50 Tips From the Great Depression

C. Davis
By C. Davis May 5, 2020 00:00

50 Tips From the Great Depression

Editor’s note: This article was originally published in 2016. Given the recent events going on around us, I believe the information found here will be helpful to the people who did not get a chance to read the article in 2016, as well as to the ones who already read it.

The Great Depression was one of the most traumatic events in American history. Following the stock market crash of October 1929, industrial production crashed, construction shrank to a fraction of what it had been, and millions of people found themselves on short hours or without work. Until the economy picked up again in 1935 life was a real struggle for the average American.

To get through the economic collapse and the grinding poverty that followed it, people had to adapt and learn new skills – or re-learn old ones. For that reason, many people who lived through it looked back with a sense of, maybe not exactly nostalgia, but pride in how they managed to cope.

A lot of the things people did during the Great Depression still make a lot of sense today. With our own economy looking vulnerable, and the risk of a new collapse always lurking just around the corner, would we cope as well as our grandparents and great-grandparents did?

Here are some of the ways they took care of themselves and those around them through some of the hardest times the USA has ever seen.

Work

  1. Entire families moved in search of work. By staying together, they could support each other while not missing employment opportunities.
  2. Migrant farm work was a life-saver for many. Different crops needed harvesting at different times, so it was – and still is – possible to find several months’ work.
  3. People were willing to try any job. They didn’t ask “Do you have any work for a…?”, but, “Do you have any work?”. They were flexible because they had to be.
  4. Everyone in a family was prepared to earn money. Kids could make a valuable contribution too. Families worked for a common goal: earning enough to survive.
  5. great depression1Almost anything had some value. Driftwood collected from the beach could be split and sold as firewood. Almost any kind of metal can be collected and sold as scrap.
  6. Government “New Deal” employment programs provided jobs and taught skills. They also created a lot of new infrastructure, including many roads – and the Hoover Dam.
  7. There was no such thing as retirement age. Anyone who could work did.  When money is tight, everyone needs to contribute whatever they can earn.
  8. A lot of jobs became part-time, as employers tried to save money. Many people worked several part-time jobs, often putting in very long days.
  9. Many of the jobless spent all day going round employers, looking for any work they could find. Even an hour or two of labor would make a difference.
  10. People created jobs for themselves. Some women would wake early to cook dozens of meals, then sell them outside factories and construction sites.
  11. Flexibility helped. Someone who knew a little about several trades had a better chance of finding work, than someone who was an expert at one.
  12. Farmers would take on workers they didn’t have the money to hire, and pay them in produce instead.

Related: 24 Prepping Items I Don’t Spend Money On

Housing

  1. Many people lost their homes. Often, extended families – grandparents, aunts, uncles – ended up living in one house.
  2. Others were forced to live in their car or truck, buying cheap meals and washing at public gyms or swimming pools.
  3. homseThe homeless often lived in tents – or shack or lean-tos they’d built themselves. Having a place to live, even a basic one, was better than sleeping rough.
  4. To save energy, walls were insulated with anything that would help keep heat in through the winter: mud, newspapers or tar paper. It all helped cut fuel costs.
  5. Homes were kept cooler than normal. Wearing more clothes indoors reduced the need to burn fuel, and that left more money for food.
  6. In summer people hung wet sheets over doorways and windows. As the water evaporated, it drew in heat from the air, cooling the home slightly.
  7. Refinancing a home was one way to keep up the payments – and it could also free up cash for living expenses.

Money

  1. moneyLife insurance policies were a safety net for those who had them. If money ran out, the policy could be cashed in, helping keep the family afloat for a few more months.
  2. Many people rarely saw cash; barter economies quickly grew up. Small jobs might be paid with milk, fresh vegetables or fruit, especially in rural areas.
  3. With millions out of work, begging was common – and seen as desperation, not antisocial behavior. Outside restaurant was a favorite spot and only the rich could afford to eat there.
  4. People respected banks back then, but when banks started closing the trust soon faded. Nobody knew when their own might shut, so the wise kept cash at home.
  5. Many stores gave credit and let regular payments slide. They just kept track of what was owed and hoped it would be paid someday. Many stores went bankrupt because of this.

Related: 10 Great Depression Era Strategies For Saving Money

Food

  1. Having a vegetable plot made a huge difference. In 1929, 20% of Americans still lived on farms. Most of the rest had big gardens and the skills to grow their own food.
  2. Hunting and fishing were major sources of protein. Meat was expensive, but if you could harvest your own, you had a better diet. Surplus was great for barter, too.
  3. Foraging was also popular. Nuts, berries, and wild greens helped put meals on the table, and kids and older people could forage as well as anyone.
  4. In the country, canning was an essential skill. A well-stocked pantry was both a source of pride and a life-saving reserve for the winter.
  5. foodPeople learned that you can eat almost anything, if you’re hungry enough. Tumbleweed was used as fodder for cattle, then people found it could be eaten. Young plants are best.
  6. No part of an animal was wasted. Offal was fried, boiled or turned into ground meat. Even chicken feet could be boiled to add some taste to a broth.
  7. A little bit of bacon would add flavor to almost anything. The hard rinds or dry ends of a piece of bacon could be boiled – and butchers sold them for pennies.
  8. Communities divided vacant lots and parks into family vegetable plots. Housewives and kids spent much of their time growing extra food.
  9. To keep some variety in their diets, people traded the produce they grew with friends and neighbors.
  10. Meals were cooked from scratch – there were hardly any prepared foods in the shops. Recipes were usually simpler than today’s. That mean they were cheaper to make.
  11. Stores closed on Sundays, so fresh produce that would go bad by Monday would be sold off cheap late on Saturday. Shopping at that time was great for bargains.
  12. Livestock was a great asset. If you had a cow or even a few chickens, you were sitting on a wealth creator. Milk and eggs helped your own diet, and could be bartered.
  13. Meat and dairy products were expensive; bread, potatoes, and noodles were cheap and filling. People bulked out meals with carbohydrates. Lard or bacon fat added flavor.
  14. Soup was a popular meal. It filled you up, and the main ingredient was water. Almost anything could be made into soup – beans, potatoes, even stale bread.

Related: How to Harvest Your Own Seeds from Garden Plants

Clothes

  1. Shoes were mended over and over. Holes in the sole were patched with leather from scrap belts or purses. Complete soles were cut from old tires.
  2. Dustbowl MasksPeople learned to make and repair clothes. Any fabric could be used. Rural families made clothes from feed sacks. One woman turned a casket’s fabric lining into kids’ dresses.
  3. Fashion was canceled. People preferred to get more use out their old clothes and spend their money on food.
  4. When kids outgrew their clothes, they were handed down to younger siblings or given to people who could use them.
  5. Really old clothes were cut up for rags to get some more use out of them. Why spend money on dusters and cleaning cloths when rags worked just as well?

Related: The Map That Shows You The Edible Trees In Your Neighborhood

Society and Attitudes

  1. Nobody felt entitled to be supported. People knew that they had to work as hard as they could to survive; if they didn’t, they could expect nothing.
  2. On the other hand, people were willing to help those who were trying but struggling. They knew they could be the ones needing help next, so most gave all they could spare.
  3. kids for sellCommunities became closer, giving mutual support and organizing donations of food or cash to those who needed them the most.
  4. Many towns set up welfare loan schemes. Money could be loaned to people who needed it, but it was expected to be paid back. Detailed records were kept of what was owed.
  5. Willingness to work hard, and to do what you could to support the community, was more highly valued than individualism and independence.
  6. People learned to keep a positive outlook on life. They learned that they could lose a surprising amount – almost everything – and keep going.
  7. Positivity was essential. There was no point in complaining how bad things were – they were just as bad for almost everyone. What mattered was trying to make them better.

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Did You Pass On These Skills To Your Sons When They Were Young?

