Ringing in 2022 with Some Depressing Predictions

Happy New Year, but don’t get your hopes up. Our 2022 predictions for 2022 say it will be expensive, dangerous, and depressing.

In a recent survey, seven out of ten registered voters said 2021 was a bad year for the country, and 55 percent said it was a bad year for them personally. Brace yourself because I have bad news: 2022 will not be any better. In fact, I think it may be worse. Let’s look at why I feel that way.

It’s the Economy, Stupid

That phrase helped Bill Clinton win in 1992, but it’s going to help Democrats lose in 2022 because the economy will still be drowning in inflation by the time the mid-term elections take place. I do expect the supply chain problems to continue. That means inflation looks like it will continue to rise for most of the year. Food prices will be much higher. The average gas price will go back up above $4.

Mixed with less spending due to higher prices, this will eventually become stagflation, meaning people will spend less even as prices rise, slowing the economy.

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Potential Underground Jobs and Opportunities after the SHTF

What will you do when the financial system collapses, the banks close, the stock market shuts down, and businesses close?

Let’s assume that there has been a financial collapse. Maybe inflation set in, followed by hyperinflation. Maybe we went to war with China over Taiwan and while we did not exactly lose, neither did we completely win. Regardless, the dollar is no longer the world’s reserve currency and its value is dropping fast, dragging the country along with it.

You, and most of the people you know, are unemployed, but you get $10,000 a month from the government. That sounds like a nice sum, but a gallon of milk is $500 and a loaf of bread costs $350. Most of the fast-food restaurants have closed because a double cheeseburger costs $7,000 and doesn’t even include real meat anymore. The cows are likely out there somewhere, but there are no meat packers working and truck drivers are hard to come by. Most of the retailers have closed because the dollar won’t buy anything on the international market, so Asian manufacturers have stopped selling us goods. There are some U.S.-made goods, but no one can afford them.

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COVID hits Close to Home

The omicron variant is sending COVID cases skyrocketing across the country, including our family members, so we decide to stay close to home.

My eldest daughter’s family was exposed to COVID-19 while visiting his relatives on Christmas day. No one realized it then. They just found out that their host tested positive yesterday. Now one of them has symptoms and they are waiting for test results. Looks like our second Christmas will be delayed.

Separately, and in another part of the country, my wife’s niece was diagnosed with COVID. She probably contracted it at a gathering of friends to celebrate her birthday in mid-December. Suddenly, those social things we have gradually allowed ourselves to do again are going back on the prohibited list. It makes me glad I am introverted enough I don’t depend on an active social calendar to keep me happy and well adjusted.

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A Country Christmas Weekend

We celebrate Christmas at home and take it easy over the weekend.

Last year, Christmas was so cold and snowy that we had to postpone Christmas dinner for a few days because no one could drive up the mountain. That was far from the case this year.

When I walked the dog on Christmas morning, the sky was cloudless and bright blue. The sun warmed us as we hiked up the mountain. When I fed the chickens–because people with livestock don’t get a day off–they came pouring out of their coop to enjoy the sunshine. Their Christmas present was a handful of grapes that were left over from our Christmas Eve dinner.

If you have never seen a chicken eat a grape, it’s a hoot. They peck at the grape and it rolls away. The chicken chases it, hoping another chicken doesn’t beat them to it. There were enough grapes for all, but it’s still fun to watch as they rolled across the chicken run. Grapes are a real treat for the girls. They ignored the sweet potato peels and other dinner scraps to eat the grapes first.

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Merry Christmas!

I’d like to wish my readers a merry Christmas.  I’ll be spending a few days with family, eating ham with all the fixin’s, and enjoying what looks to be a warming spell. I hope you are able to spend some time with friends and family over this holiday weekend.

Unless the Russians invade the Ukraine or something equally momentous happens, I expect we’ll be back with a regular daily posting on Monday the 27th.

Until then, let us pray for peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

Video of the Day

Here’s a favorite from my childhood, and maybe yours:

Silver Dealer Tries to Charge me an Enormous Premium

I run into a rude coin dealer who apparently doesn’t need my cash. Be an educated consumer and knowing when to walk away from a bad deal.

