20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe



by Michael Snyder: Economic Collapse Blog

1x1.trans 20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In EuropeThe next Great Depression is already happening – it just hasn’t reached the United States yet.  Things in Europe just continue to get worse and worse, and yet most people in the United States still don’t get it.  All the time I have people ask me when the “economic collapse” is going to happen.  Well, for ages I have been warning that the next major wave of the ongoing economic collapse would begin in Europe, and that is exactly what is happening.  In fact, both Greece and Spain already have levels of unemployment that are greater than anything the U.S. experienced during the Great Depression of the 1930s.  Pay close attention to what is happening over there, because it is coming here too.  You see, the truth is that Europe is a lot like the United States.

We are both drowning in unprecedented levels of debt, and we both have overleveraged banking systems that resemble a house of cards.  The reason why the U.S. does not look like Europe yet is because we have thrown all caution to the wind.  The Federal Reserve is printing money as if there is no tomorrow and the U.S. government is savagely destroying the future that our children and our grandchildren were supposed to have by stealing more than 100 million dollars from them every single hour of every single day.

We have gone “all in” on kicking the can down the road even though it means destroying the future of America.  But the alternative scares the living daylights out of our politicians.  When nations such as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy tried to slow down the rate at which their debts were rising, the results were absolutely devastating.  A full-blown economic depression is raging across southern Europe and it is rapidly spreading into northern Europe.  Eventually it will spread to the rest of the globe as well.

The following are 20 signs that the next Great Depression has already started in Europe…

#1 The unemployment rate in France has surged to 10.6 percent, and the number of jobless claims in that country recently set a new all-time record.

#2 Unemployment in the eurozone as a whole is sitting at an all-time record of 12 percent.

#3 Two years ago, Portugal’s unemployment rate was about 12 percent.  Today, it is about 17 percent.

#4 The unemployment rate in Spain has set a new all-time record of 27 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#5 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Spain is an astounding 57.2 percent.

#6 The unemployment rate in Greece has set a new all-time record of27.2 percent.  Even during the Great Depression of the 1930s the United States never had unemployment that high.

#7 The unemployment rate among those under the age of 25 in Greece is a whopping 59.3 percent.

#8 French car sales in March were 16 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#9 German car sales in March were 17 percent lower than they were one year earlier.

#10 In the Netherlands, consumer debt is now up to about 250 percent of available income.

#11 Industrial production in Italy has fallen by an astounding 25 percent over the past five years.

#12 The number of Spanish firms filing for bankruptcy is 45 percenthigher than it was a year ago.

#13 Since 2007, the value of non-performing loans in Europe has increased by 150 percent.

#14 Bank withdrawals in Cyprus during the month of March were double what they were in February even though the banks were closed for half the month.

#15 Due to an absolutely crippling housing crash, there are approximately 3 million vacant homes in Spain today.

#16 Things have gotten so bad in Spain that entire apartment buildings are being overwhelmed by squatters

A 285-unit apartment complex in Parla, less than half an hour’s drive from Madrid, should be an ideal target for investors seeking cheap property in Spain. Unfortunately, two thirds of the building generates zero revenue because it’s overrun by squatters.

“This is happening all over the country,” said Jose Maria Fraile, the town’s mayor, who estimates only 100 apartments in the block built for the council have rental contracts, and not all of those tenants are paying either. “People lost their jobs, they can’t pay mortgages or rent so they lost their homes and this has produced a tide of squatters.”

#17 As I wrote about the other day, child hunger has become so rampant in Greece that teachers are reporting that hungry children are begging their classmates for food.

#18 The debt to GDP ratio in Italy is now up to 136 percent.

#19 25 percent of all banking assets in the UK are in banks that are leveraged at least 40 to 1.

#20 German banking giant Deutsche Bank has more than 55 trillion euros (which is more than 72 trillion dollars) of exposure to derivatives.  But the GDP of Germany for an entire year is only about 2.7 trillion euros.

Yes, U.S. stocks have been doing great so far this year, but the truth is that the stock market has become completely and totally divorced from economic reality.  When it does catch up with the economic fundamentals, it will probably happen very rapidly like we saw back in 2008.

Our politicians can try to kick the can down the road for as long as they can, but at some point the consequences of our foolish decisions will hunt us down and overtake us.  The following is what Peter Schiff had to say about this coming crisis the other day…

“The crisis is imminent,” Schiff said.  “I don’t think Obama is going to finish his second term without the bottom dropping out. And stock market investors are oblivious to the problems.”

“We’re broke, Schiff added.  “We owe trillions. Look at our budget deficit; look at the debt to GDP ratio, the unfunded liabilities. If we were in the Eurozone, they would kick us out.”

Schiff points out that the market gains experienced recently, with the Dow first topping 14,000 on its way to setting record highs, are giving investors a false sense of security.

“It’s not that the stock market is gaining value… it’s that our money is losing value. And so if you have a debased currency… a devalued currency, the price of everything goes up. Stocks are no exception,” he said.

“The Fed knows that the U.S. economy is not recovering,” he noted. “It simply is being kept from collapse by artificially low interest rates and quantitative easing. As that support goes, the economy will implode.”

So please don’t think that we are any different from Europe.

If the United States government started only spending the money that it brings in, we would descend into an economic depression tomorrow.

The only way that we can continue to live out the economic fantasy that we see all around us is by financially abusing our children and our grandchildren.

The U.S. economy has become a miserable junkie that is completely and totally addicted to reckless money printing and gigantic mountains of debt.

If we stop printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

If we continue printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.

Either way, this is all going to end very, very badly.

1x1.trans 20 Signs That The Next Great Economic Depression Has Already Started In Europe

Comments

  1. Michael,

    Thank you for the excellent post. I would like to read a “Part II”–what you can do now to prepare. With your astute grasp of global economics, I think you would have an important perspective on the issue.

  2. axelsteve says:

    In other words things really suck and most people ignore the signs.

    • axelsteve,
      It’s called “Normalcy bias” and seems to be rampant. The hardest thing to do as a prepper is not to be overcome with it and at the same time, try to plan without panic. Every extra prep you put up is a step toward making your own life a little better; however, I think I’m talking to the choir here.

      • worrisome says:

        Gee, I wrote a whole article on normalcy bias :)

        • mountain lady says:

          And a very good article it was! Normalcy bias will be a force to be dealt with whan the SHTF.

      • IMHO, welfare recipients normalcy bias is ‘gimme gimme gimme’ and when the SHTF their normal ‘gimme’ attitude will be a major factor in ‘The Have’s versus The Have-Nots’
        Now comes into play previous posts showing regional statistics of higher percentages of abusive welfare recipients.

  3. I posted this info before, but it bears repeating here. My DW was in Europe for 10 days in March 2013. In Italy she saw spray painted “Revolution” on almost every building, even the old ones from centuries ago. People were either ultra rich or very poor in Milan.

    In France she visited 20+ people who also work with the Company she is employed with, almost all of them reported having their home broken into recently. The females also warned her to be careful in Paris as the rape rate is climbing there also.
    One day several of her co-workers were late to work because “metal scrapers” had stolen some of the rails for the trains leading into Paris.

    As Lenin said, the way to destroy the Conservative/Christian middle class and small business owner is to ” Grind the middle class between the stones of high taxes and inflation”.

    • axelsteve says:

      Probably Muslims who are doing the rapes, like in Australia.

      • axelsteve,

        Yes, that seemed to what was happening. From what she saw, Milan, Paris, and London was overrun with refugees coming out of the recent war in Libya. Just like the Coyotes on our border, anyone with a decent size boat can make some quick Euros bringing aliens into Europe.

        • axelsteve says:

          Ghost. a coworker was in London a few years ago.He left his room in his historic hotel(cannot recall the name) he gets on the sidewalk makes a right turn and 2 blocks later he thought that he was in Islamastan. He did a 180 and got out of there before he got killed.Not the merry old England anymore.

          • Survivor says:

            I hate england and will only go there because I can get free flights, being retired military. Those are some pretty arrogant…people. I had another descriptive name picked out, but decided to play nice.
            When I go to Europe I go to Scotland. I have never seen such a friendly people. I hit the small towns and stay away from the tourist traps and big cities.

  4. Mystery Guest says:

    SHTF plan site had an article by Slavo that had the same sentiment in it. Infowars repeated it.
    I may be wrong but feel we still have about a year and 7 or so months to get what we need.
    So prep like your butts on fire.

    • mountain lady says:

      I don’t think we have that much time. If you are going to need it get it now, or at least before the end of this year. I would say more, but my tinfoil hat is tattered.

      • Mystery Guest says:

        Mountain lady
        I think we may. It may get harder as the months pass but we will still have this little bit of time.
        I would say the 7 months we have of this year are indeed the most useful to us.
        I personally will not have enough money to completely prepare, but with what I have believe it will be enough to make do for sometime into the future barring any great difficulty.
        Prep, prep and then prep couldn’t do a bit of harm.

      • worrisome says:

        Timing is one thing……….but the other thing is that even if “IT” hasn’t happened yet, as we go forward we may find that there are more and more items that are hard to get or are being priced up because of demand……..just look at the guns and bullets situation. Even though the price of pm is down a bit, supply is getting really really tight. Tried to buy a generator lately? So, if you have Big Expense items and perceive that they may be getting into a short supply situation, perhaps that is where the $$$ need to be directed? Just asking here…..

        • worrisome;
          You bring up a good point, commodities like a generator would/will be in short supply. In 2004 we had to wait for a tri fuel generator to be shipped in, they were back ordered due to the hurricanes that hit Florida that year. We found a 5000kw to run the well so we could put a travel trailer back on our land during the fire clean up of all the building. Solar panels with battery back up and the inverter units might be something to think about.
          Have you thought about 5,000 gallon “low profile” water storage tanks? We purchased two of them in 2006 and they ran us $2,500 each delivered. Those we set up to collect the rain water off our garage and they are looped together.
          Food for thought as you and the guys put together the bunkhouse.

