Wolfe`s Self-Efficiency Index 2008

From The Archives: 2008

In these economic times, with the state of the stock market playing like a yo-yo, my thoughts have turned to how this will effect me. I’ve already done one post on ‘my cost of living’, but with the changes happening so fast in the markets, it no longer applies as it did before, and during any kind of crisis, like the recent rice and chicken ones, doesn’t give someone an idea of how things in the economy effect them. The most relevant factor in all this that will effect me is the price of real estate, which in my case works in my favor. What has caught my interest however recently is the underground economy, how is the current state of affairs effecting those that don’t play by the rules, and so on.

I came across a Wikipedia article on “Household Electricity Approach” to determine the size of the underground economy. This reminded me also of the Carbon Footprint, and other such indexes which people use to see how they compare to others in a given context. Hence, I decided that what survivalists, and those into self-efficiency needed was an index relative to themselves. In trying to figure out what factors would be involved in a self-efficiency index, a few came to mind right away. First off, electricity, gas, water consumption, and food.

These should be fairly easy to figure out as we all get Hydro bills, Gas bills, and what not. If, in the case of electricity you do not produce any of your own, you are 100% less efficient then those that produce a 100% of those that provide all their electric energy needs. It isn’t a measure of how much you use, if you use none, your 100% efficient in that area.

Just for the record, if you planning on using a kerosene lantern, and don’t make the kerosene yourself, in a SHTF situation your not being very efficient. One other factor that occurred to me I couldn’t really place a proper label on, it concerns the amount of money you need compared to how you get it.

Considering that there is property tax, and for renters rent, it is an unavoidable expense, and takes a percentage of your income to cover it. But, the amount of money you take in can vary from person to person, and differs in style, and can change in circumstances.

Here is what I’m thinking, if I work for a fast food restaurant, I am at the whim of the market, and my employer completely. If I work in a service trade as a contractor, I am at the whim of several clients, which is a little better then working in a restaurant, because a service contractor is also a producer of real products and I’m not likely to loose all my clients at the same time.

If I hold down a small business that produces products from raw materials (assuming that those raw materials are locally available), I’m in a better position to be self-efficient then others. Potters, are a prime example here, my trade of choice, as are glass blowers, and similar early trades. Part of the difference here is that I would have customers rather than bosses. Not only does that give me more control over my own fate, but also give me more ability to adept to changing markets.

So there are two other factors involved in creating a self-efficiency index, a value on the type of income, the income itself, and what percentage of that income is taken by items you cannot avoid such as property tax.

The food factor itself should be fairly easy to figure out as far as costs go, since all you would have to do is figure out how much it would have cost you for food items you produced yourself. But since this isn’t really about money, it’s about efficiency, and therefore it is the amount of food you produce yourself, compared to that which you need to buy or trade for that would be a factor in this index.

I would think that using a healthy food guide as base factor, or a calorie index would provide something to compare too. Other things that I’m thinking about to use in this get more vague since I’m not sure how to measure things that are arbitrary to each person. Such things mostly include consumer goods, toilet paper comes to mind first, so do shoes and boots, and other such items that require not only knowledge to produce yourself, but also require time to produce which can be almost as important if not more so depending on what it is.

My thinking is this, do you really want to spend hours making shoes when the time spent would be better milking a cow? And if you continue on that train of thought, you might come to the conclusion that the job offer over at the fast food restaurant is more self-efficient then growing your own food.

Where does one draw the line?

Fortunately for me it is easy to figure out how to decide where to draw line, I simply refuse to do so. In my opinion it is more important to be able to make your own shoes, then to actually doing so. What becomes more self-efficient depends on circumstances at the time the item is needed. I will assume that anyone who needs an index like this already knows that they are not were they want to be at being self-efficiency, so any extra cash you have should be used to that end, and I’ll ignore this amount and figures until I’m closer myself.

So in a SHTF situation, you might make or trade items to acquire what you need, but in a ‘normal’ economy you’d buy them from the local thrift store. So how does that translate to an index factor?

I think one would have to compare yourself to the sheeple that goto Walmart, and other such places, and look at how efficient it is to make a product yourself under any settings, keeping in mind that you can also buy (used or new) or trade for what you need. Which of coarse still leaves me without some sort of number to place in a mathematical formula. Therefore I would eliminate anything you can survive without, food, basic clothing, shelter, clean water, heat, are about all that I would include as far as consumer goods are concerned. You can survive without toilet paper, albeit not so nicely, and the same with most other goods. This leaves me with the following:

