So there you are, planning how many tins of food you can store and how long it will last you in a Level 3 or Level 2 situation. You’re counting up the bullets for your guns, and preparing to hunker down for a desperate and challenging time where life will be tough and uncertain, and you’ll be living hand to mouth with few creature comforts and no luxuries.
Your bookshelf is full of items on how to can your own food, how to grow your own vegetables, self-sufficiency, self-defense, and so on.
Probably the last thing on your mind is to now read through some fifteen thousand words of economic theory. You can’t fight off attackers with economics. You can’t eat economics. Who needs economics when you’re in a daily desperate struggle for survival?
We understand your perceptions, and that’s why we’re starting off this long series on apparently abstract economic issues with an introduction, to explain to you why economics is a vitally important subject that you need to consider and factor into your prepping. A good grasp of economics will truly help you fight off attackers and will truly help put food on your table. Economics is not abstract, it is immediate and important.
The reason economics is important is because your ability to not just survive, but to thrive, will be directly related to your ability to interact appropriately with other people. To engage in mutual support activities, to help each other out, and to trade between you, exchanges surpluses of things you have or have grown/created for surpluses of things other people have.
As soon as you start trading with other people, economic factors come into play.
If you factor economic issues into your preparing, and subsequently into your surviving, you’ll find yourself with a better and more valuable store of supplies for if/when TSHTF, giving you a more advantaged starting point to respond to the new crisis situation you find yourself in.
By understanding how representations of value will change and evolve during the crisis and the subsequent slow recovery, you’ll be able to trade better and smarter with your neighbors, helping you all to be more efficient and therefore to live better and more prosperous lives.
As for fighting off attackers, well, you could say that the pen is mightier than the sword, and you could also say that war is merely an alternative form of applied economics. But it is simpler to say that a prospering society should also be a strong society, and better prepared to protect itself against outward threats, whether they are economic in form, semi-random such as weather, or man-made such as marauders.
A better understanding of the issues in this article series, and of the other articles we occasionally publish about the form of a future economy and how to prepare for it, will truly help you prepare better now, and survive better, subsequently. That’s why we’ve taken the time to research and write this extensive series of articles. We urge you to take a lesser amount of time to read through them, and – of course – feel free to comment or question as you wish.
Unfortunately, one of the most distinctive things about the ‘science’ of economics is that it isn’t a science at all. It is instead a series of theories, biased by personal beliefs and values, and while our commentaries are hopefully sensible and our predictions may possibly be close to correct, no-one truly knows what to expect WTSHTF. So we are layering imprecise economic ‘theory’ on top of uncertain guesses about the future.
As part of your prepping research, you always need to clearly distinguish opinion from fact. Even simple seeming things may be as much opinion as fact – for example, the storage life of any given product. Do you really think that the companies selling extended shelf life food that they say is good for 25 years have really conducted 25 year tests on their products?
Another example – the frequency tuning range of a radio might be a fact (but we’ve seen people even get something as simple as this wrong). On the other hand, its ability to work well for your communication needs is an opinion.
You are always best advised to consider all information from all sources with an open but skeptical mind and to weigh up differing opinions (and conflicting ‘facts’) before settling on your own personal plan.
We have six articles in the series. Ideally, you should read them in sequence, but of course, browse through them any way you wish. We hope they are of value to you.
Part 0 : Introduction – Why Economics is Practical and Important to Preppers
Part 1 : International Reasons Why the Dollar Will Fail
Part 2 : Domestic Reasons Why the Dollar Will Fail
Part 3 : Why Bartering Is Not A Useful Way of Trading
Part 4 : The Unavoidable Need for Money
Part 5 : A Probable Currency Evolution Post TEOTWAWKI
Part 6 : How to Prepare for the Future Economy