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C. Davis
By C. Davis May 5, 2020 00:00
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141 Comments

  1. Rick Fortune August 12, 14:18

    A person who buys zuchinni at the market, is a person without friends.

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  2. GM August 12, 14:21

    I wish kids now days could experience all of this for a week or two; especially the teens. Maybe they would have a better respect for what they have.

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    • PB dave December 23, 14:11

      2 weeks wouldn’t be needed, 2 days would put most people under 40 into shock.
      Life skills, skilled trades, any technical trainings are not taught in schools anymore and haven’t been for awhile. How many 16 year-olds can cook, sew, saw a board, turn a wrench, tie a knot, solder a wire, deal in cash and count-back change, etc…..

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      • Clergylady May 28, 16:26

        My parents made sure I could do all those things. Most well before age 16.

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      • Lonny May 5, 13:55

        I was at Detroit Diesel and the girl making out the bills didn’t know that 40 quarts of motor oil is 10 gallons.
        I was at a fast food joint and either the power went out of or the computer crashed, she didn’t how to make change.
        When I told her what the correct change from $10.00 was, she asked me (How Do You Know That).
        They can’t do anything without a machine telling them what to do.
        When the OLD people were growing up they were taught how do do things without machinery before we can use machinery.
        I don’t think that most of the new breed know how to use spellcheck much less spell.

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        • red May 6, 03:28

          Lonny: I’m having a lurch moment: See Adams Family.
          Why was it parents in the old days, even with TVs and radios, always found time to teach their kids? And many families like mine had 6-10 kids. Often both parents had to have jobs because of high taxes. Many were farmers or ranchers and you worked 48/7 (so the joke goes). Yet kids went to school well-fed, and usually well-educated for their age. there is no excuse but laziness for today’s parents.their children are their punishment. niio

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        • Eigil May 11, 04:32

          JUST STOP USING THE WORD PERSON.
          Is there anyone at all that knows what the 3 most critical international covenants in history, says?
          ICCPR
          ICESCR
          UDHR

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          • Govtgirl May 11, 09:53

            Thanks, Eigil. Just read those. I was unaware of them. I’ve never expected much from the UN, but now know a good substitute for tp.

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      • IvyMike May 6, 00:46

        Be great to see more from the archives. A forgotten staple of the great depression is the soda cracker, Saltines, could serve as meat and bread and was the ideal spoon for dipping sardines out of the tin. A book by Timothy Egan, The Worst Hard Time, great history of Depression life from the point of view of folks living in the Dust Bowl.

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        • Golfmom56 May 17, 16:05

          Read that book. It is a very good account of the history of that part of the country during that time. I live in that area now and have heard the family stories of that time. It is amazing at the amount of determination and fortitude that these folks had. Would recommend this book to all to read.

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      • Lacey September 12, 08:30

        They seem to not even be able to protest or riot correctly, although that’s the main activity I see them doing? They are quite aggressive on innocent people, but soon as someone retaliates and they get hurt, they cry like little babies.

        Reply to this comment
    • hardworker May 28, 04:25

      1 in 5 Millennials are unemployed. Many have to work 3 or more part time jobs because that is all that is available. Food prices are even higher than they were in the great depression and more people than ever are having to grow their own food to cope. I was hard enough during the great depression, but at least they didn’t have the talking heads on tv putting them down and calling them lazy every day. Social Security was invented to end the great depression by incentivising seniors to retire so that the youth could fill their jobs. Now there are seniors getting their social security AND working full time to pay for their McMansions and all their toys and vacations not only keeping Millennials out in the cold, but ridiculed by seniors for not being good enough to be baby boomers. You are exactly the lazy good for nothings your parents said you are.

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      • Clergylady May 28, 16:31

        Many seniors are working to buy food, glasses, hearing aids, dental work et things not covered by social security or medicare. Supplemental insurance is expensive. Some are still struggling with house payments and upkeep or barely making the rent.

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        • Nell January 16, 04:50

          Thank you Clergylady. I’m a Senior that still works at age 77 so I can live decently and not be in poverty and pay for all the things you mentioned. And not be a burden to my children. I certainly don’t live in “McMansion”- only 1100 as feet in my litt!e cottage.

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          • Clergylady January 16, 05:57

            I’ll be 72 in a few days. My home is a three year old repo mobile home. It measures 16×56 and is one bedroom, 1 bath, one large living area that includes kitchen, eating area and living room. There is a small laundry room at the back door. It’s well insulated. I have off grid solar as the main home power. Power company power to the other residences on the property, large shop and a well. I’m pretty close to having what I need for solar power for the well nearest my home. A storm damaged my solar array so while repairing it I’m adding more batteries to power a couple of sheds. This spring I plan to build a new coop for the chickens and ducks. I may add room for the rabbits on the side of that new structure.
            I drive 100 miles each way most Sundays to pastor a tiny rural church. I can plan more work than I can do without help but I let friends move into a mobile home on the propety and pay the electric bill in exchange for a lot of help with projects and he has driven us many places when I’ve been sick or injured. They lost a business and their residence. They have helped us with several heavy projects and in spring I’ll buy new materials to build a front porch with both steps and a ramp. Used materials from a mobile home we tore down last year will build the coop.
            My husband has dementia so I have to have him with me all the time or he’d wonder off looking for me. Having help here is making it possible to keep him home and accomplish building projects. Glad I’m still able to do a lot of it.
            I don’t have or want a mansion. Sewing and crafts and art classes will be in the two nice sheds as they get finished up inside. A smaller home is plenty and just makes for less to clean or heat. I buy or get free items to save money by using Craigslist a lot. Today I spent just over $200 on Case lot sales items that will feed us for months to come. I’ll add fresh fruits, vegetables and milk as needed. In spring I’ll be back adding to my raised garden where I grow spring to fall vegetables. I aim not to be a burden while still helpings others as I’m able. I added two sons as joint owners by right of survivorship to the property to save any question later on. We have a rural family plot here so it’s not a joke that I want to be buried in the backyard. But it’s really not that close to the home either. Not working for a paycheck but caring for my husband while he’s still here, and gardening, canning, and either gathering materials and building things keeps me busy and saves cash for the necessities. I used and grow herbs for medicines and seasonings and still add to that interesting knowledge.
            Many of my age have tried to live within our means and recognise the folly of wanting a great deal more than we need. We recognise the value of knowledge, experience, and labor.
            I enjoy the knowledge, thought and interaction in these sites.

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            • VB May 5, 15:08

              I admire and aspire to be self sufficient as you are. I too care for a spouse with dementia. Knowing how difficult that is gives some hope that life can still be managed. Have enormous respect and admiration for those who can live a subsistence lifestyle and looking to do that for myself. Learning as I go. Younger generations have no idea how to do for themselves as they weren’t taught by older generations so how can they be expected to know or ridiculed for not knowing? This current pandemic might teach us all a few things. Getting back to our roots and learning basic survival skills isn’t a bad thing. We have become complacent as a society. Having an abundance of everything without giving it much thought and taking for granted it will always be there. It won’t always be there. Some thing or event will happen to shake us all up and take away our easy and complacent lifestyle. We all need to learn to do for ourselves and be willing to help those who can’t or unable to

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            • Chuckster59 May 5, 21:13

              God love you for that 200 mile round trip!

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            • Papi May 6, 00:00

              You hit the nail on the head. I live in the Republic of California with my wife and four children, so needless to say I’m especially concerned about the government intruding on my personal rights and civil liberties. If I could I would move to a more affordable homestead friendly state that offers more opportunities to become as self-sufficient as possible. But unfortunately the work I do is not portable, so we have to stick it out here and hope that things don’t get too much worse. I trust that there are still enough conservatives left in California to keep the liberal government here from going too far in their desire to control its citizens and push through their liberal agenda.