    • @Mystery Guest,

      The very best thing about this site as opposed to SHTF Plan is “NO ONE SCREAMS AT YOU IN ALL OF THEIR DUMB POSTS OR CALLS YOU A MORON FOR WHAT YOU THING IS CORRECT”. (SARCASM)

      And you don’t have to read endless racist/Nazi/ crazy garbage because M.D. has the good sense to keep the trash out.

      (Do I get a cookie M.D.?)

      • Ghost,

        You get two…

      • Mystery Guest says:

        Ghost
        Well I don’t post on those sites. Especially if I have to sign in, I am tired of signing in even on sites I want to be at.
        But if I did post they could yell and scream all they wanted. As I am of MY opnion and not concerned what the posters think of mine.
        Besides I have had my opinion a lot longer than most of the ones that post.
        I have found that a lot of posters are in for the thrill of getting your dander up. I can ablige them with a retort or two.
        M.D. if your handing out cookies I’ll take a few.

        • Mystery Guest,

          “I have found that a lot of posters are in for the thrill of getting your dander up”

          So true, we get a few of those here from time-to-time but they get weeded out quickly. That is why I have the report comment link in every comment, so readers can let me know when a comment is going the wrong way…

          btw all I have left are oatmeal cookies and a few chocolate chip… your choice.

    • Donna in MN says:

      I believe it will be 2014, after europe crashes. Not much time to prepare..

      I know how the government direction will destroy our country….BECAUSE I will lose my main job this November-I found out today. My employer changed the qualifications for this job, they want menally ill, mentally/ physically disabled people as a qualification to take my place . Impossible work for those type persons to do.(it is a physically demanding, skill oriented, intelligent job) A good skilled worker is being fired in two weeks for this. Yes, it is a Government funded Job and I work for the Gov’t.

  5. MorePooperThanPrepper says:

    I don’t think the author is incorrect. But I would like to take issue with a perspective and a statement.

    The perspective is that without the massive government spending the economy will tank. Our incredible American economy was not built on government spending and Fed intervention. It was built on millions of well trained, hard working, Americans. And the relatively honest business climate where companies like apple make “obscene” profits because they provide people with something they really really want (opposite of corrupt government handing out contracts or bailouts to get kickbacks). Its like saying a heroine addict gets sick because he tries to quit, it is not quitting that is the root cause of the problem, it was the heroine in the first place.

    This sentence suggests to me the author may be a little mixed up: “If we stop printing money and going into unprecedented amounts of debt we are finished.” We won’t be finished – we will go through withdrawal and it will be ugly – but we will be on the road to rehabilitation and wellness.

    And all the people who rely on this self destructive soul killing system, they will have a lot of their own withdrawal to go through, but being a self reliant, free, honest, productive person is worth the hardship.

    Whichever perspective you take, I agree the future is not bright economically or socially. This country will not “be-all-in-this-together” this time around. We will vastly disagree on how to deal with this. And vastly disagree about what are rights, what are privileges, what is a reasonable standard of living, and what the government should and shouldn’t be doing. My wife and I are living so far below our means to prepare for our two little boys. Food, shelter, security, I see these as the responsibility I have to provide for my children come hell or high-water. We sacrifice a lot to make sure our boys will have the basics even in the future hard times to come.

    • Pooper,

      I don’t think the author was advocating government spending to soften the bow of the recession. I think he was just observing that this is how the government has in fact responded. I, for one, think all hell is going to break loose when the entitlement masses are weened off the welfare tit.

    • axelsteve says:

      The good book states during the tribulations that people will be throwing there money into the streets. I believe that is coming soon.

      • Survivor says:

        Pick it up…it’ll make good tinder for your fire!!

        • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

          Nope, I’m pretty sure that good book was talking about silver and gold. Pretty poor tinder. And an interesting source for arguing that metals might not always be valuable.

  6. I think part of these predictions are based on your own prepping. You want to use your resources, the skills you’ve learned, and the efforts that you have expended to get ready.

    I’m not saying that I don’t think this would happen, but I believe there is some wishful thinking going on here.

    We are living outside of our means, yes. This is not only an economic issue but a resource management issue. The United States needs go back to small scale communities that can support their basic needs without the consumption of fossil fuels. Anything superfluous can rely on fossil fuels, so that when we run out, it won’t be a big deal.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      So you make it sound from your response that you think “preppers” are loony tunes who are running around screaming the sky is falling. “Based…on your own prepping…. Some wishful thinking going on here.” If that’s the case, one wonders why you bother commenting on a blog that you seemingly find silly?

      And to take exception with that last off the wall comment of yours, “wishful thinking?” Oh, if only that were the case. I’m very afraid however that the boot is very much on the other foot in this case. The only wishful thinking I see being indulged in is on the part of those who think the “freebies” and gravy train will go on forever at no expense to them. Good luck with that.

      Certainly you can choose not to prepare for bad times. It’s a free country. Just as we are allowed to choose to do differently. And if things do come to pass as I am reluctantly forced to conclude they are trending towards, then I, for one, will not be interested in hearing your excuses as to why you weren’t ready. Nor will I be interested in further enabling your “you owe me” life style.

    • Bryce,

      I disagree with your statement on fossil fuels. We have more gas and oil than Saudi Arabia does. We just don’t have a government that values this kind of productive work and therefore we don’t have a thriving industry here.

      Oil and natural gas will be our ticket out of this mess. It will only happen when the government gets regulation out of the way to let the private businesses work. (Read that to mean a new president)

      It will work because it currently is working in the Dakotas now. The unemployment rate in those states is quite low.

      • Kate,
        “Read that to mean a new president”, to which I will add, and most of a new congress.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Until they manage to shut them down, that is. Because oil and gas are eeeeevil! Does anyone else get these eerie flashbacks to the chapters in Atlas Shrugged about the “Colorado oil fields?”

        • mountain lady says:

          Jeff, I read Atlas Shrugged twice in the last two years. You are so right about the Colorado oil fields. There are many instances in that book that parallel today.

          • JeffintheWest says:

            I’d say “freakishly so,” almost. I only hope the theoretical eventual outcome is as good as that one had the potential to be….

    • Bryce,
      “The United States needs go back to small scale communities that can support their basic needs without the consumption of fossil fuels. ”
      So we need to go back to the 1700′s, and burn only wood for heat and whale oil for lighting? Fossil fuels are not the problem. Politicians who pander, and the taking class who keeps them in office is the problem. Shrink the government and unleash the power of the making class, and things will be up and running in short order.

    • Bryce;
      Have you ever read the book “Behind the Green Mask: U.N. Agenda 21″ by Rosa Koire? Now before you become defensive, she is a Democrat and liberal, but she sees what is happening with this country. I see where you have been lead down the UN road without knowing it, and that comes from your statement about small communities without fossil fuel. I am not trying to upset you but to let you know not all is as you see it.

    • Kelekona says:

      I actually like the idea of having the rest of the world run out of oil, and then we tap our reserves at such huge premiums that only the desperate and degenerate would buy.

      Waterworld: “We’ll have to cancel the tractor pull.”

      Stepping back to a modern interpretation of the old ways might not be so bad. I love walking to the corner grocery when all I need is what I can carry. Their selection is a little sparse in the outer aisles, so I do have occasion to drive to a few other stores for big trips about three times over two months. I could cover the distance easily on the scooter if I had a trailer, and easily on a bike-with-trailer if the cars went away.

      I also don’t mind ordering things except that it is still a mentally-difficult business. Especially when mail-order minus shipping can be worse than brick-and-mortar plus gas.

      • Wow, didn’t know I would get so many responses. Many people responded with the idea that fossil fuels can keep us going…but those resources are finite! Not infinite! The system that we have created will not operate forever with a finite resource as an input. Sure, more drilling will get us a few more decades, but it will not last forever.

        I don’t think this blog is silly. I have learned a lot, and appreciated the wealth of knowledge and thought stimulation. I simply hope that we all try to create communities that are more self-reliant instead of just focusing on ourselves.

  7. Doris Jones says:

    Excellent factual article by Michael Snyder. The phrase “economic fantasy” really struck me. How true. The stock market is now subject to digital manipulation by high speed computers in a way it never was possible to do before. Millions of stock transfers are being done in microseconds.

    No regular person can compete and even regular stock brokers do NOT have access to the really high speed expensive set ups that the big boys use. Only the few largest banking and financial systems have this. Companies like JP Morgan, Goldman Sacs and Citi.

    Operations are being done behind the scenes that we can only guess about. A couple of times I have noticed that spokesmen apparently speaking on behalf of the Fed and Treasury had admitted after the fact to some “help” (read manipulation) they gave the market behind the scenes to avert “disruptive financial problems”. So what else are they doing?

    Some interesting facts:

    1. The Dallas Fed just reported the manufacturing index was MINUS 15.60 from a PLUS 7.40 the month before. The wise “economic analysts” had predicted a PLUS 5.0 rate for the month. This means they were OFF by 20.60 points. Who can possibly trust or listen to such “experts:”? This is a huge and terrible drop. No one much is talking about it though.

    2. The FDIC cannot cover the deposits in the banks. I don’t have today’s figures but at last check the amount the FDIC had to cover withdrawals was a tiny paltry fraction of the money that bank customers had on deposit. What happens if a LOT of people decide to take their money out of banks and put it into other forms of collateral like gold or silver? So our deposits are “guaranteed by the full faith and credit of the United States Government” and just what is that worth right now?

    The government could not even possibly print up
    enough paper fast enough. Right now the “money” that is transferred around–most of it is just on the computer–NOT actual physical “cash”.
    Do you really suppose big banks transfer actual cash between them or do they just do it with “credits and numbers on a computer”–government also.

