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Death by JIT
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  1. #1

    Death by JIT

    This is a good article and puts things in perspective on why you should prep.


    Weekly Charts: This report may reference the accompanying chart pack for the week available here.



    Death by JIT

    What's a bigger life-change than the War on Terror and maybe even larger than the Cold War? Just-in-time business models versus geographical distributorships and its impact on life today and in the future. We have this week three very compelling reasons to re-examine the value of "just-in-time" (JIT) business model that is a foundational concept of corporate globalism. One reason is the current lack of large quantities for public purchase of 7.62 X 39 ammunition commonly used in the SKS and AK-47 rifles. A second reason is the lack of freshly made "Meals Ready to Eat (MRE's)" while a third is a rumored back order among certain kinds of bandages in the medical supply world. Taken individually, each of these has a passable workaround: Buy a different caliber gun, by freeze-dried foods instead of MRE's, and use a different wound dressing. But when we peel away a few layers of B-school and PR hype, we find that JIT may have clay feet, specifically as it is highly dependant on communications and readily available energy.



    The "Disappearing Distributor"

    The retailing landscape of America has undergone a dramatic change in the past 30-years that may be linked directly to improvements (and dirt cheap) telecommunications. If you're old enough, you may remember the "old days" of American business. Some of the attributes of early 1960's business included:

    The high cost of communications. For most consumers, making a long distance telephone call in the 1950's was a major event. Calling a relative on the other coast happened only on state occasions such weddings and funerals. (Divorces weren't so common then - by a long shot!) Even through the early 1970's, companies were often preoccupied with holding down employee expense by requiring completion of "telephone logs" in order to properly cost account for phone bills. Many companies of the 1960's and 1970's even had "telex" addresses - a precursor to faxes and progenitor of emails.

    Strong "middle tier" distributorships. Located between manufacturers and local stores, there was almost always one (and often two or more) layers of distributors. A manufacturing plant in Ohio might have a "Western Regional Distributor" located in San Francisco, which in turn supplied "local distributors" in major cities.

    There no "category-killers." The closest things to "category killers" were regional grocery stores, worthy of our attention because they were an important formative model for the "category-killer" box stores of the future because they involved vertical combinations that owned both the retail as well as the wholesale (distributor) level.

    To sum up the sea state change in modern business lingo, it was an age when B2B (business to business) was national and regional and covered almost all products and B2C (business to consumer) was local.



    To be sure, there were a few exceptions. One general category was "mail order". The giants of the period included Sears Roebuck, J.C. Penny, and Montgomery Ward. There were also specialized vertical market mail order firms such as Herter's in the sporting goods category, but most of these have now been "rolled up" into category killers. In the case of Herter's, their lines are now handled by Cabelas.com.



    Companies like West Marine, the marine category-killer, now operate their own warehousing/distribution centers - one on the West Coast and one on the East. As a company, they deal directly with manufacturers. Essentially, they have applied the grocer industry business model to a type of consumer goods. A Wal-Mart for yachties, if you will. Wal-Mart operates its own warehousing/distribution centers and is mainly manufacturer direct.



    This is not to assign any value judgment: both West Marine and Wal-Mart are great companies. But outside of a few pioneers of the grocery business, such manufacturer-direct retailers didn't exist not that long ago.



    Business Model Efficiencies

    Let's flip back to that earlier time and follow the supplies of goods through an old-fashioned supply chain. Picture, if you will, a toilet valve float manufacturer in Ohio and a customer in Portland, Oregon. The order process might go something like this:

    A consumer walks into a plumbing store and buys a toilet valve float. By the way, since this is the 1950's, the float is made of either rubber or brass because least cost plastics (made from oil) had not yet been evolved. The standard of the day was likely to be brass with a crimped and soldered joint.

    The local retailer would do a manual inventory each week or month month to figure out what parts were getting low in stock. This is key: there was local stock.

    Noticing that the number of toilet floats was low, the local store in Oregon orders 12 toilet floats from the distributor in Portland's industrial area. Here, a month later, this local stocking distributor notices that toilet floats are selling well and orders "four gross*" to refill their shelves. These will come from San Francisco's West Coast distributor. [*In the old days of multi-tiered distribution, because so many things came in units of one dozen, the way of ordering a dozen dozen {12 X 12} items was to call it a gross.)

