Two is One . . .

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Wealth is not necessarily the same thing as money – especially if money is just paper. You may have $10,000 in the bank today. It may not have any value six months from now. It probably ought to make you uneasy that the value of your wealth depends on forces outside of your control – when money is just paper.

Paper under the control of sinister forces – the government, for instance. Or rather, the “Fed,” the cartel of private banks that bought the government about 100 years ago and which has used it ever since – to mulct the public by various means, including the manufacturing of “money” out of thin air, which is then loaned to the government at interest – which you and I get to pay in the form of “taxes” and “inflation.” (For more about this, I recommend G. Edward Griffin’s Creature From Jekyll Island which explains in detail how the federal government was bought – and sold us out.)

Things of intrinsic value under your control are much better when the value of money isn’t.

Land – especially useful land (i.e., land that could be useful for raising things to eat) and a home (useful for keeping you and yours sheltered) are two very good examples of this. The value of your land/home may increase or decrease in monetary terms  but they will always retain intrinsic value, which is a priceless thing when money becomes a value-less thing, courtesy of the “Fed.”

Tangible things are another form of value that keeps the invisible rats of inflation – the tool of the “Fed” – at bay. If you exchange say $600 for a pistol you will have a valuable pistol, the value of which cannot be inflated away. Plus you will have physical possession of the pistol, a value in and of itself.

The same goes for tools, equipment, clothing, food – and so on.

The more such things in your possession, the better – as times get worse.  The things of value not in your possession may not be available and will probably  cost you more to acquire them, as the value of money wanes in conjunction with the manufacturing of more of it by the “Fed” – an entity that is “federal” in the way the Fed Ex is.

It’s why I’ve been steadily converting money into things of value – under my control. Hard money is one way to do this. It’s true the value of silver and gold will vary but  – like the value of good land and a sound home – it is unlikely to ever disappear or even come close to disappearing, for both silver and gold have intrinsic value. These metals are useful in and of themselves, which gives them value as such – and will likely always be valued by others, also giving them value. And it is harder – if not impossible – to “inflate” the value of silver or gold by manufacturing more of it – or rather, enough of it, sufficient to reduce the value of that already in circulation.

Converting say six months (a year is probably better) of money in your just-in-case fund to silver or gold – for just in case – is something you may want to consider doing. You are certain to be able to get food and other necessaries with specie – as opposed to money.

Well, the paper money confetti’d by the “Fed.”

Another form of value – a way to transfer value (of paper money) into something of useful value is to convert it into things you will need, like new tires for your vehicle or even a spare set of new tires for when your vehicle needs new tires, again.

Plus other such things of value.

I am in the midst of getting one of my motorcycles into ready-go condition.

Twice.

I just installed a brand-new tire on the rear (along withe new sprockets and chain). The front tire is next and after that, every necessary service will be done. I intend to use money to get everything necessary to do the same, again – following the dictum that two equals one and one equals none. Having a spare – for everything you may need – is functionally and financially sound when money isn’t.    

I’m focusing on the bike first because it’s the easiest/cheapest thing to get ready, twice – as well as the thing that’s cheapest to operate since it uses very little gas, which is a thing not under my control, physically – and over which I have no control, as regards the price. (Having specie on hand could be critical as regards the latter, when dollars don’t buy much of anything but an ounce of silver does.)

Next, the truck – which is the most useful vehicle I own. Its usefulness remains, however, only so long as it works. Therefore, all belts/hoses and other wear items will be brought up to snuff and spares of everything kept on hand for just in case. Keep in mind that you will need these items in time, so you’re only paying it forward as the saying has it.

And you won’t be paying more for it – assuming you can even find it – as the “Fed” and its demented, frothing chihuahua – the government – continue to bleed away the value of your money, by making more of it.

And then spending it for you.

. . .

Got a question about cars, bikes, or Sickness Psychosis? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in! Or email me at [email protected] if the @!** “ask Eric” button doesn’t work!

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48 COMMENTS

    • Hi Dennis,

      Not for me! I don’t have anything against Harleys; they’re just not my thing. It’s kind of like preferring Chevys (or Pontiacs, in my case) rather than Fords. While also appreciating all of them!