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            • Govtgirl May 6, 06:10

              Clergylady,
              I really enjoy your posts. I like the way you look at what you have instead of dwelling on what you do not have. I also appreciate hearing about your progress on various projects. Many people on this site, you included, have put together quite a little compound. Reading about how you get there is a useful example of what a person can do if they look at the possibilities and make progress a day at a time. Thank you!

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      • Tex Caledonia July 9, 19:47

        Advice to some of the unemployed Millennials: Get rid of your high priced iPhone or android phones. Don’t buy five dollar cups of coffee. Stop “decorating” yourselves with costly tattoos. If you have time to listen to “talking heads putting” you down you have time to be looking for a job or creating a job for yourself. Investigate attending a trade school….you know…welding, automotive, electronics, computer resources. You have a lot of guts ridiculing seniors who are getting their meager social security checks AND working full time. How do you know each and every senior’s financial situation? You don’t. Not all of us live in mansions or have toys or are able to take vacations. Some of us are raising YOUR children for you, helping you with YOUR monthly payments and still providing a roof over YOUR head. Your comment seemingly is founded in jealousy, nonsense and ignorance.

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      • Buck August 24, 14:31

        I’m 73 and still working full time. I’m trying to bring my Dad to live with me. He is 99. I don’t owe anyone anything except family. My biggest problem is the Government coming in and taking what I have away. The Government doesn’t want you to grow your own food or make bio-diesel because they can’t tax it. They want this country to go to digital money so the Government can collect a sales tax on everything you buy. This Government isn’t Great. It is the best one going at this time but professional politicians are changing that. Obama had legal teams searching for ways to confiscate 401Ks and IRAs. The only thing they could come up with was to pass a Law that citizens could be paid in Government Bonds and take the cash for the Government purposes. Remember the internment camps for the Japanese who were living in America at the start of WWII? They are coming back! When the Government wants what you have they are going to lock you up in a camp and take it. If you aren’t politically connected that is!!! The only solution that is possible is to vote all incumbents no matter who they are. Take control of the Government before the Government gets out of hand.

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      • Graywolf12 August 24, 16:45

        You are a fan of that white shark, mouth full of teeth, that just said that stupid statement about people working 3-4 jobs to exist. Sorry you hate this country. I suggest you try Venezuela as your utopia. Funny that it is hard to find a back yard garden any where. Please put these posts on liberal sites where everyone believes it as fact.

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        • Miss Kitty June 19, 01:47

          It all depends where you live and what jobs are available in your area. In a seasonal, service based economy like a resort area, part time minimum wage work is all there is unless you are a professional or self employed. Same goes for a lot of urban jobs, unless you have a degree in something specific. Don’t judge until you have walked in that person’s shoes.

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      • TNT May 5, 17:28

        Your part of the problem. All you lazy cry babies are easy to spot.

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      • Denis August 19, 16:26

        meanwhile, some Millennials pay hundreds of dollars for a mobile device and throw a big chunk towards the monthly service instead of feeding themselves or saving for rainy days. How can anyone live off of Social Security alone? btw, keep raising the minimum wage and see how crazy food prices get

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    • City Chick May 6, 22:03

      We have to tell them! Pass the lessons learned on to the next generation! That was done for me and I am blessed for it! It’s the reason why I always prepped even before there was a name for it! “Waste not want not.” “A penny saved is a penny earned.” “In everything give thanks.” “God helps those who helps themselves”. Bet all of you can add a few more to my list!

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      • Govtgirl May 7, 11:27

        “There are poor, starving children in China who would be tickled to death to eat that.”
        And “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

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        • City Chick May 17, 18:27

          At the dinner table In my house all the poor starving kids were in Berlin! If we didn’t like what Mom made, we were told They had nothing!

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          • red May 17, 20:03

            we were told, if you don’t like it, go two doors down. At my place, it was the dead cat scam that ket the peace, for a while. I read a story in reader’s digest years ago, about a woman who had to bear with a city husband who hated country coking and her two kids. She made fried rabbit, and they were muttering over it and asked what it was. Quick on the brain, she said, “Oh, the cat! He was looking poorly today. Waste not, want not!” they stared that their plates. before anyone could say anything, the cat waltzed out of the kitchen trying to beg a bite to eat. No more complains there, or here. when the youngest stepchild was five, she went on a pasta kick. She wouldn’t eat anything but. We made chicken stew with rivvles, just pinching off dough and dropping it in the stew. She asked what it was, and her older sister said, “You won’t like it. It’s rat brain soup.” the kid ate two bowls and loved it. And, you can imagine the calls we got from her school demanding to know why we were eating rats. 🙂 niio

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        • City Chick May 17, 18:31

          Many years there after, I met an older gentleman who grew up in Berlin at that time. Turned out Mom was right!

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  3. MM August 12, 14:31

    We’ve sure learned how to cover up poverty since the Great Depression. Imagine how similar our country would look if we didn’t have EBT cards, public housing, and the like.

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  4. Mike August 12, 15:04

    And to think, 90 million people are out of work and willing to try anything. Except, H1b visa holders are already doing the work. And, none of the 90 million have the “right” skills. The primary skill being able to work for 1/3 less than Americans. Thanks Chamber of Commerce.

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    • JJ August 13, 17:17

      I really never understood CofC philosophy..yes, you are getting ‘consumers’ in your area–BUT, you are not getting revenue in so many ways that citizens provide.
      And most of those consumers are getting govt. checks which indirectly you are providing.

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  5. dougnicholson August 12, 17:51

    I’m afraid that if (when?) we end up in a similar situation, instead of pulling together to get by, most in this country will adopt a “me first” mentality. If so, it could get real bad real fast! I hope I’m wrong.

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    • Kindlegram May 12, 01:16

      I survived a major hurricane. The government took 3 weeks to reach us. I thought people would pull together and help each other but was shocked at the “me 1st” attitude. In a real crisis, you had better be prepared to help yourself because NO ONE will be there. I learned the hard way, but it is a lesson that has served me well during the current pandemic. Families had better be prepared to help each other because it’s about to hit the fan and soon.

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      • red May 12, 14:22

        Kindle: that’s nothing. I survived living in Pennsylvania one-party rule! You do know if someone owed a nickle on taxes, the dems would have rented a boat for a dollar to come collect. niio

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        • City Chick May 12, 21:01

          That’s nothing! Try NY! If you are able to get out, they will follow you and still hit you up for income taxes! Specifically, if you relocate to Texas, Florida in particular, they will review every last tax return you filled in NY State for the last 10 years if not longer and hit you up for interest on anything they might find in addition to the tax! Be forewarned also if you move in to NY State! They will charge you sales tax on your car when you go to register for NY plates at the DMV!

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  6. Vic August 12, 18:29

    Thanks to child labor laws the idea of everyone wirking is actually illegal. Having a shack outside town is too.
    It’s sad that people work two jobs and can’t afford rent or food. They are looked down upon for needing help.

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    • nh August 13, 13:03

      Oh yeah but I bet these people who can’t afford rent or food have tattoos, smart phones, piercings, daily dunkins latte, cable—-you get it–the NON ESSENTIALS that the complainers always have.

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    • Bohica October 26, 22:55

      Unfortunately, most of those working two jobs,unless they’re the minimum wage “class”, have the wrong priorities. They have to “keep up with the Joneses” so they buy unnecessary stuff like a big screen TV, an RV or other items they don’t need to live.

      Immediate gratification is also the plague of our society. When was the last time that you heard of anyone “saving up to buy” anything?

      Easily available credit was partially responsible for the “housing crisis” when people bought houses that they couldn’t really afford and didn’t really need. The same goes for buying a “fancy” new car when basic transportation would have worked just as well.

      If people would only buy what they really “needed” and saved up for major purchases like a car then they could live within their means and not need ADC or Welfare to make ends meet.

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    • PB dave December 23, 14:00

      In a family business situation ( farm, Quicky-mart, ) the child laws don’t apply the same. When many people under one roof pull together they usually do well.
      And most folks wouldn’t look down on someone who is working at trying to get a better situation. The difference is hand-ups vs. hand-outs.

