A Not-Car Column….

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Last weekend, we bought some land.

This flies against policy (our policy) of never buying anything except that which can be paid for at the time of purchase – and even though I know full-well that we won’t really own the land, just as we don’t really own the land we have (or the house that sits upon it) because owners don’t pay rent in perpetuity to the government, which we, like all “owners” must (in the form of annual property taxes) if we wish to continue to be allowed to remain on the land (and in “our”) house.


We did this deed as a way to hedge against what I am increasingly convinced is coming – the destruction of the dollar, followed about five minutes after this becomes common knowledge by the final implosion of what’s left of the American economy.

Land – physical land – is a good way (perhaps the only way, in a major economic crisis) to keep at least some of your wealth intact and more importantly – if you act in time – a way to transfer the value of fiat dollar-denominated assets into something tangible, of real value. Gold, of course, is another way to do this but it has a major disadvantage: It is only valuable as a sort-of proxy for wealth; that is, it has value only as long as someone else who has something you want is willing to trade you what he has for the gold you have – which means that he (the owner of the item you want) must believe he will be able to then swap the gold he gets from you to some other person who has something he wants, something that’s not gold. Put another way, gold is fungible only if there’s a still-operating economy. If the worst happens and the system really does experience a catastrophic collapse, the value of gold may collapse along with it – at least, for awhile. Until civilization re-assembles itself. But in the meanwhile, what will you do with your gold? It is pretty to look at but you can’t eat it and outside of a few specialized industrial applications that won’t matter during a period of crisis, it is useless.

Land, on the other hand, not only has tangible value (like gold) and is fungible (also like gold) because you can always convert it into gold  or trade/sell it for something else you value – but perhaps much more importantly, in a time of real crisis, land can give you life.


You can grow food on land – which could mean the difference between life and death, when the system runs off the rails and Costco and Safeway are looted to the linoleum. Which – count on it – is sure to happen the moment the masses get a whiff of the dollar’s imminent collapse. And you can hunt on land, too – assuming enough acreage.

But the number one advantage to land, as I see it, is physical distance between yourself – you and your family – and the latter-day Golden Horde that is already in the process of forming itself up. (Witness the so-called “flash mobs” of “youths” in Wisconsin, Philadelphia and other places.) Just as it is harder for a thug to assault you from 20 yards away than when he’s right up in your face, you stand a  better chance of making it through what may be coming if you and yours are not in the immediate vicinity (or path) of the rampaging mobs. They may not even notice you – and more significantly, you will enjoy a greater likelihood of noticing them before they notice you. In old-school cowboy lingo, this means getting the drop on them. And that can be the difference between life and death as much as having some food and other supplies stored up to get you through a few months of hard times.

In the most extreme eventuality – minions of the Clover State coming to round you and yours up for “relocation” to a FEMA camp or god-knows-what-else in the immediate aftermath of a SHTF-type scenario – you have the option of just… disappearing. Of going off the grid, into the heart of darkness. It will not be easy. It will certainly not be pleasant. But it is much more pleasant than the alternative.

I am in my 40s now and like most people in that age bracket, I like my comforts. I enjoy having my motorcycle and car projects; even doing the chores around the place that need to be done. But if the S does H the Fan, I will do everything in my power to make it through to the other side of whatever’s coming, which will hopefully be something better than what we have now. But above all else, I will not Submit and Obey. If they come for me and mine, if they are not willing to leave us be in return for us extending the same common decency toward them – well, then we have options.

Because we have some land.

If you are reading this, there is still time for you to do the same. I hope you will consider it – and I hope you can make it happen.

Meanwhile, let’s hope for the best and that all we’ll be doing next summer is cutting the grass…. .

Throw it in the Woods?









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  1. I always figured that if the overhead was low, one needed less income for a given standard of living. Property and sales taxes are part of the equation, along with lifestyle. If one can earn a decent amount of disposable income and do it in a location away from the potentially messy areas, I figure that one is ahead of the game.

