How The Next Great Depression Will Be Different From The First


If and when there is a ‘next’ Great Depression (some may argue that we’ve already entered the next one – although hidden from sight), the question is “How will it be different from the first?”

The current labor force participation rate is somewhere around 62% in the U.S. and the current (NOV-2016) combined U3 & U6 unemployment numbers reflect 22.8% (source: Apparently there are about 41 million people receiving food stamps while nearly 14% of Americans live below the ‘official’ poverty threshold (hinged to income and family size).

The U.S. National Debt is just about to turn over to 20 Trillion dollars. Unfunded liabilities are currently 104 Trillion dollars (source: On average, each household with a credit card carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt, and the average U.S household with debt owes $130,922 (source:

According to a recent Federal Reserve report, nearly half of Americans couldn’t cover a $400 emergency expense without borrowing the money or selling something. Additionally, almost 30% of people report having a zero balance, and 62% have less than $1,000 in savings, according to a recent survey (source: An additional 21% report having no savings account whatsoever.

We as Americans are really not wealthy. Rather, we as Americans are drowning in debt while putting on a facade of phony wealth. Most do not own anything. The banks do. And guess what? The banks are in trouble too. The Federal Reserve (a private organization) has essentially been propping up the banks (and ‘the market’) since 2008 – and it’s all based on more gargantuan debt.

While most Americans are entirely clueless about the big picture here, one day (or over a period of time), we may descend further into a ‘Greater Depression’ as so many of the so called ‘asset classes’ collapse in value as they seek out their own ‘true value’ when they cannot be propped up anymore.

Okay, back to the question at hand… How will the next Great Depression be different?


Recently, a commenter here said,
The “great depression” lasted somewhere around 10 years…. 80% of the population lived on farms-ish, I would bet that 90% of those had a HUGE-deep-pantry, and already had Gardens and Livestock. In 1935 there were around 127 million in the US, now 320-ish million, IF the “greater” depression hits and 80% are in the cities….. Just something to think about.

Someone else said,
“…but the greatest loss is the knowledge of survival. In the “great depression” many survived by riding the rails to areas that needed farm labor – try that with most urban dwellers today. Not only are they not physically able but are totally ignorant about agriculture, nature, and most of all, being able to cooperate in a rural society.”

A few of my own thoughts…

Back during the Great Depression, people had a MUCH GREATER sense of morality, work ethic, and practical skill sets than they do today.

There is a tremendous number of people today who have not experienced real hardship. They have been coddled, they have had things handed to them, and they EXPECT to be taken care of. They get angry when they don’t get their way.

During the days of the Great Depression, people on ‘assistance’ had to line up to receive their benefits. It was very visible. Today, ‘digital cards’ hide all of that. The numbers of those receiving benefits are hidden from view and all ‘appears’ as normal…

Today, it’s easy to get a bank loan for just about anything. Back during the days of the Great Depression, people taking on loans was significantly less. They had to save and work for ‘it’.

Family farming and agriculture today is essentially non-existent compared to the years of the Great Depression.

People have no idea how large of a garden and the right kinds of foods which will produce adequate calories to help over-winter for their household. A few tomatoes and squash in a 10×20 garden is not going to cut it…

How many people today know how to preserve their own food (e.g. canning)? I would say VERY, VERY FEW.

Because most Americans suffer from extreme ‘normalcy bias’, a Greater Depression will be shocking and devastating to say the least. Many will lash out as the cities burn… (perhaps literally).

People today are NOT educated the same way as back then. Practical skills are all but ‘gone’. Used to be that many would learn some technical trades in High School and some would go on to a trade school afterwards. Whereas today, ‘everyone’ (even those who really aren’t that bright) has to go to ‘college’ where they’re taught diversity training, political correctness, ‘Dem’s Good – Repub’s Bad, etc…

Today, our manufacturing base is GONE. Back during the Great Depression, we made ‘stuff’. When a nation makes their own ‘stuff’, that’s a good thing…

In conclusion, my general opinion is that the next Greater Depression will be a complete disaster, and it will become violent as the waves of desperation wash over the land. We are a different people than back then, and it’s going to bite us in the a$$…

Care to add your own thoughts?


  1. People are also crowded in urban population centers where feeding huge masses is virtually impossible without shipping food there. There would be mass ‘migrations’ (i.e. the Golden Horde) away from these areas if this is not addressed. The Dust Bowl is an example of people leaving an area for another.

    Over hunting will devastate wilderness areas. The U.S. population in 1934 was approximately 134 million. We are nearly three times that now. Along with lack of water sources and sanitary facilities – I predict some very harsh living conditions for everybody. Only the prepared will survive.

    1. I don’t subscribe to the ” golden horde theory “. I think that the people will stay in place trying to wait till the government steps in to take care of them. Now you and I both know that will probably not happen but they are so used to being taken care of they will. After a short amount of time they will no longer have the wherewithal to move anywhere and are not going to have food and water to travel hundreds of miles to look for it.JMHO There will be riots and break ins and lots of violence but by the time the golden horde figures out they should have left it will be way to late. I know from living in a mountain community that these folks will not be welcomed and will be turned away with what ever force is needed to protect the resources that we have at our disposal. The horde I worry about is the people already in these rural ares that have never saved,prepared or have any real skills.

      1. Absolutely, ‘PoorMan’:
        Long before any ‘Golden Horde’ arrives, your biggest human threats will come from within your local neighborhoods.
        If your not prepared to defend what’s yours, you won’t have much hope to survive.

      2. To find an example of the govt dependent crowd sitting around waiting on the government to come you need to look no further than Katrina. Many died because they thought Uncle Sugar would come and rescue them. Meanwhile, as you have pointed out many of their neighbors became the looting enemy.