  1. A factor of Utilities, such as Gas, Electricity, and Water. I compared these to the population average for my area. I do not produce my own electricity, water, or gas, so this will be a good marker to compare at a later date on the farm. Currently, we use an average of 1100 kW.h, of electricity per month, we use an average of 0.04 GJ of Natural Gas per hour per day, 1.2 per month. We get our tap water for free in this area of British Columbia so I’ll use the average from stats Canada. I assume these figures are not to bad for a family of six with the old wiring, and an old house but I have no idea.
  2. A factor for shelter costs. We don’t own yet, but rent, I know that property tax is somewhere around 1% for suburban houses of the estimated value of the land. This home is valued currently at about $450,000 so therefore the property taxes are about $4,500 a year. My rent is $850 a month, if I multiple it by twelve it is just over double the property tax so this gives me a good factor when dealing with rent since I believe that owning is worth double points over renting, then divide by the cost of a silver troy bar. (see below)
  3. Total true income is another factor. This one is tricky. When I was caravaning on the road for 14 years, we made on average half of what we make now, but were by no means better off getting off the road. Plus, I live in a socialist country (Canada) so I don’t really pay for health care costs directly like my US counterparts. But if SHTF happens, I’ll have to supply any needs for health care myself directly. I also know, being of duel citizenship, that in Europe there are options for health coverage that vary greatly compared to North America. So the problem is compounded when trying to use some kind of scale to compare how self-efficient you are in regards to fiat money.There use to be a really good marker for the value of a dollar, the gold base system, but I’m not going to use it mainly because the figures hurt my brain and don’t want to recalculate so often, so I’m going to use silver instead.Currently, as of today (in this market it’s not going to count for much) silver is trading about $13.20 a troy ounce. (Canadian folks) Silver is a good marker because you know that the buying power of silver will remain relatively the same compared to goods and services, fiat money on the other hand will not SHTF. So if $13.20 will get me approximately 10 loaves of bread today, one silver troy bar will still get me that even if the cost of bread goes threw the roof. Maybe something else would have been a better example, I’m not in the bread basket of North America. So my true income marker would be the amount of silver troy bar I could buy. If the buying power of the dollar goes down, so does the marker. Now I also have to figure out how much my health care costs are and include that into my income before I figure out how many troy bars I could get, but for those in the states that know their true costs, it should be easier for you.Now about how you get those troy bars. I would say that the person who has their own small business that relies on local raw resources would be the most efficient, and the one that works at a local restaurant like McBarfs would be the least in comparison. I also included service trades above, but it also occurred to me that pensioners, and those living in nursing homes would even less then them, as far as income goes in this index. I think the factor should be divided by as you move away from being self-efficient therefore a small self-efficient business would factor the amount of troy bars they can buy with their income by one, and the the service trade guy divides by two, and the restaurant worker by three, and all the rest by four.
  4. Food factor. This one is easy, a lot of survivalists spend time on figuring out what plants they are going to grow, how much they should have in MREs and so on, but to be self-efficient all you have to do is figure out your base, either the cost, the actual food in a regular grocery list, some kind of food guide such as Canada’s food guide, or just the calories, vitamins and minerals you need to survive.I’m opting for the actual cost, it’s easy for me to keep track of currently, and is a real time factor. I will convert it over to the silver troy bar standard to make it compatible with other above however, and subtract from it any food I produce myself, another easy factor since that is currently near zero.
  5. Consumer Goods, or better knowns as What You don’t make yourself factor: I know, lame name, but it fits. This is another silver troy based system factor, basically all the money you spend on stuff that you don’t produce yourself. This wouldn’t include things you need to survive however. I think the most important thing about this is not only does it make you look at your budget, and the money you spend, but how much of your spending is not sustainable.My formula for all this works out like so (my example):
    Take your total income including your health costs: $27,000 per year Divide that amount by the current rate for a silver troy bar: 27,000/13.2=2045.45 Now divide that by what kind of income you have as mentioned above, mine is currently the worse, so this is good thing to compare to the farm in a few months. I divid by 1, but I should divide by four, it just know my source of income is going to chang soon, and the amount is not going to change to much.Added Note: dividing by 2,3,4 etc doesn’t seem to work, I think this should be changed to something like 1.1, 1.4, 1.7, etc depending on what type of business you work for in more detail. Just remember that a score of 1 is WTSHTF secure, and what ever number you can alot to beyond that is less secure. Add up how much energy/water you use in your household, and figure out what percentage you are compared to the average for your area, then average it out between them. Electricity: 13200:11300 kW.h per year Water: 136274:136274 litres per year (OUCH!) Gas: 14.4:13.68 GG per year.The first part of each ratio above is my family average, the second part is the national average. A little note first, I have a family of six, the averages used were based on a family of four so my Water usage is likely higher then above, plus I have a garden, not everyone does.The percentages work out like this: Electricity: 115.79% Water: 100% Gas: 105.26% Average: 107.01% So far I have three factors figured out. I have a base for currency exchange and income worked out to 2045.45, a score of 772.72 for shelter (850×12/13.20), and an energy/water factor of 107.01%, not doing so good am I? I have to guess at what my rate is for a food factor because I don’t keep good records about what we get ourselves.We generally get blueberries from a old military base in Richmond, BC. Cranberries in Pitt Meadows (don’t ask), and fish. I haven’t gone hunting this year, so meat was bought 100% at the local grocery store. Our garden provide very little this year, mainly because I’m on a quest to harden seeds, so I’m not interested in getting food out of it. If we provided 10% of all our food, my score would be 90%. but since I have to more of a pessimist about my current situation I’ll say that my score is 99.99% for the year. That leaves me with only one last factor to figure out. How much do I spend of silver troy bars on junk?

    There is 2045.45 bars available in my household per year, out of that I spend 772.72 on shelter leaving 1272.73. My costs for food, which are an essential to staying alive, are about equal to my shelter costs, so that’s another 772.72 gone, which leaves me with 500.01. At the end of every month I can buy four silver troy bars (now you know why I used this as a base system), which means I’m spending 447.21 on garbage, or at least on stuff I can not/to lazy to make myself.

    The difference between what I have left over and what I started with becomes my final factor. (447.21:500.01=89.44%) Now to pull it all together, to get something to gauge against in the future.

    1: Energy/Water: 107.01
    2: Shelter: 772.72
    3: True Extra Income: 500.01
    4: Food: 99.9
    5: WIDMMS: 89.44 (What I Don’t Make My Self)

I think all the percentage based scores should be multipliers, the reason for this is they each represent a bad mojo. So if you score a low percentage on the amount of junk you buy, you will not score to much higher because the multiplier will be lower and so on.

This means I have a multiplier of 296.35 (107.01+99.9+89.44) Since everyone true income will be different, it’s the amount of that income you use to survive that counts, therefore I use the amount that is extra beyond shelter and food, and add it to the shelter score since some people rent at different rates, or pay property taxes at different rates. (1272.73) This leaves me with two factors, one based on percentages and another on shelter/income, I just multiplied them to make it more simple. (1272.73×296.35=377173.5355) That’s a huge number that after all these calculations doesn’t really mean anything.

We know that a person who doesn’t have to pay property taxes, and covers 100% of everything he/she needs, including health care from their own homestead gets a perfect score (maybe their spouse is a doctor). And we also know that a person living off of welfare in a nursing home gets the exact opposite score, the question is where do we fit into this?

Well I happen to know what the score is for someone in a nursing home around the corner from my house, and it makes a perfect example of a bad score because not only do the they live off welfare, their ‘home’ in question has no idea about shopping locally, or being green etc. It happened to work out to being so close to 500,000 I just rounded it off. If 500,000 is the worse case (0% Self-Efficiency) then zero is perfect. That means that I am only about 24.57% self-efficient. (377173.53:500000=75.43%) Not good.

– Wolfe

Originally posted on July 1, 2008 @ 1:09 pm

Wolfe’s Self Efficiency Index 2015

Topics Economics Inflation

I did a self efficiency index back in 2008 1 , and haven’t done one since. I figure this year is a year of big changes, so I wanted to update this to the information I have available for 2014, and see the differences by this years end (2015).

This whole index takes the cost of one silver troy bar as a base. In 2008 the cost of a silver troy bar was $13.20 (CND) and today it is trading at $20.53(CDN), that means that the average real inflation between 2008 when I did the first index and today has been about 155.5% (about 22% per year).

