Throughout history, the wealthy have had options available to them, that the common people couldn’t afford. They were able to buy products, go places and own homes which the rest of the population couldn’t afford; and you can be sure that they took advantage of it. While some say that the advantages of wealth are “unfair” and “oppressive to the masses” there has never been a time in history where there weren’t some people who were better off than others.
Through most of history, those who had it better off were known as kings and nobles. They took control of an area and its population and levied taxes upon the common folk, taking from their earnings to pay for governance and protection. In the process, those who levied those taxes had better things and finer houses that they built from the sweat of the brows of those who were taxed.
It wasn’t until the Renaissance that this really began to change. Traders, especially traveling traders, began to amass wealth, with some of the best of them reaching and even surpassing the wealth of the nobles who were their erstwhile masters.
This gave these wealthy traders the ability to own fine possessions and palatial homes, which they of course took advantage of. Being by and large smarter than the nobles they were gradually replacing, they fixed their sights on the novel, looking for new things from art and science, thereby giving a huge boost to the development of technology and the arts.
Today is no different. It is the rich amongst us who support invention, innovation and the arts, in many cases reaping the benefit of that support. One way they reap that benefit is in owning finer things, with better features than what the middle class have.
But the things that are luxuries of the affluent eventually trickle down to become commonplace. The cell phone is a prime example of this. A generation ago, installing a mobile phone in one’s car cost more than the car did. I know, because my granddad had one. But then, what was considered luxuries in the cars of a generation ago, has become commonplace in today’s cars.
Options like power windows and door locks were an expensive option, only seen in luxury cars or as a purchased option in mid-range cars. Yet today, there is hardly a car sold in America, which doesn’t come with power windows and door locks standard. Sound systems are the same. Fourty years ago, a tape deck (CDs didn’t yet exist) was a high-dollar upgrade or an aftermarket installation. Today, it is rare to see a car leave the dealership with only an AM or AM/FM radio installed.
Prepping Options for the Rich
One of the dreams that most preppers aspire towards is having a survival retreat. To own that proverbial cabin in the woods and have it all set up for survival is the ultimate level of preparedness that most of us can think of. Besides making an ideal vacation spot, it also provides us with a safe heaven to escape to, avoiding the zombies on the streets or the mobs of hungry people looking for a meal.
Yet few preppers can actually afford such a luxury. The cost of mountain land starts out north of $25,000 per acre and can reach up into the hundreds of thousands of dollars per acre; and that’s if you’re buying large swaths of land. Buying just a single acre is considerably more expensive.
Of course, building costs in the mountains are higher too, especially in remote areas. Not only do you have to pay to get everything trucked in, you may have the added cost of providing lodging for the construction crew, if they are not local.
This limits the building of such getaway retreats to those who have inherited land or to the wealthy who can afford it. Apparently there are enough of them around, that prices don’t have to drop in order to find buyers. Otherwise, you and I might actually be able to afford that cabin in the woods that we’ve always dreamed about.
While some of the wealthy build or buy homes in these isolated areas just as vacation getaway retreats, more and more of them are buying them as a different sort of retreat. It seems that prepping has reached the hearts and minds of the wealthy, and like everything else they do, they are doing it with style, spending big money in order to have security.
Many of these people are counted amongst the nouveau rich of Silicon Valley. Having made their pile, they are now looking to other needs of their family; most notably, security. As with many of the rest of us, they are recognizing the many risks that we face today and spending at least a part of their fortune to make sure that their family will survive.
But prepping wealthy style is much different than prepping for the rest of us. First of all, few of them are preparing to shelter in place in their homes. Of those that are, most are having expensive, lavishly furnished bunkers built beneath them. But this is only a minority. The rest are planning on bugging out at the first sign of trouble. What’s interesting is the types of places that they are planning on bugging out to and the amount of money they are spending to make that possible.
So, what are these high-dollar survival retreats? They are actually quite varied. But there are some common themes which we see happening today; such as:
- mountain homes in remote valleys, in some cases, only accessible by helicopter
- buying a private island and turning it into a retreat
- New Zeeland
- converted missile silos, which have been turned into luxury survival bunkers
The beautiful country of New Zeeland has become such a popular survival destination for these people, especially those in Silicon Valley, that the name “New Zeeland” has become a secret password amongst them. Mentioning it means that you’re part of the club or at least thinking about joining. The entry fee? Buying an upscale house on the island nation.
