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Old 12-22-2011, 07:29 PM   #1
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The Golden End Game – A Thought Experiment

This is a contribution by CG of Zerohedge that discusses a thought experiment in the SHTF worst-case scenario. He discusses what could happen to gold and silver after the global fiat currency collapse.

The Golden End Game – A Thought Experiment - Part One
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed...ght-experiment

The Golden End Game – A Thought Experiment - Part Two
http://www.zerohedge.com/contributed...iment-part-two

Here is a Cliff Notes version:

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I am discussing a worst case scenario here. So please keep this in mind when your brain synapses start firing and you feel compelled to stop reading and fire off a nasty comment. There are thousands of lesser scenarios that could play out here as opposed to only hundreds of worse case scenarios. What you find below are just my thoughts on the matter, not fact or even hard opinion.

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So have we done a fearless and thorough portfolio review or are we simply buying Gold and other precious metals, along with guns and various food stuffs, and hunkering down to wait out the storm?

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But a little proactive introspection is well warranted here considering we are now entering uncharted territory.

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Let’s just say for a moment that our Gold, Silver, Platinum and Gold-plated Tungsten have all quintupled in price (as measured in whatever fiat is the favorite at the end) and we are now all sitting pretty. Do we really honest-to-God no-fingers-crossed cherry-on-top believe that the powers-that-be will simply allow us to mosey up to the cashiers cage and redeem or convert it all for whatever monetary unit reigns supreme? Really? Because from my point of view it’s just crazy talk to assume that the enemy of the state (Gold and other PM’s) will be welcomed home with a warm welcoming embrace.

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What I don’t get is the idea that if Gold has been considered ‘contrary’ or ‘dangerous’ to the unfettered debasement of fiat in the past and present, thus the reason for the manipulation, then why would this suppression and resistance to the ‘Golden enemy’ by the powers-that-be suddenly disappear precisely when the powers (or more accurately their agents and puppets) are desperate and have the most to lose? It is clear to me, and judging by the comments clear to many others here on Zero Hedge, that these guys and gals play for keeps, consistently pushing nearly all their chips to the center of the table in an endless game of bluff and intimidation.

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Essentially we are all experiencing plantation living at its highest and most efficient evolution to date, where the sole purpose of our existence is to serve our immediate masters who then serve their masters who then serve their masters in an ever narrowing pyramidal hierarchy. This goes on until it reaches the point where at the top we find several hundred to a thousand elite scattered across a number of blood-line families that share the power and spoils. And there is serious evidence available to be examined by the determined researcher that there might even be another level (or two) above that.

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History is full of examples of crumbling empires and nearly all of them seem to share several characteristics. First and foremost in my mind is that regardless of how dire things may seem to be, the collapse progresses much slower than expected.

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I suspect this isn’t so much because the powers that be are holding it all up, but rather it is the common folk living on the ground floor of this insanity that are doing the heavy lifting. Never underestimate the desperate desire of those who are chained to the plantation to preserve that plantation even when it would be easier and saner just to walk away. This Stockholm syndrome conditioned mind is of course exploited by the masters to rape and pillage long past the normal or even expected expiration date of the Empire.

Also, collapse (partial or total) is a relative term. For the financial elite, politically powerful and top tier business people, collapse is just another word for a really severe business cycle downturn. When conditions become harsh, the script is always the same. Shed useless eaters, strip all usable assets and sell the estate to the last of the greater fools, then move on to a more favorable business location. So by the time the barbarians are at the gate, the rich and powerful are long gone and have stripped most of the wealth from the kingdom.

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The true powers that be have a long history of backing all sides in nearly every conflict or collapse. So it is not a stretch to assume they are supporting the very barbarians who are beating the door down while also relocating their kin from the collapsing empire.

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And while it might be an old trick, even the oldest, it still works every single time it is used because we slaves would rather support the devil we know then to take a chance and actually live free. Spend enough time in a locked cage under dehumanizing conditions and the jailer no longer needs to lock the door anymore. We slaves will keep ourselves just fine, thank you very much.

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Anyone who doesn’t think martial law would be immediately declared and our remaining civil rights forcibly removed in the event of a partial or total economic/currency collapse has been brewing and taste testing their own brand of Kool-Aid. When order begins to break down, the existing power base WILL attempt to restore order and they won’t be gentle while doing so. And for the most part the plantation slaves will welcome the intervention because they have not prepared for the chaos, having ignored all the warning signs because they relied upon their masters to protect them.

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So once again let us circle back to the principal question. What will you do with all that Gold and how will you reintegrate it into any new currency system that is implemented? During the first few hours, days, even weeks after the partial or total collapse, on a local basis you will be able to use your Gold (and especially your Silver) in small increments to barter for the goods and services you need to continue to live.

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But very quickly, most likely the same day of the collapse, the government will announce draconian banking, price, wage and possibly even barter controls. And they will begin to implement unilateral decisions about what is needed where and when. If you have something the ‘greater good’ needs or wants and if others know about your good fortune, it could very easily be taken from you.

