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Why Your Grocery Bills Are Going Up (And Are Only Expected to Get Bigger)

This article was originally published by Hannah Cox at The Foundation for Economic Education. 

It’s official: food inflation has arrived. Food prices soared 3.9 percent in 2020, the Department of Agriculture recently reported.

Americans spent a lot of money on groceries over the past year—and it isn’t just because they were eating more meals at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices jumped 3.9 percent in 2020, nearly triple the rate of inflation.

Unfortunately, this trend seems poised to continue. The US Department of Agriculture estimates grocery bills could increase by another 3 percent in 2021, while some experts are betting on even longer-term problems.

“I think food prices are going to continue to increase for probably a good year, year, and a half,” warns Phil Lempert, founder of SupermarketGuru.com.

Shoppers are already feeling the crunch. Long Island resident John Kermaj recently told NBC News, “We used to buy this stuff for $30. Now it’s $60.”

Diet staples like wheat, corn, soybeans, and meat are among the products seeing the sharpest price uptick. Meat shot up 5.5 percent last year, and prices for fruits like apples, strawberries, and citrus went up by 11.3 percent.

This is no small matter.

Before the pandemic, the number of Americans experiencing food insecurity had been steadily falling. That trend was reversed last year. Northwestern University researchers estimate that food insecurity doubled during this time—placing 23 percent of households in danger of going hungry. It is likely this problem will only worsen as the cost of food continues to grow.

So, what’s causing the spike? A perfect storm, really. Bad weatherstockpiling, increased demand from China, global shipping interruptions, and inflation caused by the extreme money printing by central banks all get honorable mentions. But a significant number of the factors to blame can be traced back to the government’s lockdowns and regulatory policies.

Meat processing plants were one of the industries hardest hit by the lockdowns. Many were forced to close for extended periods of time, and others invested in expensive new equipment and technology to reduce their in-person workforce. These costs were of course ultimately borne by the consumer, and the closures led to supply chain disruptions. Both made the price of meat go up.

Northwestern University researchers estimate that food insecurity doubled during this time—placing 23 percent of households in danger of going hungry.

These closures not only affected the meatpacking plants and their employees but those of many related businesses in the food processing industry as well. The lockdowns also impacted farmers, shipment and distribution facilities, companies that produce the containers and plastic needed to store the meat, and grocers. In a market, one government action can have a ripple effect across hundreds of other industries, and that’s certainly what happened here.

The coronavirus and lockdowns didn’t necessarily cause all of the problems in the meat industry, but they did exacerbate existing issues. The industry was already struggling under absurd government regulations that force farmers to waste good livestock and block them from selling directly to consumers. Combined with the lockdowns, these policies began to threaten our supply chain.

Congressman Thomas Massie called attention to this problem more than a year ago and warned it could lead to a meat shortage. The Kentucky Republican urged Congress to support his PRIME Act to repeal these regulations, but his warnings went unheeded.

Other producers in the agriculture sector have struggled to obtain the workers needed to ramp up production. Across the country, small businesses have been unable to attract Americans back to the workplace as many remain on increased unemployment benefits that pay more than work.

Esteemed economist Thomas Sowell famously said, “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” This principle has certainly been put on display during the pandemic, as the government made many trade-offs in its attempts to mitigate the crisis.

There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.

Ultimately, we know that many of their prescribed solutions—closing outdoor spaces, lockdowns, scrubbing surfaces with alcohol—were abject failures. But the trade-offs made in exchange for promises of increased security won’t be fading away anytime soon.

The current food price spikes, and the resulting food instability issues they have fueled, are only the latest in a long line of consequences Americans have suffered as a result of the government’s attempts at solutions in 2020.

Viruses are scary. But the surge in food insecurity is a reminder that all policies come with trade-offs—and that panic-fueled government interventions often only make a crisis worse.

WATCH: Freedom vs. Fear: Which Side Are YOU On?

The post Why Your Grocery Bills Are Going Up (And Are Only Expected to Get Bigger) first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You.

