We have an American President telling us that there will be food shortages in this country.
Who imagined that would happen in the 21st Century.
No, really, think about it.
It has been nearly 100 years since the Great Depression.
All the developments of mechanized farming, international trade, and everything else that happened in the last half of the 20ty Century has been toppled in 14 months.
There is a quote I remember reading but I can’t remember who it’s by, that perfectly describes modern farming: “[modern agriculture] turns petroleum into food.”
From diesel for equipment to petrochemical derived fertilizers, that’s what farming does.
The attack on our and Russian oil production, inflation, and global crisis has made the cost of farming increase. Food production is down, prices are up.
Food shortages and prohibitively expensive food is the sort of thing you read about happening in places like Cuba or Venezuela after a socialist takeover.
That is not the sort of thing you expect to hear about in America, outside of history books with black and white photographs from a long bygone era.
There will be people, standing in line for bread, occupying themselves on government provided smart phones.
It’s a scene out of a dystopian sci-fi movie.
For middle-class Americans, food will become such a substantial portion of their budget that it will change how we live.
That’s not something we are used to.
Americans spent on average 8.6% of their disposal income on food in 2020, and for the last 50 years have spent no more that 10-15% of their income on food.
That is how we have been able to achieve our middle-class quality of life. By making the items necessary for life, e.g., food, energy, clothing, relatively cheap, freeing up money for luxuries.
But the cost of energy is skyrocketing.
Housing is substantially more expensive.
Imagine what happened when food becomes 25-30% of your budget.
When all the necessities of life eat up the entirety of your budget and you have nothing left for luxury.
What happens when the American middle-class quality of life that three generations of Americans have been born and raised in vanishes and we must live like our grandparents or great grandparents did as children during the Great Depression.
Night clubs and speakeasies for the elite and washing our aluminum foil and reusing our peanut butter jars for the rest of us.
Really let the enormity of this sink in.
And we’re only 14 months in to a four year commitment.