Episode-1203- Listener Feedback for 9-9-13

Join Me Today as I Answer Your eMails

Join Me Today as I Answer Your eMails

Today on The Survival Podcast I take your questions and emails on economics, retirement, the student loan bubble, solar cooking, electric chain saws, curing meats and more.

Make sure if you submit content for a feedback show that you put something like “comment for jack”, “question for jack” or “article for jack” in the subject line to assure proper identification for my screening process.

Please understand I receive several hundred emails a day and can’t get them all on the air.

I also do put out a lot of information on Facebook from emails that I can’t fit on the program though so keep em coming.

Join Me Today As I Respond to Your Emails On

  • 13Skills relaunch, it is now what is should have been all along
  • Poland “nationalizes” retirement accounts
  • The student loan bubble I told you about, yea, um look out
  • A very cool new “sun oven” on kickstarter, I’m in on this one
  • A new fascination for me, cured meats, who wants to be a guest on the subject
  • Why Steven Harris and I both like “electric chain saws”
  • 50% of all births in the US, now covered by medicaid
  • An expert clears up financial reporting and SARs at the banking level
  • Almost all pension funds are screwed even the ones that look okay
  • I saved it for the end, yep they are targeting your retirement for their “help”

Resources for today’s show…

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45 Responses to Episode-1203- Listener Feedback for 9-9-13

  1. Hey Jack, I notices that Joe Nobody is missing from the Expert Council list. Is this a typo or is he not on the council anymore?

    • Has anyone EVER called in a question for him? That’s a serious question, I legitimately don’t know. The answer to that, which I’m guessing is ‘no’, probably explains the absence.

      • Modern Survival

        Yes there have been a few, mostly I don’t hear back from him. He isn’t engaged with our community and I have to go through a 3rd party to get to him. Hence, I have dropped him. Though I am trying to do it without like being real loud about it.

        For all things tactical someone new is coming and will be announced this week, you guys will love it when you see who it is.

        • Good to hear. The reason I asked is that I was going to call in a question for him, but I will wait until the new person is announced. Thanks for the quick answer Jack

  2. Come on, give us a hint on your secret blogging name…..

  3. rofl. IE^2

  4. solar oven….How do you bake a loaf of bread in it?

  5. Would not waste my money on that stove. From a backpacking point of view, the mini’s weight at 1.5lbs is DOA the minute I saw that, not to mention the size, it has a piece of glass, number of parts that can be points of failure, etc. The regular unit is laughable as a “portable” device. Unless you are merely car camping. Unless you are one of the masochist that doesn’t mind putting 80+lbs on your back, with all the other gear you probably want to take into the woods, this would never get taken. Honestly Jack, when was the last time you strapped on a backpack?!?

  6. This is the article that spawned the letters to the editor that Jack referenced in regard to the cost of childbirth: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/01/health/american-way-of-birth-costliest-in-the-world.html?pagewanted=all

    • Is this a problem just in the northeast? I happen to have the bill from the hospital for our last son easily available. We had a line item for the birth, a line item that said how much insurance paid, then the amount we owed, $100. All these itemized pieces (baby in the room, maternity care, etc.) were never an issue. A question, why in the world would they charge extra to have the baby with the mother in the room after delivery?!? Is that the obvious place for the baby to be?!? That borders on criminal behavior to me.

  7. They do C-sections because they charge 30k just for that procedure, you have a baby for 6-8 grand with no C-section, but, during childbirth over 90% of the time the Dr. finds a reason to do a C-section…it’s easy money and a lot quicker than waiting for the baby to be born naturally…a good mid-wife will run you about $800 and you can have your baby in your home and be a hell of a lot more comfortable!

    • My wife and I are expecting our 3rd sometime in October. It will be out 3rd home-birth and 2nd paid for completely out of pocket. We pay for insurance and it wont cover home birth…Total cost $4,500. Well worth it to not be in the hospital.

      • Wow, it’s been a while since I priced it but I used to know a mid-wife in Austin TX and she charged $800 but that was 7 or 8 years ago, she specialized in standing birth and birthing in water.

        • Im in kookifornia, so things are a bit more expensive i guess….our midwife freezes the price for returning clients so our price is actually what we paid with our first child…4 years ago. Her current price for new clients is $1500 more!

    • TaylorannLawless

      It all depends on where you live. Here in the Central Valley of California. It was $17K for my1st child, 2008 and $$28K for 2nd child 2012. No C-Section. My portion with insurance$5K and $10K respectively. When I attempted to price hospitals in the area they wouldn’t even give me a ballpark figure of how much it would cost before I gave birth. They just charge what they want and don’t give you much of a chance to reasonably pay it. If you do not set up a payment plan immediately (which is a figure they choose) they immediately send you to collections.
      Could anyone imagine going to McDonalds, being told you must have a hamburger, you are responsive for paying for it, but I’m not going to disclose the cost until after you have eaten it. And if you don’t I will ruin you life.
      This is financial slavery.

