Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: inflation

US Economy Shrank 0.1 Percent In Last Quarter 2012

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Surprise, surprise, surprise, the US economy shrank 0.1% in the last quarter of 2012. That 0.1% may not seem like a lot, but the real story its much worse then 0.1%.

Take these factors into consideration:

The economy shrank during the biggest spending time of the year – Thanksgiving and Christmas. If the economy shrank during Christmas, that says people do not have expendable income.Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalist

The economy shrank during one of the biggest panic buying phases in the firearms industry since the 1994 assault rifle ban.

Not only were people spending money on Christmas, but they were also buying all the guns, ammunition and magazines they could get their hands on,,,, and the economy still shrank.

One thing that caused a slowdown in the economy was a reduction in military spending.  The question I have to ask, why does government spending play such an important roll in the economy?  Maybe the government does not want the people to know how bad the economy really is?

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Wages Slipping for Skilled Workers

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I spent 15 years in the welding field, was an ASME certified welder, built ASME certified pressure vessels and heat exchangers. The fabrication shops I worked at are in southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana.

From 1986 – 1999 I saw wages eroded by inflation and greed by the employer.

One employer never gave raises, what you hired on at is what you made. After you were there for 3 months you “might” get a 25 cent raise, but never anything after that.

Another employer, their idea of a raise was 25 cents a year. That 25 cents was easily eaten up by inflation.

Today (2012), I would have to make between $66,000 – $67,000 to have the same standard of living that I had in 1990 when I was 22 years old. That $66,000 – $67,000 is just to maintain that standard of living, and not to improve it.

Welding shops in the area are not paying anywhere near that much these days. The last welding shop I worked at, I made around $45,000 a year.

Its not just a matter of low-skill jobs being associated with low wages, wages for skilled craftsmen have not kept with with inflation or minimum wage.

In 1987 I went to work for a certain company, at that time their top pay was 3.35X minimum wage.

Today, top pay at that same company is around 2X minimum wage.

What is going to happen over the next 30 years as wages and minimum wage stagnates against inflation? Will skilled workers be making minimum wage in 30 or 40 years?  How are working class families supposed to be able to buy a home, buy food and pay their basic bills?

Random Thoughts November 27 2012

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Kevin Felts, blogger and survivalistIt is time to have another random thoughts article.

National Debt – I figured it was time to make anther article when I read this opinion piece at the Wall Street Journal. According to that article, our national debt already exceeds $86.8 trillion, or 550% of our Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

According to the authors of that article, the true amount owed to the Federal Reserve is hidden from public view.

In other words, the government is treating the people like a bunch of mushrooms, we are being kept in the dark and fed crap.

I do not know for a fact that the national debt is anywhere close to the $86 trillion range like the article claims.  Even at $16 trillion we are in deep trouble.

What is sad, the nation is bankrupt, and there are people looking for a government handout.  There is no money, but people want more free stuff.

Coleman – The same Coleman company that makes outdoor products, why you no offer all of your products in the USA?

Why am I finding Coleman tents in overseas stores, but not in stores here in the states?

Related Forum ThreadWhy doesn’t coleman sell their full product line in the USA

I was doing some google searches for a good 2 man tent, when I came across several stores in the UK selling coleman tents.

Do a search for those same tents in the USA, and nothing comes back.

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The United States economy will never recover

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From time to time people in the news like to say “The US economy is recovering”. Well, I am here to tell you the economy of the United States will never recover.

As long as we have free trade with nations like China, the US economy will continue to free fall.

The federal reserve and the government can prop the economy up for short periods of time, but these fixes are temporary.

Article on Yahoo News – Lost Middle-Class Jobs Being Replaced by Burger-Flipping and Retail Gigs: NELP Study

For the past 2 decades we have been told the United States job market is shifting from manufacturing to service orientated jobs. Unless you are a doctor, lawyer, banker,,, someone that provides a valuable service, the service job market is going to be low wage jobs.

Foxxconn, who builds computer parts for companies like apple is planning on building a plant in Iowa. An estimated 300,000 people will be hired, which is about 10% of Iowa’s population.

If one company could hire 300,000 people, just imagine what would happen if free trade was abolished and companies were forced to build more factories in the US. Then, and only then would the economy turn around.

Balanced trade is good, free trade is bad. And it is that simple.