    Noticing that West Coast homeowners are really using toilet valve floats, the West Coast distributor orders two box cars of toilet valve floats from the Ohio manufacturer.

    Now let's rip this apart a bit and see what was going on at the different levels. First, there were three places where stock was held in the system outside of the manufacturing plant: The local store had stock, the city distributor had stock, and the West Coast distributor had stock.



    And this is bad why? Because 'stock on shelves is money at rest.' This is one of the keys to modern business: Don't invest your money in "stock" because once something is made it immediately begins to depreciate over time. Instead, investing capital in ways to reduce stock became the norm. So point one is: Just-in-Time manufacturing reduces the capital requirement.



    What was the strength? There was a high degree of "supply chain elasticity." In other words, there was always a lot of stock sloshing around the system. Even if the boxcar containing new toilet valve floats was a day or two late getting into San Francisco, the city distributor in Portland had some stock on hand. And, there was also stock at another local plumbing store.



    The problem with modern business-think is that folks like me go pay thousands of dollars to get a fine education in the art of business, only to learn how to get rid of layers of business. Welcome to modern business schooling. The San Francisco master distributor could start going direct to local plumbing stores in Portland, cutting out one layer of distribution. Or, as often happened, a city distributor found a competing line and went manufacturer direct. Remember, each layer employed humans and showed a profit.



    If you think about it for a moment, this should bring into focus why the ravages of monetary inflation (which is going wild, which is why the Fed is ceasing publication of the M-3 money stock measures later this month) are not more apparent. For the huge inflation in money supply, we have seen a converse deflation on the supply side, such that things balance out. Well, kind of. There are people left over as the distribution jobs go bye-bye,, but we put them to work in the war efforts, fighting terrorism, and being our growing service sector and call it good. The rich get richer and the rest, well, keep 'em scared and they'll stay in line.



    The evolution from those times to the present was simple as communications improved and the internet arrived: Go online and choose from 6-million vendors of plumbing parts.



    A delightful breakfast conversation with Elaine today revolved around this notion of the change in "who holds the inventory" as it related to the various multi-level marketing and network marketing programs over the years.



    Elaine recalled that some number of years ago, she was peripherally involved in Amway and that one of the entry requirements was that a "distributor" buy a lot of Amway products - an example of how a firm can move inventory into the hands of "local distributors" (which were really local retailers). On the other hand, she observed that modern network marketing companies may not be moving as much inventory into the local distributors, as evidenced by her Mary Kay salesperson sending off for product when E occasionally orders something.



    Key Point: While I don't have the time to do the learned paper on the subject, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that much of what has been "sold to investors" as major improvements in profitability and productivity of companies can be attributed to the revolution in the supply chain and the elimination of the so-called "middlemen." It's a huge revolution that is ongoing even today, yet you don't see it unless you look closely.



    Next step in the revolution? Expect to see within five years (if the world hangs together that long) an automobile company that goes manufacturer to consumer direct (classic B2C via the 'net). The possibly lower run rate could be at least partly offset by eliminating much of the financing and dealership costs. Concurrent with that, a national "accreditation agency" for service, and there goes the dealer structure...



    Encounter with Scarcity

    MIT Engineering Professor Yossi Sheffi wrote a 2002 paper that begins to touch on some of the supply chain vulnerabilities that present themselves as targets for international terrorism. The discussion of whether such terror is somehow backed/financed/ or an operating arm of some "elite power group behind the scenes" doesn't matter to us, as we're not in law enforcement. What does matter to us is that we recognize the supply chain vulnerability, assess our own exposure to supply disruptions, and then act well in advance of future events. Sheffi writes:

    "On the morning of September 11th, 2001, the United States and the Western world entered into a new era – one in which large scale terrorist acts are to be expected. The impacts of the new era will challenge supply chain managers to adjust relations with suppliers and customers, contend with transportation difficulties and amend inventory management strategies.



    This paper looks at the twin corporate challenges of (i) preparing to deal with the aftermath of terrorist attacks and (ii) operating under heightened security. The first challenge involves setting certain operational redundancies. The second means less reliable lead times and less certain demand scenarios. In addition, the paper looks at how companies should organize to meet those challenges efficiently and suggests a new public-private partnership. While the paper is focused on the US, it has worldwide implications."

