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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Obama Saves the World From Financial Ruin & Other Political Follies

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…

ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

Courage is the strength to face pain, act under pressure, and maintain one's values in the face of opposition.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Is our economy that of the zero sum game theorists where essentially no one wins…and we all lose in the end?

An article from Bloomberg caught my eye. The theme of the article was that China was in the midst of a debt bubble just like we were in the states back in 2005-2007. The Chinese economy has slowed big time. Debt levels keep increasing. And yet property values also keep increasing. And just like in the U.S., the bubble will pop and a lot of debts will become uncollectible. You can read the article here.

Why should you care? One reason sticks out. It may take awhile, but eventually you'll pay more to borrow money (no matter how good your credit score). The Chinese have already slowed the amount of U.S. Treasury bonds that they're buying. That will mean a higher interest rate for treasury bonds and everything else.

That'll hurt people in debt. The solution is to reduce the amount of debt you have with the goal of becoming debt-free.

I watched the PBS Business News Hour last night. Virtually every stock indicator is down. Oil firms are swimming in red ink, Apple stock is down $43 billion in value, Twitter stock is falling, Whirlpool, etc. The same is happening is Asia, China, South America and in many parts of Europe.

And did you know…China is buying the Chicago Stock Exchange?! This was announced in early February-members of both parties denounced the takeover and called for the Treasury Department to investigate the proposed sale but I sure never heard anything about this on TV news!

In recent days, Barack Obama has been running around boasting that he saved the world economy from another Great Depression.  But that isn’t true at all…

You’ve got to remember that all of these governments and central banks all around the world have driven interest rates not just to zero, but to negative levels in some cases… and they are simultaneously printing up trillions of currency units. And even while they are desperately doing that the economy is falling apart in lots of different ways.

They’ve created a super-bubble in bonds, a bubble in stocks, and meanwhile commodities have collapsed and are below production costs in many cases.

The economy is going to be very, very bad… It’s the next stage of what I call the Greater Depression. 


Black swan events [unknown risks] seem to take place more frequently. For years I’ve warned readers to steer clear of the stock market. After losing thousands in the market [yes, I’ve also made some money] but overall, I think it is too volatile for the small guy who, at least in this country, has a tough enough time affording his medical costs or putting food on the table.

In many respects I feel Wall Street and the government bailed on main street a long time ago. Obama just vetoed a raise for our troops but wants a hefty raise for himself [he’s already overpaid and has spent over $100 million on vacations-more than any other president in history…seems he’d rather play golf than worry about national or international affairs].

If another financial crisis is about to hit as many are predicting, its aftermath will be the perfect opportunity for leftists to herd the sheeple into ever more repressive laws like the un-Patriot Act, move us toward the cashless society so the government can better track us and so on.

As I’ve repeatedly advised: It is time to get a significant portion of your assets outside of the stock market and banking system and put your money into the Poor Man’s gold-silver coins, food and gardening stock seeds, bartering goods, guns and ammunition, small farms and rural land with small livestock for food, etc. Growing and eating your own produce is like having money in the bank.

You can purchase various types of heirloom, open-pollinated seeds from specialty seed firms and might check out Seed Savers Exchange [563-382-5990] or which is a non-profit dedicated to sharing heirloom seeds. Seeds can one day prove to be another useful item for barter as well.

Developing personal skills and sideline businesses which enable you to generate extra cash which you can use to acquire the above mentioned items and/or to pay down or eliminate debt is the wiser course of action.

Always try to keep as many options opens as possible because as I pointed out earlier…you never know when a Black Swan event could occur.

Additional Resources

How to Save $1,378 in 52 Weeks

Saving more than $1,000 throughout the year is hard, but it's not impossible. By making small adjustments and changing up your daily routine, you can easily save a significant amount of money in just one year. And the 52-week savings challenge can help.

In this challenge, you will save the dollar value of the week you're on. So for Week 1, you'll save at least $1. For Week 2, you'll save at least $2, and so on and so on.

Can you do it living paycheck to paycheck? Read more.

8 dollar-store bargains you shouldn't miss
If you haven't been to a dollar store in a while, you won't believe the savings. And if you do shop there regularly, don't miss these savings!

Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

If you enjoy the resources we present, help support our efforts by making a purchase…

Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…

A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Develop Multiple Off-Grid Income Sources Now

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources


Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson


Developing Multiple Sources of Income-Survival, Off-Grid Money


   A wise man once told me every person and family should develop several circles of income that should generate at least $250 per month.  With an unreliable economy it is not difficult to understand that philosophy…just ask the 400 of workers at Nabisco who just laid off their employees at their Oreo plant and shipped those jobs to Mexico or 2000 shift workers a Detroit plant  from Ford whose jobs were also shipped to Mexico!


According to a recently-released Pew Report, one-third of all Americans don’t make enough money to even cover the basic necessities. ONE THIRD!  The Pew Charitable Trust, announced that household spending went up by 14 percent in a decade ending at 2014, but median household income went down 13 percent.


Even top-level US officials admit the obvious problem: Americans are broke. According to Federal Reserve official William Dudley, America is no longer the top country for achieving the "American Dream" which is fast becoming a nightmare.


In 1970, 61% of Americans could be called middle class.  Today it's just 43%.

 According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas, job cut announcements by big companies in the United States were up 32 percent during the first quarter of 2016 compared to the first quarter of 2015, and it appears that the job losses are going to continue to mount as we roll into the second quarter. For instance, late last week Intel announced that it is going to be laying off 12,000 workers



Developing alternative sources of income can help you become more self reliant and less dependent on others.  It can also enable you to enjoy some of the finer things in life or to become more prepared if that is one of your goals.  Owning a full or part time business is one of the few legal tax loopholes you can still take advantage of.


The so-called gig economy such as found on [I make extensive use of such services for the various websites I own] is becoming a popular way for people to offer services on the side to supplement their income.


However, some areas of ‘free enterprise’ may be illegal in your state.  For example, Wisconsin and New Jersey prohibit the sale of home baked goods.  In Wisconsin, selling cupcakes from home could land you a $1,000 fine and up to six months in jail.


According to the Foundation for Economic Education, “The ban is purely political.  Commercial food producers like the Wisconsin Bakers Association are lobbying against a ‘Cookie Bill’ – which would allow the limited sale of home-baked goods – in order to protect themselves from competition.”


You’ve probably heard news reports from taxi companies complaining about Uber drivers as well saying they’re not safe or they don’t pay city license fees and so on.  It is true.  High regulatory costs in New York City might cost a cabbie as much as a million dollars which is an unreasonable cost and drives up fares for customers and discourages people from doing business in New York [In the 1980s I used to fly to NYC nearly every month…I finally got tired of the high cost of conducting business in that city and stopped going].


Government regulation, which has increased under President Obama, adds an average of 25% to the cost of everything we purchase and has caused America to drop to 13th place in terms of international Entrepreneurial startups…our tax system has further hurt our business startup status while Hong Kong has virtually no taxes and a vibrant business community.


There are plenty of examples of petty bureaucrats who have raided the homes of Girl Scouts for selling cookies from their homes without a permit or operating lemonade stands without expensive city permits.  This kind of flatworm crap is what is ruining America and you need to either operate under the radar by not using or displaying signage or attracting noticeable traffic or ensure you are in compliance [the bureaucrat’s favorite word].


It’s estimated that 50% of those operating a part time business such as renting a room inside their home on a short term basis [listing them on Craigslist or Airbnb] are illegal but are rarely prosecuted.


Uber and Airbnb*


Web-based businesses such as Uber and Airbnb are known as the sharing economy and I’ve written about them before and each have tens of millions of users and many retirees are signing up.  Last year Uber launched a partnership with the AARPs Life Reimagined to encourage over 40s to become drivers.  Airbnb says older hosts are among the most, with hosts 60 and older earning 7.5 percent more than five-star reviews than younger ones.  The company, which explicitly touts itself as a way for seniors to earn money, says its senior hosts earn slightly less than $6,000 a year taking guests for an average of slightly fewer than 60 days per year.


The big challenge in this country is that we have more laws than any other country in the world and no one can keep up with them and if you keep a low profile your odds improve but when in doubt, consult a lawyer.




