This Is Starting to Get Serious

 

As the saying goes: First things fall apart slowly, then all at once. I see more and more discussion about food shortages here on Ricochet. pResident Biden has made mention of it. Tucker has noted the uptick in accidents at food processing plants. California is restricting water for agriculture. Major sources of supply for fertilizer have been disrupted.

Independent journalist Michael Yon keeps banging his drum about PanFamWar (pandemic, famine, war). And the surging migration unchecked through the southern border from all over the world — estimated at 2 million since Biden took power — adds pressure on our food supply as well. In truth, regardless of the estimated “excess deaths” during the pandemic, depopulation did not occur at a rate to pace the decreases in food production capacity. Or so it is being suggested.

If true, what does the future look like? Scott Adams has a theory about “slow moving disasters”: If it is moving slowly enough, then humans do a pretty good job of adapting and/or solving the problem. This is why Adams, while professing to believe in man-enhanced climate change, is unconcerned whether we will create solutions in time to prevent the worse fears of climatistas from coming about. But there are two conditions that must be met: (1) the disaster must be slow moving, and (2) people must be alert to it.

It is not heartening that the default condition for the people in charge now is to manage scarcity rather than freeing up the people to pursue abundance. From energy policy, to monetary policy, to border policy, to foreign relations, to central planning, the Biden Administration and their allies are seemingly doing everything to make the food supply more fragile and less abundant. If undeterred things will get worse before they get better. Is this then a “slow moving disaster”?

If not, how is this going to play out? How much of our infrastructure and basic civilizational elements can operate without well-fed people, or people at all? Can the elite run it all? Are we facing a Soylent Green future?

As I write this I am sitting in a comfortable home in a beautiful place. A lifetime of working and saving have brought me to a very satisfying point where I might have been expected to have a decade or two (G-d willing) of good living, pursuing my interests and diversions, before having a serious discussion with the Grim Reaper or his nastier brother, The Debilitator.  But with these people (I am tempted to say “clowns” but that doesn’t capture their combination of incompetence and malignity) in charge, my expectations are being severely challenged.

Are we all on board that our current course is leading to disaster? There is a lot of building going on in my neck of the woods. Unemployment is about as low as the working capability of my region permits. The boats speeding by on the lake by my house are still fueled, the fish are still there to be caught, the thrill of wind and waves remain. But when will the fuel supplies start to dry up, when will rationing begin and why? Just two years ago this was unimaginable.

Did we learn anything from the pandemic as to what workforce is truly essential to a functioning civilization? Or will food rationing decisions be arbitrary and capricious, with a thriving black market? And, if so, who is to be most advantaged — long time residents of this country or more recent arrivals from societies where barter, bargaining, and food uncertainty is already familiar?

I cannot attribute this quote (or probably more accurately a paraphrase): “The Civil War was fought over whether we were to be known as ‘these United States’ or ‘this United States’.” Similarly we are facing the question of the correct current formulation of the following: “The American Experiment is a triumph of the Enlightenment” or “The American Experiment was a triumph of the Enlightenment.”

Hard times are coming unless we gain an urgency about the hard work necessary to preserve the future we expected.

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  1. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    Capt. Spaulding (View Comment):

    We have arranged our society for a slow descent. Some of the frogs are feeling the water beginning to heat up. I blame the boomer generation, of which I am a member.

    Slowly, then all at once.    

    What better to cause famine that flame a war between two of  the largest food exporters in the world?   That combined with the eco-commies killing the oil supply. 

    • #31
  2. RightAngles Member
    RightAngles
    @RightAngles

    • #32
  3. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Hoyacon (View Comment):

    Capt. Spaulding (View Comment):

    We have arranged our society for a slow descent. Some of the frogs are feeling the water beginning to heat up. I blame the boomer generation, of which I am a member.

    Are the sins of the sons and daughters to be visited upon the parents? Well, perhaps, but the brats the boomers begat, who in turn “raised” even worse progeny accelerated the decline by quite a bit.

    Of course this is not true of my kids and their families.  

    • #33
  4. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    OmegaPaladin (View Comment):

    Rodin: t is not heartening that the default condition for the people in charge now is to manage scarcity rather than freeing up the people to pursue abundance.

    This is the real horrifying thing. It’s like elites are choosing to have a more controlled future rather than a better one – they would sacrifice their own prosperity and well-being to make sure the proles remain under control.

    They don’t think they’re sacrificing anything. They know they’ll still dine on Waygu Steak at their summer place on Martha’s Vineyard. You’re the one who has to eat bugs and live in a pod.

    They will be expecting to hang out with the Obamas. 

    • #34
  5. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I know this is going to sound Pollyanna, but no one has yet gone broke betting against the end of the world.

