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Monday, November 30, 2015

Fewer Crowds, Fewer Dollars, Fewer Freedoms in 2015

Poor Man Survival
Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

“I need more frugality. I wonder where I can buy some.”
Jarod Kintz

Fewer Crowds, Fewer Freedoms, Fewer Dollars…

There was a pushback among some consumers and retailers this year against being open for business on Thanksgiving Day and the so-called Black Friday in general and it worked….there were fewer crowds at the malls.

This was due to an increase in online shopping and the fact there are fewer Americans with extra money According to a survey by the National Retail Federation, Black Friday attendance was down over 3%, from 58.7% last year to 55.1% this year.

The survey noted that the average shopper was expected to spend $380.95, which was down from $407.02 the previous year. According to the group’s estimates, sales slipped from $57.4 billion to $50.9 billion.

“A strengthening economy that changes consumers’ reliance on deep discounts, a highly competitive environment, early promotions, and the ability to shop 24/7 online all contributed to the shift witnessed this weekend,” said NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay.

I read a report in Time magazine that even auto dealers are now pushing six and seven year loans or leases and Americans are becoming ‘upside down’ auto loans just as they did with mortgages!

Wall Street, fearful that consumers are running out of cash heading into the crucial Christmas retail season, are selling off retail stocks and everything else sensitive to consumer spending.
So why are consumers running out of cash?

Well, as I’ve reported before, it is because the middle class is dying, poverty in America is exploding and the cost of living continues to soar.

Just look at what is happening to healthcare costs.  It turns out that employees that work for medium and large companies in the U.S. are now paying more than double for health insurance than they were a decade ago…

Employees of midsize and large companies in 2015 paid an average of $4,700 for their health insurance, up from $2,001 in 2005, according to recent analysis from Aon Hewitt.

Consumer Reports released its annual 2015 Naughty & Nice List    
Firms such as FedEx, UPS, CitiBank, Sprint, Verizon, LifeLock and many other well known names made the list again…check it out:   

America Falls – Again
The last time I wrote about this, the United States stood at number 13, now we stand at number 20…if you’ve found yourself feeling less free you’re right!  A new report published last month that measures and ranks how much personal, civil and economic freedom there is 152 countries shows bad news for the US – dropped again to number 20

Believe it or not,  Hong Kong and Switzerland, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and the Netherlands took  top spots on the Human Freedom Index

How I went from being a millionaire to nearly broke-a spouse who thought nothing of blowing $1,000 a week or so on gifts to buy friends and office workers, while forgetting household bills…[at least that was my experience]

Income inequality has become a key hot button issue in the modern day political spectrum. While these economic and class divides seem more pronounced than ever before, the impressive new documentary Plutocracy: Political Repression in the USA reveals that the core of these struggles pre-date the beginnings of the industrialized labor force. The long and painful journey towards achieving worker rights and fair wages has been marked by violence, discrimination, and inhumane exploitation.

Great projects from the World Maker Faire in NYC including:  the Creature Choir which has 12 disembodied heads, a Fire-breathing 30-foot tall robot made from discarded airplane parts, Fortunetron 7000, an automated fortune teller that pulls your fate from the Internet and more!  I’m seeking help for my project:  the creation of beautiful female automatons and androids!

·  How to Buy a Christmas Tree
A tree grower shares his secrets
·  Does your debt have an expiration date?
What does the statute of limitation mean for debt? Find out how this law protects you

A Parting Thought…
Situational Awareness…or the lack of is the number one reason citizens get into trouble.  One of the priorities I was taught in the military was to be aware of your surroundings at all times.  Few people today seem to have any awareness.  Instead, they have their head buried in their cell phone, walking and talking or texting, often to the point where they can be easily robbed or injured…just plain stupid and pointless.  Wake up America and pull your head out of your ass!

Yours for better living,
Bruce, the Poor Man

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Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Do Americans Know How to Elect a Real Leader?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

“Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” - Mark Twain

[Get this game at:]

Americans were bushwhacked by the Patriot Act and I’m willing to bet the French will find their rights under attack too in light of recent attacks…

Few people, aside from those who folks have been labeled “conspiracy theorists,” questioned the Patriot Act which makes me wonder:  Do Americans even know how to elect a real leader?

Unlike our reaction and our petition to the White House to overturn the most anti-freedom set of laws ever created…[the un-Patriot Act which robbed Americans of many of their freedoms, privacy, and dignity at airports…about dangerous government overreach.


“Everything can be taken from a man but one thing:  “The last of the human freedoms,” Viktor Frankl wrote [in response to his captivity & research at a Nazi prison camp] in Man’s Search for Meaning -- “to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.”