When I was younger [and in better health] I moved to a rural area, which was economically depressed.  Fixer-up type homes were pretty easy to buy and my father-in-law and I put in sweat equity and sold all of them on a lease-option basis where the buyer got credit for their down payment for each money they paid in a timely fashion until they built up a sufficient down payment at which time I accompanied them to friendly banker and helped them get a mortgage. 


In one case I substituted my VA Certificate of Eligibility for another veteran’s and gave him some cash to buy out his equity.  He was unemployed and could no longer make his payments so he walked away happy.  I paid off my VA loan early and was free to use it again on a future home purchase.


We made some very good money doing this and most of it was done on a handshake – even the mortgage I got from the banker!  That would be difficult today and creative financing deals are harder to come by now.


In recent years I have applied that same practice to flipping domains and websites periodically and have made some decent money although that market has slowed down. 


There are several places to advertise domain names including eBay and even on the registrar I use NameCheap.  At any given time I have nearly a dozen domains for sale and right now we have one which includes three domains, a logo and a mini-business plan geared toward connecting college kids and the 50 plus market to do odd jobs as seniors always need work done for them.  I got the idea when I was recuperating from open heart surgery and from our storage business [yes, another business we’re involved with] where folks always ask us if we know of people who could assist them.   There is a growing demand for this kind of business as our nation ages. * The primary domain is called Your Personal Gopher. It includes my personal assistance!


[You can learn more about that our ecommerce site…]


Side Gigs


I know many of us have a knack for chatting and problem solving and if you have those skills and can type 30 words a minute and can provide online customer service via text chats [believe it or not, I do not know how to text] you can make up to $15 an hour as a chat agent.


Just head to these sites:,,, and to sign up.  Plus hundreds of firms from Amazon to Zappos, rely on live chat agents.  You can visit their sites or search for ‘live chat agent jobs’ on or or other jobs sites.


Get Paid to take reservations…The Active Network hires people to work from home helping with campground reservation requests throughout its season [May through September] and it pays about $8 per hour.  Go to:


Also, search engines like Yahoo and Google rely on people just like you to track results that come up in searches…sort of like mystery shopping for search engines:  You get paid to type in a bunch of questions and report on what results come up.  Go to: and to get started.


Become an online ‘genie’ with your online researching skills off at, a service where people can go to get their questions answered on just about any topic.  You can earn up to $2,000 a month providing detailed answers by researching on the web.  Learn more at:




Free Legal Resources


Depending on where you live there are free legal resources available and you might check with the Small Business Administration [the SBA is online too…I was a SBDC volunteer counselor for them for years].  If for some reason you have a case which warrants serious social or political implications you might try contacting your elected representatives at the state or federal level or if you are fighting a coercive government agency, consider going to the Institute for Justice [703-682-9320 or]


These folks assist people whose rights have been violated by government bureaucrats.  According to their site:

 You have the right to earn an honest living this is called economic liberty and it is protected by the Constitution.  But often entrepreneurs face burdensome, arbitrary and anti-competitive laws that make it difficult, if not impossible, to earn an honest living in the occupation of their choosing.


The Institute offers an Entrepreneur’s Survival Guide and an Eminent Domain Abuse Survival Guide as free downloads.


The Rutherford Inst.  [one of my personal favorites] 434-978-3888; defends civil liberties including the rights of small businesses and offers legal assistance to individuals whose Constitutional rights have come attack by government.


Friends, you need to do whatever you can to restore order to your financial home, take control, go off the financial grid if necessary.  I plan to re-introduce more of these kinds of resources on a weekly basis and encourage you to share and support this effort.  Make a purchase, even if it is a small one such as the CD ROM I offer below…it is an investment that is less than the price of a meal at a fast food restaurant!


Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


Additional Resources

Based on presentations I made to US Veterans & others who wanted to start their own business…priced at only $5 ppd.


Escaping the Rat Race with Your Own Business

  • Three steps to new business success
  • 10 business ideas with zero startup costs
  • Release the inner entrepreneur inside you
  • 45 ways to make a living without a job
  • Business on a shoestring budget
  • Escape the Rat Race
  • Being a Frugal Entrepreneur
  • Let’s Make Money Online
  • 18 Low-Cost Marketing Ideas
  • Ultimate Kick-Ass Guide to Starting a Business
  • Online Business Resource Guide


 Take a look at to find advice on ways to supplement

Strange Ways People Make Money Online (Daily Finance): "The Internet is a great place to launch entrepreneurial efforts. People have made money by creating useful products and functional websites, while others have found ways to make money in creative and interesting, yet strange, ways."


