Alternative Payment Methods for SHTF or to Avoid Inflation

As the dollar becomes worth less and less thanks to inflation, there are a few alternative payment methods preppers should consider.

I’ve talked about having a few rolls of junk silver on hand in case the SHTF. Junk silver may be useful to buy items after a collapse that destroys the dollar or a catastrophe that destroys our utilities, including the Internet and the power generation and distribution system. Let’s face it, without power and routers, every dime or dollar not in your physical presence might as well not exist because it will be inaccessible. Even valuable in your safe deposit box may be locked away forever if the banks don’t open. If you can’t use your cell phone, a credit or debit card, or your ATM, having $1 million in the bank buys you nothing, but a roll of pre-1965 quarters might.

I’ve also written about barter and the likelihood that survivors will trade with each other after a collapse or other disaster.

Today, I want to cover another alternative to the U.S. Dollar that might be useful in a different type of collapse. I’m talking about having a cryptocurrency wallet on your phone with some crypto on it.

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Quick Updates and Some Thoughts on Burning Issues

Am I the only one who feel like multiple issues are coming to a head? They say Joe Biden has had a bad week, but he could be leading the country into an even worse time.

Ukraine Invasion Imminent?

It seems like headline writers around the U.S. are betting that Russia will invade Ukraine, possibly using a false-flag operation to give Putin an excuse to do so. While this is primarily a European problem, as I said before, and not a U.S. problem, by getting involved in last-minute negotiations this week, the U.S. will look weak when Russia invades and we failed to stop it. We’ll look even weaker with we respond with some financial sanctions.

Putin is proving that Biden’s international standing is on as shaky ground as his cognition. If Russia invades Ukraine, my guess is Biden will give a speech in which he whispers, repeats a few key phrases, and then raises his voice and yells, yet makes little or no sense. I fact, he’ll probably say some stuff that will leave everyone scratching their head until his spin doctors come out and tell us what he really meant.

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Inflation Sucks… the Money from Your Wallet

Government reports show inflation was up 7 percent in 2021, the most since 1982. What they don’t tell you is tThe true rate is probably twice that.

Inflation hit a new high today, but I expect I didn’t have to tell you that. If you’ve gone grocery shopping, filled your gas tank, gotten new lease terms for your apartment, or tried to buy a car, then you already know it.

In fact, I think everyone but the government already knew it. Just like we all know the true inflation rate is higher than the reported 7 percent. Only the government can average together a 37 percent increase in used cars prices, a 14 percent increase in the cost of furniture, a 50 percent increase in oil prices, and a 6.5 percent increase in food and come up with a 7 percent rate of inflation.

Inflation is going to get worse. Even if next month’s results show it is growing at a slower rate, it’s still growing. I think Omicron may give us a brief economic pause as people stay in and spend less, either because they are sick or because they don’t want to get sick, but then it will speed up because of the supply chain disruption. Many companies, including manufacturer and meat-packers, are seeing production drop due to absenteeism attributed to Omicron. This is hurting production line speeds and slowing output, which will result in future supply chain problems.

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Will Inflation Result in Riots in the U.S.?

The rising costs of food and fuel seem to ignite protests and riots that can topple a government. What are the chances that will happen here?

Kazakhstan declared a state of emergency earlier this week and made mass arrests after several days of riots as what CNN no doubt would call “mostly peaceful” protesters burned police cars, government offices, and battled riot police. What caused these protests? A big jump in fuel prices on top of already rising food prices.

The government had more than doubled the price of fuel on January 1, causing taxi fares to triple and other transportation-related costs to soar. This was apparently the last straw for Kazakhs, fed up with the rising cost of food over the past two years. Minimum wage in this former Soviet republic is about $65.

On Wednesday, protesters seized control of the airport at Kazakhstan’s largest city, leading to the cancellation of all flights. Protesters also burned government buildings.

The riots appear to have been effective as their president has since returned fuel prices to their previous levels. Then the country’s cabinet resigned. But that hasn’t stopped the protests.

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Ringing in 2022 with Some Depressing Predictions

Happy New Year, but don’t get your hopes up. Our 2022 predictions for 2022 say it will be expensive, dangerous, and depressing.

In a recent survey, seven out of ten registered voters said 2021 was a bad year for the country, and 55 percent said it was a bad year for them personally. Brace yourself because I have bad news: 2022 will not be any better. In fact, I think it may be worse. Let’s look at why I feel that way.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

That phrase helped Bill Clinton win in 1992, but it’s going to help Democrats lose in 2022 because the economy will still be drowning in inflation by the time the mid-term elections take place. I do expect the supply chain problems to continue. That means inflation looks like it will continue to rise for most of the year. Food prices will be much higher. The average gas price will go back up above $4.