  8. I wish Patrick all the success in the world. Instead of working for THE man though, he will be working for the customers, shareholders, his vendors, suppliers, and a whole host of other folks. Liberating yet daunting.

  9. I love it Jack. Lake Woe Be Gon… sorry my Mom made me listen to Prairie Home Companion as a kid.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Wobegon

  10. I’ve been following the student loan bubble for a while and plotting how to profit from it popping. The only way I can see for myself (limited funds, little to no access to any secondary markets like CDOs) is to buy put options on companies like Discover (DFS) and Sallie Mae (SLM). There is also a company called Nelnet that specializes in student loan services that I’ve been eyeing. The only problem is the longer term options on these companies are fairly thinly traded. Right now, a long range put on Discover seems like a great bet. Even if the bubble doesn’t pop, the stock is up almost 200% over the last 5 years.

    Here are just a few local examples of how the student loan bubble is becoming frothy.

    1) My city had a small, somewhat second rate state university. Not really in terms of its education reputation, which is actually fairly high, but more in terms of prestige and “student life”. The physical size of the campus has doubled in the last 3 years, including 5 or 6 brand new buildings.
    2) Pretty much all the small state colleges around my area have become universities. They’ve all expanded rapidly as well.
    3) My wife’s work had an open house for some two-bit, crap college. A total for-profit hack Maury Povich commercial joint. My wife stopped by the desk and signed up for something. This unleashed a barrage of hyper-aggressive sales calls from a “recruiter” (salesman). The tactics this guy was using was straight out of a time share pitch. Every other comment has to do with easy student loans.

  11. As for the chainsaw that Jack is referring to, I brought a truckload of logs to his woody bed work shop. He busted out this chainsaw and started cutting some of these logs in half. I was completely blown away on how bad ass that little electric chainsaw worked. I have two wood piles to cut up and I am seriously considering purchasing one.

  12. Just wanted to thank Jack for directing me to Geoff Lawton’s Permaculture Design Course. I registered my new business today, as a result. I finally made contact with 2 permies in my city, after 7 years of isolation. I’m in Canada. Your circle of influence is ever-widening.

  13. Paul Wheaton did a podcast a little bit ago with the guy from Farmstead Meatsmith who did those outstanding videos on butchering/cooking a pig. If you haven’t seen it it’s worth it.

    http://www.permies.com/t/25834/cascadia/Farmstead-Meatsmith-Kickstarter

    The podcast is here where they go into more of the curing aspect of it.

    http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/3705-podcast-260-homestead-butchering/

  14. Jack that song made me cry. It made me remember my day of my freedom when I started my own alarm company 6 years ago after being trapped for a year with the women from Hell business owner. It came just in time and allowed me to work from my home and be here for my family. It is now allowing me to build my wealth with reoccurring revenue. There is nothing more freeing.
    Since I started my own company I went Dave Ramsey intent and we paid off over 50k and now have a full 6 months emergency fund. Freedom step 2.
    I am now actively preparing for rough times and each step makes me feel freer. Before I would have never in a million years been caught dead in a garden. I just finished planting my second garden this year. I absolutely live for your shows each day and I’m learning so much. Funny story my husband is not much into prepping but he tolerates me. His 50 th birthday is this week and he loves cooking, making his own sausage and stuff like that. I bought him Steve Harris’s alcohol distillery. He is going to love playing with that bad Boy. I can’t wait to see it when I give it to him and bonus for me because I don’t have to hear him grip about me spending money on prepping because he won’t even know that his present is one of my preps. Thank you so much for your awesome show.

  15. Ill second the referral for farmstead meatsmith as a good interview about curing meat and sausage making.
    Brandon is a true artist and does a great job explaining the process in great detail.

  16. I’m VERY cynical, and I really agree with Steven on his point about this not doing much for India. I mean, they have to sell five 279 dollar ovens to teach a family how to use them. Here’s a thought, spend a few cents per person to print out plans on how to makes a decent sized solar oven out of scrap materials.

    If it does hit the temperatures they claim it does, though, that’ll be pretty badass. And the portability is awesome. Kind torn on it still. I’m leaning towards in not being a buy for me, though.

  17. I have not made cured meats as of yet but I have read a very good book on the subject and consider it’s information to be very valuable.
    The book is Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.
    It addresses many of the safety concerns about curing meats in the small scale at home.
    There is also a great blog about Charcuterie called Wrightfood. He has a wonderful post about how to set up at home using a very similar setup to what you are doing for your freezer kegerator.
    http://mattikaarts.com/blog/charcuterie/meat-curing-at-home-the-setup/
    I hope you can find someone who does this as a hobby to interview as one day I would love to start doing this myself.