    Let’s just keep talking, win in November, and keep pushing conservative candidates and policies.

    I agree!!

    • #35
  6. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    I know this is going to sound Pollyanna, but no one has yet gone broke betting against the end of the world.

    Let’s just keep talking, win in November, and keep pushing conservative candidates and policies.

    THEY HAVE NO PLAN! THEY REFUSE TO EVEN CONSIDER MAKING ONE!

    The one Senator who came up with one was shot down immediately by the Turtle.

     

    Dude,

    But THE DEMOCRATS HAVE A PLAN. They have a lot of plans.

    Preventing them from executing their plans is better than letting them execute their plans.

    Sex is binary, but politics isn’t. It’s continuous, relative: there’s no absolute winning or losing, just a constant battle to redraw the center-line, to slow its leftward march, to move it back to the right.

    • #36
  7. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    All of this sounds like a chapter out of Atlas Shrugged–total bureaucratic incompetence and malfeasance.

    And they could not care less about what they’ve done.

    • #37
  8. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MarciN (View Comment):

    RightAngles (View Comment):

    All of this sounds like a chapter out of Atlas Shrugged–total bureaucratic incompetence and malfeasance.

    And the could not care less about what they’ve done.

    They think those are features, not bugs.

    • #38
  9. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    All Biden has done has been to hurt people since he was elected.

    • #39
  10. Ford Penney Member
    Ford Penney
    @FordPenney

    “It is not heartening that the default condition for the people in charge now is to manage scarcity rather than freeing up the people to pursue abundance.”

    Perfect statement of government operations… thank you for saying this out loud.

    This is the complete mindset of the liberal left. Either everyone becomes rich or no one becomes rich. The idea that we have a great abundance and can withstand the hard times… so did the USSR and they managed to be both rich and self destructive… ‘manage scarcity’.

    The optimistic posts are the hopes we all have for a better future but it seems that we put our trust in a party system where we only move in one direction, left and we drain the livelihoods of Americans with every step. And if something can’t be stopped, ‘those damn freedom loving Americans’ then we must ‘control their freedoms.

    How does that work? News as of today- ‘President Biden has decided the federal government will launch a Disinformation Governance Board under the authority of the Homeland Security Department.’

    Can we just say ‘Ministry of Truth’?

    We aren’t ‘free standing’ as a country, we could be but we have globalized ourselves to be dependent on the world to make our lives work and this current government likes us broken and beholden and one last knife at everyone’s throat… we are 30 trillion in debt and the ‘insiders’ know it. (Aside- the global GDP is around 50 trillion)

    • #40
  11. James Lileks Contributor
    James Lileks
    @jameslileks

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    There is an enormous amount of resilience in the market, and we remain an extraordinarily rich country. A billion people survive on a tiny fraction of what we take for granted.

    There’s a difference between famine and a limited selection at your favorite grocery store. There’s a difference even between famine and some staples being out of stock for extended periods. Yes, it could get much worse. Americans could find themselves losing weight because of food shortages. But we’re an awfully long way from that.

    The progressive left is finally being seen, by normal Americans, as the out-of-touch bunch of nutjobs it really is. It is losing power, even as it dials up its demands and tries to rush ahead.

    Let’s just win everywhere we can. I think it’s time.

     

    This Pollyanna refusal to buy into an unfalsifiable prediction of inevitable oppression and decline is NOT helping. Stop being such an . . . American. 

    • #41
  12. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Rodin: Tucker has noted the uptick in accidents at food processing plants.

    What’s the baseline for this? How many fires, accidents, etc., have happened in the last, say, 10 years and at what rate per year? How does that compare to the “baseline” rate? My gut says it’s higher now, but it could just be an effect of it being covered in the news more.

    From a chart posted in Tucker’s Monday show: In 2017 there were 8; in 2018 there were 6; in 2019 there were 8; none listed for 2020 during the pandemic; in 2021 there were 11; and 17 so far in 2022.

    That’s the numerator. Any idea what the denominator is, i.e., total number of facilities?

    Edit: Roughly 36,500 from 2018 census.

    So what’s the problem?

    Could this be nothing more than plants needing to close down for economic reasons, but instead owners deciding to ‘sell it to the yankees’ in an old southern expression? Tony Soprano would have understood. And possibly been available for hire.

    • #42
  13. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Rodin: Tucker has noted the uptick in accidents at food processing plants.

    What’s the baseline for this? How many fires, accidents, etc., have happened in the last, say, 10 years and at what rate per year? How does that compare to the “baseline” rate? My gut says it’s higher now, but it could just be an effect of it being covered in the news more.

    From a chart posted in Tucker’s Monday show: In 2017 there were 8; in 2018 there were 6; in 2019 there were 8; none listed for 2020 during the pandemic; in 2021 there were 11; and 17 so far in 2022.

