The Nightmarish Winter Is about to Get Worse   

“Well, my dear Pangloss,” Candide said to them, “When you were hanged, dissected, whipped, and tugging at the oar, did you continue to think that everything in this world happens for the best?”mber, in a sign that hiring started to slow even ahead of the new Covid threat, the Labor Department reported Friday.

The real story is much worse. If you look at hours worked — the real measure of how much labouring is going on — you see that it has been increasing at the average annual rate of 0.3% for the last 14 years.

That’s slower than population growth over the same period, which was roughly 0.8% per year, on average.

In other words, the real economy has not been growing at all. Nor have real jobs.

Where does this lead? That’s what we’re looking at in our ‘history’ of the crisis ahead.

Fragile system

It began when the electrical grid collapsed.

On paper, there was enough capacity to keep the juice flowing. But in practice, a centrally-controlled mixture of highly-manipulated solar, wind, and other ‘renewable’ energy sources was more fragile than it looked.

Without honest price signals to guide them (everything was either subsidised or penalised) and with inflation moving fast to confuse them, investors put little new money into the energy sector.

And what was invested — incentivised by the government — was put into projects that were politically attractive, but often not very productive.

Then push came to shove. A very cold winter. Cloudy skies. And no wind.

The nation’s energy grid — or most of it — simply collapsed.

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Systems down

Homeowners had been pressured into switching to all-electric heat. It was ‘greener’, they were told.

Electricity prices were controlled to help the ‘Great Transition’. Internal combustion engines were banned. Drilling for oil was curtailed.

And then…when the power went off…what could people do?

Some huddled around open fires. Others took refuge in schools and public buildings. But they too soon grew cold.

Back-up generators ran night and day. But they ran out of fuel. And with no electricity, the pumps wouldn’t work. Nor could their new electric cars be charged.

Practically all the nation’s output and delivery systems depended on software. Software ran on computers. Computers ran on electricity.

And electricity now depended on the sun…and the wind…backed up by a woefully inadequate supply of energy from traditional sources.

And until the grid lit up again, almost nothing moved.

From coast to coast, hungry mobs looted darkened stores. But it was not sneakers or big screen TVs they carried off, it was food.

The mobs included people on Social Security as well as young hoodlums. And with electronically controlled inventory systems ‘offline’ and trucks sitting idle, the shelves were quickly cleared and not restocked.

Cold and miserable

Out in the country, it was better at first. Cows were slaughtered in the field. Locals drew on their farm tanks for emergency heating fuel. Many people still had wood-burning stoves.

And they had guns. They used them to drive off refugees from the suburbs.

But even in the country, farms were no longer self-sufficient. Few had chickens in the yard or pigs in the sty.

Instead, they grew cash crops, such as wheat or soybeans. And like their cousins in the suburbs, they relied on just-in-time deliveries at their local food stores, rather than just-in-case food at home.

And then, all over the country, pipes burst…toilets cracked open…pets went missing…basements flooded…and ceilings were ruined.

People were hungry…cold…and miserable.

Gut punch

After a couple of weeks, power was restored to most of the country and people counted up their losses. Thousands had died — mostly elderly people — from ‘exposure’, stress, and hunger.

‘Now we can get back to normal,’ said President Buttigieg. But ‘normal’ was no longer within reach. Something else had been broken. Something more important.

A headline from The Daily Beast from Saturday, 4 December, 2021 put it this way: ‘America Is One Gut Punch Away From Throwing in the Towel on Democracy’.

Now the gut punch had been delivered. And the whole nation trembled…doubled up in fear, pain, and anger.

The Nightmare Winter was about to get much worse.

Stay tuned.


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Bill Bonner,
For The Rum Rebellion

PS: The Rum Rebellion is a fantastic place to start your investment journey. We talk about the big trends driving the Australian Economy. Learn all about it here.

Since founding Agora Inc. in 1979, Bill Bonner has found success and garnered camaraderie in numerous communities and industries.

A man of many talents, his entrepreneurial savvy, unique writings, philanthropic undertakings, and preservationist activities have all been recognized and awarded by some of America’s most respected authorities.

Along with Addison Wiggin, his friend and colleague, Bill has written two New York Times best-selling books, Financial Reckoning Day and Empire of Debt. Both works have been critically acclaimed internationally.

With political journalist Lila Rajiva, he wrote his third New York Times best-selling book, Mobs, Messiahs and Markets, which offers concrete advice on how to avoid the public spectacle of modern finance.

Bill has been a weekly contributor to The Rum Rebellion.

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