“These Problems Aren’t Going Away” – States Are Woefully Unprepared For The Next Recession

by | Jul 13, 2018 | Headline News | 82 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    This report was originally published by Tyler Durden at Zero Hedge

    It’s no secret that the finances of most US states are in shambles. For many, overly generous pension benefits have led to severe under-funding that threatens to drain state coffers, like in Illinois, where pension liabilities ballooned by a cumulative 1,067% between 1987 and 2016 while revenues for the state’s general fund rose just 236% during that time.


    While regular readers are no doubt acquainted with our musings on the looming pension crisis (a problem that is increasingly global in scope)the Wall Street Journal has apparently only just stumbled on to the story, writing in a story entitled “Many States Are Likely Unprepared for Next Downturn” that “many US states have been slow to improve their finances nine years into the economic expansion. That raises a risk they won’t be prepared when another downturn hits, making them susceptible to big spending cuts that make the next recession worse.”

    The problem for most states is that aging populations mean that more money is being spent on medicaid and pensions while revenues have largely been stagnant. And while a booming economy might temporarily boost revenues, “some of these longer-term pressures are definitely not going away,” said Gabriel Petek, managing director at S&P Global Ratings.

    An aging population is also putting pressure on state Medicaid budgets and pension funds. State pension contributions were 78% higher in 2017 than in 2010, according to census data. And state Medicaid payments were 59% higher in 2016 than in 2010, according to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

    Many US states have depleted or nearly depleted emergency funds. With some states like Oklahoma having only 1.6% of expenditures in their rainy day funds.

    Measured as a share of spending, 21 states had smaller rainy day funds in 2017 than they did in 2008, according to data from the National Association of State Budget Officers compiled by the Tax Policy Center.


    North Dakota had only 1.5% of its expenditures in a rainy-day fund in the 2017 fiscal year, down from 16.6% in 2008. Oklahoma’s rainy day fund had 1.6%, down from 9.3%. New Jersey emptied its rainy day fund in 2009 and has yet to begin refilling it.

    Many states also have lower credit ratings now than they did during the crisis, which will raise the cost of borrowing during a recession.

    Many states governments have seen their bond ratings downgraded during this expansion for not taking the appropriate measures to get their fiscal houses in order.Eleven states have lower bond ratings than they did in 2010 while only five have higher ratings, according to Moody’s Investors Service. Fitch Ratings lists seven states with worse ratings and six with better ones since the recession. And analysts at S&P Global rate 12 states lower than in 2010 and 10 states higher.

    It’s very important in our view that during the good times the states should be building up their fiscal resilience and that really stands out as an area that’s been lacking throughout this recovery,” said Gabriel Petek, managing director at S&P Global Ratings.


    At stake are widely used public services like roads, police and schools. A recent Supreme Court ruling requiring online retailers to pay state sales tax could help boost revenues while a Trump’s tax plan will help raise taxable income in some states. But with President Trump’s trade war threatening to hammer agricultural states (which could seriously impact nationwide GDP figures), states are finding themselves in a tough spot. Boston Fed President Eric Rosengren explains, US states are simply referring to do what needs to be done to prepare for the next recession. “There are levers that all the states could think about in terms of preparing for the next economic downturn,” Rosengren said. “It doesn’t seem like there is that much movement in that direction right now in many states.”


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      1. I saw this article today and thought you guys might find it interesting. The very riches people are aware that the ways things/society/technology are going, will INEVITABLY result in “The Event”. That was their euphemism for the environmental collapse, social unrest, nuclear explosion, unstoppable virus, or Mr. Robot hack that takes everything down. They are preparing for survival!

        “At least as far as these gentlemen were concerned, this was NOT a talk about the future of technology. Taking their cue from Elon Musk colonizing Mars, Peter Thiel reversing the aging process, or Sam Altman and Ray Kurzweil uploading their minds into supercomputers, they were preparing for a digital future that had a whole lot less to do with making the world a better place than it did with transcending the human condition altogether and insulating themselves from a very real and present danger of climate change, rising sea levels, mass migrations, global pandemics, nativist panic, and resource depletion. For them, the future of technology is really about just one thing: escape.”

        “They were amused by my optimism, but they didn’t really buy it. They were not interested in how to avoid a calamity; they’re convinced we are too far gone. For all their wealth and power, they don’t believe they can affect the future. They are simply accepting the darkest of all scenarios and then bringing whatever money and technology they can employ to insulate themselves — especially if they can’t get a seat on the rocket to Mars.”


      2. Pensions are like wages. People take jobs and stay on jobs to earn a pension. So, I’m not in favor of cutting existing pensions, just for ending the practice. Let people save up their own money for retirement.

        As for Medicaid: just cut off the illegals. End all immigration. End foreign aide. Deport. Deport. And deport some more.

        We will have plenty of money.


        • How about we simply deport Congress. The some sandbar off N Alaska perhaps??

          • Wrangel Island?

          • How about deporting the (((dual citizens))) who lobby Congress?

          • Sounds even better!

          • Good grief! Don’t send those losers to Alaska! Was my home and last place for refuge from stupid Liberals!

        • Employers always screw the employee first. Do you ever see a CEO get a pension cut? hell no.

          Like my job, I worked 20 years and contributed 7% of my paycheck to my pension.

          These people act like the employees contribute nothing.

          • I have been noticing that, over the last 2 decades at least, there has been an ongoing, transparently obvious attempt by our criminal ruling elites to try to blur the lines of distinction between ‘earned’ benefits and ‘unearned’ benefits.

