Inflation and Supply Chain Problems Rise Above the Fold

A curve about to explore upwards.
A curve about to explore upwards.

Judging by the headlines and the cable news coverage, I’d say that the mainstream media just realized that inflation is here, and it is not transient.  We’ve been saying this for months, as has anyone who pays attention when grocery shopping, but it took another rise in the CPI to get the consumer oriented media to actually start covering the topic.

There has also been a good deal of news coverage relating to the 4.3 million people who quit their jobs in August. (September’s numbers are not yet available.)

Earlier today, President Biden gave a speech saying he’s working on the supply chain to make sure we have what we need, from Christmas presents that arrive on time to kitchen appliances.  Looks like he’s setting himself up for another failure because there is little he can do here without eliminating the vaccine mandate and relaxing a few other regulations related to COVID-19 and truck drivers.

The Big Question

Today’s news raises a big question in my mind: How much longer do we have before the average, low-information American who pays little attention to economic news wakes up to what is happening and does something about it? Will we see another toilet-paper crisis-level response like we had when COVID-19 broke out? Will people stockpile rice, beans, and canned food? Will this exacerbate shortages, cause empty shelves and there by even more panic? Will the value of my stash of ramen packets suddenly double?

Will it affect the stock market, and if so, how? Will there be a sell off, or will people move from bonds to stocks? Will the price of silver and gold finally see some upward momentum? Will consumer sentiment drop even further? Will we head into a recession?

I am seeing multiple posts and discussions on Twitter about prepping, many from people who are not traditional preppers. I’ve always found Twitter to be a bit of a prepping desert, where prepping posts get little play. Suddenly, prepping is the topic du jour.

I can’t help but think we’re on the cusp; that moment when something serious preppers have been concerned about goes from being a niche issue to blowing up in the mainstream. That will increase media coverage, bringing more attention to the issue, and making shortages even worse. Grocery stores will be swamped, and we’ll see empty shelves and purchase limits. People will be accused of hoarding.

The Window is Closing

If we are closing in on the point on the chart where the line suddenly shoots upwards, then this could be your last chance to beat the rush and get prepared. Keep in mind, I don’t sell prepping food or supplies, so this is not me using scare tactics to drum up business. This is me trying to warn you of what may be a turning point in the health of our economy.

Am I as prepared as I would like to be? No. I’d like to own four rabbits and eight cages. I’d like to have 2,000 watts of solar panels, an inverter, and at least 10 kilowatt hours of lithium batteries. Despite those holes in my long-term plans, I’m pretty happy where I am. It’s far better than where I was a year ago. I hope you can say the same. I expect I’ll be able to buy rabbits in about 85 percent of the foreseeable survival situations, but I don’t think that will be the case with solar panels.

Leave a comment about the prep you wish you had completed.

If Not Now, When?

It’s always possible that the average consumer won’t get riled up at the news coverage, or their normalcy bias keep them from reacting. We may not reach the tipping point this time, but I expect we will before too long. Maybe it will be those high winter heating bills. Perhaps it will happen after widespread blackouts hit this winter. Maybe it will be when those Christmas presents and kitchen appliances Joe promised us aren’t available. It could also be caused by a stock market correction that continues into crash territory. You never know what exactly will happen or when it will happen, but you know it will happen. That’s why we prep as if today was our last chance.