  2. Can you imagine what will happen to all the helpless educated idiots and multi gendered snowflakes who plan on making a career out of being victims and parasites in a society that can no longer indulge their my little pony lifestyles ? A massive culling of the herd is imminent .

    1. It cant happen soon enough,
      I tried to go to costco the last couple days, the EBT crowd just got their paycheck, its been a zoo, needless to say i didnt get any shopping done,

    2. It would certainly be nice to see things back where they should be–you know, having people around with common sense.

      1. Common sense requires people to have something in common. A common ground so to say. Diversity has killed anything and everything we all have in common as we now celebrate our differences. In the future people will be praised at having “diverse sense”. We used to commonly and collectively cherish freedom but that too is now on the decline as more people rely more and more on handouts. It pains me to see so many people in this country praising socialism and communism.

        There’s a meme on Facebook that kinda sums up millenial’s views on economics. I forget the picture, but the caption goes something like this: How do you expect me to understand anything about economics? I don’t even know what gender I am.

  3. I think the next depression has already begun, it’s just well hidden right now. Can you imagine 41 million people “in line” each day to get their bread and soup… as you pointed out? And unemployment benefits helps hide another large part.

    It took YEARS to get out of the last one and I’m pretty sure it took years to get in it. It’s just hindsight that puts the 1929 crash as the historical “marker” for it. Soon, we’ll have a large enough economic event that will be used to place this one in a historical context… but our standard of living has been headed down for a while.

    Most policies and programs are being enacted to prevent this or prevent that… Fingers in the dike

    1. Funny how many confuse unemployment insurance systems with welfare…

  4. Statistics don’t lie and America is much worse off than the narrative indicates. It’s rather ironic that Americans have been sold huge lies about the State of our Nation and our economy, but they are having themselves a royal-rumble over ‘fake news’. The hypocrisy is nauseating.

    Mathematically, we can’t wiggle out of our debtor-Nation state. How TPTB attempt to MANAGE it, though, is the multi-quadrillion-dollar question. Will it fail of it’s own demise? Will it be set-up to collapse? Will the can be kicked further down the road?

    When it finally occurs, a financial collapse will have a devastating outcome. Money will change and currency, along with barter, will take it’s place. Looking at Venezuela is a perfect example of how money has evolved there. Here, a Greater Depression will devastate our American population in a number of ways. We can look at the financial ramifications, but money/currency is only as good as the market(s) that goods and services can/cannot provide. What many of us here tend to focus on involves is the more basic survival aspects of dealing with a financial collapse: food, water, shelter, security.

    A very large segment of our American society have few or no skills to help them in a subsistence environment that would be thrust upon them in a Greater Depression. Over time, many will perish.

    There are many government-dependents in cities and suburban areas. They would be seriously affected but due to their conditioning of ‘do-nothing, get fed and cared for’, they will be loath to evaluate and redefine their new lifestyles. Many will complain and even riot, but I believe the majority of the government-dependents will perish of their own doing — they simply cannot take care of themselves. The city-types, especially those in the ghettos and very poor areas, will remain in or near their squalor and will pose almost zero threat to those in the far-off, rural regions.

    Many in the suburbs will find themselves in situations they’ve never prepared for. The majority of these folks have no real food storage set aside and do not have the means or skills to live a subsistence lifestyle. Further, they would mostly be unprepared for situations that include threats to their person, home, or community. Their strength would be community and if they were able to establish a community effort for security, they would fare better. But their downfall is their collective inability to feed and care for a community.

    Those living in the rural areas are not the farmers of yesteryear. Some country folks garden, but the majority do not. While these people may be able to till the soil and scratch out a starter garden, what would they do in that interim period unless they had a full pantry of food to stave off the hunger? Some folks in rural areas keep food pantries and garden, even raise livestock. They can’t be expected to feed their entire community. So how good is their security because if they are the ‘haves’, the ‘have nots’ may be coming for an uninvited stay…

    The majority of American grown food is coming from commercialized corporate farms. Who will tend those farms during a Greater Depression? Will these people work for food? It’s been done before…

    When the financial storm hits America, how long will it be before the EBT cards disappear and the rioting begins? How long will government employees go to work if they aren’t being paid? What will happen when Social Security doesn’t make their deposits? How long will it be before the truckers say their job isn’t worth risking their lives over? How long before the shipped foods are no longer shipped in? Are you ready?

    Knowing these difficult times ARE coming makes preparedness even more important. I would much rather do without today while I harden myself for tomorrow, than try to cope with severe difficulties that are definitely coming.

      1. What did it take 2 get us out of the Great Depression…. WW2

        1. War is profitable.

          My husband used to give me such grief over that statement but in the past 10 years, he has come to understand the wicked truth behind what I believe is an axiom…

          This isn’t to detract from our military whatsoever, it is the sinister reasons behind many of our actions (mostly covert, mostly Deep State).

    1. Modern Throwback
      I do love reading your posting, such sage advise and wisdom. Thank you.

      1. Thanks, and back at you, too. I always enjoy what you share here!

    2. Hi MT,

      Thank you for the time & thought you put into your post. You make a lot of very important points, some of which I had already thought about, some I had not. With huge population numbers and so many people with so few practical skills, it is almost overwhelming when you begin to run possible scenarios through your mind. Really sobering.

      1. Very sobering indeed.
        These massive populations can only be formed and sustained by cheap fossil fuel energy.
        If that energy stops flowing because of a worldwide economic catastrophe – well your looking at a major population decrease.

        Even the politicians are aware.
        During the 2008 crisis a U.S. Senator talked of the consequences of a world wide finical meltdown – frightening stuff.

      2. During/after an ‘event’, there are only a finite number of possible reactions. The more we analyze and plan for an ‘event’ then the better our responses might be (that’s the goal, anyway!).