            I see this in the language and choice of words that these elitists use when speaking or writing about these budget deficits and financial shortfalls. They are trying to assert that there is zero difference between someone who has worked for 20, 30 or more years, and who has dutifully and responsibly contributed a portion of their salaries towards their own retirements – and some welfare bum who’s spent those same 20 or 30 years with their snout buried in the gibsmedat trough.

            I will concede the point that far too many people – and most importantly, all of these illegal aliens – plus new legal immigrants – are bankrupting this nation and feasting off of the middle class productively employed tax payers by sucking down billions of dollars in free gibs. This needs to be STOPPED.

            Meanwhile, the Democrat Party uses the enticement of free gibs to get the parasites to vote for them, and now these evil nation wrecking bastards are screaming to abolish ICE and repeal all border security and immigration laws so the entire Third World population of blood sucking leeches can flood in, Camp of the Saint’s style, and literally DESTROY the last vestiges of White, Western Civilization.

            And, over in the RINO cuckservative camp – Jorge Wmd Boosch just recently whined that he was ‘very disturbed’ over the tone and direction of the national debate over immigration? All of the major polls show Americans see immigration as the #1 most important issue – and they want it to be DRASTICALLY REDUCED. This news puts Dubya’s panties in a knot?

            This entire Bush family of treasonous, globalist, open borders loving, amnesty craving, virulently anti-White, racist maggots are every bit as fully on board with the total eradication of the America that was envisioned by our 100 percent White European Founding Fathers as are the diabolically evil Democrats.

            The D’s used to claim that W was stupid, and from the evidence that I see – there is zero reason to doubt that this criticism was not 100 percent on the money.

            Facts: Amnesty of any flavor will result in massive chain immigration and a permanent, peacefully unbreakable, one party, Democrat Communist Socialist Marxist dictatorship. The GOP, which this dimwitted imbecile was allegedly a member of – would never again be able to win a national election and in very short order, would not even be able to win any state or local elections. The Second Amendment would be repealed, and the First Amendment would soon follow – as hard core, openly avowed, former bar-tending Communists like Oscasio-Cortez seized power and immediately begin to shred the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, while declaring that the “New Rainbow America” would no longer be governed according to documents written by dead white males who often owned slaves and who dared to call murdering Indians ‘ruthless savages’ in the Declaration of Independence.

            That none of the consequences that I just described have occurred to Jorge Wmd Boosch or to any member of his loathsome family – proves one of two things. Either this entire family is a family of blithering imbeciles – or this entire family hates America just as much as do the Ocasio-Cortez’s of the radical left and are in full agreement that it must be totally destroyed.

        • Well B from Ca just how are you gonna pay for those lavish pensions? Cal is in as bad of shape a ill. producing working Folks are leaving Cal in droves. They cant be Robbed by taxation when they leave. And the productive are being replaced by parasite cull invading illegals. Those replacement citizens will vote more goods,services & money from the public coffers. Ant they will work off the books and not pay any taxes. And to boot President Trump has legislation in the pipeline to cut federal funds from sactuary citys and states. So tell me do money trees thrive in calif? Possibly the Hollywierd folks will pay for the pensions? To think there is any possibility that the pensions can be funded is dumber than a box of rocks.

          • Old Guy:

            The Myth and Meaning Of Monopoly Capitalism
            By G. Edward Griffin

            This video is on YouTube

            It’s slightly off topic but you might enjoy it.

            As, for Pensions, I understand where you’re coming from. Anyone living off a pension needs to be realistic. If the pension is cut off you need to be prepared. Not all pensions are equal. Some have better safeguards than others.


        • Abolish ALL School taxes attached to your property taxes. Force all the parents to pay for their own reckless sex lives. Having kids is a life style choice. But we are charged this Commie Socialist school tax for life style choices by horny sex addicts. You Breed Em’ You Feed Em’, you school em’. Todays Public schools are nothing more than an over glorified baby sitting service with free daycare, free meals and yellow bus limo service to amd from home. WTF????

          • You hit the nail on the head, SheBlows. 80% of my property tax bill is to pay for schools and I don’t have any children. But then I don’t do drugs, and my wife doesn’t download kids for the taxpayers to feed. People that can’t screw responsibly should be sterilized. Period.

        • I agree with the Deport, Deport and Deport!
          Report and Deport!

        • “Pensions are like wages.”

          Actually pensions are deferred wages. Instead of waiting next week for work performed today its decades later. The time span does not diminish the liability of money owed. Its reasonable that the board of directors who both make the decisions and reap the first and greatest rewards should be by law the first to lose funds in event of a company downfall. Putting their skin in the game would increase economic responsibility and hence stability.

      3. As the recipient of a union-negotiated pension, I understand that the pension is/was part of my pay/pension package. The great riggers & crane operators that taught me many skills gave me the tools to become an expert in my field. To renig on the promise of the aforementioned pension or on earned (and contributed to) Social Security benefits is to default on a contract. We trade our life force for compensation and the other side is obligated to pay. If those that do not understand contracts want to complain, blame politicians and others for not negotiating better terms. Your politicians dropped the ball, don’t blame the other team for picking it up.

        • Crane rigger is forgetting one fact. You cant get blood out of a Turnup . If the party responsible for paying is bankrupt they cannot pay simple as that.

          • Old Guy

            Government is responsible for regulations on how pensions are funded. Corruption from said companies limits these regulatory actions with diminished regulations and enforcement. Ultimately the CEO reaps the greatest rewards and likewise should by law be first to be take the cut.

            One day the peasants will rise hopefully with ballot not pitchfork.