If you’ve seen The Lord of the Rings series of movies, you can understand the attraction of New Zeeland as a destination. The country is beautiful and largely unspoiled. It is difficult to get there from here, but that difficulty is apparently part of the attractiveness. The thinking is that any problem which plagues the United States is unlikely to make it to a country on the other side of the world.
The business in New Zeeland survival retreats is good enough, that there are real estate companies over there, which specialize in selling home to wealthy American preppers. Their business has paid off too, with the sale of land to those Americans quadrupling in the last six years.
Missile silos, leftovers from the days of the Cold War, have been being gradually sold off by the government. A few imaginative investors have bought some of those silos and are in the process of converting them into luxury survival condos. These condos, which are typically only half of a 55 foot diameter floor, generally sell for upwards of a million dollars.
These getaway bunkers are well thought out, with amenities like a theatre, an exercise room and an indoor pool. Security is well thought out and makes extensive use of high tech. They even have underground hydroponic gardens, to provide fresh produce to the residents.
So, Why are the Rich Becoming Preppers?
When the rich start putting their money into something, you need to pay attention. Typically, they have access to sources of information that the rest of us normally can’t or don’t access. You also have to take into account that these are uniformly bright people. You don’t get to be a millionaire or billionaire without being extremely intelligent, no matter what the disgruntled say.
More than anything, these people are concerned about social unrest and a breakdown of society. Current social trends pit the majority of the population against the wealthy, Washington insiders, and those who have influence in the highest places. They are seen as the enemy of the people, both by people on the political right and the political left.
The left’s problem with these people is pure class warfare, with Democrat politicians, celebrities and the media complaining about the “one percenters” and how unfair it is that they have more than the rest. In their eyes, those who are wealthy have stolen from the working masses and especially from the poor. In their zeal for the socialist utopia, they want to take what the wealthy have and redistribute it to the poor, lining their own pockets along the way.
The funny thing is, many of these public figures who are decrying the wealthy are themselves amongst the one percent that they badmouth. But in their eyes, they are the “good” one percents, while business tycoons and especially Wall Street bankers are the “bad” one percenters.
The right’s issues with those in power are totally different. First of all, they don’t have issue with the wealthy, always hoping a little if it will rub off on them. With a greater understanding of economics, they realize that the free-market capitalist system that we have is what allows our society to be as wealthy as it is, which translates into more of the population not being poor. More than anything, it creates and sustains the middle class.
What they do have issues with is crony capitalism. With politicians in Washington focusing on helping themselves, rather than helping the country as a whole. With their tax dollars being wasted by the government to fund liberal pet projects and win votes for liberals, rather than being spent for the protection of the nation, upkeep of our infrastructure and betterment of our nation. They resent their hard-earned wages going to pay for people’s abortions, birth-control pills and transgender operations. More than anything, they resent big government meddling in every area of their lives.
So, while both ends of the political spectrum are fed up with the way things are, they are clearly fed up for different reasons. We can see their level of frustration by looking at the last presidential elections. A lot of the reason that Donald Trump won, was because he was an outsider. Those who are fed up saw him as a much better option than any establishment candidate.
Yet the differences between the political left and right are big enough to cause considerable concern. Talk about a second civil war, which started during Obama’s reign, have increased since Donald Trump was inaugurated. Most of this talk is now coming out of the left, who are still enraged that their candidate didn’t win.
The anger on the left is a palatable thing. It has reached a much higher level than angry rhetoric. Paid leftist protestors are showing up at any Republican event, working to disrupt it. These protesters incite the grassroots people to violence, leading to violent confrontations with the police and with conservatives who merely want to hear what the speaker has to say.
This reached a head recently, with the shooting of a congressman and some staffers by a Bernie Sanders supporter. The victims in the shooting were at a practice for a charity baseball game, when the shooter started picking his targets. Had it not been for the courage of two of the Capital Police Department who were there fulfilling their duty, the casualty count would have been much higher.
These nouveau rich preppers see all this happening and are counting the days until a nationwide meltdown. In their eyes, the years following will be some of the most dangerous in our country’s history, especially for them.
So they are making plans to bug out and spend the next decade running their businesses from remote locations or even abandoning their businesses in the name of survival. Either way, they are preparing now, so that their families will be safe when that day comes.