    Besides the fact that grocery stores will have shelves go bare within hours of a terrorist event, Sheffi points out some other tidbits:

    "Ford, Toyota, and other manufacturers were vulnerable to transportation disruptions [at the border, by terrorism border closings] because they operate a “Just-in-Time” (JIT) inventory discipline, keeping material on hand for only a few days and sometimes only a few hours of operation."

    "Since September 11, many US (as well as European) companies are reconsidering the wisdom of using overseas suppliers. Offshore suppliers may be less expensive, but require longer lead-time and may be more susceptible to disruptions in the transportation system. Local suppliers may be more expensive but are closer and therefore able to respond faster."

    "In response to the terrorist attack of September 11, companies began to question the wisdom of “lean operations” using JIT processes. Some companies are ordering parts in larger quantities, increasing safety stocks to keep their assembly lines moving “just in case” their inbound transportation is disrupted."

    Sheffi's paper (which I'd rate as a must read in its entirety this week) offers two important suggestions: "To make sure that the organization will not simply become accustomed to the higher level of inventory, two policies should be adopted: First, the strategic inventory should be replenished immediately in a “Sell-One-Store-One (SoSo)” discipline regardless of daily forecasts. Second, usage of the strategic inventory should be treated in the same way that assembly line shutdowns are treated. In other words, it should get top management attention and the root causes fixed at the source."



    You may take for granted that Wal-Mart and Kroger's will always have Charmin on hand, but given that most grocery operations are JIT, how much of a business risk are you willing to take that things will continue being as available as they are today?



    With the web bots continuing through this week to reference a coming "encounter with scarcity" in America, we have to quietly suggest that a cautious person might want to incorporate a strange new thought into their personal life: becoming your own "stocking distributor" of critical items you need in order to stay alive.



    Personal So-So Planning

    Most people don't manage their personal lives as though they are a "business." But when considered deeply, I think you'd agree that yes, you are a business and that what you make is whatever your skill or craft is that produces a weekly paycheck.



    Thus, some of Sheffi's suggestions for "Risk Pooling" can be applied in our personal lives. The some strategies might be summarized this way:

    Postponement: If you don't really need it, don't buy it yet. I'm going through this one at a personal level right now trying to decide on whether (or when) to buy a small diesel tractor to keep up the acreage that we own. I'm postponing because my forecasting error is still fairly high because we don't yet know the complete meaning of "context change" coming at the end of this month. It's entirely possible that the context change could involve local Dust Bowl conditions as part of Sudden Global Climate Change, so why would I buy a tractor if I might need to move or deploy my financial assets some other way, such as drilling my own water well?

    Build-to-Order: Although I would love to make some investments in new equipment for the office here (new computer, new software, and so on) I am not doing so because my present customer based (both the web site that I publish and my consulting practice in strategic sales and marketing) don't require additional investment. Thus, unless I have a new client demand (e.g. another high end graphics program to create advertising) I will not make major capital expenditures.

    Product Variability Reduction: Just as car makers might reduce the number of available options, to reduce stocking requirements, I'm focusing on my core business/clients and not venturing in to new areas any more than prudent. Fewer choices short term, but more focus, which means I will see threats further out.

    Centralized Inventory: I'm slowly getting a handle on what is available in my local community. If the internet were to disappear tomorrow, how would you cope? I'm figuring out which companies have items in stock that I might want/need without having to get on the phone or the web to get it.

    As a sidebar, I have been asking myself what would happen if there should be a major terrorist or environmental event such that the internet was really not available. I made a note to stock up on post cards and labels so I could send you (as a subscriber) a notice about the upcharge to do a mailed out version of this report series. The problem, it goes without saying, is that should the internet go out of operation for any reason the postal system would likely collapse almost immediately thereafter because it is not capable of handing the huge amount of traffic that's now on the internet. Oh well..



    If you can't think of yourself and your life as a business, don't feel bad: It's not a natural way to look at things. So-So's equivalent for non-business geeks might be thought of as COSO: Consume one, store one. And, if the web bots are right, you might want to adopt a faster stocking policy called COSM - consume one, store many.



