I always have a bit of a chuckle at the late night TV shows that hype how the economy is crumbling and you need to invest all of your money in gold. Then they go on to tell how, “we will pay top dollar for your gold, just put it in this box and send it to us and we will send you a check for the value.”
Not only do I laugh because these guys are telling you that they will decide the value of your precious metals after you have sent it to them, which is another story entirely, but instead it’s the simple fact that the intrinsic value of gold is set to a level well above its actual usage.
I have often heard people state that we need to go back to the, “gold standard”.
The truth of the matter is that in a survival situation where the economy has imploded, gold will have absolutely no value other than what we have given it. When it comes down to it, if I were to have a single potato and you wanted to purchase it from me, I wouldn’t take any amount of gold you would offer, unless I could turn around and trade that gold immediately for additional food or supplies.
Gold may be a good investment to make money with, but when it comes to survival, the best investment is one that you can literally grow.
I am not just talking about gardening and food supplies here… I’m saying that in general you should stockpile your skills and talents over the stockpile of gold. If you have not honed any skills that you can use to help yourself or as a bartering tool to gain other supplies then you will quickly be sunk after crisis strikes.
Take a look at the great depression. When the economy sank and money was worthless, it wasn’t the poor that felt the full crush of the economy. You didn’t see the impoverished flinging themselves off of buildings. It was only the wealthy that hit rock bottom. After all, if you were already poor… How much worse could it get?
My grandfather was born at the end of the 1920’s as a dirt poor farmer. His family had the skills and knowledge to live life and get by with what they needed.
Rarely did they ever have money, and even more rarely was that money spent. When the economy crashed, my grandfather was only a child, but he never felt the effects of the economic downturn. In fact, he didn’t know until much later that there even was a depression.
His life was actually enriched by the depression. How you may ask?
It is quite simple. They had the skills and self-sufficiency as well as a lifelong lack of knowledge of what “privileged” life was. They had land that needed tending, cows that needed milking, and hogs that needed to be slaughtered. They lived outside of the city and as such, they had the ability to be self-sufficient… which didn’t rely on money.
Life didn’t change much for my grandfather and his family, but the same couldn’t be said for his friends and neighbors. These people who just a short time before, were spending money and living the “modern” lifestyle, were now left groveling for scraps. The only difference was that his wealth could now be grown daily through his milk and eggs.
The moral of this story is that you need to have skills that are relevant and of use to both yourself and others, so that when the time comes you’ll be worth more than any amount of gold or silver in your pocket.
I am not saying that you need to run off and make a homestead for yourself. You don’t need to keep cows and chickens and learn how to plow a field. All of those items and skills would be great to have, but for most of us they are not feasible.
What I do urge you to do is hone skills and crafts that you will be able to use to help bolster your position and usefulness in a post TEOTWAKI situation.
Having the knowledge to rebuild small engines, hunt, or sew will become amazingly useful and sought after. You also don’t need to look for a new skill to start learning. If there is anything that you have a passion for such as home brewing beer or gardening, then by all means, own that passion, master your skill and practice, practice, practice!
If you have mastered the skill before you need it to survive, you will be so much better off. Let’s face it, when money has no value we will return to a bartering society. You will only be as valuable as you are useful to yourself as well as to others.