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    • Tomk May 6, 04:59

      I don’t think most people look down on those who NEED help. It’s the surfer dude who can’t work because he has to spend his days perfecting his surfing skills and his nights practicing the guitar so he can become a rock star, while buying lobster with food stamps.

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    • Govtgirl May 6, 06:30

      Vic,
      That isn’t quite true. Kids can mow lawns, run errands, do choresfor neighbors. I don’t understand what you mean about having a shack outside of town. Many people live in alternative places, living in part of a garage is huge in CA, people live in storage shelters, old campers on property for chores or just keeping an eye out. I read a book about a waitress who did not have enough for a security deposit so lived in a motel. There are programs to help people get to the point where they can pay rent. And there are food stamps so I do not buy the work 2 jobs and cannot afford rent or food. I have known a lot of people who maybe just couldn’t see the forest for the trees, but paid the car payment instead of the rent so ended up homeless and they did not need the car for work. I am not saying that anyone who is poor that it is their own fault, but I do believe that if a person wants to badly enough and is not unable to work they can and should be able to meet their own needs, perhaps with a little help. Wouldn’t have run on so long, but you sound a little AOCish. And most people do not look down on people who need a little help if they are doing all they can to be self-supporting.

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  7. Victoria Gibson August 12, 18:35

    Lord, we live like this now! Not totally, but food is not wasted, clothes are done over again and again and handed down. Clothes that are just too old or stained are rags or rugs athe my house. We have chickens and a garden. And yes, it gets canned or dehydrated. Hubby and sons hunt, and I even have traps set up on our property. We do have dogs and cats, but they pull their fair share. The dogs keep the coyotes away from our chickens (thankfully the dogs or cats have never tried to harm one, they’ll even sleep together, lol). The cats keep the place free of mice. Soap is made and used. Necessary items are bought for the cheapest I can find. When I do have to buy clothes, I head to the thrift store. Ours sells lawn trash bags full of clothes that might have a slight imperfection for just $2. And don’t get squeamish, but we do use rags here for certain times of the month (they’re washed and boiled each time). Everything is made from scratch, including the kids lunches. Boned are boiled to make broth or bullion, and even the peels of carrots and potatoes are given to the chickens. I work, so does my husband. But we still save metal, and even recycle because it makes less trash that we have to pay for. Wood is regularly collected during the year as is kindling for our wood stove for the winter. I even cook on it during the winter months. Clothes are hung out during summer, and hung around the stove during the winter. I do use a washer, but that’s because there is 7 of us, and no one has time to hand wash clothes, especially with both parents working full time or more. Still amazes me what people think of as hard work is really just how things was before all this technology.

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    • mully August 13, 01:08

      Sounds just like my house. Seven people although a couple have now moved to the city for high tech jobs. they still know where they came from and love to come home to fresh eggs and veggies from the garden. They pull their weight when they are home helping to slaughter chickens for the freezer, mow the lawn etc.
      They have even introduced hanging clothes to roommates and recycling everything.
      Country bumpkins in the city!

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    • Uncledebbie July 1, 21:18

      Victoria Gibson, you have pretty much described my childhood. I actually remember those days with some fondness. Life was simple and we lived very simple.

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  8. Hidden August 13, 12:44

    ” A dollar looked as big as a barn door, but you couldn’t find one in the whole county”

    My Grand Father 1910-1998

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  9. Hidden August 13, 13:02

    “the only thing we had was each other, no one ever had any money back then.

    My Grand Father 1907-1982

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  10. JJ August 13, 16:49

    Kids today have no clue. While speaking to the girl next door I mentioned I was careful with what I threw in the field adjoining our properties because they bailed the field for cows.
    She said—-we’re going to have cows in our back yards??
    I explained that the grass/etc grown there was mowed with cutters, turned on both sides to dry, THEN bailed usually in squares to be sold for cow owners!!!!
    Unless you TRY to communicate with a young person, you don’t get it–she bought the most expensive door trim ($48)for a DIY project and has NEVER used a miter saw.
    Oh…she told me that enlisted military were really well-off financially. I guess she hasn’t read a large percentage are on food stamps.

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  11. Kim August 13, 17:09

    Not cool dude. I remember reading the majority of this article last year over at http://thesurvivalmom.com/survival-wisdom-great-depression/

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  12. d August 13, 17:37

    I grew up eating ‘garden sass’ (forage) and wild rabbits. we ate well, slept comfortably. and we lived simply. we also ate steak and every other good thing …but in moderation!

    those of today’s folks walk around with a cell phone stuck in their ear. then they demanding life serve them..

    I laugh, because I see that most folks today have no idea how to do much of anything except hold out their hand and demand.

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  13. Prepping granny August 14, 05:52

    Almost everything that you’ve written about would be illegal today. Tent shelters would be declared unsanitary, you cannot cook food for others without dealing with the health department, it’s illegal to remove driftwood from public beaches, The county extension agency cannot teach home canning because of the possible liability. Child labor laws keep children from contributing. Labor laws and unions restrict what both employers and employees can do. Regulations and tax laws strangle most home enterprises. Hunting and fishing are a rich mans sport now by the time you pay for all the various licenses, tags and permits. In our area the big timber companies are charging big fees for you to hunt their land and the places we hunted 40 years ago now have houses on them so you can’t shoot the deer there. I could go on and on. It is a changed world and I don’t think we can go back there. Not unless something breaks the entire system down, and even then it would be a world we have never seen before because people are not like they were in 1930.

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    • david August 23, 18:23

      If we ended up like they were back then, say the economy collapses or something just as drastic, the laws will be the last thing on peoples minds.

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    • JJ October 24, 15:36

      Today, yes, but when SHTF all these restrictions, regulations will be forgotten.

      You can’t jail millions.

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      • EO February 20, 17:06

        They already do jail millions!

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        • left coast chuck February 25, 19:23

          According to the folks who track such things, there were a total of 2253300 folks in jails and prisons at the end of 2017, the last year for which figures are presently available. Of that number 829455 were in jail or prison for violent offenses.

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        • Shay May 8, 02:15

          Wish i could share this.So much truth here. We may get back to some of the old ways before this calamity is past, by necessity.

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          • Govtgirl May 8, 04:29

            I’m sure you can, Shay. I have sent articles to my son about guns, hunting and some to my sister on vitamins. In fact she tried the sauerkraut recipe and I am waiting to hear the verdict.

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          • red May 8, 20:44

            Shay, call it a test run. I hope for more normal times, as well, but am now a ‘beast’ eager to get to prepping. niio

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    • Lynda April 3, 18:17

      People are cooking for others right now. Everybody I know that hunts is poor and does it for food. Children work with parents and google how to put up food or ask somebody in SETX. It’s easy. Lots of folks are sewing masks right now, too.

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      • A. E. May 5, 14:39

        Left Coast Chuck:
        I have a strong opinion about people in prison.
        Put them to work.
        It doesn’t take a science degree to
        make swabs, masks, and other things.
        Prison inmates could be used as labor for
        industry, but the U.S. just hasn’t thought
        much about that.
        We also need to learn to stop buying
        ‘everything’ from foreign countries!!

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        • left coast chuck May 5, 16:56

          A.E. For a long time California state prison inmates worked at various jobs making items for sale. Our office was next to the county office furniture storeroom. In that storeroom was a conference table. It was solid oak. It was 42 inches wide and was eight feet long. It took six men to carry it. It was going to be sold for scrap or to a used furniture dealer. It was a beautiful piece of workmanship and made of first class material.

          All that went away because lobbyists for the office furniture industry complained to the legislature about the prison system unfairly competing with them and depriving honest American workers of a job. The legislature gave in and forbad prison workshops from selling their goods unless they were handicrafts like pottery and leather goods produced from the prisoner’s personal funds.

