Guest Post: Americans Will Need “Black Markets” To Survive

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Brandon Smith from Alt-Market

Americans Will Need “Black Markets” To Survive

As Americans, we live in two worlds; the world of mainstream fantasy, and the world of day-to-day reality right outside our front doors.  One disappears the moment we shut off our television.  The other, does not… 

When dealing with the economy, it is the foundation blocks that remain when the proverbial house of cards flutters away in the wind, and these basic roots are what we should be most concerned about.  While much of what we see in terms of economic news is awash in a sticky gray cloud of disinformation and uneducated opinion, there are still certain constants that we can always rely on to give us a sense of our general financial environment.  Two of these constants are supply and demand.  Central banks like the private Federal Reserve may have the ability to flood markets with fiat liquidity to skew indexes and stocks, and our government certainly has the ability to interpret employment numbers in such a way as to paint the rosiest picture possible, but ultimately, these entities cannot artificially manipulate the public into a state of demand when they are, for all intents and purposes, dead broke. 

In contrast, the establishment does have the ability to make specific demands or necessities illegal to possess, and can even attempt to restrict their supply.  Though, in most cases this leads not to the control they seek, but a sudden and sharp loss of regulation through the growth of covert trade.  The people need what the people need, and no government, no matter how titanic, can stop them from getting these commodities when demand is strong enough.

This process of removing necessary or desirable items from a trade environment leads inevitably to counter-prohibition often in the form of strict cash transactions, barter markets, or “black markets” as they are normally derided by those in power.  The problem for economic totalitarians is that the harder they squeeze the masses, the more intricate the rebellion becomes, especially when all they want is to participate in free markets the way our forefathers intended. 

The so called “drug war” is proof positive of the impossibility of locking down a product, especially one that has no moral bearing on the people who are involved in its use.  Only when a considerable majority of a populace can be convinced of the inherent immoral nature of an illicit item can its trade finally be squelched.  During any attempt to outlaw a form of commerce, a steady stream of informants convinced of their service to the “greater good” is required for success.  Dishonorable governments, therefore, do not usually engage in direct confrontation with black markets.  Instead, they seek to encourage the public to view trade outside mainstream legal standards as “taboo”.  They must condition us to react with guilt or misplaced righteousness in the face of black market activity, and associate its conduct as dangerous and destructive to the community, turning citizens into an appendage of the bureaucratic eye.

But, what happens when black markets, due to calamity, become a pillar of survival for a society?  What happens when the mainstream economy no longer meets the available demand?  What happens when this condition has been deliberately engineered by the power structure to hasten cultural desperation and dependence?

In this event, black markets not only sustain a nation through times of weakness, but they also become a form of revolution; a method for fighting back against the centralization of oppressive oligarchies and diminishing their ability to bottleneck important resources.  Black markets are a means of fighting back, and are as important as any weapon in the battle for liberty.  Here are just a few reasons why such organizational actions may be required in the near future…

The Mainstream Economy Is Slowly Killing Us

There are, unfortunately, some Americans out there who have not caught on yet to the grave circumstances in which we live.  Obviously, the stock market seems to have nearly recovered from its epic collapse in 2008 and 2009, and employment, according to the Labor Department, is on the mend.  The numbers say it all, right?  Wrong!  The numbers say very little, especially when they are a product of “creative mathematics”.

Despite the extreme spike in the Dow Jones since 2010, and all the talk of recovery, what the mainstream rarely mentions are the details surrounding this miraculous return from the dead for stocks. 

One of the most important factors to consider when gauging the health of the markets is “volume”; the amount of shares being traded and the amount of investors active on any given business day.  Since the very beginning of the Dow’s meteoric rise, the markets have been stricken with undeniably low volume interspersed with all too brief moments of activity.  In fact, this past January recorded the lowest NYSE volume since 1999:

Market volume has tumbled over 20% since last year, and is down over 50% from 2008 when the debt implosion began:

So then, if trade is sinking, why has the Dow jumped to nearly 13,000?  Low volume is the key.  In a low volume market, less individual investors are present to counteract the buying and selling of larger players, like international banks.  When this happens, the big boys are able to trigger market spikes, or market drops, literally at will.  Add to this the high probability that much of the stimulus that the Federal Reserve has regurgitated into the ether probably ended up in the coffers of corporate banks which then used the funny money to snap up equities, and presto!  Instant market rally!  But, a rally that is illusory and unstable.