    Many individuals and businesses can do just fine without having any real cash–just use credit cards or bank ID etc. Only if one deals in retail sales or something where you need to make “change” are you having to use real money. . Many places will say “we do NOT accept cash payments” now. And the number of places refusing cash grows daily. Now even the guy who cuts your lawn can take a payment on his cell phone or you can even pay for your pizza delivery by cell phone.

    3. Long distance phone service went out in our area. Our Windstream service had a notice on line saying “We regret our long distance service is not available for Windstream customers at this time. We are working to correct this.” No explanation. Hacking? Server problems? Hardware? Softwear? Or what else? Windstream is a fairly large phone and internet company in several states. Nothing on the news or anywhere that I saw. Did this long distance service downtime happen to other phone companies? Does anyone know about this?

    Some strange and unusual situations are taking place. And our regular news sources are not now keeping us properly informed. One has to look online to find out up to the minute information–PLUS keep an eye out to determine if that information is indeed correct. Some unsubstantiated and false information is deliberately put out just to keep impulsive and emotional people “upset” and agitated so they won’t have the time nor energy to see the true problems.

    That is a lot of what I like about this website. Separates a lot of drivel and nonsense out and gets to the real truth. Thanks!

    • Doris,

      My understanding here is limited . . . but I think the government will call a bank holiday if masses of people start to take cash out of the banks. Then the feds will devalue the U.S. dollar. It’s happened in U.S. history. It happened in Cyprus. I worry that my retirement accounts are not safe. I have been diligent in putting the recommended 10 percent into retirement since I finished college. But now I am wondering if TDL will try to go after that money.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Read his latest budget proposal. He already is.

      • Bam Bam,

        I too fear for my retirement accounts. I am not sure they will be there at all! And if the government doesn’t take them, they still won’t be worth very much when the dollar is de-valued!

        • Encourager says:

          So what should we do? I have suggested to my dh that we should start taking monies out of our IRA account…and he replies “and do what with it?” We are nearly 65 so can access this money without penalties, unless you count the taxes we will pay on it. What do we do with a lot of cash, that we want for our later years, but are afraid to leave in the IRA account in case it disappears. Do we bury it in the yard? Turn it into gold and silver coins? What is the safest way to store it?

          Sure, we could just spend it by buying a new, quieter whole house generator (ours is 14 years old – is that ‘old’ for a generator??) Or redo the kitchen and bathrooms (30+ years old), or buy a new vehicle…but then what would we have to live on when we are 80 and up? That is what we saved that money for!

          Any and all suggestions are welcome!!!!

          • Encourager,

            This is precisely the question. When do you pull the trigger, so to speak–and pull out money from your IRAs. I suspect you could ask if the penalty you would pay for accessing your own money early is more or less than what that money will be worth corrected for inflation when you can take it out without penalty.

            • Bam Bam,
              Like encourager, we’re at the point we could pull money out without penalty; however, since I still work a full time job, those monies would be added to our regular income and would be taxed into oblivion. The point of tax deferred is that you should be taking the money out when your other income is smaller, and you take the smaller tax hit. Unfortunately, we live in troubling times, and making these decisions are not as clear as we’d like them to be. All I’m doing with my IRA is keeping stop limits to allow me to dump the stock on a large downturn, and for now, that’s the best we can do, unless someone has a functioning crystal ball.

            • Encourager says:

              Bam Bam, there would be no penalty as we are past 55. But there will be income tax on whatever we take out.

              • 55? I thought the age was 59 1/2 for being able to withdraw from an IRA without the 10% early withdrawal penalty. . . .

                • worrisome says:

                  Me too Lantana but perhaps it is a union plan which might be different? Encourager?

                • Lantana,
                  As I understand it 59 1/2 is still the age, and unfortunately, I qualify.

                  • Lantana says:

                    LOL, Ohio Prepper–I’m sitting here thinking “Unfortunately, I don’t”.

                • Survivor says:

                  Lantana
                  As I understand it, at 55 you can draw the IRA without penalty with a couple of caveats, one of them being if you lose your job in the year you turned 55. You still have to pay the income tax. There are a couple of more but that’s the one that’ll affect me. Check this link, http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc558.html

                  • Lantana says:

                    Survivor, thank you for the interesting link to the IRS’ Tax Topic 558 (Additional Tax on Early Distributions from Retirement Plans, Other Than IRAs)

                    As I read it, it seems to say if you participate in your employer’s 401(k) and leave that employer in or after the year you turn 55, distributions from that 401(k) would not be subject to the 10% penalty that ordinarily applies to early distributions (i.e., distributions before 59 1/2).

                    If that’s correct, it looks like you could be as young as 54 with a Dec 31 birthday.

                    (The same bullet point also indicates the age is 50 for certain state or local public safety employees.)

                    The exception does not appear to apply to distributions from a 401(k) at an employer you left before the year you turn 55, and expressly excludes distributions from IRAs.

                    Even so, for younger Baby Boomers, this could definitely be worth a call your tax advisor. . . . Thanks, Encourager and Survivor for raising this point.

                • Encourager says:

                  OOPS!!! My bad. You are right…it is 59.5 not 55. Where was my head???

                  Anyways, we still qualify.

          • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

            If I had the access to that money that you do, I would move it. Within a few months. I’m not even a big “fiat currency is worthless, the economy is doomed to collapse” kind of guy. (I have money in retirement accounts in the market. I am adding more. I will not be taking it out until I’m of age.) But even I wouldn’t keep it there if I could move it without penalty. The DOW is at the highest values it has ever been – do you really think this is the best outlook for American business there has ever been? Buy low, sell high right?

            I would seriously look into buying income producing real-estate. Especially farmland if it was available within a few hours drive. It might not get you the sort of returns the market has in the last 4 years, and it might be a bit overpriced, but I believe it has real value and can provide income that will be there even if the dollar tanks.

            Then (this is a bit risky and odd) I would also be looking into taking out a mortgage to leverage that money not 10:1 or 5:1 but maybe 2 or 3:1. (i.e. buy $300,000 worth of farmland with a downpayment of $100,000) With mortgage rates at all time lows and my personal belief that the dollar will lose value – I like that gamble. At 4% you are essentially making the deal that I will give a bank 15 dollars in ten years if they give me 10 dollars today. I have this feeling that I’ll be able to buy more today for $10 than I will with $15 in 10 years. Especially if I then invest that $10 in something that can make me some money without much risk – like leasing to farmers (of course a farmer can always go bankrupt and leave you high and dry).

            That would be my suggestion.

            • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

              Oh and in case that doesn’t sound like a reasonable retirement plan, my parents are making more from their real estate investments now at 76 than they were ever making working 50 hours a week in a management position. And they also felt pretty safe through 2007-2008 while watching their ira funds take a tumble.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              Though as a reminder, during the Great Depression, banks routinely foreclosed on loans on land and houses by demanding immediate payment in full, and then taking the land when the owner couldn’t pay. The only reason my grandparents survived is because they flat-out OWNED their farm and everything on it. They wound up supporting the entire extended family (over 60 people) off their 20 acre farm in Ohio.

              • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

                Yep Jeff.

                My sentiments like most preppers is to want to avoid debt and the risks associated. I should look more clearly at how easy it will be for banks to call in a mortgage. Was that only in case of a missed or late payment?

                But every bit of evidence I see suggests the dollar will be losing value maybe very substantially. I also see the mortgage rates at the lowest they have ever been. I think the rates are manipulated as part of the stimulus and not a real estimate of the risk of inflation in the next three decades. Plus most banks expect citizens to move or sell every few years so they don’t really believe they are truly locking in for 30 years. I want to take advantage of these irrational manipulated rates as much as I can. But yea, playing prediction games trying to beat the bankers with one’s only retirement money doesn’t sit that well with me either. If someone feels that way, leave out the admittedly odd and risky mortgage idea, but income producing real estate is still a lot less risky than just about anything out there in my book. And there will be no argument the federal government could make that would convince citizens that the government needs to confiscate your real property for your own good. They already have too large a portion of the citizens believing the federal government have to be in charge of our retirement funds for our good. They are already planning to change to rules on us if we save “too much”.

                • Kelekona says:

                  Interesting about banks seizing homes. I’d think it would be a slower process to get people out of bought homes than a landlord kicking people out of the apartment, though landlords typically have a month ahead of your rent.

                  It’s not really profitable for banks to have homes in their possession, though. And I don’t know the rules on a bank selling a home, if they have to fix problems before the sale or if they can mark something “as is.”

                  There is something, I forget what it’s called, where your property can be taken if they want to make a highway interchange. I think they have to pay you for it, though.

                • Lantana says:

                  MPTP, look at what constitutes a “default” under your mortgage.

                  The most obvious/serious/common default is of course non-payment or late payment.

                  But it’ll probably specify other defaults that would constitute grounds for accelerating the note. IIRC, there’s been recent discussion of HOA disputes blowing up into a mortgage default for the homeowner (maybe under a compliance with laws or a no liens provision?)

                • JeffintheWest says:

                  They actually would call in the WHOLE outstanding remainder of the loan all at once. It was probably a last-ditch effort to avoid going out of business, but the fact remains they DID it, and it’s still legally possible for them to do it, as far as I know.

                  I think you’re probably right about the overall money/economic situation. More so than those who blame capitalism for it all….

                  • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

                    I’ve been looking it to it. Its the acceleration clause in most mortgages, and they cannot call in the loan without a default on your part. But what counts as the default might be surprising. I might just throw my first article together on this for the site.

                    • Bam Bam says:

                      Pooper,

                      That would be a great article. I just feel like banks are out to screw people over. My mortgage company keeps sending me these “Refinance for Free” notices. I had my mom look over the offer. (My mom has been in the mortgage industry for 40 years.) She said they were making money by drawing out mortgage insurance for the full length of the refinance. If you are an ordinary person, you would have no way to know a good offer from a bad offer.

