Broke and Hungry: This Chart Says It All

by | Jan 11, 2011 | Commodities, Headline News | 101 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Contrary to the opinion that our economy is on a booming trajectory to the moon, the following chart from the USDA Food and Nutrition Service tells the real story:

    Food Stamp Participation Rate

    One in seven Americans now depend on food stamps to pay the grocery bill each week, and according to a recent report, private food distribution and food assistance organizations have seen a 10% rise in their client base. This on top of reports that food banks are actually running low on food (1,2) due to fewer donations caused by a failing economy and rising food prices.

    Had someone forecast in 2007 that the rate of food stamp participation would nearly double by 2011 few would have believed it, likely dismissing the thought as lunacy. But the chart above shows that the prediction would not have been too far off. And given that the employment situation remains bleak, while commodity prices around the world continue to rise, we would not be at all surprised to see the participation rate accelerate and reach 50 million within the next 18 months.

    If we see the kind of 50% zhang in prices that is currently being experienced in China, it may come even sooner. Looking strictly at the government’s CPI inflation data, one might surmise that prices have “stabilized” with an inflation rate of just under 2%. The problem, of course, is that this data does not account for food and energy prices because they are considered too volatile.

    In April of 2010 we wrote the food price trend at that time indicated that within a year we could very well see an overall increase of at least 26% in grocery stores price. By October of 2010, we were able to see this trend almost fully develop, as commodity prices the world over shot up significantly, with the cost of wheat, oats and sugar up 74%, 68%, and 44% respectively. (See the year over year commodity price chart here)

    We say almost fully developed, because the prices have not yet hit grocery store shelves – but they will. As Karl Denninger has pointed out recently, what we’re seeing right now is margin compression. Campbell’s soup, for example, utilizes a variety of commodities to manufacture their products, yet we have not seen a 50% – 100% increase in the price of a can of soup – not yet at least. Campbell’s has been taking a hit to their profit margin as retail prices have been kept relatively stable while their production costs are increasing.

    Companies like Campbell’s that sell commodity based products and services simply cannot operate in this manner for much longer. At some point they will have to raise prices. It’s as simple as that. According to a November 2010 report from The Street, companies are willing to take those margin compressions for a while, but they’ll only be able to wait three to six months before passing those costs on to consumers. That six month window is almost up.

    And, that means in 2011 more people will find it difficult to put food on the table. Many will have to cut back on, or eliminate, discretionary spending altogether, causing further malaise to the economy, as this will lead to even more lost jobs and subsequently more people requiring the assistance of already strained state and federal budgets for subsidies. The cycle will continue for years to come. And we will continue to see the SNAP food stamp participation rate make record gains.

    The trend is clear.

    For those with the available means to do so, we recommend following, at least in part, the strategy we outlined for Wealth Preservation, Investing, and Prepping during Hard Times. It’s simple, really, buy commodities at today’s lower prices and consume them at tomorrow’s higher prices. Based on the commodity price movements of 2010, one stands to gain over 30%, and as high as 76%, on most every food and energy product in the world once those costs are passed on to the retail consumer side of things.

    In addition to the benefit of investment gains, when you hold your own commodity inventories you don’t have to worry about trading paper stocks or capital gains taxes – and you’re prepared in the event of a major disaster, hyperinflationary disruptions to commerce or other unforeseen events.

    References: Zero Hedge, Bearish News


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      1. Comment…..Please look at the graphs and charts at this site. .   They will confirm the rise in food commodities along with other commodities.   As the article states, it will not be long before these increases will be added to those already seen on storeshelves. 
             Not that this audience needs to be retold about stocking up, but a shoutout needs to go out to others.  Cut your nonessential spending and stock up on the basics, PLEASE.  
             In another direction, I have noticed empty shelf  spaces at the local grocery store.  Items seem to include basics such as can goods i.e. soups, bake beans;  dry goods sugar , rice, flour.   
              These shortages  do not seem to be related to deliveries or restocking schedules.  Has anyone noticed this situation in your areas?  
               Be aware, Be informed, Be prepared.     Be Well

      2. I guess I better get those 6 gallon pails of wheat I’ve been putting off.
        You know what the shit thing is? My wife thinks I’ve got a screw loose and I end up doing all my prepping on the sly, it sucks. I don’t wanna say “I told you so.” I just wish see would take off the friggin rosey colored sun glasses. She’s a good woman I just feel shitty having to hide something I think is so important to our family.
        Oh Well, I guess a year in combat has a way of bringing out the reality in life. 

      3. Right there with ya, Stealth. Also, I look at a lot of modification applications and many of them have food stamps. We currently count that as income (although we may stop doing that).

      4. Stealth,

        An old Greek saying says:
        “Beat your wife every night. You may not know the reason. She knows”.   🙂
        To get serious, do your preps, and as soon as  things go down just shut down the hatches and try to survive together.
        My wife is still a bit cautious, but with the changing situation in Europe she starts to look with another perspective.

        Be safe


      5. Ditto Stealth.

      6. Stealth – your wife is going to love you all the more when those beans and rice you bought and stored today cost 3 times as much a couple years from now.

        The sheeple are in for a very rude awakening and hopefully when they do awaken it will not be too late for them.

      7. Oh well. Just so you know Sam’s Club now offers Augason Farm 1 year supply of freeze dried food in #10 cans for $950. When I saw it last night and added it to my cart it was $879, but when I finalized the order this morning it was up $71.

        I have not tried this brand but, it doesn’t much matted. If I have to use it, it will keep you alive, regardless of taste. The reviews were ok. 

        Good Luck folks. 