Improving employment numbers are yet another financial hologram.  As most of us in the Liberty Movement are well aware, the Labor Department does not calculate true unemployment in the U.S.  Instead, it merely calculates those people who currently receive unemployment benefits.  Once a person hits the extension limit (99 weeks in many states) on his benefits, he is removed from the rolls, and is no longer counted in the “official” unemployment percentage.  While Barack Obama and MSM pundits are quick to point out the drop in jobless to 8.3%, what they conveniently fail to mention is that MILLIONS of Americans have been unemployed for so long that they have been removed from the statistics entirely, and this condition is what has caused the primary fall in jobless percentages, not burgeoning business growth.

Roughly 11 million Americans who are jobless have nonetheless been excluded from the statistical government tally because of a loss of benefits:

According to the Congressional Budget Office, over 40% of the currently unemployed have been so for over 6 months.  It also points out that America is suffering the worst case of long term unemployment since the Great Depression:

More than 10.5 million people in the U.S. also receive disability payments, which automatically removes them from the unemployment count, making it seem as though jobs are being created, rather than lost:

Around 8.2 million Americans only work part time, meaning they work less hours than are generally considered to be necessary for self-support.  These people are still counted as “employed” even if they work a few hours a week.

True unemployment, according to John Williams of Shadowstats, is hovering near 23%:

Combine these circumstances with the ever weakening dollar, price inflation in foods and other commodities, and rocketing energy costs, and you have an economy that is strangling the life out of the middle-class and the poor in this country.  It is only a matter of time before the populace begins searching for alternative means of subsistence, even if that entails “illegal” activities.

Government Cracking Down On Freedom Of Trade

I was recently walking through the parking lot of a grocery store and ran into a group of women huddled intently around the back of a mini-van.  One of the women was reaching into a cooler and handing out glass containers filled with milk.  I approached to ask if she was selling raw milk, and if so, how much was she charging.  Of course, they turned startled and wide eyed as if I had just stumbled upon their secret opium ring.  Somehow it had slipped my mind how ferocious the FDA has become when tracking down raw milk producers.  The fact that these women were absolutely terrified of being caught with something as innocuous as MILK was disturbing to me.  How could we as a society allow this insanity on the part of our government to continue? 

That moment reminded me of the utter irrelevance of petty law, as well as the determination of human beings to defy such law. 

The Orwellian hammer has been thrust in the face of those who trade in raw milk, organic produce, and herbal supplements, while small businesses are annihilated by government dues and red tape.  In the meantime, law enforcement officials have been sent strapped to shut down children’s lemonade stands (no, seriously):

Government legislation which would give the FDA jurisdiction over personal gardens has been fielded.  Retail gold and silver purchases of over $600 are now tracked and taxed.  The IRS even believes it has the right to tax barter exchanges, even though they do not explain how bartered goods could be legally qualified as “income”, or how they can conceive of ever being able to trace such private trade:,,id=205581,00.html

Want to choose what kind of currency you would like to use to protect your buying power?  Not if  the Department Of Justice’s Anne Tompkins has anything to say about it. After the railroading of Liberty Dollar founder Bernard von NotHaus, she stated:

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism…”

“While these forms of anti-government activities do not involve violence, they are every bit as insidious and represent a clear and present danger to the economic stability of this country,” she added. “We are determined to meet these threats through infiltration, disruption, and dismantling of organizations which seek to challenge the legitimacy of our democratic form of government.”

As our economic situation grows increasingly precarious in this country, more and more people will turn towards localized non-corporate, non-mainstream business methods and products.  And, the government will no doubt attempt to greatly restrict or tax these alternatives.  This mentality is driven in part by their insatiable appetite for money, but mostly, it’s about domination.  They do what they do because they fear decentralized markets, and the ability of the citizenry to conceive of choices outside the system.  Slaves are not supposed to choose the economy they will participate in…

A “black market” is only a trade dynamic that the government disapproves of, and the government disapproves of most things these days.  Frankly, its time to stop worrying about what Washington D.C. consents to.  They have unfailingly demonstrated through rhetoric and action that they are not interested in the fiscal or social health of this nation, and so, we must take matters into our own hands. 