On a more practical basis, because the established control system will want to quickly put in place some type of replacement currency system, our Gold and other precious metals may actually escape any attempt at a quick governmental grab and go. But within days, and at most a week or so, global decisions will be made (correction: they have already been made, they will be implemented after a week) and in my opinion the priority will be to establish confidence in any new currency system or reestablish confidence in the old.

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Now here is where I strongly suggest that, for several reasons, ‘they’ will feel compelled to confiscate Gold from the population. And this works on a global as well as national scale folks. The principal psychological warfare technique they will us is to vilify and scapegoat those ugly Gold hoarders and evil speculators. And there is no doubt in my mind that they will claim with absolute confidence and with concocted evidence that these evil Precious Metal terrorists destroyed the old system.

‘Truth’ will be immaterial at this point and actually counterproductive for those trying to beat back the resurgent Ponzi Hydra. Frightened people are not deep thinkers and they most certainly are not very reasonable. The emotional pain of collapse must be relieved, so any handy pain killer will be willingly ingested. History is replete with examples of this and a frightened and extremely angry slave population will gratefully latch onto the offered Gold hating piñata rather than soul search and examine their own role in the present disaster.

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In effect the reckless and imprudent will cheer on the confiscation because backing the theft of others increases the chance they will be rewarded, or at least not severely punished, for their bad behavior. Moral hazard works wonders for the general population as well as the too big to fail.

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I see Gold and PM dealers becoming highly regulated and required under heavy penalty of law to report any and all relatively large PM transactions, for example anything over two or three ounces of Gold, thus effectively cutting off Joe’s ability to feed his or her Gold back into the system and extract or convert the wealth they tried to transport from the old system to the new. It can be done, but only very slowly and at considerable time, money and labor expense. And most importantly, with no free floating Gold market to set realistic prices, we will once again be robbed in broad daylight. They don’t need to ‘take’ your Gold, just take its value through price controls.

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This will have a two pronged effect on the system, washing out any chance of laundering larger quantities of our Gold by using it for large purchases and more effectively binding the indentured servant and wage slave to the new currency system.

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This is one of the reasons I feel Silver will be more usable as an alternative unit of currency if this global collapse does transpire. Hopefully Silver is incorporated into any new national/global currency as part of its backing, for this will lend tremendous credibility to using Silver in alternative barter/currency systems. Silver throughout the ages has always been used as money and not necessarily as a store of substantial wealth.

This is why you might consider purchasing 1964 and earlier Silver U.S. coins, junk or not. It is important that we incorporate flexibility and diversification into our wealth transfer vehicles as this is the key to successfully crossing over. To assume, hope really, that our one and only method, that of Gold, will be successful is wishful thinking at best and foolhardy at worst. For the masters, Gold is a well known and understood escape mechanism and it will not be allowed to pass totally untouched. We must be different from the masses in order to survive while still being transparent enough that we don’t draw unwanted attention.

And that, in my opinion, is the more realistic path to dry land in this global disaster scenario. The worst thing that you and I can do when preparing for tough times is to develop a severe case of tunnel vision and focus only on our Golden boat as the exit strategy. The bottom line is that we must try to own the same assets that will be owned and transferred by the financial elite and their henchmen and puppets.

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Just because we are being buffeted by the fierce rain and wind squalls that precede the hurricane doesn’t mean we can’t use this to our advantage.

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So it is with great concern that I have noticed a disturbing trend among the articles and comments posted of late. I have been a ZH contributor for two years now and I watched the discussions about Gold begin as one of several ways to protect our assets. This conversation began way back when Gold was still largely out of favor even here on Zero Hedge. And I have slowly seen it morph into a widely accepted concept of wealth protection as more and more began to see without a doubt that we are on a collision course with history. There is nothing wrong with this and I have no real problem with it.

But lately sentiment has changed from preserving wealth to growing wealth. And now I am beginning to detect the next stage of the emotional escalation. I am hearing greed and wanton self interest along with the self satisfied chuckle of the prospect of both making a killing and of being proven right when everyone else told us we were wrong. I am hearing the sound of avarice and lust, of rationalization and justification, of outsized egos and very little perspective.

Tunnel vision can take many forms and can strike the best and the worst with the same crushing blow. I have no intention of being self righteous or of calling the kettle black when this pot can be even blacker. That is not the purpose or intent of this essay because there is no denying that I have also felt the seductive tug of jackpot thinking. But when our motive for holding Gold and Silver is distorted and warped by greed and self interest, so is our thinking and perspective.

Which means that if there comes a time when the best move forward is to sell most of the Gold and move on to another asset class, one more likely to survive the transition intact, will we be able to see this as obvious and a no brainer? Or by this time will we so blinded by the Golden glow that we become nothing more than obsessed slaves kneeling in prayer to the almighty God of Gold, seeing nothing but our beloved promised land?