      • worrisome says:

        Bam Bam they would indeed call a bank holiday or a bank month or limit the amount of withdrawals. Also something to think about. The fractional system of credit distributions based upon your deposited funds is pure fantasy. Some have said that there is pressure by the Federal Reserve Bank to create downward pressure on the gold and silver market in order to prevent a large scale of bank withdrawals just in case people do decide their money would be better off in gold or silver and in buried in their back yards.
        Candidly it is horrifying that we no longer have anyplace “truly safe” to save for our future.

      • Doris Jones says:

        Bam Bam

        You are probably correct. I just know the FDIC and the banks would be unable to give the people the money they have promised is “safe”. You have been smart in saving since
        college–hats off to you for that. You are a wise person and no doubt will stay aware and make the necessary decision at the right time. Most of the general public are not very aware or informed and will be caught off guard. I doubt you will since you look ahead.

        • Bam Bam says:

          Thanks, Doris. It’s not so much wisdom on my part as it was being properly informed by my parents about the importance of saving for retirement.

      • Thomas T. Tinker says:

        Not unlike ETF/PMs, 401s IRAs etc are in fact digital accounts. Your ‘cash’ was absorbed into the collective and loaned, traded, leveraged, re bundled turned into the vapor it was created out of. Can any of us put our hands on our paper wealth? Anybody… anybody… Beuler… Beuler! Ohio Prepper is a country boy that can do the things not one in a thousand of us can do. He also has the assets in hand to do them. I hate to live in ‘Fear’ and I fear what the ‘demands’ of the masses will be… and the fact that these demands will be put square on the shoulders of less than 5% of the population that actually produce.

        Will TDL try to go after that money….. I would say the the math and the masses assure that is exactly what he is ‘doing’. Our ‘system’ is the largest bubble in the history of the planet. Get your head around that fact and it becomes apparent that no ‘amount’ of digital wealth, paper wealth…. on the book and in my ‘account’ wealth can sustain the have and have nots… the save and save nots… the sheep and… the sheep dogs… preppers and the eaters. Vapor wealth assumes you…. YOU will surrender your time, life, goods, produce to provide for the health and welfare of those that live IN that vapor and cannot live otherwise. The ‘free’ air will kill most of them.

    • Doris,
      Just FYI, No long distance outages here.
      I worked in telephony for nearly 20 years and I’m betting something like a fiber cable cut would have been the problem. Not everything is a conspiracy.

      • +1
        Could also be the Local Exchange Company (LEC) which you have identified as Windstream is leasing lines from a primary service provider, like Will-Tel as its provider, they in turn lease from AT&T as the main lessor, and when the primary provider has increased usage, they rob trunks from their leasee as an overflow to accommodate their primary needs; resulting in a trickle down impact to the bottom of the service distribution chain.

        • Doris Jones says:

          Mike

          More good ideas about the possible source of the Windstream phone/internet situation. They obviously do lease from AT &T since they offered that as the long distance provider. I just didn’t know the connection. Just hoping this situation does not become some regular thing. Great stuff to know. Thanks

      • Doris Jones says:

        OhioPrepper

        Interesting information from a knowledgeable person. And you are right–not everything is a conspiracy. I was just concerned about hackers since my bank was hacked and service was down there too and I knew the govt. websites had been hacked plus others. Probably as you said this telephone/internet situation was an accidental thing. Haven’t heard anymore from them.

  8. Kelekona says:

    Even worse is that gardening was a bigger thing in the years leading up to the last depression. Now a lot of people are just starting to, or still believe that they can’t.

  9. JeffintheWest says:

    We have to pay the piper sooner or later. I actually hope it happens on Obama’s watch since he’s done so much to make it worse, and having him “own” the collapse is only fitting, but odds are it will happen when we get some administration in that is willing to do the hard work of actually governing instead of fiddling while Rome burns.

    Regardless, my advice is, buy land, build up a stock of seeds, buy guns and ammo, get some livestock, learn the skills demanded of a farmer or rancher, drill a well, put up some solar panels so you can run a freezer, get books for your kids to read and to learn from, make yourself right with God. Every discounted dollar you plow into your home, farm, workshop, defense preps and animals is money well spent today. Saving them will result in enough wadding to make a mattress, but greenbacks won’t be worth the match to burn them in ten years. Odds are we won’t go into total civil collapse, but the times will be very hard, and they won’t be like they were in the depression when hobos and bindlestiffs would ask for food and then move on while respecting the rights of others. This generation will be composed of takers and looters and if you say “no” they will attack your home. Be prepared to fight. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst; it’s the only possible chance we have.

    • worrisome says:

      +1

    • TrailGuide says:

      100% agreed, Jeff.
      Well said. My grandparents lived near the CottonBelt rail track. She frequently had men who very politely accepted her back-door handouts with heart-felt “God bless you, ma’am”. She said ‘they know’ where to stop and would even do simple chores for her. She never felt any danger – but really didn’t care as she was seriously ‘right with the Lord and only going about business as He directed’. It ain’t the same this day – I am cautious just going to the mailbox.

      • Trail Guide, Your grandmother had it right. God bless her.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        My maternal grandmother did the same thing in Ohio (though, since they weren’t near railroad tracks, they didn’t get quite as many through the area). She told me once that not one of the bindlestiffs ever bothered her or frightened her in any way — they were always extremely grateful to her for anything she could spare, and never demanding. And I too am nervous just stepping out into public in some areas. (My paternal grandmother probably would have done the same, but she died in house fire in the late ’20′s — when my dad was about 6 years old.)

    • Survivor says:

      Jeff
      “Odds are we won’t go into total civil collapse”
      I agree with most of your post, but this statement I ain’t so sure about. When the food goes and the zombies start the march I believe that is exactly what will happen. Cops are going to be hungry and try to provide for their families. They are the second line of defense for us. The first is the individuals sense of right and wrong. Hunger trumps both. There may or may not be civil war, but IMHO, definitely civil collapse.
      I believe that each prepper will have to kill someone eventually attempting to protect family, home and supplies. Be as kind as you can, but have zero ruth….completely ruthless. If you can’t be ruthless, reload for someone who can. Bad point about that is you won’t know until you’re faced with it.
      I don’t know if I could look into a hungry man’s eyes, knowing he’s just looking for food, and drop the hammer on him. I do believe I’m going to find out.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        Survivor,
        I didn’t mean to say you should EXPECT civil government to remain intact, just that the odds favored it based on past performance during similar events. In fact, I personally plan with the expectation that it’s going to be something more like the aftermath of global nuclear war (minus the nuclear winter and fallout) and that we might all be on our own for at least some period of time. In the above comment, I was just going by the last time. The depression was pretty bad, but overall civil government never collapsed. And being a cop was still a job (in fact, a pretty darn good one). The question probably really revolves around food distribution. If they can keep the distribution system functioning, the government will remain intact. If it collapses, so will they.

        I certainly hope you’re wrong. I’m planning that you’re right, though. Plan for the worst, hope for the best. Regardless, I’m really afraid some very tough times are ahead for all of us. In fact, in my life, I’ve always been a bit of a preparedness “nut,” but it was more been like buying an insurance policy for a flood in the Sahara desert; more an exercise in “what if” planning, and a good way to exercise some self-restraint in budgeting and being prepared for the more common disasters in all our lives (like being snow-bound, or losing the electricity for a few days, or evacuating ahead of a hurricane — which I’ve done a few times). Now, for the first time in my life, I’m really afraid that all my planning might pay off in a big way, and I can’t think of a worse thing to have happen to my country.

        My S.O. came to me today and asked how we keep in contact with people (like other preppers) if the system goes down. It’s a good question, and it shows all of this is finally starting to sink in for her. And that’s a shame too, really, if you think about it, since it means the signs are becoming plain for anyone with eyes to see, as opposed to just the natural curmudgeons like me.

        • Survivor says:

          Planning for the worst is what I’m doing. I read “One Second After” and that dealt with an ElectroMagneic Pulse (EMP). That scared the bejesus outa me, but the financial collapse of our nation and the world is imminent. Governments play games and we have to pay the bill. Nothing will change until the current form of government is replaced with common sense, you know, back to what the founders created.
          The government is hoarding beans and bullets. They’re preparing for something. The big zero-bama has signed an executive order that allows him to declare martial law in an ‘emergency’ of his choosing and congress can do nothing about it for six months.
          I suppose we won’t know what’s gonna happen until it does, but I’m tickled to death I found you guys. I’m also glad I can respectfully disagree with someone and have meaningful dialog. You folks have helped me move along with my preps and I refer back often.
          Like you, I have more and more people wake up in the real world asking questions about prepping. Not that I talk about it at work, but we do talk current events quite a bit. Of course, talking leads to speculating. I’m usually the one asking about other peoples preps, saying nothing of mine.
          Thanks for the feedback, man!

          • Bam Bam says:

            I think it is very likely you will see a complete collapse of social services in many large cities–Chicago and Detroit really are not that far away from collapse. But small town America will be just fine. The sheriff will likely deputize every resident over the age of 12, and authorize each to carry and shoot looters on site. (That’s what happened in Galveston after Hurricane Carla.) I do wonder if this shows my southern bias. LOL

            • Lantana says:

              That’s interesting, Bam Bam.

              Looks like Galveston County would have had a population of around 140k in the early 60s, with almost exactly half of that in the City of Galveston. So, not such a small town. . . .

              • I think it is going to depend on the dynamics of that town. I can say that if some kind of collapse happened, I would not want to be in galveston or a couple of towns in galveston county. A few of them though I think would be ok. Same thing goes for harris county (houston). Also there are a couple of places when I lived in colorado, that while small towns I would be scared to be there. There is one town in particular, that I seriously think if they knew the ‘end’was coming, they would be counting down the days until they could do whatever they want.

