Posted by Andrew J. Jackson
on Sep 16, 2012 in Economics
, Government Gone Wild
, Precious Metals
, Self Reliance
, Top 10
| 0 comments
The economic, environmental, religious and political stressors on society are compounding in ways not seen since at least the 1960’s. These forces will have an affect on the prices (and likely the availability) of a number of the goods and commodities you use regularly as well as those important for preparedness. Of course, the big elephant (or donkey) in the room is the upcoming U.S. presidential election. I urge you to consider Prepography‘s Top 10 Items to Buy Before the Election:
- Meat & Dairy: This summer’s severe drought has significantly decreased the cost and amount of available fodder for livestock causing many farmers to cull their herds. While herd culling will create some downward pressure in the short run on prices it will be somewhat offset by the government’s plan to spend $170 Million on meat in order to give it away in an election year bid for more agricultural votes. Even so, the next few months will be the time to stock up on meat and dairy. Just make sure you can adequately store it if you don’t buy canned for long term storage. I still talk economics with folks who claim there’s no inflation but consider these retail price comparisons provided by the USDA for the two years leading up to August 2012: ground beef +19.5%, pork products excluding canned sliced +11.3%, whole fresh chicken +14.3%, Grade A eggs +24%, cheddar cheese +18.1%
- Veggies and Grains: Again the drought is having a significant affect. We’re still eating off of last years harvest but the futures markets are heating up and this year’s harvest looks like a bust. In my area farmers are bringing in 5-10 bushel per acre (BPA) corn instead of 120-180 BPA and a big portion of the crop must go to ethanol production by law. There are few certainties in life but the likelihood of food inflation continuing is a pretty good bet. Now is the time to buy your long term food storage (many of the advertisers on the right side of this page can help you) or at least stock your daily larder deeper than before (for ideas on how see Top 10 Initial Steps to Preparedness) . As soon as I finish this article I’m going to go online and buy an additional 365 days of long term food storage before the prices go up…I’m also taking advantage of September’s Preparedness Month sales.
- Ammunition: The current administration has failed miserably in it’s attempt to reignite the gun control debate which has it searching for ways to push gun control activities that are “under the radar.” One way of pushing gun control under the radar is for Federal and state governments is to make firearms accessories dramatically more expensive through taxes and ‘required technologies’ like microstamping. Microstamping makes bullets and casings (by microstamping the firing pin) traceable to the ammunition’s purchaser and is horrendously expensive. With several instances of ammunition shortages in the past few years this is another great bet…I can’t imagine ammunition being any cheaper than it is today and stored properly it lasts forever (don’t forget the ammo cans).
- Magazines: Mass shootings have a way of inspiring politicians to regulate tools…never mind that the firearms were often illegally obtained in the first place and the mass shootings almost always take place in locations where the public must give up its right to self defense to enter (gun free zones). Magazines are another accessory that are easy ‘targets’ for politicians. By regulating magazines the politicians can reinforce their narrative that they don’t want to regulate ‘sporting’ arms only ‘evil weapons meant only for killing.’ Limiting detachable magazine capacity to 3, 5 or 10 rounds effectively cripples a large number of modern firearms. Expect attacks on magazines after the election.
- Precious Metals: If you watched precious metals this week you saw a big jump in value…that’s what happens when the world’s (soon to be) former reserve currency is being debased by an announcement that we will print $40 Billion a month of new money ‘until further notice.’ Don’t lament missing the bottom of the market, just do what central bankers and hedge fund managers the world over are doing…buy precious metals as a hedge against inflation. Even someone on a modest income can buy precious metals a few dollars at a time…if you’re like me and gold is too pricey…buy silver.
- Firearms: Another great hedge against inflation, keep forever with proper maintenance
- Arable land: Even if you aren’t a farmer they’re not making it any more. The real estate bubble has depressed the price of land in much of the country but farmland prices are reportedly already headed higher in parts of the country. Not an option for the prepper living check-to-check but a great inflation hedge for those with the assets available. A local farmer will often work the land for you for a share of the crop or you may be able to cash rent it for crops or livestock production. Tip: make sure your land has access to water…preferably not reliant on a disappearing aquifer. There’s a reason that land has historically been considered a true measure of wealth.
- Expert Tax Advise: Many Local, State and especially our Federal Governments are spending money like a spoiled rich kid who knows that Daddy’s about to cancel the credit cards. In order to keep the entitlement system from collapsing like a house of cards our political elite must raise revenues and decrease expenses (the latter half of that is still up for debate in many circles for some unfathomable reason). I believe that the tax code has become so complex that the only way for a taxpayer to keep from overpaying ‘your fair share’ is to have an expert in your corner. The more complex your situation the more expertise you need in your ‘hired gun.’ Consider a tax attorney and/or CPA if you own a farm, a business or have acquired significant assets. Hire your expert now, deal only with the business owner or a partner and hire someone younger than you so you can grow with their practice. When the tax hammer drops you’ll be your planner’s old friend.
- A Retreat: This may seem like an extravagance, but you may be in a position now or in the future to consider such a purchase. While sheltering in place is my preferred method to keep my family safe in an emergency or ‘crunch’ you may live in an area where that isn’t an option. Bugging out to a pre-planned, pre-stocked retreat may be the primary plan for someone who lives in earthquake, hurricane or wildfire country. Bugging out should also be considered if you live in an area with heavy population density, an urban core or don’t have a support network in place (maybe you just relocated across country for work). The real estate bubble has made retreat properties more affordable than you think. Consider purchasing a place ‘back home’ where folks know you if possible.
- Anything else you need that travels by truck or train: Fuel prices affect the cost of nearly every commodity you buy. While it’s not certain that the administration will tap the country’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve it is clear that a price drop from such actions would be temporary at best…the administration’s energy policies and the instability in the Middle East will continue to increase prices over the long run and even a Romney win will not keep energy prices from increasing. Hey…it’s not like that money in the bank is really making money for you anyway…that so called interest is less than what you’re losing in inflation.
There are a number of economic, environmental, religious and political factors affecting our costs of living and the costs of preparedness. Take advantage of these timely and ‘cheap’ buys to move you forward on preparedness journey and move a portion of your nest egg into some tangible assets.