Stocking up to my mind implies an earlier part of this century when we lived on the farm and did not get to town, perhaps once or twice a year. There was no Wal*Mart ™, no grocery stores for quick run in and buy. Fast food eateries were a no concept. Doctors made house calls and your life was fulfilled with chores, farm animals, church, and family.
Yet it took a great deal of organization to manage this micro community of when to plant, what to plant, when to harvest, how to store the harvest, and most assuredly when there was a bad year, you could organize last year’s stock pile and survive. The biggest problem I remember in the old days was taking a seed loan out that could be iffy to repay; and finding a new bride that was not related to you, as communities were small and not yet diversified.
Today for the apartment dweller who has no room and worried about the economy I recall that my wife’s parents during the Great Depression of the 1930’s ate beans every day and Grand Dad was lucky to have a job as an electrician which paid ten dollars a month. Rent took eight dollars a month. They remained grateful. What was amazing was there was no extra money, as today, to buy useless trinkets and nick knacks that become dusty clutter. A pair of shoes was a luxury. Think about this when you do your Xmas shopping.
No one expected the Great Depression as WWI brought in prosperity and the bubble of endless new employment in the cities. The family farm was drying up even then as the young people moved into a new lifestyle of gadgets and convenience in the growing cities. Whole population densities relocated and created new cultural class and race distinctions. But the bubble, like today started to unravel in the late 1920’s and by 1933 the Great Depression was at its low point. Admittedly the President of the United States is alleged to have admitted that the WWII era is what pulled us out of the Great Depression. It was not until 1952, or about, that the stock market finally recovered. Much if this history from my life span is just a replaying record.
The emerging “Prepper” movement is another survival movement which evolved from the fear of nuclear weapons in the 1950’s, and that reflects back to the early 1900’s when it was feared that the Germans would take over in this country. Going back even further there have always been fears of something catastrophic going to happen-it is in our genes to think that way, but that is how we survive really, really bad times.
If we examine our recent historic past and make the conclusion that what has happened before will probably happen again how are we prepared to meet the snowstorm of our years. Instead of just collecting nick knacks we can buy beans. Well maybe not all beans but food stocks, and store then properly like we discussed in previous “Stocking Up” articles. Food is the most important commodity you can have in hard times. You have to eat.
There is a mad rush to buy guns at this time. Many scenarios are postulated that with a gun you can survive in the country. Everybody has that idea of shooting Bambi and feasting. The problem is that the true experienced country boys will have long cleaned out to extinction this food source before your first tent peg is pounded into the ground.
Another scenario is keeping the bands of disenfranchised gangs away from the homestead. Well these people will have taken over the Armories in the State and have some very heavy-duty military weapons. Your Black Rifle is not going to do much good in a major defensive posture. Are you a trained military combat veteran? Have you gathered the neighbors in and discussed what you can do to aid one another? Yes, there will be bandits but do not expect the police to enforce protection to all- there is just not enough police to go around; maybe your Black Rifle will be a deterrent.
There is so much misinformation, disinformation and deception on the Internet since 1994 that the innocent reader is swept into panic buying and following the herd. Looking ahead at relevant topics that stirs the blood such as http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_51/b4160000035262.htm?campaign_id=bwdaily_related
The banking system certainly requires overhauling when about 50 % of the yearly profits are paid to a very few as bonuses. These figures in the billions of dollars could certainly go towards public works projects or as they are doing now in Great Britton and France, taxing the bank profits in the public good at 50%. I think 100% would be better.
When we read about the unemployment of 27 million Americans in one alleged government report and the 37 million on food stamps http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601012&sid=aFbqGE.lEdi0 we become naturally incensed. No wonder we are buying guns.
I would think that the current gun ownership of 220million people does worry the Washington crowd. See http://www.renewamerica.com/columns/baldwin/091211
So at this point people are stocking up on guns out of fear, or for civil disobedience. Either one will set off a disruption of service, then we will be back to beans-if we have a few cans in the larder.
The alleged massing of Army troops to quell uprisings is not new, laws and constitutionality notwithstanding. Remember Kent State? However considering the vastness of the United States, such disturbances would likely be centered, as in the past, in Washington as it would take a million troops to quell uprisings. For the history buffs, do you recall the Veterans Bonus march in the 1930’s when the Army drove out the veterans by sword point, led by the late General Mac Arthur who also laid waste to the shanty’s and tent cities of that Great Depression?
Few people really stock up, be it that there is no extra money available, that they are ignorant of the current situation, they discount the cumulative facts, and they are just caught in the loop of despair and drudgery.
I have two helpers that do various farm tasks. Both are very poor and their long-range future is bleak with health issues, declining employment opportunities, and no education. Although great reliable workers they are in a seasonal environment that makes winter a starvation period. I sent them home yesterday with food parcels and funds, but they need more. I think that we owe fellow citizens better respect and care than buying plastic trinkets at the mall that supports China.
I am very fortunate that I was able to trek to Christiansburg and stock up on my pet foods for dogs and cats and of course rabbit food. I was a bit late in doing all of my “stocking up” on animal foods this year as I had to make new storage facilities composed of 32-gallon metal trashcans, which hold 150 lbs. of food each. These I painted in gray primer, undercoated the bottom half of the cans, (they rot out of you do not- being cheaply made) and concluded with tie down bungi straps to keep the raccoons out. Next year when I restart my chickens I will stock up when the fall harvest is on from the local mills, or just grow a ½ acre of grain and corn. Harvesting is not difficult, even if you are getting older.
Share a dinner with a hungry family this Christmas.
COPYRIGHT: 2009, Back2theLand.Com, Mark Steel.