Do you think the United States economy will recover?

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Families overwhelmed at every corner

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Is it just me, or does it seem that the average American family is being overwhelmed at every corner.

A couple of days ago my stepdaughter posted on facebook she spent $345 at walmart.

That is equal to someone making $10 an hour for 40 hours minus taxes. One trip to walmart wipes out a whole weeks worth of wages.

Then there is this report from fox news that says parents are being overwhelmed by child care cost – American Parents Overwhelmed by Growing Childcare Costs | Fox Business

How are people supposed to get ahead and stay ahead when the basic cost of living keeps going up?

In 2003 I was making about the same amount of money I was making a decade earlier. But on the flip side of the coin, prices had gone up every year during that last decade.

While I was working at a welding shop in southeast Texas, at my 1 year review I was given a 25 cent raise. The cost of inflation over the past year was more then that 25 cent raise. The price of gas had gone up more over the previous year to the point where that 25 cent raise did not even cover changes to the price of fuel. I finally left that welding shop. If an employer will not even keep their wages up with the rate of inflation, then the employees are losing money.

The droughts over the past few years have driven the price of anything with corn in it up.

My wife and I buy canned refried beans at the local grocery store.  We use the beans to make homemade burritos.  Two years ago we paid 98 cents a can.  Last week that same can cost $1.18.  That is a 20% price increase over the past couple of years.  I bet your wages have not gone up 20% in the past 2 – 3 years, because mine sure haven’t.

My step-daughter is looking at going back to work after the birth of her third child. Child care for her three children is going to cost right around $240 a week. Even if someone is making $10 an hour, at $240 a week more then half their pay check would be going to childcare.

How are families supposed to get ahead and stay ahead when wages have stagnated, and everything keeps going up in price?

The future of generation Y

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My first wife and I had 4 children, which were born between 1987 and 1996. I often what kind of nation we are leaving our children.

The U.S. government is broke, and still continues to spend money like kids in a candy store. Jobs are still be deported to china, illegal immigrants can get a free education, and now with the policies obama put into place, the illegals do not have to worry about being deported.

In 20 – 30 years will anyone have national pride? What is a nation without citizens and borders?  What defines a citizen?  Is it someone that walks across the border, then raises their hand for free benefits?  What good does it do to be born here, when people can just walk across the river and get equal treatment?

Then there is the free trade issue. As our factories move overseas, what are your children and grandchildren supposed to do for jobs?  Those factories also mean national security.  It takes longer to build a factory then it does to retool.  Lets say we go to war with china and russia, where are our factories?

1 – go to college, get massive debt and hope you land a good job.

2 – go into retail.

3 – start your own business. If you had a rich uncle leave you a couple hundred thousand, maybe you can buy a franchise.

4 – learn a skill and got to work in a refinery, welding shop, land drilling rig or off shore drilling rig.

I will tell you something about working in welding shops, as I have 15 years experience. In relation to minimum wage, people 20 years older then me made more money in the 1960s and 1970s then I made in the 1980s and 1990s. Like everything else, the pay for skilled workers has stagnated.

I worked in the welding field for 15 years. There is a physical toll it takes on your health, lungs, vision, fingers, even people being killed.

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Personal Responsibility

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Kevin Felts blogger and survivalistBaby daddy not helping you with the bills? Maybe you need to get your lazy ass off the couch and get a job.

It is not the job of the tax payers to compensate stupid people. Dont know how to prevent your girlfriend from getting knocked up? Maybe you need to make a trip to the free clinic and get your nuts cut.

Got more kids then you can afford, STOP HAVING MORE!!!!!!! Welfare is not your private checkbook.

My wife and I have a friend of the family that is squeezing out her first child. The baby daddy said he was having an asthma attack, so he gets in the car and drives almost an hour to the next hospital. Keep in mind, the mom was in a hospital. Why not walk over to the emergency room instead of driving to the next town? Because the sorry piece of trash baby daddy wanted to get as far away from the mom and the baby as he can get. The piece of trash baby daddy is around 25 years old, working for minimum wage at the local china-mart, does not provide health coverage for the mom or the baby, does not have a car, and does not even have a drivers license. But yet he can knock the mom up?

The mom on the other hand has a good job, has private health insurance, has a car and has a drivers license.

