If you like your Kraft Macaroni & Cheese, be prepared to shell out a little more for in the coming months: US food groups plan hefty price rises.

High oil prices + food shortages due to weather + rampant inflation = stock up now before the prices skyrocket further.

[livejournal.com profile] damoyre and I were discussing whether the Mormon practice of storing enough food for a year was paranoia or amazingly wise. I've decided on amazingly wise. I think Katrina taught people that they cannot rely on the government to survive should a disaster strike. Three years later and it's still a mess there. Should there never be a disaster, you just date everything and use and replace as you go. Everything is used and nothing is wasted. Not a bad deal.

I'm not as worried about a natural disaster as I am the man-made economic disaster we're only beginning to experience now. Because the government keeps printing money and lowered the interest rates to an unprecedented low as a means of dealing with the mortgage/credit crisis, they decided to let us take our chances with gargantuan, Mecha-Streisand type huge, inflation. They then turned around and bailed out Fanny Mae, Freddie Mac and IndyMac (Bear Stearns was the wake up call) - using 20% of the FDIC insurance budget to do it - and with more bank failures coming down the pike... not all is rosy.

Storing up now while food prices are relatively low (relatively as in not Zimbabwe bad at the moment), would be a good thing to do right now.
( Jul. 3rd, 2008 09:14 am)
I've been highly critical of Obama during this election season. And if I am it's because I don't believe he's really the change he's claiming to be and I find that disheartening. However, as we're edging toward the election, I do believe that McCain would be disastrous for the nation. We are teetering on an economic collapse. When it tips, and it will tip, we will need someone in office that can deal with the public outcry for help the way that Roosevelt did in the 1930s with the New Deal and economic reforms. Roosevelt had his problems, he isn't the saint of the Democratic party that some would think, but he did what was necessary during a time of desperation. I think Obama would do that. I do not believe that John "Economics is hard!" McCain would.

I've been researching the Great Depression over the last few weeks and noted how many similarities there are to today's economic crisis. It began with a credit crisis - somewhat like today, but not as domineered by insane troll logic. In the US and Canada is was exacerbated by a man-made disaster (the dust bowl). There was no oil crisis then to compound the problem, which makes you wonder how much worse it will be today with the credit/housing crisis, the Midwestern floods that wiped out a chunk of the grain crops, the fires in the West, $146 oil, and the war in Iraq and Afghanistan with threats on Iran next.

There were safety nets put in place after the depression to make sure it was never that bad again. Slowly over the past few decades those safety nets were whittled away. In 1999, Bill Clinton repealed the Glass-Steagall Act of 1933 that forced a separation between commercial banking and investment banking. This was done for the protection of both the banks and the people so that one couldn't easily borrow money to invest (and of course the banks wouldn't have incentive to push it) - it's believed by many economists that this repeal set the course for the credit crisis we're seeing today.

I've said before that America is living an unsustainable life style of mass consumption and waste on a Visa/Master card. It simply cannot hold. At this point, I don't think it's a matter of good leadership saving us from the brink. It's too late for that. The Bush administration maxed out our savings and drove us as far into the ground as it could. Whoever takes over the helm will be conducting rescue operations. If we stay the course with McCain, we may have a chance to see that the center of the earth is a flaming ball of hell. With Obama, we may have the chance to keep our heads above the quicksand. Neither scenario is pretty, but one is survivable.
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