Spyderco Knives and the "Economic Collapse"

Discuss Spyderco's products and history.
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SpyderEdgeForever
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Spyderco Knives and the "Economic Collapse"

Postby SpyderEdgeForever » Mon Feb 03, 2014 6:42 pm

I was considering putting this post on the "Off Topic" section but because it centers around Spyderco knives, I decided to place it here. Also, I do not want to get too deep into the political thing because that is not the place on this forum.

I was talking with a friend who believes strongly that there will be a coming economic collapse in America and the Western world, in the next 1-10 years, and I told him about my love for Spyderco knives. He says people should purchase tangible material goods that have trade and barter value, such as toilet paper and knives, and he is an advocate of gold and silver.

He says Spyderco knives which are some of the best there is, would have tremendous trade value, and advocates purchasing hundreds to thousands of dollars' worth of them, or whatever someone can afford, so that when the US dollar is collapsed for whatever time it is (his view), the person can go on the street and trade or barter or exchange your knives for other useful and desired things.

my question for all of you:

1 Is this idea of a coming economic collapse a real liklihood, or is this more "doomster fear" like critics of it say?

2 If it did happen like he said, would it be that easy or doable, to set up on the street or with your neighbors, friends, and other people, and trade Spydies and toilet paper for food or vice versa? (he advocates having alot of dried foods on hand, too, as well as water and even alcohol and cigarettes which he said are good trade items in such times)?

Or, would government just come in and seize/confiscate it, and, would there be a danger of roving gangs not wanting to trade with you, but rather, just steal from you at gun/weapon point?

Now to the heart of the matter: What Spyderco Knives would you pick to have in such a situation? Should a purchase in get mixed assorted Spydies, or, one or a few kinds, like, would you get many, many duplicates of the Endura and Pacific Salt, or Natives, or Delicas, or Waves, or what?

(This is not a joke post, I am seriously asking)

Say his scenario panned out, and the US dollar becomes as low valued as the German Mark did during the 1920s Depression. You set up a table on the street with your Spydercoes and rolls of toilet paper, or you tell people you have these and see if they will trade desired items for them?



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tvenuto
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Postby tvenuto » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:22 pm

I think we only need to look at very minor incidents for our answer. I don't remember many details, but a while back in DC a Metro (the DC subway) train was stopped in a tunnel without power. After a very short period of time, people freaked out, kicked out the windows, and started walking along the tracks. This is not safe for a number of reasons, but the panic took hold and mob mentality ruled. It doesn't take very much for irrational fear (or the irrational lack of it) to drive us (humans) to make poor survival decisions. Some good reading in this vein on survival in general is the book "Deep Survival" by Laurence Gonzales. Also, for a satirical look at survival and evolution, I strongly recommend "Galapagos" by Kurt Vonnegut.

So, I'm of the opinion that it wouldn't actually take much for an area to go bonkers if basic services were cut off such as water or power. The danger of roving gangs strongly depends on where you live, surely, and you wouldn't want to be anywhere near a major city for such a panic. I live in Baltimore, so I'm clearly betting on this sort of thing happening later rather than sooner. I do believe "it" will happen though, even if not in my lifetime (I'm 31).

I think that preparedness is great, but it is impossible actually to prepare for every conceivable scenario. I think it is far more important to develop a strong yet flexible mental state, and by this I mean to be mentally prepared for anything. I think that the worst thing that you can do in such a scenario is assume that everything will go back to normal tomorrow, or to deny that things are even happening and thus fail to take action. Some interesting reading along this vein is: "Emergency" by Neil Strauss.

So, to keep this short, I do not believe that the number of high quality knives you have will strongly affect your likelihood of thriving in a "apocalyptic" scenario. However, I also don't believe it hurts you to have a stash of knives and a decent amount of long keeping food on hand (I happen to have both). In fact, part of the enjoyment I derive from my Spydercos is the knowledge that this is one of the most basically useful tools humans have ever invented, and that this particular one I hold is actually the pinnacle of the expression of this tool. If there were to be a "collapse" then clearly things such as complex metallurgy and manufacturing would disappear. Since I do believe we will face some sort of collapse at some point, I wonder if the knife I hold today will someday represent the high water mark of knife making.

And...maybe this does belong in off topic.

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Postby ABX2011 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 7:40 pm

1. He is a doomsayer. Hope that helps. :D

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Postby Nate » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:08 pm

There are many Risks out there. I also feel that it is a near certainty that there will be consequences to the roughly three decades long credit boom. Personally, I think we will see deflation and defaults, rather than hyperinflation.

Whether things will reach Mad Max proportions (from whatever,) or be a long drawn out depression, no one can say. All I can do is hope that things will generally be okay and try to make sure to have some reasonable hedges in place. Heck, an EMP from the sun or an asteroid ( :D ) could take us out next month. Not to mention nearly endless "what if's" that could bomb us back to the stone age (war, disease, famine, etc...) But you can't plan your life around that stuff.