In the original article I used several different indexes as a guide, and several factors that would effect my final result. The first set of factors can be figured out easy, they are the standard utility bills we all get, electricity, gas, and water. Currently, they are $120, $75, and $0 (water is free here still). Food is the other common factor, here that cost has jumped through the roof since 2008. In 2008, about half our annual income was spent on food and groceries, today that average is close to 60% of our income. My income hasn’t really changed all that much, I lost some sources of income and gain in other areas, which ended up working out a little bit ahead by the numbers, but not by much. The number in my household turned out to be the same, even thou the people themselves changed.

Electricity usage in 2008 was about 1100 kW.h, of electricity per month, by the end of 2014 we were using 2242 kW.h, of electricity per month. (we moved). Gas was an average of 1.2 GJ per month in 2008, now it’s about 5.3 GJ per month. Rent is the same at $850, but I know that property tax for this place is over $10,000 a year. (The new landlord is really cool and has given us a break on the rent, this house is WAY better then the old one). The changes are all against me for becoming more self-efficient.

In fact there are somethings I did wrong with the original index, and it becomes apparent when looking at the changes. We use gas to heat the house and create hot water, in both the old house and the new house. Both the water heater and the furnace also use electricity, but for the moment let’s assume they don’t. What this means is that not only am I currently and before in 2008 at 0% efficiency for heat/hot water, but in fact have become even less, today I am 441.6% less efficient then I was at 0% in 2008. So my way of working out if am getting closer to providing for my own heat doesn’t take into account the original base line of usage. To make this even more complex, it occurred to me what if I use wood for heat, but don’t grow the trees? What if I buy cords of firewood? How do I figure it out then?

I think I need to reset my train of thought on this idea.

What I want to know is, how do I compare now with others, including my future self. How effective is one method of providing for yourself, compared to others, is location a factor, is climate, lifestyle, and other things effecting the way we are self-efficient?

We all need food, clothing and shelter. Those are the first three factors we should index. I should also add as a main index ‘water’. It is something that I really don’t spend to much time thinking about because the area in which I live has an abundance of it. Are there any other main points to include in the index? What about education and entertainment? What about health? In today’s internet era, being cordless should be a factor, so should homeschooling. Then there are other factors which might effect the way we even look at the main ones. Transportation effects how we get ‘stuff’ including food, or the ‘stuff’ we need to grow our own food, even if it is delivered instead of getting it ourselves.

There is also one other factor that I completely forgot about in the 2008 index, and it’s the reason I based everything off of silver troy bars to begin with. That’s an index of Time. If it takes 100% of your time to grow your own food, your not really being 100% efficient. Time in this case doesn’t seem to be so apparent when looking at the final result, Time is converted as basic general labour to silver, so it’s there, but not as easy to notice.

There is one last thing I decided on to add to the index, that’s a marker of retirement/savings, which could include preps and supplies for emergency use in a disaster. The reason behind this one was simple, if you are depending on the government to provide you with a retirement income, your not being self-efficient in the future, so you need to invest in it now.

So for the new updated index, I’ll include the following factors:

  • Food

  • Water

  • Shelter

  • Clothing

  • Transportation

  • Healthcare

  • Education/Entertainment

  • Retirement/Savings

  • Time

Food:

Food can be broken down into smaller bits, or food groups, for this I’ll use Canada’s Food Guide 2 like I did before but try to make it more clear. If like me, in 2008 you really didn’t grow or raise any of your own food your score is less then zero. To figure this out just take the total cost and divide it by 13.2 (Canadian dollars) for the full year.

If on the other hand, you did raise /grow some of your own food you can use these charts 3 :



Children

Teens

Adults

2-3

4-8

9-13

14-18 Years

19-50 Years

51+ Years

Girls and Boys

Female

Male

Female

Male

Female

Male

Vegetables and Fruit

4

5

6

7

8

7-8

8-10

7

7

Grain Products

3

4

6

6

7

6-7

8

6

7

Milk and Alternatives

2

2

3-4

3-4

3-4

2

2

3

3

Meat and Alternatives

1

1

1-2

2

3

2

3

2

3



Vegetables and Fruit

(10) 43.4%

Grain Products

(8) 34.7%

Milk and Alternatives

(2) 8%

Meat and Alternatives

(3) 13%

Total:

(23) 100.00%

Now a little math, you first have to know what the food is worth in terms of silver troy ounces. If your just buying it the grocery store this is easy to figure out as you just convert to the cost of spot silver. Similarly, you have to convert the produce of your garden to cost, the easiest way to do this is to figure out how many pounds of food you produced and the cost of it at the local market. (NOTE TO FARMERS: I would suggest that you don’t use gate prices for this, I know that it would be way easier for you to do it this way, and if you only plan to compare yourself to yourself last year, go ahead. But if you want to compare to someone else such as your cousin in another state, I would use retail prices).

If you want to be even more accurate, use the percentage in the charts above, because the cost of milk per pound isn’t going to be the same as the cost of vegetables per pound.

In 2008 I spent about 1023 ounces of silver on food.

Water:

Water needs to be broken down into at least two sub-factors, mainly because it can come in two main purposes; drinking/cooking water, and everything else. But water is water, and no matter what you use it for, it still costs. The question is whether or not you provide for yourself. The simple way is actual dollar cost. This can include the cost of water bottles, utilities, or the rain collection system you purchase. All I’ve done here is convert the dollar amount for any factor into silver. You have to decide how you would place those costs in the chart, and keep note on it for future reference. For example if you spend $1000 on water utilities and another $1000 on a well, I think the well costs should be put into Retirement and Savings factor. If you are on city water, most would assume that your 0% self-efficient, however when I was figuring this out for myself I noticed that it isn’t true all the time. The lower mainland is so abundant in water (it’s a rainforest area folks) that I counted the cost of water as zero, since that is exactly what it costs me. Even in summer if I used up all my preps for water, I could just put a bucket outside for it, yeah it rains here that much. For those that have to figure this out just look at shelter below.

Shelter:

If you rent, your landlord is responsible for the repairs on the roof etc… if you own, the maintenance is your problem. Providing for your own shelter is what we are trying to figure out here. If you are on welfare, you are 0% efficient on shelter. But if your working and own your own home are you 100%? Not if you hire someone else to repair it. And if you repair it yourself, what about the supplies needed for those repairs? I need to come up with a simple way to figure this out, because there are also the whole utility factor to consider.

