“For as Alexander Hamilton pointed out in the Federalist Papers nearly two centuries ago, A power over a man’s subsistence amounts to a power over his will.” – Henry Hazlitt
This week, Donald Trump’s favorite Latino food supplier, Bob Unamue, CEO of Goya Foods, spoke of an impending food shortage that we should all start to see by this summer. As a byproduct of fertilizer shortages emerging from the Russian/Ukrainian War, food suppliers are tamping down expectations of food availability later this year. It is yet another indicator of a global economy on the retreat.
If you’ve followed my writing for any time, then you are aware of several pieces about a global Great Reset and its billionaire proponents like Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum. You’re probably also aware that Joe Biden, or at least his handlers are fully committed to this Great Reset. To date, every Great Reset critic’s warning of economic concern has come to fruition, and it’s not that people warning against these things are conspiracy theorists with an inside track. Proponents of the Great Reset are telling us what they’re doing, and seemingly few are batting an eye.
The World Economic Forum’s Klaus Schwab, who rubs elbows with the world’s richest titans of commerce each year in Davos, Switzerland, wrote and published an entire book called COVID-19: The Great Reset in July of 2020. This was a mere four months into global lockdowns. Before the vast majority of the world had actually been exposed to COVID-19, Schwab had penned his vision for the new dystopian global society to emerge. This emerging society relies heavily on our existing structure collapsing in order to build back better.
Indicators of a floundering global economy continue to pile up. In the U.S., the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ inflation metric reached 8.5%, which is the highest on record since December 1981. The BLS metric takes industry surveys into account and thus is susceptible to partisan inaccuracies not reflected in price data. An alternative price index was built on the Chainlink crypto blockchain which pulls actual price data from different sectors of the economy. This Truflation index places inflation in the 13.3% range. You’re likely feeling it in your gas tanks and grocery bills already.
Last month saw the U.S. Treasury yield curve invert, whereby a 2-year Treasury bond for a time delivered a higher return than a 10-year bond. Historically, this is a near one-hundred percent predictor of a recession looming within the next two years, with a greater than two-thirds chance it happens within the next year. Just this week the U.S. Commerce Department announced that the Gross Domestic Product fell by 1.4% in the first quarter of 2022. Two consecutive quarters of losses will officially mark the entrance into a recession.
Wall Street has placed its bets on a 2023 recession, but April 2022 has ended the worst month of Nasdaq’s performance since the Great Recession of 2008. Some investors like former Blackrock executive Edward Dowd have pegged the coming downturn to the third quarter of 2022. Dowd’s assertion is that this one will be different than those downturns we’ve experienced in recent history. Historically, inflation has landed in assets like stocks and real estate. The inflation we are now experiencing is in essential commodities like food and energy, with a deflationary trend in assets like your 401k or home value.
In the last 2-3 years, governments made crucial economic mistakes that we are feeling the impact of now. First, they closed down the global supply chain. Then they tried to make up for a lack of production by flushing economies with the money without the associated production. In the United States, that amounts to more than $8 trillion dollars worth, and it has only served to increase the competition for a dwindling supply of goods. Even the dwindling supply seems contrived.
The greatest piece of the consumer price puzzle is the energy required to produce and deliver goods and services. That is one area where both domestic and foreign policy has served to sharply increase costs. Oil and gas are traded in futures and thus the Biden Administration’s move to restrict oil and gas exploration in the first quarter of this year capped the supply at existing production levels. Add in the Biden Administration’s decision to prolong the Russian war in Ukraine by enacting harsh global energy sanctions, and you have a perfect storm of rising energy costs. Even the decision to release strategic oil reserves to cut into rising prices saw the American taxpayer spurned as those reserves were sold to Europe.
I’m not an economist and I don’t pretend to be one, though it’s debatable that the mainstream discipline has shot straight with us to date. If you were attuned to the corporate press, you might be led to believe that the growing hardships we are experiencing were unforeseen. Far from it, much of what we are experiencing we were warned about by economists across the political spectrum. Some might say that the Biden administration selling the American economy down the river is a matter of incompetence. I tend to lean toward malice.
So how is Main Street America to respond in order to lessen the effects of the encroaching downturn? It would be prudent that we take a page from hurricane alley and batten down the household hatches, so to speak. On your weekly grocery trips, throw in an extra ten to twenty percent of non-perishable goods for storage. Have at least a month’s supply of goods on hand to ensure your family can eat. Top off your gas cans now so that you’re not left hanging in the event of a tightening energy spigot. Plant a garden this Spring. Bolster your emergency or rainy day fund and liquidate any variable rate debt that you can while interest rates are manageable.
None of this is financial advice, so speak to your financial advisor and ensure that whatever stage of life you’re in, you’re well-positioned to weather the economic storm. Should the crash not come, we can all benefit from taking small steps to improve the economies underneath our own roofs.