      8. Yup,this is going to hit the families of poor and lower  middle class like a “sledgehammer”. The government only cares about thier banking and Wall Street buddies who do not care about the masses who have to eat and try to keep thier house warm. For those of us on social security which I have paid into for over 45 years I guess that means more peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Thank goodness I have been reading this blog for a long time and have done as much prep as I could but, I really feel sorry for the folks that don’t have the resources to do it. Please if you don’t have a garden start one! It will probabley make the difference between being well fed or not. It is a lot of work but our ancestors did it and so can we. I don’t kwow how this will totally play out but I can safely say that a steak dinner is going to be out of the question for a great many of us. Be calm and plan ahead for a much more basic lifestyle and really focus in on needs and not wants. This situation is almost impossible for 95% of the people who presently have good jobs to get their heads around but for us that used to make 75 k a year and now can only find 9.oo/hr part time jobs( if you’re lucky) we know that hard times are just around the corner. Prep as much as you can! God Bless 

      9. Stealth….don’t feel too bad. I have to hide preps from my husband too. He knows I do it and ….well lets just say…he humors me.

        I know that he thinks that I have fallen off my rocker. The thing is he has no idea to which extent that I do it. Closets that were at one point full of junk we did not use have all been cleaned out and now are loaded with very well organized preps….he has no idea of most of it becuase he has no reason to go in them.  

        He would probably have me committed if he knew…LOL

      10. Make her go on a diet after!  It’s bad enough feeling self conscious about buying LARGE bags of rice, pasta, Spam & beans in a grocery store.  I went through the speed line lunch hour grocery line with 40 lbs of rice & one container of fresh sushi on base last weekend!  You should have seen the looks.  I love it…

      11. We have to keep in mind, higher prices don’t translate directly to a higher participation rate in food stamps.  It’s a ‘means tested’ program.  Participation is based on income and mouths one feeds.  Provided the rules stay the same…this would mean more households must experience a fall in income.  So how will that come about?  More layoffs; more falling off unemployment compensation; more foreclosures???  Actually, there are thousands living rent free in foreclosed homes, simply not making payments.  Once they are actually evicted and have to pay rent, their food costs will be more of a burden.
        JMO on this very good article.

      12. People who are broke, homeless and hungry will beg succor from the Central State. “Please, sir, a crust of bread. My child hasn’t eaten in four days.”

        I can see the looks on the faces of the hungry sheeple. “But we trusted you…. (whine) IT’S NOT FAIR ….”

        The PE will not have to backhand many. Constant starvation will do that effectively. While the well-fed PE, guarded by its uniformed lackeys, lives large.

        One repercussion. Another repercussion. Great masses of people suddenly with fewer options, less wealth, less liberty. It isn’t discrete events. It’s all part of a plan.

        Ultimately the Power Elite wants nine-tenths of us dead. The rest of us, the trauma surgeons, green thumbs, Bobby Build-Its will be all too happy to work for food.

        Great article on a recent Charles Hugh Smith about the incompetence of the elite and their finishing schools (the Ivies, Stanford etc). In essence, they are groomed to be incompetent at anything except exercising privilege. So they will need people who actually know how to do things.

        What they won’t need will be about 270 million useless eaters.

        Hey mushroom, you can’t eat those crisp new $10 bills.

      13. wonder whats going to happen when the government stops funding the food stamp programs?
        It wont be pretty..I think they have been trying their damdest to avoid this, but for how long?
        They already cant fund cops,trash pick up, Cali. schools are all under water (so im told and read)
        the feeders are going to go ballistic when they cant get their ho-ho’s, and redbull.
        Nothing worse than a tweeker thats been on living assistance for 1/2 their life, getting their food for free, and now wont have the government check to continue their useless way of life, or buy their fix and box of cookies.
        If this fiancial freight train keep running off the tracks like its been doing , its going to get really exciting.
        daily target practice may change from paper to flesh over night.

        Lock and load comrades

      14. i didn’t realize so many americans were using food stamps.

        this is certainly very disturbing.

        following the recent appointment of bill daley as chief of staff i looked up this guys background.                                                         

        this  appointment also very disturbing… 

      15. Stealth – if you can’t convince her to stock up based on potential need, try to convince her that it will save her money due to inflation.  I’ve been working on my family members for a year and finally, about 3 or 4 weeks ago convinced 2 of them to start stocking up – I appealed to the “economic side” of them by telling them they’d make 1% on their money in a savings account and about 25-30% on their money my way. 

        I’m sure they still won’t do enough but some is better than none right?

      16. mushroom????  Is that you????

      17. I see Gov moonbeam is cutting back state workers pay by 10% & extending increases in taxes.  Good thing they have happy cows out there.  Medical insurance going up 50% plus.  I see all of this slowing moving East except for a hand full of other blue states that will go next.  But government doesn’t count food & energy that go hand in hand.  I see another person is telling us that we can’t eat gold & silver.  I think they don’t understand real money.  Maybe he/she just saves nickels to buy future “green” lettuce or “bread”.  Tariff (food) wars I believe are coming between countries.  Food & energy hasn’t gone up, it never will.  Gold/silver dictates to fiat and food/energy to fiat with the latter governed by economic laws and the former by sensible scared people.  But food/energy doesn’t just sit there as long or as well.  Brown slimy lettuce or moldy bread anyone? 

      18. Who are you, and what have you done with mushroom?

      19. Wow so many without jobs and needing food stamps and probably cash assistance. I’m pretty sure they can only receive that for five years in their lifetime after the welfare reform of cigar stuffing billboy. Then I guess they will have to take what ever job they can to pay social security tax to pay for all the worthless fucking baby boomer shit that caused America all the trouble it is in. If the doctors would get smart and help boom them to hell where they belong the country would be a hell of a lot better off. The baby boomers are the worst generation the planet ever seen. They care about nothing but them selves and their money. Most all of them were worthless in the work force and at parenting they sucked with all the children they had no matter what marriage they were on. Lazy no good for nothing baby boomers. Thanks worthless shit.  

      20. That’s what I’m screaming!!!

        Mushroom…I always knew you were one of us.

      21. “Had someone forecast in 2007 that the rate of food stamp participation would nearly double by 2011 few would have believed it, likely dismissing the thought as lunacy.”
        I knew it, figured it would have hit sooner, much sooner.  It’s a good day today to plant that fruit/nut tree.