        Here’s my Event/Disaster Strategy (part of a disaster matrix I work on):

        * Stay In Place, work to control the ituation
        * Contact Network For Assistance
        * Request Emergency Assistance
        * Hunker Down
        * Leave Temporarily
        * Evacuate
        * Get Out Of Dodge (leave on long-term basis)

        Ken did an article worth re-reading: Survival Theory – A Preparedness Guide – by Jonathan Hollerman

        I have yet to order/read this book but really need to get to it.

  5. I think that it is to late now to stop such disaster from happening.
    The only thing to do is get out of debt and try and become prepared as best as one can be. We might have a 4 year reprieve when it comes to assaults on the second Amendment, I suggest taking full advantage of the brief lull.
    I would suggest creating numerous supply caches because the government will be forced to go door to door taking everything for the “greater good”.

    1. IMHO going door to door is not going to happen. The government may go after small farms,small grocery stores ect but their will be nowhere near enough manpower to go through every house in the country. If it took just 10 min a home it would take almost 15 million man hours just to go through NY city.

      1. poorman
        Normally I would agree with you on that statement it would take to long to search through each household.

        Here is the crux of that situation. In the movie Ameriageddon, this subject was brought forth to the American troops that EL Prezidentie invoked the executive order 13603. They were told to remove all weapons & find out who had additional food storage. It also portrayed a neighbor turning on another to save themselves from being noticed. If you involve troops willing to search homes then it is a good possible of occurring, noticed I did not say the troops were American. Food for thought

      2. They’ll turn us on each other. Every dictatorship in the history of the world has relied on the distrust of their people for each other. “Turn in your neighbor and get special treats!” “Get out of jail free card!”

        Or in this scenario, “You get half of what your neighbor has if they turn out to be hoarding!”

        They wouldn’t need an army. We (and I use the word loosely) would kill each other off.

      3. No. THERE IS GOING TO BE DOOR TO DOOR CONFISCATION OF ASSETS. PERIOD. Look what happened in the Ukraine in the 1930`s. Stalin sent his commissars door to door and the swept the place entirely clean of food. They left not one drop for the people. Somewhere around 7 – 10 millions men, women and children starved to death. These leftist we see in america are more stalinists than you might think. If given the chance they will steal all of the food from the racists. Who do not deserve to live. And who is a racist? Who are the racists? I would venture to say that that would be you. If you are reading this website you are most certainly considered a racist. The lazy stalinists will come after your food after they clean out all the retail establishments like walmart. You will be next in line. This is why it is imperative to hide your food. This is why it is imperative to have a bug out to eventually move to. As the resources dwindle the cities will become unlivable. Unless you want to join the local gang and pay your tithe. (food). Now this door to door confiscation will not be done everywhere. But it will be done. Depends on where you live. If you live somewhere like southern california; you can depend on it.

    2. I think you are dead on correct….caches are an excellent idea. When things start to turn south (the bubble bursts or some other event occurs) you had better believe that I will be hiding my horde in multiple places. I have young children and will not take any chances.

  6. Im going to go fill my cart at seed savers and get a big order coming,,,,,
    I already have a good supply of seeds but more cant hurt,
    Back during the first depression people were made of different stuff, even those who live in the country were different, i bet more than half of the folks who live out in the rural areas have no clue how to do basic canning, or seed saving, or even season extension to keep crops growing longer.
    Its going to be ugly, people here are going to be screwed, all the snowflake libtards with their bucket garden on the back porch are going to get to see how long those tomatos last. All the idiots who shop whole foods every day to buy their meals, that should be fun,,,
    When i was kulafarmer i was told i had an obligation to our community to provide inexpensive high quality food to the local markets because they were supporting us,,,,,,,,
    Another one of my 101 reasons why my name is nailbanger and at some point will change to headbanger…..

  7. Lets all take a minute and say a prayer for they people that gave their lives on this date and for our country in general. I always feel bad on Dec 7th as I think of how this date changed our lives and our country forever.

  8. I agree with Ken and all those who commented before me. My first thoughts were that the Great Depression happened before we had a welfare state, before the Christian population became the minority, before the population of he world became too large for enough food to be grown for all the people with 1930’s technology.

    You only have to look at the Black Lives Matter riots, the college snowflakes who need teddy bears and counseling to survive an election that didn’t go the way they wanted, the fights over sale items on Black Friday, or the people who take advantage of the honor system when the electronic food stamps temporarily stopped working, to see what will happen when food and other supplies become in short supply or when the electricity is turned off and their electronic toys stop working.

    1. Part of what brought us out of the depression if I remember my history was the beginning of government assistance. The WPA was the first that I remember reading about. I know that it is not the same as welfare as they put people to work for money and that was a good thing. the question I have is how many of today’s recipients would be willing or able to work for that government check.

      1. One of several of the myths of the Great Depression is that the government programs were instrumental in change. There are a number of books available that detail how these programs were to varying degrees both the cause (or exacerbated the problem) of the Depression or prolonged it through inefficient use of resources. The WPA for example is known to have built roads and then dug up the same road only to build it again. It that was the solution, we could solve all our problems by simply bulldozing towns one after another and then rebuilding them. The textbooks teach that drivel but the history books tell a remarkably different story.

  9. all very true i know several people that have never known hardship and where very spoiled WHEN the shit hits the fans the would be nothing but dead weight

  10. It is at times like this when I read the sobering thoughts that I really appreciate be far along in life. We live rurally, a blessing when the food stores close, or the power grid goes down, amongst other potential hazards. Thank you for the thought provoking articles, and the excellent comments.

  11. When the dust settles, it may be the people that are the poorest now that may survive. That Afgan goat herder, that crazy bush man, or that isolated desert dweller will probably have what they have now and will survive as before. The phrase I heard on a TV show, that portrayed the depression era, was stated by people living off the land. When the newspapers announced the end of the depression they quipped “what depression”?