          Then the office furniture manufacturers moved their manufacturing facilities to China. Now neither the American worker nor the prisoners in state prisons have jobs.

          There was a long list of jobs prisoners used to do. The sheriff’s office used to run the shooting range in town. Prisoners worked there mining the lead in the backstops, melting it down, casting bullets and reloading .38 special wadcutters that all the officers used in their service revolvers. Police officers got their ammo free. Civilians used to have to buy the reloads. It cost a buck a box for 50 reloaded .38 specials. The bailiff and I used to go to the range every Wednesday at lunch.

          That doesn’t happen any more. The anti gun lobby tried to get the range closed down. The city who had taken the range over from the sheriff found out it would cost a minimum of 2 million dollars to close down the range with no top on how high the cost could go. So the upshot of it all is that occasionally the city police use it for training. No prisoners load ammo. No l.e.o. can’t use the range.

          Trustees used to wash all the cop cars and wax them. I guess the commercial car wash assoc. complained as trustees don’t do that work any more either.

          Some states still do require their prisoners to work. The warden at Angola State Prison told us that Angola not only is self sufficient as far as generating all the funds necessary to run it, it turns money in each year to the general fund. That’s how a prison should be run. But there are too many forces that do their best to keep it from happening. Both commercial opponents who think it is unfairly impacting their business and do-gooder organization who would rather see prisoners sit in their cells or pump iron in the yard than lean a useful skill like furniture making or making leather clothing or commercial cooking skills with baked goods for sale.

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          • red May 6, 20:09

            chuck, yes! And, convicts were not normally forced to work, but had to have good records in prison to apply for a job. Even picking cotton or road work, you had to be trusted enough to allow out.
            Too many prisons no longer have farms, let alone factories. A lot of butchers leaned how-to while in prison. A lot of electronics repairmen learned how by working on dead radios and computers. At every turn, convicts are cut off from the real world to the gulag of socialism. there is no greater socialist society than a prison.A convict who goes into prison with no skills leaves worse than when he went in. niio

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    • JD May 5, 15:20

      Each and every one of those “regulations” you refer to would disappear like a puff of smoke in the wind if the credit market and economy collapsed. Regulations are luxuries of a functioning economy. When it becomes every man for himself just to survive there is no one to care about or enforce “regulations.”

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  14. Ray Say's August 16, 00:46

    To All : We will in the not to distant future find out what and how people lived during the depression because we will be in one again very soon. I was born in 1937 my folks in 1904 and my grandfathers in 1865. I remember living in a one room tent ( 4′ up was wood and the rest was tent ) near Fireball, Ca. out by a river.
    Caught fish in a trap and shot birds and anything else we could for food. My folks picked fruit for a living to support 4 kids. 90% or more of people today do not have a clue that a depression is on it’s way very very soon and thousands probably hundreds of thousands will not survive. I can already hear people laughing at me for saying this. I will survive because I am ready. Gangs in the cities across this nation will be rioting because their free stuff is gone and checks and food stamps will be a thing of the past. People like myself that are on SS and with a retirement check will lose that income.( I have prepared for that also. ) I feel very sorry for people that have not prepared. Mostly the young that believe the world owes them a living. They will fall first. Many will be killed trying to take from others due to their foolishness. If you are able it is not to late to learn how to grow a garden and to learn all you can how to survive in the coming hard times. Not much time left so quit spending and buy some silver or gold and prepare folks cause very very hard times could begin by or before this year is over.

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    • left coast chuck September 6, 01:10

      It’s Firebaugh, California.

      I was also born in 1937. The year I was born my parents lived on blackberries picked from the open field next to their house, eggs from the chickens they raised and whatever food they could buy after they finished buying stuff I needed to survive. My father worked as a strike breaker, on the WPA projects and finally got a “good job” as a taxi driver in Philadelphia, necessitating a drive from Willow Grove to Philly back in the days when most roads were two lane and the speed limit was 45 mph and was rigorously enforced.

      For a while we had to live with my mother’s sister because her husband had a “good job” working as a bookkeeper for Scott Paper Company. Forty-eight hours a week, no over time but happy as a clam (how did that expression get started?) to have a job.And damned happy to have it because he got paid for all forty-eight hours instead of working free for half of them as some did.

      It wasn’t until the war started and my father got a job at an oil refinery near Philly that things started to loosen up, but with rationing during the war, oftentimes I wore cardboard in my shoes because we had no more ration coupons for shoe repair or the shoe shop didn’t have replacement soles because he couldn’t get them.

      If your folks had money your wore Keds all summer. If they weren’t you wore J.C. Penny house brand which looked like Keds and if you were really poor you went barefoot all summer.

      When Roosevelt talked about a chicken in every pot on Sunday he wasn’t talking about KFC fried chicken or El Pollo Loco broiled chicken, he was talking about a stewed chicken that cooked all day long to make it tender. That was a meal to look forward to because the rest of the week was either meatless or cuts of meat that aren’t sold in the markets any more. With the war AND being poor, beef was a very rare treat. When one considers that the presidential candidate is promising a stewing chicken for Sunday dinner, you can realize just how desperate the country was. I doubt that your local big chain grocery market even sells stewing chicken today. You would have to go to an ethnic market to find it.For those of you who don’t know what a stewing chicken is, it is an old hen who has stopped laying and is slaughtered because her value as an egg layer is over. Or a rooster who can no longer service the hens. The meat is tough and has to be simmered for several hours in order to be edible. Well, it is edible without several hours of simmering, but is quite tough. The carcass is usually quite cheap compared to other chicken. Usually one buys the whole cleaned chicken at around 40¢ a pound. The bones can be boiled further after the meat falls off to make chicken broth.You crack them so that the marrow comes out to enrich the broth.

      You might make a note of that for your prepper notebook. Always cook the bones to get the rich broth from the marrow. The only exception I can think of is venison that is infected with CWD. I would stick with leg bones in the case of CWD.

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      • Miss Kitty May 6, 03:35

        Add two or three tablespoons of vinegar to your cooking water when boiling bone broth…it helps dissolve the cartilage and leaches the minerals from the bone into the broth. It also keeps any shreds of meat tender.

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        • red June 19, 14:48

          Miz Kitty: I like a teaspoon of cocoa powder in chicken soup. that’s how Mayans and others make it, along with roasted chillis, fresh chilis, and then add a few more just to liven things up. Starch noodles or rivels make it more filling.
          First time my youngest had rivels, we made them by pinching off dough and dropping it in the pot. When it was done, suspicious as only a 5-year-old can be, she refused to try it. Her older sister, age 19, looked and said, “Oh, yummy! Rat brain soup.”
          We got a call from her teacher asking if we needed help because the brat bragged to her kindergarten class we were eating rat brains 🙂
          Bones, if clean (fat free!) and dry burn as well as coal. niio

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      • Govtgirl June 19, 05:41

        A month ago at Walmart when the meat department offerings were none too plentiful, I bought a 10 lb. bag of chicken hindquarters for $4.90. I figured they were worn out layers. The pieces were very large (roosters maybe?) and had too much fat on them. Not much in the flavor department, either. I am pretty cheap, but won’t buy it again.

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        • red June 19, 14:40

          Gov: They’re 6.90 here, now. It’s summer, and you’re right, not much flavor, the meat is soft. Lots of fat, but not spent layers. These are typical cage-raised fryers. First time Mom bought a chicken out of the store, she smelled it and took it back because she thought it was spoiled.
          Spent layers are tough eating, and need to be cooked in a pressure cooker, tho we just baked them for hours. Low heat, very moist. Same with chickens bought at halal- and kosher stores.Roosters get tough at a very young age, and when they’re older, the meat can be rank like bull meat and boars.
          When you get your new place, Cackle Hatchery and some others sell day old cockerels under a buck each. these are smaller breeds, but is caponized, will stay tender for up to 6 months in age. Dual purpose breeds do best on range, including the capons. It’s not hard do do, and with practice, you can do each rooster in 5-6 minutes.
          niio

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          • Govtgirl June 19, 21:39

            Thank you, Red. It would be great. I remember when I was a kid. We had delicious fried chicken every Sunday. I haven’t had a good chicken in a long time. Guess we’ll have to raise our own like you say.