If my utilities were included in both houses, @ $850 I would figure the score out for 2008 and 2015 as follows…

2008: ($850 *12) / 13.2 (772.72)

2015: ($850 *12) / 20.53 (496.83)

Now you might be thinking, wait a minute, both years were the same rent so they should cost the same amount in points. That’s not exactly what we are doing here. We need a universal way to compare against each other, or our future selves. Instead of paying rent in 2008 I could have saved 772 silver troy bars that could have been spent in 2015 on rent, and it would have gone a lot further now then it did then, that’s the factor in ‘Time’ coming into effect. Just keep that in mind as I continue. As sorta proof this works, in 2008 about 50% of my income was spent on food which worked out to about 1023 points, in 2014 it was closer to 60% and the income was higher which is why you would expect it to cost me more points, but instead it was only 905. That’s because the buying power of a silver troy bar is greater today then it was in 2008. All this is adjusted by the bonus points being generated at minimum wage to silver. (I make this more clear at the end)

Shelter: 2008 Rent+Utilities: $12540 / 13.2 (950) per year

Note: I didn’t keep good records of the cost of gas and hydro, so I went with today’s usage since the family size and square footage is about the same.

Shelter: 2015 Rent+Utilities: $12540 / 20.53 (610.81) per year

Clothing:

This factor seems to be a no-brainier, and it is likely that everyone here scores bad. We all buy clothes, not make them ourselves. It would seem that just removing this factor from the list would be the simple solution, but it would also be interesting to know how we compare to others. Maybe you knit your own sweaters, or buy only used clothing, that should be a point or two in your favour. The reverse logic also works too, if you make your own sweaters, and could have earned enough in silver to buy 10 times the number of sweaters you made in the same amount time, you weren’t really being efficient. Some would argue that being self-efficient and efficiency may not be the same thing. I disagree to a point. Know how to knit a sweater, and maybe actually doing it so you get the practical knowledge and skill instead of just head knowledge is important, and I would mark that down in retirement/savings rather then clothing.

But being self-efficient doesn’t mean doing everything from scratch, it means providing for yourself. Doing that with the most gain is the point, a lawyer who hire out all the things here or buys them can be way more self-efficient then someone doing it themselves because they have the dollars/silver to do so. Hopefully that same lawyer realizes that if the dollar collapses he’d better know how to everything himself as well. The other point to consider is buying used clothes at the thrift store. It seems to me that this is better then buying new most of the time, although I can see how sometimes it isn’t. Different people will come to different conclusions for different reasons. I again think the best way to resolve this is just follow the money.

Transportation:

If you walk everywhere instead of using public transport or your own car, your almost 100% efficient in this area. Groceries get delivered to the store so you loose points on that. I think transportation is the best way to look at self-efficiency. No one can score 100%, in fact if you manage to score100% in anything in this index, your doing it wrong. Fuel for cars per year knock off any gains you get in almost anything you do for yourself, even if you are your own mechanic. Creating your own fuel in wood-gas, or using reclaimed veggy oil gives you that back. I was trying to think if the cost a car you buy should be included in the year you buy it, or spread out over the life of the car. To make things simple I would suggest to include it in the year of purchase.

Time:

The reason this is last is because it messes up everything else. If your making $100 an hour, taking one hour to fetch water from the well is not very efficient then buying bottled water.

This is also the reason for the base being a silver troy bar. You could use something that fluctuates even less on the spur of the moment such as the cost of zinc, but I find for this purpose silver is easier to figure out. But Time in this system is also the base for everything else combined with silver. There are about 250 working/business days a year, and about 8 hours per day for paid labour. If we use a silver troy ounce as equal to one or two hours of basic general labour we have a measure to compare to everyone else.

If I used the cost of a silver troy bar on August 12, 1971 the day before the Nixon shock and the end of the gold standard it won’t really help this index because it’s about being self-efficient and using silver troy ounces as a base, so the real thought here is how long would it take to get one silver troy ounce in 2008 or 2015 for a person working general labour, or minimum wage so we can compare ourselves to each other. This is a good measure since minimum wage in Washington DC is different than in Toronto or Vancouver, but a silver troy ounce is still a silver troy ounce.

In 2008 the minimum wage for workers was $8/hr, that works out to about $16,000 a year using the 250 working days, and 8 hours a day. Converted to our point system here, $16k/$13.20 is about 1212.12 silver troy bars worth of income that year (I made 2045.45 that year so I was doing better then the average bear). Since everyone who reads this survived that year, you get 1212.12 points for that year on top of what ever else you made (Assuming you were in BC). I give these points so that those who made no income, but grew their own food get points for it etc, this also work for figuring out if your general labour for yourself is better then hiring someone else to do deal with the garden for you. The other advantage to this way of doing it is that if you are trying to figure out if moving to Idaho is a better a plan, you take the minimum wage, and how much you expect to make there per year as your base against how many ounces of silver you could have at today’s prices and compare that to your final scores in both scenarios.

Just for the sake of comparison, the minimum wage in British Columbia (2015), is $10.50/hr or about $21,000 a year in income, at $20.53 an ounce, that’s 1022.89 points for 2015.

Healthcare:

Obamacare and Canada’s Provincial social healthcare systems are not the same. They aren’t even the same between provinces in Canada, neither are they identical between states south of the border. My wife and I looked into how much it would cost us for healthcare coverage from Obama’s great plan (tongue in cheek), if we moved to Idaho or Montana (Search for James W, Rawlers’ American ReDoubt), and were shocked to find out our bill would be over $10,000 a year.

We used to be Caravanners (Full-Time Working Travellers) and our Healthcare back in the 90’s was about $4,000 a year, and covered a lot more then Obama’s Universal Mess Up.

But even if you get free healthcare there ae other thing likely that it does not cover, anything you buy for health, painkillers, medical aids, testing strips for blood meters etc. I added up here.

Retirement/Savings:

Since retirement and savings are used at a later date the only difference here is that instead of marking it down as points used against your total at the end, this should be added so that you use the points later as part of your income. Preppers can use this automatically since and costs in silver used to increase your preps can be marked down here, you’ll use them later when rotating and it will make up for the difference. (For Rawlians I’d add your term life insurance here too).

Calculating the Score:

This is the simple math part of all this. All I did from here was add up all the points used and figured out what percentage I had left from the total. For example in 2008 I had a total of 3257.57 points (one point equals one silver troy) and had used 1995 points over the year. That’s about 61.24% leaving me with a score of 37.76% self-efficiency.

