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