I hope not! From my point of view our most valuable asset is, and will continue to be, an open and flexible mind.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:36 PM   #2
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Follows my thought process in my SHTF scenario I outlined on this site. I'm pinning my hopes on a thriving black market to sell my $25,000/oz gold. I'd take 60 cents on the dollar. See, I'm not greedy. Not at all.
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Old 12-22-2011, 09:52 PM   #3
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here is a thought experiment. if i told you ten yrs ago oil would be $100 a barrel vs 20 most would prob say we would all be driving electric cars and running out houses on solar panels etc and we would be in a mad max scenario. people adjust. life goes on.
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:50 PM   #4
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Not to put too fine point on it, I *am* driving an electric car and running my houses on solar panels! But it's by choice, not necessity - I could get by with just my truck, and paying an electric bill. Thank heavens that high priced energy happened long after I got away from the need to commute etc - could have been otherwise.

I've long thought the mad-max world a flawed model. Notice how they all live in the desert and fight over gasoline, largely "homeless" yet -- where does that food come from again? Springs like magic out of the desert, just not covered as a topic in any depth in that model. Gas and shotgun shells are currency, the one not a very good store of value, because you have to use it up. They don't exactly cover water either...fun movies, but...

From the "cliff notes" the model above is also too simplistic and leaves important things out entirely. What he is discussing is a last ditch struggle by TPTB to remain that, during which there will appear holes in their power, desperate attempts to reclaim same, and general dystopia - but not evenly distributed in place, time, or population. (Edit) I can't stress the previous sentence too much, as the assumption that it WON'T be uniform has to be central to any preparations of any kind any of us might make! If it's going to be all the same everywhere for everyone, there's no point in prep - the prepared and the unprepared would fare the same.

Our intellectual laziness likes to believe in situations that are in stasis or in some simple trend - we can then do the one "answer" thing and not have to think so hard anymore. The real world and history show that this isn't the case as often as we'd wish. We want to know WHAT to think rather than learn HOW To think - the latter is just too much doggone work in both data collection and then processing. Yet, history shows us that the latter is the better course for those who take it.

If we really think things are going to get "really bad" by whatever definition, I'd submit that no one type or class of preparation is enough - that would be putting all your eggs in one basket. The ability to think - and to change your thinking to reflect the actual changes in the situation would seem to be as close to a universal preparation as could be prescribed.

Self sufficiency - another popular topic, is now, and has always been almost impossible. I know this well personally, after a few decades of putting quite a lot of effort into the attempt - nothing crazy, but a heck of a lot more concentration of effort on it than almost anyone else. Even in times when it was somewhat easier - say the times of the trappers and mountain men - they were recognized as being pretty special for being able to pull it off - and they didn't, really - they still had to trade those furs with others for things they couldn't manage to be self sufficient in. Even they still needed a society to work with.

I think the people who will do best in hard times are going to be the same types as those who are the best traders now, as much of the mental work is the same - the ability to adapt to what's happening now - no denial works out well - and to pull the trigger without hesitation when its time for some change - whether it be taking money off the table or cutting losses. He who is lost, hesitates. Now, this is not to say thought and careful consideration can be skipped in this - a good trader has done his homework, and knows what he's pulling the trigger on (and why) - it's far from random, and it's not just being brash - but key is that he's considered the possibilities up front, the idea that opening this or that trade might have been wrong, he's learned not to let his ego rule when facts are otherwise, and that it's better to shoot and run away, so as to live to shoot another day.

I see the PMs as a useful tool - not the only one that might be great to have, but one that should definitely be in the toolkit. I need my liver AND my kidneys - my brains and my back...I can't say I can easily imagine that PMs will at any point be worthless except in some short-lived exceptional circumstance that will blow over quickly enough. But alone, they are not sufficient, this I believe quite strongly. And I won't pauper myself now over any preparation, whether it be a too high allocation to PM's, or other tools, or acquiring more skills. After all, if I ruin my life now - well, I can't get that back, and there's always the possibility that the worst-case bad stuff doesn't happen in my lifetime - it would be a shame to waste it all in preparation for something that didn't come - I won't get another chance either way.

I see some of the gold worshipers as mental midgets, frankly. You can take a good thing too far. Some I have to envision as little men, eyes much too close together, thinking that since they work on wall street, and live in some dive apartement, it's the one thing they can use to buy their way out of their sins later, projecting that everyone else is as in love with lucre as they, and that someone else will somehow manage to make all they need - but that those would only want gold in return. Only a moment's thought reveals that such would be the ones NOT desperate, not the ones who have gold-only.

Phrased that way, they look pretty silly. I can't shake the vision of some such loser sitting in his apt on a big stack, with his fancy 9mm, while the world burns around him, people rioting and burning his apartment down because no one has anything to buy with gold, or anything else. At that point, he can use the gold for a stool and the 9mm to shoot himself to avoid the pain of burning to death, and not much else. Those things are useless to him, because he didn't realize how to use those tools, lacked situational and tactical awareness, and stayed smugly in that apartment far too long...so they hurt him, rather than helping, as they made him smug.

But that's an extreme and mostly unlikely case, though I could see it happening in some dense cities - which is why I no longer live in one. Mobs, given the least excuse to exist, are among the more dangerous things to life and limb, better to be in a place where it's hard to get one up - better to be in a place where the natural resources to human need ratio is higher, just like those trappers.