The factors by the numbers:

2008 annual point spread = $27,000 / 13.2 = 2045.45

2015 annual points spread = $32,000 / 20.53 = 1558.69 (Based on 2014)

2008 Index Updated:

  • Index Score: 37.76%

  • Income: $27,000

  • Silver Troy Ounce Cost: $13.20

  • Minimum Wage: $8 (BC, Canada)

  • Base Points:

    • income: 2045.45

    • bonus: 1212.12 (minimum wage converted at 250 days / 8 hrs a day)

    • total: 3257.57

Index Item:

Points Used:

Food:

1023

Water:

0

Shelter:

950

Clothing:

30

Transportation:

34

Healthcare:

18

Retirement/Savings:

-60

Total:

1995

2015 Index (February):

  • Index Score: 42.13%

  • Income: (2014) $31,000

  • Silver Troy Ounce Cost: $20.53

  • Minimum wage: $10.50 (BC, Canada)

  • Base Points:

    • income: 1509.98

    • bonus: 1022.89 (minimum wage converted at 250 days / 8 hrs a day)

    • total: 2532.87

Index Item:

Points Used:

Food:

905

Water:

0

Shelter:

610.81

Clothing:

29.22

Transportation:

9.74

Healthcare:

31.22

Retirement/Savings:

-120.01

Total :

1465.98

Conclusions:

At first I thought my thinking was completely screwed in coming to the conclusion that I had increased my self-efficiency by 4.37% since 2008. Mainly because our cost of food had gone up, our utilities had gone up, and our income had not increased all that much. But after spending some time thinking about it I figured this was pretty accurate. It isn’t a lot that is for sure, and we have actually become a little more self-efficient since then in areas that are hard to put into numbers, but over a year or two it does add up. What is going to be the real test for this system is what happens by the end of 2015, since I intend to make huge strides in becoming more self-reliant.

Added Note: You’ll notice that I ended up not including Entertainment and Education, I don’t have any records for this, so I’ll include them in the update at years end.

– wolfe


Last Updated: Feb, 23 2015

Why The Green Party is a Bad Choice

From The Archives: 2013

Most of my long time friends know that I use to support the Green Party of Canada, they also know that I no longer do. But the reasons why are so long I haven’t posted all of them, and the main reason for that is that the list just seemed to long.   In 2006 and 2008, the Green Party of Canada published a policy book to outline in detail what they stood for, in order to get rid of the so-called image that they were a one issue party. It is this very policy book that made me realize that I couldn’t support them any longer.   In this post I am going to attempt to go through each issue, and perhaps name a few others that they did not include.   Green-Economy:

Green Party MPs will work to:

  • Pass the Canada Well-Being Measurement Act and implement the Canadian Index of Well-being.
  • Begin a partial, gradual, revenue neutral tax shift from income, consumption and business taxes to resource use taxes, pollution taxes and land value levies reflecting corporate profits.
  • Review the Green tax shift every 3 years in order to monitor progress and readjust fiscal imbalances.
  • Create thousands of new “Green collar jobs” by encouraging the development of low-emission industries in areas most affected by the shift away from natural resource sectors.
  • Legislate stronger, more effective antitrust laws in concentrated industry sectors.
  • Reduce taxes for small and medium sized businesses in their first 5 years of existence.
  • Provide higher risk financial support networks that will encourage people to invest in innovative businesses.” – http://greenparty.ca/en/platform2006/green_economy

Canada Well-Being Measurement Act:

BILL C-268 : “An Act to develop and provide for the publication of measures to inform Canadians about the health and well-being of people, communities and ecosystems in Canada” – parl.gc.ca

I love it when a political party thinks something is a good idea, and steals it as if it was their own. Marlene Jennings, a Liberal, was the one who proposed this bill in 2001, secondly the Well-Being Act is just a GDI. The problem I have with this system is that it is subjective to a worldview, or opinion of what is valuable by an ideology, rather then facts. If what is in my best interest differs from those who judge what the current GDI is, the measurement is useless to me, and my in fact harm my interests. Facts on the other hand, such as the actual amount of GDP this country’s dollar is based on, tells me if I can expect to export my product or service to our major trading partner the USA.

Resource Use Taxes: Taxing resources is like any other tax, an act of theft. But assuming that I believe we need something like a social contract to enact some kind of tax on the general population, I believe that it should effect everyone equally, or not at all. I don’t like rules which single out a group of people over others, some one always ends up with an unfair deal. Taxing just resources put the burden of the budget on the producers. You know them, they are the companies and individuals which actually create good jobs. If I am a prepper, living on a homestead, and produce all my own food, energy, and basic needs, under a resource based tax system, I pay nothing. That doesn’t feel fair to me, and in addition it make me a target. No thank you. I would rather see a flat rate percentage tax on everyone, period. And before the Green Party cries foul on behalf of the poor, disabled, and pensioners…. note this, I am one.

Review the Green tax shift every 3 years: All this tells me is that they already know that this will not work, and have written into their policy book an op-out to change the rules after being elected. At least they are being honest that they are going to break their campaign promises!

Create thousands of new “Green collar jobs”: How exactly does the Green Party plan to help any of us get a single job? Oh, wait, they don’t actually promise that do they? What they promise to do is to ‘create’ these ‘green‘ jobs. That translates to using tax payer’s money to give some one else a job in the ‘green’ sector. I still call that welfare, not a job. Any time tax payer’s foots the bill to create and keep a job for some one, it’s the same as welfare. If that industry could be self-sustaining all on it’s own, it wouldn’t need the government to get involved in the first place.

Legislate stronger, more effective antitrust laws in concentrated industry sectors: All you have to do to figure that one out is read it a few times. Maybe it would help if I translate the double-speak. Translation: “Selectively list certain industries that we choose and screw them over with strong laws under the label of :We Don’t Trust You.” I know I am going to enact a Godwin rule here, but this sounds a lot like National Socialism to me. The whole point of a free market system is that it is self correcting. When the government makes decisions for the population it effectively says we do not trust our people to make informed, adult decisions on their own, so we will legislate the morals from the top. Making stronger antitrust laws isn’t the problem, making stronger antitrust laws towards a labeled group of people, and industries is Nazism.

Reduce taxes for small and medium sized businesses in their first 5 years of existence:   Ever get suckered into a mobile phone contract? For the first three years you only pay $49.95 a month and get this neat cell phone free! Sound familiar? Small and Medium business can either compete with larger ones because they are local service based businesses, or they can not compete with larger ones because of lack import fairness, marketing capital, and a host of other issues. None of these would be effected by reducing the tax to local business, or increasing it for others. In fact the two major barriers to new businesses is government required paperwork, and the exchange rates for a fiat currency system.