            • Well Im not holding my breath. The thing is if you believe in fairness and equality and the legislation of moral behavior? and politicians keeping their promises. Boy are you gonna ever be dissapointed

              • In CA the pension problem is directly related to the 1% receiving pensions. Like public safety workers who rewarded themselves big time by letting employees retire at 50 with their benefits near as high as what they earned when they were working. And then they work overtime for about two years before they retire, then slip on a banana peel right before they retire so they can get disability and don’t have to pay taxes when they retire. And then they work another job while retired on disability. Is it illegal? You tell me: https://preview.tinyurl.com/y7nldflf

                Please don’t forget the 1% of governments management pulling in six figure pensions. You can look at the website called “Transparent California” to check that little nugget out.

                And the cheese stands alone – the 99% of us who paid high percentages of our middle class paychecks and are drawing maybe 2K per month, maybe. When the cuts come, and they will come, we are the ones who will be screwed over.

                It’s all about the alligator arms.

              • Its not promises. We don’t even get promises with these issues. Case and point. Chrysler was self insured as allowed by law in Delaware. They went bankrupt and defaulted on valid workmen compensation including the medical bills involved. In a wheelchair for the rest of your life and you get nothing while the CEO and company move on unaffected. The Chrysler name even carries on in the sale minus the obligations attached to it. The State, allowing them self insured status does not back it up. Bad? Well nothing is rectified for others. If DuPont went bankrupt (DOW is buying them) the same would happen. The Legislature including a Democrat Governor (supposed friend of the workers BULLSHIT) have no legislation to see to it this never happens again. Its a replay of pre civilized labor laws of the 1920s.

                Ballots or pitchforks? Lets hope for the former.

                • Iv been attempting to educate folks that there hasnt been isn’t now and likely never will be any viable ballot box or political solution. Voting will never fix anything. I state this because allowing everyone to vote has resulted in folks voting money .goods & services from the public coffers. And the candidate who promises and delivers the most so called free stuff is elected. A fiscally responsible career politician doesn’t get elected. This situation has resulted in the Republic being turned into a Mob Rule Democracy. In order to fix the problem those who don’t work and produce should not be allowed to sponge from the ever shrinking number who actually do produce. A reverse of the current direction must happen. How that happens is the question? Every day more producers go Galt and the number shrinks. and every day more illegals and other takers increase in number. So eventually a great culling will occur. Likely when the electric grid fails. And it will not be a picknik!

                  • Great comments Kevin2 and Old Guy. My post was an attempt to inform the millenials and younger folks about the world we older folks worked within. Many younger folks want to blame boomers for the failures of our politicians.

                  • Old Guy

                    We disagree often but your statement above is true regarding human nature. I seen it with my own eyes coming from even the productive. My own father worked 60 hrs week as a self employed barber for most of his life, starting at 13, slowing down at 70 to 40 hrs/week and retiring at almost 90. He voted Democrat although he disagreed with them on just about every social issue. I asked “Why”? His reply, “They give you something”. Trump was the 1st Republican he voted for.

                    Yea, were likely doomed.

                    • And the problem with them giving you something is that there are strings attached. sometimes its a hidden string sometimes out in the open. My Father was much the same always voted dimocrap because he was brainwashed that they where champions for the working man. He always got upset when I would tell him I didn’t need or want any politician or anyone else to do anything for me. I would be happy if they don’t do anything for me.

          • Who says the states cannot pay? Baloney! It’s just a matter of honoring your LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS. States will pay, one way or the other, and the courts will insure it. It’s called the rule of law, friend. States and taxpayers don’t get to weasel out of their LEGALLY BINDING CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS just because they don’t want to pay for what they’ve already received. That’s called being a thief, see? Don’t let your greed obfuscate your moral compass.

      4. Silly article. If the state governments are running a bit short then they can always raise taxes. If the governor and politicians and state employess need a yearly raise simple, just raise taxes. Pension funds short,, just raise taxes again. Why do we make it so complicated, they can always raise taxes, no need to cut back on anything, ever…. KF

        • And that my friend is the thinking that made Venezuela what it is today. LOL, And what California will be tomorrow.

      5. Several states are controlled by the Democrat party. Each of these states may have many businesses, but the state does not see them primarily as a benefit to the people; rather, they are treated as a resource for the state, mainly in the form of a taxable base, as entities that have deep pockets for political contributions, and innovation (which the state cannot create); to milk them. Many states (and the fed. gov’t) have huge, and frankly, unpayable debt, and social policies that are deeply damaging. Sound fiscal practices are of secondary importance, if really at all. For example, California state debt actually exceeds 1.3 trillion (yes with a T) but they have no concern for the magnitude of it, and the legislature just raises taxes and fees and keeps spending more and more. Same for Illinois. The crushing debt is not being addressed as it should because it is not something seen as important, barely even discussed. They promise a pension after a carrer with the state, but when it serves their purposes they will go to court to dramatically cut or even eliminate the pension. In essence, they will use you but when you cost the state too much they will throw you away. The absolutely most primary policy goal of many states is to bring about a radical change in demographics and culture, greasing the skids for a change in the type of gov’t. All laws, policies, and practices utilized are merely methods and tools used to bring about socialism/Marxism.
        Gov’t believes it exist as the highest expression of mankind, but with the core philosophy of seeing people as nothing more than managed and disposable resources of the state. Though Democratic in politics, they are actually socialist in practice, everyone understands this. A “progressive” state will constantly seek to expand while simultaneously diminishing civil rights. The popular but false idea is that socialism and communism is for equality, proletarian in nature, and for general improvement of the masses. Quite silly, it is demonstrably proven again and again as nothing more than making everyone poor and with no rights; but with a small all-powerful self-serving “elite” class that absorbs almost resources. The states that are on the fiscal ropes (CAL, ILL, most Northeastern states, and a few others, will eventually demand the rest of us bail them out, all the while refusing to change as they continue making things worse.