It's definitely not the time to hunker down and hope for the best. It's time to find or build a second source of income before you need it. Read more.


Odd Jobs…Making Money Even in a Bad Economy






Find a variety of self reliance books and other items at our storefront-free shipping on everything.

If you enjoy the resources we present, help support our efforts by making a purchase…

Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…


A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Grocery Garden is Like Having Money in the Bank

Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt!  >> Margaret Atwood


   A Grocery Garden is Like Having Money in the Bank

      Although I’ve never fully regained my stamina and strength after my heart attack and bypass surgery, I still enjoy having a garden, though it is much smaller and I now must hire someone to operate my rototiller and I now resort to using vegetable plants which have already been started [at least I barter for them with a local nursery].

Nonetheless, nothing beats the taste of fresh tomatoes and cucumbers and other vegetables and it is pleasurable to enjoy being out in the sun.  Since our city financially rapes us for the cost of water we make extensive use of 55-gallon rain barrels in order to save money on watering and I encourage others to recycle rainwater wherever possible.

>>Personal Hint:  If you live in a muggy climate like I do, try this cooling energizer:  Mix ½ cup of lemon juice, ½ cup lime juice, a few drops of lemon extract in a bowl and add a ½ cup of baking soda or magnesium flakes into a bath of tepid water and hop in for a soak for as long as you like!


Here’s another money-saving hint…save bath water, the water from floral arrangements, from when you change your fish tank, etc. and use it to water your plants – it’s a great tonic for all your plants!

>>Marvelous Container Booster Mix:  When planting vegetables in containers, add this to a half-n-half mixture of commercial potting soil and compost:


½ cup of Epsom salts, 14 cup of coffee grounds [rinsed], 1 tbsp. instant tea granules, 4 eggshells [dried & crushed] per gallon of soil


Combine the ingredients thoroughly with your potting mix.  Then plant your seeds or set in your transplants.


For some reason over the years we’ve had tremendous success with bush zucchinis and make bread and vegetable dishes with it and they grow well alongside eggplants.  We’ve experimented growing these and cucumbers vertically along with peas and spinach using a small trellis or if space is very limited you might consider using self-watering containers.  They have a kind of false bottom that you fill with water, which the soil wicks up.
 You can go away for several days and your container garden will still thrive.  You can find Bloem Living Lucca planters on Amazon for about $19 or check with your local Home Depot.

There are new tomato plants called Dwarf Sweet Sue and Blazing Beauty and Rosella Purple that are bred for flavor and their compact size.  I plant a variety of tomatoes as they are my favorite for side dishes and BLTs.  My Dad used to line his driveway with tomato containers and place pots on his back deck.  Although he worked part time at a local nursery, when he got older he ordered online from and

We’ve been lucky in that we have wild raspberries in our yard but I plan to try some of the new BrazelBerries Rasperry Shortcake, the first ever dwarf raspberry this year which supposedly grows well in compact spaces [so do blueberries] which you can find at

In the previous two summers I’ve planted dwarf fruit trees at our little farm and each year they fail…probably the deer eat them.  I think next year we’ll plant much larger versions and include fencing around each tree and see what happens.

We do maintain our soil by keeping a scrap heap of egg shells, vegetable peelings and other compost materials which we add to our topsoil and fertilizer which always give our plants a boost.  The one thing which never does well for us is corn.  We manage to get a few decent stalks and the rest are usually consumed by animals or bugs so we’ve given up on corn.


The Veggie Garden Maker kit from Idaho-based Potted Shed Creations includes all the tools necessary for starting a backyard vegetable garden. The handy set would make a great gift for the individual with a green thumb of all ages, while it would be an especially great introduction to the cooking with real ingredients and to the joys of gardening for young children [food52]

Other  DIY gardening innovations range from at-home herb kits to mushroom-growing logs that are ideal for eco-conscious, urban dwellers. The rising popularity of DIY gardening and food cultivation kits is a result of consumers' lack of outdoor space.

