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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The last couple of years while my health has been up and down, I have hired local men to do work around the farm we were on. At one point I traded room and board per month for 60 hours of labor around the place.

I am considering building a couple of cabins on the new place for this very thing. As things get more desperate, I should be able to pick up laborers or families in which I can trade a roof and food for labor on the farm.

I am going to do more thinking on this topic and see what it would take to make it feasible. Right now I am thinking 3 or 4 cabins about 12x14 with a wood stove sink and a hot plate. A shared shower house with washer and dryers and restrooms.

Let's discuss this idea. Tell me what you think the pros and cons are. Ideas for the cabins, for the commons house and maybe rules for the "ranch hands". What about trade, should it be purely trade for housing, maybe food and housing, cash or other trade involved or....? this is just an idea I just started exploring, help out with your ideas.
 

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Never Give up
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Pro you get good people and everything works out.
Con you get taken over and dead. Sorry to be blunt but if you cant pull your weight or have a very usable skill and you are not related I put chances of help at slim. But thats my opinion. Hope it works out for ya.
 

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This body holding me...
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I do think its a good idea. This is how it was done in the past. Its most likely one of the ways it would be done in a PSHTF scenario. So the PROS are, yeah, its very viable. I wouldn't go so far as to say it is "exploiting" labor. Its a mutual trade: Room & Food for Work. Nothing wrong with that.

The CONS, I would say are. Is one willing to put this much prep and investment into something that may or maynot ever happen? Its a gamble. An expensive gamble. Nothing may ever happen in your lifetime, making all your efforts in vain. If one is willing and able to lay down that much stake, then sure, why not?

It would definately have its place in certain situations. Back to plantation owners we'd go. In your specific case (since you are currently hiring help), it may be even viable now - not just "down the road" too?

I see alot of Pros for something like this. The only Con being expense and or current labor laws and codes that are in effect in your area. PSHTF situation, I see nothing but benefit.
 

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Misfit Toy
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I agree. Most transients or day-labor types you'll find have seedy pasts, criminal records or mentalities, or mental health issues.

If the rules were off...it wouldn't take them long to kill you off and have it to themselves.

Like the other poster stated, it's best to have family or people you've built life-long relationships with in these roles. Not hobos.

But I'm sure these things would exist post worst case scenario. In fact there are many members on this forum who have openly stated they intend to enslave or exploit those in desperation.

The concept is a form or variation of indentured servitude. Too much potential for a bad outcome, imo. The Master becomes drunk with power, or the servant becomes resentful and plots your demise.
 

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This body holding me...
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I agree. Most transients or day-labor types you'll find have seedy pasts, criminal records or mentalities, or mental health issues.

If the rules were off...it wouldn't take them long to kill you off and have it to themselves.

Like the other poster stated, it's best to have family or people you've built life-long relationships with in these roles. Not hobos.

But I'm sure these things would exist post worst case scenario. In fact there are many members on this forum who have openly stated they intend to enslave or exploit those in desperation.

The concept is a form or variation of indentured servitude. Too much potential for a bad outcome, imo. The Master becomes drunk with power, or the servant becomes resentful and plots your demise.



Well, I think logically, you are half right. There will definately be those types of people about. Overall, I believe everything you say would be true.

However, if I were a Ranch owner, I would not be hiring "seedy" types. If one is naive enough to do so, then he is certainly asking for trouble. But I do believe in a PSHTF situation, you are going to have alot of good people cropping up once again looking to support their families. Hard working, honest folk that want nothing more than an opportunity to provide for themselves and their families.

This is "post" by the way. If people are still killing one another and laying claim to things with leathal force - that's not PSHTF to me - that's still SHTF. I view PSHTF as a "rebuilding" stage.


But yeah, I also agree that if Ranch owners, Farm owners (or whatever you want to call them) treat their workers bad and enslave them, etc. Yeah, you're going to have a revolt on your hands one day. People are going to burn your house down and probably kill you. That's what happens when you mistreat people long enough! History tells us all about that.

On the other hand, honest people offering other honest people work for food, that treat their workers right - you'll have prosperity. More than likely, your helping hands will appreciate you and be thankful for the opportunities to provide for their loved ones. That's how it goes too.

