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Now We Are Being Told To Expect Food And Diesel Shortages For The Foreseeable Future

Now We Are Being Told To Expect Food And Diesel Shortages For The Foreseeable Future

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse…

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Now We Are Being Told To Expect Food And Diesel Shortages For The Foreseeable Future

Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

If you think that the food and diesel shortages are bad now, then you will be absolutely horrified by what the globe is experiencing by the end of the year.  All over the planet, food production is being crippled by an unprecedented confluence of factors.  The war in Ukraine, extremely bizarre weather patterns, nightmarish plagues and a historic fertilizer crisis have combined to create a “perfect storm” that isn’t going away any time soon.  As a result, the food that won’t be grown in 2022 will become an extremely severe global problem by the end of this calendar year.  Global wheat prices have already risen by more than 40 percent since the start of 2022, but this is just the beginning.  Meanwhile, we are facing unthinkable diesel fuel shortages in the United States this summer, and as you will see below there are “no plans” to increase refining capacity in this country for the foreseeable future.

If you had told me six months ago that we would be dealing with the worst baby formula shortage in U.S. history in the middle of 2022, I am not sure that I would have believed you.

But that is precisely what we are now facing.  One young couple in Florida searched stores in their area for four hours and couldn’t find anything

When Erik and Kelly Schmidt, both 35, went into a Central Florida Target store this week to buy their usual baby formula, Up & Up Gentle, for their five-month-old twins, they found an empty shelf.

The pair then embarked on a half-day journey in search of formula, any formula, and their quest didn’t end there. “We spent over four hours going to every Target, different Walmarts, different grocery stores, just finding absolutely nothing,” Erik Schmidt said.

Of course the Biden administration has made sure that there is enough baby formula for migrants that are illegally crossing the border, but for millions of ordinary American families this crisis has become a complete and utter nightmare.

One father actually broke down in tears right in the middle of the baby formula aisle in Walmart because things have become so desperate for his family…

Sara Owens, of Florence County, said she was hunting for baby formula for his six-month-old daughter, Namoi, amid a nationwide shortage when she encountered a dad break into tears after driving from store to store looking for his daughter’s brand of formula.

‘As tears continued to stream down his face he said ‘I never thought I would be crying because I can’t find what my child has to have,” Owens wote in the Facebook post that’s been shared more than 180,000 times. ‘My heart broke to 100 pieces on the formula aisle in Walmart.’

Sadly, we shouldn’t expect any improvement any time soon.

As I discussed last week, the Biden administration shut down one of the most important baby formula manufacturing facilities in this country a while ago, and the CEO of Abbott Nutrition says that it will take a few months to get products back on the shelves once the FDA finally allows them to reopen the plant…

Meanwhile, the plant remains closed as the company works to make upgrades to the facility to meet the FDA’s recommendations. Abbott says it can have products from the facility back on store shelves after a few months once the FDA signs off on them doing so.

Needless to say, baby formula is not the only thing in short supply right now.  As shortages grow and prices spiral out of control, grocery stores are increasingly becoming prime targets for thieves.

In fact, things have already gotten so bad in the Midwest that one major supermarket chain has decided to post armed guards in their stores

The shoulder patches say, “A Helpful Smile in Every Aisle,” but the police-style uniforms, complete with belts with holstered taser and possibly handguns, may send a very different message as Hy-Vee deploys a new retail security team in its stores.

The West Des Moines-based supermarket chain will begin introducing its own security force “as part of its ongoing efforts to ensure the health and safety of both its customers and employees,” the company announced in a news release on Dec. 29. The program will roll out throughout 2022, but security teams are already present in some stores.

As I have warned for many years, eventually we will see armed guards in supermarkets and on food delivery trucks all over the nation.

In the months ahead, food production is going to be way below expectations all over the globe.  The following summary of what farmers are currently facing comes from Zero Hedge

Across the world, top wheat-producing regions are experiencing adverse weather conditions that could threaten production. In places like Ukraine, a military invasion by Russia has slashed production significantly. All of this suggests the world is on the cusp of a food crisis.