The heavy hand of government is beginning to have a negative impact on everything from slower business startups to anemic job growth [the government loves to applaud its growth of menial, part time jobs]…



 An exodus of people from the United States continues … and it’s not just Americans giving up their citizenship this time.

According to the Pew Research Center, more than 1 million Mexicans and their families returned to Mexico from 2009 through 2014. During that same time period, roughly 870,000 Mexicans moved into the U.S., resulting in a
net loss of 140,000 Mexicans in the U.S.

Pew’s data includes both documented and undocumented immigrants. And while 14% of those leaving were deported, the majority left “of their own accord” with the intent of reuniting with families or finding better job opportunities in Mexico.

The slow economic recovery, high taxes and intrusive government have left people looking for opportunities outside the U.S. In fact, 1,426 Americans gave up their citizenship in the third quarter of 2015, setting a new all-time record high. So far in 2015, 3,221 Americans have renounced their citizenship, putting that figure on pace to surpass the high reached in 2014 of 3,415.

The march for the exits is a massive warning sign of which we need to take note. Conditions within the United States have worsened. The government has made few efforts to protect the privacy of Americans and no attempts to rein in its reckless spending that has pushed debt above $18 trillion. The economic recovery has created a poorer middle class and
job growth that has been focused on low-paying jobs.


According to the Fed, some 31% of non-retired Americans have no savings or pension whatsoever.

Some have been frozen out, unable to save thanks to stagnating incomes and dismal job prospects. Others who might otherwise be able to save just don't see the point when they're not making any interest to speak of.

That negative outlook is understandable, given today's economic realities.


The 7th largest economy on the entire planet, Brazil, has been gripped by a horrifying recession, as has much of the rest of South America.  But it isn’t just South America that is experiencing a very serious economic downturn.  We have just learned that Japan (the third largest economy in the world) has lapsed into recession.  So has Canada.  So has Russia.  The dominoes are starting to fall, and it looks like the global economic crisis that has already started is going to accelerate as we head into the end of the year.  At this point, global trade is already down about 8.4 percent for the year…


   Think of it in terms of our GDP or simply put as:


1.       How many people are working?

2.       How productive are they?


Since Obama took office, the numbers are dismal.  There has been a striking decline in the US labor force participation since the beginning of the global financial crisis in 2007.  [from 66.4% to 62.2%] now the lowest since 1977!


There are many reasons for this decline:  The rise of benefits under Obama’s leadership, discouragement [why work when there are no good jobs?] and a mismatch of skills and job openings…carpenters, for example, don’t easily become computer programmers or nurses.  Regardless of what the government tells us, the actual unemployment rate stands at 10% or higher and productivity has barely grown 1% a year since the ‘end’ of the recession in 2009.


Polls show 71% of Americans are unhappy with country’s direction-many are openly frustrated which is why candidates like Trump are faring well in the polls.  Folks are frustrated with career politicians who have turned the political process into a farce.


America is suffering from a feckless, lawless leadership who seem to have a broken will to help the nation rather than to restrain dishonesty and corruption they have foisted onto the American people.  But do Americans know how to elect a leader?

As Thomas Sowell wrote:  “If you are not informed, then the most patriotic thing you can do on Election Day is stay home!”


Staying Sovereign in the Face of Fear
Just like after 9/11 in 2001, the terrorist attacks in Paris have inspired a lot of fear — and a call for action. Unfortunately, our government is all-too-good at manipulating our emotions to attain its own end, curtailing our freedoms in the name of “security.” But we don’t have to fall prey to the fear: Learn how you can stay sovereign, even in the midst of a crisis. To read more, click here.


Yours for better living and…I offer you my best wishes for fruitful thanksgiving,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


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Wednesday, November 18, 2015

8 Ways You Can Make an Impact Today

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

The American Republic will endure, until politicians
realize they can bribe the people with their own money."

-- Alexis de Tocqueville




8 Ways To Make An Impact Today

James White for Treason.News

Behind the scenes of the alternative media space, a revolution is afoot. Many alternative media companies are banding together in preparation of a potential crackdown on our freedom of web speech…more about the horrors of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)

“In the realm of alt media,” Edward Szall of TruNews told us yesterday, “many took the words of Matt Drudge, from his appearance on Oct. 6 on the Alex Jones Show, as the ‘canary in the coal mine’ that hard times were beginning. And that the real fight for the collective freedom of the press was underway.”

If you missed it, here’s what Drudge said in the interview…

I had a Supreme Court Justice tell me it’s over for me. ‘They’ve got the votes now to enforce copyright law, you’re out of there. They’re going to make it so you can’t even use headlines.’

To have a Supreme Court Justice say to me it’s over, they’ve got the votes, which means time is limited.

We’re moving into a time, said Drudge, when operating an alternative or independent website (ahem) could be made illegal.

