Monday, March 25, 2013

throw away economy


THROW AWAY ECONOMY

No, not referring to Europe and Cyprus and all the rest of the bullspit such as us bailing out their banks or propping up their military adventures to secure more oil ( we are already very much into the Last Oil War.  What isn’t here yet is the superpowers- or at least the nuclear powers- fighting over the oil.  You’d better hope we run out too quick for that, unless you would enjoy a bigger sprinkle of fallout on your morning Wheaties than what you already get from Japan ).  We will of course throw away their economy when it benefits us ( if we don’t crash first ).  I’d like to follow up on Friday’s article, this time focusing on the “depletion” part of ore ( I think I demolished the argument supporting the JIT aspects of the issue.  In fact, I know I did because instead of refuting my argument the discussion moved to picking apart the depletion ).  In my haste to knock down the JIT straw man, knock him down, butt stroke him, kick him in the head and perhaps even violate him if no one is looking, I failed to use “depletion” correctly.  An error I also made with Peak Oil.  I was all rooting and preaching for running out of oil and what I didn’t see coming was merely “Peak Cheap And Abundant Oil”.  We aren’t running out of the ores that make up ammunition, contrary to the impression I conveyed.  Just as with oil, we have run out of Cheap And Abundant Ore.

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We are also in the age of “Peak Throw Away Economy”.  I still remember reading “Future Shock” by Toffler, and discussing it in class at a relatively young age.  The Throw Away Society wasn’t quite reality yet ( how could it be during the Arab Oil Shocks? ) but it came along soon enough and was so pervasive in our society it became unnoticed.  Marriages, clothes, educations, bicycles and pens and lighters and machines, everything you could think of became disposable.  We never got to the paper clothes beyond a few examples used in the book, but clothes became disposable nonetheless ( just not at the end of the day as envisioned.  They lasted a bit longer but where cheap enough to throw away at will.  I can replace a pair of underwear a week and it is cheaper than washing them in a separate “white” load.  Water can be dearer than oil to a point, even if only indirectly).  The throw away economy lasted long enough, over two generations, that it was everyone’s normal.  Now that it is ending we are all gnashing our teeth and bemoaning the injustice of it all and in general making asses of ourselves.  Now, don’t get me wrong.  We aren’t out of ammunition, we aren’t out of the ore that makes it.  What we are out of is ammunition so cheap we can treat it as disposable ( and of course, it isn’t the sole cause.  Peak Oil, inflation, Fed buy ups, fear stockpiling. All have some bearing.  But resource run down is primary).

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For those not reading the comments, it was argued that since we still have lead for car batteries, we aren’t out of lead for bullets.  Since we aren’t out of copper for pipe, we aren’t out of ore for brass.  And etcetera.  I argued back that car batteries are recycled and copper pipes are not much in demand, what with the end of house building ( for all intents and purposes ).  In other words, we have the supplies, but they are no longer so cheap you can throw them away.  Ammo is available right now.  Call it about $1.50 a round for 303 British after delivery ( 308 is a smidge more.  HA!  Take that, current military round only advocates ).  Not a few months ago the 308 was 40 cents a round, or about one third the current price delivered.  If this continues as I believe, it means no one is going to waste brass anymore.  Reloading will become required ( one hopes the reloading components become available, even if at higher rates ).  Oh, we’ll eventually run out, or oil will become so dear there won’t be ore recycling.  For all intents and purposes, the ore will have been depleted.  For now, look at brass as you would the lead in a car battery.  Mostly recycled to keep down the cost.  Again, I’ve panicked on the side of pessimism.  Forgive me for lack of clarification.  Act as if depletion has started, because for you and me it has.

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Okay, on to my current next favorite subject, Kindle.  I’ll be starting a blog just reviewing Kindle survivalism fiction ( post-apoc, not dystopia or disaster or militia porn.  Unless it is so good you simply have to read it ).  I downloaded about 35 free novels and as the weeks go by I’ll be buying others.  I’ll let you know here at this blog when there will be a new entry, as posts will be sporadic.  Don’t expect long entries, I don’t have the time for much more free writing.  I enjoyed reading on the machine over the weekend.  It wasn’t an eye strain like on a computer ( after long periods ).  So now I’m all excited to wade into genre reading.  Another thing I’ll work on is a couple of free K-books myself.  For this I need your help.  If you’ve published on Kindle, can you please tell me how to price the thing at “free”?  I can’t seem to find the solution as my only options are .99 up and 2.99 up for a better commission.  I know it is something simple I’m overlooking.  I don’t mind admitting to being a dumbass, but I do like the feeling to end from time to time.  Once I got that figured, I will make a book with most of my short fiction and another with the “Friday Fundamentals” from the old Bison Survival Blog.  Thanks! ( oh, and scroll down for a link to the current K-Book page ).