Provide higher risk financial support networks that will encourage people to invest:   Remember that this quote is from the 2006 policy book! Every single layman on the planet that knows even the smallest of facts of the financial crisis of 2008, in which this very policy book was still being handed out after the crisis was in full swing, knows that encouraging High-Risk Investing is the worse thing you can do for fiscal responsibility. Can you imagine what Canada would be like today if the Green Party had won? … OK, you can stop laughing at the Greens now, it’s not polite.

Smart Economic Stimulus:   “Expand access to employment insurance for those who paid into it, while protecting the pensions of retired Canadians. Reduce EI and CPP contributions for businesses.”   This is one of those campaign promises that every one makes, “we will give you more money”. The problem with this is that the money has to come from somewhere and that usually means either tax cuts somewhere else, or increases to the tax payer. Well, actually it means both 99% of time.   The one thing that every responsible tax payer knows is that they are better managers of their money then the government. And considering that most of us will agree that we are not that very good at managing our money says a lot at how bad the government is at it. EI and CPP are a tax, period. If I had taken every cent that I had paid into it, and just stuck it in a regular bank account since day one, I’d be better off today, and so would anyone else that has paid into it including my parents. If you don’t believe me take at look at your own tax records, add up all your contributions and use an online calculator for investments that takes the dates into account. My only strong recommendation is, if you own any firearms, give them to your neighbor for a few days before you do this, and tell them not to give them back till you calm down, I’m not kidding, you will really want to kill the tax man.

Fair Global Trade:

Reform, revise and rethink our trade agreements. Trade is a part of a sustainable future only when it is fair for all.”

Double-Speak Alert! I’m one of the first people to note that the North American Free Trade Act was a bad idea, but creating yet another trade agreement is just, well, stupid. Mainly because any idea, even if a good one, can get messed up by a bunch of bureaucrats.

There is something that has always bugged me about any left-leaning organization, and that is the way they come to decisions as a group. The Green Party is a consensus-based organization, it is not a democracy based organization, and I would go so far as to say that they hate “Roberts Rules of Order” (www.robertsrules.org) Both myself, and my old mentor Phil noticed this right away.

The key to understanding that the above statement in the policy book is double speak is just one phrase “only when it is fair for all” , who exactly makes that decision, and how is that decision made? What is fair? Is it fair trade coffee we are speaking about? Fair to the farmers in South Africa? The point of a government is to have organization which looks beyond it’s borders and take into account the best interests of the voters. It is not the roll of government to be the moral police, to restrict trade, or even the playing field with other countries’ citizenship. I myself am also an Italian citizen, it does not sit well with me that if the Green Party of Canada ever wins the power it craves, that it might believe for whatever reason that all pizzas made in/shipped to Italy should get some kind of fair trade agreement when being imported to/or exported from Canada. It just sounds as stupid as any other product or service you can think of. We are not the moral police of the world, and to be that would mean to make the same mistakes our patriot brothers to the south have made. You’d better believe that if the Green party is given any power to create any Bill or Act, they will not debate this from a fair point of view of all voters, it will be written by only those who agree with consensus-based decision making. In other words, agree with our process, or don’t get a say.

Healthy Industry:

A healthy agriculture sector, with support for those who wish to transition to organic farming. A healthy fishery, with an end to devastating draggers. A sustainable forest industry with more emphasis on value added, and less raw log or unprocessed pulp export. More jobs for more people making real things.”

More jobs for people making real things… Great! I am of the firm belief that real wealth comes from actual ‘stuff’, couldn’t support a more capitalistic view more! … OK, I admit, I only said that to get under the skin of all the Green Party supporters who read this … Truth be told there is one thing in that line that bothers me right away. What if we’re wrong?

As a prepper, I believe that we should all learn how to make things ourselves, and develop skill sets that help us gain self-efficient trades. This usually means making real things, as in actual products like chairs, jars, and houses. I have also been a fisherman, and worked in silviculture, so I totally get healthy fishery… end dragging, and … sustainable forest thing. And although I will grow and eat my own organic veggies, don’t expect me to buy it (don’t ask, that’s another issue for another day).

But …

What if we’re wrong? What if making real products is a bad idea? What if we can not compete with China and India in making real things, but could compete with something else like science, technology, or energy? What if the issue isn’t something that is already illegal like dragging, or not replanting the forest, but the issue is that our debts are to high to deal with when we are not exploring other options to improve our lot like increasing our exports of raw logs?

Some one once told me about how imports and exports work. It will always be that Cuba will export sugar cane and the like to Canada because they are better at growing it. Canada will always export raw logs because it is just a better renewable export then anything else we have, and we are better at it then Japan, etc. It doesn’t matter what real thing you are talking about, if some one some where is better at it then you, you loose. The trick is to get better at something then anyone else. We grow grains here really good, same for wood, potash, and a host of other things like uranium ore. Interfere with the things that work, and you kill real jobs.

Most of the policies of the Green Party show that they have no idea how the real world works. This is just one of countless examples of why having them even given air time on national news is bad idea.

Cut wasteful subsidies:

End the failed strategy of throwing good money after bad in corporate bail-outs for big business, and subsidies to nuclear and fossil fuels.”

Great idea, end the fed! … I mean, errr …. end the welfare state! While we’re at it, let’s end all the hand outs…. I mean I didn’t vote to have the government sub Air-Canada, General Motors, solar panels in homes, wind mills, … and yet again we see that the Green Party really doesn’t want a fair deal for everyone equally. If you are going to stop handing out tax payer money to one group, end it to all, including that couple of bucks a political parties get per vote…. not that the Green Party would even exist if that was ended. Claiming that you are going to end a bad idea in one area, but not another, doesn’t stop it from being a bad idea. Subsidies are a bad idea, including those for housing, company start ups, training, school, transportation, public transportation, green technology, research, and trade. Claiming it is needed here, but not there, makes you a bigot.

Get the prices right:

Get the prices right for long term sustainability. Avoid structural deficits. Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing architecture to modernize our economy. Build a “Made in Canada” Green economy.”

Maybe statements like this is why I never bothered to write this before. None of this actually means anything outside of the green cult. It’s all idioms related to being a Green Party member, doubt it? Ask anyone who has never given the Green Party a second thought, what the heck that statement means. OK, to be fair, I can translate it…

Get the prices right for long term sustainability. … Create a balance budget, like every single other party claims too.

Avoid structural deficits … The government system is broken, we’re going to fix it, like every single other party claims too.

Implement a revenue-neutral carbon pricing architecture to modernize our economy … even thou Carbon monoxide is poisonous, we want to tax Carbon dioxide which is a natural organic compound that plants can not live without, instead.