    Gross salary, IMO, is less important than what one has left in hand at the end of the year. What’s left is what allows investment in whatever seems high on one’s list of priorities.

    Add in do-it-yourself abilities and life becomes very easy.

  2. …..because owners don’t pay rent in perpetuity to the government, which we, like all “owners” must (in the form of annual property taxes) if we wish to continue to be allowed to remain on the land (and in “our”) house.

    I’m sure property tax seemed like a good idea at the time it was first introduced. (Which was a long time ago.)
    Once property was used mostly to generate income so there was some equity involved in the arrangement.
    However now it’s used so aggressivley that people are literally taxed right out of their paid-in-full homes.

    Heaven help the savvy buyer who 35 years ago purchased a modest home with coastal frontage who now gets hit with an annual tax bill of literally 65% of the original purchase price.

    • Indeed.

      We have a similar situation here in rural SW Virginia. Some of the old timers (including farmers who have been here for generations) as well as people who own paid-for (usually modest) homes but on a good bit of acreage – have seen their annual tax bills increased by 20-40 percent over the past 10 years, solely because an element in the county government (largely Yankee newcomers from places like Nooooo Joisey) is determined to turn this area into a sort of hillbilly Aspen. They want “economic development” (read: corporate boondoggles) and for “our” schools (read: the schools their kids attend) to have all the best and latest (as they define it).

      I have to come to believe that the restoration of freedom in this country must begin with the restoration of true property rights. Once you’ve paid for your home/land, it ought to be yours. Really and truly yours – free of any financial burden (other than what you assume for its improvement and maintenance, etc.). Taxes on real estate/home ownership are tyrannical.

  3. Many of these people thinking they’re going to bug-out of the city when TSHTF are going to die on the highway defending the food supply crammed in the back of their Explorer which is not moving because everyone else in the city got the same idea at the same time and jammed up the roads. Road rage is bad enough during your average rush-hour; wait until the 18-hour-deep veneer of civilization is gone.

    And chances are if you do make it out someone’s already squatting on your place, totally unconcerned about the deed you hold, helping himself to your stash of Twinkies while he unpacks your 12 gauge and sends all your stockpiled 00 buck in your direction. In such a situation possession will be 10/10 of the law.

    You need to get the hell out like yesterday. Otherwise you need to understand that you’re likely better off finding 5-10 people you can trust with your life and staying put. When the people who perpetrated such things as the Chicago and Philadelphia flash mobs and the Wisconsin State Fair afterparty are hungry you aren’t going to want to be on the road with them.

    And that’s without even thinking about Uncle Sam’s minions. My dad thinks he’s going to bug-out on 70 miles of highways that are congested on a normal day and pass straight through Joint Base Lewis-McChord. He’ll never make it.

    Point is: you need to bug-out BEFORE the S hits the proverbial F. Once the food stamp office permanently closes and the 3 days of food in every grocery store is exhausted you’ll be as good as dead on the road, especially if you have to leave or pass through any urban areas.

    • Agree.

      We did so in 2004.

      It’s not perfect – we’re still not far enough “out” for my liking – but it’s a helluva lot better than living in suburbia, inside the blast radius of DC!

      We’ve got about 15 acres – surrounded by literally several hundred acres of farmland and woods. Very diffuse population and the people around us are (mostly) like us. If the Golden Horde comes this way – which I doubt, because it’s too far away from anything – they’ll encounter what to them will seem to be Deliverance on steroids. Lots of well-armed, angry rednecks!

  4. So Eric, if I read your comments above correctly, you didn’t just buy a “piece of (raw) land.” You bought a farm house with abundant water. Is that correct? There’s a Big Difference.

    When TSHTF, raw land won’t provide a whole lot of immediate benefits, beyond maybe a remote place to pitch a tent.

    • Actually, we just expanded our acreage. We have been good friends with the farmers who live behind us and own the adjacent parcel. They are getting older and have decided to sell/move into town. So they offered a chance to buy some additional acreage – which we did. We now have double the land – and a stream (secondary water source) as well as several acres of forest (timber/firewood). We already live here – have the house (with well and chickens, too!) so this is just an expansion of what we had, as well a way to “store” some of our money.