        • The Broker the State is, the more laws they employ to create fines and taxes for Revenue off the backs of their Bogus laws. Choose to live in a healthy fiscally responsible State. Take Illinois, bankrupt, mismanaged and criminal scum runs Illinois, with less freedoms, anti gun. They should fear the masses armed, they deserve to be shot and replaced. All political criminals ripping off the coffers of the State of IL.

          Now Take Florida, healthy economy, billions in savings, no State income taxes, low homestead property taxes, excellent 2nd Amendment rights and carry permits. Good State to live and thrive in. I know, I moved from IL to FL 29 years ago. I saw that problem 29 years ago in IL corrupt and bankrupt. So I moved by choice. You can to. Get your plan together. The masses are fleeing CommieFornia, NY, MI, IL in droves. The remaining who live there will be bombarded with Taxes and laws designed to suck you dry.

          • Add Massachusetts and New Jersey to your list of commie states. It amazes me how many people of right minds still choose to live and bend over to over taxation in those shithole states.

            • Infidel

              Wages were considerably higher in NJ even offsetting the higher cost of everything. My son an electrician bit the bullet and moved from up north to Florida taking a 30% + cut for mainly quality of life. I voted with my feet moving out of NJ almost three decades ago initially to Delaware which was a good compromise. Its wasn’t too bad for a NE state but its a changing too.

      6. So what happened? From 1990 onwards, American industry start shuttering their doors and soldiers started returning to NO JOBS. So the government workers vastly increased in number.

        Then we have 30 million illegal aliens and so that required more government workers in diverse fields like education and law enforcement.

        The emperor has no clothes. There is no way to support all of these government workers on a declining tax base. Sure, more tax revenue has been collected but it is entirely inadequate. And then financial mismanagement has nearly bankrupted 39 states.

        If one did the math, they would IMMEDIATELY start prepping supplies, seed, skills, and GUNS. The system is collapsing.

        • the states and feds are giving their last gasp by becoming drug dealers (legalizing marijuana)and running legalized gambling (Loto) for their benifit.

          they are desperate for $s.

          they can tax the public only so much longer.

          they are running out of time and money.

          prep for it. prep your souls.

          • The States implimented the lotteries saying the money will go to the schools. The public schools are the biggest tax payer ripoff out there. Over glorified baby sitting services, daily yellow bus limo service to and from, then free breakfast, free lunches, free afterschool baby sitting service. The public schools have taken over parenting. More than half of your property taxes goes to the public school system scam to brainwash your children into state slaves.


            • Well thar she blows I agree. however when Jefferson set up the Louisana purchase into townships. Every sixteenth section was set aside as a school section. That square mile was to support the school. And it was centrally located that the children could walk to the school. Sadly most school boards sold the sixteenth section school land. Jefferson should have included a clause if the school was no longer using the land it reverted back to the federal govt. Yep I resent the school tax. I know its not politically correct to attack schoold and teachers ect. But they are indeed parasitic. They produce nothing and do a really poor job of teaching.

              • Those of you bashing teachers are painting with a very large brush. I am a retired teacher. I taught in a small-town school system and was earning less than $60,000 when I retired. And this was after thirty-four years of teaching. I’ve had students attend MIT, Harvard, Stanford, Penn, Yale, etc. Many teachers, (probably the vast majority) are good, honest caring people. Over the years I averaged $400-$500 spent each school year on various items for my classroom and for the students. Most of our faculty did likewise. I agree, there are many urban school systems with incompetent teachers who are $100,000 per year leeches. Blame the teachers unions for that. The recent SCOTUS decision will help deal with these unions and their political influence. I gave up the opportunity for a good salary (immediate gratification) for the security of a decent, not great pension in retirement (delayed gratification). Thankfully, I taught in a state where the teacher’s retirement system is fiscally sound.

        • Soldiers returning with no jobs. Really? They were not qualified for any job before they were soldiers. Low IQ cannon fodder. And they sure are NOT protecting our freedoms. Thats the BIG MILITARy MAFIA’s PROPAGANDA LIE. Its exactly the opposite, attacking Countries in wars undeclared, blowback, less freedoms. Its all a scam.

          • Yep cannon fodder to enforce the trading of oil in USA fiat Petro Dollars.

            • I just got back from the BOL an hour ago. {SIGH} Have to back to work Monday so I can keep paying taxes to support the damn freeloaders. TSB, everything you say is right on the money. I know we’ve had some differences concerning the credit subject but I’d rather just forget about that. All you say about all the other issues is right on the money. I’m not so sure this country will get rescued now. Old Guy is right about there being no viable ballot box solution. Whenever I go back to GA all I’m going to care about is keeping myself and the family alive. Whatever’s going to happen will just happen and there’s no stopping it. I’m more pessimistic now than ever before.

          • Furthermore if the returning soldiers couldn’t find a job then why the hell didn’t they stay in the military. And even if they couldn’t find a job they still had mostly free educational services to fall back on.

      7. I have said for the last fourty years…. no pensions.
        People can invest their own money towards their own retirement.
        After the Social Security scam…people should have read the signs.

        Demoncraps are willing to promise anything and
        everything just to get into power. They can’t do “future math” or think
        beyond their own noses about finances.

        I learned at an early age promises made by government will be broken by
        government. All those promises were intended for “this years voters”, only
        not next years. Next year we will dazzle them, rewrite the rules, or…..
        exchange it for the next shiny object.