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            • red June 20, 03:00

              Gov: Find a kosher store. Everything is supposed to be raised humanely under Moses Law, meaning free range. One now and then is worth the cost 🙂 niio

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              • Govtgirl June 22, 09:54

                Red- What a great idea! There is a Whole Foods up I-5 where my husband’s doctor is. Will bring a cooler along for his next appt. I can taste it already. Thank you!

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    • Bill October 27, 08:20

      Best comment I’ve read in a while.

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  15. Ray Say's August 16, 00:53

    Ray say’s to Vic. I am not trying to embarrass you when I say: You don’t have a clue what your talking about. You will do what you have to do to survive. Wait till you miss a few meals and then you will understand.

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  16. Cat August 16, 02:31

    My mother grew up during the depression her family lived in a train car for a while I have a picture of her standing in front of it she said it was hard but they all worked and pulled together she taught us to be prepared and never take anything or anyone for granted

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  17. Hidden August 17, 00:53

    If things go bad, it will be a very scary time indeed.
    At 3000 to one, the police and sheriffs will be woefully out manned. I assume that the military will roam the streets and try to keep order, but will be in more of a position of trying to protect themselves than keep order. My only hope is we can keep it together till it passes, like a bad storm, then go on from there.
    I fear that the sick, disabled, elderly, and infirm will be the first to go. After that, who knows. The law is for civilizations, when that falls apart, anything goes…..
    Very scary time it will be.
    Personally
    Don’t want it to happen.
    There is nothing civil about a civil wars.

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    • billy October 31, 02:26

      During katrina the electricity was out for only 3 days in this area and a guy killed his sister over a bag of ice. You are correct in your predictions. Obama has got 90 million on food stamps, if that suddenly stops i wouldn;t want to be the security guard at walmart.

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  18. John S. August 23, 21:29

    Great article! Very interesting and though provoking. People did have to hustle for work and your right a ton of infrastructure was built because of the new deal.

    I mighty sound paranoid but I am of the belief that the great depression was manufactured so that the rothchilds could buy the market up for cents on the dollar and ushered in the birth of the Federal Reserve and our new terms of slavery.

    having said that, it wasn’t all bad because like your article said families had to work together and I am certain this struggle thrust many people right into the arms of God.

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  19. Mark August 28, 03:52

    I remember hearing about all of this from my grandparents. Oddly enough, I also heard about it from a young lady that is a member of the Cherokee tribe in OK.
    My grandparents and hers had one thing in common despite the distance.
    FDR’s government folks lined all the livestock up next to a pit they dug, shot the livestock, and covered the pit. Young lady’s parents raised milk cows. Government boys even poured the milk out on the ground.
    No compensation, jail time if you resisted the destruction of your property since it was government mandated.
    All in the hope of getting a screwed up economy back on track, despite having starving folks in soup lines.
    My tirade.

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    • Parr May 5, 22:50

      Mark folks do not realize how much you say is true. My first state job in 1970s most folks seemed normal. Later two different small rural county jobs saw folks change a bit. Another state job folks a lot different in terms of ideology even though a rural state. Last job in a big blue state working closely for the Feds. Only two of us there who were conservative in any way (being Christian too made it really hard). So you hide what you are or the next layoff or change in the needed positions you are gone. Your particular function is no longer needed. There is an overall feeling of we are smarter than the folks out there. A strong socialist we know better feeling pervades everything. I liked my co workers a lot but I stayed the hell away from politics or disagreeing too much as they added rule on rule on rule. Folks think that the government is full of people like them with everyday normal common sense. Not so much. So if someone says shoot the cattle and dump the milk to improve prices and ignore the hungry folks it will be done. What you said above seems crazy but I have sat through meetings, briefings and those mandatory two day indoctrination trainings and these folks really really believe all of it. Conservative really just want to be left alone but if the SHTF we have a class of bureaucrats who will really get into folks lives to help them (sarcasm added here). I have multiple masters degrees and a doctorate. My advice would be considered unless I ventured into an ideological area such as not adding another fine to a regulation. That would lead to a backlash. The odd thing was I was the only staff who ever worked for a for-profit organization or operated my own company. Everyone else had only had government jobs, great salaries and wonderful benefits.

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    • Miss Kitty May 6, 03:39

      And that’s going on right now… May of 2020… supposedly because there’s no one to work in the meat plants, picking crops, processing milk to sell, because of the Covid 19 shutdowns.

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      • red May 6, 21:56

        Miz: Kitty, not to fear, Mexico is lifting the travel ban. Plenty of future dem voters/mojados are trying to cross the border to grab those jobs. LLC had a good point about prisons. They used to teach people how to cut meat and work in a dairy from cows to stores. niio

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  20. billy October 31, 02:23

    Many women now don;t know how to cook. Democratic plan to get 90 million people hooked on snap cards make for desperate people when the snap card doesn;t work or electricity goes out. Every welfare woman i see has tatoes and a nice cellphone. If tshtf happens there will be killing on a large scale mark my words.

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  21. Wannabe December 24, 18:16

    Love this site, it is so informative. Thanks to all who contribute

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  22. born-live.us January 21, 17:08

    This 100% preshrunk cotton t-shirt is positive to intimidate any foe whether or not it be
    Deutschman, Moth Mouth or Scantron.

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  23. Lucy February 20, 18:39

    The story goes that when my great-uncle Joe lost his train conducting job without notice, all he and Aunt Blanche had in their root cellar was 42 quart jars of sour pie cherries. Their son and daughter went to live with my grandparents in the city. (It does seem to me that, if you had 42 quarts of sour pie cherries in a fruit cellar, maybe you used to have more, but you ate it, and had run to the end of your rope.)

    You can still buy chicken and duck feet in Chinese markets. That’s what makes the tastiest soup AND — that’s one of the best places to get hyaluronic acid, plus chondroitin and glucosamine, all amazing for arthritic joints! Boiling the backs, ribs, and any bones long enough (ideally, with a little acid, like vinegar, wine, or even lemon juice to help dissolve the bone) that the bones break down and start dissolving into the broth makes these delicious nutrients available. Actually, I often find myself savoring the ends of the bones when I am removing the cooked meat from them. Must need the minerals. Or maybe they just taste so good!

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  24. clergylady May 23, 18:36

    Yup. Its our way of life today. Were 70 and 78. Loosing a beautiful home and falling back on a 47 year old double wise I owned from years past. Lots of repairs to do but we’re getting it done. I’ve always gardened, dehydrated, canned et. I raise chickens, ducks, and rabbits. I also grow some of their food as well. Summer fresh, winter other goes for the critters as well as us. I zew and mend and have since I learned to make skirts when I was 9 years old. We gathered wild greens and made our own bread and I still do that. Greatful for an old place to fall back on. Husbands early dementia money handling lost us the newer home. Stuff happens. You go on and keep working. its not good or bad, just life. My parents lived through the depression as young adults. I’m living in mine as a senior. But the key is working at life. My disabled son has moved to the rural home to help me first then to rebuild my parents little trailer with an addition that I made for them. We all help each other. My best friends 20 years younger are loosing their business and home so I’ve moved them here in an old single wide trailer. They have scrounged, used craigslist and found materials to fix plumbing, walls, floors and painted till they are now moving in. Its about helping each other. We will all make it better together than we would have alone. They are now working as self employed and I’m helping everyone find stuff! Craigslist, roadsides, places needing torn down or built up become sources for us all. An old trailer with a ripped roof on my property has become a source for siding, paneling, a kitchen sink and a shower drain, et.
    We all enjoy fresh eggs, rabbit cooked any way you can cook a chicken, fresh veggies, and canned and dried fruits. Today I’ll plant more raddishes, turnips, lettuce, and marigolds. I’ll search for more canning jars and hang out two loads of laundry. Life goes on.
    I hope my grandchildren remember the things we’ve taught and shown them. One will. He plants, cooks and even does some sewing. Mending will never be a problem for him. He can repair a car, use a computer, and wants to learn to do canning this year. That’s a special 17 year old!