          • Survivor;
            I am re-reading “One Second After”, just to remind me what they went through, to refresh my brain of what could happen. I like the way the story is written, not the fact it could happen. Which I hope never does, but it is one thing we need to be aware of during our preparedness.

            • Becky,
              I have a few issues with that book. The first is that an EMP will not take down the world, quite like depicted. Distribution systems for power and telephone will indeed most likely go down, and availability of things like insulin will also get pretty scarce; however, my biggest problem with the book is the way they seemingly waste resources. Every one of the vehicles along the highway contains lighting, one or more batteries, and gasoline or diesel fuel. One of the things I would have done is to take the working vehicles, along with a work party and an armed guard party to go several miles in either direction on the interstate, and snag every battery, all of the fuels, and an assortment of lighting. This could all be brought back to “home base” and used to provide electricity for quite some time, along with power for the old telephone system they connected. When I see resources wasted like that, I know that we’re not dealing with an author who has a real prepper mentality.
              The way they organize the people and resources does give a good example of one way to build a community in troubling times.

              • Ohio Prepper;
                I thought an EMP would fry a batteries components leaving it basically as a paperweight? Thought that was the reason the batteries were not harvested in the story line.
                Who knows the mind of a writer. Great to know the batteries will survive an EMP.

                • JeffintheWest says:

                  EMP fries solid state electronic components. Every one of those cars would have still run if you could simply replace the solid state electronics with older components. That’s why the older cars still worked — no electronic starter or computerized brain. Even vacuum tubes will survive EMP better than microcircuitry will, so your grandfather’s old radio, if you can get it working again and find a power source, would work just fine. In fact, the theory is that we’ve been EMP’d several times over the past couple of thousand years by the sun popping off a major coronal mass ejection in our general direction, but it simply didn’t matter and wasn’t even noticed at the time because we didn’t have anything that could be affected by it.

                  My question is, will solar panels still work after an EMP event? I’m trying to figure out if the solar panels themselves will be adversely affected…. Anyone have any idea?

                  • k. fields says:

                    Jeff – re: solar panels
                    That is a question I’ve also had since I invested in them, so I hope others will join this conversation.
                    What I’ve found from my own research is that no one seems to know how an EMP would effect a solar panel.
                    Solar panels can handle a good bit of voltage fluctuation so most opinion seem to lean that they will be OK so long as they aren’t connected to a large array of wiring. The panels should simply dump the voltage surge into the battery pack which can easily absorb it.
                    Now your electronic controller – that may not be able to handle all those bouncing electrons so keeping a spare put away would probably be a good idea.

                    • JeffintheWest says:

                      Yeah, I started a little research since I posted and the consensus seems to be that they shouldn’t suffer too badly if it’s not a really massive jolt and/or the jolt doesn’t last too long. The big concern would be the connecting wires which would convert the EMP into energy and then transmit it both backwards and forwards (into the panels, and into the converter). The real question appears to be which would short out first, with the odds all being on the converter going and then allowing the surge to ground out. Still, that’s all theoretical and no one seems to know for sure. It’s a pity we can’t get hold of that old military EMP testing system (they used to park B-52s under it and test them for EMP resistance) and put a few through their paces to find out for sure.

                      I guess if you have warning that an EMP event (like a major Coronal Mass Ejection) is coming your way, the best thing to do is disconnect everything electronic you can find and put it in a Faraday cage (meaning you want to embed some mesh in the walls of your barn or a shed or something when you build it) so they don’t get fried by the EMP. But if it’s a no-notice event (the N. Koreans or Iranians manage to pop a large, high-altitude nuke somewhere over the US), you’re just going to have to hope that it’s not powerful enough to totally fry everything.

                    • k.fields & JeffintheWest;
                      Our solar panels are connect direct feed back into the PG&E lines(not what we wanted). We can turn off the system on our end, but it does not go to a battery bank. We were sold the wrong converter box to begin with, it has to have a feed from the power lines to ship it back to the main line. Strange I know..

                    • JeffintheWest,
                      Just one glaring reason. The sides of a faraday cage must be made of a continuous sheet of solid metal. Aluminum works; but, copper is preferred.

                    • JeffintheWest says:

                      Ohioprepper, this turns out not to be the case. When I was in Intelligence in Berlin, we had a copper mesh installed in the walls of our buildings to stop enemy eavesdropping. Additionally, if you check on it, all you need to do the job is something that will serve as a conductor for the energy. That’s one reason it’s called a Faraday “cage” instead of a Faraday “box.” I’m sure you’ve seen solid ones, so have I but they are not required to be solid.

                    • JeffintheWest,
                      I have used both solid and screened cages, and the requirement has to do with the frequencies involved. When you were in Berlin you were most likely operating in a SKIF with Tempest rated equipment, so the frequencies and their levels were known, and a mesh of the proper dimensions was all you needed. The holes in the door of a microwave oven are of a specific size, to keep leakage down to a safe level, and for that reason you’ll never see a microwave oven with something like chicken wire inside the door glass, since the holes are too large to keep the energy in at the microwave frequency. An EMP essentially generates a high energy square wave pulse, which mathematically contains a myriad of frequencies, which we often call the “DC to Daylight” spectrum, and that requires solid metal shielding to be effective, since the frequencies and energy levels, although short in duration, can be very high.
                      It is common for folks to confuse mesh and solid faraday cages because they don’t take into account the frequency ranges and power levels involved.

                  • JeffintheWest says:

                    Becky, that’s not good. Have you ever had anyone take a look at how much it might cost to fix your system so you could choose whether or not PG&E gets your electricity or not? you should be able to replace the converter and set up a battery bank, and then decide whether or not you want to send your power into the grid, or isolate yourselves from the grid.

                    Also, a friend and I were talking about this and it seems to us that you might be able to set up a Faraday cage around your solar panels in place — since it’s a cage it shouldn’t reduce your solar panels ability to receive sunlight to any marked degree, and then all you would have to do is disconnect the solar panels (basically disconnect one wire connection between them and the converter/battery bank) and they should be safe from EMP. Given a back up converter, you should then be able to get back up and running in no time with very little effort. Does anyone see any glaring reasons why that wouldn’t work?

                    • k. fields says:

                      Interesting – Assuming a fairly tight wire cage would be necessary, like the grid imbedded in the glass door of a microwave oven, would it restrict the panels enough to make a significant loss? I don’t know, but it might be worth doing some tests.
                      I certainly don’t have the funds to keep a complete 2nd system packed away in a giant Faraday cage somewhere.

                    • JeffintheWest says:

                      K. Fields, that’s a really good example! If you look at your microwave, the mesh in the window is EXACTLY a Faraday cage (as is the rest of the box). and yet, you can see inside because light passes through the cage and lets you see inside. This is fairly analogous to what we are discussing. So like I said, there would possibly be some marginal loss of light in the “shaded” areas of the components, but given the fact that the Faraday cage doesn’t have to be in contact with the panels, and could be set several inches or possibly even feet away from them and still do it’s job, I think your energy production loss might not even be noticeable.

                    • JeffintheWest,k.fields,OhioPrepper;
                      We had the panels placed on our garage, the roof line is set for the most exposure and direction. My dh had the roof pitch set so you would need mt climbing equipment to get to the panels. It is so bad even I will not venture up there. In our discussion last night it was decided it would be easier to put new panels with the “correct” inverter down at the well shed. That is if we stay here. Thank all of you for the information on how to protect a solar system.

                  • Keep in mind that nearly all of the EMP problems we discuss are theoretical and based on physics and mathematical models, so there is always room for error, and add to that the fact that EMP is a wave front, and part of the issue depends on where you are in relationship to that front. Think of a large wave hitting a beach. A long thin structure, with the thin side facing the beach will be safe, as it is hit with little water. The same structured, turned 90 degrees could be demolished, since it absorbs most of the energy from the wave.
                    Since photo arrays are generally set “long wise” toward the sky, they will receive a large portion of the energy, and since each cell is a semiconductor junction, interconnected by wires, it will receive energy, as will any interconnecting wires to the charge controller, etc. The likelihood of one or more components in the system being damaged is probably rather high, but the problem with EMP, is similar to a house being struck by lightning, where the answer is always, “it depends”. I’ve had lightning strikes, and things you would expect to die are OK and vice versa. Also, even things that seem to work OK can be damaged a die later. The only way to guarantee anything with an EMP is to have properly shielded spares. A lot of the rest is a coin toss or a dice throw.

                    • Lantana says:

                      Ohio Prepper, you always have such a clear way of explaining these things to us non-math & physics types. Thank you!

              • Encourager says:

                I, too, had a few problems with that book, even though it was a good, thought-provoking read.

                Why, when everyone was starving, was there no gardens? Every spare bit of yard should have been turned into a vegetable garden. Even early crops such as lettuces, peas, spinach were not planted. Some of every crop should have been left to go to seed for next year’s crop. I don’t remember if wild berries and grapes were harvested at all. They should have been dried and would have provided nourishment in the winter. Perhaps the author could not think outside the box?

                I need to re-read this book, if I can find it. I think my son has it…or I borrowed it from him and then returned it.

                • JeffintheWest says:

                  Yeah, I noticed that too. He was way over-focused on the protein issue vice the general nutrition problem. Plus, they’re in NC for crying out loud. You can’t tell me they couldn’t have raised beans and maybe even peanuts to help the protein side of the equation.

                  But I figured he was going for shock value and didn’t want to waste any time on the day-to-day real world management issues.

                • +10

              • Kelekona says:

                Encourager, I would think that to be normalcy bias as well… where did the need to have a nice front lawn come from, noble tastes?

                If I ever had to repair a lawn, I would go clover, or maybe turn it into a huge garden if I wanted to be fancy.

                Otherwise, weed pit or food plantings.

