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 Recycling. (See the Commodities section.)

Precious Metals:

Gold Price Goes ‘Thunk’…And ‘Tis A Good Healthy Thing

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From H.L.: The Arms Race Between Gold Counterfeiters and Bullion Testers Is Heating Up. JWR’s Comment:  This is yet another reason that I prefer buying circulated pre-’65 silver coins. (Since they are much more rarely counterfeited than gold.) Anyone who plans to buy gold bullion coins should buy a set of Fisch coin checkers. If the gold counterfeiting problem gets any worse, then it might reduce us to trusting only  PCGS or NGC slabbed Gold Eagles.


Economy & Finance:

At Zero Hedge: Foreigner Boycott Of US Treasurys Continues: 7Y Auction Indirects Tumble To 3 Year Low

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Next, over at The Wall Street Journal: In This Oil Boom Town, Even a Barber Can Make $180,000.  The article starts off with this: “One of America’s hottest labor markets is in West Texas, where the brisket is scarce, the ‘man-camps’ are full, and oil workers with no time to spare pay $75 to skip the line at the barber shop.”

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Home Prices in Sydney & Melbourne Spiral Down, Bust Spreads. IMF to Regulators: “Reinforce Financial Crisis Management”

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Michael Snyder: 18 Really Big Numbers That Show That The U.S. Economy Is Starting To Fall Apart Very Rapidly


On to this by Martin Armstrong, at California to Tax Anything & Everything They Can Think Of

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What you actually take home from a $200,000 salary in each state.

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Do Budget Deficits Matter? Not to Today’s Left or Right

Commodities (Recycling):

You may have missed this news: China announces import ban on an additional 32 scrap materials–Chinese government identifies 16 materials to be banned by the end of 2018, another 16 at the end of 2019. JWR’s Comments:  The U.S. plastics recycling industry was already struggling. China’s phased ban may now further expose the farcical American consumer plastics recycling “industry.”  The fact is that it was never really much of an industry. U.S. consumer plastics recycling is a socialist tax scheme, aimed at making liberals feel better. Already, a large percentage of the “recycled” plastics were bypassed from recycling and instead sent to landfills. Now, with China’s ban, the vast majority of plastics from curbside “recycling” pick-ups will end up in landfills. Hence, homeowners will continue to pay a huge “recycling” fees to have most of their plastics taken to the dump.

Let me put this bluntly: Consumer plastics recycling is merely a feel good tax scheme, and should be abolished!  The only consumer curbside recycling programs that make sense are those that are profitable. Namely, those for newsprint paper and aluminum cans. And for those, people should be paid, rather than taxed or billed. Most of the other schemes are merely expensive window dressing, to appease the bleeding heart crowd. State mandated per-bottle “fees” and curbside plastics recycling are excesses of government coercive force and theft, imposed on citizens. The only difference between the fictional Tony Soprano handing your Waste Management and the government doing so is that the government’s shakedown is under color of law.

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U.S. Approves $3.2B Appalachian Natural Gas Pipeline



QuadrigaCX Wallets Found Empty, Mystery of $150 Million Missing Crypto Deepens

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Ethereum Upgrades as Hard Forks Activate on Blockchain


Tangibles Investing:

Where Free Land Can Be Found in the 21st Century

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Reader DSV suggested this: Best Five States to Avoid High Property Taxes



SurvivalBlog and its Editors are not paid investment counselors or advisers. Please see our Provisos page for our detailed disclaimers.

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. Plastic solution. STOP MAKING IT! There are many other packaging options. I hate plastic. Makes you wonder what we did before plastic was invented…..wait! I remember! Cardboard, butcher paper, and glass. We didn’t live in a disposable society when I was a kid.

  2. Thrown-away plastic doesn’t break and make for dangerous cutting edges the way glass does. Think edges of highways and car tires, for instance. Or along city streets and sidewalks.

    1. Yeah, not likely to get a flat tire from running over a plastic bottle. On the other hand the plastic breaks down into small enough pieces to be absorbed into the food chain. Hence we eventually eat it. Probably not something we should plan on doing. I like Brooksy’s suggestion. Stop making it as single use items. Or design them to be repurposed after use.