      22. We have to keep in mind, higher prices don’t translate directly to a higher participation rate in food stamps.  It’s a ‘means tested’ program.  Participation is based on income and mouths one feeds.  Provided the rules stay the same…this would mean more households must experience a fall in income.  So how will that come about?  More layoffs; more falling off unemployment compensation; more foreclosures???  Actually, there are thousands living rent free in foreclosed homes, simply not making payments.  Once they are actually evicted and have to pay rent, their food costs will be more of a burden.
        JMO on this very good article.

        It’s is also for the elderly that soley rely on fixed SS incomes. These people have not gotten cost of living increase and now everything cost more. They simply can not make it without some help. I do not mind helping these people. It’s the ones that can work that won’t I have an issue with.  

      23. @mushroom…can we kiss and make up?  I always knew there was a real human inside those crazy remarks of yours!

        GMAFB – apologies intended and extended…

      24. you do realize anyone can use any name they want at anytime.  I am a sane, competent man who understands the times we are living in and would never save $10 bills over Gold, Guns, and Goolah, therefore I am not mushroom.

      25. I meant to say Goulash (sp?)

      26. @not mushroom…if you aren’t mushroom, I’m not kissing you!

        GMAFG – apologies retracted…

      27. after reading about bill daley i’ve  been doing a little research on gene sperling.   now i’m more than disturbed -  in fact i’m very angry.

      28. Just as I suspected.  You ate mushroom.

      29. Mushroom is proof that the Sheeple can wake up.  Congrats! 

      30. Define your recipe of goulash.

      31.  Where I live in Va. I’ve noticed in the last two months that none of the stores in my area have had any cans of corned beef and 25lb bags of salt. Anyone else having this problem? Don’t know for sure but it looks like one of those canarys dropping dead. In other news Va. now has a house resolution to find an alternate currency should the FED collapse. Go and figure.

      32. Not owning any metal to go along with goulash is a form of insanity.  I like the extremes: Au, Ag, steel, lead and a little plastic or wood to keep it all together.

      33. Me and friends are all glad we’re “over the hill” retirees; we’ve  seen the best years ever in this country’s history, now it’s fixin’ to be over with.    We have food, guns, ammo, etc along with tea, coffee and chocolate, barter items (soap, t.p., etc)   Don’t forget over the counter cold medicines,  extra skin medications for poison oak, etc. and extra pairs of eyeglasses, vitamin, herbs, etc.  Any of you living out of cities, get some laying hens, dairy goats, rabbits.   Extra warm weather outerwear, shoes.  It’s disgusting that over fifty years patriots and patriot groups, talk shows, have made zero impact on anyone.  All was in vain with zero results.   I ‘m shocked at the number on food stamps.  There is no future in raising a family except for the very rich.   With free trade zones in every state and outsourced jobs, voting is useless and politicians can’t be trusted.

      34. Stock up on beer or learn how to make your own.
        In Quebec l bought a case of 12 for 15.65$ at depanneur(convenience store). One week later went to same place. They wanted 22.95$ for same quantity and label. With disbelief  l left it on the counter and left saying “forget it”(beer workers are unionized). Noticed that all beer has gone up due to increased wheat prices over past year. What the Red necks going to do south of the canadian border? stocking up can goods with labels,rice, beans,etc plus buying some junk silver bit by bit

      35. Buy rice in bulk. Buy canned goods… tuna fish, for example. Get a water filter. In case the taps one day stop running. Learn how to make fire without matches. Get first aid supplies – one kit for each car and at least two for the home if you have a family. Propane and/or butane cookers w/ gas canisters. Wool clothing, such as socks and gloves.
        If by any chance the crap never hits the fan, you can simply eat through all these food supplies. You will be able to use the first aid supplies eventually (or donate them if they are still usable and you really don’t need them). Heavy winter clothing will always be useful during the cold months.
        But if the crap does hit the fan…. you’ll be glad you prepped.

      36. Glad l do not live in big cities but l live in a small town(pop 1400) just north of your border. l go across your border to buy and stock up on canned goods. lTs 100 to 300% more in Quebec(paying for socialism and you can die waiting for an operation because of extended wait lists).
        hope to sell my house and buy a wreck out in the country with lots of trees for firewood and install a hearthstone wood stove and knock down the walls to insulate.

      37. What will happen is hyperinflation which will destroy paper money and result in a barter economy.
        Therefore, you will need much more than food. You will also need:
        batteries, toilet paper, plastic bags, soaps, medical supplies, light bulbs, gasoline, toiletries, and a gun with ammo. Some of said items you can use for barter, but having some junk silver will also get you what you need.
        Don’t forget to start a “victory garden” since the hyperinflation mess may last up to 5 years.
        It is likely that power will either be unavailable or too expensive, so have a stove you can cook on and some way to keep warm (a neighbor who lived through the Bosnia problems said that a perfect thing to have is an old fashioned wood and coal kitchen stove since it will heat the room, heat hot water, and cook for you. You will need to have at least 2 cords of firewood available for it that is cut to usable size.)
        Get ready NOW


        laura…you forgot incandescent light bulbs…I have 40 and will get 40 more next run …good barter, and they are to be discontinued in 2012…so I read.

      39. The last part of the article was wrong the cycle will not continue for years to come….this year maybe, but beyond that….

        Also I fear we will see more of what happened in Tucson this year, Gerald Celente put it best when he said  “When people lose everything they lose it”,  Loughner felt he had lost everything and the outcome was horrific.  


        Strike Anywhere Matches…Ace Hardware…$1 a box..250 in a box……..great barter also, laura.

      41. Have any of you considered turnips.  They saved alot of people on the frontier.  Not the best tast but lots of carbs, minerals and vitamin C.  They are easy to grow in abundance.  Ready in 55 days, can eat the greens before that.  Seed is cheap.  Can grow in spring or fall.  I live on a farm next to a small town.  Could plant them to sell to the sheeple (at a fair price) when the SHTF.  If not I can turn the cows in on them.  Cows are crazy about them.  

