As of writing it’s March, 2013. The future for most things in America is starting to look pretty grim. Increasing food prices, drought, money printing, a fluctuating stock market, high unemployment, consumer and national debt, and interest rates are rising.
This is a very difficult time to stay in business let alone start one. However, I think the next few years have enormous potential for people looking to get into sustainable agriculture. Here’s why. If you are like me, you can distance yourself from the entire situation and observe what is happening in Agriculture. Modern Ag, as we all know, is highly dependent upon inputs and destroying the very thing that provides a living for the farmer, the soil. It’s obvious that this industrial model is not sustainable and you should be ready to take advantage as the system slowly degrades.
Ultimately these farmers can continue to treat their land in this manner because of one thing. Printed money from the Federal Reserve. How? Why you may be asking? As we know, crop farmers get subsidies for growing certain crops. The government pays them to grow the crops. If they have a corp failure, the government also has a subsidy for that. From 1995-2011 the amount of money paid to farmers from the government was $81,732,909,124. Yep, 81 billion dollars. These subsidies give farmers false sense of security. What would happen if these subsidies were to vanish? I can guarantee there would be a lot of bankrupt farmers and consequently a lot of innovation. People also forget how highly subsidized oil is. While Jessica and I were in South Africa, the fuel prices were double ours. What would happen if diesel was $8.50/gal and there were no subsidies? Would we be plowing, disking, planting and harvesting billions of acres using diesel fuel? I doubt it.
Most of the prosperity we now have in America is not because of people like you and me, who produce something. The prosperity comes from debt, or money printing. They are the same thing. The monetary system in this country and globally is very complex, but just know this. We are the world reserve currency. This means we can basically print as much money as we want to and the rest of the world still has to play ball with us under this current system. Things are starting to change and this system won’t continue forever. You see the rest of the world doesn’t enjoy our money printing. Their sick of it. That’s why China and Russia are starting to buy gold, a hard asset that has kept its value for thousands of years. Meanwhile, the good ol US of A is going deeper and deeper into debt with a national debt of $22 trillion expected by 2017.
What does all of this mean to you? Well, things are going to be rough but there is also opportunity. What can you do?
- Develop hard skills
- Learn grazing management (this blog is a great source for that)
- Learn how to grow food sustainably
- Learn how to use a hammer, drill and nails. Build stuff
- Learn how to think critically
- Learn basic financial skills. Do you balance your checkbook? What investments do you have?
- Consider investing in Silver and Gold. How much? I don’t know I can’t give you financial advice but I would have some
- Build and become part of a community that is like minded
- Build soil
- Hold cash, precious metals and real assets like livestock or land
- Avoid debt, but use “smart debt.” In other words don’t go buy a brand new truck that you don’t need
- Make a plan. How will you prosper in the future?
I briefly touched on our monetary system today and I want you to know that I plan on following up in the future. The important thing is this. Realize what is happening around you and plan accordingly. We cannot continue down the path of fake money, cheap oil and soil destruction. Every civilization that has destroyed it’s soil is no longer a civilization. Make a plan, use your head, develop real skills and you will prosper.