We Are Being Told To Prepare “To See High Prices At Grocery Stores” And “It’s Likely That Shortages May Only Get Worse”

If you have been to a grocery store lately, then you already know that prices are higher than usual and that there are shortages of certain items.  Many Americans have been assuming that as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly rolled back that these shortages will eventually disappear, but now even the Washington Post is admitting that “shortages may get worse” in the weeks and months ahead.  Of course there will still be plenty of food available in the grocery stores, but you may have to do without some of your favorite products for a while.  And you should also brace yourself for significantly higher prices for many of the products that do remain available.  As WBTV has noted, this will especially be true for basic meat staples such as ground beef and chicken…

Americans looking to get outside this holiday weekend, maybe fire up the grill, should be prepared to see high prices at grocery stores, especially cookout staples like ground beef and chicken.

The meat at the store is a little bit more expensive because of plants that are shutting down and causing a logjam in the food supply chain.

All over the country, COVID-19 is playing havoc with food distribution systems, and nobody has been hit harder than meat processing facilities.  The virus has spread like wildfire in such facilities, and this has resulted in many of them being forced to shut down for an extended period of time.

With less supply and roughly the same level of demand, meat prices have escalated quite a bit in recent weeks.  In fact, in April we witnessed the largest spike in food prices in 46 years

Prices Americans paid for eggs, meat, cereal and milk shot higher in April as people flocked to grocery stores to stock up on food amid government lockdowns designed to slow the spread of Covid-19.

The Labor Department reported Tuesday that prices U.S. consumers paid for groceries jumped 2.6% in April, the largest one-month pop since February 1974. The spike in supermarket prices was broad based and impacted items from broccoli and ham to oatmeal and tuna.

Of course there have also been whispers that some funny business has been taking place among the meatpacking giants, and federal officials are now investigating allegations of price fixing

Federal prosecutors are looking into allegations that the meatpacking industry is coordinating or manipulating prices, a person familiar with the investigation told FOX News.

The Department of Justice investigation has been going on for “months,” the source said.

Prosecutors are specifically scrutinizing the four largest meatpackers in the U.S., which control more than 80 percent of the market: JBS, National Beef, Tyson Foods and Cargill.

But no matter how that investigation unfolds, we should expect higher prices to continue, because the industry simply cannot produce as much meat as usual with so many facilities shut down right now.

And with each passing day, we learn of more workers that have become infected.  In fact, 570 workers at a single Tyson Foods plant in North Carolina just tested positive for the virus

Meat processing plants across the country are struggling with outbreaks of the coronavirus. That includes the Tyson Foods chicken processing facility in Wilkes County, N.C.

More than 2,200 workers were tested at the Wilkesboro plant, and 570 were positive for the coronavirus.

With so many meat processing facilities all over the nation currently idle, many farmers simply do not have anyone to sell to right now, and this has pushed many of them to the brink of financial ruin.

For example, it is exceedingly expensive to raise chickens on a massive scale, but with so many plants closed down North Carolina farmers are now being forced “to euthanize 1.5 million chickens”

Coronavirus outbreaks at meat processing plants are forcing North Carolina farmers to euthanize 1.5 million chickens, according to a state official.

Assistant Agriculture Commissioner Joe Reardon told The News & Observer that this is the first time during the pandemic that North Carolina farmers have had to euthanize their animals. Roughly a third of the 1.5 million chickens already had been killed, Reardon said.

Similar scenarios are playing out all over the U.S., and this is truly a tremendous tragedy.

Unlike some other areas around the globe right now, we would actually have plenty of meat if the farmers could get their animals through the supply chain.

Unfortunately, fear of COVID-19 has thrown the supply chain into a state of chaos, and that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.  In fact, the mainstream media is now warning us “that shortages may only get worse”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has estimated at least 5,000 workers were infected by the end of April, though advocates have suggested there could be more than 17,000. And with plants already slow to respond to outbreaks and some still partially closed, it’s likely that shortages may only get worse.

The good news is that eventually this pandemic will subside, and when that happens it is likely that the supply chain will start to revert back to normal once again.

But if fear of COVID-19 can cause this much chaos for our food distribution systems, what will happen once a much more severe crisis hits us?

When things really start going crazy in this country, basic supplies will disappear from the stores very rapidly, and the government is not going to be bringing baskets of food to your door.

In the end, you will be on your own.

And in the short-term, you should expect food prices to continue to rise.  The federal government has been borrowing and spending trillions of dollars that we do not have during this pandemic, and the Federal Reserve has cranked up the money creation machine to absolutely absurd levels.  What this means is that the value of our currency is rapidly being devalued, and eventually we will see very painful inflation.

I know that food prices seem really high right now, but they are only going to go up from here.

