Tuesday, December 18, 2012

what are you investing in?

WHAT ARE YOU INVESTING IN?
Now, I’m pretty cheap.  If we’re being nice, I’m frugal.  If you are mean and want to try to hurt my feelings, I squeak when I walk ( because I’m a tight-ass, get it? ).  But all that means is that I’ve always tried to find the cheapest solution to a problem.  And I’m afraid that is no longer enough.  Back in the day, you tried to get the most per dollar.  Today, you had better be asking yourself, “What do I need to invest in?”, because the dollar supply will dry up for most of us very soon.  Before, there was always another paycheck coming down the road.  It might have been a much smaller amount, at a job you hated or were overqualified for, or at most part time rather than full, but there was always another job for you ( even if you had to move to go find it ).  You could always pay rent.  The trick was to find the cheapest rent in case you had to downgrade paychecks.  You could always afford transportation, the trick was to minimize your cost.  That was where my advice on travel trailers ( dirt cheap lot rent compared to apartments ) and living under minimum wage figured in.  Now, however, I think that as the economy continues to implode, you no longer have the luxury of buying as cheap as possible.  You must invest so that there is no need to buy at all.
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It is no longer enough to pay cheap trailer space rent ( say, $200 a month ).  When no jobs are to be had, you are just as homeless as the guy paying ten times that amount for a mortgage.  Your only hope is to find cheap land and buy it.  Investing in never paying rent again.  And moving to the country is silly if your only option is trading the trap of rent for the trap of a motor vehicle commute.  If you can comfortably trade down to a bike or shoe leather, then of course by all means depend on a car for awhile.  But a thirty mile commute, when you are sixty years old, in winter snow and ice, is not something that justifies a great piece of property.  I’d call that a money pit, not an investment.  Heck, even owning a bike is a bit of a trap, but so far removed from that of a car that it becomes much easier to plan around.  A partially buried house is an investment to avoid ever paying heating bills again ( you can easily get used to a 55 degree house ).  Solar panels are NOT an investment.  They do not eliminate an expense, they merely make electric cost a lot more ( yet, then again, they are a much better bet than relying on kerosene for light.  Kerosene is still petroleum fuel ).  You could invest in bees, and make your own candles, and might one day be forced to.  But I’d personally keep the extra expense of batteries to keep reading by real light.  Just don’t confuse a greatly preferable luxury as an investment.
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Food is a lot trickier.  Just as most of our economy is geared toward controlling access to a paycheck with near mandatory debt, the access to growing food is also very well controlled.  One of the side benefits of uncontrolled immigration, from the standpoint of those exploiting the wage slaves, is the corralling into debt by over-crowding.  There are no more areas with cheap land that you can grow your own food affordably.  Oh, you can garden.  But you can’t be totally free of needing an outside source of income to secure ALL your calories.   A vegetable garden is not financial freedom, it is just a rewarding hobby  that saves you on your grocery bill and allows you to eat healthier.  It does not free you with any kind of real self-sufficiency.  To achieve that, you’ll need to get into crushing debt to afford the required pasture/woods/stream.  Not self-reliance at all, just reliance on the bankers.  Gardening is necessary for knowledge, and soon to be essential as California dries up and fuel gets too expensive to allow Latin American imports.  Gardening will be the only way to procure veggies.  But for calories, I can only offer a partial solution.  Buy three to five years of grains and hopefully also beans.  It isn’t independence, but it is an investment in insurance ( if the global Forever Winter due to super volcano eruption goes beyond five years, or if you can’t defeat the FedGov who is denying you access to unused cropland as a means of starving out dissent in that time frame, well, you’re dead.  But you are dead a lot sooner if the bank can kick you off of your mortgaged farm ).
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No plan is perfect, but if you stay in the city dependent on a job, you are in serious trouble sooner or later.  The government can control you much easier there, and you are surrounded by lemmings who will throw you under the bus quicker than snot to continue receiving their next welfare check ( and, yes, that includes the nice little old lady next door ).  It is easier for the “child protective services worker” ( read, your child’s true owner ) to find and punish you if you homeschool ( wouldn’t you like to homeschool your kids now after yet another elementary school massacre? ) or refuse unnecessary and potential harmful medical treatment.  Whatever.  The city, whatever its perceived benefits, is a target rich environment for far too many groups to consider yourself safe there.  And you certainly have zero financial security there.  In the end, your house is worthless without the grid.  Your car is worthless without affordable fuel.  Your job will disappear without global trade.  Stop investing in systems already failing. 
END
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