    • I do think a Harley, especially a Big Twin model is an excellent choice for a long term motorcycle (or vehicle for that matter – if you live where it’s warm!) This is b/c they change verrrry slowly mechanically across many years. There is a vibrant aftermarket for parts, and (drivetrain) parts swap over from model to model, as long as the bike is a Big Twin. Electra Glide motor/transmission is same a Dyna, is same as Softail, etc., etc. They are also very easy to work on. I would say more so than other motorcycles. Pre-2000 model years do not have fuel injection. Two cyls, one carb, belt drive, hydraulic lifters, etc.

      Kinda like a John Deere tractor of motorcycles. I have a 2000 Dyna Glide with 55k miles and nothing has broken on it, and has never left me stranded. Pretty much the best bike I’ve ever owned. My 97 Bandit 1200 came in a close 2nd, as it once did leave me stranded with the electrical harness getting pinched over time and causing a short.

  1. ‘The “Fed” and its demented, frothing chihuahua – the government – continue to bleed away the value of your money, by making more of it.’ — eric

    Some time this week, the Senate is likely to confirm bubble blower Jerome ‘Cntl-P’ Powell for another four-year term as chief digital counterfeiter of the realm.

    Every great depression is preceded by a great bubble. Today’s bubble, which has even jacked the price of used cars to almost double their pre-covid level, is by far the largest and most global in human history.

    What are ‘they’ gonna do to retain control as inflation veers out of control, and the covid narrative cracks up right in front of our lying eyes?

    Big Gov’s classic last resort to divert attention from their disastrous mismanagement and malfeasance is war. By no coincidence, the Biden Thing’s desperate attempt to gin up a war with Russia over Ukraine’s internal divisions — a quarrel in a far away country between people of whom we know nothing — also is coming to a boil this week, as the two sides sling insults and nuclear threats at each other.

    Something wicked this way comes.

  2. Who would’ve thought we’d be at the point of prepping by buying auto supplies? But yet, here we are and that is not all you should be thinking about.

    Eric gives good advice on converting out of paper money & into specie.
    I’ve been doing that a bit at a time.
    Eventually, I will empty most of my bank account into hard assets of some kind, hopefully before the piper needs to be paid.

  3. Other than being insanely impractical, the best inflation/deflation money hedge is the US nickle. It will never be worth less than its 5¢ cost (face value). Current melt value of its 25% nickel, 75% copper content is about 6.5 cents and most likely headed higher. Probably not gonna work well in the bug out bag, though. ;o)

    • A little late on the reply here, but I’m sure you’ve heard of Dallas-based hedge fund manager Kyle Bass? He bought 20 million common Jefferson nickels around 2013 I think. When asked why he did he replied only with ‘I like nickels.’

  4. A caution buying tires. They do have a shelf life. Recommendations are around 5-6 years. Which can be extended by NOT exposing them to sunlight and limiting or eliminating exposure to air movement, which increases exposure to Oxygen. The two major enemies of all things rubber.

    • I bought 3 100/90-16 tires for my Honda in 2001, one Dunlop and 2 Bridgestone BT45’s. It took 16 years to wear out the Dunlop on the rear, so now I’m riding on the front BT45 I put on in 2001, and the other BT45 I put on the rear in 2017. So I guess I should just throw them away because of their age, huh?

      • It depends on the manufacturing materials and the environment. Maybe motorcycle tires are different from car tires. But plastic/rubber generally loses quality over time, putting you at higher risk of failure. So if you ride on safe surfaces at low speed, old tires might be fine, but if you thread traffic at 100+ mph old tires are likely to explode and kill you

        • They are. I was just playing Devil’s Advocate with JK here, lol! I have 3 sets of N.O.S. Goodyear whitewalls that are 50+ years old , and are good as new. My 1967 Honda Dreams top out at 70 mph, so I’m reasonably safe I suspect.

      • The wear is not the failure. A catastrophic blow out is. With no warning whatsoever. Motor cycle tires may differ. I’ve never owned one. My caution regards car and truck tires.

        • It’s OK, I was just being, well, me, lol! Car tires are a lot more susceptable to failure, for a lot of reasons, & “nitrofil” isn’t going to change anything but the weight of your wallet.

            • They can indeed, and the weight of the vehicle is a big factor in that. Also, underinflated tires get hotter, and will cause belt separation a lot more often than people realize. I’ve seen a ton more blowouts from structure failure due to overheating, than from dry-rot. Michellins tend to get dry-rot a lot sooner than most other brands, especially the 80K mile tires.