                • Encourager says:

                  Actually, lawns came about because of the snob factor. Before mowers, sheep and servants were used to keep the grass short. The fact that you could ‘waste’ good pasture just to have grass to look at was a sign of wealth. The bigger the lawn, the snobbier. Just my 2Cents worth!!

                  • Survivor says:

                    My grandpa told me whe he was growing up the yard was packed dirt. Free range chickens and kids playing kept grass from growing. The chickens kept the ticks and fleas the dogs carried up at bay. If they wanted more yard cleared they’d throw cracked corn into the grass. The chickens would clear it out in no time.

      • Bam Bam says:

        Survivor,

        If someone is trying to steal your food or otherwise threatening your life and your family’s life, I don’t think you would describe him as “a hungry man”. You wouldn’t be shooting “a hungry man”. You would be shooting someone who poses a clear and imminent threat to your family.

        • Survivor says:

          Bam Bam,
          I guess I should have made that distinction, but you’re correct. A hungry man would ask to do some chores and would pose no threat. He would get a meal or two and be on his way. A threatening male (I consider these just males because they didn’t grow up to be men) would have to be dealt with appropriately.

  10. Millie in KY says:

    I try so hard to have hope, and not to fear. This sort of things scares the crap out of me. I can only hope that over the years, as this process happens, that we will lose the dead wood in our society and come out stronger. With the entitlement attitude of so many, I am sure that will happen. We must remain strong. And prepare. I have shared this article with a couple of close friends. Been trying to tell them just to buy a couple of bags of beans and rice a week, a couple of cans of chicken, tuna, a few bic lighters (after reading the article that the man from Bosnia wrote in Saturdays’ comments about his experiences during the war in 92-95).
    So scary…..

  11. BAM! #17 was a dagger slammed right into my chest.

    • Encourager says:

      Mine, too, Mama J. I have dreams at night about hungry children, on the road, on their own, being hurt and starving. I wake up with a wet pillow. I have other dreams of many children living with me, not mine, but ‘foundlings’. In my dream I am training them up, teaching them all I know. But more children keep coming. Somehow, we care for all of them…

      • MamaJ & Encourager;
        Not sure when your dream started my began in the late 1990′s. Parents knocking at our door begging us to take their children as they could no longer feed them. It was not just one family in this dream but “families”, because we lived on a small ranch with a few head of cattle they thought we could take in every child that came our way. So very real, it is what kicked me back into self reliance mode, unfortunately for us we lost all the preparations in a major fire in 2004. Slowly we are restocking our supplies, but I have never forgotten that dream.

        • Mama J says:

          Encourager and Becky,
          You will be the next Mother Theresa’s. I can see you having your own village of hard working children who grow up under your wings and in turn protect you in your old age.
          Children can be very loyal, resourceful and efficent when they are hand fed and loved.
          Besides, who wants to raid a small village of screaming little brats? What they don’t know is they are natural born killers that have brains like sponges. They can sneak, track, hunt, swing from limbs and attack like a pack of Jumangi monkeys. Haha.
          Turn those nightmares in to daydreams ladies.

          • Encourager says:

            Thanks for the chuckle, Mama J! Me, Mother Theresa?? ROFLOL! I couldn’t even touch that woman’s littlest thing she did. She was awesome.

            Your post brought back a strange memory. When I was a young teenager, there was this program at our school that screened students to participate in. It involved going to the State run hospital where children were kept that had serious mental retardation (not a politically correct term, but that is what they were called back then.) Many of the children suffered from Microcephaly and Hydrocephaly (born with tiny heads or water on the brain). There were also children there who were had mental retardation from other causes.

            We teens did what is called “patterning”. We placed the child face down, with one person at the head, and one on each side of the child. We would move the limbs and head rhythmically to simulate crawling and stimulate the brain. It was some experimental program.

            One day there was a group of us whose ride was going to be late. We had been told by an employee of an abandoned ‘children’s village’ that was a short walk away and got permission to go down there. It was the creepiest place I have every seen. All the houses were small, I mean, height-wise and size-wise, as if built for children only. We were told ‘normal’ orphaned or abandoned children had lived there for decades, supervised by adults. They even had a school. The houses were vine-covered. Steven King would have loved that place. It makes me shudder just telling about it.

            • Mama J says:

              Encourager,
              Good grief! How very interesting. How must find out how they treat those cases in now.
              The heck with Steven King. I would love to go there myself! I bet if you were really still you could hear giggling and voices.
              I wonder if it would make a good BOL because the creppy factor would keep everyone out.

          • MamaJ & Encourager;
            If they leave them with me, I expect you both here bright and early.
            I laughed so hard I had to read your statement to my dh, he smiled. For him that is a laugh. You both crack me up with laughs. Keep up the great chuckles..

            • Mama J says:

              Your welcome!

            • Encourager says:

              A smile a day keeps the grouchies away!

            • Encourager says:

              As far as I know, everything, including the hospital, has been pulled down and there are different businesses there now. It used to be a rural area but is completely built up now. Haven’t been over to that area in years. Way to close to Detroit as was just outside Northville MI.

    • Mama J, same here. I seriously look around at all the kids in my neighborhood and wonder how many of them I could care for without taking from my kids. I think about the baby across the street that I occasionally babysit, she is on formula, what happens if there isnt any more, could I pump milk for her? I have boxes of baby cereal and jars of baby food my son will no longer touch set aside. Then there is their nextdoor neighbor who has the most devilish (in a cute way) little boy, I know I wouldnt be able to watch him go hungry. Even though these babies are not mine, in a way they are.

      • Mama J says:

        TG,
        You can do your best to care of others and the answers will come to you when the opportunites present themselves.

        You can pump for two children but a baby on formula might not accept breastmilk. You will consume many more calories yourself to make up for the calories used in lactation. Your baby will be fussy from not having normal amount of milk available for a few days. I wet nursed my midwifes 7 wk old daughter (she would not take a bottle) for 4 days while her mother had surgery from an accident and was on some heavy duty pain meds. It was fine but I never left the chair. I can only imagine nursing twins.

        You could stockpile some formula like I have. They almost always have formula in the clearance shelf at my Krogers store. They have big 3.00 or more coupons for it also. I can get a big can of formula for 10-13.00. I seems I have alot of babies in my world now. Grandbabies are starting to trinkle in. So, I stock up.
        Of course, if your pocketbook and preps allow for it.
        Don’t forget that some families will leave home in a crisis. Go to the parents or maybe never make it home.
        You will find that your beautiful tender heart will toughen up around the edges a bit when SHTF.
        Take care of your own and the Universe will sort out the rest.

        • TG & Mama J;
          You reminded of things I did not include in my preps…baby ceral, and other dry products. Baby food, that has a shelf life which I am not sure how long it would go over the expiration date. Most other foods I have down pat, but the baby items, wow. I need more vacuum seal bags for food and clothing, or material as I can sew. Just need to find patterns,etc and another storage building…maybe my neighbor who has more storage buildings than we do won’t miss one if just borrow it.

          • Becky, I just checked dates. The one can of formula I have in the house is dated for 2016. The jarred baby food is dated 2014, and both the rice and oatmeal cereal is dated for this year. The cereal was bought around septemberish. So I would say 9 months to a year out. I wonder if storing it in a mylar bag would extend the shelf life? Even if not, the cereal isnt essential for babies. And if it comes right down to it, most foods can be pureed for babies. I think since the formula has a decent shelf life I will stock up a bit on that. I know I would feel a lot better that way.

          • Kelekona says:

            I have a box of Cream of Rice that expired in 2009. It’s marked as “great for infants” ages 6-12 months. Ingredients is granulated rice and vitamins.

            If there is rice in your preps already, perhaps an el-cheapo grinder and sifting screen set aside for only GF ingredients would be good. Or rice does break down into a mush if you’re making jook.

            I’ll make a mental note to try the expired CoR on Monday, don’t want to ruin my weekend when I’m already congested..

          • Mama J says:

            HI Ladies,
            I never bought baby food. I fed my kids the foods we ate. I ground rice and other cereals. I mashed, pureed and still have the small hand crank baby food grinder I used for my oldest in 1982. I think it was the “Happy Baby” food grinder. The label has worn off. I have seen them in the Lehmann’s Catalog.

            About the babies changing from breast to formula or vise versa. Some babies will eat, suckle or drink anything from any breast, bottle or nipple shape, Others will fuss and starve. I have known a few who would switch to formula, but more that one would not drink the breast milk after formula, even in there own bottle.
            I fostered a baby once that would only suck on someones finger (I have no idea why), so I taped a feeding tube to my finger. My fingers were hickified for a month while I retrained him by sneaking a bottle into his mouth when he wasn’t paying attention. Like in the middle of the night when he was fussing.
            I guess the main point is….. You never know. I have seen some very hungry babies who would still refuse to eat something they were not used to.

            • Mama J, sounds like I am lucky that my kids are little foodies. Lol. I also do a lot of my own baby food, but also tend to keep jars on hand for ‘in case’. My little one now, never did care for ‘baby food’ he wants to feed himself. We gave up on the pureed stuff when he started grabbing food off everyone else’s plates. So now I just make sure he has easily chewed, cut up into microscopic pieces.

              • Mama J says:

                Lucky indeed! My kids were all foodies too. My biggest hurdle has been to get my daughter to eat green food. She will and still will power drive some green smoothies.

        • Mama J, I didnt know a formula fed baby wouldnt take breast milk, really havent known to many formula fed babies. I nursed a friends baby once when she went to the store and then got stuck behind an accident on the way home. Of course as soon as I sat down to nurse my friends baby, mine decided she was jealous and had to nurse right that minute. Lol. I dont know how moms with multiples do it either.
          Thanks for the tip on the formula. I will have to start keeping an eye out for the discounted formula, and pick some up when funds allow.

