(Kristinn Taylor) Under a policy announced last month by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D), New Mexico currently has over a dozen grocery stores around the state closed for two weeks–including Albertsons, Walmart, Sam’s Club and Target stores–due to employees testing positive for the COVID-19 China coronavirus. This is causing great hardship in affected small towns where only one grocery store remains open, prompting lines of panicked shoppers estimated to be a half-mile long.
The outlook for the virus pandemic is worsening across the country, with more than twenty states reporting case numbers at or near record levels. As cases rise, so do anxieties among consumers who have already started panic hoarding for the second time this year as the COVID1984 winter approaches.
As the panic hoarding begins, food makers are prepared this time, unlike the first round that started in March, which resulted in widespread shortages of food products.
A Texas rancher warns that the US beef supply will plummet if ranches start culling cattle ready to butcher due to shut-down processing plants not taking livestock.
Right now there’s plenty of cattle to meet beef demand, but because fewer processing plants are operating at full capacity, the bottleneck could reduce cattle supply and thus exacerbate the beef shortage.
The USDA has already said it would “advise and assist on depopulation and disposal methods” of livestock if they cannot be moved to market due to the closures since current regulations don’t give ranchers much maneuverability.
“They are preparing us to depopulate the fat cattle ready to harvest because of a bottleneck created by the effects of Covid,” a rancher from Archer Co., Texas, warns. “…We are in trouble. Our food supply is in trouble.”
The rancher also pointed out that while the USA – which could feed the entire world if properly managed – is about to start culling cattle, the nation is still importing less-regulated beef from Namibia in Southern Africa.
“And yet they’re telling us to prepare to euthanize harvest-ready cattle,” he added. “Am I the only one who sees a problem in this? It is time to get the American people back to work. It is time we get money flowing. It is time we get food on the shelves.”
Americans need to shake off their FUD (fear, uncertainty and doubt) and start taking real steps to protect their wealth before the $USD is no longer the world’s dominant reserve currency. This involves converting USD denominated paper assets into physical Gold, Silver and a little Cryptocurrency to preserve your purchasing power … before the multi-polar world of tomorrow arrives.
A big part of life on the other side of this event will involve dealing with wide spread shortages (including food) that accompany the high cost of imported goods that follow a credit and currency collapse, until America’s domestic manufacturing base can be brought back up. Think decades, not months or years to fully recover. This means you should be accumulating resources necessary to more easily stretch through this period while they are relatively cheap and plentiful in today’s dollars. Otherwise, you might find yourself living like the 99% are in Venezuela today.
After enduring shortages offoodand medicine for years, as well as atotal collapse of their currency, the people of Venezuela have had enough. Last week it was estimated that2.5 million peoplemarched against the Maduro regime, which had previously tried to strip away the powers of the opposition-led parliament. It’s estimated that as many as 6 million people may have taken to the streets to protest throughout the country.
In the lead-up to the protest, which had been planned for weeks by opposition political parties, President Maduro issued an alarming proclamation that didn’t receive nearly enough press. He promised to expand the nation’s armed militia,and hand out firearms to as many as 400,000 loyalists.
The Bolivarian militias, currently at approximately 100,000, were created by the late Hugo Chavez to assist the armed forces in the defense of his revolution from external and domestic attacks.
Speaking to thousands of militia members dressed in beige uniforms gathered in front of the presidential palace, Maduro said that vision remains relevant as Venezuela continues to face “imperialist aggression.”
“A gun for every militiaman!” he cried.
If you know your history of communist regimes, you understand what comes next. Maduro’s response to millions of hungry pissed off people, is to arm his die-hard supporters, who will be able to purge the starving masses that dared to cross him. They may not face much resistance, because in 2012Venezuela banned private firearm ownership.
Venezuela has brought a new gun law into effect which bans the commercial sale of firearms and ammunition.
Until now, anyone with a gun permit could buy arms from a private company.
Under the new law, only the army, police and certain groups like security companies will be able to buy arms from the state-owned weapons manufacturer and importer.
The ban is the latest attempt by the government to improve security and cut crime ahead of elections in October
Venezuela saw more than 18,000 murders last year and the capital, Caracas, is thought to be one of the most dangerous cities in Latin America.
Do you see how that works? Maduro’s socialist policies turned that country into a crime-ridden hell hole, (and eventually turned their capital cityinto the most violent in the world). Instead of abandoning their centrally planned economy, which would bring prosperity to all and lower the crime rate, Maduro took away everyone’s guns. Now that his socialist policies are bringing Venezuela’s population to brink of starvation and revolution, he decides to arm his violent and dimwitted loyalists. He has set up the perfect conditions for a genocidal purge of everyone who opposes him.
I’d say that this would be a fine lesson for any would-be socialists in this country, but they don’t seem eager to learn. Neither did many Venezuelans, who elected these control freaks nearly two decades ago. They could have looked at any socialist experiment from the 20th century, and realized that it always leads to starvation and mass murder. Instead they let themselves be conned by what is now the oldest and most deadly political trick in the book.
Here’s a brief update from “Ellen” who lives in Lviv, a city in Western Ukraine.
We have quite a panic over the collapse of currency. People buy any food product that can be stored. Everyone wants to rid of Hryvnia. We haven’t seen anything like this since 1991 when the Soviet Union collapsed. Stores are empty.