        I refused all pension plans because I had no confidence in it. Especially
        when my friends who fell for the scam, paid in, lost jobs, lost pensions,
        lost other jobs (when businesses moved, went bushbankrupt, closed doors,
        moved to other countries.) and admitted they might only get $100 a month
        after paying in to it for 20 -30 years. Save your own money….
        then if your company goes belly up….you will have your personal savings.

        Having “savings” in the bank used to mean interest every month. Since bush and
        Obumhole you are lucky to have ANYTHING in the bank. Didn’t he make it legal
        for goverment to rob bank accounts????
        Damn scumbags!!!

      8. My city came after us with what they called a fire fee. We knew we paid for fire services in our city taxes. After everyone here complained and found out it was for raises for the city employees, we threated to vote them out. They then did away with what they called a fire fee. A lot of people live on just their Social Security and could not afford it as they haven’t had a raise in Social Security in years AS THEY RAISE Medicare to take it back. They do plan to raise city taxes again like they usually do every year. In the city we pay city and county taxes.

      9. Solution:

        1) Keep working or
        2) Die

        • I saw a similar slogan….. “Arbeit macht frei”

      10. When your outflow
        Exceeds your inflow
        Your upkeep
        Becomes your downfall
        “Everyone wants to live at the expense of the state.
        They forget that the state wants to live at the expense of everyone.” Frederic Bastiat

      11. As of 2016, there are 10 million more government workers than manufacturing workers!

        Does anyone think that is normal?

        The majority of union workers is America are government workers!

        The politicians panicked when they realized Free Trade destroyed the industrial base.

        There is no way to pay for it.

        Look, only a moron cuts the wages or pensions of some hard working LEO who deserves every cent they earn. But urbanization cannot ever work. You cannot massively increase population density and then hire them all to work for the government! It’s lunacy.

      12. They’re leveraging everything which was inevitable when money became fiat. The boom / bust cycle is increasing in frequency, magnitude and duration. It looks like an ECG prior to cardiac arrest.

        • Statement of the year…

      13. Disasters can and will come in different ways at times most unexpected. Time to get back to basic prepping. Most people on this site prep in one way or another but do you know what to do with your preps?

        How to make basic bread:

        1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
        2-1/4 cups warm water (110° to 115°)
        3 tablespoons sugar
        1 tablespoon salt
        2 tablespoons canola oil
        6-1/4 to 6-3/4 cups all-purpose flour

        In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the sugar, salt, oil and 3 cups flour. Beat until smooth. Stir in enough remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
        Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 8-10 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1-1/2 hours.
        Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide dough in half. Shape each into a loaf. Place in two greased 9×5-in. loaf pans. Cover and let rise until doubled, 30-45 minutes.
        Bake at 375° for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Remove from pans to wire racks to cool.

        This takes a little practice so everyone should try to do it now and not waste precious resources experimenting during a crisis. You should also print this out and put a copy with you store of flour.

        • The Lebanese mountain bread is far easier to make and naturally seperates to be filled as sandwiches. It also tastes great! And then tuck in some meadow greens like violets or young dandelion along with whatever fish or squirrel or even pinto beans or lentils with some wild onions. I would take a meat hammer to the squirrel as the meat is chewy.

          Here is an alternative dutch oven biscuits method. I prefer making angel biscuits which most people LOVE. But it’s wasteful as it uses double leavening by baking powder plus yeast. Make them at least once over coals to see which is easier. Beginners always use too many coals and scorch the tops or bottoms.


          In a very short time you will get low on firewood and this means progressively harvesting firewood from further away and hauling it back which is enormous work. Thus you have to learn how to use rocket stoves and ovens to get a more efficient fire and likely will end up making charcoal as a tribal activity as you need that as an antitoxin and for blacksmithing and brushing teeth and for water purification.

        • Now, how could you practice prepping, teach your kids basic survival, be frugal, be a good steward, and learn history all at the same time?

          Our Irish ancestors were so penalized by the English that they were starving and had wheat stolen from them. So they stretched their wheat flour by mixing it 1/3 to 1/2 with white clover blossoms that they pulverized into flour.

          White clover is ubiquitous, easily identified even by six year olds, and they can collect and process this. These can be added to soups and stews to sustain life and doesn’t taste bad either.

          You could even cook the looped rolled dough on sticks as the Irish did or merely cook it as flatbread like pancakes.

          Doing this consistently could get you through summer and much of fall so that your flour lasted through the winter and spring.

          That is the kind of old ancestral wisdom that can save lives during disasters.

        • My wife makes bread pretty much every night with dinner.

          You would be surprised how much flour it takes. We use a LOT of flour.

          If you look at your flour preps, you need to multiply it by 5.

          • It is true, bread, yeast bread uses a lot of flour. However I have been experimenting around with several flat breads like tortillas that doesn’t use as much. But who doesn’t like yeast breads?

            • Can bread be made with amaramath?

              • I just looked to see what it is. Maybe not made out of it as it doesn’t appear to be a root or flower that can be milled nut I am sure you could use it as a filler or for taste. Do you know what it tastes like?

              • Generally wheat has gluten in it which is acted upon by the catalyst of yeast to expand it into bread. No gluten means it is poor as a standard bread.

                Because there are a lot of silly people worried about gluten due to the relatively rare celiac disease, it’s absurd but there are peculiar recipes that are no gluten bread.

                Our ancestors stretched the wheat flour by adding wild edibles like amaranth or white clover blossoms. Heck, the LDS folks made something they called survival fruitcake which had dried crickets and grasshoppers in it as the Native Americans had taught them how to do that.

                Generally it’s very wasteful to handmill all that flour to make bread when you can eat some boiled porridge.

                You can make sour dough bread if you have no yeast. Or if especially skilled, try making salt rising bread but you need milk. Or use dried raisins or persimmons in water to ferment to get enough yeast to make bread.