    2. This is one of the reasons bottle deposits make sense. Few will break bottles with a deposit on them,thought about this as I cleaned upa broken bottle from a sidewalk

  3. Just a question. In Grand Rapids we have a large waste incinerator that produces electricity. I don’t know of the subsidies involved, there may be some. Aren’t plastics fuel?
    Basically petroleum? Serious question, wondering.

    1. Yes it can be used as fuel in such cases, but it isn´t considered necessarily an efficient method.

      It is considered only sensible if the garbage you must burn Needs fuel.

      Recycling is considered more efficient and sensible, and i consider a reasonable fee for the Service plastic not ending in the sea, landfill or worse a sensible measure.

      And btw how does the goverment makes Money from the bottles vs the taxpayer not Need to pay for the disposal of the bottles?

      1. Re:
        >i consider a reasonable fee for the Service plastic not ending in the sea, landfill or worse a sensible measure.

        That is still emptying someone’s pocket for a service that they may or may not want. VOLUNTARY recycling is fine with me.

        And Re:
        >And btw how does the goverment makes Money from the bottles vs the taxpayer not Need to pay for the disposal of the bottles?

        I’m not sure how it is managed in Germany, but here in the U.S., only a small fraction of the bottles get returned for a deposit refund. The government KEEPS the difference. That is a clever form of taxation.

        1. If they don´t want the Service, they shouldn´t sell their products in Germany in plastic garbage. That is usually more than useless and i don´t want to pay for it with my garbage fee.

          In Germany it cuts down massively on bottles, cans getting someone else Problem and public cost.

          >but here in the U.S., only a small fraction of the bottles get returned for a deposit refund. The government KEEPS the difference.

          How does that work?

          In Germany normally you give it back where you bought and get back the Money, that was normal when i was a child with glas water bottles, which btw started afaik 1929 with Coca – Cola, and is done by the GPO GDB the Co Op of the “beverage” Industry here

          The goverment has an Hands off politics as long as a “reasonable” standard of collecting and Recycling is done by the Business and industry

    2. IIRC there are some incinerators that use tires, etc., but I am unsure of the difficulties involved.

      Yes plastics are burnable, and make good emergency fuel in wet environments, but at least some of them are said to give off toxic compounds, so I wouldn’t recommend it.

  4. “The fictional Tony Soprano” with his evil minions had to work hard, scrambling to make a dishonest dollar. … … Our faithful Civil Servants = [Asking how many people are productively working for our governments, ~ is actually a Philosophical Question.]

    1. That is the age old question how you define productive?

      Is protecting your Children from unsafe or poisonous Medicine productive?
      Is police, Justice, defense productive?

      My homestate had more Business Service personel around the world than the US, not the national goverment but the local state and my Country had much better stood the last economical Crisis than the US

  5. We used to have incinerators that would burn garbage – including paper and plastics, but more “environmental regulations” made it too difficult.

  6. “Oil Boom Town”
    Recovering Feminists – this is where you find a man! Tread carefully, the pickings are good but the winning is not easy. Most men have been crushed by women and some are working in the “man-camps” out of pure MGTOW motivation.

    I suspect this is a ripe location for a REAL church plant (not the kind that manipulates or fizzles out due to lack of sound doctrine). Working men need Jesus too. :]

  7. “That is still emptying someone’s pocket for a service that they may or may not want. VOLUNTARY recycling is fine with me.” Years ago my wife and I did that on our own, and then the county starting charging us for the privilege. Needless to say I do NOT put my aluminum cans in the county recycling — I take them to the scrap metal place myself. I don’t get a lot of money for them, but at least the county doesn’t either.

  8. I remember when recycling actually meant something..anyone else remember collecting used pop bottles and milk bottles? It was the best of both worlds.. You the consumer got a refund on your purchase.. and the suppler got their containers back.. cardboard, paper and the like broke down in landfills and became a nonissue.

  9. I have long felt that the plastic recycling industry is a cover for socialism. The only true recycling is to reuse stuff. Exception is, as you say, paper and metal. Think about it: It was put in place to get people to accept plastic. 2 generations ago, they would have never accepted plastic. It is so unsustainable. I think it was created by the globalists to get us to buy cheap foreign made stuff that won’t last. They don’t care about the environment. Their goal is control. If our stuff wears out, we have to give them some of our money to get more. When you reuse as much as possible and use it to make other stuff, you are not proliferating the cycle.

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