Droughts, floods, and heatwaves have plagued farmland in the U.S., Europe, India, and China. As for Ukraine, the world’s largest wheat producer, the war could slash production by upwards of a third.

As I have previously detailed, some countries have already decided to ban certain types of agricultural exports as they brace for the coming global food crisis.

And we just learned that India has now decided to ban the export of all wheat

India, the second-largest producer of wheat, has banned exports of the commodity, due to a risk to its food security.

A Friday notice in the government gazette signed by Santosh Kumar Sarangi, the Director General of Foreign Trade, said that a “sudden spike” in the global prices of wheat was putting India, neighboring and other vulnerable countries at risk.

This is huge.

Supplies of food are getting tighter with each passing week, and this is already starting to spark food riots all over the world.

For example, we witnessed some very emotional protests in Iran last week

Protests broke out in Iran Thursday after the government cut subsidies for food, sending prices through the roof as authorities brace for more unrest in the following weeks.

In videos shared on social media, protesters can be seen marching through Dezful and Mahshahr in the southwestern province of Khezestan, chanting “Death to Khamenei! Death to Raisi!” referring to Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi has promised to create jobs, lift sanctions, and rescue the economy.

And in Sri Lanka the citizens are so angry that they are actually burning down the homes of politicians

Protesters in Sri Lanka have burned down homes belonging to 38 politicians as the crisis-hit country plunged further into chaos, with the government ordering troops to “shoot on sight.”

Police in the island nation said Tuesday that in addition to the destroyed homes, 75 others have been damaged as angry Sri Lankans continue to defy a nationwide curfew to protest against what they say is the government’s mishandling of the country’s worst economic crisis since 1948.

This is just the tip of the iceberg.

Things will get really crazy in the months ahead as global food supples get a whole lot tighter.

Meanwhile, we are being warned that there is likely to be a “diesel fuel shortage on the East Coast” during the months ahead…

The possibility of a diesel fuel shortage is being monitored as diesel fuel prices across the country and in Maryland continue to surpass all-time highs.

According to fuel industry experts, all signs are pointing to a potential diesel fuel shortage on the East Coast that could cripple an already fragile supply chain.

Last week, the price of diesel fuel in the U.S. rose to an all-time record high of $5.62 a gallon, and it is only going to go higher.

The biggest reason why we are facing such a supply crunch right now is because there are “simply too few refineries turning oil into usable fuels”

From record gasoline prices to higher airfares to fears of diesel rationing ahead, America’s runaway energy market is disquieting both US travelers and the wider economy. But the chief driver isn’t high crude prices or even the rebound in demand: It’s simply too few refineries turning oil into usable fuels.

Surely more refineries are being built to meet the growing demand, right?

Wrong.

Mountains of regulations that have been instituted by our politicians make it extremely difficult to build and operate a new refinery in this country.

As a result, we are being told that “the supply squeeze is only going to get worse” for the foreseeable future…

More than 1 million barrels a day of the country’s oil refining capacity — or about 5% overall — has shut since the beginning of the pandemic. Elsewhere in the world, capacity has shrunk by 2.13 million additional barrels a day, energy consultancy Turner, Mason & Co. estimates. And with no plans to bring new US plants online, even though refiners are reaping record profits, the supply squeeze is only going to get worse.

To a very large degree, we have done this to ourselves.

And as I keep telling my readers, decades of very foolish decisions are starting to catch up with us in a major way.

Our trucks and our trains run on diesel, and so a shortage of diesel will only make our ongoing supply chain crisis even worse.

This nightmare never seems to end, and there will be plenty of pain in the months ahead.

*  *  *

It is finally here! Michael’s new book entitled “7 Year Apocalypse” is now available in paperback and for the Kindle on Amazon.

Tyler Durden Mon, 05/16/2022 - 14:05

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Government

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican…

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New Hampshire Governor Vetoes Ivermectin Bill

Authored by Alice Giordano via The Epoch Times (emphasis ours),

New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed a bill that would have made Ivermectin available without a prescription.