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If You Feel Like Something Really, Really Bad Is About To Happen, You Are Definitely Not Alone

This article was originally published by Michael Snyder at The Economic Collapse Blog. 

If this is “the recovery”, what are things going to look like once economic conditions start to deteriorate again?  As you will see below, more than half of all households in some of our largest cities “are facing serious financial problems”, and Americans continue to file for unemployment benefits at a rate that the United States had never seen before prior to 2020.

When 695,000 workers filed for unemployment benefits during a single week in 1982, it established a record which stood for nearly 38 years.  But now we have been way above that old record for 25 weeks in a row.  On Thursday, we learned that another 884,000 Americans filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week…

Weekly jobless claims were worse than expected last week amid a plodding climb for the U.S. labor market from the damage inflicted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The Labor Department on Thursday reported 884,000 first-time filings for unemployment insurance, compared with 850,000 expected by economists surveyed by Dow Jones. The total was unchanged from the previous week.

Of course, it is always important to look at the non-adjusted numbers, and according to those numbers, we actually saw an increase over the previous week

The Labor Department changed its methodology in how it seasonally adjusts the numbers, so the past two weeks’ totals are not directly comparable to the reports from earlier in the pandemic. Claims not adjusted for seasonal factors totaled 857,148, an increase of 20,140 from the previous week.

This is the second week in a row that the non-seasonally adjusted initial claims have risen.

That definitely wasn’t supposed to happen.

We are supposedly in a “recovery” right now, and things are supposed to be getting better.

But instead, they appear to be getting worse.  According to Wolf Richter, continuing claims under all state and federal programs were way up last week…

Total continued claims for unemployment insurance (UI) under all state and federal programs rose by 380,000, to 29.6 million people (not seasonally adjusted), the highest since August 1, according to the Department of Labor this morning. This was the second weekly increase in a row, after the 2.2-million jump last week.

At any other time in American history, the numbers that were just reported would be considered “catastrophic”, but we have been getting these sorts of catastrophic numbers for so long that we have become desensitized to them.

But at least the unemployment numbers are not as bad as they were earlier this year, and other economic figures seem to have hit a bit of a plateau as well.

So for the moment, there is relative calm, but it won’t last for very long.

If you feel like something really, really bad is about to happen, you are definitely not alone.  There are countless others that are also waiting for “the other shoe to drop”, and I believe that it could literally happen at any time.

But for now, we wait.

I would encourage you to enjoy these remaining days of summer while you still can.  This weekend, put some burgers on the grill and enjoy some time with your family.  Unfortunately, there are many Americans that are under such financial stress that it is hard to enjoy much of anything right now.  In fact, one recent survey found that 50 percent or more of the households in some of our largest cities are currently facing “serious financial problems”

There’s no question the coronavirus pandemic has forced many Americans into financial hardship, but a new NPR/Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health/Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey provided a clearer picture of the extent of the struggles in the United States’ four largest cities.

At least half of all households in those cities — 53 percent in New York City, 56 percent in Los Angeles, 50 percent in Chicago, and 63 percent in Houston — reported facing serious financial problems, including depleted savings, problems paying credit card bills, and affording medical bills.

How can that be possible if we are in the midst of a tremendous “recovery”?

Of course, the truth is that we aren’t in any sort of a recovery, but at least things are a whole lot better than they will be after the upcoming election.

I had such an ominous feeling coming into 2020, and I shared this repeatedly with my readers, and now I have such an ominous feeling about the rest of 2020 and beyond.

In particular, I am extremely concerned about what will happen in November.  No matter who is ultimately declared the winner, the other side is going to be convinced that the election was stolen from them and that is likely to throw our nation into a state of chaos.

And we are already being told that we probably will not know the winner until long after election day.  That period of uncertainty is almost certainly going to spark more civil unrest, and I believe that faith in the integrity of our elections will be greatly shaken.