    That’s the numerator. Any idea what the denominator is, i.e., total number of facilities?

    Edit: Roughly 36,500 from 2018 census.

    So what’s the problem?

    Could this be nothing more than plants needing to close down for economic reasons, but instead owners deciding to ‘sell it to the yankees’ in an old southern expression? Tony Soprano would have understood. And possibly been available for hire.

    Good point. Can you provide a link to the food processing number in the census? It may not be a problem, but I am guessing not all 36,50o are equal, so problems in some have more impact than others. Also when you have a serial (cereal?) killer on the loose you don’t say the denominator is 330 million. Just saying. 

    • #43
  14. I Walton Member
    I Walton
    @IWalton

    If we’re allowed to win the election we can fix matters, but fixing will require some radical actions.  Over three hundred million of the most complex people and  most diverse place in history can’t be run from the top but we have to figure out how to run matters locally in a more complex place with giant global companies pushing in the opposite direction.   If we can’t win or can’t go back to bottom up governance, and smaller less intrusive government at all levels, there is no solution.  We’re in good company.  That’s the way every civilization that ever existed stagnated, but most people were always poor and the ever changing elite were few.  Our fall will be very different because most folks live with far greater real wealth than even the elite had.  The fall will be catastrophic.    

    • #44
  15. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Rodin: Tucker has noted the uptick in accidents at food processing plants.

    What’s the baseline for this? How many fires, accidents, etc., have happened in the last, say, 10 years and at what rate per year? How does that compare to the “baseline” rate? My gut says it’s higher now, but it could just be an effect of it being covered in the news more.

    From a chart posted in Tucker’s Monday show: In 2017 there were 8; in 2018 there were 6; in 2019 there were 8; none listed for 2020 during the pandemic; in 2021 there were 11; and 17 so far in 2022.

    That’s the numerator. Any idea what the denominator is, i.e., total number of facilities?

    Edit: Roughly 36,500 from 2018 census.

    So what’s the problem?

    Could this be nothing more than plants needing to close down for economic reasons, but instead owners deciding to ‘sell it to the yankees’ in an old southern expression? Tony Soprano would have understood. And possibly been available for hire.

    Good point. Can you provide a link to the food processing number in the census? It may not be a problem, but I am guessing not all 36,50o are equal, so problems in some have more impact than others. Also when you have a serial (cereal?) killer on the loose you don’t say the denominator is 330 million. Just saying.

    Also a good point.

    • #45
  16. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    The Davos crowd will get their great reset any way they can – they never let a crisis go to waste.  I always put incompetence vs conspiracy for failures by the federal government. However, can a president take so many wrong decisions just based on incompetence?

    • #46
  17. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Hang On (View Comment):

    Rodin (View Comment):

    MWD B612 "Dawg" (View Comment):

    Rodin: Tucker has noted the uptick in accidents at food processing plants.

    What’s the baseline for this? How many fires, accidents, etc., have happened in the last, say, 10 years and at what rate per year? How does that compare to the “baseline” rate? My gut says it’s higher now, but it could just be an effect of it being covered in the news more.

    From a chart posted in Tucker’s Monday show: In 2017 there were 8; in 2018 there were 6; in 2019 there were 8; none listed for 2020 during the pandemic; in 2021 there were 11; and 17 so far in 2022.

    That’s the numerator. Any idea what the denominator is, i.e., total number of facilities?

    Edit: Roughly 36,500 from 2018 census.

    So what’s the problem?

    Could this be nothing more than plants needing to close down for economic reasons, but instead owners deciding to ‘sell it to the yankees’ in an old southern expression? Tony Soprano would have understood. And possibly been available for hire.

    Good point. Can you provide a link to the food processing number in the census? It may not be a problem, but I am guessing not all 36,50o are equal, so problems in some have more impact than others. Also when you have a serial (cereal?) killer on the loose you don’t say the denominator is 330 million. Just saying.

    I googled number of food processing plants in US and it came up. (I’m on my phone so copying and pasting links isn’t something I’ve figured out for this.) Your point on not all food processing plants being equal is valid, but then all those burning down may not be either. Could get much more granular with data – always can. 

    True enough on serial killer. But then when he’s in LA and you’re in Milwaukee, it’s not of the same concern. 

    • #47
  18. Stina Member
    Stina
    @CM

    Henry is of course right to a point, but will we be swept away  right by that tipping point into the abyss of  utter destruction  by the tsunami of really bad stuff  going on  and that to come? Really hard to guess or assess, but that there is  fairly good idea among those much more knowledgeable than I that much of the world will  be absolutely devastated by the consequence of the Left’s  and the Biden Crime Family ‘ inexcusable bad actions.

