One of the main reasons for studying how people survive, whether economically or physically, is to find lessons we can apply to our own lives and circumstances. For many years, economists have been predicting an economic collapse here in America. If you are one of the 93+ million Americans who are out of work, your own personal economy has already collapsed.
Now it’s time to consider how you will earn money, whether you are currently out of work. In the days of the Great Depression, it was common for grocers and landlords to provide credit to their customers. Today? That would be a rare occurrence.
Our ancestors would be sad to see their children (us) toiling over these uncertain times. This was suppose to be a land of freedom and a new start. What happened?
From the Depression, there is an abundance of stories of neighbors and church families showing up at the door, laden with bags and boxes of food for a needy family(this act of kindness now is becoming illegal in many cities). When a desperate mom was asked by her child, “Mama, what’s for dinner tonight?”, the response was, “Whatever the neighbors decide to bring us!” I wish I could imagine that happening today, but our communities and families have become so fractured over the past few decades it would be a rare event.
Perhaps the most impressive thing about the Great Depression is the ingenuity of the Americans who lived through those tough times. Many continued to find ways to earn money, even when their own circumstances were dire.
To earn money, people made homemade fudge, pies and bread and sold them. Eggs could be sold for 25 cents a dozen. If a family lived near water, they could catch and sell fish, clams and crabs(this act too is becoming more and more strict). Some families grew, picked, and sold homegrown produce, and some even started lunch truck wagons (regulation of growers are also under attack).
You could also earn money selling newspapers on the corner(almost a thing of the past). Kids earned a little extra if they were promoted to “Corner Captain”, a sort of Great Depression multi-level marketing program where a kid brought in other kids to sell papers and earned a bit extra himself(no loitering now!). Odd jobs were also a popular way of making money, washing windows, loading coal, even sewing and altering clothes(days of money under the table are wearing thin).
In every case, it was a simple matter of looking around to see what people needed, what they wanted, what made them feel good about themselves and about life.
So, what skills do you have that might offer a service during a severe economic downturn? What knowledge do you have that would be helpful, even vital, to others? What products can you produce? What skills can you teach?
Ingenuity is something which can never be stolen by thieves, confiscated by a government, or lost to flood or fire. It is possible to survive during even a newer Great Depression and there is plenty to learn from those who lived through the last one.
Find a book, read, use the internet, take notes, watch videos from people who know, from those who’ve done it. Knowledge is a good thing if used to help others. And there are plenty out there who need help.
We are all in this (and will be in the future) together; let’s help one another keep going when the SHTF!
*Thanks in more part to :Frank M.