Urban Oasis Pots Contain Everything You Need to Start Your Own Microfarm

Urban dwellers often lack a backyard or balcony space, making indoor green walls, at-home composters and DIY gardening kits all the more prevalent and convenient for this demographic. Millennials with an appreciation for locally sourced and sustainable food products have quickly embraced this DIY gardening products thanks to their convenient and cost-effective nature.

In addition to traditional DIY gardening innovations, other standouts in today's market include DIY hot sauce kits that are equipped with fresh herbs, spices and dried peppers along with kid-friendly planting sets that encourage young generations to replace screen time with quality outdoor play. [

There is no shortage of gardening books and websites out there and many suited to whatever climate or part of the country you’re located in.  You might try or

Sign up for free newsletters from Mother Earth News, [founded by my late friend, John Shuttleworth] at:

Small-Space Gardening

Growing food in small spaces can be fun and productive — you just need a little sunshine and some imagination.


Additional Resources


·  Buying Rural Property
Prices seem so low. How can you avoid making a big mistake?


Yours for better living,

Bruce ‘the Poor Man’


We have added many new gardening and survival related books to our storefront this week!

If you enjoy the resources we present, help support our efforts by making a purchase…

Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…


A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Democrats & the KKK Held the Last Contested Convention


Poor Man Survival

Self Reliance tools for independent minded people…


ISSN 2161-5543

A Digest of Urban Survival Resources

One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that your end up being government by inferiorsPlato



Democrats Held the Last Contested Convention…

Along with their KKK Members in 1924


   Perhaps the most rancorous and bitter convention in history was the Democratic convention held in 1924.  That year, the Democrats were even more divided than the GOP is today.


One front run, William McAdoo, was supported by the Ku Klux Klan; the other, New York Gov. Al Smith, represented the party’s anti-klan wing.  Held in sweltering heat at Madison Square Garden before the advent of air conditioning, the convention was utter chaos.  Nineteen candidates secured votes on the first ballot, and neither McAdoo nor Smith was able to consolidate enough delegates to win, so the process went on to convention floor.


On Independence Day, the 10th day of the convention, 20,000 Klansmen gathered across the Hudson River to burn crosses.  After a grueling 16 days and 103 ballots, a winner finally emerged:  a little known former congressman from West Virginia, John Davis, who went on to be crushed in the general election by incumbent President Calvin Coolidge. 


There is something about a national convention that makes it as fascinating as a revival or a hanging, said writer H. L. Mencken, who covered the chaos.  “It is vulgar, it is ugly, it is stupid.”


I find it ironic the KKK was founded by southern Democrats and carpet baggers who persecuted Blacks and other minorities and fought against giving them the right to vote, yet Blacks today are the number one supporter of the Democratic party.  Lincoln. A Republican, was the one who set African-Americans free yet a Black man as president today has done very little to help his own race [unless you count free cell phones or more food stamps and keeping Blacks dependent as ‘help’].


The late West Virginia Democrat Senator Byrd was a grand wizard in the KKK and skillfully conned southern minorities for decades.  Byrd joined the Klan at the ripe young age of 24 — hardly a young one by today’s standards, much less those of 1944, when Byrd refused to join the military because he might have to serve alongside “race mongrels, a throwback to the blackest specimen from the wilds,” according to a letter Byrd wrote to Sen. Theodore Bilbo at the height of World War II.

Ironically, the lame stream press never raised the issue…neither did the NAACP, nor any Black leaders.

At one point I owned several newspapers in the greater Cleveland area and still maintain ties with the media industry in that city…I’m thinking of obtaining a media pass and heading down to the Republican Convention in July just to have some fun and watch/cover the confusion first hand.  I’ll keep you posted.

Yours for better living-Bruce ‘the Poor Man’

If you enjoy the resources we present, help support our efforts by making a purchase…

Books, Art, Video – the saucy, the odd, the retro, even the practical…


A Smoking Frog Feature, Shallow Planet Production


My gift to you:

The Poor Man’s Essential Survival Package


--The Doctors Protocol: Secrets of Survival

--How to Survive the Coming Economic Collapse

--Guide to Self Reliant Living

--Becoming Self Sufficient for Six Months

--How I Found Freedom in an Un-free World