  5. Probabilities about fiat currency vs. gold/silver? Scroll down to “The PhD Standard”: http://www.safehaven.com/article/22241/the-phd-standard

    No way in the 1980s could I have predicted with exactitude what we’d be coming to, but it obviously was going to be bad. The monetary and fiscal policies now known as “kicking the can down the road” made it inevitable. But, in Doug Casey’s words, just because something is inevitable doesn’t mean that it is imminent. I’ll add, Until now.

    I’ve questioned the possible and probable social consequences of federal support payments from a bankrupt government being inadequate to actually provide much support due to a degraded currency.

    One aspect of old age: Back thirty-some years ago when the word was “Survivalism” instead of “Prepping”, a guy named Mel Tappan wrote extensively on the subject. Much of what he advised has become a mantra for many, today–and it’s far more mainstream now than then.

    • Desertrat, great link. I think the most important thing “The PhD Standard” points out is that the common folk are aware of the cause of the problem and the experts apparently are not. We all know that borrowing beyond our means, counterfeiting (money printing) and taking other people’s money by threat of force and spending it (conversion) are criminal acts at the individual level. It may take longer for the day of reckoning to come at the national and international levels, but these “policies” are doomed because they’re criminal behavior. I said “apparently” the PhD’s don’t know, because the alternative is that the banksters are very much aware of what they are doing.

      It appears to me that we are seeing a long term plan (first attempted in the early 1800’s, exposed and dismantled by Andrew Jackson and implemented in 1913 with the Fed) that has literally turned the banksters’ worthless paper into real wealth for them: namely our gold, our labor, our land and our natural resources. TARP and quantitative easing were merely two more jolts to the heart of a clinically dead system to keep it gasping long enough so the elite could grab even more of our property before this reaches its logical conclusion: systemic collapse.

      I read last year that one of the investment advisors to the “upper crust” in the big banks was advising his clients to purchase remote farms with acreage and water, stock them with food, wine (yes, wine!), generators, guns, ammo, etc. (sounds pretty “Survivalist” to me). He basically told them that when the angry peasants showed up at their gates and encountered gun fire they would most likely go somewhere else. So I would say that at least some of these bastards know exactly what they’ve done and are getting a bit nervous about the potential consequences!

      I think “prepping” for “normal” society has not only become more mainstream due to the current political and economic climate, but also because of the of all the benefits and peace of mind that go along with the lifestyle. If someone stocks up on things they’re going to use anyway before price inflation hits and has a good supply if the SHTF, I’d call that prudent. If that person acquires skills and knowledge that will allow them to provide goods and services that their neighbors want and are willing to pay for, that’s foresight. If they arrange their life (and investments) to be as secure and self sufficient as possible, then that demonstrates wisdom. I’d say we need more Preppers in this country and our “leaders” need to emulate them.

      • This is our approach, more or less.

        We’ve always liked the country, so moving away from the city was something we’d have done regardless. The fact that it is also prudent – SHTF or not – is just an added bonus.
        I like guns anyhow (just as I like all precision machinery) so having a few around is something I would do regardless. Ammo? I’d target shoot in any case, so having some in stock just means I don’t need to run to the store. The food we have is food we use normally; just rotate it around. (I choose to do this rather than buy $2k in freeze dried food that we may never use.) Etc.

        • I’ve pretty much always lived in the country, so the couple of times I’ve had to live in town have been traumatic for me. But it was good experience, because I understand the townsfolk so much better and appreciate the country so much more. Now Eric, you need to look into food dehydration (which is what my wife has become addicted to). She interjects “It’s fun!” 🙂

          • Interesting, my late mother used to say the same thing. When she passed last year we inherited her stockpile. I have a couple grand worth. I think mom knew something was coming..