What the hell was she thinking when she had sex with a bum?

Now the mom and the baby are going to have to deal with a dead beat dad for the rest of their lives.

Its called Personal Responsibility

For the women – Do not get knocked up by a bum.

For the men – If you can not take care of your kids, do not go around getting women pregnant.

To yourself and to the public

It might just my silly idea of how the world is supposed to work, I think people should contribute to society more then the take out.

Lets take a welfare bum that lives in public housing, gets several hundred dollars worth of food stamps and does not work. How much does that person contribute to society? Probably nothing to very little. People that live that lifestyle are nothing more then a drain on society.

When there is more taken out of the bank that goes in, sooner or later you go broke. And that is the direction the U.S. is headed.

Children learn behavior from the environment they are raised in. What happens when welfare bums have kids and do not teach the children the value of work? We end up with generations of welfare parasites.

The United States government is going broke while more and more people stand there with their hands out.

Middle Class Caught In The Middle

Maybe part of the problem is that the middle class has been caught in a catch 22. The manufacturing jobs that supported the middle class have been sent to china and other cheap labor countries. So what are the people supposed to do?

Just as crops whether in the fields without rain, so the middle class withers away without good paying jobs.

I think that people are hard workers. It is in our nature to do a hard days work. I also feel that the majority of people turn to welfare only as a last ditch effort, maybe as a last resort.

So what is the middle class supposed to do? May go back to college and sink our families into debt for student loans? Maybe learn a skill or a trade?

As a parent, you have a responsibility to provide for your family.

As a citizen, you do not have the right to be a willful burden upon the community.

The keyword there is “willful”. There is a difference in being down on your luck and needing a helping hand, and freeloading off the system.

We have a responsibility to ourselves, our family and our community to be responsible for our actions, and the effects those actions have on the community.

The State Of The Nation June 2012

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Kevin Felts blogger and survivalistHas anyone looked around and paid attention to the state of our nation?

Our manufacturing base has been shipped to china
College education is more expensive then ever
Cost is up, and the quality of a college education is down
Big business gets to ramrod just about whatever law they want through congress
The war in the middle east is over a decade old
2012 presidential elections looks like its going to be between tweedle dee and tweedle dum
Housing has reached a point where everyday working people can not afford to buy
Wall street needs to bailed out from time to time, while the government ignores the people needing help
Health care is more expensive then ever
Legal drugs like bath salts are poisoning our youth
U.S. gubberment tries to declare war on its own people with laws like NDAA
U.S. imperialism is encroaching ever closer to Russia and China
With the factories gone, we are running short on skilled labor
National debt is increasing faster then a kid with mommies credit card in a toy store
Prices have been increasing faster then wages.

Housing Bubble

I think we need to talk about prices for a little bit, and especially home prices. When the housing bubble was going from the early 2000s to around 2008, home prices doubled, tripled and then quadrupled. But yet wages stayed the same. How can something justify such price increases? People need to use a little common sense. When something is doubling in price, something is wrong – especially when it comes to a life essential. Housing is essential, unless you like living in a cardboard box.

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The coming civil unrest

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For those of you that have not been paying attention and voting for the same two parties over and over, I blame you for what you are about to read. The two party system will be the downfall of the US, and I directly blame the voters.

My personal opinion, its just a matter of time before protest become violent.

I think there will be 2 driving factors, maybe 3 factors – Cost of living, Unemployment rates and maybe Inflation.

Cost of living – with free trade the US is having to compete against countries that allow their citizens to be exploited by large international companies. Why have a part built in the US, have to pay a liveable wage, pay taxes, pay benefits such as health insurance, sick days and vacation, when the company can move to communist china and get workers at almost slave labor wages. The higher the unemployment rate, the lower the wages, that is just the way things work.

As wages continue to stagnate, the cost of everything else continues to go up. Some refried beans my wife and I buy to make homemade burritos with went up 8 cents a couple of weeks ago. 8 cents might not seem like a lot, but when the can cost $1, that is an 8% increase. The average rate of inflation is around 3%. That means 8% is almost 3 times the rate of inflation.

The cost of basic items, such as food is going up at a steady rate. Ground meat – ground round is $2.25 a pound, ground lean is around $4 a pound. My wife fixed some homemade tacos a few days ago, and it cost us almost $10.

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