Black Market Advantages

If the events in EU nations such as Greece, Spain, and Italy are any indication, the U.S., with its massive debt to GDP ratio (real debt includes entitlement programs), is looking at one of two possible scenarios:  default, austerity measures, and high taxes, or, hyperinflation, and then default, austerity measures, and high taxes.  In the past we have mentioned barter networking and alternative market programs springing up in countries like Greece and Spain allowing the people to cope with the faltering economy.  Much of this trade is done away from the watchful eyes of government, simply because they cannot afford the gnashing buffalo-sized bites that bureaucrats would take from their savings in the process.  When a government goes rogue, and causes the people harm, the people are in no way obligated to continue supporting that government. 

Black markets give the citizenry a means to protest the taxation of a government that no longer represents them.  In a country stricken with austerity, these networks allow the public to thrive without having to pay for the mistakes or misdeeds of political officials and corporate swindlers.  In a hyperinflationary environment, black markets (or barter markets that have been deemed unlawful), can be used to supplant the imploding fiat currency altogether, and energize community markets that would otherwise be unable to function.  Ultimately, black markets feed and clothe the grassroots movement towards economic responsibility, and every man and woman with any sense of independence should rally around this resource with the intention to fight should it ever be threatened. 

“Legality” is arbitrary in the face of inherent conscience, or what some call “natural law”.  Without arbitrary legality, and unjust and unwarranted regulation, many federal alphabet agencies would not exist, including the FDA, the IRS, the EPA, the BLM, etc.  These institutions do not matter.  What they say has no meaning.  What matters is what is honorable, what is factual, and what is right.  Our loyalty, as Americans, is to our principles and our heritage.  Beyond that, we don’t owe anyone anything.  A black market in one place and time is a legitimate market in another.  For now, private localized trade is able to flow with only minor interference, but there will come a day when even the most practical and harmless personal transactions will be visited with administrative reproach and vitriol.  Alternative market champions will be accused of “extremism”, and undermining the mainstream economy.  We will be vilified as separatists, isolationists, terrorists, and traitors.  I believe it will be far more surreal than what we can possibly imagine now.  

They are welcome to call us whatever they like.  Honestly……who cares?  Let the paper pushers do their angry little dance.  The goal is freedom; in life, in politics, and in trade.    If we do not change how this country does business ourselves, the results will be far more frightening than any government agent at our doorstep, and the costs will be absolute…

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gangland's picture

helyea das hot! but i was thinking more like this


stay up

Hugh G Rection's picture

Not bad, but this is the tight shit right here.


stay flaccid

AbruptlyKawaii's picture

the world is a corporate college...great flik network....the world is a business...

badass tune blast that shit!

ZippyBananaPants's picture

Question: does Greece do the debt swap and THEN default on those new bonds? So there will be no CDS triggered?

AbruptlyKawaii's picture

only kinetic cds will be triggered

TruthInSunshine's picture

If you want to remain as free as possible, remember these words (I am not a doomsday prepper, but given the events of recent years - topping it all off with decapitation of the Constitution of The United States with such things as NDAA 2012 - it would at least behoove people to do some preparation for lean times ahead). Independence is only possible based on self-reliance.

Forget about the false left-right paradigm, and moreover, the false paradigm of choice those in power have convinced so many really exists. It doesn't. There is no democracy. There is no republic. The people making the important decisions, laws and running the global supply chain do not believe that human beings are anything more than a commodity.


*The following are not my words, but an alternate interpretration of the pillars in 1984, that deviates from the allegorical 'lesson plan' as taught by state sponsored educational institutions, that I thought was quite excellent.