Build a “Made in Canada” Green economy … because Made in Canada isn’t something to be proud of all on it’s own, we want it to be a ‘green’ thing!

Strong Communities:

A community is defined by more than geography. A community is people living together, taking care of each other, having time for each other.

Ummm … wait a sec…

“The term community has two distinct meanings: 1) A group of interacting people, living in some proximity (i.e., in space, time, or relationship). Community usually refers to a social unit larger than a household that shares common values and has social cohesion. The term can also refer to the national community or international community, and, 2) in biology, a community is a group of interacting living organisms sharing a populated environment. ” – Wikipedia

I’m willing to bet that the policy makers of the Green Party actually looked up the word community in Wikipedia and managed to get wrong still. Living together means something completely different then interacting with each other. Living together implies a commune, not community. And as for taking care of each other, that goes back to the whole ‘social contract’ issue, which I really don’t have the time to debate right now. But I will say this, every single “FAMILY” in a community will take care of their own first, before they will take care of their neighbor, and that is the way it should be. Having time for each isn’t something that makes sense to include here, unless the Green Party has some warped view that they can tell you what you should do with your free time.

Communities that work take work. Transportation systems that get you from here to there, quickly, efficiently, and safely. Water works that ensure clean and healthy water. All the things that make us love where we live. ….”

I agree that communities take work to work, kinda of a lame way to say to it thou. But communities do not have anything to do with (public implied) transportation issues, I can say that, because Canada has THOUSANDS of towns without public transportation, and they are almost always better at giving you an impression of being a real community then any one of the ones with a public transportation system. For that matter the same can be said for any area without a water works.

This is just the Green Party proving that it is out of touch with reality. The Green Party makes the claim that it’s an environmentally friendly political party, but most of the members are collage students who have never left the city, and wouldn’t know how to handle themselves in the bush. The think that they are really involved in the community, the man on the street, because most of them have been involved in some kind protest, boycott, or what not. But the truth is, they have no clue what real Canadians are really all about. This is actually a good thing, it will keep them from getting votes, and I am not about to name off where they are off base to help them. Maybe, they should just go have a life.

  Help for married couples and families:   “Fix the tax system. Lower income taxes and introduce full income splitting to reduce the tax burden on married couples and families.”   I actually agree with this statement, WOW, found one…. oh, wait…   The only problem I have with this is that I don’t believe the government should have anything to do with the church. I am a strong believer in the separation of church and state, and I believe that the act of marriage is a religious practice. This doesn’t mean that I am against Gay marriage, it means that any kind of marriage is none of the governments business because it is an act of faith. If income tax is a so called necessary evil, why not make it based on the individual rather then a unit, or some other label. Better yet, end it completely, it is after all evil to begin with.   “Share the load. More people working fewer hours. For those who want to, make it easier to telecommute or work from home. Share jobs. Flex hours. Flexible child care with access for all. Early childhood education. More workplace child care spaces. Support for those who stay home to raise their children and support for those who need to get back to work while their kids are still young. Help for local governments. Sustainable long-term funding support for municipalities to repair decades-old crumbling infrastructure. Build for the future. Create more of the common amenities all communities need for recreation, transportation, water works and arts and culture.”   Do you know how to hack into any computer security system on the planet? Make a phone call. It’s called “Social Engineering”. To be blunt, they can go (insert colorful metaphors here) themselves. First off, take a look at Tim Horton’s, Loblaws, Walmart, and a host of other companies. They all have more people working fewer hours, sharing jobs, flex hours, access to government run child care, prenatal leave, make contributions to local governments, repair infrastructure, build for the future… and every worker hates it. Yeah, good ideas, not.   “Respect and support our elders. Ensure secure pensions and provide programmes that address health both physical and mental – and ensure dignity by stopping elder abuse and respecting living wills.”   Yawn, bored yet? I respect my parents, they deserve it. My Mother-In-Law on the other hand deserves to spend the rest of her life in prison. Government can not regulate respect, so stop claiming you can do so. As for living wills, there is case law for that, it’s been done already. (Pensions issue see above)   There was just a little bit more on the issue of Democracy, I am not going to waste my time on it, if you want to know what democracy really is, read Phil’s blog linked above.

The issues they don’t mention:   Illegal Drugs:   The Green Party wants to legalize drugs. ALL OF THEM. They view addiction as a disease that is not the fault of those that are addicted to it. They may want to regulate some of them, make the selling of some of them a criminal offense, or drop all the prohibitions all together.   I want to decriminalize them, not make them legal. More on that some other day.   First Past the Post:   The Greens hate the current voting system, they want to change the current first past the post system to a Single Transferable Vote system. I admit that the first past the post sucks, but after much thought, I really don’t want some nut case political party like the Canadian Nazi Party (wow, another godwin) getting a single seat in government. I’ll keep it the way it is thanks.

Gun Control:
The Greens believe that the only persons who need guns are law enforcement. That there is a major problem with guns being smuggled across the border into Canada, and that Canadians do not believe that they have a right to bear arms.   “The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms. History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing. Indeed, I would go so far as to say that the supply of arms to the underdogs is a sine qua non for the overthrow of any sovereignty. So let’s not have any native militia or native police. German troops alone will bear the sole responsibility for the maintenance of law and order throughout the occupied Russian territories, and a system of military strong-points must be evolved to cover the entire occupied country.”Adolf Hitler

The Greens like every other left wing nut do not want the common people to own guns because they think we are children, that we need to be lead around on a leash. And I know that at least a few Greens personally that believe more in-line with the above quote. This just doesn’t cut it with me.   – Wolfe

Wood Stoves Part 2

You ever notice that if you lite a candle in a cold room that candle isn’t enough to heat up the entire room? I know that sounds kinda obvious, but it is something to remember when buying a wood stove. A single small wood stove with only a 40,000 BTU EPA rating is not going to be enough to heat your entire house in Whitehorse, Yukon. However, it might be enough to heat up your bedroom. (*BTU = British Thermal Units, EPA = Environmental Protection Agency)

If the cost of an outdoor based wood furnace is higher then two wood stoves inside the house that can produce the same amount of heat, and the energy required to fuel it is also less, then your better off getting two wood stoves then some fancy new outdoor wood pellet thing advertised in the back a magazine. By the same token, if the figures are reversed, it might be worth while to look into it more.

The question is how can you tell what you should do?