So stock up on what you can while you have this window of opportunity to do so, because this window of opportunity will not last indefinitely.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Bible Says That There Will Be Famines In The Last Days

Could it be possible that the stage is being set for horrific famines that the Bible has been warning us about for nearly 2,000 years?  A few years ago, any talk of “coming famines” would have seemed absolutely ludicrous to most people in the western world, but the events of the last several months have changed everything.  Now, the UN is openly warning that famines of “biblical proportions” could be on the way, and the head of the UN World Food Program is telling us that we could soon see 300,000 people literally starve to death every single day.  Nightmarish droughts, African Swine Fever, COVID-19 and armies of locusts in Africa the size of major cities have combined to create a “perfect storm”, and global food supplies are becoming tighter with each passing month.

As conditions continue to deteriorate, many are starting to wonder if certain prophetic passages in the Bible are starting to come to fruition.  For example, in Matthew 24:7 Jesus specifically warned us that there would be “famines” in the days immediately preceding His return…

For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

We can also find very similar warnings from Jesus in Mark chapter 13 and Luke chapter 21.

So if we actually are living during the time just before the return of Jesus, we should expect to see horrifying global famines start to emerge, and that is precisely what we are witnessing at this moment.

In Revelation 6:8, we are told that “hunger” will eventually be a major factor in the deaths of a large portion of the global population…

And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

Of course we aren’t at that point yet.

But are we starting to move in that direction?

David Beasley is the executive director of the UN World Food Program, and he recently stated that we are heading directly into “the worst humanitarian crisis since World War Two”.  Hunger is rapidly rising all over the globe, and he believes that if dramatic intervention does not happen quickly we could see an astounding death toll.

According to Beasley, we could soon see 300,000 people around the world starve to death every single day, and that figure doesn’t even factor in the effect of this coronavirus pandemic…

“If we can’t reach these people with the life-saving assistance they need, our analysis shows that 300,000 people could starve to death every single day over a three-month period”, he upheld. “This does not include the increase of starvation due to COVID-19”.

As fear of COVID-19 pushes us into an unprecedented global economic downturn, how much worse will that make our rapidly growing global food crisis?

Of course in the western world we are much better off than most of the rest of the planet for now.  Famine is definitely not an immediate concern for us, but thanks to COVID-19 we are now wrestling with significant food shortages.  Because meat supplies are so tight, approximately one-fifth of all Wendy’s restaurants have taken burgers off their menus.  When I first read that, I was absolutely stunned.

Of course Wendy’s is not the only one dealing with strained supply chains.  Costco has started limiting the amount of meat that each customer can purchase, and Tyson Foods has announced that their capacity to slaughter hogs has fallen “by about 50 percent”.  Time Magazine is warning us that the meat shortages “could last for months”, and they could stretch even longer than that if this coronavirus pandemic doesn’t start to subside.

Meanwhile, farmers all over America are seeing their hard work go to waste because broken supply chains have made it impossible to sell what they have produced.  One industry expert is actually claiming that  “billions” of dollars worth of crops have gone to waste as a result of this crisis…

Crops planted months before based on pre-pandemic demand spoiled without buyers. Billions of dollars’ worth of produce went to waste, much of it tilled back into the soil, said Cathy Burns, CEO of the Produce Marketing Assn., which represents produce companies.

I have a feeling that eventually we will greatly regret allowing so much good food to go to waste.

Sadly, most of the rest of the world is actually in much worse shape than we are right now.

Long before COVID-19 came along, crazy weather patterns were playing havoc with harvests all over the world.  For instance, Australia is traditionally a major exporter of wheat to the rest of the world, but unprecedented droughts have forced Australia to actually start importing wheat

Australia, which made a rare purchase of Canadian wheat in the current marketing year, is expected to continue buying more wheat in the 2019-20 marketing year (October-September), as weather conditions remain difficult in key states, market analysts say.

Australia’s wheat output dropped 45.6% to 17.3 million mt in the 2018-19 marketing year from a record high of 31.8 million mt in 2016-17, owing to prolonged drought conditions, data from the Australian Bureau of Agricultural and Resource Economics shows. This forced the country to import wheat for the first time in 12 years.

In addition, another plague of “biblical proportions” has been killing off pigs in unprecedented numbers.

When I tell people that African Swine Fever has already killed off half the pigs in China and one-fourth of all the pigs in the entire world, a lot of people don’t believe me.

So let me give you a quote that comes directly from New Scientist

A quarter of the world’s domestic pigs have died this year as a virus rampages across Eurasia, and that may be just the start. Half the pigs in China – which last year numbered 440 million, some 50 percent of the world’s pigs – have either died of African swine fever (ASF) or been killed to stamp out the virus.

