Friday, June 10, 2022

The Age Of Scarcity


We often fail to recognize it but we live in a time of unimaginable plenty. Almost no one is going hungry or lacks for any basic necessities in our society. Even the poorest among us have far too many calories rather than too few. For less than a days wages you can get a weeks worth of calories for a family if you aren't being dumb. Almost anything you want can be had for relatively cheap and nearly in every case you can probably get it delivered to your home, for "free", in a couple of days. Even living out in the country as we do stuff comes next day frequently or even occasionally same day from Amazon. It is common to see FedEx, UPS and Amazon zipping around our country roads going from house to house to deliver stuff. Generally we have more stuff than we know what to do with and still want even more. 

If we want to go somewhere we just hop in the car and go or if we are lazy and closer to town we get food delivered, even fast food, by one of the food delivery services. With the internet anyone can watch a nearly unlimited stream of entertainment every waking moment. It is an age of plenty like nothing in human history, for rich and poor alike. You cannot overstate what an anomaly this era is contrasted with virtually all of human history.

This age of excess is coming to a rapid halt. 

In the "developing world" which never seems to develop past the point of perpetual dependency, the cracks are already showing
It now costs Ayan Hassan Abdirahman twice as much as it did just a few months ago to buy the wheat flour she uses to make breakfast each day for her 11 children in Somalia's capital.

Nearly all the wheat sold in Somalia comes from Ukraine and Russia, which have halted exports through the Black Sea since Moscow waged war on its neighbor on Feb. 24. The timing could not be worse: The U.N. has warned that an estimated 13 million people were facing severe hunger in the Horn of Africa region as a result of a persistent drought.

Thanks to misplaced White altruism we have subsidized Somalia so that women can have 11 kids with absolutely no way to feed them outside of Western food shipments. It sounds quite likely that we will be seeing the pictures of starving African children just like we have been seeing for my entire life but I suspect this time there won't be any Western aid coming. 

As of 2018, there are reportedly over 1.3 billion people in Africa. Most lack the basic skills to provide for their own basic necessities and are completely reliant on White nations to feed them and provide basic medical care. Enormous amounts of money and effort are spent by Whites to prop up these nations and they respond by breeding out of control. Steve Sailer refers to this as The Most Important Graph in the World:
This chart assumes that growth is not interrupted by famine or plague, and that seems to be more likely than ever. 

It won't be just in the "developing" world. Things are getting bad here. Just this morning we saw what everyone already knew, inflation continues to rage out of control and there is no sign that it is going to get any better.


The chart later in the story paints a pretty picture (red arrow showing Biden taking office my add):


It is anecdotal to be sure but I am hearing a lot of people talking about cutting back, way back, on lots of stuff. Spending, travel, home improvements, etc. Just over a month ago I posted Get Two Of Each Animal and talked about getting a utility tractor. Since then (and thanks for all of the great feedback), we thought about it more and decided that maybe it wasn't the best idea. We can afford it fine right now but we are trying to tighten our belts now in anticipation of bad times ahead so we got my wife a new zero-turn mower for less than 1/3 of the utility tractors we were looking at. We can always hire an Amish kid with a skid loader for that kind of work. 

People might not have a choice but to cut back on spending. There is plenty of easy credit around but even that has limits and we might be getting close to those limits.


The total of "revolving credit" which is mostly credit cards and home equity loans is now back over $1.1 trillion. 

As I keep saying, our economy is driven by consumer debt fueled consumption. For that to keep working people need access to credit and at some point lenders are going to get scared. With the economy in shambles, gas prices skyrocketing and looming food inflation on top of existing red hot inflation, households are going to be facing some grim decisions. In general, people will prioritize their limited revenue in more or less this order:

- Their residence, either the mortgage or rent. You need somewhere to live.
- Food and utilities. Gotta feed yourself and the kids. Utilities includes your phone and internet.
- Car payments. How else can you get to work?
- Other necessary fixed bills like insurance. 
- Miscellaneous bills like credit card payments and medical bills are last on the list.

That is true for me, if things got really tight I would be sure we kept the house and the vehicles but if a bill had to be set aside? It would be a credit card payment. We pay our cards off, often on a daily basis, and haven't paid any interest on a card in years but if it was a choice between the mortgage and paying off the cards? I would let the cards slide. There is a reason that mortgage rates are much lower than credit cards rates, the risk is much higher that people will stop paying their cards instead of their house payment. 