      42. WOW, im stuffed, what a great dinner. it feels like Thanksgiving all over again. >>>> time posted: Dinner Time<<<<

      43. good point bout those light bulbs. u have bright light as soon as u hit the switch in comparison to the new ones which take fore ever to get light  when cold.
        now l know what those FEMA camps are for in case of national emergency to preserve order in case of riots!anybody remember their use during Katrina?

      44. “Brown slimy lettuce or moldy bread anyone?”

        I like that one! Nice retort.

      45.  As long as poor people are morbidly obese and “somehow” manage to acquire I-phones with minutes and movies, I have a hard time believing things are bad yet.  It’s a thin line between today’s world and the chaos of collapse, but that thin line is pretty bright right now in my opinion. 

      46. States are finding it hard to fund these entitlement programs,sooner and later they and the federal government will have to cut food stamps,welfare,Social Security,Medicaid,Medicare. And when that happens all hell will break loose. I read somewhere that if there is a massive earthquake at the New Madrid fault line (Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi) that the federal govt will be overwhelmed very easily. If there is a nationwide economic collapse the govt does not have the manpower or resources to provide security. It would be very difficult for the U.S. military to successfully implement martial law throughout the entire country at any given time. This would mean that they would have to secure hundred of thousands of neighborhoods, while securing all major airports, power stations, communication towers, water facilities, nuclear power plants, military bases, food distribution center, grocery stores, government official buildings and highways while keeping everyone in their homes after 6pm. Prepare for the worst hope for the best.

        skumbag. Yes, indeed you are.

      48. Yeah its difficult when your spouse is not on board either. My wife thinks that I’m off my rocker too! She tolerates it and think that I’m such a gloom and doomer. She has even stated that if SHTF she doesn’twant to be around. I don’t know if she means it or when the if the situation arises she’ll think different.  Regardless, I have been prepping for about a year. I really don’t want to go overboard with excess food and supplies. I have been trying to stock up on various items, but it always seem like  there are more things to do.  I live outside a big city and near a major highway. If it’s gonna get bad, I can’t possibly secure my homestead alone.  I’m sure there’s going to be an on slaught of beggars and possibly people meaning to do harm and steal what provisions you have.  I have thought about bug out vehicles…etc, but the roads will be cluttered and blocked by vehicles out of gas..etc.. Oh well, will continue and keep on prepping. Life is short and I’m also enjoying this journey and come what may.  There are things that we just can not control!  Thanks everybody for this website.

      49. have noticed that sugar commodity was .13/lb /lb back in march/2010. now in between 32-34cents/lb. wheat and corn has doubled since then(check the charts).bought a lot of household wiring back in march 2009 to rewire my house(wreck). its now 3xthe price(cu went from 1.29/lb to 4.3$ of late. also lumber has doubled. all construction materials have doubled. oh yes for house with 1000sq ft u should have at least 4-5 cords of wood if it is properly insulated. if not doubled it. l agree with combo wood stove for cooking and heat. hearthstone is best make (soapstone from vermont and is worth every cent in comparison to any others(plug for Hearthstone) and works like the old fashioned oil heated water jacketed radiators but without the oil


      51. Comments….Well, sorry to pop some bubbles…most of the surrounding community is anchor babies and the granny from mex. and allied family who are all now on assistance…no input to the tax base…impact is NOT from the economy, but simple milking the system…still neg …..but untouchable!

      52. Regarding the handful of folks who’ve mentioned their spouses are not on board…I’m no therapist, but 13 years of marriage & 4 kids has taught me enough to be dangerous.

        Rather then argue your point, or defy, or continue prepping in secret/spite, try this tact (especially if you are a man).  Approach your wife, reiterate to her how important you believe prepping is, and advise her that you intend to put your money where your mouth is.  For the near term, let her know that you will trade the funds normally reserved for your favorite hobby (mine is golf, could be fishing, hunting whatever) for critical prep items.  Additionally, the time you normally spend on that hobby, advise her that you’d prefer to spend it with her prepping.  She’ll she two significant things.  1)  You aren’t spending “joint” funds on this, but rather funds reserved only for you (selfless) and 2) By asking her to spend time with you she’ll realize how important the relationship means to you.  While we as men value our objective ability to provide and protect above most else, our wives value subjective tenets like quality time & relationship…

        Give this a try, and I’m very confident the woman that just yesterday thought you were the biggest fool on the planet, will become an apostle of the prepper movement spouting off, “Bible, Beans, Band-aids & bullets” while surfing websites like this one.

        (A house divided cannot stand)

      53. We are such a polite, politically correct populous, not wanting to rock the boat. What is frustrating to me on articles like this one, is the author doesn’t address the “elephant” in the room. There are other factors as to why food stamp usage is up. For the same reason the true unemployment rate is closer to 25% then the government report of 9.6%.  A major rise in food stamp usage is because the government allows “illegals” safety net benefits- housing, medical, cash and food stamps. It’s through the “children” either jack pot babies or not that “entitles” the families to benefits.

        For skumbag, it ain’t about us baby boomers. Our generation stepped up to the plate, died and fought for workers and civil rights- benefits in place today. It’s your spineless generation that does nothing about the 30 million invaders working jobs and sucking tax payer benefits that rightfully belong to citizens (not illegal residents). The unemployment picture would be totally different if your generation would get off it’s a$$ and do what the “illegals” do - advocate, protest and vocalize.

        I was at a job fair, long lines, cold miserable weather. A guy comes out of the building and walks over to a group speaking Spanish and he also is speaking Spanish and ushers them in ahead of the rest of us.  I started booing and others joined in. I don’t care what the circumstances, that is not the American way. It’s time to be impolite and step up to the plate.  Make it clear there are consequences for hiring illegals. These law breakers are in the country illegally and making money because of your skumbag do nothing actions allows them to get away with it. Grow a pair or reap what you sow – no job and food stamps.