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  25. Clergylady May 28, 16:47

    Many seniors are working to buy food, glasses, hearing aids, dental work et things not covered by social security or medicare. Supplemental insurance is expensive. Some are still struggling with house payments and upkeep or barely making the rent.

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  26. Clergylady May 28, 16:55

    Many in this state are jailed for sustenance hunting. For centuries they have hu n Ted the mountains to feed their families. I agree that here and many other places it is a rich a nd sport and the poor man goes to jail if he kills a deer without a license, an area permit, and only hunting in season is allowed. It doesn’t matter that your kids may be hungry.

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  27. Pinky August 24, 15:47

    #24, My Grandfather owned a gas Station and store in Northern NH, during the depression. A shoebox full of IOUs and the eggs and produce bartered for gas etc. couldn’t pay the gas supplier though. He and my grandmother ended up moving back home to my Grandmother’s parents home.

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  28. Mustang August 24, 20:50

    I remember those days well. Families lived and worked together. And we kids played outside using nature as our toy box. Thanks for a hard-working Mennonite-raised mother, we ate well from things grown in our own garden in Michigan. Never starved and didn’t really consider us poor until the kids in town began teasing me because I couldn’t afford a new softball mitt. Yes, many of us remember and we’ll be here to help you younger generations get through what’s coming.

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  29. Nickname August 25, 02:40

    Sounds a lot like current times, for a lot of working people. The USA is great for the rich, but for the poor it is like described in this article, all the time.

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  30. Clergylady August 25, 05:41

    Knowledge and experience are your most valuable assets.

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  31. Lisa December 18, 14:21

    My parents lived during that time. Mother never talked about it,she missed meals. My fathers Mother took in boarders, when the plants (Detroit) were working. She was very proud of the extra half lot she penny pinched to buy. I think her garden was very large. My aunts were babies, don’t remember.

    My father always said, my parents were a couple (team). They invested in each others fingers. Mother always worked, carried the family when Dad changed professions.

    The shift – Men actually asked my father ” You LET your wife work?” (50’s-60’s) I was raised to work, good thing when he walked out. My son values his wife. My daughter works. I’m behind, will be learning to garden, still a novice canner, raise rabbits, bought a goat, chickens are this spring. There is something for farm raised meat. LOL, my grocery bill is a lot less. I’m investing in infrastructure. Only buy if I can justify as assets. My DD & SIL got shoes this Christmas. True, expensive tennis shoes, their bad backs are getting better. I was taught, we don’t keep up with the Jones.

    Most of our current culture is a consumer construct. My father’s legacy is the land I have & the skills I’m learning. I’m old, but it is never too late to start.

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  32. Clergylady December 18, 20:21

    Glad you’re learning. I grew up hardening and canning. Keep adding more knowledge and skills. Keep up your strength and health. Its hard getting strength back the older you get. I’ve had a hard year with injuries and surgeries and broken ribs but there is no stopping place. Husbands heart and dementia are much worse so I have to keep up with caring for him. Don’t forget to enjoy life. The joy makes the hard times worthwhile.
    I’m where starting plants inside is essential. I used hot boxes heading to two different kinds of greenhouses like I had before moving back here. A pit green house never froze even without heat. The regular one was ok but took extra heat and work. Find what works best and easiest where you are.

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  33. Mustang January 18, 17:18

    Lots of great content, Clergylady. Thanks for sharing. You’ve done a great job and brought back many memories for me. Since I’m prepping in place, I added solar with power loss backup. Even wrote a book about it (Power Up!). Now whether the grid is up or down, my family and I enjoy electrical power whenever we want. It’s so nice not having to depend on other companies for our comforts. Best to you my lady.

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  34. Akira April 11, 20:39

    Will NEVER happen in the 22nd century –ppl are smarter now. just by taking a look at this site –you already have learned something

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  35. red February 25, 17:28

    Too much of it is common enough today. niio

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  36. Jan March 9, 00:40

    Sounds a lot like how so many of us are living these days. Some of us have lived like this all our lives. This is life in the USA. Unless you come from a wealthy family.

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  37. Lonny May 5, 14:11

    ME FIRST is here. Have you looked at the store’s shelves after the country locked down. The Me Firsters grabbed everything they could hoard leaving nothing for other people.

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    • red May 6, 03:44

      Lonny, come on. You can’t blame all those people with cartloads of toilet paper. The pandemic-rats scared the crap out of them 🙂
      Welcome home! niio

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  38. JD May 5, 15:47

    Each and every one of those “regulations” you refer to would disappear like a puff of smoke in the wind if the credit market and economy collapsed. Regulations are luxuries of a functioning economy. When it becomes every man for himself just to survive there is no one to care about or enforce “regulations.”

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  39. Clergylady May 5, 17:47

    Thank you Claude for reposting this. Its very timely.

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  40. Kathysedai May 5, 19:55

    I grew up very poor, before welfare. Many times we were hungry, but my parents had their cigarettes and beer. I busted my butt and went to school for nursing, and worked while in school. I did everything I could to give my kids a better life.
    I’m in my 50s now and had to medically retire after I broke my back. Those kids have decided that I’m evil because I can’t support them and their families any longer and I expect them to take care of themselves. They were convinced by their friends that because I expected them to go to school and not use illegal substances I was a terrible parent.
    They do know how to cook for themselves and garden, fix cars, repair their homes, but choose to eat out and drive throw away old cars. I can only hope they have the skills to survive the coming days.
    With my extremely poor health, my expectations are low for myself, but I know that I forced self caring skills into my kids and mentored many other young people, including helping them through college or trade school to learn how to continue the next generation

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    • Lisa May 5, 23:49

      Kathy, I understand your inner pain. You didn’t say, I think your children are in their late 20’s max mid 30’s. It will take a while, they may come around. All you can do is take care of yourself. It’s been a few years, but my DD will now talk to me. I broached a container garden and she is amenable..

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    • red May 6, 21:35

      Kathy: Peace. when forced by reality, even moochers get motivated. No, you were a good parent and some day they’ll realize it. I went thru this with some stepkids. their parents just didn’t care, and let them do what they wanted. After I started to enforce what I said, they rebelled, but when they were good, they were rewarded. The schools were no better, and even got angry because the two younger ones were good students. niio

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  41. Connie May 6, 03:38

    I’m 75, and I really enjoyed reading this, my grandmother was raised on a farm in Iowa, there was Gram and her sister Gertrude. Grandma did all the outside work with her dad and Gerty did all the insde work with mom, she was so capable, her folks were strict german and taught them well Grandma was born in 1898, very responsible, had a wonderful intelligent and hardworking lady, she was my guardian angel, learned alot from her, Mkiiss her aot
    I goofed miss her a lot.

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  42. red May 6, 03:42

    When we studied the Great Depression in history, I asked elders in the family. They survived it. they all laughed and called it the FDR Depression. FDR raised taxes knowing it would make things worse. He instituted a minimum wage, which caused inflation and job loss. He stole the gold, something many poor had hidden away in case things got too bad, and gave them bankbooks, then closed the banks and their accounts. Yet, private gold shipments had rushed to Canada and Cuba weeks before.Anything and everything he could to regulate and control. Dad said of Carter, FDR without the friggin rapes. Dems love the plantation and too many like the NAACP are in their back pocket, hoping for a whiff of wallet farts. niio

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    • True American May 7, 04:37

      Red, your elders were right!! FDR prolonged the depression by years? 10 at least! Dems have never done anything but pray on the poor, and uneducated, Sad but true? The party today are hard core communists!! Plan and simple? We are in for trying times to say the least!! Lets see if this even post??