So yeah, I only half agree with your logic. Its sound and all. Just think there's more to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I see myself more as a ranch owner who treats his employees with respect. In all the businesses that I have owned I have always paid a fair wage but expected the full hour that I paid for.

I definitely would not hire just anyone. People of good character is what I would be looking for. I am not going to let just anyone around my family.

I know that there are many good families in the area who will be out in the cold. A man and a woman with kids to feed would be ideal employees. Vulnerable, but having responsibilities. Before we moved to town I used guys who were unemployed but good guys. I got burned by a couple over the years, but for the most part have learned how to distinguish the good from the bad. We just went and looked at a place tonight and if all works out I am going to need the extra help. I think trading is going to be more advantageous to me rather than burning up my cash flow.

Please though, let's keep this conversation going. I don't think we have scratched the surface of this topic yet.

What about canvas tents? I was also thinking of shipping containers or travel trailers.
 

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BUY AMERICAN
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Actually I think it's a good idea. Your obviously not a youngster and probably have experience hiring and firing so I'd say go for it. Treat it like a business. As with any business you may have to hire several to get the best tenet, but it can be done...and I don't think it's exploiting labor at all....H
 

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I agree. Most transients or day-labor types you'll find have seedy pasts, criminal records or mentalities, or mental health issues.

If the rules were off...it wouldn't take them long to kill you off and have it to themselves.

Like the other poster stated, it's best to have family or people you've built life-long relationships with in these roles. Not hobos.

But I'm sure these things would exist post worst case scenario. In fact there are many members on this forum who have openly stated they intend to enslave or exploit those in desperation.

The concept is a form or variation of indentured servitude. Too much potential for a bad outcome, imo. The Master becomes drunk with power, or the servant becomes resentful and plots your demise.
What this poster said. I agree, and not only are they going to spread the word to their buddies who most likely have a dark past, but every day they are working for you, they are gaining info on where everything is at and nothing of yours will be a secret any more. If something bad happens, then its only a matter of time before youll find yourself over a spit being doused with bbq sauce as they are sitting on your couch.
 

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Limpin to safety.
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Trust, knowledge, mutual respect and relationships are paramount.

I know a guy who has no problem at all exploiting people to work around his farm. He has no problem asking and I've always hated that about him. I met a person that knew him and out of the blue I asked them if they Helped (worked) on his farm yet. The guy seemed almost embarrassed.

However, I am NOT saying that to be your case. I don't know you that well, your intentions may be pure.

60 hours of work is roughly $700.00 in unskilled labor wage. (just over $10 an hour)

For $700.00 they are getting a place they call their own, food which you provide, and electricity.

To be honest that sounds fair. That's two weeks worth of work. A college student could really benefit from this.

The problem is when people get loose on the paper work. When they go from being 60 hours of set work, to providing the 60 plus small errands and other bs.

If you want to do it right, then follow my steps.

1) They aren't your slave. If you need them to run to town to get you smokes, then you clock them in.

2) Get a time clock.

3) Minimum of 8 hours per punch. So that you don't have them clicking in and out abusing the system. If you need them to work, then you better have 8 hours of work ready. Or have assigned work loads that don't change. They are people, they have lives, schedules, and other priorities that don't include you.

4) Any above 30 hours you require (and they agree to) will be time and a half, OR you will pay them a fair wage at time and a half.

5) You will respect their privacy. If they are "renting" a place from you, then you don't have the right to just walk in. You're not a slum lord and they aren't slaves. No one wants people going through their stuff. If you still see their house they are paying to live in as yours then you are a jackass.

6) Renter and labor laws apply. You can't just kick them out when the harvest is through. If they are Mexican and they worked your fields, then they have the right to stay in the house you provided. I don't care for illegal immigration, but they aren't the problem, you are. They only sought out the opportunity YOU Provided.
 

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Sua Sponte
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Over all, I think this is a good idea post-fall. In fact, you really don't get a choice. You are going to do something like this, be forced to become a refugee, or just get killed.

The reason isn't just labor, it is security. You need people for that.

The threat is pretty obvious. What happens if one day they wake up and decide, in a WROL scenario, that they really don't need that old guy? That is the problem.