War is Peace

Freedom is Slavery

Ignorance is Strength



War is Peace:

  • By creating a perpetual war, and one that cannot be won, the party has, in effect, created peace within Oceania. If the entire population stands behind a war then they will do nothing to weaken the country, especially if the balance of power is constantly shifting. Any weakening of the party would give enemy nation a chance to play against this weakness, and thus, puts the entire country at risk.

  • As long as there is no accumulated wealth there can be no uprising. And war, even better, war without end, is the easiest way to consume wealth and resources. Thus, the easiest way to have peace is to have a continuing war instead of constantly struggling against those who oppose what problems are inherent in peace.

  • Although the Party attempts to advance technologically, the only real advances they make are in war efforts. Again, there is no struggle from those who oppose peace, because life remains, in all aspects, war active.

  • Therefore, the war that shifts enemies, but remains active will keep the peace of a nation. This, ironically enough, is a stronger peace than any other Utopian ideal, because there can never be any strong resistance within the nation for fear of creating a weakness that the enemy could exploit and then overthrow.

Freedom is Slavery:

  • When people have the freedom to do, and even think, what they want, the potential to oppose the government exists. And if one opposes the government they create a state of fear for the population, because strong opposition (and thus, revolution) leads to bloodshed. (The only bloodless revolution is one where the government steps down and those with power rarely just give it up.) So, by allowing freedom, the party would be allowing the rebels to enslave others to their fear (If the party allows such liberties as personal freedom, they run the risk of having others enslave people by abusing these personal freedoms).

  • Freedom is what drives the arts. And from art comes the strongest form of rebellion of all: creativity. Thoughts of "better" times. Stifle freedom and you stifle all desire to change.

  • The only logical step for the Party, then, is to remove the freedoms and take control away from the people. 

  • It is important to note that there is a great chaos in allowing people to live free. By allowing a choice in what one wants to do, they allow for inefficiency. Just because one wants to do something, does not mean they will be the most skilled at that task. Thus, freedom is inefficient.

Ignorance is Strength:

  • The only way to keep an idea strong is to remove all suspicion of doubt. If one has no reason to question a belief, then that belief will remain. And if this lack of questioning can become indefinite, then the belief is also indefinite. Keeping people ignorant prevents doubt and creates a powerful strength in the idea.

  • It is the same idea that caused witch hunts in centuries past. By manipulating people's ignorance of medicine-women, one could easily claim that they used dark arts. The lack of knowledge about how these healers worked caused mass inquisitions. The group was strong in their ideals because they knew nothing of how the "witches" worked.

  • Big Brother can, through the control of history, make themselves seem akin to God. Winston himself, at the end, admits, "God is power." The power to alter history and make it seem as if you had predicted everything is the power to declare oneself God. Or even better, to have others view you as God without being prodded.

AbruptlyKawaii's picture

teknolgie = choice = freedumb = sapienzzzz = #FAIL + CHRNOBYLFUKUSHIMA3MIVERM ONTYAAAANKEEEEEEEDEEEEYABLOOOKANYOOONSANBLAH blah blah ssapines is a dead end

either darwin is right or ORRRR we homo sapiens are right.....


feel me? ha! lmao dual existence

yet the stoopid species cat hac kit that way or in even a ..haha frekin ...humanz ..species is a a fast ebola that kills itself


...& never ever prod me or ...nver evr prod anyone man it's fuking annoying as shit....unless ur a kid in which case ur excused but u will eventually learn ...nver fuking PROD!

TruthInSunshine's picture

If you understand Orwell's, Bradbury's or many other thinkers' views on technology, there's a common thought that they shared, whereby technology would be hijacked by the state as a means to consolidate the state's power and control.

We've already seen this; The Apple iSpy. It's everywhere, and will accelerate. There will be literally nothing that is private in short order.

'Smart phones', webcams and other gadgets that take pictures/video of you remotely and compile a list of where you've been, who you've spoken with as well as what was said, text messages and can track you in real time; CCT in every major city and many minor ones, with 360 degree surveilance; RFID in vehicles communicating with RFID devices on roads; social networking and search apparatus that compiles a permanent and complete  record of all your inquiries, posts, commentary, opinions and behavior; the development and deployment (already happening) of drones flying over American cities, in a blanket network of real time eyes in the sky.

