How do you prepare for a Depression? : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread

As a theoretical question, given that some of us prepared to greater or lesser degree for y2k, how would you prepare for a 1930's type depression? With the Dow at absurd levels, and nearly every economic measure out of whack, this isn't such a silly question. At least in the 1930's there was an intact infrastucture (power, oil, etc.) but with massive un- and underemployment. I have read stories of men without jobs for 3 or 4 years! I can not fatham how they made it through these hard times, and really wonder if many could repeat this. Cash? Job skills? Go to a city for work, or go elsewhere? What are you going to do when your y2k preps are consumed?

-- Sure M. Hopeful (, January 09, 2000


I've asked a lot of old timers that
very question and they all said "You
can't". But I think that if you work
towards a self-sufficient life style
it will help.

-- spider (, January 09, 2000.

In OCT98 I began preparing for potential Y2K problems, but by Spring 99 I realized how myopic my plans were, so I started preparing for the coming depression. For most people, Y2K preps will not last long enough, so they'll use fallback plans such as growing gardens, hunting, trading manual labor for things they need. Posters here have lots of ideas. Uncle zog could write a long chapter answering your questions.

-- dinosaur (, January 09, 2000.

Sure M.:

Do what I did this year. Go to the garden, bring in the produce and can it. Fruit; 30 trees. That was my total preparation [well I did buy extra water for my herd of cats; low mineral water cuts down on urinary tract problems]. This year I did it on an electric stove. I have acres of oak-hickory forest. I can do it with wood. Water; I have lakes. Store the meat on the hoof. It works out well and I make my money doing high tech stuff. Without the job, I would still eat well. Land is mine. That would be my plan. Depression; I don't see one; of course, I could be wrong and I often am.

Best wishes,

-- Z1X4Y7 (, January 09, 2000.

1. Get out of debt - payoff high interest debt first.

2. Do not take on new debt even if it is deffered to 2001.

3. Get out of specutlative investments like consider a safer haven for assets.

4. Maintain a comfortable level of liquidity.

5. Learn more about how to do more for yourself with less - gardening, sewing, woodworking, etc.

6. Develop a hobby that can generate some income to augment loss of main income source.

7. Seek others of like mind and share experience and expertise.

8. Pray that a Depression is not in our cards - Hope for the best, prepare as you can for the worst and take what comes in stride.

-- Bill P (, January 09, 2000.

Get out of debt, now. Lower your life style. Grow a garden and learn a manual trade such as bicycle repair. Pray and give a lot. Buy gold and silver and hide it. And most importantly, DO NOT TALK ABOUT IT! Just get ready.

-- JoseMiami (, January 09, 2000.

As a suvivor of the last Great depression I don't think there is any possible way to prepare for it. Being completely out of debt and own your own home would be the 2 most important items plus a lot of cash. Lets hope it doesn't happen. I don't want to go thru that again.



-- Martin Thompson (, January 09, 2000.

Do this- Call information to get the phone number of Times Square Church in Manhatten. The pastor is David Wilkerson, author of "The Cross and the Swithblade". Ask how to get his latest book " How to survive the coming depression"...(the ordering place is in Texas somewhere). It is one of the best books you will ever read in your life. He's in the Assemblies of God denomination; try the local assemblies in the yellow pages too, they might have a copy. Everybody I know who read it says it meant so much!!!

-- lyn hettler (, January 09, 2000.

Learn a skill, save money, forget the god crap.

-- SameOld (sameOld@same.old), January 09, 2000.

Cash is king, Debt is the plague.

Anything else is just numbers on paper.

-- Squid (, January 09, 2000.

Prepping for Y2K was the same as prepping for a depression for me. My Y2K preps will be consumed and restocked. I'm anticipating a severe drought here in CA and there's signs of a severe drought in other parts of the country and world. Any decrease in food production and distribution will severly impact prices and availability. I'm not predicting a depression or wishing for one, but I am prepared. Being debt free and prepared is a big worry off my mind. Hold onto your preps, you just never know.

-- bardou (, January 09, 2000.

God is not crap. He is the creator of all things. Some day you will know this. I pray it is soon.

-- J (, January 09, 2000.

We in the 'modern' world have already spent a long time forgetting God.

We also devoted copious time to forgetting how to be politically and socially engaged in our communities.

After that we decided that our large extended families weren't nuclear enough.

Then, after forgetting grandma and grandpa, we worked on our ability to forget that our marriage vows were for a lifetime. Now all we have left to forget is our kids and ourselves.

Actually, the epidemic of Colombine-like incidents probably means that we've succeeded in not thinking too much about our kids either. Well, that just leaves ourselves.

But really, with one hundred and five cable channels and a good dose of doctor prescribed prozac, I can't even remember why all these things used to matter so much anyway.

To all those who love to forget: Goodnight. Sleep well.

-- tim phronesia (, January 09, 2000.