Before I end this article, there is one more thing that I wanted to mention that I found to be extremely interesting.  This year the Federal Reserve has been buying up mortgage bonds worth hundreds of millions of dollars, and according to Mish Shedlock the Fed now owns nearly a third of that entire market…

  • The Fed has snapped up $1 trillion of mortgage bonds since March. It bought around $300 billion of the bonds in each of March and April, and since then has been buying about $100 billion a month.
  • The Fed now owns almost a third of bonds backed by home loans in the U.S.
  • Buying the securities has pushed mortgage rates lower, with the average 30-year rate falling to 2.91% as of last week from 3.3% in early February.
  • Morgan Stanley analysts pointed out in late March that the buying was running at eight times the pace seen in prior episodes of Fed purchasing under programs known as quantitative easing.

No matter who wins the election, the direction of the Fed is not going to change.  They are going to continue to engage in exceedingly reckless manipulation of the markets, and that is going to have very serious long-term implications.

All around us, we can see our society being thrown into convulsions as all of our systems begin to fail.

I know that so many of you out there are feeling the exact same way that I am.

A sense of anticipation hangs in the air, and millions of people are waiting for the next big crisis to erupt.

***Michael’s new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.com.***

About the Author: My name is Michael Snyder and my brand new book entitled “Lost Prophecies Of The Future Of America” is now available on Amazon.com.  By purchasing the book you help to support the work that my wife and I are doing, and by giving it to others you help to multiply the impact that we are having on people all over the globe.  I have published thousands of articles on The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream, and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe.  I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but I also ask that they include this “About the Author” section with each article.  In addition to my new book, I have written four others that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned)  The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial, or health decisions.  I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and anyway that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with as many people as we possibly can.

The post If You Feel Like Something Really, Really Bad Is About To Happen, You Are Definitely Not Alone first appeared on SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don't Say We Didn't Warn You.

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30 Million Jobs Lost Due To Fear, Panic, & Government Tyranny

It’s become quite apparent that there was never an excuse to impose the draconian lockdowns. This was economic terrorism by the ruling class, and the damage has been done. Thirty million people have already lost their jobs as tyranny came crashing down upon them.

According to the government’s number, and as reported by Breitbart, new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 3.84 million in the week ended April 25, data from the Department of Labor showed Thursday.

That brings new unemployment claims, a proxy for layoffs, over the past six weeks to around 30 million. Continuing claims, those filed after the initial week of benefits, rose to just under 18 million. Economists had expected around 3.5 million new claims. Claims hit a record 6.87 million for the week of March 28. Each subsequent week has seen claims decline. Last week’s initially reported figure was revised up by 15,000 to 4.4 million.

They Don’t Want You To Know The Truth! It’s Time To End The Tyrannical Lockdown Ourselves

David Icke To LEOs & Military: “Look Your Children In The Eye” & Tell Them YOU Enforced Tyranny

Everyone keeps saying over and over again that this is the fault of the coronavirus pandemic.  It’s not. Let’s be truthful. The economic destruction is the aftermath of tyranny and the absolute destruction of basic human rights. This has nothing to do with a virus. It has to with the media propagating fear in order to get governments to control our behavior and obey the tyrants.  Now people have no financial security and they traded their freedom for it.

For Optimum Health, Find A Cure For Government & Mainstream Media

This was nothing short of economic terrorism, and every governor who commanded businesses to close is a criminal. But we could have stopped this.  We could have refused to comply with the tyrannical demands and not given away our rights.  We could have refused to beg for them back while waving signs with the names of our oppressors on them.  We could have saved ourselves by disobeying.  Now we have an economy that’s fitting of our police state. Terroristic.

We will continue to be controlled and enslaved as long as we allow this shit to continue to happen.  It’s past time to wake up.  I know I keep saying that, but it’s true.  The time to push back was six weeks ago when we could have salvaged our livelihoods and our freedom by disobeying the tyrants our of existence.  But obedient order followers have helped make sure we all get to be enslaved.

There are still people waking up to what’s happening. The censorship continues so the mainstream media knows their days are numbered.  But it sure would be nice if people could open their eyes sooner to their enslavement.

A quote commonly attributed to Harriet Tubman:

“I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.”

It is time to abolish permanently the last form of slavery.

 

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