If such draconian copyright laws are enforced (not dissimilar to those outlined in the TPP), Ed told us, we’re going to see a fight for freedom of information on the Internet.

Reason being...

Blatant and covert censorship could, in this scenario, become a common, and possibly daily, occurrence.


One of the greatest frustrations that I face, and have for some time now, is the lack of participation in the fight for liberty by individuals who are clearly “awake.”

These people know what we are up against, but they are content to let the few among us do most of the heavy lifting while they parade through meeting after meeting… only to go home and do nothing.

I began to think that there must be some way to take the energy I expend on my frustrations and use that same energy for good.

The following list of action items are my attempt to do just that. This list is not complete, and I encourage you to think of your own.

These tasks can easily be done by anyone who is not bed-ridden. As you may notice, they go from low activity tasks, to more active involvement as you get your legs under you.

• E-mail, e-mail, e-mail – If you have e-mail, you qualify for this task. There is no easier way to get the word out than e-mail. You can find a list of your local, state and federal representatives pretty easily with a search online. Pick a topic that you feel strongly about and start sending e-mail. Do not forget to include your friends, you might just inspire someone. If you have hesitated in the past because you didn’t want to be tracked or alert the “authorities” about your views, do not let that stop you now because we’re ALL being tracked anyways.

• Blogging – Again, a simple task for anyone with an internet connection. We all have opinions, regardless of how we decide to express, or not express, them publicly. Blogging, or creating an account on your favorite website to make comments, is free and easy. Still feel a bit weird about it? Use a fake name. Even if you suck at first, just keep writing. You will get better. Always remember to embrace your critics, and you will have them, for they only serve to harden you in the long run.

• Create a weekly podcast – Here is another almost free activity that you can engage in. Break cheap for a decent microphone, and you are pretty much ready to go. A quick online search will reveal a multitude of free recording software, and with it plenty of venues for you to choose from in which to broadcast your work. Use your own name, or use an alias. Keep in mind that the important thing in the equation is not you, it’s the information.

• Flyers – Once again, this is something that can mostly be done at home. But, you will need to leave the cave briefly to complete this task. If you have a printer, you are the person for this mission. Pick one of the first ten amendments, or a particular quote or fact that suits you, and put it into a flyer. I am willing to bet that most everyone has a printer, and many have the software on their computer to create a simple flyer. Hang it on the peg-board that is present outside 99% of the grocery stores in this land. Still feel weird? Tack them on telephone poles under cover of darkness to maintain your anonymity. Want a bit more action? The following tasks will take you out of your mom’s basement into the real world.

• City Council Meetings – I do not know the rules for every community, but I would safely guess that everyone who reads this has some form of regular meetings taking place, regarding the town in which they live, within 20 miles of them. Pair up with a friend and make a commitment to regularly attend these meeting once you locate them. Take good notes for dissemination in e-mail, and for the blog that you created a few steps back. Once you get a feel for how the meetings work, take that next bold step and get your time on the microphone to express your views. Remember, these people are elected, and have their salaries paid for, by you.

• Video Journalism – Most everyone has a phone with video capabilities these days, and a YouTube account is still free last time I checked. Take a topic that you are opinionated about and take to the streets. If you are friendly and act appropriately, most people will stop to answer a question or two while you record it. Take the video and post it on your newly created YouTube account. Look at the work of guys like Mark Dice or Luke Rudkowski. I do not know them personally, but I would bet that neither of them has formal acting lessons on their resume’. Trust me, it gets easier each time you do it.

• Call for a Town Hall Meeting – Post flyers with the skills that you practiced earlier in this list and call for a Town hall meeting. It will likely be slow going at first, but, then again, you may realize instant success; for many people are fed-up these days. Many local restaurants have larger meeting rooms and would welcome the increased traffic on their slow evenings. Like a Tuesday, for example. Perhaps you can even speak to the manager and get them to agree to post a flyer, or otherwise promote your meeting. If it grows beyond the restaurants capacity, a local hotel meeting room can be rented for fairly cheap, especially on those slow nights through the week. Pass a hat around to cover the expense.

• Run for Public Office – I am not so certain that we can effect much change within the current corrupt system, but we have to try while we still can. I am no expert on running for public office, but I do know how to search YouTube and the web to find answers. Do not try to take on the world right away. Run for something like your school board, or PTA. Get your feet wet before you decide to go big-time. Your town does have a website, and on it you will likely find all of the forms or requirements that you will need to run for public office. If you stand firm on the US Constitution and maintain a strong foundation for liberty, your message will sell – that I can almost guarantee.

That’s all I have for now. As I said, the list is not complete, but hopefully it’s a good start.

I implore those who may read these musings to take that next step from gathering Intel, to taking action. Freedom is NEVER free, and there is no time like the present to start paying your share. This country is bleeding out right before our eyes… is there not a cause?