          • You’re mother probably had what we all loosely refer to as “woman’s intuition”. I actually believe women tend to listen to that small still voice almost all of us have that comes from our creator, more than most men do. The fact is, this world operates in cyclics and we are headed into winter. Preparation is essential as practically all of us non-clovers have become all too aware. You don’t want to be standing in the yard in December gazing up into the gray sky going “gee, I probably oughta’ be cutting some firewood, huh?” (I actually had an acquaitance who did this). But even if it’s a mild winter, you still have a nice stock of food that will hold its nutritional and monetary value for years with no refrigeration. Nice!! You had a great mother.

            • One of the things I liked about our house before we bought it was the large wood stove, which easily heats the entire place. Most of our land is wooded, too – so we have firewood covered for life. I have four cords or so cut/stacked/dried and ready. I am hoping we’ll be able to dig out a small pond “down in the holler” which will be nice for aesthetics but also a great all-season ‘fridge/food storage system, too (fish).

          • Covered! We got a dehydrator last year and I’ve been making jerky with it ever since. These are great units to have, even if the S does not H the F. Gander Mountain sells several different models.

  6. Has anyone had experience buying a bug-out place south of the border–not just south, but just outside?

    It would be great to hear some experiences and share tips.

    Perhaps a new topic in the forums? Let me go check…

    • IIRC from a House Hunter International episode, in Argentina, it is difficult to take a mortgage to buy a house. It generally has to be cash on the barrel.

  7. 1. For the smart city/suburb dwellers that don’t have a second home in the countryside perhaps making plans with someone who does would be the best option. I am about 60 miles west of DC on top of mountain and near a big river.

    2. Another excellent point. When things stop functioning as intended being near a military base or nuclear plant is going to suck. I think I am just barely out of the DC blast zone and upwind.

    3. There are not enough horses to go around, not even to mention the planning/money involved in having one before SHTF.

    A well prepared person will have multiple vehicles. I think a dual sport bike, an atv, and a pickup truck should be the absolute bare minimum. Kick/pull starters on as many vehicles as possible! I have an ATV, a UTV, two trucks, two cars, and two motorcycles, and three bikes and enough gas here to last a bit.

    The ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT thing to have is weapons/guns and enough ammo to clear out as many zombies you think you’ll encounter! We’re stockpiled!

  8. Nice points. It’s a topic I’ve been dwelling on for a few years, now. It’s also a popular topic, as I’m sure you’re aware, on the TEOTWAWKI blogs. Unfortunately, I’m not in a position currently to purchase, even on credit, a plot of land where I would like to. However, my uncle, also of similar mindset, has been looking for a strategic location for some time now, and I have been involved in the process and helped out some and learned quite a few things from it. Thought I’d pass along some of the things to consider. There’s not necessarily a right answer:

    1. For many/most people, having a separate piece of property out in the countryside AND a house in the city is not financially practical. It’s more of an either/or situation. As such, for anyone else considering this sort of move, really stop and think about “how far out is far enough?” Consider factors such as the daily commute, cost of gas, access to supplies/groceries, etc. particularly in the time leading up to the potential collapse. Proximity to civilization has some advantages, and it’s possible sometimes, for those not willing to move all the way out to the country, to find secluded property not too far from town that may serve adequately. My personal preference is to have my permanent abode 30 minutes into the countryside and yet close enough that I can still enjoy civilization in the short term.

    2. Flip side is that you may be better off looking for property in another state. Sometimes there are significant local issues that might pose serious problems after SHTF time comes. Things worth thinking about include being downwind of a nuclear reactor (Homer Simpson may not show up for work if the donut shop is closed), being anywhere near major military installations (both from a they-might-be-attacked perspective as well as a they-might-be-oppressing-your-rights perspective), and being in a climate that is suitable for long-term habitation without much access to modern amenities (e.g., being in the Arctic North when the power goes out might not be good). If one were to consider this route, though, also bear in mind that if the SHTF, you’ve got to figure out how to get from wherever you are to wherever your safe place is, and that could be a challenge.