But the rational all the while through the present is that "if you're not doing anything wrong, you need not worry."

If that's true, let's just shred the constitution, and abandon any notion of due process or inalienable rights.

Oh, that's right, they have.

BeetleBailey's picture

What the fuck is the point of reading something such as your post? Learn to communicate in proper English or stay quiet and suck that glass dick you seem to be drawing some type of bizarre inspiration from.

You destroy any rational thought of anyone listening and heeding what you say by the gibberish you clumsily spat above.

Silver Bug's picture

Luckily in a system collapse human instinct kicks in and black markets thrive. They are needed in a time of crisis or government manipulation.

CoolBeans's picture

"True unemployment, according to John Williams of Shadowstats, is hovering near 23%."

Holy shitbags...I figured as much but to see it in writing, is a stunning stat.

Mercury's picture

Dishonorable governments, therefore, do not usually engage in direct confrontation with black markets.  Instead, they seek to encourage the public to view trade outside mainstream legal standards as “taboo”.  They must condition us to react with guilt or misplaced righteousness in the face of black market activity, and associate its conduct as dangerous and destructive to the community, turning citizens into an appendage of the bureaucratic eye.

We're talking about a populace that thinks nothing of stripping a store bare in five minutes after a big night of bread and circus:

So....onto counter black market Plan B....

Gringo Viejo's picture

If people will savage one another for tennis shoes, what will they do for food and water?

JohnnyBriefcase's picture

They mostly come at night...



Calmyourself's picture

Answer: Cut down on a particular voting bloc..  Of course dead people vote but its a start..

xela2200's picture


Every red vote makes your point.

carbonmutant's picture

Barter Bitchez...

Element's picture

Barter is mostly too slow for states, and for humans.

That's why people wanted to use gold, but gold is also too inconvenient.

Thus we used IOUs to redeem gold.

Then got paper dollars, because they're convenient and extremely fast to transact, move about and settle more trades in rapid succession.

Barter can't compete with that.

Bendromeda Strain's picture

Thanks for the Schoolhouse Rock history lesson, but competition between two functioning systems isn't the point here. You want speed? Is this fast enough for you?

Element's picture

My point is that some mechanisms of trade settlement are much preferred by most people.

Barter is a niche option that does not last long when people have a more efficient and faster medium of exchange for trades.

So you bring in this unrelated crap about the speed of US Public Debt accumulation?

yeah ... sure ...

CoolBeans's picture

We're practically Greece when it comes to the unemployment numbers (the real ones).

debtandtaxes's picture

The US is "practically Greece" in more ways than unemployment numbers! Being the world reserve currency is your salvation.

GeneMarchbanks's picture

Free market = Black market

For centuries that's been the only true formula in economics.

Zero Govt's picture

un-taxed markets

trade without the thieving fingers of the parasites of Govt

Atomizer's picture

The grey markets have never gone away. Hence for new FinCen measures and expanding the IRS staff. If you have a penny under the couch, they intend to find out and question on how you acquired that penny. At 15.1% unemployment levels, no one would of ever saw this coming.

Things that go bump's picture

You have no idea! The son of a friend of mine just got back from IRS boot camp.  I'm not kidding here.  He went for several months thereabouts. He was housed in barracks in DC with a bunch of other potential IRS prospects and they ate mess-style. They were planning on hiring about a third of them.  Maybe more later. I don't know if he didn't make the grade or just couldn't stomach it.

Element's picture

Army of the zombie arseholes ... where's WB7?

Yen Cross's picture

 Quiet. I own a Radio Station.  You guys missed it. Radio stations are the BIGGEST TRADE whores on this Blue Marble.

  Always have been, and will be. Air Time trade is hard to trace.

AbruptlyKawaii's picture

hada  guy some kind of doctor very old in his late 80s who pulled 11 mill out of his 1968 $58k original price house in a refi he used 30 million in air as extra collateral the loan committee took it 30 million in fcc licenses unused spectrum or whatever the fuck

tired1's picture

Sounds like WinStar., what a mess tha was.

