The U.S. has experienced some record droughts for the past several years, and now that the summer has begun, everyone is speculating on this year’s crop forecasts. The Midwest has been struck by severe flooding and rainfall levels that are far above average, complicating startups of this year’s crops. Another dry summer could push the prices up even higher, with an ever-growing demand that always exceeds the available supplies.
One of the problems in the overall food industry in the U.S. is not brought on by weather patterns and rainfall shortages. The problem is inflation, the rise in the prices due to higher demand, lower supply, and less purchasing power with the fiat dollar; that problem is coupled with (and followed by) deflation, where the grocery industry is forced to lower prices to capture a declining consumer base, but to its own cost.
Wal-Mart’s sales of groceries and food supplies now account for more than 50% of its overall revenues. That is a staggering fact, and it also outlines the way a large retailer not originally intending to enter the arena of food sales has staked out a claim for itself. This claim has not been without its effects, however, as what Wal-Mart earns detracts from supermarkets and other concerns whose main bread-and-butter (no pun intended) is income from food sales.
The largest supermarket chain in the U.S. is the Kroger Company, and along with Wal-Mart taking a bite out of its business comes an increase in retail stores such as the Dollar Trees, Dollar General Stores, and others that are rapidly expanding their food sales and cutting a big slice out of that market where traditional grocery concerns have dominated in the past. Foreign competitors, such as the German firms Aldi’s and Lidl are also posing a challenge to domestic supermarket concerns.
Eight years of Obamanomics has severely crippled the U.S. manufacturing base, and the food industry has not been immune to that destruction by a longshot. The dramatic rise in entitlements expanded by Obama has also caused the prices of consumer goods to shoot up drastically: more handouts by the government places more money in the hands of the entitlement-society…at taxpayer expense. This devalues the fiat currency even further and pushes up the prices of food.
The EBT is now looked upon by the sheeple as some sort of “necessity,” or a “status symbol” of some kind…a plethora laughing at the expense of the government, vis-à-vis the productive members of society who are forced to “contribute” to this fiasco in the form of taxes. What is next? The Platinum EBT card? Producers are bearing the burdens of and paying for consumers, and worse: the consumers are parasitic, and their consumption only increases the prices of all goods consumed while decreasing the supply.
Food is also a weapon (as poignantly illustrated by that evil icon of globalism, Henry Kissinger) that can bring other countries or populations of a given country under control. The prices rise, the supplies dip, and the populace suffers. The government, remember, always has its warehouses stuffed to the gills with freeze-dried foods and shelf-stable supplies for when the seams on the U.S. come apart. The politicians in power always have a place to run to in the event of a war or a crisis…on our dime…and you can bet that none of them will miss a meal when it all comes apart.
Raising the prices of food benefits the government, because the grocery stores, retail stores, and businesses then have extra income with the rising prices, providing extra tax income to the politicians. The people suffer; nevertheless, they’ll pay: they must have the food, and will bear the extra cost or enter the ranks of those nonproductive eaters on the public dole. The government and the politicians are the only ones who win in the end: endless “authority” and firearms with a smile, to tax and line their own pockets while their serfs labor endlessly to feed their elected feudal overlords.
It is all interrelated, and any crisis can bring about immediate food shortages. Such a crisis not gone to waste (Rahm Emmanuel) or a crisis contrived? No matter. The end state plays into the dynamics of what those in power wish to achieve. Please refer to an excellent article from a few years back “When the Trucks Stop, America Will Stop” to see one segment that can trigger the burst dam that overflows into a full-blown economic collapse and a dearth (and eventual complete cessation) in the food supply. Food is a necessity, and is a weapon in the hands of the powerful…against us.
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson is also a Gunsmith, a Certified Master Herbalist, a Montana Master Food Preserver, and a graduate of the U.S. Army’s SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape). He lives in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with his wife and three cats. You can follow Jeremiah’s regular writings at SHTFplan.com or contact him here.