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      • red May 7, 16:01

        American: Call it what it is. Nazism. Soros, the Kennedy klan, all of them, nazis. Soros is still wanted in his homeland for war crimes as a Gestapo agent. Joe Kennedy became a Nazi in the 30s and raised his kids to be nazis. Hillary clinton claims she channels FDR, who called Hitler his friend. niio

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  43. bert May 7, 05:41

    You can live like a king if you don’t have to live like a king.

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  44. Graywolf12 May 11, 11:26

    Answer before question The International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights ( ICCPR ) is a multilateral treaty adopted by United Nations General Assembly Resolution 2200A (XXI) on 16 December 1966, and in force from 23 March 1976 in accordance with Article 49 of the covenant. Article 49 allowed that the covenant would enter into force three months after the date of the deposit of the thirty-fifth instrument of ratification or accession.
    The International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) is a multilateral treaty adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 16 December 1966 through GA. Resolution 2200A (XXI), and came in force from 3 January 1976.

    The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a milestone document in the history of human rights. Drafted by representatives with different legal and cultural backgrounds from all regions ..asked. What are these.

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  45. ash June 18, 16:32

    please plant fruit trees in your yards, need 12 per person per year, BUT you want to do red cherry, (some plums) and mulberry because you should not be able to see the fruit from space. they are watching from space, so it is dangerous to have fruit trees in your yard, because you could possibly..

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    • red June 19, 06:40

      ash: And, the trees need to be scattered, not in rows. We live in Arizona and spying is common thanks to the need to watch the border–but it expands into the state. Make the yard and trees look ornamental to hide them. ‘Tame’ fruit trees are in the front yard, while more ‘wild’ ones, mulberry, some citrus, figs, and so on, are scattered in the back, each planted in a garden bed to add some shade and a windbreak. Mesquite is used as a windbreak grain, and to add nitrogen to the soil.
      For poor soil, moringa is good. While it won’t survive outside Zone 9 except as rooted cuttings in the house, it puts down a massive root that adds a lot of carbon/humus deep in the soil. It’s great for deterring animals that root of burrow–AKA horseradish root tree.Fall planted black Schifferstadt radishes with some cereal rye take up any nutrients they can reach, and radishes will go as deep as 8 feet, and release them close to the surface when killed in the spring.The radishes also chase off animals.
      the whole idea is hidden gardens, hiding in plain sight. People don’t see crab apples as food, because they need to be cooked. Cherry tomatoes will self-sow, as will a number of old varieties. Purple potatoes are usually very hardy and most insects avoid them. Mind the Russian varieties, which were bred for high sugar content to make candy and vodka.
      We got a lot of compliments on the ‘flowers’ growing out front. the flowers were husk tomatoes, red amaranth, beans and cowpeas, herbs, 3 varieties of cactus, and so on. since corona, a lot more people are putting in hidden gardens, often using local wild varieties of plants like wolfberry rather than goji and more. niio

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  46. City Chick June 19, 14:16

    Doing something real similar here in the big city. Using whatever outdoor space is available to support small decorative crops like lettuces in window boxes, small radishes and carrots in pots! Have maintained a small perennial herb garden here for many years. Have planted black and red currants and alpine strawberries. Added
    Noble hops this spring. Doing what I can with what I have where I am. Would love to add some fruit bearing trees, but don’t want to loose the evergreens that I have now for shade, screening and just to be able to look at something green! Looking into garden varieties that can be supported in small spaces.

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    • red June 19, 20:58

      City: Um, if I recall, eastern varieties of hazelnuts like shade.
      https://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/10-best-vegetable-crops-for-shade/
      As well as other things. One sister planted blueberries (Penna) under a spruce that did well, but had to be watered often because the trees have shallow roots. But, they also needed more light to bear well. Grapes can do well in some shade, but be prepared to do some climbing to pick them, and they need to be pruned right to keep the conifer healthy.
      https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/fegen/fruit-bearing-shade-plants.htm
      Here, even most sun lovers need some shade
      Meanwhile, south of us, Catalina State Park is burning merrily along, mostly thanks to no cattle allowed on it. Cattle break sown dead brush where local bugs, like termites, can easily get to it and use it.
      niio

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      • City Chick June 22, 17:27

        Appreciate your input Red. Don’t really know how much longer I can hang on here. Doing best I can as I am in my family homestead and have family roots that go way way back. Still have immediate family here in the outta burbs. Son married a local girl and her family is here too. Son really wants out and is looking for places to go. Lots of extended family in TX, MN, FL, AZ. Your son in law would feel right at home here. What ever you do, do not allow your daughter to travel back home with her husband without you riding shotgun. Had a few business friends who did that and never came back and who were never heard from again.

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        • red June 23, 02:17

          City: don’t worry about the son-in-law. He put his foot down when the daughter wanted to move to Bangladesh, and then his mother stepped in. “You will not bring my precious grandchildren to this nation! It’s dangerous even for those who know the country!” that was the end of that, but her grandfather’s family jumped on her, too–she’s Lenape Dietsch.

          By tradition, daughters attend college, then inherit the land and boys the livestock or enough money to buy their own places–that’s after a tour in the military, then college.

          MN is out, so far as I’m concerned. FL is being overrun with some nasty critters. TX, depends on where. AZ, again, depends on where. Western part is turning into one big shopping mall complete with toadstool housing. Cochise still has cheap land, but you’ll need to buy water rights to do anything. If moving there, always but always make sure the place already has a well. Valley water is loaded with mineral, but if that’s a problem, a solar still (get permission from the county!) will give decent water. Any mining area, anywhere, will have some nasty things in the water. We have too much copper and some fluoride. Cochise might have mercury, some, from the mines. Any coal mining area will have mercury. But, AZ is a lot freer because this is a sovereign state. Mexicans here see what’s going on in Mexico and do not care a lot for liberals. the PRI (Mexico) is called the weak sister (marita, little Mary, a child bought for vile purposes) of the DNC. Mexicans escaped from Kali-fornia tend to get a little unhinged when discussing the jackass party 🙂

          Next is cash flow. I make some money off the net, so I’m doing. Ait conditioning is a must. You may legally build a house of adobe, no foundation, and those are still considered the best. Flat roof with a wall around it means you have a rooftop patio, and cover in case of raiders. This is Zone 9A, and gardening takes place from 1 Feb (or earlier) to mid-April, than is spotty till July (tepary bean time, along with some other things). That continues with a lot of different things till close to New Years. Most years, winter is warm enough chilis will survive winter if protected.

          Some people are already harvesting mesquite, last winter was that warm. Fresh (picked less than 6 months beforehand) mesquite can be ground in a blender and sieved. Sweet, sort of like caramel, it has to be frozen or processed. Until it’s completely dry (at 6 months) it’ll gum up a grinder.

          Plenty of food around, and the area is much more alive than it seems. No water in the river, so no fish, but catfish can be raised, as well as carp. tilapia, you need a license for.

          And, I’m gabbing! sorry, niio

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  47. Govtgirl June 23, 08:10

    Thank you, Red,
    It is good to hear about an area’s livability from someone who has boots on the ground. Would invite others to give a thumbnail sketch as you have. It is difficult to get a handle on a place even with diligent research. Anyone who disagrees, just look up a place you know and see what the various websites say, best to hear from the folks who live there. Even then, there are widely divergent opinions.

    One last thing- the articles on this website have warned of proximity to cities, major arteries. Other comments have talked about former city dwellers bringing their attitudes with them. We can multiply that current problem several times onver in the near future as people flee the cesspools.

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