My knee-jerk instinct is to laugh at survivalists. In fact, I’m forecasting an increasingly peaceful future. Still, if there’s even a 1% chance of a major nuclear war in the next 50 years, doesn’t it seem wise to allocate at least 1% of your permanent income to prepare for that eventuality? The marginal utility of a little extra consumption in extreme wartime conditions is almost unimaginably high. If you read Barefoot Gen, it’s clear that any of the families in Hiroshima would have drastically improved their odds of survival if they had stockpiled rice ten years earlier during better times – and spread their stash over a few different locations.
So suppose you’ve decide to spend $3000 to prepare for the worst. What should be in your survival portfolio?