So the question now shifts to 'how do I prevent that'.

You got a number of options. The first I would offer is to be important. There needs to be a reciprocal cycle of need. It can't just be that you need them. Cause if all you got to cover their needs is 'stuff' then the problem again becomes 'why do we need the GUY'. So work on developing areas where you can contribute and be helpful. That doesn't have to be labor, that can be knowledge and skill.

The second is character. It's been awhile since I've talked this through, so go with me on this.

Before I brought in some friends I had the same plan as you. My reasoning was that if I couldn't recruit people I trusted at the last minute (because I didn't pre-recruit) then I might be forced to take in a few refugees. So what was it that I would look for?

My answer was that I would look for people who looked like me. I would look for people who, if you graphed it out, would look just like me. I reasoned that TEOTWAWKI would not be the time to introduce additional diversity training in my life.

So if you showed up and were atheist, you weren't getting the invite. If you chowed up and demanded that the word 'God' be used as justification for every action and that we pray before choosing what card game to play - yeah you were not on the list. Not because I hate, don't respect, or don't have friends like that. But because that just isn't me. Why add the drama?

As I looked it over I had to also ask 'who would I not trust'. My answer was the single male. Hehe, which could look a lot LIKE me - the irony. I love it, but there it is.

My thought was that I could sit down and talk to a father with a family and have a talk that he would be able to buy in that centered around the whole being more important than the individual. See, I have a daughter. And she is the most important thing in the world to me. I figure another father can get that.

I figured that a talk that went along the lines 'I want you to know that if you join up and if anything, God forbid, every happened to you that I would take care of your child' would hit home in a world where the only insurance you could have is neighbors he doesn't have.

My thought was that we could use that to build something.

The single guy? He has no investment here. For him, taking off is just grabbing some food and walking. The guy with a family? A young child? It just aint that simple. For him the farm could quickly become the key to his family (child) survival.

Don't know if any of that rambling was worthwhile or not. But that was where I was awhile ago. Now, I have pre-recruited friends (and their families) and this isn't as big of an issue for me. But if I did have to ask people to join, that is how I would look at it.

I'm prioritizing towards what appears to be a functional physically fit family, with young children, that for as far as I can tell have the same basic cultural background and values that I do.

It aint that I hate anyone, it isn't that I dislike anyone that doesn't fit that profile, it is just that I love my daughter more than I care about hurting anyone's feelings.

YMMV,
Chad
 

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I see myself more as a ranch owner who treats his employees with respect. In all the businesses that I have owned I have always paid a fair wage but expected the full hour that I paid for.

I definitely would not hire just anyone. People of good character is what I would be looking for. I am not going to let just anyone around my family.

I know that there are many good families in the area who will be out in the cold. A man and a woman with kids to feed would be ideal employees. Vulnerable, but having responsibilities. Before we moved to town I used guys who were unemployed but good guys. I got burned by a couple over the years, but for the most part have learned how to distinguish the good from the bad. We just went and looked at a place tonight and if all works out I am going to need the extra help. I think trading is going to be more advantageous to me rather than burning up my cash flow.

Please though, let's keep this conversation going. I don't think we have scratched the surface of this topic yet.

What about canvas tents? I was also thinking of shipping containers or travel trailers.
You can get single wide Trailers fairly cheap. Likely you will face laws or ordinances prohibiting them from being moved, but I've never seen anyone "caught".

I've seen single wide trailers in decent condition for as little as $2,000-3,000.

Throw a fire place in it, and it's as decent a home as any.
http://www.elitedeals.com/maj-wr247001.html?productid=maj-wr247001&channelid=FROOG

Once they have their home, you now have invested interests. Let them fix them up, expand, decorate, and make them livable.

The idea isn't to find workers, but to create a community.

My only question is how you plan on farming once the SHTF? Will you use a combine? Mule and plow? Do you have these things now and the ability to keep them running? How will you water your fields?