  12. Whenever I start feeling sorry for myself and my life, I read something like this and it cheers me right up. I guess I don’t have it so bad after all.

  13. There’s two old sayings I’d like to bring up from the Great Depression: “Just paper profits,” and one my family always repeated to me, “We didn’t know how poor we were.”

    Today the GDP numbers are partially inflated by the “financial industry,” which creates nothing of substance.

    And if/when there is a big depression everyone will know exactly how poor they are. And has been mentioned most have a deep feeling of entitlement.

    1. “We didn’t know we were poor'”
      Hits the nail on the head. Whenever one of my kids says that we are poor,
      I reply “You don’t know what poor is”.

      1. I don’t live in the U.S. – I live in a wealthy English speaking country where the welfare component of the federal government budget is well over 50%.

        A friend of mine does charity work for a large christian church organization.
        He goes around to less than well of households and hands out.

        Food baskets.
        Phone vouchers.
        Utility vouchers.

        Some of these households are single parents with 3 -4 kids.
        Often the houses contain :

        55 inch screen TV’s bought on credit.
        Cable TV contract.
        Latest igadget phone on contract
        A dog as large as a small horse who eats more than the kids combined.

        The kids wont eat food from the basket as they only eat fast food from take aways. Nor will they drink plain water – only costly brand name fizzy pop.

        These people wont work for a living because the dole payments are more than a working wage would bring in.

        My friend often gets abused by these charity recipients because he didn’t phone ahead and arrange a suitable time to have their freebees delivered.

        That’s the modern poor for you.

  14. My greatest fear is all the extended family and friends that know I prepare. They choose to spend their time and money on the latest electronic craze or vacations. They think they can just show up to share in my preps. Do I have the heart or will to turn them away? I hope so but time will tell.

    1. RAWHIDE:

      You really don’t believe that they will just leave emptyhanded do you ?
      To return,again and again.

    2. I told mine not to come and I’d put a bullet in their head if they did. A few are welcome, but they have supplies and skills to offer. It’s either my family lives, or we all starve together. I don’t know if I could really do it to a family member, but I hope the threat keeps them away.

      1. if it gets to that point the threat won’t keep them away. There will be some very hard decisions to make if and when the times come. Lots of people think they can face down folks and pull that trigger but a lot of them are going top find out they can’t do it. We are all three people. Who we think we are,who others think we are and who we really are. If the situation gets bad enough we will all find out that third question.

      2. Several months back when we visited some family members, they said ‘we know where we’re coming if something happens!’ I informed them in very PLAIN english that it was not fair for them to not make any preparations and expect us to feed them. Also, I told them that they should be making their own preps.
        You should’ve seen the look on their faces.

    3. Since your OPSEC is ruined, then go proactive. Let each of these people know that you are forming a club that requires a membership fee. This fee guarantee entry to your place at a SHTF event and will ENTITLE each paying member their room and board. But!! Make the fee VERY expensive — calculate how much it would cost you to feed someone for 3 months, 6 months, and 12 months. Then calculate what the board-fee would be since they would be sleeping there. Calculate in some labor because this wouldn’t be a live & lay around arrangement.

      Make it a contract and price it based on reality. And be sure to let them know that you have already got security covered. I’ll betcha the sticker-shock will keep them away.

    4. You shouldn’t be made to feel guilty if the time comes. “The Lord helps those who help themselves.”

  15. The number of problems we face are way beyond those who lived through the depression. My wife and I had a short discussion on our parents situation during that time, their families all lived on farms. Currently none of their grand and great grandchildren live on farms.

    The greatest problem we currently face are the human hyenas that have been imported or allowed to steal their way into our country. These people KNOW how to live by their witty or kill as needed when needed.

    One of my past reading endeavors was the history of money. It’s a really dry subject but interesting. One fact I found interesting about the comings and goings of paper money systems was that the coins carried on through the changes as it was so expensive to replacate. I started saving ALL my pocket change from that time on which was decades ago. I paid to rebuild the engine with some bills but also 1000 in change. I still save my change but now it goes to our grandsons savings.

    I think that when the stuff gets in the fan they will try and keep it going with
    the plastic card system but the black market system will want something that they can carry off. This will be short lived until those that have will want something more valuable for exchange.

    We are living in interesting times. Do your best to CYA.

    1. Older coins are sterling silver 92% silver.

      If you studied money you will know that silver coins have been the unit of currency for hundreds of years.

      Gold and silver will again have their day. – that is if the government don’t steal it first

  16. good sobering article to read with the morning coffee. As commented, in the ‘great depression’ people had more knowledge and many lived a farm style life. The knowledge that these people had was in part handed down from their parents or at least the generation before them. Most of that “old” know how is long gone.

    If .gov can’t even get water to 1 city, New Orleans, they sure aren’t going to be of any help in a big depression or disaster.

  17. No wonder it’s called a depression. It’s thoroughly depressing.

    I do know that quite a few 20 and 30 somethings are learning new skills. For them, it isn’t about prepping as much as it is about eating local food. I know a lot of people who have started gardening in the past few years, which is leading them to canning. My niece, who lives in the suburbs of a major in an HOA controlled neighborhood has started raising rabbits because she wants access to quality meat without having to pay an arm and a leg at Whole Foods. I know a couple of 20 something women who have learned to hunt for the same reason. The localvore movement might be the starting point for lots of younger people to adopt a prepping lifestyle.

    For many years, I have been fully prepared for 2-3 weeks without electricity/being snowed in from a blizzard. I have been fully prepared to bug out because of a forest fire evacuation, and be comfortable for the duration. But both of those scenarios relied on the crisis being very short term. My own normalcy bias was shattered this election. Luckily, I already have skills, tools, and equipment for gardening, canning, and dehydrating. I have lots of knowledge and gear from skiing, backpacking, rock climbing, and whitewater river trips.