      54. Sounds to me that the future to be apostle needs a hard spanking.

      55. To Lady Hawk – not to dis everyone in your generation, but the politicians in charge of the  government while the flow of illegals spilled into this country were baby boomers themselves. When I use to live in California, there was a proposition passed by a 2/3’s majority that would deny benifits to illegals. Over ruled by a baby boomer federal judge. But my opinion is the illegals are like flys on a turd. Once the turd dries up, they just fly off to a new one.

      56. Mac,

        Do you see commodity food prices entering a bubble that would pop when the countries go broke?  Deflation of food?  Could it happen here “again” in this country before all gets better?

      57. My mother-in-law was laughing at me for stocking up and prepping, buying silver and such.  Telling my kid I was nuts.  Now she’s on food stamps, can’t pay her bills, can’t fix her car.  Now she’s turning to us.’s your can of spam bitch.  Who’s your daddy now!  Also, my Mom is sitting on a shitload of cash…told her to get into metals…she’ll be eaten alive by inflation.  It’s all going to collapse.  Get ready for hyperinflation.  I’m hoping for it…pay off my house with useless paper.

      58. In this order when the SHTF….eat…
        The illegals…the elite, the old.
        Keep a bow handy…you might need it…haaaaaaaaa.

      59. Get wool blankets folks…watch engergy pricess spike or interruption in service.  Also, artic sleeping bags.
        I have a room in my house that super insulated with a stove.
        Elite…  masses with pitch forks…french style revolution I bet.  I’ll stay home and be warm.

      60. As far as the next bubble to burst, I think the next one could be caused by commercial loans – the ones made pre housing bubble burst when money flowed like manna from heaven – and will be coming due shortly. Many commercial loans are amortized over 30 years, but have ballon payments or must be refinanced after 3 to 5 years of initiation. I’m in the middle of trying to refinance one now  that has a loan to value of less than 50% and it’s hard as hell. If funding for commercial loans dries up or is too difficult to qualify for , there could be a  crash in value of commercial  property. The bail out to cover that would make TARP look like pocket change.

      61. Comments…..I have used the same tactic as ‘your daddy’ has and it works great. I also made a deal that if our society doesn’t see some major challenges in 2011 that I will relax a bit on my prepping. This buys me time and peace to finalize a few of my last minute needs. When I said I was cutting back the regular golf outings she wanted to rush me to the hospital thinking I had bumped my head. Hey, whatever works. Good luck to all!

      62. Comments…..Old2Early said:

         As long as poor people are morbidly obese and “somehow” manage to acquire I-phones with minutes and movies, I have a hard time believing things are bad yet.  It’s a thin line between today’s world and the chaos of collapse, but that thin line is pretty bright right now in my opinion. 
        I have to agree with you there Old 2.  Seeing people come out of COSTCO with a big screen TV instead of food is rather amusing.  I wonder how many will try selling their electronic gadgets for food? A can of beans for a $200 iphone?  Guess I better make a trip to Trader Joes today for some of that Two Buck Chuck.

        BTW, has anyone been following the floods in Australia?  Brisbane is underwater and there’s a severe food shortage.  All crops have been destroyed.  For those starting a garden, start a worm bin, the casings make good fertilizer,and it’s a natural way to feed you plants.  Turnips are a good idea–any vegetable is better than nothing.  Even rutabagus mashed and whipped can pass for mock potatoes.  We’ll learn to like not so popular food again, the obese will eat anything WTSHTF.

      63. Bill J  

        I don’t feel dis – there will always be those that don’t get it – just like now is a good example.  What was important then was that there were more on the side of doing the right thing then there were on the other.

        I don’t see this generation whose future, jobhood and lifestyle, which is most affected by the illegal invasion, doing anything. They seem to be the “can’t we just all get along” folks and turn their heads when they are being robbed blind and the thieves   are doing it in plain sight and daring you to say anything.  Not dissing you either, but your turd comment is a good example.

        They scam the system filing for child tax credits on children they don’t have getting $7,000 – $10,000 in tax refunds.  This is just one example of the additional fleecing on top of all the other scams and thefts of our tax dollars.

        You think they will leave when the turd dries up?  If you only knew how much $$$’s they are scamming.  Sign up for college, get school loans, change mind and money gets refunded …  back to you!  As an illegal can’t be found to pay back, so more free money.  Got lots more of how to fleece the stupid Americans and their systems.  We are a wet turd gold mine.   Why would they leave, they have children coming of age doing the same thing.

        It seems  those of us long in the tooth: the Viet Nam vets, WW2 and oldsters are the ones spearheading the activism.  We do it not for us, but for our children and their children and we love this country and values which are used against us. 

      64. Tried to post yesterday on the subject of supporting spouses but for some reason the color nook wouldn’t let me. When I started preppring 2 years ago the wife thought I was crazy or becoming a Mormon because I would shop at the Mormon cannery for my dry stuff. Then I went online to mredepot, werling and sons, selfreliance and Honeyville Farms.

        I have sent her a few eye opening web sites over the months and now she is starting to see a little more clearer. I have all the necessary weapons and ammo stock piled over the past 2 years and one day I while I was in the hospital she found some of  my shotgun shells and asked me, so I told her everything. Whether she likes it or not its simply the way its going to be with me so I gave her some options and agreed to some terms. Now things are a little bit better than they were before I told her everything but I still don’t have an open bank account to get other items on my list so the embezzling will continue and ultimately she and my children will benefit from me being a nut. 