Ivermectin tablets packaged for human use. (Natasha Holt/The Epoch Times)

The Republican governor vetoed the bill on June 24, the same day that the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Some fellow Republicans questioned the timing.

It certainly seemed like a convenient way to bury a veto of a bill that won support from the vast majority of Republicans in New Hampshire,” JR Hoell, co-founder of the conservative watchdog group RebuildNH, told The Epoch Times.

Hoell is a former four-term House Republican planning to seek re-election after a four-year hiatus from the the New Hampshire legislature.

Earlier this year, the New Hampshire Department of Children Youth and Family (DCYF) tried to take custody of Hoell’s 13-year old son after a nurse reported him for giving human-grade ivermectin to the teen months earlier.

Several states have introduced bills to make human-grade ivermectin available without a prescription at a brick and mortar store. Currently, it can be ordered online from another country. In April, Tennessee became the the first state to sign such a measure into law. New Hampshire lawmakers were first to introduce the idea.

Both chambers of the state’s Republican controlled legislature approved the bill.

In his statement explaining the veto, Sununu noted that there are only four other controlled medications available without a prescription in New Hampshire and that each were only made available after “rigorous reviews and vetting to ensure” before being dispensed.

“Patients should always consult their doctor before taking medications so that they are fully aware of treatment options and potential unintended consequences of taking a medication that may limit other treatment options in the future,” Sununu said in his statement.

Sununu’s statement is very similar to testimony given by Paula Minnehan, senior vice president of state government regulations for the New Hampshire Hospital Association, at hearings on the bill.

Minnehan too placed emphasis on the review that went into the four prescription medications the state made available under a standing order. They include naloxone, the generic name for Narcan, which is used to counter opioid overdoses, hormone replacement therapy drugs, and a prescription-version of the morning after pill.

It also includes a collection of smoking cessation therapy drugs like Chantix, which has been linked to suicide, depression, and other neuropsychiatric conditions. Last year, Pfizer, the leading maker of the FDA-approved drug, conducted a voluntarily recall of Chantix. Narcan has also been linked to deaths caused by severe withdrawals that have led to acute respiratory distress.

Rep. Melissa Blasek, a Republican co-sponsor of the New Hampshire ivermectin bill, told The Epoch Times, that one could veto any drug-related bill under the pretense of overdose concerns.

The reality is you can overdose on Tylenol,” she said. “Ivermectin has one of the safest track records of any drug.”

The use of human-grade ivermectin became controversial when some doctors began promoting it for the treatment and prevention of COVID-19. Government agencies including the FDA and CDC issued warnings against its use while groups like Front Line COVID-19 Critical Care Alliance (FLCCC) heavily promoted it.

Some doctors were  disciplined for prescribing human-grade ivermectin for COVID-19 including a Maine doctor whose medical license was suspended by the state.

Read more here...

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 20:30

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Economics

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The One Housing Chart That Shows A ‘Buyer’s Market’ Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight…

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The One Housing Chart That Shows A 'Buyer's Market' Has Returned

The red hot pandemic-era housing market is cooling as historically tight available inventory shows signs of reversing. 

An affordability crisis has removed millions of new home buyers as the number of active US listings soared 18.7% in June from a year earlier, the most significant increase in Realtor.com's data going back to 2017, according to Bloomberg. The days of insane bidding wars, waiving home inspections, and putting in an offer 20% or more over the list price appear to be over. In other words, a buyer's market could be emerging. 

"While we anticipate that more inventory will eventually cool the feverish pace of competition, the typical buyer has yet to see meaningful relief from quick-selling homes and record-high asking prices," said Danielle Hale, chief economist for Realtor.com. 

Austin, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona; and Raleigh, North Carolina saw active listings more than double from a year ago. Nashville, Tennessee, active listings jumped 86%, and 72% in the Riverside, California. 