So to me, all that other stuff is important too - I'd bet I can barter the skills and use of tools I have pretty well in times of need - but I'd not want to have to trade a lathe or welder - or my chainsaw - for food. The use of them, fine, but not my "seed corn". For those cases, yes, PM's, long-keeping food, ammo, med supplies and other things of similar nature might be real important to have as part of the overall survival kit, and among those, PMs have some real advantages. They're easy to stash/hide and don't spoil, and so far, are pretty universally recognized as being valuable - humans don't change all that quick on things like that.

But lets not forget - gold is only money because humans believe it is - there is no universal edict from an all powerful creator of the universe that gold is money, backed up by infallible supernatural power (in fact, most religions say otherwise!). That fiction is easier to maintain when they have food, shelter, transport - and a way to get rid of wastes. Not so much when those things come into question. It's only useful when there are other humans to deal with who have stuff you want, who will take gold in return. If you're alone - it won't make game appear, crops grow, water run, waste go away.

So I see PM's as a necessary, but not sufficient, leg of the stool of survival. Other legs are important as well.

And I can't for the life of me believe that we can so easily imagine that just one static situation will develop from this one, and call it right. O ye of so little imagination and recognition of history! In times of flux, it won't be stable, and it won't even be the same everywhere! So, like a lot of other answers that don't satisfy the intellectually lazy - the best answers are:
"It depends" and "Be prepared". Neither give you some pat excuse to give up thinking, which seems almost to be a religious quest in some quarters.

What's interesting and good about this place is that it's not true here - there are good minds who realize that flexibility in doctrine, diversity are good things. Bodes well, in my (rarely humble, I admit) opinion.

Last edited by DCFusor; 12-22-2011 at 11:12 PM.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:09 AM   #5
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I like thought experiments. I enjoyed reading the article and left behind a couple of comments there underneath.

He picked ONE scenario, perhaps a little worse than a typical "Category One" scenario (roughly on the order of the Great Depression) that I outlined on another thread here at pmbug.com. OK, I take issue with him on some of his views (eg, I see a confiscation as unlikely, and I think that would lead to real problems for .gov...). Still, he couched the article as a "thought experiment" so he was not really endorsing one view or outcome as what would happen (how could he? How could any of us?).

If we make the assumption, for the moment, that we DO have a Great Depression v. 2, BUT NOTHING MUCH WORSE, then gold & silver cover a lot of bases. This kind of "Category One" seems to me to more probable than the doomsday "Category Two" like events (EMP or nuclear war takes down the grid). So preparations for a financial event like this are not so hard. Precious metals and conventional job skills almost cover it all. Throw in a few months worth of cash as well. (I am semi-retired and financially independent)

---

But, we could wind up in one of the uglier "Cat Two" scenarios! That is one reason I am here: reading and writing at pmbug! If we get one of the really ugly ones, then the comments just above by DCFusor come into play. We might very well start out a really bad one as the milder "Cat One" which then degenerates into something far scarier. And this is where DCFusor's writings are of so much value. He is RIGHT:

-- gold stacker and 9 mm owner left in his NYC condo would be at great risk in a die-off (that poor fellow is more-or-less where I am).

-- A proper set of preparations MUST include water supply, food production capability, firearms, medical supplies, hands-on skills of value to your community, etc. His analogy of a stool needing more legs than just the PM one is right. But, we all know that here at pmbug...

So, each of us is left to do what we can to maintain our ability to deal with as many scenarios as possible (linked to their probabilities and impacts on us). I am trying to identify my weakest links in a "fairly scary" but not apocalyptic set of outcomes. It looks like WATER is my first weak link.

But, where we live local food production might NOT be enough and there is NO WAY I am going to convince my wife to move to the country somewhere and spend the time and effort necessary to have a VERITABLE COMPOUND like DCFusor does! Or even close... So, if it is one of the really Bad Ones, we might be dead in 3 months...

Unless we time it right and are watching "CNN en Español" from Lima, Peru! And even there, there would be risks all over...
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:03 AM   #6
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I tend to agree that we're more likely in for a depression than anything else worse, though I have to note that here, deep in the "bible belt" where it tends very true-conservative (not right wing crazy fascist, but just conservative) we've had the first EVER public demonstrations with OWS. They were pretty darn enthusiastic, even in rotten weather - and we didn't make news because no one fought.

But it was stunning how many pretty angry people ditched all else to show up and shout. I find that pretty worth taking note of. These weren't hippie kids who rode in on beemers and organized with iPhones...salt of the earth, rather.

Across the country in the last depression, there was, errmmm, somewhat of a higher moral standard universally accepted than now. Crime went DOWN. This time? I dislike making too many moral judgments (my own past would become too painful if I got too absolutist ;~) - but look for yourself, ask people who were alive then if you can find any (I grew up with them).

