Filed under: Old Posts — John Galt @ 9:08 am

By John Galt

April 16, 2008

You know it’s going to be a long year when you see this guy, uh yeah, him, Robert Hawkins from “Jericho” move in next door to your house. Immediately you think ” do I have all my preps in order and just how do I survive like the TV show?” Please folks do not prep like life is a television show. Will you have to get ready for a nuclear attack? Do I have enough food? Will my credit card work? Have not a fear my friends. Your friend, this author has the ability to add a “nomics” suffix to darn near anything (ugh, banksternomics….some other time) and try to throw a theory or idea to the wall to make it stick. In the television show “Jericho” the idea of a terrorist attack isolating a small Kansas town is not that far fetched. What makes it interesting is the politically correct Columbia Broadcast System interpretation of how events will unfold. Despite the fantasy of the Obamaconomists, the nation would not implode immediately and beg to become a communist utopia. The average citizen would adapt, with the notable exception of Paris Hilton, and seek a normalization of commerce in very short order.

(Cheap tacky publicity stunt to insert Paris Hilton’s photo)

Back to the article now. You see people (the plural) think that the government will be the saving grace for the future but alas, good old Katrina dispelled that theory about 100 HDTV’s later. The thought of issuing FEMA credit cards to average schmucks sounded good in an ivory tower, but in reality it didn’t work so hot. And some of what I would call above average citizens without corporate sponsorship who attempted to enter the disaster area without FEMA’s blessing found their goods and firearms confiscated because the private sector is only allowed to help when they are sponsored or can cut through the red tape of government bureaucracy. You and I can not afford this problem when it hits (or if still). So what is one to do. Back in the days of the ancients the common currencies were salt, silver, and gold. Amazingly some 5000 years later, we still value silver and gold and most people take salt for granted.

Phoenician Silver Didrachm of Tyre, circa 360 BC era

This leads the modern man to a dilemma; what does one do if they are not to get a FEMA card and actually out on their own? Does commerce stop? No, not unless everyone is dead or dying. Do we wait for the government? Only if you want to starve to death or have civilization cease to function. So what does one do? You barter. And for all my friends who do not understand the concept, it’s the same as our stock market but in a slightly different form. You offer an item in whatever quantity to obtain an item in whatever quantity or service or vice-versa. If we do suffer a series of 9-11 style attacks and the country shuts down you had best have some idea of value or you might trade 2 ounces of silver for one dozen eggs. While that might sound good if you’re dying for an omelet, it’s a sucker’s trade. Use your head, negotiate and be friendly. Most of all develop a circle of friends that you trust.

As you can tell from the mainstream media, there’s been a lot of “advice” offered on how to survive as times get tough. Just for laughs, I’ve watched some of the so-called shopping networks and shows that seek to promote anything as “insurance” for the possible hard times ahead. There are some rules all of us have to live within and the first one might strike someone as surprise:

Collectible coins are only good as an investment if we are in a period of economic stability.

But the guy with the slick haircut and sales pitch said those state quarters would be a great insurance policy if the world ends you say? Uh, no. I will sum this up in the bluntest of terms possible so you understand. Remember in previous posts on this blog where I discussed the concept of a flea market trading in food, livestock, goods and services outside of a government controlled commerce system? Show up at any barter market like that or heck, at my house, with a slabbed MS-67 or PR-70(in photo) American Buffalo 1 ounce gold piece and try to barter.