The Federal Reserve's most aggressive tightening campaign sent the 30-year fixed-loan mortgage rate from 3% to over 6% this year (back in March, we warned coming rate explosion would trigger a housing affordability crisis), removing millions of new home buyers who can't afford the cost of homeownership as the median existing-home sales price was around $407k in May. 

Even though inventory is historically tight, supply is expected to increase in markets across the country as demand for loan applications among prospective buyers slumps. Fewer buyers equal more inventory. 

The takeaway is that inventory is rising as homes stay on the market longer because demand evaporated thanks to the housing affordability crisis -- this could mean a housing top is nearing. 

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 18:50

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Economics

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

States Need To Avoid ‘Cures’ That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across…

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States Need To Avoid 'Cures' That Can Make Inflation Worse

Authored by Regina M. Egea and Danielle Zanzalari via RealClearPolicy.com,

Across the United States, state governments are awash in cash. In a sharp contrast, American taxpayers are enduring a rate of inflation unseen in four decades, with the costs of everything from food to gasoline at record highs.

In our home state of New Jersey, Trenton is looking at an unprecedented surplus of $8 billion through a combination of increased tax revenue, federal pandemic aid and borrowing.

A natural impulse among residents and policymakers is to offer residents “relief” in the form of rebate checks.

The reality is that relying exclusively on rebates or direct cash transfers to individuals will only lead to more inflation as this puts more money in consumers’ hands exacerbating the same problem as today - too many dollars chasing too few goods.

Rather, it is prudent that states focus on long-term investment and responsible budgeting to ensure economic growth now and in the future. This is especially important in high tax, big spending states due to the greater flexibility in work arrangements that have exposed the reality that wealth is mobile.

With more residents fleeing high tax states to low tax states, states will need to reevaluate their tax and regulatory climate to stay competitive. 

Regulation can raise the costs for consumers and slow job growth. A series of studies shows the regulation raises prices and worsens poverty.

Working with local governments to revisit restrictive laws that contribute to higher housing prices, such as building height restrictions and zoning rules, as well as removing unnecessary restrictions on business operations will lead to more economic growth.

Another way states can aid productivity and long-term economic growth with their temporary budget surplus, is to fund training programs for middle-skilled jobs.

Nearly every industry has experienced labor shortages and that reality is especially acute in trades like auto, refrigeration, HVAC, electrical, welding, and manufacturing.

States can invest in these skills through high school and vocational school programs. With college borrowing costs astronomically high, this encourages individuals to pursue careers that are lucrative and budget friendly, as well as fill the over 75,000 job openings that our state of New Jersey is projected to need in just a few years.

To further long-term economic growth many states should also concentrate on fixing their unfunded pension liabilities for public employees. This impacts red and blue states alike, with massive liabilities in California ($1.53 trillion), Illinois ($533.72 billion), Texas ($529.70 billion), New York ($508.70 billion) and Ohio ($429.53 billion). Here in New Jersey, our liability is nearly $40,000 for every resident of the state, which can dramatically deter future growth. Beyond using some of states’ budget surplus to shore up pension liabilities, states should move public employees to defined contribution plans, which are used by more than 100 million Americans. These are found to have better investment returns than state-wide pension plans and cost taxpayers less.

Our final recommendation is perhaps our most important: Save for a rainy day. If the U.S. economy enters into a recession, this will mean fewer jobs and less tax revenue for states. To prepare for the future when states again face a budget shortfall, which may be sooner than we think, states should follow best practices of reserving 10% of their budget in a rainy day fund, to sustain essential programs should a downturn occur in the future.

As state leaders consider their budgets, they should focus on long-term economic growth initiatives. Proposals like funding middle-skilled job trainings ensure workers are ready for the next decade, whereas eliminating unnecessary regulations and focusing on pro-growth tax reforms encourages residents to build businesses and create jobs. Lastly, taking care of state finances by properly funding state employees’ retirement plans and saving for a rainy day will ensure that no state is left behind in the next economic downturn.

Tyler Durden Thu, 06/30/2022 - 17:50

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