    3. Lastly, and to bring in a little car talk, you need to have multiple transportation options planned. Horses, of course, would be the ideal go-anywhere vehicle, but mechanized transport is going to be the preferred option most of the time. Consider that your (my) luxo-mobile gas-guzzling truck or SUV may not keep running very long once the gasoline stops flowing. Your nice sports car may not be able to navigate around obstacles and abandoned cars that also ran out of gas or off road when necessary. This is where having a motorcycle, particularly a dual-sport, may be very handy. Thrifty on gas, go most places you’d need to, and can really crank out the miles if need be. This is the primary reason I took a motorcycle riding course and got my motorcycle endorsement, and am hoping to get a motorcycle in the next few months if the funding works out. An ATV (4-wheeler) would also be useful in its own way, though long-hauls would be more difficult and gas mileage is not as good.

    Which brings me to an interesting point of discussion. If/when the SHTF, and you had only one choice in vehicle to own/keep/use, what would it be? This is not just fantasy, but actual reality since most people, thanks to Uncle Sam, cannot afford to buy and maintain more than one vehicle as a daily driver (good article on that, by the way). So any ideas? Would it be a monster 4×4 mudder? A 250cc dirt bike? an ATV? An SUV? A Jeep? A 4×4 Van? I’m thinking a Ford Falcon Coupe from the Mad Max movies isn’t going to be all that realistic, cool though it might be.

    • 1. For the smart city/suburb dwellers that don’t have a second home in the countryside perhaps making plans with someone who does would be the best option. I am about 60 miles west of DC on top of mountain and near a big river.

      2. Another excellent point. When things stop functioning as intended being near a military base or nuclear plant is going to suck. I think I am just barely out of the DC blast zone and upwind.

      3. There are not enough horses to go around, not even to mention the planning/money involved in having one before SHTF.

      A well prepared person will have multiple vehicles. I think a dual sport bike, an atv, and a pickup truck should be the absolute bare minimum. Kick/pull starters on as many vehicles as possible! I have an ATV, a UTV, two trucks, two cars, and two motorcycles, and three bikes and enough gas here to last a bit.

      The ABSOLUTE MOST IMPORTANT thing to have is weapons/guns and enough ammo to clear out as many zombies you think you’ll encounter! We’re stockpiled!

      • Amen that.

        Dom’s got a nice place – just a little too close to DC (and the Golden Horde) for my liking.

        We are four hours away from DC and not near any major population hub. The closest is Roanoke – a small city – and it’s 35 miles down the road from us. That’s near enough to have access to “civilization” for now – but far enough (I hope) from them when the SHTF.

        Our immediate vicinity is composed of places like ours. Small farms (30 acres and less) and large ones (50-plus) with most people having at least a couple acres. We’re all on private wells, so water is a non-issue. Many have others sources of water, too – such as streams/ponds (we now have a creek and I would like to use it to feed a pond, which we’d stock with fish – an excellent and self-keeping food source).

        Everyone is well-armed. The Clovers (looters, scumbags generally) will likely choose easier pickings, I think. Like sheeple suburbanites who have ADT instead of SigSauer.

        On vehicles: I agree with Dom. Ideally have several, including some that are rugged and simple like air-cooled dual sport motorcycles with kick starters. (Batteries may be hard to get in a SHTF scenario.) A small dual sport will go almost anywhere, including rugged woods where there are no trails at all. And once on road, most will do at least 80 or 90 MPH – and get 60-plus MPG – enough to lay down the miles, as Sojourner says. I’d also want a truck – ideally a diesel, but definitely not a big V-8. I think something like my 4-cylinder/5-speed manual 4WD (’98) Nissan Frontier is a good choice, but maybe even better would be something older than that, with no computer, like an F100 from the ’70s with a straight six.

        Energy sources: Food is important, but you’ll be happier if you have a way to cook it if the power goes off. And to keep warm. We have a big wood stove that can keep the entire house toasty on the coldest winter day. I have probably 3-4 full cords of split aged wood stacked and ready. I am also thinking about buying a basic gas-fired barbecue style stove. Lowes has a few of these for under $100. If the power is off, it’d be simple to boil water and cook food this way. Store a few gas cannisters for just in case.