    Now I am trying to use this background to become better prepared for something long term. I have a long way to go.

    1. As lauren said Skibum we all have a long ways to go. None of us really knows what may happen and none of us has ever been through a world wide collapse and believe me if our monetary system goes it will be a world wide collapse. All we can do is keep banging away at storing food.learning skills and trying to get ahead of the game.

  18. Great Article Ken. I do believe that the inter city gangs will start expanding out to the smaller community’s as recourses are depleted. Government will only protect government property and the citizens will have to fend for themselves. If you live near a major interstate or highway you will be one of the first to engage these gangs as they pillage from town to town.

  19. I believe we have been in an economic decline for some time . The financial fiasco we experienced in 2007-2008 should have been a loud wake up call for the citizenry. For some folks it was , but sadly for most it was not . The folks today just do not have the skills of gardening , canning, sewing, raising & butchering animals , fixing things ,etc. make it through a severe depression .Because they don’t have these skills the ” time of sorrows” for them will be much more severe. They will have to rely on the “state” for their subsistence .
    The economics/savings numbers quoted by Ken above show a pretty dismal scenario in this country . When the hammer falls it will be a very severe depression . Those who are self-reliant will fare the best .
    Grace & peace to all.

  20. Modern Throwback had a thought provoking comment which I also ask myself these questions. There are questions about the new administration coming in which I wonder about as well. I am concerned with record breaking numbers in the stock market, and since stocks are overvalued, I expect it to implode while others are giddy and excited about it. The stock market bubble is poised to burst.

    I took the steps in preparing myself living remote and stock piling a balance of tangible assets and learning survival skills for my area which I have applied.

    So I watch the signs, and be aware of the economy where it is going…that among other things that may be a disaster, and be prepared for it. SHTF comes in many forms… like SHT roof, SHT furnace, SHT blizzard,..etc… :-)

    1. Stardust
      You have filled your card of three SHT…..all in one fell swoop. Hope everything is getting back on track for you & the puppies.

  21. Look to Europe. The trillions in circulation is equal to the collective debt. There will be the first catastrophic failure.
    The most dangerous group will be organized by their unyielding, unforgiving religion. As they have said, first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.

  22. I grew up in a small town in California and heard stories about how my grandparents gave vegetables to the school for the lunch program. My family traded vegetables for beef from a local rancher and we traded services for hunting rights and beef from the freezer. In bad times, my ancestors bartered.

    As a youngster, I worked on the farms of relatives, helped with roundups and mended fences in exchange for hunting rights on the cattle ranches. My actual job on the farms was to fix and maintain the trucks and tractors. My first shotgun and rifle were purchased at a discount because I had to fix it first. (new springs and new stocks) I recognized that our community was depressed growing up so I left home and went to a string of trade schools. Along the way, I learned I was a pretty good paramedic and eventually majored in economics.

    Why study economics? Because I was always curious why some businesses succeed while others fail. Cause and effect. The cyclical nature of our economy has been a 10 year cycle since the 1929 depression and this has been regardless of who is President within the US. The 10 year cycle is a rough estimate and not exact. REcessions usually take place in the fall each year though there are exceptions (flash crash in Spring of 1998)

    Lesson to youngsters out there: ask yourself on continuous basis: What would I do if…Not all of us are college material when we left home. I was better off going to work and trade school myself. College may present itself later as an opportunity but should not be viewed as an end all goal. Somewhere out there, you may meet somebody special and want to settle down and start a family.

    To Skibum: Decades ago I remember hearing accounts of the Great Alaskan Quake (1964 i think) Those that survived had some hardships but those that minimally suffered lived off their preps. ( people who had lots of camping supplies at home already ) Sounds like you are already there in terms of some prep items. Let us all hope it never gets that bad. I do not look forward to shooting and eating the creatures that feed out of my garden at present time.

  23. Below are a few facts that I use to arrive at this equation;

    Amount of food eaten by the average person in the US = 1,996 pounds per year (2011)
    Current population of the US = 322,762,018 (2016)
    Current people in the Urban/City areas = 80.7% (2010)

    1,996(pounds) X 322,762,018(people) X 80.7(%) / 365(days) = 1,424,372,661 pounds (712,186.33 TONS)of food eaten in the US cities/urban areas every day.

    That my friend’s is a lot of food consumed in the US cities EVERY DAY, now think if the JIT inventory system stopped…… for whatever reason…..

    The same can be done for Fuel, Water, Electricity, TOILET PAPER, you name it.

    Just something to think about

    Data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that in 2011 the average American consumed nearly one ton of food. That’s 1,996 pounds of food a year.

    The U.S. entered 2016 with an estimated population of 322,762,018 according to an end-of-year estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau, meaning that we added more than 2.4 million people to the population over the course of the year.

    In 2010, a total of 80.7 percent of Americans lived in urban areas, up from 79 percent in 2000. Conversely, 19.3 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas in 2010, down from 21 percent in 2000.

    1. NRP

      I remember ‘way back when’ the JIT system showed up. I was working in a prototype machine shop and the shortage of ONE thing would shut us down in a flash.

    2. Don’t forget according to the USDA, 31% of food is wasted in the US. that would change due to a hard depression. BTW, no food is wasted in my household, even my dogs eat watermelon rinds and potato skins not to mention clean my plates.

  24. AND the Dow Jones is up 254.71 points right now……

    Anyone see a problem with that?


    1. When you gamble, only bet what you can afford to lose. I left some of our money in equities and so far it has provided nice returns. I take the winnings out and get physical assets while leaving the initial investment at risk.

      Regarding the ton of food for each person, that is one major reason I freeze dry. The food takes up much less space and weighs much less without the water. Sorry NRP this system does not work for TP, so I use a hand held bidet – reduces my TP requirements by about 90%.