      • Encourager says:

        TG, I believe that is the way God designed women. It seems once you have given birth and have your own baby, you look at all babies/little children differently. That nurturing, empathy, mothering part of our brain kicks in and lasts the rest of our lives.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Yep. The link in #17 was harsh. I emailed the link to my mom, who is considering purchasing long term food stuffs for her, my brother and his two kids.

  12. Kelekona says:

    Okay, this decides it.

    I think I could get a $200 grain grinder (with attachments for motor) next fall if I really trim the food budget for the summer. I can deal with summer fruits I don’t like easier than the winter fare of endless cabbages and orange veggies.

    Can I go cheaper than that and still be able to grind small amounts for days? Clamps vs mounting is a small concern.

    I already determined that grinding for pasta and bread is not good crushing for beer. (Though a nut option might work.) And if hubby can’t get the grain store to honor their crushing service agreement, I might just want his fancy beer grain for bread anyway.

    • Kelekona,

      Why do you need a motor on the hand grinder? It isn’t that hard to grind. It doesn’t take very long to grind enough for a loaf of bread.

      I grind wheat berries almost every day. I make my own pasta and bread. I am not sure I understand what your concern is.

      • Encourager says:

        Kate, what is a good non-electric grinder? I have an electric one, but I noticed that a plastic part on it is about to go. Cheap-cheap! Is a Diamant Grain Mill worth the $$? It is so very expensive!

      • Kate,
        I have a Blendtec in electric and a couple of hand mills, that haven’t been used all that much. What do you recommend? The Blendtec was recommended by some LDS friends and works great, but does require electricity, so your experienced recommendation would be useful.

        • Encourager and OhioPrepper,

          I have a Wondermill Jr. While it is a bit pricey, ($200) it won’t break with daily use. I have been using my for over 5 years. I used to have a Victorio – broke within 3 months of daily use. Called the company and they sent me a new one (for free) -it broke within 3 months as well. I got the Wondermill Jr. and never looked back!

          I believe you’ll be putting this one in your Will!

          Kelekona – I have arthritis too! This isn’t hard to crank at all. The key is to stand up and use your back and legs as well as your arms. No strain on any one joint.

          • Bam Bam says:

            I forget where I saw this but there is an attachment for the Wonder Jr. that allows you to motorize the mill with a power drill.

          • Encourager says:

            I went online to see if I could find a part for my Wondermill…watched a video on UTube and oops…I have been putting that cup that goes on the inside wrong since I bought the dang thing. Sigh…guess it is not just men that read the directions when all else fails… ;)

        • Robert of mid michigan says:

          I have the wondermill jr as well and use it weekly. two hundred plus some change but money well worth it. looking for more stones for it not because I need them but one is none type thing. I would not waste the 70 bucks to buy a cheap grinder to only replace it a few months down the road. if that is all you can afford and know it will take a long time to get a good one then maybe something is better than nothing but I would hold out for a good mill if I could.

    • Kelekona, don’t forget that a Wondermill is one of the prizes in the writing contest–put on your thinking cap and who knows–the next winner could be you!

      • Kelekona says:

        I guess my motor concerns is that I’m convinced that most of the people here will die before SHTF, and my joints are already bad. I think rather I’m after an electric that will keep working well when the power goes out.

        As for winning the writing contest…. Optimism among this group? Then again, planting a garden is believing in tomorrow, or something. I’m just so weird, I’m convinced that my topics would be lucky to be entered.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Ask them if they make different sets of burrs for the grinder. I picked one up years ago (from a company that went out of business less than a year later, unfortunately, but it was the best hand cranked brand made at the time), and I got two or three extra sets of burrs, including ones for nuts, and a rig that would also allow me to hook it up to a stationary bicycle to make it easier to grind a lot at one time. Still, for most families, I’d say you wouldn’t need an electric motor to grind enough grain to make the day’s bread.

    • Survivor says:

      This site indicates meat processing but they also offer hand mills http://www.meatprocessingproducts.com/pe.html
      Prices look pretty good, too. I ain’t plugging for them, it’s just a good place to start looking.

  13. Its all coming down , where it starts really doesn’t matter , its going to set off a chain reaction . They have known the present system is unsustainable for some time now . All I can say is start getting things in place now , with alternative plans of action and have no illusions about how ugly it may get when people loose everything . Building materials to harden up your location and Ammo ………..lots of ammo . Read all 8 pages of this blog , by a person that lived through a worst case scenario , its an eye opener ……….Makes Fernando Ferfals experience look like a cake walk . http://shtfschool.com/

    • @T.R.
      We really like reading him too. You are right about his “experience” .

      Keep your powder dry and your whiskey wet.

    • Doris Jones says:

      T. R.
      I went to that site and read the information since you suggested it. Really heavy duty and because it was by someone who lived thru a collapse of society for a year it was totally believable. Thanks for the tip. Learned some important facts.

  14. k. fields says:

    What we are witnessing is a great experiment in economics – government austerity vs. government spending. The EU countries have embraced austerity while the US has embraced spending, and contrary to what you may hear from pundits and some prominent Congressmen, the austerity experiment in Europe hasn’t worked. Confidence wasn’t restored. It has simply led to job cuts, massive slowing of the economies, and contrary to the very idea behind it, increased debt.

    Now that Reinhart-Rogoff has been shown to be fatally flawed, why are so many still preaching it?

    The US seems to be on a balance beam – the stock market is high because businesses are doing very well, showing record profits and holding onto a load of cash. At some point, the balance will tilt and expansion will begin if Congress doesn’t pull another bone-headed stunt like they did in 2011 that led to the Sequestration.

    • Kay, I look at it a different way. What we’re seeing is “stock price inflation” , not actual growth in value of shares. Plus the outlook for earnings is looking darker each quarter.

      My DW works for a multinational and from what she has seen, due to vast unionization of the European workforce and socialist policies, no one puts in the time or effort like we American’s do over there.

      • worrisome says:

        Ghost, I concur. The stock market $$ are there because the large cash is not reinvesting it in anything that applies to people/jobs here in America. It IS inflated! They can at least get a rate of return on their money. Investing in enlarging or improving a business here in the US under this administration is downright scary! There is too much uncertainty and no one in their right mind is going to make 20-30 year investments that will disappear the minute the economy goes south or DC decides to increase taxes. There is no certainty of investment capital and no way to pencil in anything in real math. As far as touting the “european solution ” as bad and ths present US solution as “good” is insane………Europeans have already made the mistakes are paying for them, we are following them into the grinder.

      • k. fields says:

        Ghost -
        You’ve brought up some good points – I think at some point no matter how good the balance sheet, a company’s stock will stop raising if the company isn’t expanding. Stocks are about potential as well.
        Maybe that’s the point when cash will flow back into assets and growth?

    • k fields,
      The EU only embraced austerity after they tried spending themselves into oblivion. They’re on the same track we are on, only they are farther down the track. I think our only hope (for which I have doubts on implementation), is to unleash the makers, cut back the regulations, drill baby drill, and let the best economic engine in the history of the world start operating at full throttle. I however, don’t have high hopes for this, since most of our congress critters have their heads up inside a dark place.

    • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

      Kay I believe you are incorrect.

      I think we are seeing the results of a 3 decade experiment to see if sovereign nations (and entire populations) can spend much more than they take in. The answer was no.

      Now we are conducting a second experiment on how to remediate the outcome of the first. Take your medicine now (which I agree with you looks like it may be creating a sort of negative feedback cycle that is very destructive) or kick the can down the road with more of the same. I know you say it is a balance beam, but is it actually leading to somewhere? Do you really believe that high levels of debt can eventually lead to a strong economy that can lift us back to a sustainable budget?

      I’d love to believe that. My kids can live in an America where they will be as prosperous as their grandparents (I’m already quite a bit behind my parents). Nobel prize winning economists swear its true. Its our national policy. I have every reason to want and hope it is true. Yet, I just don’t believe it.

      Which leads me to wonder if you believe that economic model, what makes you read survivalist boards? Environmental sustainability concerns? Peak oil? I guess there are lots of options, but I am sincerely curious to hear more about your thinking.

      • k. fields says:

        MPTP –
        I too believe we have been through a 3 decade experiment – “supply side” economics and “trickle down” theories have caused our debt to GDP ratio to consistently increase, year after year, since 1981. Prior to the early 80′s it had dropped consistently from approx.120% in 1948 to approx. 30%. I think the experiment failed.

        But no, I don’t believe there will be an ending where kids will be more prosperous than their grandparents. My generation was fortunate enough to have grown up in a very special period of our history when that was possible but history shows that not to be a normal state of affairs.

        I think the US will eventually come out of this economic crisis not as a world super power but as a secondary world power with a much smaller world presence, more on the level of other NATO countries. We will need to pull-in but I don’t believe there will be a complete economic collapse. I believe instead that a few US companies will tire of sitting on their cash and begin expanding and re-investing in their businesses – no, it won’t be a boom but it will produce growth and others will follow. Maybe all that is needed to get this started would be for everyone to refuse to purchase any item not made in the US and to contact manufacturers and tell them why you are not purchasing their goods.

        It’s funny to admit today, but the concern of a nuclear exchange was what got me started what’s now called prepping, back in the early 1970′s. My choice of “retreat” location, my push to be as self-sufficient as possible, etc. were all predicated by the fear that the US and USSR would come to open warfare due to the hostilities occurring in the Middle East (US backing one side and USSR the other). In 1972, I found my current home and have been living this lifestyle full time ever since.
        A lot of different apocalyptic scenarios have been forecast since I began this journey so I still read the literature to gain information, join discussions and perhaps offer some insight.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          There you go again. Seems to me that economic policy has been screwed up by Dems too, but if you choose to believe otherwise, that’s certainly your right. Whatever.