Believe it or not, this gets really complex when you take into account what you are really dealing with. There are different types of wood stoves, fire places, and wood fired furnaces out there. In addition, they are made with different materials which effect not only their efficiency, but how they are used as well. For example, having a fireplace in a home located in the desert is a good idea. Not only does it provide heat during the cold nights, but can actually help reduce the temperature of the house during the day depending on the type of fire place that is installed.

A antique wood stove which has little in the way of fire brick included in it’s make up, but is made of cast iron instead of steal, has a thermal conductivity rate of approximately 28 Btu/hr^{sq/ft/F/ft} (28 BTU per hour per square foot of Fahrenheit for each foot of distance). Now for an example of this wood stove, let’s load this wood stove with Sugar Maple heartwood (heartwood means the denser inner core of the trunk), which has a moisture content of about 65%, has a MMBtu of about 29.7 per cord. That’s a stack of wood, four feet high, four feet wide and eight feet long. Now you’d have to figure out the fire box size, the physical area you are heating, and perhaps the air flow around the thing in the first place. Fortunately someone has already done all the math for us, maybe you’d also like to make your own.

Even if you manage to figure out the perfect wood stove for your home there are thing you should be aware of before you start. Sometimes there are differences between what the local by-laws/regulations/clearances are and what your insurance requires for your home. Even the manufactures might be short on the size and types of vents that are recommended for regular use, so be sure to contact not only your local authorities and ire departments, but also your insurance broker.

Generally speaking the larger the fire box, the longer the fire itself will last, and there will be more types of wood to burn. Air tights are more efficient, and safer. Installation can be done by you if your handy, but has to be inspected and approved. You will need a ‘slab’ to put it on since heat will be generated even on it bottom. As with any fuel burning stove, you should have a carbon monoxide detector in the room.

Most Preppers have a list of lists, thing they feel they need to gather for just encase SHTF scenarios, if you have a wood stove or fire place, you should add a chimney cleaning kit to this list. You will need to know the diameter of the flu in order to purchase the correct sized wire brush, a flexible handle should also be included in the kit. A flashlight, bed sheets, and duct-tape should also be available if you can to greatly help reduce the clean-up after the clean-up… (Think Mary Poppins folks). A basic screw driver with matching heads for removing any inside pipes so that they can be cleaned outside would also be a plus. One side note… sometimes fire department will offer inspections for free, take advantage of this service.

In between major cleaning you might want to reduce the creosote in the flu, you can toss in a few tablespoons of ‘rock salt’ on to a hot fire. It is the same stuff used in those fire logs to remove the creosote.

Always use dry wood, and never light a fire with flammable liquids. Never burn plastics in your wood stove, first off it’s just dangerous, second it’s illegal. Colored paper, treated wood, painted wood, and even Oleander tree wood or any other poisonous plants. Old industrial palettes are also a bad idea, since they can be a lot older then you think, and been used by any number of chemical companies.

Finally hard woods are the best to burn, they last longer and are cleaner burning with larger BTU ratios.

– Wolfe

Personal Changes

You may start to notice a few changes on this site. I know that this site changed a few times over the years, but these coming changes are reflecting what is currently happening in my life.

I am shifting my career away from research and towards art. I have always wanted to return to what I did before we settled down in the Lower Mainland, that being drawing and painting. This time around however I am going to focus on Early Trades, that being black smithing, glass blowing, and ceramics. I have in my backyard a smokeless sawdust pottery kiln that I build. It has been collecting rust for the last year because I have been busy trying to get out of the rut I’m in with my career as an information broker. It is not that there is enough money in the business, it is that there is not enough requests for research from people that I am willing to work for. I’m an anti-capitalist, well to be more defined, I’m an anti-international-capitalist, nothing wrong with people investing in local economy .

I have a long time interest in homesteading, and have lived on many different kinds of communes, I’ve even been known to call myself a member of the help . My goal has always been to buy land and live off the grid, but I have spent to much time trying to provide research to individuals and groups that hope to make the world better. I will still Volunteer my research skills to such groups, but my primary time will be with art leading to self efficiency, I want off the grid, including the John Conner kind.

So in the coming months I will record this trip down the path I have chosen and let you know how it is going.

– wolfe

Wishful thinking on my part?

stomach, health, diet
mohamed_hassan (CC0), Pixabay

Processed foods suck! My whole family is down with food poisoning. I don’t need to write these entries to get me motivated towards SEED. Eating city food will get me there all by itself. So I am going to fast today. Nothing but water, clear liquids, and herbal teas.

Almost every mourning, I have a online conversation with a hippy friend of mine named leafy, this mourning he suggested I get a copy of Mark Vonnegut’s “Eden Express” (see: http://www.semcoop.com/detail/1583225439 and http://www.duke.edu/~crh4/vonnegut/eden.html) an old hippy favorite. It about starting a commune in BC. So it will have to be looked up and read J

We started chatting up a storm about cookbooks and early hippy reading.

Makes me remember that the roots of my thought on “the way things should be” come from stuff like Jack Keroauc’s “Dharma Bums” and “On the Road”, and of course all the works by Abbie Hoffman.

Sometimes I look at the new hippies of today and think to myself these kids have no idea of what it is all about, but I’m wrong there. They do know what it is all about for them. The mistake most of us “old timers” make is the same our own elders in Rainbow make about us. But at the same time I feel they are missing out on some of the classic knowledge that came from people like Stephen Gaskin’s “The Farm”. ( http://www.thefarm.org/lifestyle/sg.html ).

The roots of today’s younger rainbows come mostly from media sources about the sixties, but in the sixties it came from the beat generation. The mind set is different. I look to ford car commercials and feel offended that they use a song that meant something to me. It is a perversion of the ideology in my minds eye.

But I have missed the point. The songs are being used by the ad executives because they are in the hearts and minds of the masses. That’s a good sign. It means that almost everyone has the same thoughts that theses songs cause us to think about running around in the back of their heads. Way better then the dreaded potato chip commercials of the 80’s.

SEED communes died out in the late 80’s because they were successful. The ideology of a SEED commune had evolved from the sixties mind set of what a commune should be to something that would work on a permanent basis. There just wasn’t enough people joining new SEEDs to make the chain continue to today. The original SEEDs are still around, but they have done their part of the chain, the owners are moving on to the projects and lifestyles they wanted when they first came across the idea.

I’m starting the chain again.

I do not expect this SEED we are doing to be the same as the ones in the 80’s, I don’t know what to expect. I do know that it will be new and improved over the ones that the idea comes from. And I know that in years to come, new SEEDs will be different and improved then what we create. But I hope to rekindle some of the concepts of the sixties, leave some behind, and find new ones. I predict an evolution, not a revolution.

Wolfe