Economics & Investing For Preppers

Here are the latest news items and commentary on current economics news, market trends, stocks, investing opportunities, and the precious metals markets. We also cover hedges, derivatives, and obscura. And it bears mention that most of these items are from the “tangibles heavy” contrarian perspective of SurvivalBlog’s Founder and Senior Editor, JWR. Today’s focus is on Demographic Imperatives.

Precious Metals:

Gold Edges Down As Fed Minutes Offer Clues Into January’s Policy Reversal

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Prepare Now For Global Financial Crisis – Jim Willie Interviews Mark O’Byrne


Economy & Finance:

Bloomberg: U.S. Student Debt in ‘Serious Delinquency’ Tops $166 Billion

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Payless ShoeSource to shutter all of its remaining 2,100 US stores but plans to still keep its 1,400 in Latin America open

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Worried about Costs & Slowdown? Amazon Scuttles HQ2 Altogether, Plunges NY City Real Estate Industry “Into Despair”

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More Than Half Of Homes Listed In NYC Last Year Never Sold


BATTERY RAW MATERIALS MARKET REPORT 15/02: Cobalt continues downward spiral despite Chambishi shutdown

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Saudi Aramco Makes Existential Bet On Oil


Demographic Imperatives:

The town where retirees can’t retire. Here is an instructive passage:

“Like so many older Americans who find themselves still clocking into jobs past traditional retirement ages, some among Alcona County’s graying workforce are working because of economic necessity. But they’re also working because the town needs them to stay on the job. This rural corner of the Upper Midwest is one of the oldest places in America. The median age here is 58, according to a 2017 U.S. Census estimate, 20 years older than the median age of the country. More than half of residents in Alcona County are 55 and older. The region serves as an extreme example of a phenomenon that’s happening across the country as the vast Baby Boom generation moves through the retirement years.

It’s a situation with many parallels in other countries, especially in societies such as Japan’s, where low birth rates, limited immigration, and urbanization trends have conspired to trigger mass depopulation of smaller rural towns. In the U.S., the age wave is also set to hit rural areas first: 19 percent of the rural population is 65 and older, compared to 15 percent in urban areas, according to a 2018 U.S. Department of Agriculture study of census data. Rural counties make up nearly 85 percent of the more than 1,100 counties with more than 20 percent of their population age 65 or older.

John Cromartie, a demographer with the USDA Agriculture Economic Research Service who studies population trends in rural America, says communities like Alcona County offer a lesson for aging rural communities across the country that need to find a way to function with an aging population. “They are the canary in the coal mine,” Cromartie says.”

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At Zero Hedge: Two Diverging Worlds: Wealthy Nations Population & Demographic Declines, Poor Nation Growth No Substitute



Bitcoin Price to Explode at $4,200, Analyst: Bottom Reached

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Once hailed as unhackable, blockchains are now getting hacked



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News Tips:

Please send your economics and investing news tips to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who particularly watch individual markets. And due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” investing news. We often get the scoop on economic and investing news that is probably ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. Regarding rural locations and residents aging. The problem is many younger people crave excitement, whether with their electronic devices that they are addicted to, or going out with friends to eat and drink, or “hang-out”. Plus, they need a good paying job because many have student debt, and they do not know how or want to budget, work two or three jobs, and pay it off fast. Many have useless college degrees and no real marketable skills, but they would like to find a partner and own a home.
    It would take effort and commitment in the rural community to attract such younger people, but we have the INTERNET – ADVERTISE. Rural areas within 30 to 50 miles or closer to a larger city with “night life”, sports stadiums, and the like, can offer low cost homes to buy. Older homes generally, but the community could fix them up. Older people, especially in the Midwest and Mountain States, and parts of the South have HANDS ON SKILLS. Fix up some older homes to sell or rent, fix up the Cafe, add on a “Lounge” repair or build a small Movie Theater, repair or make bike trails, create a night life. It should it be, a “dive” but a nice place, with a dance floor, small stage, local bands and even family oriented. Surely some of the residents play a guitar, keyboard, drums, bass fiddle!!!! Get the churches and schools involved, and every business. It is an INVESTMENT of time, and some money. If there is a home or two that could be turned into several 1 or 2 bedroom apartments, do it, and offer FREE RENT for 6 months. Don’t forget to create or repair attractions for families with children. If there is a lake or park or some natural attraction within 20 miles, feature it. REMEMBER PICTURES ARE WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS. LOTS OF IMAGES ON THE WEBSITE. Create the towns’ OWN WEBSITE – give it a catchy phrase in front of the name. Remember to let people know that within 30 to 50 miles there is a larger city with good hospitals and things to do.

