Wednesday, September 26, 2012

lost and gone forever

LOST AND GONE FOREVER
All old codgers lament the passing of goods and services superior to the sorry excuses presented today, and this article will look at that from a prepper perspective.  I had a minion corresponding with me wherein he asked for my advice on a travel trailer purchase.  Although overpriced, I still thought it was a good idea, even as it would halve his savings.  It isn’t necessarily because inflation is always chipping away at monies value, nor is it just because hyper-inflation could be a future concern.  Mainly it is because too many desirable items are now lost and gone forever and their replacements are not worth their inflated prices.  Five years ago I thought recreation items like RV’s and Jet-Ski’s and the like would be going for pennies on the dollar by now, but nothing of the sort has transpired.  The collapse, while obvious to those with wide open eyes, has been too well hidden from Joe Six Pack.  In his world, these luxury items which were acquired as the equivalent of ostentatious peacock feathers, and as such are the equal even today ( you know, because the recovery already began in the media news ).  He doesn’t realize that the only reason demand is brisk and it is a sellers market is because more and more people are using them as homes.  I would imagine that this trend, far sighted shelter acquisition, and the industry doubling its prices of new units, both combined to keep up prices ( I have no idea why the ATV’s and such are still so much for used units ).
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As the prices have doubled and folks are laid off and banks tighten credit, fewer and fewer travel trailers will be available on the used market in the near future.  Add in inflation and today is the best time to buy a used trailer.  Because it will soon be like the rest of the prepper/frugal living items no longer available.  My famous example I use repeatedly are metal canned instant mashed potatoes.  Prior to Y2K a #10 can was about three bucks.  Now, if you want a metal can for twenty year shelf life you must order through a mail order company at very high prices.  Before, a trip to Wal-Mart was all there was to it.  All the grocery stores now offer is leaky cardboard boxes, totally inappropriate for long term storage.  Remember all those war surplus bolt action rifles?  British and German and Swedish and Italian and Austria-Hungarian and French, all for about $50-$100.  With their surplus ammo.  They are all gone now ( I hope I played a small part in drying up the market for Lee-Enfield’s ).  Along with the ammo.  And unless you want a Russian rifle with its potential gas bleed safety issue, you are better off going with a brand new hunting rifle ( of course, then you can’t have a bayonet ).
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Back not too long ago if you worked retail you could pick up silver coins at face value.  Silver rounds were selling so cheap that the old pre-65 common currency coins mostly kept circulating with only minimal retention.  Now, absolutely zero remain.  They are all now buried, under mattresses or in coin stores.  And remember those affordable Conex metal shipping containers?  Back when we still had a robust economy, those things were going for $800 to $1600.  The companies couldn’t get rid of them.  Now, all that is left is the crappy rusted worthless turds at twice to three times the price.  They are still for sale, but no longer affordably.  How about that cheap canned meat?  You could go to Dollar General and buy a buck, a buck and a quarter canned beef.  Only three years ago you could still buy beef and gravy for $2 a can.  Now of course even tuna is almost out of the preppers stockpile budget.  And hell, canned meat has always tasted like vile salted swill.  It was never great to start with.  At today’s prices only a desperate fool buys them ( I’m not disparaging here.  You SHOULD be desperately stockpiling food right now ).  For all intents and purposes canned meat is no longer available affordably.
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Remember those fifty mile per gallon cars, the Metro and the Rabbit?  For the life of me I can’t understand why they weren’t kept in production.  Do the Powers That Be really think the gas consumption was too low with these things?  If that was the case I’d image mopeds would long ago have been outlawed as too dangerous.  Yet, I can only see pollution controls ( in the case of the Rabbit ) as a contrived method they use to force things off the market or increase demand artificially.  My point here is that since they were discontinued ( for unknown reasons ) the 50 MPG car has never been seen again.  Gold and silver are easy ones.  You used to be able to buy an ounce of silver for one hours minimum wage.  Today it takes five ( spot price is lower than buying price as the physical shortages jack up retail ).  Obviously the world is running out of the ores and the fuel to extract the remaining metal is more costly.  Seriously, the ore is nearly gone for all intents and purposes.  You won’t have a lot of time left to buy precious metals.  Do you see the trend?  If you get lucky, an item is available at ( historically speaking ) insane prices only.  If you are unlucky, not available at any price.  Too many items are no longer affordable for the average working stiff.  You must acquire what you want now.  Not five or ten years down the road.  You think two grand for a forty year old trailer is insane?  Me too.  But if that is what the market will bear, you either pony up or do without forever.  The last time I bought an Enfield I bitched about the $150-175 prices.  Now they are $350 ( for an old beat up shot out rifle!!! ).  Soon, no longer available.  Well, neither will wheat or rice, but I won’t go on about famines again.  The good stuff is going, so get it while the getting is good.
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7 comments:

  1. I never have understood the allure to ATV's...Anyone? Anyone?

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  2. ...and snow mobiles and jet skies. Expensive toys for boys with big egos, small penis's, good credit and no clue.

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  3. James;

    I was just explaining this is one of my farmhands today, why his prized collection of comic books, weren't ever going to see the price appreciation that was once very common before 2008. I went on to explain that the so-called collector's market in practically everything except for hard to find tools, precious metal coinage and working military pattern firearms was never going to recover its former collector's value, because discretionary spending by the general public has evaporated and won't ever come back so now those comic books like much of the mountain of pop culture memorabilia is actually just expensive stuff with little value to a future where basics are beyond price in fiat currency. Austrian Economics are a bitch!

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  4. I totally disagree about canned meat being unaffordable. You can still get canned herring and salmon at a decent price.

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  5. What is your current opinion of buying old rifles in obsolete calibers? Is there a concern about availability versus the more common types?

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  6. A pretty versatile BO vehicle was the old VW Thing, bullet proof design, nimble and hard to get stuck, easy to wrench on and sipped gas like a VW bug (which was what it was). Power nuthin' of course.

    Not sure there is a modern day equivalent, discounting beat to crap pickups.

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  7. I have to laugh, you'ns are obviously not from these parts... If you have over a hundred acres are are actually making a living off of them, an ATV is pretty much a necessity -- unless you're Amish and have a team of horses. After a pickup truck and a tractor, an ATV is probably the most important piece of equipment for a farmer in the hills of western Pennsylvania to have. Heck, if livestock is your main product it might be more important than the tractor. It is definitely not for recreation. A favorite is 'the mule' which looks like a miniature pickup. It takes you, and possibly a farmhand, and feed, or fertilizer, or tools, or medicine, etc., etc., all over the farm in a jiffy.

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