      65. There is no, repeat no, food shortage on the planet today. Using the United Nations suggested daily calorie intake there is more than sufficient foodstuffs produced annually, globally. Period. Now then, the question is how you use them….for example, if you wanted to bring the daily calorie level in both China and India up to the U.N. level it would take an additional, not total but additional, 31 million tons of foodstuffs. To put that in perspective the U. S. ethanol fraud consumed 165 million tons of corn during 2010. China has 2.3 trillion dollars in Treasuries but chooses not to expend it on foodstuffs for its own population. India was a net exporter of wheat in 2010…..I had the opportunity to have dinner with the Chairman of one of the largest commodity/food processors in the world over the holidays….there is no food shortage…and the American ethanol scam has absolutely destroyed relationships with food importers from the U.S. , like Egypt for example, that took decades to develop….and now for some Physics: if ethanol were in fact a “sum positive” they would use ethanol as the energy source to produce (boil/distill) more ethanol/cornmash…..and they, the ethanol producers, don’t……because it consumes more energy to make a gallon than you get out of it (referred to as the “thermal load factor”)….It’s nothing like an oil refinery that uses part of the barrel of crude oil to power the refinery.
        Just think- 40% of the American corn crop now goes for the 10% gasoline EPA mandated blend rate yet the EPA is pushing to raise the blend rate to 15%–or 60% of Americas corn crop. As an aside 80% of the canola crop, a premium cooking oil, is used for bio-fuels in Germany. Double the price of corn and bull doze another million acres of Amazon jungle to plant; triple the price of tortillas and watch the Mexicans pour north across the border. Noted: Chuck Grasley, the erstwhile Republican Senator, is the mouthpiece for the ethanol scam. He farms 4,120 acres of Iowa corn ground. My source, the very best source on the planet, tells me the price of wheat without the ethanol scam in place would be about $4 a bushel and corn around $3.30 a bushel……….. let the unwashed masses eat cake ?


        Mardochee Augustin says: 

        will have to cut food stamps,welfare,Social Security,Medicaid,Medicare.

        The only one affecting my husband and I is SS check…know what I do with that each month???
        Preps…more preps…and more preps….oh, did I say I use that check for preps??

        Husband says we should be saving that for mortgage pmts??? I think not!!!
        When TSHTF, that will be the last thing govt will try—run armed homeowners out of their houses …just saying, they might be trying to save their own families and hiding!

      67. Comments….I just found your blog .I really enjoy reading it I to believe we should prepare With  lighting ,cooking ,food acessories, and many more things like days of old.dark days are coming and maybe we can turn them into the best days of our lives I hope so They will not kill us all and the ones that survive will be involved in a much better worldThere is a perfect world coming.The word says these things must come to pass before I return, but to I say don’t worry I will take care of you. There is a powerful man coming upon th earth in the very near future who will solve all the world problems finances,food ,etc. and he will gain much power.He will do mighty miricles and the whole world will follow him for three and one half years.At the begining of this three and one half years he will sign a treaty with Israel to allow them to build a temple on the holy mountian and start there worship of old.He receives a mortal wound to his head and dies.He rasies himself from the dead and satan has possessed this body and all hell breaks loose he declaires himself God.The next three and one half years are the worst time on earth after that the Lord returns returnes and its over and the mistery of God is revealed  and there is peace on earth we are that generation Please don’t give up


        Kentucky?? earthquake??

        Uhhhh..unstack those 5 gallon buckets…today!!

        Remember Katrina??  I read the government/U.S. should have 3 days of grain for EVERY household …THEY DO NOT!!!
        And what am I gonna do with grain or is the govt in a total break down with no electricity and resources gonna send that to a mill to be processed??  Just food for thought folks.
        And how will they get that distributed with a total EMP attack?? HUh???
        Are you thinking now?? 

        January 12th, 2011 at 4:00 am

        Or just get up early one morning and kick that breaker switch..she’ll be complying within 6 hours and even offering to drive to the nearest Aldi’s and Lowe’s…LOL!!

        In HER Suv.!!

        I know how important water is and I saved, and sacrificed for that Berkey!!

      70. You gave her a whole can of spam?  You are nicer than you had to be.  You didn’t have any canned cat food?

        The Son-In-Law
        January 12th, 2011 at 9:44 am

        Exactly..I have boxes and boxes of ziplocks…here’s your rice, sweetie, need some sugar with that??…
        while I have salmon patties, beef stew, ham, and chicken dumplings w. vegetables and bread all prepared on that Coloeman cooker…
        Did you enjoy those Christmas presents and theatre visits??
        How about those 100 mile trips to those softball games??
        Your house sure had bee-you-tee-ful decorations for Christmas.
        And, nice car you’re driving….
        Enjoy the rice!!

        Make fun of me for saving food and TP???

        Payback’s a bitch.

      72. Food insurance is comforting while I clean my gun in front of the tv with a good Eastwood or Wayne movie in a warm house knowing my family is fed well. 

        BTW, has anyone been following the floods in Australia?  Brisbane is underwater and there’s a severe food shortage.  All crops have been destroyed.

        ~~~My comment to that is this…God is yelling, “Don’t make me come down there”….

        and we’re still playing.

        January 12th, 2011 at 11:15 am Y

        2008 God’s Final Ronald Weinland..
        Truly a false account in my opinion. 

      75. Beans & corn are going nuts today.

      76. JJ,

        In addition to your weather comment let me tel you that since Sunday, Crete is having a summer weather. You couldn’t bear the blankets during the night and still people swim in the beaches.
        This is not normal. They have f…… the planet.
        What’s the weather like in U.S. right now?


      77. @manos
        In my opinion its been different..the weather that is.
        But I really cant say if what im calling different hasent happened before here in im probably not much help.

        Do I think somethings strange? Yes, but i cant put my finger on it.

      78. I have friends and family in Peru’
        they have told me of some strange weather down there too..
        Like way too dam much rain (something they normally dont get much of, at least not in Lima)
        When i was down there , they also showed me fog that came in off the ocean, something at the time i was down there was “out of season” (southern hemisphere  has the flip of seasons from the nothern Hemisphere) it was an event they said was normal, but not for that time of year.