What often ends up happening is people borrowing from Peter to pay Paul, taking cash advances from one card to pay the minimum on another card. That obviously is not a viable long term strategy as eventually the minimum payments on cards get so large you cannot make them each month and then you end up defaulting or declaring bankruptcy. 


When consumers max out their cards and lenders stop giving them new credit, spending starts to really slow down and that my friends spells trouble with a capital "T". If we had a real economy driven by people adding value to raw materials, making stuff, that would be tough but in a fake and gay economy running off of buying consumer goods made overseas with easy credit? No credit means no economy.

People not being able to consume product and then get excited for next product is bad but if they can't eat? That is when wizened old bats like the ones in certain elected offices start to adorn the end of spikes with their heads.  Welcome to the Summer Of Starvation:


I don't think we will see that here quite yet, at least not this year but going into 2023? Yikes. Does anyone really think things will improve over the next 12 months? What if something really shitty happens like a global drought or an *actual* pandemic? As I assume that is part of their plans, it seems almost inevitable something ugly will take place to accelerate the collapse.

What are you doing now in the times of plenty to prepare for the times of scarcity. I would like to commend Eaton Rapids Joe's post here: Leading the duck. From his post...

Growing food is the same way. You have to prepare the fields in the early spring if you expect to harvest a meaningful crop in the late summer or in the autumn.

Many people fail because they are reactive. They remain stuck in denial until their stomach is empty...and then it is too late.

There is very little you can do at the last second to make yourself better prepared for a serious crisis. If you recall in 2020, we went from lots of toilet paper to no toilet paper in a hurry (see also hand sanitizer, etc). You might not know this but you couldn't get flats of vegetable plants either, greenhouses sold out in a hurry once things got sketchy. Even seed companies in winter of 2020-2021 were out of most seeds way before the planting season. To paraphrase ERJ, if you wait until you are hungry, you waited too long. 

For example, if you like beef as I do. Assuming you have the property to raise cattle, it isn't a quick process. Last summer we purchased a young heifer who was born in 2021. We are in 2022 and we are going to have her bred this month. If all goes well, and it often doesn't, she will have a calf next year (gestation is around 283 days, around the same as a human woman) in spring of 2023. Then if she has a calf and it survives it will be many months more until the calf is ready to eat, so likely early in 2024. From spring of 2021 to spring of 2024 to get some burgers. 

Smaller livestock have shorter turnaround times. You can get a meat chicken to roasting size in just a few months, provided you feed it a commercial feed. Those enormous meat birds that produce the obscenely large breast and thighs you have come to expect in the store don't do well just picking bugs and once they are eaten, they are gone. Long term planning means having laying hens who will sit on eggs (broody) or having an incubator to get more chicks. I prefer the old school dual purpose birds, you don't get as many eggs as a Leghorn or as much meat as a CornishxRock cross but you get some of each with a bird that can forage well and survive inclement weather. With a little preplanning you can get an annuity stream of eggs and chicken meat but you have to prepare ahead of time. Chickens need shelter from the worst weather extremes and from predators. It is common to lose an entire flock to a racoon or some other small predator. 

Rabbits are another good choice for limited space. Rumor has it those things breed like rabbits. If you choose wisely with your breeds they can do well on very little to no commercial feed.

Of course there is a big issue: it is one thing to have a meat chicken or a plump rabbit but there is a step between them being ready to eat and you cooking them. That step is killing them and cleaning them. Most people aren't quite ready to stick a knife in a cute bunny. My wife is an accomplished bunny killer and cleaner and can do the same with chickens not to mention anything up to and including a steer. Bunnies are easy to handle butchering wise because they are small but bigger animals like hogs and cattle have to be hoisted up to hang so they bleed out and so you can skin them. If you don't know what you are doing, you can make an enormous mess of things and waste a bunch of meat. Not to mention that if things are really bad something as simple as a bad cut from screwing up the processing or eating meat that has gone bad can be a serious issue or even fatal. 

The time to figure out how to raise some meat and then how to process it safely is now, not when it is panic time.

What about a garden? A lot of the same problems. You have to have the space. You need to have it planted well before things go bad. You need time for the veggies to grow. You can't grow veggies overnight and if you wait until it gets sketchy, panic buyers will clean everything out.

In generations past, even as recently as the middle of the last century, people tended to be thinking ahead for lean times. Women knew how to can foods, how to sew to repair clothing, raise a garden. People stored firewood for the winter during the warmer months, or put up hay to feed their animals for the winter. Something that set White people who lived in northern climates apart from people in subtropical and tropical areas was the need for a low time preference. Our ancestors put away seed crops for the following spring because if you didn't, you had nothing to plant and then nothing to harvest and then you starved to death. In warm climates with a nearly year round growing season you could get away with being a little lackadaisical but not in North America.