So to #1: “I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life interesting.” -HST

#2: No, it wouldn't be easy, at all. If you can make it past the first month in a true doomsday scenario, you might have a tiny chance of building a life again, haha :)

To the question of whether it is good to have barter-able items? Well yes, maybe sort of. I think diversification is good. I like having tangible items of value ( :spyder: 's too), but it's hard to see $100k's worth of high end knives being the key to a barter/survival situation. Same with things like gold and silver, they're a hedge, maybe 5-10% of a portfolio is reasonable, maybe a bit more, but it's no can't-miss certainty. Nothing wrong with a well-stocked larder and an off-grid cabin in the woods though, lol!

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Postby Leif » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:15 pm

double post
Two historical figures, outlaws and desperadoes if that, the villainous pair of really nice boys who just happened to be on the wrong side of the law.

:spyder: Current EDC: Paramilitary 2 :spyder:

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Postby Leif » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:16 pm

If there is a massive economic collapse like he is talking about, I doubt we would be able to reasonably predict that far in the future or it would be averted. So his philosophy should only be applied to a "there is a freak chance it could happen" basis. To some people that means stocking up, to the lazy or easily distracted like myself, that means doing nothing :D . Nothing wrong with investing in gold. I doubt you would be able to distribute thousands of spydercos through a barter system after an economic collapse, however. Most people aren't willing to spend $50 on a knife today, I doubt they would be willing to when they have to stretch every penny to survive. Still cool to think about, like bottle caps in the Fallout series.
Two historical figures, outlaws and desperadoes if that, the villainous pair of really nice boys who just happened to be on the wrong side of the law.

:spyder: Current EDC: Paramilitary 2 :spyder:

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Postby jalcon » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:18 pm

Two things. If it gets that bad, someone with more guns than you is going to take your stuff. And seod, it wi.t matter if it's a Spyderco with carbon fiber scales and M390 steel or a $8 ebay knife. Sure one might last alittle longer but hell - who cares. Third, hopefully none of us sees those days come!.

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Postby Nate » Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:23 pm

Leif wrote:...like bottle caps in the Fallout series.
Haha, HST quote in your sig and a Fallout reference. Welcome to the forum!

I forgot which knives I'd have. Probably like to have a Millie, Para, a couple of Caly's, and a South Fork at minimum. Then some assorted machetes and axes and stuff :D

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Postby eric m. » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:11 pm

Apophis wrote:Haha, HST quote in your sig and a Fallout reference. Welcome to the forum!

I forgot which knives I'd have. Probably like to have a Millie, Para, a couple of Caly's, and a South Fork at minimum. Then some assorted machetes and axes and stuff :D
SWORDS! :eek:

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Postby PMBohol » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:17 pm

I know this should not get political but bear with me for a moment. In the past the government was spending money on infrastructure. During the LBJ administration this changed over to spending on social needs and that has accelerated in recent years. Now you have a large portion of society that is dependent on someone or the government to provide for them. These are the ones to worry about in a calamity.

I would want a large knife like a Military. If a Mad Max scenario came about, we won't be opening envelopes. The knife would not be for defense but for foraging and building. You would need a gun for defense. Knives are just one part of a plan. Food, shelter, water etc are all things we can all stock up on and should. Storms and other natural calamities are more probable than society going down the drain. Whatever happens, it will still be those same people who will come looking for whatever they can get their hands on. I'm not sure I would buy a bunch of Spydercos just for barter. I would have a few though just in case.

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Postby eric m. » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:32 pm

PMBohol wrote:I know this should not get political but bear with me for a moment. In the past the government was spending money on infrastructure. During the LBJ administration this changed over to spending on social needs and that has accelerated in recent years. Now you have a large portion of society that is dependent on someone or the government to provide for them. These are the ones to worry about in a calamity.

I would want a large knife like a Military. If a Mad Max scenario came about, we won't be opening envelopes. The knife would not be for defense but for foraging and building. You would need a gun for defense. Knives are just one part of a plan. Food, shelter, water etc are all things we can all stock up on and should. Storms and other natural calamities are more probable than society going down the drain. Whatever happens, it will still be those same people who will come looking for whatever they can get their hands on. I'm not sure I would buy a bunch of Spydercos just for barter. I would have a few though just in case.
:)

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sal
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Postby sal » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:44 pm

Lotsa "Preppers" out there with lotsa answers. There are TV shows about preppers and some even grade your solution.

sal

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Postby Holland » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:45 pm

Apophis wrote:There are many Risks out there. I also feel that it is a near certainty that there will be consequences to the roughly three decades long credit boom. Personally, I think we will see deflation and defaults, rather than hyperinflation.

Whether things will reach Mad Max proportions (from whatever,) or be a long drawn out depression, no one can say. All I can do is hope that things will generally be okay and try to make sure to have some reasonable hedges in place. Heck, an EMP from the sun or an asteroid ( :D ) could take us out next month. Not to mention nearly endless "what if's" that could bomb us back to the stone age (war, disease, famine, etc...) But you can't plan your life around that stuff.