              • I’m with John on this. As I mentioned below I do a lot of motorcycle tire changes for friends, and I won’t put on a tire older than 7 years for a streetbike. And any tire gets a exam from me first. They are just to dam important. I am a self-appointed tire nazi though born from my experiences. Certainly high end name brand stuff can probably go longer, but most do not. My choice if ya want me to put the tire on.

                • Hi Chris,

                  For me, it depends. I change out the tires on my high-performance sport bike regularly. But two of my antique bikes have tires five-plus years old on them. I don’t ride either of them aggressively and – I think this is important – they stay inside, out of the sun and weather. I think this markedly decreases dry-rot. I do the same with my TA and its tires are more than ten years old – because I drive that car less than 1,000 miles annually. I’m sure the tires aren’t as “100 percent” as they were when new, but I think there’s probably enough margin to be ok for just knocking around every once in awhile…

                  • I agree. For motorcycle tires you can almost tell with just touch and prodding. For dirtbike tires, I do a squash test with my foot on the beads. You’d be surprised how many are shot with great knobs on them because the owner drove them a little bit with a flat or very low pressure. They might go roundy round in the dirt, but if you’re racing/pushing them, they won’t handle worth a crap, etc…

      • Cheaper to keep them wet with Armor All or similar. Speaking which I found a far superior replacement for. Don’t have the name in front of me , but it involved a three digit number, I think. With Armor All I had to wet down my convertible top every wash. With this stuff it’s once year, maybe.

        • Armor -All does nothing to protect the tires. It does attract dirt, it does wash down onto the tread in wet weather, and it does present a significant traction hazard for motorcycles. People still use it on tires, and blame everything thing else when they end up on their backside, lol! Best just to clean them with mild dish-detergent, and rinse them until they are squeaky-clean. Miracle cures in a can are just modern snake-oil sales cons. Weather exposure, driving habits, proper inflation & the quality of the rubber compound are the determining factors. Have changed hundreds of bike tires & thousands of auto/truck tires, & haven’t seen the 1st thing to the contrary.
          (high altitude & heavy wear use in commercial airliners & military use is a different altogether)

          • Used to work at a motorcycle dealership, guy paid cash for new R1 yamaha, they wheeled in the back for a quick detail before giving it to the customer. Newbie guy tire shines the whole damn tire not just the sidewalls as is protocol(and common sense), so customer goes to leave on his new bike, nails it pulling out and lays the new bike across 4 lanes of traffic. They gave him a new bike and a shitload of nice gear to not sue them lol

            • Back in ’85 at a Suzuki shop we watched a customer do that to himself, even after we warned him not to. Sure enough, he was on his ass in the middle of the road out in front of the dealership. He just got up up without looking at us and pushed his bike down the road & out of sight, lol!

          • It will protect dive gear in storage. Which isn’t the same rubber, but I wiped mine down with it before putting it away, while other guys didn’t, to their regret.

  5. Eric,

    What kind of tires do you have on your bike there? When I had my ZRX, I ran Continental Road Attacks-GREAT tires! They were grippy; they rode well; and, if you were on the limit, they’d break traction ever so gently to let you know; they wouldn’t break loose suddenly. I remember a buddy of mine and I had to cut a trip short due to weather; we were literally racing the storm system home, and race we did! I remember we were tearing through the sweepers of NJ-23 at 80 or s going through High Point, NJ; during one of the sweepers, I could feel my rear gently break loose, at which point I backed off a bit-good times… 🙂

  6. Eric,
    I’m thinking about bidding on a vintage bike at the Mecum auction in late January. Adding to my collection for fun and future value. I would own (3) if I get what I want at the auction. Half of me says yes, half says no you enough bikes to play with now (2). What say you?

  7. Buy soap, it is going to be one of the most bartered items out there if there are shortages and mayhem is everywhere.

    Buy ten-packs of new socks.

    You won’t regret the purchases.

    I began all of the prep business back in 1981 or so when Reagan was after Ghaddfi.

    Silver dimes, quarters, half-dollars, and the new walking liberty silver US minted rounds, all squirreled away somewhere. Canadian blue noses work too. lol

    Bought most of the junk silver from the six dollar to eight dollar range.