You’re going to try to convince the guy selling the rifle (which would become priceless in such an event) who is asking for two ounces of gold in trade that your coin is worth that. The reply wold be quite simply that you have a petrochemical encased one ounce piece of gold and if you had one more you could buy the rifle. You see in the ultimate breakdown in societal organization and the end or the credit based fiat money system of commerce “things” actually retrace back to a valuation determined by the common region and on hard assets. The idea that five quarts of motor oil equal three packs of cigarettes isn’t that foreign. For centuries salt served as a basis of trade between people and nations as did bags of silver or gold powder in the old West. Do not think for one moment that a numismatic coin is going to mean any more than the content of the silver or gold within that coin when it comes to trade for survival. Thus why the emphasis on obtaining a broad base of silver and gold in various sizes and denominations for your storage is essential.
To help guide you along in this idea, I’ve developed a spreadsheet with some average prices for goods in a barter environment roughly based on current prices. No matter what the price evolves into based in dollars in the near future, these trading valuations can be traced back to bottom line values of gold or silver. As in the television show Jericho, you’ll see that there will be variations but the main thing is that you use this as a guideline, not a hard and fast rule. I hope this helps everyone to think about the preps and just what is and is not going to be valuable. The bottom line is that besides your own personal stores, you had best start thinking outside the box with regards to currencies. Gold and silver first, tradeables and staples next…..

Note: I’ve added a link with a printable view and instructions here….hope that helps everyone.-John

Ok, another note: I left off the Unit of Measure for Silver and Gold, which has been pointed out in several emails; I’ll reconstruct the spreadsheet, convert it and update it accordingly in the thread; it is in ounces…-John


  1. John – excellent chart. Unfortunatly it is clipped in the posting so not all of it is seen. Where can I find the full chart? Thanks. Greg McLaughlinComment by GA Mclaughlin — April 16, 2008 @ 4:23 pm
  2. Thank you, Johnno, for noting what yours truly, not even close to being an economist, has noted for decades. Nobody EVER tells you how you actually get rid of, profit from “numismatics”. Where’s the common market, how do you sell them, blah, blah. Knew it 47 years ago at age 13. Imagine social chaos, you say to some guy: this piece of macrame’ is really exquisite – just google it! I have known for 40+ years that the “collectible coin” racket is totally controlled by a rather small group. They’re just like the huge number of stock/bond traders who have zippo for personal investments. Just salespeople, in it for the commissions. 23 years ago I did a tax return for a guy who was then making what was a huge income – $110,000 bucks. Interest/dividend income? – about $40! In other words, he knew Jack Shit about finance, economics. Just in it to get your dough, his commission. Thank you.Comment by Ronito — April 16, 2008 @ 6:42 pm
  3. Your comments above are dead on and the reason why I have diversified investments into 90% silver coins in dimes, quaters and halves. I have stocked more rice, wheat and oats than I need as a barter larderCan you explain how the chart above works? How does G=CG value of 37? How do I translate the table? Sorry if I am ignorant about this.Nice work.

    Comment by RP — April 16, 2008 @ 6:44 pm

  4. make that quartersComment by RP — April 16, 2008 @ 6:44 pm
  5. John,i listen to you when i can brother, thank you, but having trouble with your conversion chart. are you saying that 1 gal. of diesel is worth 230 oz. of gold or 230 gms. of gold ?? see what i mean. or is there a point zero or decimal point missing ?thanks john

    Comment by mihael chandler — April 16, 2008 @ 8:15 pm

  6. thanks for the effort.
    nice to have a record of comparative prices.
    any idea where a more complete guide would be found?
    i’m too lazy to do my own.

    seems like some huge deviations possible when supply shrinkage is not uniform. like diesel, eggs, and probly dental work as those guys have the highest suicide rate in the country.

    Comment by melvin schnurley — April 16, 2008 @ 8:38 pm

  7. Hey Michael I think you have it backwards. An ounce of gold would be worth 230 gallons of diesel or 154 bushels of corn… Or the other way it would be that a gallon of diesel would be worth 0.004 ounces of gold and the bushel of corn would be worth0.006 ounces of gold.
    Thats how I read the chart anyway.

