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Have any of your seen that Kevin Costner movie called "The Postman"? It is an interesting perspective of what was of value after a SHTF scenario: Information and communication.
 

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Rich Z said:
A long time ago I read a science fiction novel, Lucifer's Hammer, I believe, that had a line it in that has always stuck in my mind. From what I remember of the circumstances, two guys were sitting up on a mountainside watching TEOLAWKI take place as a comet impacts the earth. One of the guys turns to the other, with an interesting piece of insight, and says "Can you really believe that you will never taste a banana again?"
That was a great book.

One of my favorite parts was where the scout master and his boy scouts got hold of a troop of girl scouts, that had also been in the Sierras camping, and formed their own tribe.
 

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If you haven't read it already, pick up a copy of Alas, Babylon. It's rather old, so may be hard to find, but still an interesting read.
 

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About gemstones. Andy is right on this one. Back in WW2 the only stone that came even close to simulating a diamond was the zircon. Someone with a little training could tell them apart. Today precious and semi-precious stones are heated, treated, irradiated and manipulated to such a degree that its extremely difficult to separate the real gems from the fakes. In fact only a graduate gemologist with a binocular microscope and sophisticated testing equipment can properly sort them out.

I would have to reject all gemstones for trade except to maybe take the settings.

A modest stock of gold and silver along with a large selection of trade goods would be the way to go. Skills that allow you to create in demand goods are very important. Prostitution (for both sexes) should be rejected because of the probability of acquiring Aids and other sexually transmitted diseases.

RIKA
 

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First of all, Rich, I ain't tradin' TP fer nothin'.

Everyone has good points, but not all are valid in the defined scenario. In the specified TOTALLY CONTROLLED ENVIRONMENT, if you're going to bribe or barter, simple things that would influence a survivalist won't make a bit of difference to soldiers or those on the government ticket. Two of the most popular bribe materials has always been smokes and booze. That won't change. Like I said, it's distasteful and dangerous, but pvssy will get you anything.

It's NOT a good idea, again in the confines of the situation, to offer any of the occupying forces ammo. They don't need it, and it most likely will get you locked up. FRESH COFFEE, will sometimes work for the soldier, almost always for the police, and for anyone living on rations for a while, will about sell their sould for smokes, booze, coffee, chocolate, any luzury item they've been without for a long time.

Even silver and gold won't help you in a controlled environment because the poeple you're trying to trade with won't have much use for it. They'd much rather have something THEY can use to barter with (which is why non-smokers will likely grab smokes whenever they can, they might be able to trade for some chocolate, or TP!!! from a soldier or something).
 

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those books were WAY short of Ayn Rand's ATLAS SHRUGGED, and her non-fiction works are far better yet, with the possible exception of the ROMANTIC MANIFESTO. That one was pretty lame, in my opinion. If you want to know why I'm always able to so easily show up my competition on all the forums, read Ayn's non-fiction. She trained me, thru her constant explanation of WHY the pos's ARE pos, to handle the smoke and mirror lames. :)
 

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yeah, right, there'll BE pawn shops, right? Not a chance. NObody is taking anybody's word for such valuation, bet on it. I dont DEAL in fantasies, yours or anybody else's. Nobody is going to trust a lame assed, simple stamp on a pc of metal the like of which they've never seen before. They've at least seen PICS of various coins, but might not accept them, either. At least the coin has a raised or serrated edge, to keep people from shaving off the metal.

Did you know Jews used to sit around, jingling precious metal coins, constantly, in a leather bag? After the coins were gone, a small amount of gold could be extacted from the leather. :) There were MANY reasons why the Jews were easy scapegoats in Germany, during the Depression era.

Again, you fail to comprehend the point being made. There are means to test gold. The tests are pretty simple to do, and the materials to perform these tests are easily found. The fact that pawn shops can do these tests is simply and indication that they are easy to do. Nobody said pawn shops will be in existence - though there will be some sort of centralized bartering if towns continue to exist, and these might very well be pawn shops. It's all going to depend on what form SHTF takes, if it ever happens at all.
 
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