Today most people in America, I would say virtually no one apart from weird survivalists and Amish, have any sense of a low time preference. We are geared toward an age of plenty and instant gratification, and are ill prepared for an age of scarcity. Even if we don't have a complete societal collapse, it seems we are moving into an era of hunger and want. People are being squeezed badly by rising prices across the board, from gas to food to utilities. Most people are not going to respond well to having to make do with much less, likely not well in the sense of being violent. 

What you can do right now is figure this stuff out ahead of time, while times are still relatively good. How are you going to eat if the stores are empty and it isn't safe to go into town? What if the power is off for an extended period of time? How will you drink, or cook food or bathe? If you don't have this figured out now, I'll guarantee you won't figure it out when it becomes critical. 

The age of plenty being over is going to suck in some ways but if you prepare ahead of time it doesn't have to be fatal. Life worked pretty well before you could buy any produce you could imagine in the middle of January in Minnesota or get a box of kleenex delivered next day from Amazon. Heck, you might even find it more enjoyable and satisfying, but not if you aren't getting ready now.

16 comments:

  1. I'm on a fixed income with my 78yr old mother and we have had to cut back on a number of services.

    House insurance, gone.
    Sam's membership, gone.
    Trash service, gone. ( It was just raised to $100 per 3 months, or $400 yr. And raising every quarter.)
    Eating out, gone. (Only a rare treat but now raising prices and adding $25 just to get there & back)

    Pending- Internet, land line phone, auto service, Amazon Prime. Parking the F150 and not using it and that means going no where during Jan to March and I need my prescriptions. Trying to see if I can get them shipped to me.

    Not worried though, being a Survivalist has helped me be prepared for this. Still, I have quite a few things still to do this summer and a few that I can't do myself, both for health reasons and not being able to get anyone to do the work.

    Worst thing was that I had decided to move, just before Covid hit, and had started to get rid of a lot of stuff, food and ammo specifically and the ammo part has really bit me hard.

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    1. Good call on canceling trash service. I never understood why anyone pays for it. I throw my trash in the commercial dumpers between the animal hospital and Asian restaurant down the street.

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  2. We can't do what you do, Arthur. On a scant third of an acre in an upscale suburban neighborhood, we have to beg permission from the lordly HOA just to set up a rain barrel (I fill TWO 'undocumented' barrels. I'm such a rebel...) Chickens? Rabbits? Heifers? Fuhgeddaboudit.

    As I've said often before, here and elsewhere, we are prepped just for the short term. A month, two months, of no power and no water. Dry goods for up to half a year for me and my immediate fam. Beyond that, we go predator.

    The vast majority of people, including those members of my immediate circle, have nothing, but nothing, in reserve. Neither one of my DIL's even cook, let alone garden, can and innovate. My grown children are stubbornly clueless millennials who still think that Daddy knows everything and will make it all better should SHTF. Eldest son called me a 'doomsday prepper' only yesterday, and I wanted, badly, to slap him upside his smug, stupid head.

    I am dependent for my very life on serious heart meds, having abused this poor old carcass through the years while somehow living past my expiration date. When they vanish, so do I. I've coached my wife as best I can, but she, like me, came of age in the opulent 70s and 80s. Morning in America, where the stores are all open 24/7, and with a word she can get what she came for.

    I am so, so tired of thinking, and planning, for everyone else. Whispering "I told you so" from beyond the grave is not what I want for my legacy.

    TBC

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    1. As someone who lives in the country, but once did time in the upscale suburbs, there's a lot you can do on a 1/3 of an acre. I grew a lot of edibles, mixed in with ornamentals, that no one noticed. Rabbits are quiet, cheap to feed, and provide lots of good fertilizer for a garden. Maybe there's some where you could raise them discreetly? Your comment about going predator.....reminds me I need to get more ammo.....

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    2. Not meaning to make excuses, but our patch is really not suited to agriculture. The property is hilly, with minimal topsoil and abundant limestone. A couple of ancient oaks dominate and shade the grounds. Between the sprawling, single-story house and detached two-car garage with Man Cave added to the back, at least 4500 square feet of the property is taken up with dwelling. The driveway is 100 feet long and there is a cement patio behind the house with sidewalk to the garage. A free-standing deck takes up a lot of the back yard as well. So not a lot of sunny, open ground on that 1/3 acre.