---depends on your situation now of course, but generally, having a 100% paid off country place is a GOOD start. A REALLY good start. You don't even have to move, just find some acres with water, garden space, etc, and start looking for a camper that you can use for emergency squatting. Now the slick thing is making it so this alternate place doesn't get involved in the potential loss of your primary mortgaged abode. A trust maybe, a relative, something like that. CYA all the time. You CAN go the extra mile, take what equity you have, sell out, scale down your inital expectations, buy a modest rural place with a trailer or small fixer upper, and get a local job. Biggest thing is that the place you get should be paid off, and you should have enough cash (or metal) set aside for taxes for several years. That is supremely important. Lot of folks found out that this is entirely possible, pre-y2k rollover, so it's certainly possible still now, like right now, in fact. Bird in hand worth a flock of "depressed" birds in the electronic sky! All the same things you need for survival to consider Water-Food-Shelter-Security. Have those always, and recession, depression-whatever, and you will fare pretty well. Sustainable living is neither a pipe dream nor some wild eyed scheme, in fact, it's a lot easier now than during the "great depression". You currently have access to more money, more technology, and more information, so use it! A growing combination of the "old" and "new" is best. Old=land, water, garden, firewood New=solar, earth berming techniques, great windows and insulation products, etc, never available in the varietes or style back then compared to now. We still have cheap fuel, great deals on storable food, etc, etc, etc., makes sense to stock pile, we have jobs, income, resources-that's all still here now, just need to use it! Good Luck and Better Skill!


-- zog (, January 09, 2000.

You shall know the tree by it's fruit.

-- Big Black Cat (, January 09, 2000.

A depression as severe as the 1930's would truly be TEOTWAWKI. We would be back to the division of labor question again. In the 1930's we had many family farms that were truly diversified. All had a garden and raised their own food of all varieties.

Preparations similar to an 8 on the scale of Y2K would be required. Another good reason to keep your preparations even though the threat of Y2K seems to be over.

The stock market is in the greatest bubble the world has ever seen, surpassing the Tuplip mania.

Read "The Tulip Mania and the Internet Stocks" at:

Link< /a>


-- JS (, January 09, 2000.

Take too heart every thing you have read on this forum. You should then think of every thing you would need without modern conventences.

-- ET (, January 10, 2000.

My Mom, who lived threw the last depression taught me the following things,

  • Be flexible and learn to sacrifice, if you have to give up something, then give it up. It's not the end of the world to do without anything that isn't a necessity.

  • Necessities are basic food, shelter and clothing...that's it.

  • "Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without."

  • Stay out of debt.

  • Remember what's truly important, your loved ones.

    Thanks Mom you were right, sorry I never told you that when I was a teenager.

    -- Mabel Dodge (, January 10, 2000.

  • One of the best books to read about this is "Hard Times" by Studs Terkel. He interviewed people after the fact and wrote wonderful stories about hos people coped or didn't cope. I can't recommend it highly enough.


    -- Charlie (, January 10, 2000.

    Sure M. Hopefull,

    There are two basic 'depression' situations: deflation and hyperinflation. Each is characterized by unemployment and bancrupcies due to different reasons. The US 1930's era deflation was a classic 'deflation' depression where credit and money supplies collapsed. The German 1920's era hyperinflation was a classic 'hyperinflation' depression where money supply was expanded exponentially, but the economy got so distorted from it that buisness failures overwhelmed the 'money supply'.

    In a deflation, 'cash is king' and 'debt is death'.

    In an inflation, being a creditor (bond or mortgage holder) or holder of 'cash' is a killer as inflation eats your purchasing power up. In a hyperinflation no one wants to hold money, they want to hold material/tangible gold or silver or oil.

    I was thinking that a problem in banking would create a deflationary situation. Most economic problems these days manifests as some form of inflation relative to the overall economic backdrop. I'm concerned about the incredibly high levels of debt and the extremely unrealistic valuation of equities.

    Possibly we could descend into another 'stag-flation' a la 1970's again.

    The best thing to do is have a playbook of scenarios with different strategies for seeing and dealing with them. Don't commit yourself to 'illiquid' markets or investments. Recognize the risk in bonds. They are not as safe as we are lead to believe. Do your homework and be in a position to move quickly if things develop one way or another.

    Beare Stern of Switzerland recommends a 15 % position in gold bullion (coins), a 45% position in highest quality bonds and the remainder in equities.

    -- ..- (dit@dot.dash), January 10, 2000.

    I got some canning supplies (LOTS of lids, rims, jars etc.) and learned to can. Learned to grow a small vegetable garden. Also got a treadle sewing machine in the event I had to make our clothes and if power were rationed (I sew for a hobby) or mend for money. I also put in some fruit trees and got water barrels in the event this summer is as dry as the last. (Lost my small corn crop last year due to drought.) Stuff I can't grow, I bought. Am looking into getting a greenhouse to start the garden earlier.

    -- Marie (, January 11, 2000.

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