                Otherwise our smart ancestors ate flatbreads like ashcakes, bannock, or naan.

                Cornbread was orignally an additive to stretch the wheat and similarly potato bread as well.

                Amaranth often crops up in cultivated field so it makes sense to use it. Small amounts of plantain gone to seed can similarly be used. You can take the tiny cambium layer in pine trees at sometimes of the year but will be unhappy with the flavor in your bread. Your best bet is white clover blossom.

                Your most abundant wild edible is always acorns but it takes awhile to leach out the tannins.

                Whatever you elect to do, in desperate times you seldom will make loaves of bread.

              • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8S7AB9okbEE

                This shows how to properly collect cattail pollen to maximize what is gathered. You do something similar for amaranth or for plantain seeds. Otherwise the wild edible broadcasts and you get far less yield.

                A lot of wild edible books give bad advice on when to harvest.

                Regardless, our ancestors would blend this into existing porridge or pancakes or other flatbreads versus loaves of bread in order to reduce the fuel requirements.

                If you end up collecting grass seed then ensure there is no black rust on it as that is ergot and dangerous to consume especially for potentially pregnant women.

                If you end up liking amaranth seed flour, then research flatbreads from India.

        • Buy a couple of Cast Iron bread pans. Be able to make bread on a campfire. Think Grid down. You either have cast Iron cookware or prepare to go hungry in a grid down. Normal cookware cannot take camp fire grilling. Have at least 5 ways to cook food off the grid. And have all the cookware tools to do it. Failure to do this, = starvation and death in grid down. Think Solar Ovens, campfire cooking with cast iron, grills, gas and charcoal, propane tank gas, colman stove, mini pockets stoves, rocket stoves, alcohol stoves. Think people, grid down cooking. No power means no refrigeration. Better have your plan together. No plan = Death.

          • Ive been thinking if you covered a satellite dish in tin foil it would make a solar cooker. heat water ,cook food ect without any smoke or using up your fuel reserves?

        • BigB:

          Why CANOLA oil?

          Oil? yes. But not,Canola. Do some research. Canola is not a healthy choice. I generally use olive oil or coconut oil. And I have olive trees to make it myself. I also have avocado trees which can be used in place of butter or oil. Walnuts have oil, too.

          _ Mix oats, flax, and other ingredients in or on top of bread, cookies, homemade health bars.

          _ And I make meat and fish patties,balls, or loaf with flour, eggs, onions, mixed veggies. Good way to stretch a small amount of meat.

          Good idea to invest in a manual device that cuts, shreds, and grounds meat and veggies. We use ours almost every day.


          • Good ideas. I just used a recipe that said canola oil. Most times I make bread and I do it a lot I just use vegetable oil and a lot of time I use melted butter. I have heard you can use sawdust as a filler in bread to make your flour go farther. I myself use oat’s for a change of pace. But again learning on the fly can be a wasteful endeavor. Practice and experimenting now can save a lot of time and resources later.

          • The reason canola oil is suggested is that used to be called rapeseed. Why? Rapeseed busts up hard clay soils and prevents hardpan. Our ancestors raised rapeseed to extract oil and then fed the leftovers as fodder to livestock.

            Sunflower oil is almost as plentiful but you probably will end up raising rapeseed.

            This means having lamp oil versus using rendered animal fat for candles as even if you use candle followers, the amount of loss is too high.

            It’s possible to create a wax from sumac berries but a hassle that is far less productive. The Japanese do that to make their candles.

            It’s doubtful people would bother making corn or soybean oil.

            Most game animals are very lean. When raising hogs you harvest lard but reserve the fat around the kidneys for baking lard (called pearl lard) otherwise the other lard tastes off and is useful for other things like to boost calories in a skimpy stew or for frying.

            And remember, you need rendered hog fat to make soap too. So there is NEVER enough fat under survival situations. Otherwise you do what trappers did by putting a tiny pinch of hardwood ash in water and washing with that to kill germs and sort of get clean. In England during WW2, they used the roots of ferns that had saponins in them as a mild soap.

            This is why people are relearning how to can lard again and cooking with goose and duck fat.

        • Whatever you imagine will be your meals and recipes, you should try to live for a month without running water and utilities like gas and electric because that will be the case in disasters. You have no idea how much trouble it is pumping and gathering water and firewood. It takes a huge amount of calories.

          Initially survivors eat MORE since they are trying to eat foods that otherwise would spoil and something I call panic eating out of worry. On top of which is trying to maintain the illusion of normality for the sake of the children. Then if living outside, people eat way MORE due to exertion. These are hard life lessons from over five and nearly six decades of camping and preparedness.

          Thisis why a MRE plan is based upon 3,200-3,700 calories NOT 2,000 calories per day.

          Whenever everyone starts using up firewood, this ends up stripping very valuable lumber that took decades to be created, ruins animal habitats so they flee and thus less squirrels and porcupines and racoons and opposums. Then greenhorns realize all the deadwood is taken and then use green wood ie unseasoned and that burns miserably with very low BTUs. Then whatever tree crops like acorns and other nuts and fruits are lost. Then whatever medicinal effects from trees are gone. Then windbreaks are gone. Then erosion and flooding happen. Then the soil gets sterile as nitrogen fixing bacteria dies from low levels of decomposion, loss of insects, wind born erosion, etc.

          That all takes careful management to prevent wasting valuable trees. Otherwise you are using enormous effort and peaveys and block and tackle and wagons and two man saws and hauling wood from from very far away.

          This likely means an aggressive planting of poplar trees just to replace what you are felling.

          As far as I know, there are four ways to cook that minimize fuel. The first is relatively new and the last three are very old.