        The one thing I haven’t really fleshed out is cooperative self-defense. Two people – not enough. If the SHTF, I think it will be essential to form groups for self-defense. Ideally, comprised of people in your immediate neighborhood, each looking out for everyone else in addition to themselves.

        • I can’t agree more on a dual sport bike. Eric is dead on with air cooled and kick start. Something 400cc or bigger so you actually can cruise at highway speeds and get away from the zombies if necessary. Hang two 5 gallon jerry cans on it like saddle bags and you’ve got serious range and it will sure go places a four wheeled vehicle can’t. The USAF Security Police tried unsuccessfully for 3 years to write me a ticket on the reservation near where I was stationed. All I had to do was take that old ’72 TS-400 Suzuki down a range road at 85 or 90, turn onto the first deer trail and it was game over. 😉

          Horses may be a good bet for a long term scenario (TEOTWAWKI vs. SHTF). But as I’ve pointed out before, most people long for peace and prosperity so regardless of what nasty things happen in the short term, there will be a recovery of some sort, repairs to the infrastructure and restoration of logistics (people are also profit driven). So I’d say get horses because you like them, not because you think they will become our primary mode of transportation again. But even if you like them, I have heard they’re a little tough if you over cook ’em….

          Dom, you’ve probably figured out by now that I’m a adamant proponent of precious metals, but I also firmly believe in holding a strong portfolio of semi-precious metals: brass and copper jacketed lead to be specific. Of course owning some blued and stainless steel is also a good idea, since you will need a means to deliver the rest of your portfolio to the end user…..

          Eric does have a very valid point on self defense: two is too few. I’m still working on that, but it may come down to either (a) taking in like minded boarders, or (b) giving up your own place and moving in with the neighbors (at least in the short term).

          For the budget minded, don’t forget that you can often find camping gear like mantle lanterns and portable stoves at your local pawn shops and flea markets. This stuff is great to have even for minor events like storms and power outages. As Eric pointed out, keep some propane cylinders on hand and if you can swing it (especially for Virgina ice storms) a portable generator is a real blessing. Hereagain, check the pawn shops: it’s a buyers market right now.

          Has anyone read John Wesley Rawles’ book, Patriots? There are some interesting concepts in that novel. Cody Lundien’s When All Hell Breaks Loose is another excellent work on the subject if you live in town and / or are on a budget.

          • As a contrarian survival book, Fernando Aguirre’s “The Modern Survival Manual” is excellent. Its accounting differs greatly from the usual “go to ground” survival thinking; he actually advocates (though I’m still not sure I agree) being in a semi-urban situation and describes some scenes from Argentina during their last crash where country places were markedly undesirable.

            Anyway it’s a good read with a dozen very good tips and ideas. It doesn’t cover TEOTWAWKI but does SHTF quite well.

            We bought some land too, but because we’re not living there I’d worry about showing up mid-crisis and negotiating mutual protection pacts with neighbors I haven’t known for years. More likely, I’d hunker down with my uncle on his largish land.

            We’re feverishly looking for a property in Central or South America…on a budget. You’d think a doctor and a software engineer could afford a small dacha in Panama…but you’d be wrong. Welcome to Amerika, where Obamacare has so decimated medicine that despite our frugality we can’t swing it.

            Remember, an income today of $250K is the same as $100K in the late 80’s. But Obummer claims you’re rich!

            God it’s all so annoying. If Americans just stood up, even 10 or 20 percent of us, and said “Hell no, no more!” it would simply stop. But there just isn’t a critical mass yet; I think we might be at 1%.

            It’s psychological balm to read all of ya’ll–Eric, Dom, Boothe, Robert, etc–and know I’m not alone.

        • I agree that a diesel would be preferable from a number of perspectives. For one, they’re a good bit more durable, especially the older ones without all the computer gadgetry and pee tanks, and they get better mileage, all things being equal. Also, given that few vehicles use diesel in the US, and there would likely be abandoned 18-wheelers blocked by cars out of gas, each with a couple hundred gallons of diesel on board, scavenging for diesel would likely be more productive.