Source:  Laissez Faire


More articles from the blog:


AND FINALLY:  As if we Americans didn’t put up with enough government crap…

The Government Netted $4.5 Billion in Cash, Cars, and Houses Taken From Americans Last Year

For federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies, a little-known practice giving them the power to take Americans' property, cash, and cars has proven to be a boon over the last decade.  Between 1989 and 2010, U.S. attorneys seized an estimated $12.6 billion in asset forfeiture cases. The growth rate during that time averaged +19.4% annually. In 2010 alone, the value of assets seized grew by +52.8% from 2009 and was six times greater than the total for 1989. Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year!

Read More


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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Is it Possible to Make an Honest Living?

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

More money buys more happiness for the poor and more headaches for those who already have too much. - Anonymous


“It’s nearly impossible to make an honest living.”


The U.S. Census Bureau says that nearly 47 million Americans are living in poverty right now.

The number of Americans that are living in concentrated areas of high poverty has doubled since the year 2000

   In the 1970s when I attended ASU [Arizona State] as an out of state student my tuition was roughly $650 per semester.  Between the GI Bill and the money I had saved from summers of driving a fork lift in a factory as a union member and some sideline painting jobs I had stashed away nearly $6,000 to pay my expenses.


I further supplemented my income by working a part time job as a night club bartender [that made it tough on my 7am Spanish class].  My budget was often wrecked by the constant tweaking that my Chevelle Super Sport required and the steady stream of  girlfriends I seemed to acquire [there was a reason Tempe, AZ was nicknamed ‘Sin City].


The cost of living then was considerably lower back then.  Around 1975 my brother purchased a new VW bug for less than $1800 – today you can’t buy a decent lawn tractor for that!


By the mid-1980s I owned a successful company which published regional business journals and produced business expos and seminars.  I also wrote a nationally syndicated business column, and offered marketing seminars throughout the country based on a business manual I had written.


I belonged to a barter exchange which allowed me to stretch my budget even further and offered me further ways to promote my business while enhancing my travel dollar.


However, the most important rule I learned in business was this:  One must always seek out new profit centers and new ways to save money. This has become increasingly more difficult.  The average American has no real money to speak of and they have the attention span of a gnat, seldom able to take their eye off their “smart” phone for more than a minute.


Today it seems the government’s goal is continually create new barriers to starting a business, job creation, saving money and/or the enjoyment of life.  Is it any wonder why so many of our youth take to dealing drugs on street corners rather than working for minimum wage?


These roadblocks have taken a huge toll on the American Dream

It looks like a new housing slump is emerging in the United States.  Sales of previously owned homes fell by 2.3 percent in September.

 New home sales in the United States declined by a whopping 11.5 percent in September.

According to John Williams of, if the government was actually using honest numbers the unemployment rate in the United States today would be 22.9 percent.

And according to Challenger Gray, layoffs at major firms have risen to the highest level that we have witnessed since 2009.

Recently I had given thought to starting a neighborhood barter club but decided against it given the limited outlook on life most of my neighbors have.  Using Craigslist as a barometer I can see few, if any, folks around here have any interest in bartering…


If I trade my neighbor one chicken for help fixing my plumbing, where/how will we generate the currency I need to pay our exorbitant water bill, property taxes, auto insurance [all of which are among the highest in the nation]?

I’ve asked my neighbors if anyone here has ever tried launching alternative currency or a trade exchange of any sort…the short and long answer is NO.  Even the poor vendors at our one and only indoor flea market of the area gripe about ‘cheap ass’ customers and lousy sales.

I’ve been working hard on a new business venture connecting college student workers and senior citizens - something ideally suited for Arizona, Miami, Utah, Washington and other areas and have recently started preliminary advertising…so far however, not even one inquiry.  I’ve included several premiums [a PR package, a mobile app and more] into the package but am left scratching my head about the state of entrepreneurism in this nation…

Fewer US corporations innovate today as it is easier to simply purchase another startup company.  Indeed, due to our overly litigious society, most firms discourage any  innovation from outside their firm.

Think about why so many politicians want to remain in office for life?  It sure beats working for a living and the benefits and perks outweigh the private sector. 

I’m leaving for Arizona soon to connect with old friends and business contacts…perhaps we’ll be able to brainstorm some better avenues…Have Brain-Will Travel!


A few parting goodies

15 Grocery Store Foods You Can Stockpile Virtually Forever

Preserving and stockpiling food is a cornerstone of homesteaders and off-gridders. Not all foods, though, preserve well, no matter what you do to them. Some are just bound and determined to deteriorate with time. But there are enough foods that will last virtually forever, if we take the time to select and pack them in the right manner.

Read more here.



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