Mixed with less spending due to higher prices, this will eventually become stagflation, meaning people will spend less even as prices rise, slowing the economy.

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Potential Underground Jobs and Opportunities after the SHTF

What will you do when the financial system collapses, the banks close, the stock market shuts down, and businesses close?

Let’s assume that there has been a financial collapse. Maybe inflation set in, followed by hyperinflation. Maybe we went to war with China over Taiwan and while we did not exactly lose, neither did we completely win. Regardless, the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency and its value is dropping fast, dragging the country along with it.

You, and most of the people you know, are unemployed, but you get $10,000 a month from the government. That sounds like a nice sum, but a gallon of milk is $500 and a loaf of bread costs $350. Most of the fast-food restaurants have closed because a double cheeseburger costs $7,000 and doesn’t even include real meat anymore. The cows are likely out there somewhere, but there are no meat packers working and truck drivers are hard to come by. Most of the retailers have closed because the dollar won’t buy anything on the international market, so Asian manufacturers have stopped selling us goods. There are some U.S.-made goods, but no one can afford them.

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Silver Dealer Tries to Charge me an Enormous Premium

I run into a rude coin dealer who apparently doesn’t need my cash. Be an educated consumer and knowing when to walk away from a bad deal.

On the same day that I went to Sam’s Club, I stopped in a coin store to buy some junk silver. I had come prepared with eight $100 bills in my pocket. My plan was to buy $40 of pre-1965 silver coins.

Once again, I knew the melt value, which was about $4.10 per quarter, or 16.4 times face value.

So I drive through the seedy downtown of a relatively unfamiliar city, following my GPS to the coin store. I’m wearing my Glock, because $800. I get a parking space almost right in front of the store.

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The Dangers of Running out of Stuff

Will the world as we know it come crashing down because of supply chain shortages? It’s certainly possible as shortages may persist for years.

Decades ago, I thought the world would end in nuclear fire. Years ago, I worried about an EMP. More recently, I worried that our collapsing economy, encroaching socialism, and the possibility of Civil War II. I also worry about a war involving the U.S. and China.

Today, I added a fresh worry: that life as we know it may collapse because we run out of stuff.

What kind of stuff? You know, the stuff we eat, the stuff we pump into our cars, the electricity that powers our homes, and the medications that sustain many people. That kind of stuff, followed by everything we buy: appliances, lumber, electronics, cars, drugs, beverages, apparel, toys, etc. This will be driven in part by shortages of raw materials, like steel, aluminum, copper, rare earth minerals, oil, and fertilizer. The shortages will be exacerbated by shortages of truck drivers, port workers, warehouse personnel, and even retailer employees. Trade wars, cold wars, and hot wars could make shortages even worse.

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Inflation on my Recent Sam’s Club Visit Hits 15 Percent

Inflation has hit food prices at Sam’s Club, driving up items we buy between 6 and 35 percent for an average price increase of 15 percent.

I was in the city yesterday, so I stopped by Sam’s Club and bought the items you see above–six cans of Hormel chili without beans, eight cans of spam, 12 cans of chicken, and four cans of salmon–plus 25 pounds of flour, for $75.98. That’s the most I have spent on my prepper pantry in some time. That’s 30 canned goods for an average cost of $2.23. Take out the salmon, and the cost drops to $2.08 per can. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Until you see the impact inflation has had on those prices, which I will detail below.

Each can of food is between 12 and 15 ounces, so it provides three to four ounces of meat or fish, the central component of a meal, for four people. Note that the meal will also include bread made with our flour or stored wheat, rice, pasta, potatoes, or another item from our long-term storage food. Perhaps some fresh or vegetables or fruit will be available.

Our 30 cans then equal 120 meals, which is a huge amount of food if there are only two of us. The number of meals dwindles as our numbers grow. If we have twelve people living here in a disaster situation, that’s just ten meals. If we spread them out and eat canned meat or fish every third day, all that food will be gone in a month.

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How we will Fight High Food Inflation Next Year

Do you have a plan if food inflation reaches 30 percent next year? Here’s what we are doing to cut our food costs.

I’ve heard a rumor that early predictions floating around government offices predict food inflation may exceed 30 percent next year. Among other pressures, fertilizer prices are already double last year’s, which will drive up prices at the farm.

What does this mean in terms of dollars and cents? If your average grocery shopping trip costs $150, it will cost $200 in a year. If you spend $600 a month on groceries, expect that to jump up to $800 or more.

Of course, no one can predict the future. We don’t know what Omicron will do, whether it will drive costs up or down. It’s also possible that an increase in food prices may be partially offset in your wallet by dropping fuel prices. Some are predicting a recession, which could have a deflationary impact on some goods and services. On the other hand, rising food prices seem to be a global phenomenon, and we are not insulated from global markets.

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