          Anyone can make a solar oven from found materials but I suggest putting it on a lazy susan that also can adjust the angle to maximize heat buildup. If you have window access to the roof, this is even better. Charge up solar lanterns using this same method to cut down on candle use and housefires too.

          Next you want to encourage old tech like Dakota Hole fires that are actually primitive rocket stoves so you can cook with twigs instead of kindling and squaw wood. You will end up fashioning it out of bricks otherwise you end up creating puddles in your backyard.

          You can cook using thermal mass. That especially works in winter as the stone soaks up heat and radiates it back out.

          Our ancestors always used the haybox method to save fuel. You most generally will try to build only one cooking fire per day or else your fuel will run out. The haybox method minimizes stirring and burning over a standard wood fire and it takes a long time to build coals.


          You may have the best intentions to cook three hot campfire meals, but that is not realistic nor practical. Regardless your food has to last through winter and spring until the game animals are active and the garden is producing.

          In history this Winter through Spring was called the starving time. Yes, you may have root cellars and even springhouses, but you are managing a dwindling cache of food plus spoilage and then also ensuring that you can celebrate holidays and then not grow weak due to low blood sugar.

          Every workcalorie you save from Winter through Spring saves you twice as much in firewood and food calories. It seldom makes sense to go tromping through the snow in search ofwild edibles. It’s a total wasted effort and only desperately unprepared people try it.

      14. I just watched a U tube video about the socialist idiots in Calif who decided that the wealthy weren’t paying their fair share? So the raised the taxes across the board on the Wealthy. And the wealthy simply moved away. The Bill Clintion Tax & Spend model isn’t long term sustainable. The states soon run out of other peoples money. And the states cant borrow infinite amounts of fiat created out of thin air dollars from the fed like the US government does.

        • Old Guy, the feds have kept those printing presses running 24/7/365 ever since that ‘financial crisis’ in 2008 to prop up the system. I’m surprised it’s worked for this long but at some point it’s going to stop working. Like you said earlier, when it all comes crashing down it won’t be any picnic.

      15. Well, if talking about bread, the main issue issue is “milling” the wheat and not storing flour. When flour is stored, unless you rotate it well, it will go rancid from the oils within the wheat. This is why prepper experts suggest storing grain and using a handmill.

        In history, to mill wheat or any grain like corn actually took more energy in calories versus consumed. That is because the common method was using a “quern” which takes a lot of labor to produce and then use. But actually the most common colonial method was hanging a pounder from a tree and this struck the receptacle and the downward motion was the only energy required while the springing of the branch raised the pounder upwards ie cutting the work in calories in half.

        Since it takes a lot of energy to bake bread, you likely would build a rocket stove-oven hybrid from clay and share the oven and labor with your neighbors to reduce duplication and split up division of labor.

        If you start calculating the TOTAL calories expended for all of that, it almost is not worth baking bread but instead making porriage like the Roman legionaires did much of the time. At least that requires the least amount of work in calories to consume excess calories in food. All of which becomes critical during a disaster with limited food and a shortage of firewood.

        After much experimentation, the simplest bread that is nutritious with the least amount of firewood is Lebanese mountain bread which is a variation on pita bread.

        Like this. If you lack yeast, some yeast will gather on raisins and you can add water to them and in a few days enough will ferment to produce enough yeast to make this recipe.


        Otherwise if you have the baking powder then have already built a large coal fire then get a dutch oven and make biscuits in it.

        • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9oUDSVCgnU

          Your easiest hot meals during a SHTF event are one pot meals. Try this old stand by chicken and dumpling recipe. I highly recommend better than bouillion soup base to keep on hand. If you have a little chicken or beef flavoring and especially if you make it spicy, then even a tiny amount of meat is satisfying. It also covers up if you are adding snails or grasshoppers or slugs or whatever to the recipe. You add in any offal that is safe and even bony meat like snake then is pallatable.

          Snakes are very easy to catch by pinning down their heads with a forked stick on a cool day as they get sluggish. Never grill it as you will waste too much of the juices and minimal fat.

          Believe me, your family will be thrilled to eat this recipe at anytime and there is no fuss to it versus nuring coals over a dutch oven and cooking biscuits.

      16. States will be fine when they stop voting Republican,and they will, as soon as their public finances have deteriorated enough and the people are sick and tired of non-functioning services and infrastructure.
        States aren’t broke; they just refuse to raise the revenue to pay for the things they need, because their bought-and-paid-for Republican legislators serve their wealthy donor-masters, not the people. This is what the credit ratings agencies are referring to when they talk about states getting their financial house in order. Start paying your bills and living up to your contractual obligations, and stop giving the money away to the rich.
        . There’s plenty of money for pensions, schools and infrastructure if we’d stop giving it away to corporations in tax breaks, incentives, loopholes, etc.

      17. Notice that the states and cities that have the most debt are run by democrats and they’ve been running them for years. People and businesses have moved from them to states that tax less and are more business friendly. Does that tell you anything?

        • Yes it tells me plenty. But apparently those who are tax reliant parasites do not see the situation the same way. They try and place blame on the productive. Calling them named like greedy stingy. Claiming those terrible folks don’t want to pay their (Fair Share?) I dont blame anyone who relocates to avoid paying taxes.

        • Jim in Va.

          There is another reason for Democrats being in power in cities with great debt. Their voting block is the underclass that are in abundance in cities that are economically failed. The underclass infiltration is the result. Camden NJ was once a manufacturing Mecca and financially sound governed by Democrats. Jobs fled, the productive moved, the underclass replaced them. In the end, if boiled down, the manufacturing leaving is the common denominator. While Democrats are a cause they’re also a symptom. Democrats have abandoned their core support of labor only retaining the brain dead in that area. Republicans are being dragged, sometimes kicking and screaming (Neo-Cons) being forced to fill the void that essentially was the party of Truman 1949. When there is a void in the political psychology of the masses it will be filled.