          As for V-6 vs. V-8 vs. I-4, etc. I think there’s advantages to many of them. First of all, the modern 4-cylinder compact/mid-size trucks like the Nissans don’t really get much better, if any, gas mileage than the modern V-8s, and the V-8s tend to be larger trucks capable of greater loads (read: utility). By modern, I mean last 10 years or so. Smaller, though, often means better able to hide or travel narrow lanes, so there’s some advantage to the smaller ones. Also, given that the V-8s have been more popular since at least the 70s, and the Chevy small-block 350 is everywhere, finding parts to repair them should be considerably easier. And on a weird note, remember the old Chevy Luv? They used to make them with diesel engines. Suckers were nigh-on indestructible, but not very much oomph. Still, they were simple and reasonably reliable. Put biodiesel in them and you can get 40mpg or so out of them, too.

          For me, I’d like to have an old diesel pickup of some sort for heavy lifting, a 250cc dirt bike for scouting and general use (likely would get the most use), a dual-sport in the 650cc range for all-around or long-range, and possibly an ATV for work around the land (e.g., to serve as a tractor stand-in, general utility, etc.).

          But if you had your own land, lived on it, and had the resources, you could have it all set up and they’d be nice “toys” most of the time and very useful for longer-term TEOTWAWKI situations.

    • If it’s really “the end of the world as we know it” then the pushbike is the most sensible post-oil, post-modern world vehicle.


      • Gil, let’s suppose you’re stuck on an island….no…wait…you are! Okay, okay, let’s suppose there was massive flooding and the attendant property damage that goes along with that…no,no….that’s right….that already happened this year. Never mind, you don’t get it.

        What was it you said you do for a living again?

  9. Hi Eric:

    Excellent liberty-themed post as always. I’m new to your blog (via LRC) and have 2 questions:

    1) To read your columns, I click on “throw it in the woods”. Doesn’t one do that to items to be discarded? Your columns don’t impress me, in any way, as refuse, to those who cherish freedom.

    2) I agree with your conclusions about gold; what are your opinions on silver, as a medium of exchange in a SHTF scenario (I am aware of the increased volatility relative to gold)?

    Thanks for your efforts to enlighten, but I fear they mostly fall on deaf ears, as I’ve concluded that far too many in our country are more than willing to surrender all their freedom for the false promise of security. Cheers.

    • Robert, I have the same question about “throw it in the woods” myself.

      Silver is considerably more volatile than gold and it’s actually a pretty small market. But the industrial / commercial uses are very broad and have only increased with the advent of lead free solders in electronics, anti-microbal textiles, wound care products, etc. Silver tends to be consumed in small non-recyclable quantities, so over time as it becomes rarer it’s value will increase.

      Right now it is at very low price ratio to gold at roughly 45:1, whereas traditionally it is usually stable at around 15:1. Keep in mind that the major investment banks play games with silver pricing on the COMEX through margins and short positions. However, there are now enough small investors (since it’s still affordable) and commercial users taking delivery of the physical metal that it’s becoming more difficult for them to manipulate its pricing on paper.

      I would stick with physical possession of government issued bullion coins since they are denominated in standard currency values ( U.S. Eagles in dollars, Libertads in pesos, Britannias in pounds, Philhamonics in euros, etc.). This should enable you to take advantage of their face value for tax purposes (currency exchange vs. capital gains on a commodity) or if it becomes necessary to emigrate with them. Based on my research, silver has a tremendous upside potential, but YMMV.

      • That would imply that silver is awfully cheap right now and is a good time to buy. Similarly if the modern world was coming to an end and only money was precious metals then you’d want plenty of silver moreso than gold since most transactions won’t justify using expensive gold.