    There was an underground publication called the ‘Duck Book’ back then which contained all kinds of information concerning devastating collapse and what not.

    The return of the thousand year war commenced in 1980 is what was stated in the publication back then. The author was in the business of working on airfields, If I remember correctly.

    You received a lifetime prescription, his lifetime, not yours. He was a cancer patient and had a poor prognosis. Have no idea what eventually happened to the defiant dissident.

    You buy every kind of hand tool, bank silver and junk gold, not a gold bug, never have been.

    You buy a farm, you buy a tractor, everything. You get to the age where it all has to go to someone close, you won’t need any of it, they will.

    A lot more fear and loathing today than there was in 1981 CE.

    In 1981 I was loading 50 round clips of .22 ammo and firing them all day long at blackbirds in the sunflowers. After some pay, go buy some more silver US minted coin. Never fail.

    Have a firearm and ammunition for protection.

    Recall the Andy Griffith show where the old duffer in town couldn’t pay his property tax, held a municipal bond for the town of Mayberry and the town gov had to fork over over 300,000 dollars.

    What you call having good karma.

    • I watched that episode yesterday. The near $300K in 1961 is near $3M today. The lessons of the episode can be found in EP’s articles over the years:

      a) you don’t really own anything when the gov (Andy was the gov enforcer) taxes property
      b) gov at any level –from bucolic Mayberry to fedgov– is greedy, unyielding, and untrustworthy

        • Sheet! And I just saw an ad on the TeeVee, they even got to The Colonel. They’re selling beyond-freaking-meat-into-crap at KFC.

          I know their stuff ain’t healthy,… not Primal or anything, but fake meat at KFC? Wow. We Are in Bizarro World.

    • RE: “when Reagan was after Ghaddfi.”

      I forgot all about that! Our overlords were after him for a long assed time.

      RE: “You buy a farm, you buy a tractor, everything. You get to the age where it all has to go to someone close, you won’t need any of it, they will.”

      Crap. I got no kids, & my brother gave his the clot-shot. … As Eric wrote once, or several times, I wonder why I even try. Should I put out an ad for Freedomistas wanting to garden in exchange for room & board? Idk. … Sell it all & buy a mobile home on the Gulf coast? Idk.
      It’s warm today, heat wave, 30 degrees.

      Didja see where the goobermint has done & gone created a real Gestapo unit? I never thought I’d see the day.

      Many people have tossed that word, ‘Gestapo’ around a lot over the years, seems to me it always – almost – applied.
      I wonder now, is it real? It sure doesn’t seem like Memorex.

      • I meant ‘subscription’ not prescription. Too many words, too many books, too many too manys. All of the medical chicanery is driving me mad!

        Remember when General de Gaulle drove a French warship to New York City to get zee gold?

        The US Army Corps of Engineers set up shop in Iraq, must still be there in some kind of capacity.

        In October of 1983 a US base and a French armed force contingent in Beirut were attacked, 299 US Marines and French soldiers lost their lives that day. US military officials were not happy.

        All the while, Iraq and Iran were fighting it out tooth and nail. Human minesweepers in Iran cleared mine fields. The US, France, Russia, Israel were all supplying arms to both sides to fuel the war for another five years, somewhere in that time frame.

        “This aggression will not stand.” – GHW Bush

        General Schwarzkopf to the rescue.

        Been a good 60 years of conflict ever since Eisenhower took over where the French left off in French Indochina. The French were buying US military surplus for supplies, then the French skedaddled.

        Off to Afghanistan to leave it all behind, the place where empires go caput.

        15 trillion dollar economy for 60 years, 900 trillion dollars of economic activity and a giant dollop of military expeditions, Uncle Sam is doing a heckuva job. 30 trillion in national debt, lots to see, all can be ignored, it won’t be there then.

        Purdy big price tag to dink around all over the world when it is really not necessary.

        You can’t win them all.

        “Come on mothers throughout the land,
        Pack your boys off to Vietnam.
        Come on fathers, and don’t hesitate
        To send your sons off before it’s too late.
        And you can be the first ones in your block
        To have your boy come home in a box.”