  18. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/07/25/california-tries-to-mandate-retirement-savings-for-private-workers/

    Not too sure and there might be more to it but doesn’t this sound like the “safe retirement plan” …. I could be wrong but it sounds like it. Goes into a state fund with guaranteed distribution.

    • Modern Survival

      Its all part of the same plan, I have covered that story in the past. It is quite probable that many states will do something like this, as well as the State.

  19. Jack, another sweet aspect of an electric chainsaw is that you can use it indoors without asphyxiating yourself. We use one to help fit wooden saddles for oak barrels to rest on in the cellar. My great uncle used to use one to dish out the seats of wooden chairs. Not for finishing work of course, but a useful tool. Thanks for another great show.

  20. Jack, Loved you comparing the dictation of Italian Meats.
    Obviously here in Brooklyn and little Italy we have the best ‘Suprasad’. Phonetic spelled 😉

  21. Jack, on making sausages, give Brandon Sheard a look: http://www.farmsteadmeatsmith.com/

    Paul Wheaton has had him on on the permies podcast, and good discussion on the permies forum.

    http://www.richsoil.com/permaculture/3705-podcast-260-homestead-butchering/
    http://www.permies.com/t/26409/podcast/Podcast-Homestead-Butchering

  22. Re: Birth Cost. We opted out and had a home birth. Hired a Midwife that had a better survive-ability rate than the hospital and a 20 year experience. Pre care, delivery (at our house), and post care for Mom and Baby up to a few months. We prepaid about $3000 flat rate.

    This was our second. First was a hospital birth. never again in a hospital unless there is a stop sign in the mom’s spleen.

    • Be very careful when comparing survivability rates. Remember, no midwife is going to deliver premature babies, babies of “high risk” mothers, and many other difficulties. A sports analogy: If you only play the lowest ranked teams, you’re win/loss ratio will be much better than if you play a mix of all the teams.

      Oh, and please realize that the hospital bill is different from the physician’s bill. Physician pay has steadily dropped since the mid-80s. For example, in Connecticut in 2007, a physician was paid $2,972.89 for vaginal births and $3,373.59 for cesareans. It’s paid as a “global fee” which means that it covers the entire period, no matter how many times the physician sees the patient for this.

  23. Jack, AMAZING SHOW! A true epiphany for me: Government funding causes price increase far above inflation or value of the product or service! Education, Health care, Petroleum products. It’s sooo obvious now that you pointed it out! Once big -Ag and Monsanto completely squeeze out the independent farmers, we are all screwed.

  24. There certainly is an income gap, but it’s between the CEO’s, bankers and other who’s annual salary is in the millions and has nothing to do with someone who makes a measly 200k, though that is the actual target in many ways

  25. I want to get a sun oven and bake pizza and stuff like that .. Jack, if there’s a good option for an off grid refridgerator, you should do something on that .. I have no electric at my camp and every other day in the summer I have to buy a bunch of ice.

    • Modern Survival

      Heck do this, find an old beat to shit RV, make it a storage shed, inside there will likely be a fridge, said fridge will run on propane. It will be small but it will function well. Likely you can find a beat up RV pretty cheap.

      Another option might be, look for one laying around, one so bad the guy might just want it hauled off, one so bad that you don’t even want it. Strip it down for all things useful, specifically the fridge, now run that on regular tanks. Make sure at least the fridge works if you do this of course.

      Now what to do with the RV, make sure you don’t take it past being able to pull it, take it to the scrap yard and get about 25 bucks for it, verify that too before you do it.

      I actually do a question about solar freezers and fridges in today’s show that will be up soon.

  26. Electric chainsaw comment. I have a great alternative for them if you are using it to cut firewood. A cheap ass chop saw with carbide tipped blade will cut anything from pallets to small trees (nails and all). I bought a $50 saw a couple years ago thinking it would burn up in a couple months…it still runs and I have done some awful things to this saw.

    IMO a large gas powered saw is overkill and dangerous to cut small branches into firewood. When cutting firewood, I keep anything larger than 1 inch for firewood and smaller for the chipper. I cut parts of the tree 1 inch to 4 inches in diameter into really long sections and stack them in a big pile. Then set up the chop saw on a cement block next to the pile (another block makes a nice seat). I pull the lengths out of the pile and chop them into stove size chunks.

    This process is *much* faster than using a chain saw. Its much easier on your back. It lets you use much more of the tree in your stove. It ages much faster than the larger trunk pieces.

    Its not worth cutting a 1 inch limb with a chainsaw…not so with a chop saw. I had a not-cat EPA approved stove that just loved burning these small chunks of wood (I call it branch wood).