Keep an eye on the social and political situation in Europe. When people start fighting in the streets and riots erupt, it will be a warning sign to prepare for the U.S. to follow. I expect Europe will collapse into chaos before the U.S.
Yesterday, I predicted the high cost of gas and rising inflation would cause civil unrest here in the Sates. Today I am predicting it will be worse in Europe. I’m not talking “mostly peaceful” protestors burning tires and jumping on police cars, I’m talking burning buildings and dead bodies in the street as cold, hungry, angry European citizens overrun the police and attack their governing institutions. Think French Revolution.
These will be protests and riots like we haven’t seen in years. And if the protesters get organized? We could see governments topple.
Don’t plan a trip to Europe this winter. Scratch that. Don’t plan a trip to Europe for the next year or two. The UK might be OK, but cities across much of continental Europe could prove to be unsafe.
Oil will be the Catalyst
We think we have it bad in terms of oil and natural gas prices. Europe is worse. They’ve always had higher prices, but unless the war in Ukraine is resolved and sanctions are lifted, this winter they will have a significantly lower supply. I expect rationing at best, outages at worst. And an outage in the winter means no heat. Natural gas shortages could mean no electricity, or rolling blackouts.
The rich can insulate themselves from many things, but when the electric generating utility runs out of natural gas and cannot produce more electricity, having the biggest house on the block doesn’t exempt them from the blackout. And if their expensive whole-house generator runs on natural gas? Well, they’re out of luck then, too.
I don’t know who it was that first said “you can’t print food,” but you can’t print oil and gas either.
When the poor get angry and protest, the politicians don’t worry because the poor have no power. When the younger generations protest, the politicians shrug, knowing most of them will grow out of it. But when the middle class is out there with their pitchforks and torches? It’s time to worry. When the rich are lining up behind them, you will see leaders decide it is time to cut their losses and resign.
Our Advantage is Waning
I’d like to say that the United States has an advantage over Europe because we have less socialism, a freer market, and produce our own oil, but under this administration, our advantage has dwindled. Joe Biden and the socialists behind the curtain are applauding the higher gas prices. They’ll keep clapping until the people with pitchforks and torches show up at their gates. Then they’ll hop into their helicopters and private jets to fly off to their island getaways or Western retreats. Your car may be on empty, but you can bet their private jets will have plenty of fuel.
Europe doesn’t have the energy resource we do, but regulations constrain us in fully utilizing ours. We are constrained and restricted by regulations and a president who wants green energy, even if it means things grind to a halt. He’ll accept a collapse before he accepts more oil production. He’d rather negotiate with Venezuela and beg the Saudis for oil that put Americans to work producing more energy.
Remember when President Obama said “those jobs are just not going to come back,” and then Donald Trump brought many of them back? We need a president who can do that with oil. Someone who will restart the oil pumps. We need a president who will speed permitting, re-open leases, lift EPA regulations, and let old coal plants generate electricity again regardless of greenhouse gasses. A president who will encourage fracking and cut through the red tape to build pipelines. We need a president who recognizes that corn is better used as food for man and beast than as an ingredient in gasoline.
Oil is the lifeblood of this nation. Oil moves goods on our highways. It powers our farms, our factories, and heats our homes. Solar and wind power cannot do that. Without low-cost oil, the United States is like an anemic man, weak and failing. Europe will be worse, not because it is more dependent on oil but because it has less access to oil and energy.
I am pessimistic, but I am far from the only one. Look at the markets, they too fear the future. Look at consumer sentiment. There is little or no good news to be had. Ukraine looks like they will lose the war, despite billions of our tax dollars and tons of our weapons. The threat of war of World War III with Russia has increased. China is acting belligerently and said they will attack Taiwan if it declares independence. Iran and Israel are close to coming to blows, which would send the price of a barrel of oil soaring. Our weather is doing weird things and our electric grid may fail. Crime is up. The border is insecure. The economy is heading into a recession and the feckless folks who are supposed to be in control are unsure of what to do next.
If a recession and civil unrest are the only thing we face this summer, I’ll consider that a win.