    I forget the word, maybe it is momentum, but the tipping point usually occurs way before you feel it. Your tire going flat is not always a blow out. The tipping point was not when you finally noticed all the air was gone, but when you pulled out your driveway and ran over the tack in the road.

    The momentum built up will keep us comfortable past the tipping point. By the time you start feeling it, it’s too late to correct.

    • #48
  19. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Since the widespread population-killing famines predicted by the doomsayers did not come to pass, they have to artificially create them . . .

    • #49
  20. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    It’s hard to pin on one factor or person. This is reminiscent of the famines the Communists and fascists have created everywhere they go.

    Americans are really smart and stoic and cynical people. The pandemic lockdowns should have caused widespread depravation in this country, but they didn’t. Not for want of the Democrats’ trying to do that.

    Instead, American businessmen and businesswomen, including our farmers, got up every day, put their shoes on, checked on the government’s latest monkey wrenches thrown into their workday and figured out some workaround, and everything kept going. This is an amazing country with amazing people from shore to shore.

    I wish I could start a movement to honor American businesses and the noble and heroic and exhausting work they did during the pandemic. Not for an increase in profit. Just to take care of their employees and their businesses and their communities. Just getting through until things got better. And they did.

    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    • #50
  21. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    This Pollyanna refusal to buy into an unfalsifiable prediction of inevitable oppression and decline is NOT helping.

    Unfalsifiable prediction?! It’s happening now before our very eyes.

    We not only have to fight Democrats and traitorous Republicans, we’re hamstringed by people who refuse to even acknowledge there’s a problem.

    • #51
  22. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up of America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us. 

    I believe there’s something true about that old adage, “The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with.”

    • #52
  23. DrewInWisconsin, Oik! Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oik!
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Stad (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up of America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    I believe there’s something true about that old adage, “The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with.”

    I thought it was “they’ll sell us the rope we hang ourselves with.”

    (:: Checks quote :: )

    Nope, you’re right. Although I think my version applies, too.

    • #53
  24. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up of America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    I believe there’s something true about that old adage, “The capitalists will sell us the rope to hang them with.”

    I thought it was “they’ll sell us the rope we hang ourselves with.”

    (:: Checks quote :: )

    Nope, you’re right. Although I think my version applies, too.

    I was paraphrasing the quote from memory.  The important thing is to convey the concept . . .

    • #54
  25. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    What, you think China can buy all the land and then evict 300-million-plus people?  That’s not serious either.

    • #55
  26. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    This Pollyanna refusal to buy into an unfalsifiable prediction of inevitable oppression and decline is NOT helping.

    Unfalsifiable prediction?! It’s happening now before our very eyes.

    We not only have to fight Democrats and traitorous Republicans, we’re hamstringed by people who refuse to even acknowledge there’s a problem.

    I thought he was being sarcastic or something, but hard to know for sure.

    • #56
  27. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    This Pollyanna refusal to buy into an unfalsifiable prediction of inevitable oppression and decline is NOT helping.

    Unfalsifiable prediction?! It’s happening now before our very eyes.

    We not only have to fight Democrats and traitorous Republicans, we’re hamstringed by people who refuse to even acknowledge there’s a problem.

    To quote someone much more intelligent than me: “Sitting here trying to come up with something to add, but nah. Seconded.”

    • #57
  28. Hang On Member
    Hang On
    @HangOn

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    What, you think China can buy all the land and then evict 300-million-plus people? That’s not serious either.

    Why would they have to evict them when they could starve them by shipping all of the ag goods to China? 

    • #58
  29. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Hang On (View Comment):

    kedavis (View Comment):

    MarciN (View Comment):
    Ricochet’s own Doug Kimball and others here have been talking about the Chinese buying up America. I think that’s the only thing that could destroy us that I see on the horizon. In other words, someone would have to replace us in order to destroy us.

    What, you think China can buy all the land and then evict 300-million-plus people? That’s not serious either.

    Why would they have to evict them when they could starve them by shipping all of the ag goods to China?

    Oh of course, all of those starving people will happily load all the food onto those cargo ships!  What was I thinking?

    • #59
  30. DonG (CAGW is a Hoax) Coolidge
    DonG (CAGW is a Hoax)
    @DonG

    DrewInWisconsin, Oik! (View Comment):

    James Lileks (View Comment):
    This Pollyanna refusal to buy into an unfalsifiable prediction of inevitable oppression and decline is NOT helping.

    Unfalsifiable prediction?! It’s happening now before our very eyes.

    We not only have to fight Democrats and traitorous Republicans, we’re hamstringed by people who refuse to even acknowledge there’s a problem.

    Didn’t the captain of the Titanic make a similar remark about falsifiable predictions of doom?   I am also reminded of a Monty Python sketch.

    • #60
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