    2. NRP when I see your handle, I always think of my days in the construction trenches – NRP to me relates to “non removable pins” For the readers that are not familiar with this – it is a security measure so that the pins in door hinges can not be removed to take a door off to gain entry – a must for out-swing doors.

      1. @ homebody

        I bet in my day I have installed thousands of those things, I did learn the best way to gain access without permission…. take out the wall next to the door, a LOT easier…. HAHAHA


  25. Yes, the upcoming collapse will be much worse the the first for all the reasons mentioned above. The best chance we have of surviving is to ban together with like minded, trusted family and friends in a small rural community. I must must place importance on “LIKE MINDED” above all!!
    All being in the best physical shape possible, having multiple skills and willing to cross train those skills with other members of that group!

    Skills: Raising Livestock of all sizes, gardening skills, food preservation,
    military tactics for protection, clothes and shoe repair, mechanic, medical and first aid.

    If you’re not involved with a group like this, perhaps knowing someone who has a relative that lives in a rural setting could be a start. Offering to help by providing free labor one weekend if the rural property is owned by an elderly person would provide an eye opening experience, as well as letting the property owner be encouraged by your efforts. Where there’s a will, THERE’S A WAY. Half the battle is attitude and the willingness to learn. Instead of a ‘What’s in it for me Attitude’!

  26. Excellent article and excellent comments. I agree with all of the above.
    First, we can a lot of food, and are still stockpiling our resources now, MORE than before, precisely because my wife and I firmly believe the stock market bubble is a real bubble;and like all bubbles, will burst soon within our lifetimes.
    While I do not subscribe to the “walking dead”media “entertainment”, at present, I am a senior security officer for a large community hospital in our area. As a retired police officer out of the Republic’s most populated state, I saw enough to light a fire under me to get out of my native homeland of California and never look back, we did. Our new state of residence, has an inordinately high number of persons addicted to prescription pain meds, and in the ER of where I am presently employed, MOST of the ER visits are Opiod overdoses, that are either intentional (suicide attempts), or “accidental”. In addition, we see a huge number of senior citizens that have sever Opiod Induced Constipation, and haven’t pooped or been able to for several days, (every single day!)
    It is my belief that these are the real “zombies of the apocalypse”, that will be the people we will all be forced to deal with when “normal society”(which we are anything BUT normal). I also am not a fan nor a real believer in the “golden hordes” theory of re-population. That would require the millions of the Entitlement Briigade members to actually have the personal ambition. To WANT to re-locate and we have not seen that in most of our lifetimes, anywhere in the US on anything like the Great Depression of the 1930’s.
    While IN THEORY, it could happen, but, Earth could IN THEORY, be struck by an asteroid large enough to cause an “apocalyptic” moment, and IN THEORY, George Soros and Vlad PUtin, could merely be “misunderstood” fellows that are indeed altruistic in their motives and deeds.
    Or, Hell can indeed freeze over….As for my family and I, we are betting that He’ll will freeze first, based on historical facts, and our personal faith and religious beliefs.
    Besides, who wants to use Venezuelan TOILET PAPER?,. I’ve “experienced Soviet toilet paper in my past life, and Socialism cannot produce the comforts I like and demand.

  27. Paper money, and I’ll include electronic currency and company stock in this category, only has value as long as people believe in it. i.e., when they can’t buy what they need, they won’t use it. Ever heard of a five million mark note?

    1. Lauren
      Yes, the deutsche mark, how I remind my brother about trading in his paper fiat to good old fashion pre1965 currency, or silver eagles. He keep saying he will do it…guess what not yet.

      No they do not have food storage, why… there is a Costco just down the street. Yes, that is me with the paper bag over my head for the shame of having siblings that just do not get it.

      1. No shame in the fact that people you know don’t prep.Unless 99% of the people I know including my family have perfect opsec I only know a couple that prep and none to the extent that they should. talking about doing it or having a few guns and some ammo is not prepping. And you know what…. I don’t give a crap that they don’t prep. it’s up to them to live THEIR LIVES and not up to me to babysit them. If the balloon ever goes up then they will be part of the 90% that die it’s really that simple to me. I worry about me and my wife and to be honest the rest of the world need to worry about themselves also.

    2. I never forget how a friend told me how it took a wheelbarrow full of money to buy a loaf of bread in Serbia in the 90’s. That was an eye-opener.

  28. I think a lot of people believe another major depression couldn’t happen. And, with each passing generation fewer people understand how hard life was for a lot of people in that era. So, with little understanding and a society mostly in denial we seem destined to repeat history.

    Many of our friends have only impractical skills; most know more about electronic “toys” than about how to actually make things work. Most of their kids have been sheltered and spoiled – they’ve taken fantastic vacations, had cars given to them, are going to college (sometimes for years on end) but have no clue how to sew, cook, fix things, etc… a lot of these kids have never camped, fished, or missed a meal in their lives. I’m not sure how many of them could balance a checkbook or understand a household budget.

    Many (not all) of our friends spend too much, save too little and carry unnecessary debt. All but one of our employees is the main (or sole) breadwinner in their household, 2 provide for elderly parents and one has a rebound adult child and 2 teenaged grandchildren they’ve taken in. None of these folks could survive a depression without help.

    Like most of you, we continue to strive for independence. We live below our means, work hard in our small business, and have no debt other than a modest mortgage we are aggressively paying off. We continue the search for property in a rural area we both like, and we prep. We can’t prevent what could be a disastrous and dangerous financial depression, all we can do is get ourselves as prepared as possible for this terrible scenario.

  29. I’m old enough to remember the bomb shelters of the 1950s and 60s, I saw “Duck And Cover” in school when the film was new. There were fallout shelters in my church and grade school. I also remember the ‘famine 1975’ predictions from the late 1960s/early 70s when 1/3 of the world’s population was predicted to die of starvation by the end of the 70s. And I remember folks going crazy when RR was elected because they were certain he’d start a nuclear war.