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NEW Bison Blog CD For Sale
I've got an actual professional to achieve and format all the old blog on a CD-ROM. It turned out really nice- much nicer to read than online. It does cost $10 plus shipping, figure another $4 or so, which might be a bit on the higher side. But I think I'm worth it. My cut will be about $5. That isn't too much to ask for over five years of work and nearly two million words of pure brilliance. Here is the link to order:
http://kunaki.com/sales.asp?PID=PX00KX7Z1I
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10 comments:

  1. Obviously, you've never worked in a factory before, nor do you really understand JIT.

    Grasshopper, you are laboring under the false assumption that JIT is ONLY having the product delivered JUST IN TIME.

    WRONG WRONG WRONG

    FIRST it has to be manufactured JIT and THEN delivered JIT.

    Hang in there Grasshopper. We will work on this together until you find inner peace.

    Hit the JIT strawman again if it helps with the stress.

    You Know Who

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. JIT is PART of the problem. The fundamental cause, I'm not so sure.

      Delete
    2. Guys, having worked recently in the grocery store biz, I can tell you that JIT, even when it supposedly is working, is still Just NEVER In Time. So, when IT is subject to overwhelming demand then, well, until the demand slacks off, we may never see ammo on the shelves. If we do again, buy as much as possible before this happens yet again. Quit bitching about the price and get as much as you can.

      Delete
    3. But damn is it hard to stop bitchin. We grew up in abundance and cheapness, so this is a new paradgm. Plus, those fools with semi auto need thousands of rounds, so $1.75 each adds up to unaffordable quick.

      Delete
  2. I can replace a pair of underwear a week and it is cheaper than washing them in a separate “white” load.

    You should change your underwear more often or buy dark colored underwear. You don't want us to start calling you Lord Skidmark of the Great Basin.

    Well...

    The bankers/corporations ripped everybody off. The feds trashed the Constitution. All of the jobs went to China. Millions of folks are on the dole. The family unit is toast. Schools brainwash the kids. Americans are fed soy bean and corn syrup slop, fattened up like pigs. Men have had their balls removed. The feminists are in charge.And so on.

    AND NOW THERE IS AN AMMO SHORTAGE???

    Silly me, I thought this steaming turd was created by the evil PTB. I really thought that all of the screwed up things happening all at once in this world were somehow connected. My bad.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is all connected. The end of free energy is the end of the 500 year old banking system. They are trying to survive over as many corpses as possible. At another time I'll discuss my classification for skidmarks and how long I keep underwear.

      Delete
  3. I'd wait a year or so to see where ammo prices are, then declare whether or not there is upward price pressure due to less available resources. Your point is correct over the long haul, but are we there yet?

    Ammo, as I recall, often gets created in "runs" for different rounds, then the machines are set up again for another round and run for a certain amount of production. Thus, it is difficult for production to be highly responsive to dramatic fluctuations in demand. For example, 380 ACP and 9x19 are usually made with the same machines at different times during the year. A few years ago the manufacturers all misjudged the demand for 380ACP and it took about a year for the supply to get adjusted. Plus, there are limits to how much they can run the machines, as they are already trying for max efficiency; adding machines is a long-term cost and could bite you in the butt if demand goes back down. So, there are some realistic limits on production rate regardless of availability of raw materials.

    Over the long haul, though, owning any commodity (brass for ammo, silver rounds, land with timber on it, etc.) is a pretty wise investment IMO. The Limits to Growth standard run model seems to be right on track.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fair enough. In a year, assuming we are all here, I'll be a hero or just be once again overly paranoid.

      Delete
  4. Real survivalists go commando. Just another city boy tradition perpetuated by the media.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I hear tell that one can loan their Kindle books to another party. If so I gots tons that I could loan ya if'n I knew how to do it.

    ReplyDelete