I actually think TPTB recognize this, see really hard times coming and are trying to slow the descent to a rate that gets people more ready - and more resigned to it, rather than taking the streets. They're not entirely stupid. But i think they realize that they can't just up and "fix" this situation either - all they can do is slow the decline, or put it off, so that's where they are coming from. Deception as to this being the main goal would be a requirement to pull it off, of course. Admitting its as bad as it is would only make it worse - when times get tough, politicians and central bankers have to lie more. Why do you think they dislike us revealing the truth? And even a slow decline might reach a pretty hard place. In essence that's what a lot of talk on ZH is about - complaining that the things done to delay the inevitable make it worse when we get there.

I think nearly all their talk of the Bernank wanting to print is ignorant projection. I see a lot of stupid-human reasons for them (and banksters) to want printing. They think they know how that world works out and how to benefit from it, and it's them that want it, despite proclaiming the evil of it. Fight club...good metaphor. I think Ben is willing to print, but doesn't want to go down in history as a huge villain, either.

I don't have a veritable compound. I simply slowed the decline of (half) a once-productive farm and haven't even tooled that up to anywhere near its past glory, in truth. Yeah, I have a few things and preps most modern farmers skip over - but not that much, and probably less than the same guy living here 100 years ago had...I have a few small buildings, and a lot of bare land, some tools, some transport options. Some stashed goodies (the 3 b's) - but not many.

No walls, fences are pretty porous, and that would be a major investment to get to where I could keep cattle (parts of this land have done that well). I know some good places to hide things and people...how to get out unseen, stuff like that, but no armor, and not a super-ready bug out setup, just more ready than probably most - I'd have to go find the hand truck to load the junk in the truck, and would probably forget one or more crucial things, if I even had time for that and things were that bad. At present it's not even all nicely ready for transport, for example. Partly that's because where would I bug out to? It'd have to be a pretty weird situation for where I already am not to be the best place - that IS the best first prep step in my mind; but then, I've done it and it's worked out really well, so no risk to me on that thinking.

In other words, I recognize unfairness, perhaps, in me pressing others to do what I've already pulled off - it wasn't that easy for me, after all - and it's still pretty inadequate on a real survivalist scale. I like this compromise because when times are good, or even now - it's a fantastically fun place and way to live. And it has worked out, so...I'm just passin' it on, bro.

Say, a nuke upwind, and time to skip the fallout would move me out - but not much else. And that was my response to the bug-out-solves-it crowd. Why wait? The water's better than fine!

I think your wife would be easy to convince if the situation were really different-bad than now - when the chips were truly down -- you don't seem like the type to marry a moron! And unless I guess completely wrong, she HAS picked up and left when it seemed right before. Else how are you married to a Peruvian - but not living there now?

As a trader, heck, I'm doing the same thing, intellectually - I'm still fooling with picking up pennies in front of an accelerating bulldozer - but a sense of balance says don't toss this life too soon - there might not be another chance to say "this is the day the lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it" in this setting - it might take more fortitude later to hold that sentiment. At least for the unready.

Merry Christmas all!
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Old 12-23-2011, 09:19 AM   #7
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DCF,
I wish I had the land you have, and am striving toward that end, but fear it may be too late at this point. We are also doing the prudent squirrel thing, 3B's and such, but we live in an area adjacent to rural land, with homes all on a quarter acre or larger bit of land. That said, there are only five "squirrels" in my immediate area, and we are 'tuned in' to one another to teh degree that we very nearly have a formal agreement in place to join forces. We never really address it out-loud, but it seems to be understood. When canning time comes, two of these folks help can, and the others contribute veggies and such. One older gent does hog abatement for the county and provides canned pork. Yes.....you are able to can pork [Whodathunkit?]

I too, pray that it does not get any worse than a deep depression, but as we all know, shit can and does happen. I personally leave it in God's hands.
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Old 12-23-2011, 10:01 AM   #8
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Networking is the key, I'm pretty sure. There are better and worse places to be doing it from, I'm pretty lucky that way (but I very definitely set out to make this luck), and have about the same situation here - nothing on paper, most not really out loud - we're talking about a bunch of fiercely independent people here, but quite a few are "much more ready than average" on their own.

Nicely, when you get such a group, you get some diversity out of the arrangement. The horse hobbyist has resources I don't (Horses don't eat gasoline!), as does the building contractor, or the wood expert (has his own sawmill). And the farmers.
Then there's the retired doctor, married to the fireman-paramedic. And a bunch of good 'ol boys deeply tied into their own network - you need it, they can get it, cheap and quick. Loggers, moonshiners, thieves, fences, roustabouts, dope growers, all here and all friends generally. A well established gray/black market.

So, what one may lack, the others can fill in with - and we do this already - building good habits. This reduces the burden on each, and in normal times we all have fun and abundance together. i get to play with horses that I don't have to maintain, the wood guy makes me jigs (and I make him tools), I teach and support the gun culture - we all trade food, some of us are specialty cooks and growers, and so on.

If the government were to disappear, the only ones who would even notice are those living on SS...the cops are a joke, we take care of things without them most of the time (generally with their blessing), plow our own snow and so forth.