I see that as essential. If you can't farm after the collapse then for all your efforts you have only increased your dilemma/
 
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In memory of Rokitdog
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No doubt I'll be in the same predicament rather soon as I'm near retirement. I'm sure there will be a time if tshtf that I will need somebody to do things I can no longer do, but I'm hoping by that time I wont be alone to begin with or will belong to a small, stable community where everyone depends on each other for survival. I'm not one to believe that no-one can be trusted. History has shown all over the world that people will gather together after initial turmoils and help each other! I dont think I'm being naive with thinking there will always be trustworthy people out there. I am! Aren't you? Or is there even nobody on this forum that can be trusted as some might think? I'm not saying not to be careful but if you only look for the worst in peolpe, that is all you will ever see!
 

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People don't like being exploited, but will allow it only if there's no other choice and you bring enough to the table for it to be worth their while.

Also, WROL, there's nothing to prevent your "employees" from killing the boss and taking all his stuff, except the boss having the guns. And at that point its not far from slavery, if its "do as I say or I shoot you". No thanks all around. I would only work with people who have mutual goals and trust.
 

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I definitely would not hire just anyone. People of good character is what I would be looking for. I am not going to let just anyone around my family.
It's a lot harder to tell who is who than it seems. Let me give a quick example.

My mom owned small nursing homes taking care of the eldery. At one home, she had a cheerful lady working for her. She had worked for her for years. The lady had a gentlest nature and great compassion for the old folks she took care of. My mom always mentioned how blessed she was to have her, especially considering some of the other employees she had dealt with in the past.

Then one day she got a call from the lady telling her there was an emergency and my mom needed to go to the nursing home immediately but that she couldn't tell her why. My mom rushed over there, and there were cars all round the home, in the driveway, etc. It was a bunch of FBI. They had swarmed the place and taken the lady into custody. Allowing her to call my mom so she could come take care of the old folks, but wouldn't let her mention that on the phone.

It turns out that the lady was a murderer and had killed several people, including her husband. She had been on the run for years.

Years before that, when I was just a small kid, my dad owned a small construction company. One of his employees was a scruffy ol' guy who did the work of 3 men. He was almost like part of the family. He was like a beloved uncle to me and babysat me when my parents went out, etc. One day he was just never seen again. My dad explained that he was in prison. He also was a murderer and they caught up to him.
 

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People don't like being exploited, but will allow it only if there's no other choice and you bring enough to the table for it to be worth their while.

Also, WROL, there's nothing to prevent your "employees" from killing the boss and taking all his stuff, except the boss having the guns. And at that point its not far from slavery, if its "do as I say or I shoot you". No thanks all around. I would only work with people who have mutual goals and trust.
I agree. Exploit might not be the right word, even if it's accurate.

The guy I used to think was my friend exploited people into investing into his property. It was survivalist related, and he would have them come out and work.

Worst of all, he called himself as a Christian. He would steal in the name of charity, and make people feel like they owed him.

One kid (a drop out) he would give food to his grandmother, then everyday pick him up to work. His reward was "playing x box". No money, no respect, just exploitation.

I think that man is the most Evil, purest form of sinister evil I have ever met. Charismatic, funny, creative, witty, and absolutely no comprehension of what being a Christian really is.

My point is that adopting yourself as a burden to someone else, might sound good or fair in your easy chair, but as they work your fields eventually it will be them who decide how the harvest gets distributed.
 

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If you want people you can trust, people who want only love, food, a place to live, then I suggest you have children.
 

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If you want people you can trust, people who want only love, food, a place to live, then I suggest you have children.
Haha, good point! That's a prep right there.
 
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Many people out there now trying to pull the old confidence games and lawsuit tricks. They're desperate but still won't do honest work. Word of mouth is a powerful tool to avoid that trap. How about hooking up with the local church / food bank / homeless shelter to get pre-screened workers?
 

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Don't be dumb
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I am going to do more thinking on this topic and see what it would take to make it feasible. Right now I am thinking 3 or 4 cabins about 12x14 with a wood stove sink and a hot plate. A shared shower house with washer and dryers and restrooms.
How about just buying the utility portions and an axe and a saw? That way if they truly need a job, they can build their own house instead of you wasting money on buildings that may never be needed :thumb:. This of course assumes you have trees around to make cabins with.

But as Crutch said earlier, this is really premature unless you have all the other things in place that would allow you have a person farm with manual labor and a couple of labor animals. If there is no need for them to have you around i.e. knowledge about farming or general survival your worth plummets.
 
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