    Humans and Inventory

    This massive change that has been underway for perhaps 30-years is a macro-trend that is not often written of in the mainstream media. Why? Because with the exception of inconvenient mass layoffs as general methods of doing business change, JIT and long supply chains have been seductive, especially from the perspective of CEO's and CFO's, who generally have monthly to quarterly statements as their main metric of life and happiness. But that's only through today.



    Tomorrow, that could all change.



    Considering that most of America's manufacturing has been exported, our once independent America is now highly dependent on supply chains that reach half way around the world. Jonathan Medalia, writing in a Congressional Research Service report in January 2005 wrote:

    "A terrorist nuclear attack on a U.S. seaport could cause local devastation and affect the global economy. Terrorists might obtain a bomb in several ways, though each poses difficulties. Ability to detect a bomb appears limited. The United States is using technology, intelligence, international cooperation, etc., to try to thwart an attack. Issues for Congress include safeguarding foreign nuclear material, mitigating economic effects of an attack, and allocating funds between ports and other potential targets."

    But in the meantime, American manufacturing has gone elsewhere, and as a result, something as simple as a toilet float valve maker in Ohio is now in some smaller village in China with multiple layers of JIT along the way.



    The communications to China must be up, ports must be in operation, and ships must not be pirated.



    Meanwhile, unable to find work in the manufacturing segment, large portions of the American working class have been "category shifted" from manufacturing to services, a trend that continues even now. The shopkeeper economy, stimulated by low interest rates and readily available housing refinance programs, has allowed policy makers some time during which former manufacturing and distribution workers could have transitioned into new kinds of production, such as the much ballyhooed intellectual property revolution, that turned out to be more hype than substance. I offer the internet tech bust as $1.5 trillion worth of evidence.



    As a consequence, the under-employed component of the economy, which was officially just under 10% in February 2005 (9.9%) is still 9.0% today. (Feb '06 BLS figures) But we can't be sure if there has really been any improvement at all because BLS footnotes that "Beginning in January 2006, data reflect revised population controls used in the household survey." Whatever the hell that means.



    A May 2004 report with the modest title "Economic Impact of Inadequate Infrastructure for Supply Chain Integration" lays out an interesting Executive Summary from the National Institute for Standards and Technology (P. 15):

    The emergence of low-cost communications and information processing has made it possible for firms to revolutionize the way they operate internally, especially in distributing information throughout their organizations. Through the use of Manufacturing and Enterprise Requirements Planning (MRP and ERP) systems, they can operate with lower levels of inventory, can respond more quickly to changes in customer requirements, and can eliminate or outsource costly accounting functions. [This is like the good news. - G]



    However, companies have made much less progress in improving the efficiency of communications between their facilities and those of their suppliers and customers, along what is known as their supply chain. A lack of universally accepted and implemented standards for the format and content of messages that flow between supply chain partners reduces the potential for inventory and expense savings, as well as leading to duplication of effort, maintenance of redundant systems, and investment in non-ideal information processes.



    In this study, we examine the current state of supply chain integration (SCI), estimate the economic impact of inadequate integration, and identify opportunities for governmental organizations to provide critical standards infrastructures that will improve the efficiency of supply chain communications. We estimate the total annual costs of inadequacies in supply chain infrastructures to be in excess of $5 billion for the automotive industry, and almost $3.9 billion for the electronics industry. These figures represent about 1.2% of the value of shipments in each industry. [Emphasis added, it's the bad news - G]

    Being the People's Economist, let me boil is down as simply as possible. Inadequate infrastructure was costing just two industries in America about $9-billion a year in 2004. Thanks to higher spending levels on anti-terrorism and the war in Iraq, it's not likely that sufficient investment has yet been made, or will be made, to get ahead of the problem.



    As a result of the boardroom's rush to disassemble the old "distribution methods" in order to effectively convert inventory assets into something more liquid that could be touted to shareholders as earnings, America has serious supply chain infrastructure vulnerabilities that could result in multi-dimensional cascading economic failures.



    Too complicated? Try this: Two bombs in two containers in two ports, and store shelves everywhere would likely be empty within a day. And I bet we'd have martial law within a week.



    Click Here to Continue to the Chart Pack for this week



    Write when you get rich,



    George Ure

  2. #2
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    Yup. And don't forget possible terror attacks on our assets/factories overseas too, not just here. Also, I think the "revised population controls" bit could be the Mexicans here now. Who knows?

    So when's the Revolution? God or Money? Choose.

