While central banks are busy depreciating money, governments have spent the last several months debasing the most important currency in modern economics: tradeoffs. Since the Coronavirus pandemic forced folks to seek shelter in their basement à la Joe Biden, policymakers around the world have collectively decided that COVID-19 takes precedence over everything else, even if that means destroying the lives of tens of millions of people. Leaders decided to shield the public from a respiratory illness that has a minuscule mortality rate at the expense of the public purse, small business, and the broader economy. The next casualty? Your dinner plate.
Food Inflation in Aisle Three
At the beginning of the virus outbreak, grocery store shelves were bare. Consumers found it hard to locate toilet paper, flour, and meat. With time, the private enterprise system worked its magic and shipped various staples to supermarkets nationwide. But for cash-strapped households, it was bittersweet because the newly arrived food became a lot more expensive.
The cost of food has risen around 4% each month since April in the United States, and some items are more expensive than others. This year, prices for meat, poultry, fish, and eggs have spiked more than 7% collectively. It does not matter if you eat at home or a restaurant, you are paying more for food. Before the pandemic, shrinkflation was prevalent, so now consumers are likely doling out more for less.
And this is not only in the United States. In Canada, for example, shoppers are also witnessing a spike in their grocery bills by as much as 3% – and growing. With COVID-19 precautions and higher transportation expenditures, food production is costing more than it did before the pandemic. Another factor is that more consumers are buying their groceries online, which typically comes with a 7% markup.
China is another market grappling with ballooning food prices. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the nation’s food prices swelled 11.2% in August from the same time a year ago, with pork leading the way (52.6%) amid the African Swine Flu and the virus outbreak.
The World Bank sounded the alarm that the worst is yet to come because of disrupted supply chains.
“As the coronavirus crisis unfolds, disruptions in domestic food supply chains, other shocks affecting food production, and loss of incomes and remittances are creating strong tensions and food security risks in many countries,” the group stated in a report.
A Global Food Shortage?
The United States is unlikely to experience a food shortage unless the government chooses to impose the socialist hallmarks of production quotas and price controls on a wide-scale basis. American farmers are producing ample supplies of corn, wheat, and soybeans. It is the rest of the planet that will suffer food scarcity because of public policy, according to a couple of new reports.
The U.N.’s Committee on World Food Security forecasts that more people will die as a result of malnutrition and comparable diseases as a direct result of the pandemic. The Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) projects that 265 million people worldwide will face food insecurity. Oxfam International anticipates 12,000 people will perish each day from hunger by the end of 2020.
Food insecurity is most pronounced in Lebanon, North Korea, Syria, Yemen, Africa, and Venezuela. Many of these places were already enduring humanitarian crises, and the Coronavirus amplified their plight. In recent months, there has been speculation that China could experience a food crisis, floods, and insect infestations in the aftermath of the pandemic. But the government has kept quiet about the severity of the looming threat, choosing to import and stockpile millions of tons of grain, rice, corn, and pork for its strategic reserves.
Analysts are concerned that if farmers are suffering from acute hunger, they might decide to prioritize buying food over planting seeds for tomorrow.
“Food producers also face large losses on perishable and nutritious food as buyers have become limited and consumption patterns shift. Though food insecurity is by and large not driven by food shortages, disruptions to the supply of agricultural inputs such as fertilizers, seeds or labor shortages could diminish next season’s crop,” the World Bank added.
At least the world will have a vaccine…
Over the last century, the free-enterprise system has lifted millions of people out of the ashes of destitution and despair. The world has never been richer in food and energy, allowing the poorest of people in developing nations to enjoy a modicum of the fruits of affluence. Everyone is better off now than they were at the start of the new millennium, whether you are living in the United States or India. Unfortunately, the government imprisoning the population is reversing many of the gains the global economy has made. Whether or not politicians’ concerns are authentic, their actions have decimated the bright future the world once had – and there is no going back, even if Dr. Anthony Fauci gives the thumbs up in the next several years. When will the state be charged with democide?
Read more from Andrew Moran.