Americans spent a lot of money on groceries over the past year—and it isn’t just because they were eating more meals at home. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food prices jumped 3.9 percent in 2020, nearly triple the rate of inflation.
Article by Hannah Cox from FEE.
Unfortunately, this trend seems poised to continue. The US Department of Agriculture estimates grocery bills could increase by another 3 percent in 2021, while some experts are betting on even longer-term problems.
“I think food prices are going to continue to increase for probably a good year, year and a half,” warns Phil Lempert, founder of SupermarketGuru.com.
Shoppers are already feeling the crunch. Long Island resident John Kermaj recently told NBC News, “We used to buy this stuff for $30. Now it’s $60.”
Diet staples like wheat, corn, soybeans, and meat are among the products seeing the sharpest price uptick. Meat shot up 5.5 percent last year, and prices for fruits like apples, strawberries, and citrus went up by 11.3 percent.
This is no small matter.
Before the pandemic, the number of Americans experiencing food insecurity had been steadily falling. That trend was reversed last year. Northwestern University researchers estimate that food insecurity doubled during this time—placing 23 percent of households in danger of going hungry. It is likely this problem will only worsen as the cost of food continues to grow.
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So, what’s causing the spike? A perfect storm, really. Bad weather, stockpiling, increased demand from China, global shipping interruptions, and inflation caused by the extreme money printing by central banks all get honorable mentions. But a significant number of the factors to blame can be traced back to the government’s lockdowns and regulatory policies.
Meat processing plants were one of the industries hardest hit by the lockdowns. Many were forced to close for extended periods of time, and others invested in expensive new equipment and technology to reduce their in-person workforce. These costs were of course ultimately borne by the consumer, and the closures led to supply chain disruptions. Both made the price of meat go up.
These closures not only affected the meatpacking plants and their employees, but those of many related businesses in the food processing industry as well. The lockdowns also impacted farmers, shipment and distribution facilities, companies that produce the containers and plastic needed to store the meat, and grocers. In a market, one government action can have a ripple effect across hundreds of other industries, and that’s certainly what happened here.
The coronavirus and lockdowns didn’t necessarily cause all of the problems in the meat industry, but they did exacerbate existing issues. The industry was already struggling under absurd government regulations that force farmers to waste good livestock and block them from selling directly to consumers. Combined with the lockdowns, these policies began to threaten our supply chain.
Congressman Thomas Massie called attention to this problem more than a year ago and warned it could lead to a meat shortage. The Kentucky Republican urged Congress to support his PRIME Act to repeal these regulations, but his warnings went unheeded.
The PRIME act would allow small American owned meat processors to take up much of the slack as giant multinational meat packers shut down. The alternative to not passing the PRIME Act is meat shortages, wasted animals, and bankrupt farmers.https://t.co/Yo2ud5AARf
— Thomas Massie (@RepThomasMassie) May 3, 2020
Other producers in the agriculture sector have struggled to obtain the workers needed to ramp up production. Across the country, small businesses have been unable to attract Americans back to the workplace as many remain on increased unemployment benefits that pay more than work.
Esteemed economist Thomas Sowell famously said, “There are no solutions. There are only trade-offs.” This principle has certainly been put on display during the pandemic, as the government made many trade-offs in its attempts to mitigate the crisis.
Ultimately, we know that many of their prescribed solutions—closing outdoor spaces, lockdowns, scrubbing surfaces with alcohol—were abject failures. But the trade-offs made in exchange for promises of increased security won’t be fading away anytime soon.
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The current food price spikes, and the resulting food instability issues they have fueled, are only the latest in a long line of consequences Americans have suffered as a result of the government’s attempts at solutions in 2020.
Viruses are scary. But the surge in food insecurity is a reminder that all policies come with trade-offs—and that panic-fueled government interventions often only make a crisis worse.
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Will America-First News Outlets Make it to 2023?
Things are looking grim for conservative and populist news sites.
There’s something happening behind the scenes at several popular conservative news outlets. 2021 was bad, but 2022 is proving to be disastrous for news sites that aren’t “playing ball” with the corporate media narrative. It’s being said that advertisers are cracking down, forcing some of the biggest ad networks like Google and Yahoo to pull their inventory from conservative outlets. This has had two major effects. First, it has cooled most conservative outlets from discussing “taboo” topics like Pandemic Panic Theater, voter fraud, or The Great Reset. Second, it has isolated those ad networks that aren’t playing ball.
Certain topics are anathema for most ad networks. Speaking out against vaccines or vaccine mandates is a certain path to being demonetized. Highlighting voter fraud in the 2020 and future elections is another instant advertising death penalty. Throw in truthful stories about climate change hysteria, Critical Race Theory, and the border crisis and it’s easy to understand how difficult it is for America-First news outlets to spread the facts, share conservative opinions, and still pay the bills.
Without naming names, I have been told of several news outlets who have been forced to either consolidate with larger organizations or who have backed down on covering certain topics out of fear of being “canceled” by the ad networks. I get it. This is a business for many of us and it’s not very profitable. Those of us who do this for a living are often barely squeaking by, so loss of additional revenue can often mean being forced to make cuts. That means not being able to cover the topics properly. Its a Catch-22: Tell the truth and lose the money necessary to keep telling the truth, or avoid the truth and make enough money to survive. Those who have chosen survival simply aren’t able to spread the truth properly.
We will never avoid the truth. The Lord will provide if it is His will. Our job is simply to share the facts, spread the Gospel, and educate as many Americans as possible while exposing the forces of evil.
To those who have the means, we ask that you please donate. We have options available now, but there is no telling when those options will cancel us. We have our GivingFuel page. There have been many who have been canceled by PayPal, but for now it’s still an option. Your generosity is what keeps these sites running and allows us to get the truth to the masses. We’ve had great success in growing but we know we can do more with your assistance.
Thank you, and God Bless!