Probably one of the largest advantages of being where I am - I'm already used to living without some of the "benefits" of a dense society, and we really don't have to sweat what hordes of unprepared people are going to do if things get really bad - how would they even find us? If a big flood of trouble-makers were to show up, well, we have strength in numbers - and dispersion - and a well developed communication network already (country gossip moves faster than the speed of light).

Strangely (or not) my own biggest lack at the moment is humans. I have more in various resources than I can manage myself decently, and I'm not getting younger.

There might be more like me out there (there are in this neighborhood, for one - the median age is high here). Part of what we might do here is get connected so that if some of y'all do need to bug out - there's a good place to go, all set up and ready, or close? Would that be a suitable subject for barter-town? Just tossing that out there. I have plenty room/land, a couple not very high class spare places to bed down - but more could be built, resources, game - but need labor to make the most of it all, or would if "it all goes down".

I for one, would rather be taking in people I knew to be "alright" and who were already thinking along the right lines, than random strangers, should the worst eventuate. I would bet that would be true of most in my situation, but after the fact is kind of too late to establish the relationships. Food for thought at any rate.
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Old 12-23-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by escobar View Post:
here is a thought experiment. if i told you ten yrs ago oil would be $100 a barrel vs 20 most would prob say we would all be driving electric cars and running out houses on solar panels etc and we would be in a mad max scenario. people adjust. life goes on.
So true Escobar. When people today ask me, "Who is going to buy silver if it goes to $200 per oz," I point out that people were likely saying the same thing back in 2003, when silver was $4.50/oz, "Who is going to buy silver when it is $30-40/oz?" Well, the buying of silver continues, even though in 8 short years the price hovers at almost 10x more.

Eventually though it seems that there would come a point to which the price truly goes into a bubble rather than being a sound purchase.

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Old 12-23-2011, 02:29 PM   #10
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mm-K, DCFusor...

Since I like thought experiments, I am going to take us in a new direction for a moment.

Not long ago I calculated up how many people I had gotten to "know" over the course of my life. By "know", that would be someone I had met (and knew their name) and had at least one real conversation with. I came up with about 450 - 500 people, which sounds like a lot, but it is not really. My Dad was moved around a lot when we were kids, I went to college and moved around my own after that. So even 500 is not really that many and hardly any (percentage) I stay in touch with. I did this (not just because I am kind of a numbers guy) because I was curious about how our daughter could possibly have 600 "friends" on Facebook...

Where am I going with this? Hang in there...

OK, so I have known some 500 people in my whole life. There are JUST TWO, if we make a reasonable assumption that I now "know" DCFusor, who have made pretty serious survival preparations, that includes him. TWO! But, of course the people I have known is not representative. Let's do some more numbers. Say that here in America that I am more urban/suburban than average, that would drag down the % of serious preppers I would know vs. the population as a whole. OK, so double that "TWO" and make it "FOUR". (Also note that I have no idea what all those other people I "knew" when I was a kid are up to)

(4 / 500) means that less than 1% of Americans have done anything SERIOUS about preparing. There are about THREE other guys I know who have done ANYTHING (that I know of...), some gold, guns, water and food.

The "other guy" I know who is pretty prepared is in rural NC, he is armed to the teeth (for a while there was a drugrunning gang that used a house a half mile or so from him, not far the I-95 Cocaine Highway) and he and his wife have land, some of it share-cropped out. He once told me "We are more ready than anyone I know to live in the mid-1800s." He and his wife have just one son and they home-schooled him.

So what am I driving at here? That DCFusor really IS way ahead of almost anyone I have ever known! So, comparatively speaking, you do have a VERITABLE COMPOUND, fences with holes notwithstanding!

---

Thanks DCFusor re kind words about my wife. True! She left Peru when she was 25 to go live in Paris (unheard of in Peru in those days). She had a "life" before ever meeting me (1981, in Peru). So, yes, she has good sense (lucky me...) and HAS moved before.

But, a country gal? Uh uh... LOL. Do they have an opera there? Chucklez...

---

This is as good a time as any:

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to my friends here at pmbug!
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:49 PM   #11
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http://www.operaroanoke.org/

Of course, if it gets bad the opera will leave - probably where you are first.
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Old 12-23-2011, 02:58 PM   #12
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Well, look at that! Very good! Did I just show a "Normalcy Bias"? Hmm, you may be right that if things got VERY VERY BAD, that your guys might hang in there better than here (extreme SE big city).
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Old 12-23-2011, 04:24 PM   #13
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No, it was an anti-rural bias - the old myth that there's no culture here, despite this being the birthplace of quite a bit of American music and culture. Though mostly old-time flat picking and bluegrass, we make room for the lesser forms too. Floyd has more guitar players than Austin (and instrument makers). They even let me play jazz-fusion or hard rock when I feel like it - heck, they even pay me!

http://www.floydfest.com/ is our own little "woodstock" every year.

We live near and have access to the usual mid size cities - the topology allows that.
We call it "going downhill".