        Nasca reported rain , that was destroying the Nasca lines..that area is very arid..very little to No rain measurable per year…it was ruining the landmarks because of rain

        Look at the devastation in california..rain ..Austrailia…rain..

        Right now in the US..were getting snow in the southern states..and very cold temps that as far as im concerned isnt “normal”
        although i think its been a slow trend change,, i do believe somethings off.
        and Global warming is just a catch phrase to me..I dont think its just one type of climate change…but many


        manos @12:46 pm..
        oh, well, that global warming is causing me to close doors to all unused rooms, put sheets over all openings to unused rooms with no doors, and cover windows in the used rooms with painter’s drop sheets for $1..
        just to stay warm in Kentucky…floods where water isn’t usual, dry spells where water is needed..warm weather states getting SNOW and ICE!! 
        I just told an email contact..I don’t know if it’s HAARP and weather modification or God.

        I can not imagine those controlling weather, destroying crops, and poisoning our water supplies have not thought this plan through—unless they used the trillions stolen from all nations to build a space station on the moon, or a space station in the sky..

        So, the underground facility option is out!!


      80. JJ… are you saying that paying for a 2 week vacation in Alaska is a bad idea???? LOL 

      81. I’m blessed with a lady who thinks like I do for the most part,so I dont have that problem,I do deal with other folks who have different ideas,although lately I have mostly quit trying to convince people who dont want to hear,lifes too short  to screw with them!
        The idea of blaming other generations for the problems we see isnt reasonable,each generation alive has had its great people and its losers,its not reasonable to blame any certain generation…the great ones are usually average people who do the right thing,who pull their own weight,take personable responsibility and try to help others,the losers?…they are the rest who dont do any of the above…instead they use and abuse the system and other people for their own ends all the while casting blame onto someone else refusing to accept their own responsibility…that way of living is about to run off a cliff! 

      82. Manos….Temperature wise and politically speaking….its way colder here than it should be…snow is deep and the BS is even deeper  :)  Be well!

        January 12th, 2011 at 8:00 pm
        JJ… are you saying that paying for a 2 week vacation in Alaska is a bad idea???? LOL 
        Tina, It might depend on what season…naaaah, scratch that!!

      84. STRATCOM owns the skies and everything in it, for the most part.

        The method and delivery systems used to manipulate the weather is described in this document, if you’re interested in that sort of thing:

        Geoengineering Cost Analysis report prepared by Aurora Flight Sciences Corporation ( of Cambridge Massachusetts for The University of Calgary:

      85. James Herman, yep you’re right about the bio-fuel nonsense.  We only get about a 50% return in fuel from crude oil, the rest is consumed getting it to your gas tank. The food issue is a red herring. Who is gonna pay for the food and the cost of transportation and distribution?

        I keep reading about woodstoves. Which one is best, blah, blah, blah. 30 years in rural Alaska and temps have been sub-zero for weeks with the lowest temp locally at -54F. For under a hundred bucks, you too can have the same woodstove that has kept me nice and toasty during this cold snap. It is a Vogelzang barrel stove kit.  But feel free to spend a grand or more. Your helping the economy. Just don’t try to smear crap on my sandwich and tell me it is peanutbutter by telling me how clever you are in your preps.

        Cut the crap about illegal aliens. We could deport all of them and not solve squat. The problem is the citizens have learned that they can vote for one of thier own who will keep them programs rolling in dough. Everyone wants something for nothing and hell, we’ll get the money from the rich, the productive and them evil corporations. Stupid asses don’t realize that the consumer foots all the tax bills. Where the hell do you think the corporations get thier revenues?

        You all should watch the movie “Idiocracy.”

      86. Overtheedge
        right on about the barrel stove!

        I built my own wood burner for my 1000 S.F. shop out of an old 250 gallon oil fantastic.
        even heated my shop up for a few winters where there wasnt insulation on the walls, that has since been changed , I insulated a few years back..and its just as nice as my living room, and it didnt cost me a dime to build.
        I didnt have to pay for nothing but my own time to build it.
        the drum was going to be scrapped, so it was give to me , and welding, and fabrication is one of my hobbies
        My house is also fitted with a wood burning unit..Been thru power outages and other natural situations in the winter where with out a redundant heating system, I would have had to leave my home..not this guy
        plenty of wood around too if you aint lazy

      87. VRF, you betcha.  Course the uninsulated don’t work out well here. A guy 4 miles down the road, small shack , no insulation , same stove size and type as yours, he ran to the lower 48 in Oct. Couldn’t keep it warm.

        Had to hike up to the highway to mailbox this AM. Temp -21F. When I woke up, the cabin (560 sq ft) had cooled to 62F after 7.5 hours sleep. The wood was dry aspen.

        I just get irate when someone brags about buying way over-priced tools or food. (PS, it is all either tool or food) If it was bought before you started looking at prepping, just don’t brag about it: woodstove is enough. Otherwise you’re just a pompous hypocrite ragging the gov’t for using the same spending habits you are.

        When I stated under $100 for the stove kit, that is the price locally. Looked in Northern Hydraulics and  $45 plus shipping.

      88. Looking for suggestions for purchasing sources for freeze dried food (quality&price).   Also, what would be a good alternative to a gun to protect yourself (pepper sparay/taser)?

        Great site.  Just starting prepping.  Appreciate all the info from “common sense individuals.”

      89. If you are adamant about not having or learning to shoot a gun, bear spray is a viable alternate for under 30 feet away. It costs about $35 and can be found in hiking/outdoors stores. I plan on augmenting my guns with it as a non-lethal “crowd disperser” . I have heard that it is not available in all states, however.- JoinOly

      90. Lady Hawk, you say that illegal immigrants are steeling jobs from Americans, and that may be true to some extent.  But why is it that people who bash illegal immigrants almost never say one word about the offshoring of jobs to China and India?  I gotta believe many more jobs have been lost to Asia than to Mexican illegals.