        Fixin’ to Die Rag by Country Joe and the Fish

  8. I do almost all my own wrenching with the exception of tubeless tires/wheels on my cars and motorcycles. The mounting/balancing machines are the 2 pieces of equipment I don’t have.

    Seriously considering it now….

    • There are inexpensive manual motorcycle tire bead-breaker/mounting stands available that work pretty well to do it yourself. Balancing can be done manually as well by simply putting a rod through the wheel and using stick-on weights to balance it.
      If you only do a change every blue-moon, then probably not worth it. I do lots of changes per year so it was very worth it to me, plus I now do lots of friends tires too.
      Could also split the tool cost with others.

    • You dont need a machine for balloon tires on steel wheels. You can use a 3 pry bars and some lubricant to mount/dismount steelies. Then for setting the tire, you can either pump bursts from the compressor with the valve core removed, or spray some starter fluid in there and light it from a safe approach. Sticky weights work well for balancing, and you can devise a hanger to do a static balance that should be fine for speeds under 70 mph. You can do rotational balancing with the wheels installed while the car is on a lift too. I wont describe that process cause its a bit dangerous.

      Gotta remember that air tires were invented over 100 years ago, and before ww2, they didnt last long. Rural drivers carried and used multiple spares. It wasnt practical to carry a ton of computerized tire changing equipment to the logging camp in 1915

      these techniques are not ideal for low profile tires or alloy wheels..

  9. I keep an online inflation calculator bookmarked. Out of sheer morbid curiousity, I look up prices in old tv shows or movies (e.g. how much was the haircut Floyd gave Andy). It’s sad to actually see in my lifetime the level and rate of willful destruction of the dollar.

    One thing is for sure, there’s no sense having a savings account anymore.

    • If you want to cry look at 50’s episodes of the “Price is Right”. They gave a way houses occasionally (prefab but you had to supply the lot), but still.

      • Never mind soaring land prices (My #2 son and I were looking up properties about 30 to 60 miles south and southwest of Fort Worth), am still recovering from the “sticker shock”. In so many locales, zoning laws, CCRs, bureaucratic bufoonery, and outright corruption have fairly much done away with the notion that the land is yours to use AS YOU SEE FIT. Prefab house? Why, those knuckleheads half a mile away that got sold those overpriced “McMansions” will have your ass in court before you’ve even left the county works department after filing the construction permit. Or the wealthy developer that got his otherwise leeching Brother-in-Law on the county commission will have them hit you with endless requests for “environmental impact”, and woe unto you if some protected snail or little birdie is found on your property, or you have some that doesn’t drain well (“wetlands”).

        It’s more than just the annual “rental” to the county known as property taxation that renders you more the designated CARETAKER and ‘stuckee” for your little piece of heaven rather than actually being the “owner”.

        • I should have said modular home, looks like a normal house but built inside under controlled conditions and assembled on site with the aid of a crane. A prefab on the other hand could also be a single or double wide mobile home. I would be funny to see the McMansion owner scream though.

        • Look east.
          Everything east of Dallas gets cheaper the further east you go, all the way to Texarkana. Even better in AR.
          And east is wetter, the ground is softer — plants and animals grow easier.
          Oh and way fewer regs and busy-bodies. The counties are too big and understaffed to care what you do on your land.

    • I generally use 90% silver US coin melt value to convert prices. Works pretty good.
      Gasoline is still under 20 cents a gallon as of last week and that’s with Illinois taxes.

      • I read something a long time ago that pointed out that the price of oil vs. hold is flat.

        I did some back-of-the envelope calculations if my own and discovered that this is pretty much true, and that if anything has is incredibly cheap these days vs. history.

        It just doesn’t look that way, because the dollar is losing so much value over time.

  10. For the libertarians with kids out there (or those who prefer a shorter read) this book is shorter: “The Tuttle Twins and the Creature from Jekyll Island” available from: https://tuttletwins.com/product/the-tuttle-twins-and-the-creature-from-jekyll-island/

    Yep, did the chain and sprockets on my 650 last season, had a mechanic buddy peen the permanent link as I previously only used master links. Looking at the possibility of shortages now looks like the time to buy. My local upull yard supplied 2 matched sets of tires, with good tread and between 3 and 5 years old for less than 1/4 of new. Use sales to stock up on oil, filters and any other consumable parts when available cheaper. Don’t forget to get your garden seeds early.

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