  3. #3
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    This is very interesting and true... until he gets to the "how to take advantage of this in your daily life part"...

    Because he's forgetting ONE minor problem in his "don't buy it until you need it" (postponement).. INFLATION.

    At this point, my "stock" (ie; prep inventory of consumables and hard goods such as shoes, work clothing, toothpaste, shampoo, etc) is paying around 15% per year... the current stock in stores costs at least that much more than I paid last year for almost everything.

    He also seems to be suggesting not buying things, but "knowing what local companies will have stuff you'll need in stock"... after he just got done writing an entire essay about how almost no one keeps any stock on hand!!

    But what I was thinking about when I read the first parts is a very local example. We have a local "True Value" hardware store.. it was started by a local farm family when eminent domain cut their farm in half with a large highway, making farming difficult, and giving them a quite significant sum of cash to work with. This would have been in the early 1960's, I think.

    They turned the dairy barn into a hardware store, and despite there being one other store in town, they essentially enriched five families off that one store. Their prices were high.. but there wasn't much of a choice, and not really THAT much difference between their prices and other stores, until JIT came into being.

    When that happened, their prices became VERY high compared to most other places, even "non chain" stores. Why? I finally figured out they used JIT management, but kept the same pricing system they'd always used.. which was the traditional "Charge DOUBLE what it cost you". However, because Walmart, et al, don't have the warehouse and inventory costs, they weren't doing that... not even close. Their markups are closer to 10-15%, from what I've been told.

    So, this place pretty much priced themselves out of the market- you simply didn't go there for ANYTHING unless you were desperate.

    They sold the business to another local farm family last year. Retired in very good financial shape- all of them- I'm sure. The new owners, despite obviously having a large investment to pay for, have CUT prices... a lot. They've actually gotten most prices down to a point where you can afford to shop there. Whether or not the "word of mouth" will spread fast enough to keep them in business... hard to say at this point.

    But the point is, JIT is one of the main reasons "inflation" in terms of product prices, hasn't been as bad as it could have been- and probably will be. The retailers are taking a much smaller markup, and adding that on to some of the really crazy low costs of stuff made (at slave wages) in China, etc... we've been seeing an era of incredible deals on most things.

    Don't expect that to continue. If you are able, do some of your own "stockpiling" now at the prices still available. JIT is getting a LOT more expensive to run, due to energy and transportation costs. Inflation is heating up fast, "official" numbers or not...

    Summertime

  4. #4
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    JIT only works when transportation costs are artificially low.

    Those days are over.

  5. #5
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    JIT is also a form of 'Pushing the Bubble' so to speak. All your eggs ain't in one basket. Also I believe it allows you to stretch your inventory so that you can do more with less.

  6. #6

    JITI and JITS

    Quote Originally Posted by SCR1
    JIT is also a form of 'Pushing the Bubble' so to speak. All your eggs ain't in one basket. Also I believe it allows you to stretch your inventory so that you can do more with less.
    Hey, SCR1 I have to deal with this all the time. My 'ingredients'[30 distinct items] come from the four corners of the world...no, I'm not kiddin'. If I take your point correctly[about the highlighted part of your post above] you may be assuming that you are going to IMMEDIATELY pass all your price increases on to you customers as your raw materials or transportation costs rise. Maybe at the retail level[and like Summerthyme's hardware store example-not for very long. Customers vote with their pockebooks], but not at the wholesale level. Your wholesale customers will just 'drop' your product especially when their hand held computer scanners inventory controls tells them your 'product' is not selling at the higher price. When I create a larger inventory I have 'locked in' my price at least the 'production' costs. I might be able to 'ride out' a brief increase in a 'prime' ingredient say for example tomatoes due to bad weather in Fla or Cali. Everyone in my specialty food manufacturing industry is getting killed with distribution costs going up...just like your gasoline and heating oil or nat gas prices at the home or office level are taking an ever larger part of your after tax disposable income DIRECTLY out of your wallet and into the pockets of the energy 'sharks'. In other words your margin[profits] shrink or go negitive. Take Vanilla extract for example. About two years ago a typhoon ran over the island of Managascar...TWICE...the same storm! Completely wiped out the crop which incidentally takes about six months to produce a 'ripe' bean. The cost of vanilla extract went from $5/pint[16oz.] to almost $20/pint...and VERY Limited AVAILABILITY. I know manufactures from brewers to bakers that got socked by this storm. It took two years to bring the supply back. I did not say the same QUALITY, because the orchids that grow the finest quality of vanilla bean take years to recover. They don't call it Managascar Bourbon for nothing. Now you may be able to forego vanilla extract or tomatoes. Try going without petroleum. That is what we are looking at should Iran close the Straight Of Hormuz or in the article's example a terrorist attack at two of our ports. The 'business model' of Just-In-Time-Inventory and its bastard son Just-In-Time-Shipping goes right out the window. Summerthyme pointed out several inconsistancies in his presentation, perhaps downright contradictions. I find this quite common in academia as most of the 'folks/jokers' have never made a damn thing then went out and PROMOTED it. Advertising costs are a large part of the equation. Disrtibutors fees run about 33% right now, and the distributors service for this princely percentage [in a word] for the most part suck. I think this is a seminal article that each and everyone on this board should READ carefully and pass it on to their boss and add the little comment "Hey boss. What will our company do if Bird Flu causes supply disruptions?" Then walk away.
    I know JohnGaltFla read the Charmin running out at least twice and put another 36 roll pack on his shopping list. I know I did. I trust you all will , too.

