Buried in a recent Department of Labor announcement were the details of the stunning rise in food prices this year. Food prices, in March, rose 2.4%, the largest increase in more than 25 years, while gas prices rose by 2.1%.
Of course, the Labor Department didn’t lead with this information. Instead, they mentioned that wholesale prices rose by 0.7% for the month, “when excluding food and energy costs.” They did this because 0.7% looks a lot better than 2%, even though Americans are most concerned about food and energy costs.
To put it in perspective, the March increases would represent an annual inflation rate of about 25%, double the worst that was seen in 1980, and worse than anything we’ve experienced since the Revolutionary War, when our debt exploded and prices soared under the British blockade and the shortage caused by so many men being at war rather than in their shops or on the farm.
Two hundred and thirty years later, taxes, rather than an embargo, are strangling the population.
There’s not much humor to find in the irony though. We can look to Greece to see what the future holds for us, as the state continues to expand into the private sector, and, increasingly, into our private lives. The only reason we’re not there yet is the rest of the world has more faith in the U.S. government’s ability to tax their citizens than other nations. Meanwhile, the government is doing everything possible to distract and deflect attention from the real problem.
The recent SEC charges against Goldman Sachs are a great example; Goldman Sachs is no choir boy but to claim that the firm’s structuring of a 100 million dollar mortgage product involving wealthy, sophisticated institutional investors (both the buyer and seller) as the cause of our crisis is absurd.
Most Americans, even with their government educations and general lack of economics, understand the problem is decades of out-of-control government spending. Inflation, caused by runaway spending, is caused by the government printing press, not a bet between billionaires. This is why the Ron Paul and Tea Party movements have gained in popularity.
But the government is desperate for any opportunity to change the subject because of what it would mean for politicians from both parties. Last year in this newsletter we mentioned how the government is covering up the food shortage by manipulating the numbers. In January of this year, food prices in India began to reach new highs and shortly thereafter other nations started to report huge price increases. Meanwhile the U.S. government is showing falling commodities supplies, increased consumption, rising losses to disease and inclement weather, while promising rosy conditions for the foreseeable future.
This strategy has been explained to the public before in doomsday movies, where the ruling elite know that devastation is coming, and also that there is little-to-nothing they can do about it. Instead, they make plans to protect the privileged few while leaving the masses ignorant, unable even to make modest attempts to survive the coming apocalypse. They see us as their slaves, or worse, as their livestock; why bother to tell us of the approaching catastrophe?
The Internet has changed all that, and now we all know (or should) what the future holds for us. It’s not pleasant, but neither are we left with no options, like the people in the asteroid thrillers who can do nothing but wait for impact. We don’t know exactly what will happen and how it will unfold, but we do know where the likely shortages are going to show up. We can take steps now, before it’s too late, to provide for our loved ones.