    I also took a college course back in the 70s called “Political Geography” that predicted a worldwide rise in standards of living coupled with a fall in the US standard of living. Over the last 40 years, that class has proved correct. We (collectively) have been frogs in a pan of water, watching it heat up slowly, complaining about the discomfort, and becoming more alarmist. For things to truly go south the transportation system would have to collapse, and industrial farming would have to fail. As it is, with current grain and fuel stores, that would take a couple years. I am all in favor of being prepared for man-made and natural disasters – but I’d be hesitant to predict massive societal collapse.

    1. And yet my understanding is that those grain stores were exhausted or sold long ago. I’ve seen a number of articles on grain reserves, and according to the LA times “the 1996 Freedom to Farm Act abolished our national system of holding grain in reserve.” There are a number of other articles that come up in a brief web search.

      I did a search for oil reserves as well, and it appears that we keep an oil reserve–about 30 days supply at 2013 usage levels. However, it is held by the US Gov’t and I have no doubt that they’ll feed the beast first, keeping that oil for the use of the “important people” and let the peasants starve. This is unrefined crude oil, not gasoline, so it would need to be refined before it could be used.

      What Ken is talking about is one scenario–a depression deep enough that people can’t afford to live. If the population can’t buy food, if they don’t have the money to buy gas, the transportation system quickly becomes a dinosaur. Without the money to buy gas (since no one can buy their crops), farms stop functioning. It’s a cascade. We saw what happened in 1929, and at that time the majority of people knew more than Starbucks and credit. It could easily happen again.

  30. It’s better than the city, but country life isn’t always perfect either. When I moved out here to the middle of nowhere I was expecting a lot more people to be more like Hershel from “The Walking Dead”, but after living here awhile I’ve found that there are way too many people out here that are more like Merle. Now Daryl wouldn’t be so bad, but like I said most of these scumbags are more like Merle, all drugged up and just looking to exploit. They all know how to fish and hunt and stuff like that, but unfortunately they also know all too well how to rob people’s houses to get money for their next fix. And they already do that now while things are “normal”. Just imagine these country thugs after the SHTF. They’re not much better than city thugs ethically, but they probably have more survival skills than the city ones do. That, makes them dangerous. With any luck maybe they’ll all just OD before the SHTF. In reality though, I suspect that as we sink deeper into the greater depression crime is only going to get worse and worse. You won’t have to see it on the nightly news because it’ll be either your house or a neighbors house. Imagine “The Walking Dead” but with Merle as the leader of the group and everyone else in the group is pretty much a clone of Merle.

    1. I know exactly what you are talking about. Where I live I have a self centered cop as one neighbor and a misfit thief and drug dealer and his sons on the other. They are all skilled outdoorsmen and untrustworthy to boot. They also are very familiar with the area and are more networked with family and other locals who have generations of roots here. Most people are outwardly friendly but I have no illusions about priorities in an emergency situation. As a recent newcomer I sometimes wonder how much better off I am now than when I was in the city, but I dread the thought of returning and find less and less incentive to go back even for a few hours.

      1. Yeah to be honest I worry more about them than I do the Golden Horde. For one thing, they don’t have to travel 100 miles to get here. They already steal anything that isn’t nailed down. After the SHTF you will have to deal with them quickly and not allow them to gain a feudal type of foothold during the chaos. It won’t take them long to gather their minions and control an extensive area. As soon as they see a weakening of “the powers that be” they will fill that void.

    2. I agree on the Merle’s in the country.Ive seen them first hand .steel you blind on a good day.When it all goes bad look out.survival is going to require a group to keep what you have and need.

  31. I believe we are already in the second great depression. It started in 2008/2009. I also believe that our nation will survive but there will be millions of Americans that will not survive. The survivors will be as mentioned: small communities of like-minded people in the rural areas of our country. The survivors will have very good security and medical services. I also believe that the “trigger” that exacerbates the current decline will be shutting down or reducing assistance to the masses…food stamps, welfare, SSD and the like.

  32. Many still have their heads in the sand… they think the new President is going to make America candy land and all our woes will disappear.

    1. I agree with your observation on the recent election. We have a reprieve not a ticket to candy land ! Stay alert this will probably be a very interesting year .

  33. I did not live during the great depression,but my parents did.I was told all about it,and I have many old pictures of my parents back then.They never wasted a thing,and I and my siblings were taught to do likewise.I was six when we got electricity.that was!It was amazing.Only had wood heat and lanterns before then,and they let the wood stove go out at night to conserve wood.We woke up in the morning with the frost on the INSIDE of the windows.Bbbrrrrrrrrrrrr!We always grew a garden,and made the most of that to.If you plant the right things in your main garden,and put stuff that takes up a lot of room into side gardens,you can grow an astounding amount of food.You don’t need acres to survive.This was a great article and great comments too.

  34. I remember shortly after 9/11 I was,speaking to my grandmother who lived through the great depression and WW2

    Her advice, get guns, ammo,,grow a victory garden and pray .

    Man, was she ever right

  35. Guess I should have been a little more specific on planting in my last post.Side gardens are great for such things as zucchini,broccoli,maybe a few extra tomatoes,and things that mature quickly,like radishes,lettuce,spinach,herbs.Also,you can let cucumbers climb up fencing.In my main garden I plant some corn,potatoes,more tomatoes, cabbage eggplant, peppers, carrots,lots
    of carrots,they keep well and I like them,onions,beets (cylindrical type),a few cauliflower,chard,blue lake bush beans(#274)they are heirloom,and a few squash vines,which I let run through the corn plants.also a few leeks.And of coarse a nice rhubarb plant in a side garden.I’m sure I missed a few things,but you get the picture(I hope).