  7. #7
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    I was in warehousing for several years so I gots all the good sayings.

    The Bots are also picking up What can best be termed Rolling Shortages. Similar like to Rolling Black Outs with Power in CA, except it will be TP, Milk, Gas, Food, ETC. This way they will get food and stuff around country but there will be times when stuff will not be available. I'd also bet it will be rationed. Hence, .gov is requesting people have 30 days of supplies to get through the outages to the next delivery window. Think of it as Just IN Time Or Else (JITOE) or maybe Russian Roulette.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by SCR1
    I was in warehousing for several years so I gots all the good sayings.

    The Bots are also picking up What can best be termed Rolling Shortages. Similar like to Rolling Black Outs with Power in CA, except it will be TP, Milk, Gas, Food, ETC. This way they will get food and stuff around country but there will be times when stuff will not be available. I'd also bet it will be rationed. Hence, .gov is requesting people have 30 days of supplies to get through the outages to the next delivery window. Think of it as Just IN Time Or Else (JITOE) or maybe Russian Roulette.
    SCR1: I like the new word or is it anacroym 'JITOE'. It will fail, and we'll go back to ration stamps al a WWII, and my favorite...'black market' sales for ANYONE holding high value inventory. Tell me more about who's bots are talkin'.

    The link to the original article http://urbansurvival.com/nl03122006.htm and the MIT article
    http://esd.mit.edu/WPS/ESD%20Interna...0Symposium.pdf

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bird Guano
    JIT only works when transportation costs are artificially low.

    Those days are over.
    Bingo. I was on the transportation end of things. It was a great theory. Then when it all blew up, the JIT customers closed their plants and moved to China for the JSHIT theory. Which basically meant to take a big dump on US workers and use semi-slave labor to fufill the needs, consumer in time delivery be damned.

    Well, ya reap what you sow.

    Good night now.
    "I've always wondered what the 1920's and 1930's were like, but I never wanted to see it from the German perspective....."
    -John Galt, www.johngaltfla.com

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by JohnGaltfla
    Bingo. I was on the transportation end of things. It was a great theory. Then when it all blew up, the JIT customers closed their plants and moved to China for the JSHIT theory. Which basically meant to take a big dump on US workers and use semi-slave labor to fufill the needs, consumer in time delivery be damned.

    Well, ya reap what you sow.

    Good night now.
    John, as always, you said it all. Sleep well my friend.

  11. #11
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    JITOE - Just In Time Or Else - I just made it up. Sounds like a form of Kung-Fu

  12. #12
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    There was a time when just about everyone had a pantry, or a larder, or a storehouse to work from on a daily basis. They doubled as security against 'leaner' times, at least to a degree.
    As I reflect on the article above, I'm struck by one simple truth - We have absolutely no idea how to live the 'old way', and the learning curve to 'get back' to it would take too long, and be unheeded by many anyway.
    Although we have a pantry of sorts, I didn't grow up that way. We shopped once or twice a week, and would make 'instant' trips for milk, butter, etc. as the need arose.
    We had no thought of a pantry, because we had a Supermarket just down the way.