They leave us alone, as where I live, it's hard to make roads (mountains) - and here the myths keep the losers out of our hair, so we tolerate them. So we have the best of all worlds at our fingertips - we just go down to the valley/piedmont to do the city-type stuff, then come back here and it's like instantly rural - no intervening sprawl to speak of. A nice big buffer zone exists between us and any city troubles.

Who actually lives here are mostly some retired "natives" and a bunch of refugees who mostly tend to be wealthy professionals from the DC area. This place has a high cache as an address these days. We also get the CEO's from the nearby cities living here - they have their own little CEO road full of mansions. Not much imagination those guys. All this room and they still built so they can see into each other's windows. Lame.

You might be real surprised if the blinders came off. Sure we have people living in shacks, with the proverbial cable TV, but no plumbing. They like it that way, it's by choice. We also have huge estates and mansions. And "nature preserves" like mine. Plain old dirt and cattle farms. Diversity! We avoid that whole class warfare thing here. It's very hard to find land here, because no one thinks places like where most of the board members live are better - so there isn't much for sale unless someone dies.

Our worst citizens are those city refugees, who come here for nature and uber cheap living (and taxes), then once they've built a nice house, they start whining like - where's my paved road? Where's my streetlights? Where's my 7-11 in walking distance? We sometimes remind them they can just move back to the city - and take the prices and crime and general impoliteness and hatreds that go with all that...usually straightens them right out. We prefer not to have street corners for crack dealers to hang out on, actually - they'd make great target practice, but a corner implies a building that might take collateral damage doing that.

Just joking - forget the myths - see for yourself. You can't trade to win if you believe the Wall Street myths, this is no different. It is what it is, not what you'd get from the media - no different than anything else they distort.
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Old 12-24-2011, 08:29 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by escobar View Post:
here is a thought experiment. if i told you ten yrs ago oil would be $100 a barrel vs 20 most would prob say we would all be driving electric cars and running out houses on solar panels etc and we would be in a mad max scenario. people adjust. life goes on.
Escobar,

State the changes you have noticed within your "life goes on" non-committal generalization. Or have you noticed any at all? The speed of change is multigenerational. If one studies and utilizes history as foreground in picturing the future, one may look back and readily see the pivot points of oneself or society. Thus be able to comprehend the multitude of pivot points upon which we all stand TODAY.

The biggest tease is approaching. A short lived deflationary run which will drain every commoners pocket of every dime, right before hyperinflation ensues. This is only to guarantee the possession of all, to be held in the hands of the few. Stay liquid with your assets.
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Old 12-26-2011, 04:05 PM   #15
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fantastic thread !

This is the fun stuff I ponder

Thank you everyone for sharing
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Old 12-26-2011, 05:39 PM   #16
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Rblong,
I'm not sure how fun it actually is, but my daughter and I take to be so. We turn OPSEC in to a game, and rifle/pistol practice in to a contest. Food storage was a true and real battle with "The Boss", because she is still a reluctant believer. With the recent blast of bullshit in Europe on the financial front, The Boss has become a little more nervous, and is actually storing up OTC meds, bandages and such, although she claims to just being a "prudent squirrel". That's OK by me. Whatever means get me the ends, so long as it doesn't hurt anyone. If I need to pretend, just to keep her pride intact, I'll do that. I love my family and want to keep us together, as well as my 'network', and so to that particular end, am working overtime to set ourselves up to repel the golden horde so to speak.
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Old 12-27-2011, 10:35 AM   #17
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I like to find ideas that are a win no matter what. It's an engineer thing. I figured that the food and meds thing is one of those. At the rate prices are going up, and sizes down, they're just a good investment/trade. That's why I didn't go for the expensive store-and-forget foodstuffs, but stuff I actually eat anyway (which is also lower risk that it will have gone bad just when I need it).

The gun stuff - heck, that's just good clean fun, and any physical coordination skill is good to have. Being able to reload is cool, saves money now, adds flexibility later, and you learn things that are useful about how it all works. Knowing how to build and rebuild guns is a profit center now.

In my case, I already reached my "snapping point" with the life in a big city rat race, and therefore bugged out. That's paid off nicely in various ways, quality of life being main among them - but living cheap while making the same money - "priceless". I live a little rougher than when I was a boardroom tiger - but it's by choice and I feel better for it. A life that only goes from room to room and car to room to car isn't that good for one we call it "the world of indoors". You get flabby physically and mentally if that's all you do.

I find it interesting that so much of the stuff people suggest doing about worrying TEOTWAWKI -- are just plain good and smart things to do *regardless*. Since you therefore get more than one bird per stone - it's engineer heaven on top!

I got to play with some of my precious metal phyzz stash this weekend - upgrades and refurb on the fusor. I used a tantalum heater to evaporate palladium and titanium onto the walls of the tank to hold the rather precious heavy hydrogen in them. I'm expecting a pretty big improvement there when next I run the thing.
So, those have their real uses no matter what as well. I still use gold and silver neutron activation to measure the integrated fusion output -

I like it that you don't have to be a worry wart to be ready, and can reap the benefits of it no matter the outcome for the rest of the world. And in the meantime, peace of mind is a pretty nice reward.
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Old 12-27-2011, 11:20 AM   #18
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The lesson that has been repeated over and over and over throughout history is that bankrupt nations go to war to plunder needed resources (or kill off their free thinkers and "dead weight"). Should an establishment politician (ie. anyone but Ron Paul) be elected POTUS in November, I see America marching to war with Iran in 2013 leading to a potential WWIII if the Russians and Chinese make good on their promise.