  36. At the top of the article the author refers to the moral decay of contemporary society. As as example contrasting the morality of society now versus during the Great Depression, one need only look at the crime rate. Despite the hardships and scarcity during the Great Depression, crime rates did not spike. They more or less mirrored what came before and remained flat. Just imagine the explosion in crime should we experience anything even remotely similar as the Great Depression.

  37. I will be much worse for the fact that 99% of the population can’t do one thing for themselves including think. Back during the Great Depression people were so much more self reliant. Everyone now is dependent on electricity for almost everything. What if they were so broke financially they have their power cut off? They wouldn’t have any way to cook the food they couldn’t buy, they couldn’t stay warm (or cool), and they couldn’t be entertained every minute of the day. They would turn into some angry, nasty people! It would terrible for everyone, but for those folks it would be devastating! At first they would wait for someone (FEMA) to rescue them, then when they got no help, they would be desperate and angry. Guess who they would try to take what they need from? Yep, those of us who prepared! Then we have to go into defense mode to protect our families welfare. Nope, not a good situation. We have become an entitled, spoiled, lazy a$$ed nation. Heaven help us all if it (when it) happens.

    1. First word should be if! I got a little carried away by my rant! Lol

  38. Hey gang.

    I have a question I’m hoping someone can help me out with. During an economic collapse or crisis, what would happen to all these people driving these nice shiny new cars and trucks that the bank still owns? Theoretically I can’t see how you could repo and pay for storage on millions of cars and trucks that no one else could afford to buy. I don’t see how it would bend fees able for the bank. Plus all the people who are up to their ears in cc debt, what happens? I’ve never seen anybody write anything on this. Not saying it’s not out there, just haven’t seen anything on the subject. Thanks!

    1. El Nene “Antique collector” gives you one possible scenario,but my thoughts are that it is going to depend on what caused The the melt down and how bad things get. For example, if it is a EMP blast and few electric devices work, who is going to be able even access any records to Tell who owes who? Then when everyone is starving to death (except those that are truly prepped) because most businesses are shut down. I don’t think collecting on debts or rounding up debtors are going to be the first thing on peoples minds. Second point, if any one really thinks they own land in this country then they are kidding themselves. Try not paying your property taxes and see how long you have possession of “your land”! So even if you are out of debt right now, when money becomes worthless and the tax man comes calling. It seems to me being out of debt isn’t going to save your bacon. Just my humble opinion and you know what they say about opinions! They are worth just about what you pay for them.

  39. El Nene
    You wondered what would happen to those who were in debt up their *****.

    Let us work with this scenario, the lending institutions will have taken back farms/ranches/food producing plants.

    Guess what, they will put you into one those plants or other facilities to work your debt off. Of course you will also be housed there, which they will deduct from your salary of $15 per day. With their generosity you might be free of your debt that is you do not eat. Your pay is $15 a day, minus the room & board which will be $20.00 per day, so you will still owe them $5.00 at the end of your work shift each and every day. You are their chattel, better to not owe a debt then to be owned by it.

    There is no such thing as a free lunch or vehicle in your case.

    1. Sounds like the storyline to The Grapes OF Wrath.

      I was taught how to can veggies by my grandmother.
      taught how to fish by my father.
      Have watched Alaska last frontier– learned how to kill a turkey.
      Watched my father garden & learned on my own also.
      During winter storms when power goes out–am able to start & keep
      fire going in fireplace.

      I know I still have a lot to learn on how to take care of myself
      by shooting pistols/rifles
      making my own clothes & fixing/mending things
      and medical situations that come up.
      But I think the most important thing is getting right with God thru Jesus.
      Because if we don’t know Him, nothing else matters really.
      He not only saves our soul but can also give us wisdom to know what & how
      to do what we need to do to survive.
      Come to think of it Jesus can be a practical Savior.

    2. My grandmother used to talk about how the Coal Companies started paying the miners in Coal-script. The only place you could use it was the company store, but their prices were very high. The company would take your debt straight out of your pay. Ever heard the song “16 tons” by Tennessee Ford? It was a reality for many families.

  40. When the great starving time comes to America its going to be a hard survival for most. Roving starving people coming down the road will quickly look your property over for a garden, farm animals, fruit trees, bee hives and even dogs they can eat, even if they have to shoot you. Not a very pretty picture is it? It is true to life though. My dad during the great depression shot a man stealing his family’s bee hives, it got that bad. Prepare as best you can and try to get your family and neighbors on board before the storm hits says the old swamp rat.

  41. I agree with most of this except for the idea that people alive during the 30’s were intrinsically better than people alive today. We’re the same, we just haven’t had the same experiences. Our resiliency, our spirit of cooperation, those things are still within us. With comfort comes narcissism and, in extreme cases, nihilism, that you see pervading the news and social medias.

    Put us in a bind again and we’ll get through it. I’m confident of that. And those who don’t want to play ball? Well, good luck. It’s those who are willing to team up with their neighbors and cooperate who will survive.

    1. I think that’s true for 60 percent of the population (being optimistic by staying above 50). People will come together in some cases and completely disintegrate in others. Lacking skills is going to cause a problem, but willingness to be part of the solution will suffice in many cases. Those who want to solve the problem will contribute, those that wish to simply be a drain like many of the government systems that are in place now (imagine all those parasitic folks on alimony and child-support suddenly being without those funds, because the short sighted systems that commit fraud in the name of misguided righteousness can no longer bully people into compliance) Once folks have nothing to take the real parasites will starve.

      Sounds like we can get started before New Years.

  42. Folks I am posting on this 2016 thread to bring it back up for thoughts. Humbling that before I was even aware of MSB there was folks warning about the Next Great Depression.

    I miss Sandismom is she still having computer issues?

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