          • k. fields says:

            Jeff -
            There have been both Republicans and Democrats following the same policy since the early 80′s, just like there were both Parties following a different policy between ’48 and ’81.
            I wasn’t blaming one party over the other, I was saying that “supply side” economics and “trickle down” theories haven’t worked any better than the EU austerity programs.

        • MorePooperThanPrepper says:

          Thanks for your reply. Although I was just a young man I threw a party (actually a big beer bash with bands) after the wall came down. I did expect history to have changed more than it has since then.

          • k. fields says:

            MPTP -
            The wall coming down was an important moment in history and it has led to marked changes in the lives of a lot of folks. As an example, last month the final US battle tanks left Germany after continuous duty there since the Second World War and more US military bases were able to close. Things have improved but they, obviously, still have a long way to go.

            • JeffintheWest says:

              Plus the MBT’s will be needed here in the U.S. to suppress those evil veterans and preppers!

        • k. fields,
          Perhaps while we’re contacting those companies and letting them know we purchase only US goods, we should be holding our elected officials’ feet to the fire and having them lower the corporate income tax from the highest in the world, to something reasonable. We would then see billions, or perhaps trillions of dollars repatriated to this country to fuel economic growth. If I’m a company holding billions offshore and know I’ll be scalped at perhaps 35% to fuel a government that is unaccountable and wastes money, I’d be reticent to bring any of my hard earned cash back home also.

          • k. fields says:

            OP -
            Good idea!
            I just read earlier today that Apple floated a huge bond sale even though the company is sitting on $144 billion in cash. The problem is that more than $100 billion of that cash is held overseas and bringing that money back to the U.S. could trigger tax rates of 20% to 25%.
            There should be someway to give these companies tax breaks if the cash is immediately re-invested into US facilities.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      You mean the “bone-headed stunt” proposed by our Dear Leader? Let’s not get too carried away with all the propaganda here — there is plenty of blame for everyone, including anyone who ever voted thinking he’d get something “free” out of it.

      And let’s not buy too much into the “sequestration nightmare” propaganda either. We’re talking about a 2.5% cut in the GROWTH of the budget, not anything even remotely approaching actual austerity.

      So maybe, if your underlying premises are that much at fault, so is your overall comment.

      • worrisome says:

        +1

      • k. fields says:

        Jeff -
        The “bone-headed stunt” I was referring to was Congress refusing to increase the debt limit to pay for programs they had already voted into existence. No one gained anything from that stunt and it lost the US a lot of respect on the world stage (and led to the Supercommittee and the Sequestration).
        My “underlying premises” as you put it, is simply that the austerity experiment in Europe hasn’t worked and we would be foolish to follow their failed example.

        • JeffintheWest says:

          The real “bone-headed stunt” would therefore be voting for things we can’t afford, not the sequestration per se.

          Seems to me that living within your means works well for me, and should work well for the government. Maybe they ought to give a whirl one of these days.

          I also fail to see why taking my hard-earned money is somehow a God-given right of these people. Time to really look at why they think they’re better able to spend, or more entitled to, my money than I am.

          Somehow, creating more useless and impossible-to-repay debt simply doesn’t strike me as the path of wisdom. Regardless of what Bernanke and his ilk have to say on the matter. “When you’re in a hole you need to get out of, the first step is to stop digging.”

  15. JeffinTheWest,
    you do realize my friend that even if things crash on BHO’s watch, he will somehow blame it on the previous administration. His rationale this time will be something about how his attendance at the dedication of the new George Bush library prevented him from attending key meetings with the treasury folks or that because George said Jeb would make a good candidate, it turned public sentiment against him (BHO), therefore another “blame it on those other guys” side step.

    • JeffintheWest says:

      Yep, you’re right. But we can only hope that Americans are finally starting to wake up to “Mr. Do-Nothing’s” actual performance.

    • Very true. If it happens on Obama’s watch he will blame it on the greed and selfishness of businessmen. And many unthinking citizens will believe it. And when the independent businessman has been replaced by unselfish, caring bureaucrats, citizens will then discover it is they who are greedy and selfish for wanting to feed, clothe and shelter themselves but must instead be forced to sacrifice what little they have to others with even greater needs. Maybe then, though I doubt it, people will question the fraudulent nature of the concepts greed and selfishness and discover that their sacrifice was and is the only goal to be achieved. I think those who prepare have the original American sense of life. Prepping is a form of self defense and that is a very self interested act. The individual right to life is also a very self interested concept. Our founders wanted a society where every person could follow his own self interest as long as he refrained from violating the same right of others. We have to get the government out of the sacrifice business and back to protecting rights.

  16. Donna in MN says:

    I am pleased you laid it all out, my sediments exactly.

    I am too busy working my tail off holding 4 jobs now because they will end too soon, and I need a few expensive supplies yet. I don’t have time to post much, but for that matter I would rather prepare.

  17. Draq wraith says:

    Word to the wise on our stock market with in the last few years the Dow dropped and picked other stocks to replace the ones causing the drops.
    Now for a word on unemployment, they really need to break it down more.
    Underemployment long term unemployment, and those not able to get hired from the get go.
    it would paint a totally different picture. More bleak than you think.

  18. I have several gardening pages on my facebook, and I just seen something that says that those on food stamps can buy fruit/veggie seeds and plants (as long as it feeds their family). It really makes me wonder how many people even know about this or utilize it. I think for those people who actually need (not abuse) the system, if they knew about this it would help out a lot with saving some of the money they get for food stamps and maybe even help them get out of the system.

    http://www.fns.usda.gov/snap/retailers/eligible.htm

    • Lantana says:

      Oh wow, does that mean the recipients could buy seeds for sprouting too? That could be a wonderful source of nutrition for a family in need.

      • I am not sure of the details, but it says anything that will feed the family. So I dont see why sprouting seeds couldnt be used. I know I called up one of my friends who is on food stamps and asked if she knew about this, she had no clue. She is going to look into it further and see what she can find out.

        • Brenda says:

          I received food stamps back in the early 80′s and where I was living at I was able to have a garden. My neighbor told me that I could use food stmaps to buy seeds and veggie plants. We worked a garden together that year. I did not have any difficulty buying the seeds or veggie plants with the food stamps. I do not believe that many people know that they can buy seeds and there are many that do not have any idea of how to garden.

          On a side note I just learned that here where I live they are starting to cut the amount of food stamps and other benefits that people receive. I know of one lady who had been living in an apt rent free and they gave her $182/mo to pay her utilities with. They are now charging rent of $90/mo and cut her food stamps. Of course she was not happy about it but that would be a way to force people to start looking for work.

      • Mama J says:

        You can use them for sprouting seeds. Any seed for food. If you can find sprouting seeds at a store that will take the card.

        • Speaking of sprouting seeds, I have some chai seeds, but whatare some others you would recommend?

          • Robert of mid michigan says:

            radish is my favorite, beans of almost any type heard broccoli but havnt tried these. spinach and lettuce come to mind, amaranth is alright in my opinion but not the best

          • Mama J says:

            All that Robert mentioned plus alfalfa sprouts. My fav are sunflower sprouts. They even hold up to cooking. My daughter eats them like candy.
            Check out Mountain Valley Seeds in Utah. I order ALL my seed in all catagories by the pound from this outstanding company.
            http://www.mvseeds.com
            or
            http://www.mvseeds.com/store/categories/Sprouting-Seeds
            I am only a happy customer.

    • Mama J says:

      The Social Service offices have huge posters on the wall stating you can buy food plants and seeds.
      Many local farmers markets will allow SNAP (food stamp) cards to be swiped like a credit card and “Farmers Market Dollars” are given to purchase items.
      Otherwise, you must go to a store that will take the cards. For example Walmart and the grocery stores. I have not heard of a local nursery or online seed source that will do it.
      I set up a program with Social Services to teach people to grow and use there cards for plants and seeds. I gave them ground and irrigation water. The tools and help to grow, harvest and preserve. I also offered it to high school students who wanted to learn.
      In two years, guess how many takers?

      • Mama J, I would guess either 0 or maybe a handful of people. Sad. If in that situation I think I would do what I could to get a strong garden going to lessen my need for assistance. But I guess not too many people think like that.

        • Mama J says:

          Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free? Yep.
          I had one family do the program for 3 years before they bought their own house and land.

      • JeffintheWest says:

        “Work” is a four letter word to most — especially if it’s not required. Food stamps, and welfare in general, seem to only encourage that sort of thinking. The only thing that surprises me is that there weren’t at least one or two high school kids that wanted to learn.

        • Mama J says:

          I had a few who came to the farm for high school field trips that had a good time and wanted to return. They didn’t, though I see them often. I am sure they will grow when get their own homes.
          I have mostly had college interns who were broke and wanted a place to stay, eat and hang out for the summer. Earthy liberal kids.They have all been great. It is amazing what a year of ramen, jello shots and a starvation diet will do for someones work ethic.
          I had a few young cowboy types when I had alot of livestock but they were always hungover or needing to be bailed out of jail. Along with the truck, trailer and horse. Or calling me at 3 am to drive said cowboy, truck, trailer and horse home. Or called by the police to get them out of the trailer passed out with the horse. Or to come and get the truck and trailer because he tried to ride the horse drunk and got bucked off and then arrested for public drunk and kicking a highway sign down. The horse came home alone.
          I finally left the cowboy in jail and kept the horse for bail money reimbursement.

  19. Thomas T. Tinker says:

    I liked this conversation ‘ Packers ‘. The choir is thinking things through. I learned a few different ways of connecting the dots in this huge mess we live in….. thank ya’all. There is hope for the masses but not all…the masses. I ‘hope’ my preps give me and mine the edge needed to get to the other side of this mess and produce something of value when we get there.

  20. SurvivorDan says:

    Nice job with the article Mr. Snyder.
    Thank you for your research and writing.
    Thought provoking.