        And keep in mind that when a US company builds a plant in China, it’s not just the entry-level jobs that are lost in the US.  There are other higher-paying jobs in the plant that are lost, such as accountants, managers, HR, etc.  When illegals come here, they are largely competing for the menial low-paid jobs.  Now I know that can bubble up to higher-paying jobs, but that is going to be over a much longer timeframe than the offshoring of jobs to China.

      91. “you say that illegal immigrants are steeling jobs from Americans, and that may be true to some extent”

        I’m interested in criminology. Tell me, how does one go about stealing a job?

        “And keep in mind that when a US company builds a plant in China, it’s not just the entry-level jobs that are lost in the US.”

        How does building a plant in China cause jobs to be lost in the US?

      92. “Tell me, how does one go about stealing a job?”

        So you want to be pedantic?  ‘Stealing’ = ‘competing for’

        “How does building a plant in China cause jobs to be lost in the US?”

        Do I really need to explain this to you?  Seriously??

      93. A new plant in china does not cause anything but new jobs in the USA.

        Why? Because the owner of the plant would never consider putting it  
        in the USA in the first place, what with our unions, taxes, and  

        The new jobs created in the USA would be for warehousing, distribution, retail of the plant’s products to the USA customers.

        Not a difficult thing to understand.

        Also, if you equate stealing with competing (either pedantically or logically), I feel I am wasting my time since you are a lost cause.

      94. Remember the 50s (or heard of it, for those of us too young to remember or experience)?  Ike (very, very GOP-lite by today’s standards) was president.  The economy was booming.  The US actually made stuff at home back then.  Unions were a much higher percentage of the American workforce than today.  This was long before the whole offshoring phase came about.  The economy and the job market in the US were doing very well, and Ike at one point had a top income tax rate of 91%.  And up until Reagan the top marginal rate never went below something like 60 or 70%.  But inspite of that, US companies invested in p&e in the US, not in China.

        And yet today we’re constantly told that we better give tax breaks to the rich and to the corporations or we’ll be pricing ourselves out of the market.

      95. I remember the 50s and 60s well:
        JFK had to cut taxes across the board to spur the economy because we were in recession; he was the second of four to do so (Coolidge was first, Reagan third, Bush fourth). Then later JFK threatened the US steel industry with cancellation of government purchases of their steel if they did not acquiesce to steal workers union demands for featherbedding and higher wages etc (this caused a stock market crash). It was the beginning of the end for US major manufacturing. The US steel industry just started to recover from it in the late 1960s when along came environmentalism that finished it off. Ditto for many other US manufacturing jobs.
        The USA became a service economy in 1967 (ie its nonfarm and manufacturing jobs became less than 50% of the jobs).
        We will never get back to a manufacturing economy unless we eliminate environmental protection and drastically reduce government and our lifestyles (which may happen if the dollar crashes).
        So, cheer up, we will all be equal in misery when the dollar crashes and there are no more rich or even middle class…we will be a banana republic with a barter economy and then all you losers who demand what is not yours will have killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

      96. My brother n law is part of the statistics in this chart. The lazy bastard won’t even try to get a job at Walmart, McDonald’s or anywhere else. We have illegals willing to do ANYTHING to feed their families, but most of the unemployed won’t go to Walmart, pick fruit or do anything. Don’t get me wrong there are some who will but 99% won’t. There are plenty of jobs cleaning toilets, washing dishes or greeting people at Walmart you just have to get off your ass and apply!

      97. I’m an Australian, living in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. I’d like to give a fill-in to the people who have asked about following the floods.
        I live in a part of Brisbane that didn’t flood. I work at the local supermarket. As soon as the flood warnings came, about a day and a half before the water, the supermarket was emptied. Almost all other supermarkets were either emptied or destroyed or flooded out. The ones like mine, in non-flood areas, were set upon by people from other areas, as well as locals. First to disappear were bottled water, toilet paper and matches. Long-life milk went next. Frozen items and dairy were less popular, as people thought the power would go out. In addition to the panic buying, there was already a massive shortage of fresh produce from flood ruined crops further north, as well as trade routes being cut off by water and/or damaged rail lines. All the carbohydrates disappeared at once. (bread, tortillas, rice, pasta, flour and potatoes) There was briefly no meat even in my area, except for some ridiculously expensive cuts no one wanted to pay for. I’d go on, and will, but I’m not sure the maximum post length in this forum.

      98. Anyway, my partner works at the local hardware warehouse. They immediately sold out of gumboots, sandbags, brooms, cleaning supplies, drainage pipe (for water diversion), and tarpaulins. I don’t know the figures for bbq gas, but it was popular. We took in a friend, who was a flood evacuee, and as it happens, eats as if he has a tapeworm. He offered to pay for his share, and did, but money can’t re-stock you if the supermarket can’t re-stock itself. The last minute stocking up process of people, led me to forever abandon the word “sheeple”, because sheep do not behave that way. It was more brainless than I expected. When the long-life milk ran out, people stood and for several minutes,  looked at the empty shelf where the long-life milk used to be…just…in a daze. People took all of one category (vinegar and bicarb soda, one example i saw) leaving nothing for the next person behind them. People DID strut about making demands and stating the number of children they had. This did not alter the availability of certain commodities, although the parent in question seemed to think it would.

        We’re still critically short of a lot of things, and most of the city is being scraped of chocolate-like mud that stinks of rotting fish. Fortunately, the state premier/governor person has declared the flood crisis over, because right before she said that, it was only just beginning.

      99. Comments…..I just came across this blog and have found it fascinating.  Many opinions out there.   I do believe we should prep for the unknown for it is a dim picture.  I have been on food stamps for 2 months now and am very thankful.  I work 60 hours a week and just make my rent with my paycheck.  I saddens me that so many people assume that being on food stamps means you are milking the system.  I have paid into for decades now and now the time has come that I need help and am grateful for  it.  I just want people to step back and look at what they are saying.  Tomorrow you could be the one in the food stamp line wishing you had an I phone. 


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