    Don’t neglect the younger people with “hands on” skills who want to work in one of the “trades”. A rural community with a service station/repair facility, the local hardware store, or any of the small business, the aging electrician, plumber, carpenter, farmer, rancher, etc. all could be a source of jobs for some younger men and women to learn, and perhaps invest or buy out the business. Those who want to keep the town “infrastructure” up and running. Those who want to be a town Sheriff/LEO/Fire Fighter, etc.

    Run the town like an up and coming business, or it will be run into the ground and only the graveyard will be filling up.

    I am 76, lived in an Eastern State, in the Capitol, lived in the suburbs, lived and worked in Greater St. Louis, lived in the 1990’s in VERY RURAL WEST VIRGINIA, and am back East in a small town. Have just about seen and done just about all, but if smaller towns could “think outside the box” and use the Internet and the websites where college kids and people in their 20 and 30’s, including families, it might really work for some towns. There are younger folks out there who might not even know that they would like living in a small community with nature around them. Less traffic, pollution, SAFER, and above all FRIENDLY! I can remember Welcome Wagons.

    All these younger people have aging parents and grandparents and they might not know it, but sometimes they “feel” comforted by having some “old and wise” people around. I have been on both end of the spectrum, so I know.

    1. I live in a Redoubt county of less than 20,000 — but near a metro area of nearly 600,000. If not for that, I wouldn’t be here. I’m in my 40s, white collar professional, and married with kids.

      Like it or not, the modern reality is that the jobs are in the cities. I live in the country and drive in. Most young people won’t bother with that drive, or simply lack the means to buy a country home and land. Fewer still desire to make their land their living e.g. a farm.

      At my church, the vast majority of the single people in their 20s are women who either didn’t go to college or have already gone and come home for some reason (take care of family is a common one). Most young men leave for school or the military and most don’t come back.

      Back in the ’90s, we thought that telecommuting would be a significant percentage of white collar jobs by now. It’s a visible slice of the pie, to be sure, but the number of jobs that don’t require some form of physical presence are limited. I live among some of them as my area has fiber optic service, unlike most rural areas of the Redoubt.

      I see it in my backyard and elsewhere — people moving to remote areas are almost always empty nesters / retirees. Either moving into their parent’s home once they pass, or buying a home from someone who inherited it. I’m no different — my home was originally built for a widow some 25 years ago and when she passed it went on the market.

  2. The comment on rural areas and population misses the big point: people no longer marry and have children. Why? Try college loans of up to $250,000 for a pharmacist or a doctor. You are basically indebted until your 55. Now plan your retirement. And rural areas cannot pay the price for these professionals.
    The media works overtime in telling the public that children cost a fortune to raise. Quote from Market Watch: The most recent available information says that the average cost of raising a child from birth to age 17 is $233,610 in a married two-parent middle income family with two children. This information comes from a U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) report from 2017, using information from 2011-15 and figures in 2015 dollars.

    The report breaks up costs into three income ranges, with $233,610 being the average for those qualifying families who make between $59,200-$107,400. Those in the lower income range, making under $59,200, required an average of $174,690 to raise a child. Those in the highest income range, making over $107,400, spent $372,210 on raising a child.
    This is insanity. No parent needs to spend this kind of cash to raise healthy, happy children-unless you have truly bought into the NWO. But, the public good drums these figures into the young adults.
    This society has so overcomplicated every facet of life, it is no wonder that we are dying. Think I am crazy? Why does an administration assistant need a 4 year degree to type, file, and answer phones? Because the Human Resources Department at XXO Widget Company has no idea what an admin. assist. does but wants to stop the 400 resumes coming in.
    I really do fear for our country.

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