On the same day that I went to Sam’s Club, I stopped in a coin store to buy some junk silver. I had come prepared with eight $100 bills in my pocket. My plan was to buy $40 of pre-1965 silver coins.

Once again, I knew the melt value, which was about $4.10 per quarter, or 16.4 times face value.

So I drive through the seedy downtown of a relatively unfamiliar city, following my GPS to the coin store. I’m wearing my Glock, because $800. I get a parking space almost right in front of the store.

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Prepper News Update: War Drums and Crime Waves

Russia Threatens to go Nuclear Over Ukraine

We’ve discussed the possibility that Russia might invade Ukraine. I think it would be a mistake and it would be better for all parties involved if they each backed off on the rhetoric a bit. Instead, Russia threatens to turn their enemies into nuclear ash.

Here’s an interesting take by Pat Buchanan on Putin’s demands.

Tensions and Troop Levels Rise between China and India

Tensions have been building along their disputed border. As more weapons, men, and material pour into the region, it looks like both sides are preparing for conflict.

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The Dangers of Running out of Stuff

Will the world as we know it come crashing down because of supply chain shortages? It’s certainly possible as shortages may persist for years.

Decades ago, I thought the world would end in nuclear fire. Years ago, I worried about an EMP. More recently, I worried that our collapsing economy, encroaching socialism, and the possibility of Civil War II. I also worry about a war involving the U.S. and China.

Today, I added a fresh worry: that life as we know it may collapse because we run out of stuff.

What kind of stuff? You know, the stuff we eat, the stuff we pump into our cars, the electricity that powers our homes, and the medications that sustain many people. That kind of stuff, followed by everything we buy: appliances, lumber, electronics, cars, drugs, beverages, apparel, toys, etc. This will be driven in part by shortages of raw materials, like steel, aluminum, copper, rare earth minerals, oil, and fertilizer. The shortages will be exacerbated by shortages of truck drivers, port workers, warehouse personnel, and even retailer employees. Trade wars, cold wars, and hot wars could make shortages even worse.

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Have they learned nothing about COVID since 2020?

We are entering the third year of the COVID pandemic and the government is doubling down on the same tactics that didn’t stop COVID last time.

I continue to be amazed at all the doom and gloom about the new Omicron variation of COVID-19. Suddenly, the news is full of school closings, test kit shortages, overwhelmed hospitals, and dire forecasts of one million dead. Yet there still is little or no proof that this variation is any more dangerous than the flu. Hospitalization and COVID deaths are well below last year’s levels.

Later today, President Biden will address the nation, probably to encourage all of us to get vaccines and boosters. I doubt it will do any good. If people believe in the vaccine, they would have gotten it already. If people don’t want to, a presidential threat won’t change their mind.

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Inflation on my Recent Sam’s Club Visit Hits 15 Percent

Inflation has hit food prices at Sam’s Club, driving up items we buy between 6 and 35 percent for an average price increase of 15 percent.

I was in the city yesterday, so I stopped by Sam’s Club and bought the items you see above–six cans of Hormel chili without beans, eight cans of spam, 12 cans of chicken, and four cans of salmon–plus 25 pounds of flour, for $75.98. That’s the most I have spent on my prepper pantry in some time. That’s 30 canned goods for an average cost of $2.23. Take out the salmon, and the cost drops to $2.08 per can. Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it? Until you see the impact inflation has had on those prices, which I will detail below.

Each can of food is between 12 and 15 ounces, so it provides three to four ounces of meat or fish, the central component of a meal, for four people. Note that the meal will also include bread made with our flour or stored wheat, rice, pasta, potatoes, or another item from our long-term storage food. Perhaps some fresh or vegetables or fruit will be available.

Our 30 cans then equal 120 meals, which is a huge amount of food if there are only two of us. The number of meals dwindles as our numbers grow. If we have twelve people living here in a disaster situation, that’s just ten meals. If we spread them out and eat canned meat or fish every third day, all that food will be gone in a month.

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