some chickens and a hog out back providing meat for the winter. The area was also surrounded by many small farms producing many things they could trade for. Nobody had much money but the area teemed with the things that were needed to get by and barter was the norm.
Electricity was not seen in the community until the late 1940’s and few people had a car. These people really did live off the grid. That was the norm for them and they got by very well even with the national economy in a state of hard times. They could not buy many of the things they needed so those things had to be made out of whatever materials they had.
There are many stories like this that have been told and they are worth listening to once again. These stories provide the foundation people will need when the economy fails again in spectacular fashion leaving many in dire straits. When everything fails you have to go back to what works. That is a lesson that our ancestors have left for us to follow if we have the sense to learn from their hardships.
The current generation has known nothing but excess and prosperity. When the system turns down again they will be lost without all of the creature comforts and gadgets they are used to getting with great ease. They have been raised with the notion that everything is easy and when that paradigm fails they will not know how to cope with reality. This is the problem we face and must deal with in the months to come.
There are two lessons that can be taken from this story. When hard times come your location and creativity can make up for many shortfalls in life. Those things can make the difference between suffering and having a decent standard of living. Living in an area rich with resources allows you to produce many of the things you need locally with little money and can even provide you with a stream of income. The lack of resources in your area can make things very difficult over the long term.
The current generation has lost the ability to trouble shoot the problems they are faced with and come up with simple solutions. Creativity is something many people no longer possess and that is one of the things that will make life hard on them. The greatest generation knew how to devise creative solutions to their problems that allowed them to get by and even prosper. That is a lesson we need to take away from the last depression.
It is good for people to plan for hard times by stocking up, learning to produce food and storing real money for times of need but that will not be enough when the time comes. Your location and the ability to be creative and solve the many problems you will face will be necessary ingredients to surviving the coming hard times. Keeping your plans simple and learning the ways of our grandparents will help in ways we cannot even contemplate at this time but their wisdom will be as critical as your other supplies. One of the many slogans that came from that time is worth remembering.
Make do, do without, use it up, wear it out.