    Comment by Dicky — April 16, 2008 @ 10:29 pm

  8. I’ve told people for years, it don’t matter how much some book or guide says something is valued at in the world of collectables, the only thing that matters is how much you can get some poor fool to pay you for it. Let me see someone take a rookie baseball card into a bank and lay it down as collateral for a loan. They’ll laugh you out of the bank. It’s all about the 4 G’s- guns, gold, grub and God. And a little bit of tobacco and bourbon ain’t bad to have for barter.Comment by Tony from Ohio — April 16, 2008 @ 10:46 pm
  9. My idea of good trading stock is a #10 can of nails and a decent hammer.
    Some hot homemade bread ain’t a bad idea.
    Some .22LR ammo , lumber, vegetable seeds, you get the idea. Cant eat silver coins.

    Comment by Alaskan Dennis — April 17, 2008 @ 12:51 am

  10. “#Dicky said,April 16, 2008 at 10:29 pm · Edit

    Hey Michael I think you have it backwards. An ounce of gold would be worth 230 gallons of diesel or 154 bushels of corn… Or the other way it would be that a gallon of diesel would be worth 0.004 ounces of gold and the bushel of corn would be worth0.006 ounces of gold.
    Thats how I read the chart anyway.”

    You are correct. Thank you sir!

    Comment by Administrator — April 17, 2008 @ 1:36 am

  11. I completely agree with Alaskan Dennis – you can’t eat gold, and if people think that someone’s going to give up part of their food cache in exchange for a bit of metal, they’re nuts. Exchange of precious metals only works when commodities are plentiful – when food gets scarce only a fool will give up their food for a bit of gold metal.Comment by n7ekg — April 17, 2008 @ 5:54 pm
  12. in the attempt to clarify the value of gold = 1 gallon diesel 0.004
    or the value of gold = 0.006 1 bushel corn

    whats the value/worth of the batteries that operate the calculator?

    with that degree of ‘thousands-of-an-ounce’ trade value…
    we are still at the mercy of BS artists,

    a carton of smokes might get someone a ’slave’ for a day
    a bottle of ‘hooch’ about the same return….

    WTF, am i going to do with anywhere from 1-100-1000 bushels of corn?
    from that gold-medium of exchange?
    the bulk corn might be of the GM variety…
    I’m supposed to transport it how? Protect it how? Too many variables for my puny mind!~


    Comment by victoras — April 17, 2008 @ 6:34 pm

  13. Which is why you buy silver…you’ll see real quick how handy a bushel of corn becomes, especially if you have animals to feed.For those that think gold is impractical as a medium of exchange, I simply refer you to the last 5000 years of human history.History always wins.

    Comment by Administrator — April 17, 2008 @ 10:36 pm

  14. n7ekg : Thanks for your support. The Mrs. and I have talked about ways to get by when T.S.H.T.F..
    There will be a lot of signs on the tree leading up the road to our home. Like..Haircuts, Wood Stoves, Fresh Eggs, Rabbits for meat or pets, Fresh vegetables in seson, Gun Repairs..Etc….
    Gold or silver wont do us much good when we’re down to our last pound of beans.
    ………………Alaskan Dennis

    Comment by Alaskan Dennis — April 18, 2008 @ 12:43 am

  15. Sorry John, That is not Paris Hilton, but her former side kick, from the TV Show “Simple Life”. Nicole Richie.

    Comment by flyingmonkeychick — April 19, 2008 @ 3:56 pm

  16. thanks for the chart i would like to connect with people in fla but not sure how. my husband calles me a dooms dayer but is just scared to think about all this. so its my job to get us somewhat ready as best i can. not alot of funds to work with just a weekly grocery allowance so i have been picking up extra rice or tuna as i can afford. thanks, i sleep better knowing its not just me.Comment by diane — April 24, 2008 @ 9:18 am
  17. Diane: Here’s a forum that might be right up your alley. There’s a lot of folks from Florida, the fellow that started the forum is a Floridian.
    Check it out. On the site I’m “Alaskan”
    Good luck and good preping…….

    Comment by Alaskan Dennis — April 26, 2008 @ 1:01 am


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