Bare Shelves Trending on Twitter and in your Local Store

A year ago, Candidate Biden blamed empty store shelves on “a lack of leadership.” Now President Biden is blaming empty store shelves on businesses. What a difference a year makes.

I am amused that the hashtag #BareShelfBiden was trending Thursday on Twitter. It’s another example of an issue we’ve been covering here for months catching nationwide attention. That means we are one day closer to panic buying and even more empty shelves.

It feels good to be ahead of the wave and prepare before others see the problem coming rather than getting swept up and washed away by the surge. Keep prepping; one day soon you won’t be able to.

The photo accompanying this article (above) is from our local Walmart earlier this week. Yes, they had some empty shelves, but it wasn’t terrible. The canned meat shelf, photo below, was better stocked than the vegetable shelf. I guess the late-to-the party preppers must all be vegans.

(But as a serious aside, while stocking some fruits and vegetables is good, I stock less of them because 1) I can grow or harvest them in the wild, and 2) because meat and meat-based canned goods like beef stew and chili are calorie dense with more protein and fat than vegetables, which you will need when in a survival situation.)

The canned meat shelf was better stocked than the canned vegetable shelf.

Either way, both shelves are far better stocked than those I saw last spring when the COVID-19 lockdown was at its peak. At this point, no one is starving because they can’t find the exact can of beans they wanted. Nonetheless, it’s a sign of the deteriorating conditions we are experiencing.

I wonder what the hash tags are going to be in a month? #JoeTheGrinch or #JoeStoleChristmas?

Are We Getting Used to This?

I think the real question is, are empty shelves becoming normalized? Did the shortages of COVID-19 make today’s shortages and empty store shelves so common that they don’t alarm anyone? If so, then that is a pretty big step backwards and shows that the downward spiral has our society firmly in its grip.

How long does it take to go from a few empty shelves to waiting in line for bread and milk? A decade? Five years? Maybe just 18 months? Will a few empty shelves blossom into many? Will we have to line up outside Walmart every morning, like shoppers do the morning of the Black Friday sale, hoping to rush in and get potatoes, a dozen eggs, some laundry detergent or new shoes?

It can’t be a good sign that we are experiencing third world problems like food shortages and electrical blackouts. We’re supposed to be one of the most advanced societies in the world and we’re exhibiting symptoms you would epxect to see in the old Soviet Union. Sure, we can develop a robotic pizza maker or an automatic burger flipper, but they won’t do us any good if there is no flour, pepperoni, or beef available. Why, that would be like creating a robotic dog armed with a rifle and not having any ammunition for it.

I Don’t Trust the Government

Keep in mind that the same people that told us inflation is transitory are also telling us that supply chain shortages are short term. (See yesterday’s article for more on why I think they are purposefully knee capping the economy.)

While campaigning a year ago, Joe Biden blamed shortages not on COVID-19 but on a lack of leadership. Well Joe, what’s your excuse?

The Government is Knee-Capping the Economy

Is it chance that the economy is spiraling downward and out standing on the world stage is faltering, or is it all par of a plan?

I was going to write about how I think the Biden Administration shot itself in the foot when it implemented a whole series of executive orders and regulations that, unintentionally or not, hurt the economy, but I changed my mind. “Shooting yourself in the foot” implies they did it by mistake. I think it is much more likely that the Biden Administration and the socialists behind the scenes purposely knee-capped the economy.

That’s right, I think they hobbled the economy by design, to undermine capitalism, to hurry the transition to the world where we “own nothing and like it.” They don’t want small business to succeed and create more middle-class people who control their own fate. They want people to be powerless, to lose their savings, be forced from their homes, and have no choice but to turn to the government for support.

I think the current political regime is undermining the economy and tearing apart our society in an attempt to transfer power from the people to the government. The tyrannical leftists who have worked themselves into power are not satisfied being congressmen and women. They want more power, more control, and more money. The pandemic, followed by the election of a weak, easily controllable president, has given them a window of opportunity.

Continue reading “The Government is Knee-Capping the Economy”

Inflation and Supply Chain Problems Rise Above the Fold

We are reaching that inflection point where inflation and supply chain problems can no longer be brushed under the rug.

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.

Continue reading “Inflation and Supply Chain Problems Rise Above the Fold”

The Systematic Destruction of the Economy Continues

When everything the government does seems to make inflation higher and the economy worse, you have to ask yourself: Are they doing it on purpose?

Today’s job numbers were terrible. New jobs increased the slowest in all of 2021. More people left the workforce—they gave up on working—than got new jobs. Why? I can think of at least four reasons:

First, many potential employees are not desperate enough to need a job that doesn’t pay much, isn’t satisfying and fulfilling, and requires dealing with rude and entitled customers.

Second, the younger generation of people grew up with easy lives are weren’t used to having to work hard. They also disagree with the concept of having to work your way up and few will accept traditional menial and entry-level jobs. The lack of coal miners is a good example. Why would someone want to work a dangerous job in uncomfortable conditions when they can make money sitting at home trading stocks on Robinhood, hosting a game channel on Stitch, or working whenever in the gig economy whenever they want to make a few bucks?

Continue reading “The Systematic Destruction of the Economy Continues”

How to Survive Hyperinflation: Venezuela Cuts Six Zeros From its Currency

What will you do when it costs $100 to buy a soda and gas is over $300 a gallon? Better plan now to survive hyperinflation.

Imagine a world where 7 ounces of coffee costs $5,800,000. That’s what hyperinflation can do. In fact, that’s what happened in Venezuela with the bolivar, their currency. Anyone supporting the big spending socialist programs should keep in mind that this is where they end up.