It is hard to say what the exchange rate is these days, somewhere between 34 and 42
There were riots in downtown today. A group of protesters was beaten up by police. They marched through downtown and gave a last warning to government officials. Next time they said they will shoot some officials.
Ukraine is on a brink, but the West is not in a hurry to give us money. Perhaps they want something. Maybe they know the money will end up with corrupt officials who will steal it.
Either way, the few billion dollars they promised in March won’t save our economy, not after this panic started.
Best wishes Ellen
Strategic Food Reserve Empty
A curious thing happened today. To quiet protests over food, president Petro Poroshenko ordered the minister of the food reserve to fill the shelves of stores with flour, sugar, canned meat, and buckwheat from the reserve.
Well guess what? There was no food in the reserve. It has either been looted (like the vanishing gold), or it was fed to the army.
Ukrainian food prices are rising at a rate faster than in the ‘90s. But the Yatsenyuk government is still blaming the situation on the ignorance of the population and speculation by supermarket chains.
They used to blame currency exchangers, now they are blaming supermarket directors. However, you can’t feed the people with such tales.
The government’s “economy block” hastily summoned the director of the Ukrainian State Reserve Vladimir Zhukov. They demanded that he open the storehouses and fill the shelves with flour, sugar, canned meat, and buckwheat from its stores. In response the keeper of Motherland’s strategic stores revealed a terrible military secret to Yatsenyuk and Poroshenko: the storehouses are empty.
It would seem Ukraine’s Black Hour is here.
J.Hawk’s Comment: There indeed were earlier reports that the strategic reserve was being “unsealed” to support military operations on the Donbass. The army has to eat, after all, and maintaining several tens of thousands of soldiers for nearly a year is likely to make a dent. The second factor was the junta’s desperate need to earn hard currency to somehow plug up the many budget holes opened up by its adoption of “European Choice” neoliberal economic policies. Therefore anything that could be sold, was sold, including Mariupol’s huge grain reserves. Finally, there’s the small matter of corruption. One gets the impression Ukraine is a giant organized style “bust-out” operation, whose objective is to stash as much loot in foreign accounts and then leave the mess for someone else to clean up. To say that the Kiev junta has some kind of a strategy would be giving them entirely too much credit. It’s a collection of loosely coordinated individuals pursuing their own venal agendas and living hand-to-mouth, without any thought given to Ukraine’s long-term prospects.
Shoppers thronged grocery stores across Caracas today as deepening shortages led the government to put Venezuela’s food distribution under military protection.
Long lines, some stretching for blocks, formed outside grocery stores in the South American country’s capital as residents search for scarce basic items such as detergent and chicken.
“I’ve visited six stores already today looking for detergent — I can’t find it anywhere,” said Lisbeth Elsa, a 27-year-old janitor, waiting in line outside a supermarket in eastern Caracas. “We’re wearing our dirty clothes again because we can’t find it. At this point I’ll buy whatever I can find.”
A dearth of foreign currency exacerbated by collapsing oil prices has led to shortages of imports from toilet paper to car batteries, and helped push annual inflation to 64 percent in November. The lines will persist as long as price controls remain in place, Luis Vicente Leon, director of Caracas-based polling firm Datanalisis, said today in a telephone interview.
Government officials met with representatives from supermarket chains today to guarantee supplies, state news agency AVN reported. Interior Minister Carmen Melendez said yesterday that security forces would be sent to food stores and distribution centers to protect shoppers.
“Don’t fall into desperation — we have the capacity and products for everyone, with calmness and patience. The stores are full,” she said on state television.
President Nicolas Maduro last week vowed to implement an economic “counter-offensive” to steer the country out of recession, including an overhaul of the foreign exchange system. He has yet to provide details. While the main government-controlled exchange sets a rate of 6.3 bolivars per U.S. dollar, the black market rate is as much as 187 per dollar.
Inside a Plan Suarez grocery store yesterday in eastern Caracas, shelves were mostly bare. Customers struggled and fought for items at times, with many trying to skip lines. The most sought-after products included detergent, with customers waiting in line for two to three hours to buy a maximum of two bags. A security guard asked that photos of empty shelves not be taken.
Police inside a Luvebras supermarket in eastern Caracas intervened to help staff distribute toilet paper and other products.
“You can’t find anything, I’ve spent 15 days looking for diapers,” Jean Paul Mate, a meat vendor, said outside the Luvebras store. “You have to take off work to look for products. I go to at least five stores a day.”
Venezuelan online news outlet VIVOplay posted a video of government food security regulator Carlos Osorio being interrupted by throngs of shoppers searching for products as he broadcast on state television from a Bicentenario government-run supermarket in central Caracas.
“What we’re seeing is worse than usual, it’s not only a seasonal problem,” Datanalisis’s Leon said. “Companies are not sure how they will restock their inventories or find merchandise, with a looming fear of a devaluation.”
The price for Venezuela’s oil, which accounts for more than 95 percent of the country’s exports, has plunged by more than half from last year’s peak in June to $47 a barrel this month.
“This is the worst it has ever been — I’ve seen lines thousands of people long,” Greisly Jarpe, a 42-year-old data analyst, said as she waited for dish soap in eastern Caracas. “People are so desperate they’re sleeping in the lines.”