        • It’s not that the modern world may be “coming to an end” (more Cloverite hysteria). It’s that economic dislocations are causing social upheaval – and it’s smart to be aware of this and to be prepared to deal with it, if it comes to a “store near you.” The people of London have just learned a hard lesson. And what has been happening in American cities such as Philadelphia and in states such as Wisconsin recently ought to be a wake-up call that, yes, it can happen here, too. And it is likely to happen, to a great extent, because of the ruination created by fiat currency, which has not only destroyed the wealth of the responsible but helped to increase the number of irresponsible (and worse) people out there, by making it possible for the government to spend vast amounts “helping” them, which only encourages more of them.

          No Clovers

        • Wow Gil, have you been hanging out over at survivalblog? You’ve made a couple of valid observations here: one silver is more affordable for the average person right now compared to gold. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that $40 an ounce is “awfully cheap”, but it’s not prohibitive and many of us believe it is still undervalued.

          Having smaller denomination silver coins for use in times of economic correction (paper money devaluation) is a good plan. Remember my analogy of a man with a bag of gold and no water in the desert. Put that in perspective of a man with an ounce of gold and no gas in his car and another man with 5 gallons of gas and no way to make change. That just became some very expensive gas!

          Remember Gil, you folks really did have massive flooding in Australia (same as here in the midwest). The hoodlums in Vancouver really did trash the city over a hockey game. Bad things happen all the time around the world. If you happen to be in the middle of it, it’s a whole lot worse if you aren’t at least nominally prepared. But remember what Eric pointed out, you can’t eat silver and during times of privation, no amount of it will by you a potatoe.

      • Boothe–totally agreed on “face-value” coins. If you’re going to invest in silver, buy “junk silver”; U.S. half-dollars, quarters, and dimes pre-1965. They’re 90% silver.

        As an example, a 1964 half-dollar contains 0.36 ounces of silver. It’s worth $14.65 at today’s spot price. The other coins contain less silver proportionate to their face values.

        “Junk silver” also has the lowest markup per ounce, unless you’re buying 100 or 1000 ounce bullion bars.

        The idiots who masquerade as security at airports treat these coins at face value…consider the implication when exiting this soon-to-be hellhole.

        Also agreed on silver’s tremendous upside potential; it’s been manipulated so viciously on the paper market that it’s yearning to explode upward.

    • Hi Robert,

      Thanks – and, welcome!

      “Throw it in the Woods” is just a country catchphrase I picked up from one of my friend’s in-laws, a crusty old farmer who would mutter, “throw it in the woods!” about whatever he didn’t want anymore. I always just about pee’d myself when I heard him say it….

      On Silver: What Boothe said; that guy is one of our best (brightest/ on-the-money) regulars here.

  10. Very well said and I’m in complete concurrence. This is why we moved to the mid-west 12 years ago and out in the country at that. The natural tendency of man is to socialize, organize and civilize. So if the worst happens, chaos and barbarism will only be temporary. But “temporary” can be months or even years long and fatal if you’re not prepared. So your approach is very prudent. Once again it goes back to the parable of the ant and the grasshopper, a concept that the average clover may know by heart, but apparently has no practical understanding of.

  11. How would you know when the end times have started? If so when are you willing to shoot and kills the officers of a dying state?

    • No one knows; we won’t know until it is happening. So what is your point, exactly?

      And why won’t you respond to specific points made by others here – or their direct questions?

      I guess you’re afraid of the answers….

      No Clovers

      • Eric, I’m guessing our Aussie Clover is probably an “officer” home on administrative leave for giving some handicapped “mundane” a “wood shampoo” or a little electro-shock therapy because they smarted off to him. Now he wants one of us to respond with “we will start shooting X when Y happens”.

        He/she/it that goes by Gil has no comprehension of life without physical aggression and domination. It fails to understand that the average libertarian has no desire to interact with agents of the state in any capacity, way, shape or form. It also fails to comprehend basic prepadeness concepts such as: that those of us in possession of fire extinguishers don’t go looking for a house fire, nor do we wear seatbelts because we expect to have a car accident. I suppose if the SHTF and the grocery stores are stripped to the linoleum, Gil can eat its sail fawn, because that’s probably as prepared as it will ever be.


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