          • Yep, Camden back-filled with low-IQ blacks. The future of that city is predictable.

            • Infidel, we’ve got the same situation in my city. My city is already a shithole and will only get worse. There’s state and county elections where I live this year and then city elections next year. We’ll get a whole new set of dickheads at state and county levels this year then a whole new set of dickheads at city level next year. Dickheads replacing dickheads. That’s what this whole nation has come to.

            • Camden was a city ahead of its time as industry fled a decade before it was becoming a common occurrence. The underclass moved in as it decayed backfilling those that left. They’re more of a symptom as opposed to a cause. Of course they do make an already bad situation worse. It got so bad that Camden Police didn’t go to Camden and the NJ State Police had to take over.

      18. Unless there is a susessition movement, and a civil war, the states that are broke will get a bailout from the fed. That money will come from all the fiscally responsibile states and taxpayers…..that is YOU. Understand. Got it. Good.!!!!!

      19. The last major source of wealth left to the middle class are the retirement accounts. Do you really think those will be left untouched?

      20. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9oUDSVCgnU
        Crumpets are a British heavier pancake cooked in old tins (like carefully cleaned tuna cans) that have yeast and cream of tartar added. The latter is the same ingredient that makes snickerdoodles (a German-American cookie) so satisfying.

        This is hearty bread with bubbles that pop and then preserves or maple syrup fill up. It’s easily cooked while camping thus is not difficult to make from standard food that preppers have stored like powdered dry milk. And they keep for 48 and can fill in as as a snack after your tribe has exerted themselves in some task.

        These are five times easier than baking loaves.

        Similarly you could boil some water and make bagels, then finish them in a dutch oven.

        • The tool he uses to start his charcoal is a charcoal chimney. In a SHTF scenario, you could throw in some kindling and in about 30-40 minutes you have coals. You can immediately cook on it as it is made to breathe and this accelerates the coal forming process without charcoal lighter.

          Even if you didn’t know how to make a Dakota Hole fire or build a rocket stove, a simple charcoal chimney would reduce your firewood usage and save you time lighting the fire. It easily picks up wind and produces cherry red coals.

          Heck, you can make a rocket stove from leftover cans and some tin snips and use dirt and pea gravel as filler. Those make great Christmas gifts for hunters and backpackers.

          A smart prepper would have a cordless drill and a solar trickle charger and unibits and a drill set and a tap wrench and cutting fluid and various taps.

      21. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MREz93B7srQ
        During the first and subsequent crusades, knights and men at arms and pilgrim soldiers carried panforte which is the original fruitcake. It uses minimal flour as a binder and afterwards is doused with brandy. And it holds up as a calorie rich long lasting survival bar.

        Why not try making one and then give them away as Christmas gifts? They taste way better than standard fruitcakes and it’s a teachable moment for passing along ancestral knowledge to potentially new preppers.

        Otherwise in history various kinds of sea biscuits ie hardtack were used as late as the American Civil War. Why? It resists spoilage but are so hard and given the high incidence rate of scurvy, they might make your gums bleed. You are supposed to dunk them first in some homemade chickory drink or hibiscus tea to stop that from occurring.

        Chickory is a well known way of stretching whatever coffee is left and adds a pleasant robust flavor. It’s ubiquitous in America because French settlers brought it over.

        Hibiscus flower tea is almost as effective as some generic heart medication like propranolol and that is your go to medicinal when trying to treat your aging parents post-collapse. You should be able to easily find hibiscus within blocks of your home in any village or more in the USA.

        Either benefit from sweetener so be sure to tap some maples, box elders, birch, walnut, or hickory trees as these have sugar rising with the sap at certain times of the year based on weather and elevation.

        Otherwise y’all will be huntin’ for a basswood tree as old timers did so when looking for honey. You will hear the bees from there intense activity. It’s destructive but if you insert something into a hive, bees are annoyed and will end up fleeing as an innate response as they perceive it as polluting the hive. Otherwise you smoke ’em to calm them down. Some folks have a “knack” what the old Dutch called it, and were bee charmers and could grab a little comb without disturbing them.

      22. By the way, a very good coping strategy is harvesting dried cow manure and burning them as fuel. There is little smell and they burn HOT. Be careful as burning too many can warp a fireplace insert as they burn hot like burning osage orange trees. A very small amount can be utilized to run a rocket stove and produces low ash.

        Cow’s digestion is different in order to digest the cellulose from fodder. That process makes a dense fuel after drying. But people seldom consider picking up cow pies. Ranchhands routinely used them this way in history. Folks in India and Southeast Asia still use this process to prevent deforestation.

        On a related note, the best way to treat human waste is to reserve the urine for fertilizer after diluting it. Then you also can use it like ammonia for laundry. And to dye cloth, you need a mordant ie a fixative and this serves that purpose.

        You shouldn’t mix urine and fecal matter in the same privy because if you do, it might take five years to break down and cause a terrible odor. And realize that if you screw up and the privy is close to your well, or due to flooding during a rainy season, you could really put yourself in a bind.

        Just leave the feces alone seperately and then it will breakdown after 2-3 years. Otherwise you can collect it and make a biodigester if you live in a hot climate. That creates methane which then can be collected as either a cooking fuel or for lighting. Personally unless you live in Southern California or Florida, I doubt it’s worth the hassle due to exposure to anaerobic bacteria with high contagion potential plus fire risk.

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