    And this is how America lives to this day, well, largely anyway. What a shock it will be should the masses begin to see scattered 'product outages' in the Land of Milk and Honey. Which, in turn, would spark 'product runs' on what remains of these items.

    I can remember seeing pictures of the lines in the former Soviet Union. People standing in long lines for bread, cheese, toilet paper, and canned meats. I always wondered why they did that - what compelled them to live that way.

    It appears that I may yet get my chance to find out first hand what has eluded me so long.

    I'll see you in the lines....


    cryhavoc
    Last edited by cryhavoc; 05-20-2006 at 11:38 AM.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by cryhavoc
    There was a time when just about everyone had a pantry, or a larder, or a storehouse to work from on a daily basis. They doubled as security against 'leaner' times, at least to a degree.
    As I reflect on the article above, I'm struck by one simple truth - We have absolutely no idea how to live the 'old way', and the learning curve to 'get back' to it would take too long, and be unheeded by many anyway.
    Although we have a pantry of sorts, I didn't grow up that way. We shopped once or twice a week, and would make 'instant' trips for milk, butter, etc. as the need arose.
    We had no thought of a pantry, because we had a Supermarket just down the way.

    And this is how America lives to this day, well, largely anyway. What a shock it will be should the masses begin to see scattered 'product outages' in the Land of Milk and Honey. Which, in turn, would spark 'product runs' on what remains of these items.

    I can remember seeing pictures of the lines in the former Soviet Union. People standing in long lines for bread, cheese, toilet paper, and canned meats. I always wondered why they did that - what compelled them to live that way.

    It appears that I may yet get my chance find out first hand what has eluded me so long.

    I'll see you in the lines....


    cryhavoc
    Not me. I'm ready to ride it out. I don't do lines. For anything.

    But I do understand your point.

    Read my sig to see how.
    "I've always wondered what the 1920's and 1930's were like, but I never wanted to see it from the German perspective....."
    -John Galt, www.johngaltfla.com

  14. #14

    Soviet Era Empty Stores

    Cryhavoc wrote:"I can remember seeing pictures of the lines in the former Soviet Union. People standing in long lines for bread, cheese, toilet paper, and canned meats. I always wondered why they did that - what compelled them to live that way". These were the stores of the 'average' soviet citizen. The 'hard currency' stores of the nomenclatura, appratchiks[Sp], and the higher-ups in the Politboro[Sp] shopped in stores which were FULL of all manner of western made 'luxuries' and high quality local goods. It was a tiered society of the 'wealthy/politically well connected' who had accesss to the finer things in life, and the 'workers/not well connected' who struggled with inferior quality and stood in endless queues in the freezing winters or turned to the ever present 'black markets'. One thing I certainly agree with John is I hate to stand in line. If rationing does take place for the 'better good of society' you will want to have a pantry well stocked with your everyday items as well as some barter items. Alcohol has always been a good barter items in rationed societies.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Ozarks in AR
    Posts
    1,813
    How long would it take before things became untenable and order would completely break down and civil war would ensue? How long can you prep for and not be noticed by your neighbors not standing in the food lines? That might make you a large target.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Smallville
    Posts
    8,658
    Taxes must also be paid on items in stock. In some places, taxes must be paid each year on tools and equipment. With OSHA, EPA, taxes, and regulations it's no wonder factories are moving elsewhere.

  17. #17

    Queue Up

    Quote Originally Posted by SCR1
    How long would it take before things became untenable and order would completely break down and civil war would ensue? How long can you prep for and not be noticed by your neighbors not standing in the food lines? That might make you a large target.
    The timeline is unknowable at this time. Stay tuned. I assume you mean when the flags have gone up. Nuclear explosion on our or foreign soil, widespread CWII style fighting erupting symutaneously in major/minor US cities, assassination of HIGH public official, ebola epidemic or H5N1 detected and made PUBLIC by MSM. If there is not a danger of loss of life through civil unrest or contagion...you should be in LINE. This is the best way to stay camoflaged. Blend in with the DGI's. Maybe you just don't get-in-line at every opportunity. Just say I don't use the_______ fill in the blank that is being distributed that particular
    day. If there are ration stamps or cards use that 'ration' to trade for what you do need at the time.

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