Hulk's picture

In my neck of the woods, barter never died and has picked up in pace. Rifles for dogs, garden grown vegetables, hooch, cooch, fishing poles, four wheelers, chopped wood, you name it, we trade it. Canning has picked up considerably. We even switch growing potatoes with the folks across the crik (to control diseases, an age old practice here). Good luck regulating that you beaurocratic, parasitic, evil doing good for nothings...

Yen Cross's picture

That trick works well with Pumpkins and ( other), Squash as well HULK!  Cantelope and others mellons you ass hats!

Hulk's picture

Lost all my PM's in that there crik YC, trading tators back and forth...

Yen Cross's picture

 Stay flat. All in, is the (long) stops we blow out on the way down! Those taters are super good for ya. I use them with all sorts of white meat/ and an occasional steak!

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

That is a real and growing problem there Hulk.  Taking those PMs along when trading tators.  And losing them in the water.  It's happening all the time I hear.  You are NOT alone!

Please accept my sincere condolences.

Hulk's picture

Shiniest crik bottom in all of Appalachia DoChen!

Chuck Walla's picture

I suggest you Google "Kommisar".

The Alarmist's picture

150 million hits that also mention "Sebelius".

Gordon Freeman's picture

Well, ain't that sumpin' Jethro? Do you "barter" for your electric bill? your internet provider, that allows you to bloviate here? The Apple Store?

Guess you and your kin ain't so far off the ol' grid as you'd like like to think, peckerwood...

Dave Thomas's picture

Only a total hipsteresque, metrosexual nancy boy would even reference the apple store.

Read his posts again, does he mention Pabst blue Ribbon? Single speed bikes, or fucking indy bands?

While you're trying to avoid wafish neuvo-riche zombies near Williamsburg in your skin tight jeans, ol Hulk will be having a nice potato and venison dinner, wondering how many of his buddies on Zerohedge either ended up as a chew toy, or are sitting around camping listening to the screams of inner city fags.

Nobody For President's picture

Electric bill?

Apple fucking store?

You make the little joke, right?

Off the grid is off the grid, you do not seem to get that at all.

I've been off 40 years - and as a matter of fact, some folks do barter for their internet service around here - we have three really cool local providers. 

Apple store - oh fuck me - hehehehehehehe. The only apple store I've ever been in is a roadside stand that sells like, apples - the kind you can eat and/or cook and/or dry or make apple sauce or apple butter or stuff like that. (We have three producing organic apple trees - good stuff!)

The Alarmist's picture

Yeah, but the Feds and local regulators are working hard to make sure that those farm stands have no easy day competing with the large donors that run the local outlet of your friendly neighborhood supermarket.

DavidPierre's picture

“Attempts to undermine the legitimate currency of this country are simply a unique form of domestic terrorism…”

12 Gold Analyst Types to Ignore

1. Anybody permanently recommending 10% or less as an allocation for gold in a portfolio. (They're rooting for the 90%)


2. Anybody recommending GLD, ETF's, futures, or ANY gold derivative instrument. (Paper pushers, not gold experts)


3. Anybody offering gold pool or unallocated accounts.

4. Any government official either lacking official gold, or who has official gold loaned or leased.


5. Any banking analyst. (Total conflict)


6. Anybody who counts as his friends bankers, and financiers.

7. Any entity who derives income, or takes ad revenue from banking or Wall Street.

8. Anybody whose research is funded by precious metal consumers. (always wanting to buy low)

9. Anybody who makes a living on technical analysis (admitting manipulation is discrediting their method)

10. Anybody who has amassed an enormous paper fortune.

11. Federal Reserve talking heads.

12. Most important: Any analyst of ANY kind that either refuses to acknowledge, or is dismissive of GATA's work. (Ignorant, arrogant, or both)

 For "analysts" like the Nitwit Nadler and Jeffrey Christian it's hard to find an area where they AREN'T conflicted. When you look at the volume of gold "experts" that are conflicted it's easy to see why the public is still largely clueless. CNBC is fond of putting up a scorecard showing each analyst's potential conflicts of interest yet they'll NEVER show a list of conflicts when one of them is bashing gold.

If you want to capitalize on this gold bull then you should never trust anybody with a motive to lie.