So to #1: “I understand that fear is my friend, but not always. Never turn your back on Fear. It should always be in front of you, like a thing that might have to be killed. My father taught me that, along with a few other things that have kept my life interesting.” -HST

#2: No, it wouldn't be easy, at all. If you can make it past the first month in a true doomsday scenario, you might have a tiny chance of building a life again, haha :)

To the question of whether it is good to have barter-able items? Well yes, maybe sort of. I think diversification is good. I like having tangible items of value ( :spyder: 's too), but it's hard to see $100k's worth of high end knives being the key to a barter/survival situation. Same with things like gold and silver, they're a hedge, maybe 5-10% of a portfolio is reasonable, maybe a bit more, but it's no can't-miss certainty. Nothing wrong with a well-stocked larder and an off-grid cabin in the woods though, lol!
well said sir
-Spencer

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Junction | Gayle Bradley 2 | Mantra 1 | Chaparral 1 | Dragonfly 2 | Leatherman Skeletool

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Postby D1omedes » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:53 pm

The complete collapse of society is not likely to come from an economic collapse. Think of history for a moment. Humans have survived for thousands of years and maintained sophisticated societies without modern technology nor conveniences. Our institutions would adapt despite social unrest because ultimately, people seek order and security.

Do I think there might be violence in a transition? It's possible. Do I think anarchy will reign when the economy completely breaks down and the U.S. will become some pseudo-feudalistic state? Nope.

If countries do decide to go back to the gold/silver standard, then those who collect those metals would benefit from trading them in. I doubt they'd get "rich" in the process though. Most of the world's wealth is based on services and materials with intrinsic value (oil, gas, food, rare earth metals, etc.). Investing your life savings into knives or gold is a bit foolish, IMO.

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Postby Stuart Ackerman » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:57 pm

Fredic Forsythe had it right, in "The Dogs of War"...

(Paraphrased...)

"One day wars will be fought over rice..."

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Postby noseoil » Mon Feb 03, 2014 9:58 pm

As far as a "doomsday scenario" of economic collapse, we came very close to that a few years ago when the housing bubble popped. I'm of the opinion that the government would step in again and start dumping more money at the problem, without worrying too much about consequences for the long term (sort of like they're doing already). I do agree that there is a certain element in society now, with an entitlement mentality which should be monitored closely if times slip into chaos.

As far as barter goes, yes, a barter item is a thing which retains its value regardless of economic tough times. It could be a shovel, a knife, a saw or a car which runs. I would not stock up too much on knives (except, of course, the "few" I have already) but would focus more on general use things which are always needed. Toilet paper, water, food, an energy source, communications equipment, and things of utility regardless of economic times or circumstances.

If the power grid went down for a week, I would be more concerned in an urban area because there could be some civil unrest in the streets. This is a more likely scenario to me than a total economic collapse. That's a bit far-fetched for me to swallow.

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Postby Leif » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:12 pm

The Simpsons had a great episode about preppers, which argued that we shouldn't be obsessed about protecting ourselves from one another but rather helping one another out and maintaining a community. I'd be interested to hear how you guys feel about this notion.
Two historical figures, outlaws and desperadoes if that, the villainous pair of really nice boys who just happened to be on the wrong side of the law.

:spyder: Current EDC: Paramilitary 2 :spyder:

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Postby Leif » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:19 pm

Stuart Ackerman wrote: "One day wars will be fought over rice..."
Pshaw. Everyone will be burning through their food supplies, and everyone will leave the crappy minute microwave rice for last. Obviously rice will be one of the only common food supplies and hold the least value in the neo barter economy. No no no, the real battles will be fought over the world's last remaining twinkies. ;)
Two historical figures, outlaws and desperadoes if that, the villainous pair of really nice boys who just happened to be on the wrong side of the law.

:spyder: Current EDC: Paramilitary 2 :spyder:

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Postby hunterseeker5 » Mon Feb 03, 2014 10:59 pm

Leif wrote:The Simpsons had a great episode about preppers, which argued that we shouldn't be obsessed about protecting ourselves from one another but rather helping one another out and maintaining a community. I'd be interested to hear how you guys feel about this notion.
The wonderful sentiment of someone who hasn't seen what a panicking mob of people will do to you for their own short-term interests.

Hell, you'll see people literally trample other people to death to get to a sale on sneakers. What exactly do you think a group of hungry people are going to do to you in order to get ALL your resources?

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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Feb 04, 2014 1:22 am

Leif wrote:Pshaw. Everyone will be burning through their food supplies, and everyone will leave the crappy minute microwave rice for last. Obviously rice will be one of the only common food supplies and hold the least value in the neo barter economy. No no no, the real battles will be fought over the world's last remaining twinkies. ;)
That's almost insulting for me and my countrymen. I can tell you that there was rioting in Tacloban(one of the areas hit hardest by Typhoon Haiyan) when rice ran out. A government repository was attacked by a mob when officials refused to ration out the stocks.

When we got a tsunami warning after an earthquake, there was almost rioting when traffic was jammed on the way to higher ground.
hunterseeker5 wrote:The wonderful sentiment of someone who hasn't seen what a panicking mob of people will do to you for their own short-term interests.

Hell, you'll see people literally trample other people to death to get to a sale on sneakers. What exactly do you think a group of hungry people are going to do to you in order to get ALL your resources?
Yup.


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