In the third devaluation of its currency in 13 years, the country just removed six zeros from its bolivar, meaning the coffee will now cost 5.8 of the new bolivars. The country had previously cut three and five zeros off, which helps avoid the need for a 1 trillion bolivar bill.

To give the U.S. dollar the same buying power the dollar had 100 years ago, we would have to cut two zeros off. If we did that, the humble penny would have the same buying power of a $1 bill and I could get a breakfast biscuit combo at the drive through for a nickel. Ah, the good old days back before the Federal Reserve was created. Think what it will be like when you need a $100 bill to buy a soda, or when the dollar store is known as the $100 store. That’s what lies down the road.

Continue reading “How to Survive Hyperinflation: Venezuela Cuts Six Zeros From its Currency”

Hold on Folks, Energy Prices are Going to Soar

Natural gas shortages in the UK and Europe and coal shortages in China are not local events. They are going to drive up energy prices in the U.S.

I hope you live in a state where the amount your utility companies can charge you is controlled by a state commission because it could delay the inevitable rising price you will pay for gas and electricity.

If you have a long commute by car or a job that keeps you on the road, it’s time to get another job, a more efficient car, or become a remote worker. The cost of oil is heading upwards, and you are going to feel that at the gas pump pretty soon. We are entering one of those periods where every week the price is higher than the last time.

We are in the early stages of those rare moments when you can see inflation happening right in front of your eyes. It’s going to very visible for gasoline, energy, and food, but everything will be more expensive in six months than it is today.

Continue reading “Hold on Folks, Energy Prices are Going to Soar”

Britain Fears another “Winter of Discontent.” Will it Strike Here?

Inflation, gas shortages, and supply chain disruptions make British fear the 1970s are returning. Will this be our winter of discontent as well?

According to Reuters, British politicians are telling citizens not to panic as BP closes gas stations and rations fuel deliveries due to a truck driver shortage. They claim Britain is not “heading back into a 1970s-style ‘winter of discontent’ of strikes and power shortages amid widespread problems caused by supply chain issues.”

Up to 90 percent of stations in some areas of the UK are out of petrol due to panic buying, and the government is considering having the army deliver fuel to depleted stations. It has also issued 5,000 emergency visas to foreign truck drivers. However, it may be too little too late.

Continue reading “Britain Fears another “Winter of Discontent.” Will it Strike Here?”

The Pop Heard ‘Round the World: China’s Bubble Bursts

Capitalism practiced by communists has lead to the expected default of Evergrande, one of China’s largest companies that makes up 2 percent of its GDP.

I have previously described the United States as the engine that drives the global economy, and when the U.S. has a financial crisis, the world has a financial crisis.

While things are not looking great in the U.S. markets, it is China and the expected default of Evergrande that is hurting markets across Asia and around the world. To give you an idea of its scale, Evergrande is often called “China’s Lehman Brothers,” a reference to the collapse of Lehman Brothers that kicked off the 2007/8 Great Recession in the U.S.

China has pumped up its economy by encouraging banks to lend money very low rates to businesses that build buildings and create jobs and economic activity. The problem is many of these buildings sit empty, collecting no rent, and leaving their developers dependent upon more loans to prop them up. Known as ghost cities, they are assets that have little value because no one wants to buy them or pay rent to live there. Described by some as a giant Ponzi scheme, this behavior was encouraged by the government and regulators.

Until one day, it was not.

Continue reading “The Pop Heard ‘Round the World: China’s Bubble Bursts”

Pay me in Cash: How to Survive Without a Paycheck

Apparently 30 million working-age men are managing to survive without a paycheck. Here’s how they do it and what you can learn from them.

According to this article on Yahoo News, almost one third of working-age men are not in the workforce. I guess I am one of them. But I’m not alone, that’s reportedly 30 million people, and that’s just the men.

You can read the entire article, but the author suspects these people are surviving on one or more of the following:

Unemployment insurance – Except that’s long gone for most of us.

They retired early and get a pension –Many public servants and union members can retire with a full pension and health insurance. Some pension programs allowed you to retire when your length of service and your age equal a magic number, like 75 or 80.

Disability payments – the article seemed to presume these were often fraudulent claims, but I know there are plenty of people out there who are legitimately claiming disability.

Continue reading “Pay me in Cash: How to Survive Without a Paycheck”

We are Caught in a Death Spiral

Things have been getting worse for decades, but so slowly it is easy to ignore. Now the bad news comes faster and we cannot escape the death spiral.

In the Hemmingway novel The Sun Also Rises, Mike was asked how his money problems came about:

“How did you go bankrupt?” Bill asked.

“Two ways,” Mike said. “Gradually and then suddenly.”

Remember this, because if someone in ten or twenty years asks you, “How did the United States collapse?” You can answer “Slowly, and then all at once.”

The Collapsing Dollar

The value of the dollar, of what it can buy, has been collapsing for decades. You could argue it started with the creating of the Federal Reserve. The dollar has lost 96 percent of its value since the Fed’s creation in 1913, so there may be some truth to that.

I believe that set the stage for our collapse, but the trigger point happened 50 years ago when Nixon took the country off the gold standard and the value of the U.S. dollar was allowed to float. Well, “float” is the financial term; in reality, the dollar started to sink. Today, the dollar has lost 85 percent of the value it had in 1971. The only reason our head is still above water is that most of the other big economies also ditched the gold standard and because the dollar was the International reserve standard.

Continue reading “We are Caught in a Death Spiral”