      The weather here in South Central Texas is hot as blazes, currently, and it has not rained for three weeks. We grow tomatoes and a token few other edibles in containers, but we've got 8 individuals in our immediate family to look after, with none but me and my wife planning and prepping. Kind of a rock and a hard place situation.

      What we DO have is multiple places to stash preps. Attics in all three structures, huge closets all over, ample space under the deck (where the coral snakes lay in wait for the unwary). I continue to add to our long-term storage of food and water, but renewables such as significant garden produce and livestock are just not practical. A neighbor started to keep chickens once, but was ratted out so fast by some local Karen that I wouldn't bother trying it, myself.

      One final thought is that I honestly don't WANT to survive a prolonged period of famine and anarchy. The idea of living hunkered down like a cornered beast, spending our last years desperately trying to scrape along is anathema to me. No post-apocalyptic Mad Max for me, thanks. Hence that couple-of-months focus. Those of you in the country with the space and the know-how will fare much better than we suburbanites in a prolonged crisis. Lord knows what the millions of apartment-dwellers trapped in the cities will do.

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  3. The one thing I worry about the problem with Africa not getting their wheat and other grains from Ukraine or Russia, is that our moronic government will ship them ours, which will make any shortages we have even worse. After all, we are seeing them do it now with our oil and gas going to Europe.

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    1. America has Become Suicidal.
      And it’s not just a Threat for Attention.

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    2. I would take your worse case over shipping them to America (or Europe) which seems more likely.

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  4. Move out of the metro areas ASAP! Getting stuck in those unsustainable shitholes is a guaranteed death sentence!
    Store water and food - lots of it, until you learn how to grow it. Start now, the learning curve is a bitch, as it will be for all survival disciplines.
    To hell with rearranging the deck chairs on the U.S.S. Demopublican, it's going to founder.
    Nature will then inflict the 'old normal' and it's called 'die-off' and it's coming to a city (regardless of how many illegal parasites are put there) near you!!

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  5. The Amish appear to be the smartest group in the USA right now, not sure how good they can shoot though.

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    1. I hear they hunt deer in large organized drives and don't pay much attention to licenses, seasons, bag limits, or property lines. They will probably make it just fine as a group. If any live near by it would be a good idea to get friendly.

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  6. Wanted to be more prepared for years, but didn't really have the extra $$ or give it the extra thought and effort until the covid hoax hit and everyone else panicked. Never ran out of anything we needed even then, but subsequently became much more methodical and stocked in every category. Spent tons of hubby's money, but he became fully onboard after the Feb 2021 Texas freeze. Still believe long-term survival here in the 'burbs is essentially impossible, preps regardless - whole house set up is neither defensible nor functional without reliable electricity and water. Still working towards building on and moving to our land (in north central Arkansas). Everything takes too much time and costs too much money. Find myself considering buying a box or two of Simpson strong ties for the dreamed of porches on the planned house, because I don't know what will be available or at what price when we get to that point. Envy your wife's butchering skills - I have no moral qualms and am a pretty good cook but have always been rather squeamish. I'll get over it when I have to.

    Crazy times, but perhaps 10% at best of heritage Americans are aware of the scale of the unfolding disaster (fate of magic paper/magic dirt folks is not my concern).

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  7. The Black DouglasJune 11, 2022 at 1:26 PM

    I had a scout background (prior to letting girls and gays in) and a prepper mindset for years but never was able to fully act being stuck working in major cities like Miami and Seattle, but I prepped by saving all I could. Got lucky and bought a farm the week covid hit. Bad luck was it was outside of Portland metro so not ideal. Wish I had moved back to the upper Midwest but have to work with what I have built to date for now.

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  8. I envy guys who learned how to hunt, clean and butcher animals at their father's knee. The only animal I have ever killed and cleaned for cooking was a rabbit I shot the winter I was 20. Mom had an old cookbook which showed how to clean a rabbit. We spread newspapers over the dinner table and followed instructions. My younger siblings lined up along the dining room wall and enjoyed the show. We stewed it the next day. It tasted what they call "gamey", but that was no problem.

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  9. Agree with your comments RE: raising protein. Butcher, for those of us that hunt, is not all that difficult. The basics of butchering are transferable across most animals. Little loss of meat, just meat "cuts". Most "remaining" meat is easily trimmed off to be made into ground or used in saute dishes. Butchering is a trial and error process though, practice is important.

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