Americans are used to being pretty much immune to any real social or economic calamities, with memories of the Great Depression being something that is limited to textbooks. We have gotten to the point where, even with the current recession, we just can’t imagine an all out economic collapse could ever happen here in our country.
However, the signs are that the very thing that we think of as unthinkable is becoming more and more probable with every passing week. An economic collapse is more likely than ever before, and with it, food shortages and power outages. Just how could that be true?
First off, the power outages and food shortages are just natural results of the economic collapse. Both food shortages and power outages are consequences of the supply chain disruptions that occur when an economy collapses.
An economic collapse like what is most likely to occur in the United States would be a scenario where the government has to print more and more money to pay its bills and that causes enormous inflation. Very quickly, the inflation turns to hyperinflation, where instead of 5% per year, the rate of inflation becomes 5% per month and then, for a brief period of panic, even 5% per week.
When the economic collapse begins and inflation skyrockets, suppliers of all sorts of products get very reluctant to ship their goods today because next week they might get a drastically higher price. Add to that the concerns that they might never get paid and more and more companies suddenly go bankrupt, and very quickly there are food shortages in the stores, even though there is plenty of food in the country.
This same dynamic affects all of the public utilities. Contractors become reluctant to perform work for the electrical utilities and other public works employers as they are concerned that by the time they are paid, their money will buy only a fraction of what it would have bought when they earned it.
This disruption in the supply chain and with contractors and key government workers causes repairs and maintenance in critical infrastructure to get delayed, making things like the electrical power grid less reliable and more prone to breakdown.
This was a key lesson from the economic collapse of Argentina. A wealthy country with a strong middle class suddenly had issues with rolling blackouts and less than reliable electrical service. It was quiet a shock to the population. However, it should not come as such a big shock if this scenario unfolds in America.
So if we know that economic collapse, food shortages and power outages are increasingly likely to happen in the United States, we are faced with a decision. We can take some measures to prepare – either extreme measures like the “Doomsday Preppers” on TV, or some more modest measures – and remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
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