Should sanity prevail and war be avoided, there will be significant economic pain as the necessary market corrections take place to find a viable equilibrium.

In either event, precious metals should be a store of wealth held through the turbulent waters until market stability has been re-established. If you can't hold the metal that long, you should be (IMO) directing your resources to other things to survive a down economy (marketable skills, tools, engines:
  • monetary - businesses, resources that generate <royalty> income, etc.
  • power - steam, solar, wood fire, etc.
  • food - greenhouses, fruit/nut trees, arable land, etc.
and of course self protection).
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Old 12-27-2011, 05:25 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by DCFusor View Post:
I like to find ideas that are a win no matter what. It's an engineer thing. ................

I find it interesting that so much of the stuff people suggest doing about worrying TEOTWAWKI -- are just plain good and smart things to do *regardless*. Since you therefore get more than one bird per stone - it's engineer heaven on top! .....................

I like it that you don't have to be a worry wart to be ready, and can reap the benefits of it no matter the outcome for the rest of the world. And in the meantime, peace of mind is a pretty nice reward.
Yup this is why its fun.
ITS AN ENGINEER THING !
And as long as I can see solutions, it will continue to be fun.

If it comes to burying the people around me it will not be fun and at that time a small bottle of nitrogen and a breathing mask are the engineers preferred exit strategy ( euphoric, like drowning but without the panic of filling the lungs with water ) Not something most are prepared to plan for but possibly an important bit of prepping ............

Ok I get called a Doomer by those who dont really want to hear it but the tag 'cheerful doomer' is about right.

Where I differ somewhat from Ancona and DCF is the gun thing.

Here in the UK we have evolved into a gunless society and for most its just not on the radar.
Logic tells me guns could be extremely useful in a breakdown of society and I may yet get a high powered air rifle and /or a crossbow, as these could serve in a somewhat limited but legal way.
Generally we seem to prefer hurting each other with sharp pointy objects ( and with insults on social media ), in other words, not quite as dangerous to each other as the good citizens of the USA.

My thinking here is to keep out of sight and appear poor and hungry if there is a need to be in contact with 'outsiders' and possibly trade something.

Im not convinced that a desparate and hungry visitor will automatically feel obliged to kill me and will happily show em a nearly empty cupboard and offer em something.

Karmic balancing tells me that an act of kindness will help more than an act of hostility.

all my beans rb long 2 u
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Old 12-27-2011, 07:15 PM   #20
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I sure hear plenty about weapons-based violence - and just plain violence, like home invasions (mostly down under for that one, I believe baseball bats are the weapon of choice) in those "gun free societies", but I suppose it could be MSM distortions - for certain, in such a place only the criminals have guns, by definition. That doesn't seem best-case to me.

But we Americans don't go round shooting one another all that much - pretty rare outside of city-gang violence or nutjobs, which are a worldwide thing - I even heard of pubs thinking about banning glass glasses as they were used in fights too much. Still easier to die in a car crash - or due to a mistake in a hospital, which I believe is now the leading cause. But take one tool away, another takes its place - this has been true since the rock and club were the premier tools of violence.

It's been estimated there are about 7 million rounds shot in America every year, more or less - obviously most aren't shot at anything but paper targets and tin cans.
(This is a really old number, it might be much more now)

I agree - good karma is key, maybe the most important one. Showing someone a nearly empty cupboard when you're actually got a big stash is also kinda borderline morally, eh? It's telling a lie while pretending to reveal what you have. And whether there are efficient weapons of any kind in the picture, telling the truth about having plenty of food, gold etc when no one else does - can be life threatening when a bunch of immoral people decide to divvy up yours. At that point, that's where the gun comes in handy - or not. Better to have a choice than not.

It's pretty dismal math. If a bunch of people took all my stash - they might all still starve, it surely wouldn't last them as long as me by sheer numbers. But I might live if I got to keep it, because it would last a single disciplined person a very long time, presumably long enough for things to settle out and get better again. So, all die (they eat up all my food in a couple days, then starve), or me probably live - choose, and do it fast enough to matter. Hard one to contemplate, at least for me.
If my cupboard really was nearly bare, sure - I'll give you the last can of beans, because it's not going to matter anyway.

I hope none of my guns ever kill anyone with a pretty fervent wish. It's not why I got them - I shoot competitively, and don't even hunt myself, though I will shoot flies off targets at range for boasting purposes. But - in the event, it's better to have the choice, or so I think. And it may come to pass that I become a hunter, out of hunger, and I'd rather have a gun than most of the other possibilities for the game we have around here. I can't see taking a deer with a rope and a knife...I'm not that good!
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