ASF comes from East Africa. In 2007, it reached Georgia in the Caucasus in contaminated meat, and in infected wild boar. Now, it is all over Russia and eastern Europe and infected wild boar have turned up as far west as Belgium. It is also spreading in east Asia, killing many pigs in Vietnam and elsewhere.

And if you don’t believe them, just do a Google search and you will find countless mainstream news sources telling you the exact same facts.

This is actually happening, and the death toll is rising with each passing day.

Meanwhile, a new generation of locust armies that is being described as “20 times bigger” than the last generation is destroying countless farms all across Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia.  The following comes from one of my previous articles

Even before COVID-19 became the biggest public health crisis to hit the globe in decades, enormous swarms of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops throughout eastern Africa, across the Middle East and even in some parts of Asia.  Now a new generation that officials are describing as “20 times bigger” has emerged, and the devastation that this new generation of locusts is causing is extremely alarming.  These colossal locust swarms can travel up to 90 miles a day, and as you will see below, when they descend upon a field they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.  This new generation of locusts has been spotted as far south as Congo, as far north as Iran and as far east as India.  In other words, the food supplies of billions of people are at risk.

Never before have we seen so many catastrophic threats to the global food supply emerge at the same time.

It appears that “the perfect storm” is now upon us, and I anticipate that global events will continue to accelerate in the months ahead.

Of course we still have quite a way to go before we get to the type of famines described in the Scriptures, but it certainly looks like the stage is being set for severe hunger on a global scale.

But Jesus didn’t warn us about these things so that we would live in fear.  God knew about all of this in advance, He is in control, and He has a plan.

Unfortunately, most of the world doesn’t want anything to do with the God of the Bible or His plan, and so they will be facing what is to come all by themselves.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Economic Numbers That Are Coming Are “Going To Be The Worst In The Post-World War II Era”

We just witnessed the largest quarterly GDP decline since the last financial crisis, and experts are warning that the figure for the second quarter will be far, far worse.  In fact, as you will see below, one expert is telling us to brace ourselves for the worst economic numbers “in the post-World War II era”.  On an annualized basis, U.S. GDP fell by 4.8 percent during the first quarter, and that was a bit worse than most economists were projecting.  And economists were also surprised that consumer spending was down 7.6 percent and business investment was down 8.6 percent during January, February and March.  Under normal circumstances, those would be absolutely horrible numbers, but these are not normal circumstances.  Yes, January and February were relatively normal, but the coronavirus shutdowns began in March and that is why these numbers are so dismal.

Unfortunately, it looks like the economic numbers for the second quarter are going to be much more depressing.  One economist that was interviewed by the New York Times believes that they will actually be the worst that our nation has seen since the end of the Second World War…

“They’re going to be the worst in our lifetime,” Dan North, chief economist for the credit insurance company Euler Hermes North America, said of the second-quarter figures. “They’re going to be the worst in the post-World War II era.”

And at this point even the Trump administration is publicly admitting that the economic numbers are going to start getting really, really bad.  On Monday, Kevin Hassett actually told CNBC that U.S. GDP could fall by up to 30 percent on an annualized basis during the second quarter…

On Monday morning, the White House economic adviser Kevin Hassett warned the second quarter could reflect a 20 to 30 percent decline – something that has not been seen since the 1930s Great Depression.

‘You’re looking at something like minus 20 percent to minus 30 percent in the second quarter. It’s a very grave shock and it’s something we need to take seriously,’ he told CNBC.

But we don’t have to wait until three months from now for numbers that are truly horrific.

On Wednesday, we learned that U.S. home sales in March were down by double digits in every region on the country

Signed contracts to purchase existing homes, referred to as pending home sales, fell 20.8% compared with February and were 16.3% lower annually, according to the National Association of Realtors.

Regionally, pending sales fell 14.5% in the Northeast for the month and were 11% lower than a year ago. In the Midwest, sales decreased 22% monthly and 12.4% annually. In the South sales dropped 19.5% for the week and 17.8% annually, and in the West they fell 26.8% weekly and 21.5% compared with a year ago.

Some states are attempting to gradually “reopen” their economies, and that is good news.

But the bad news is that officials are telling us that all of the restrictions in big states such as California and New York will not be lifted until many months from now, and that is going to greatly depress economic activity for the foreseeable future.

With economic activity so low, companies all over America are laying off workers at a staggering rate.  More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs so far, and the layoffs just keep on rolling.  For example, we just learned that Uber is planning to let thousands of employees go

Executives at Uber are discussing plans to cut around 20% of the company’s employees, as it copes with a sharp decline in its ride-hailing business due to the coronavirus pandemic, reports The Information.

Layoffs of that magnitude, which haven’t been finalized but could be announced in stages in the coming weeks, could result in more than 5,400 of Uber’s 27,000 employees losing their jobs.

Of course it isn’t just the United States that is facing an unprecedented unemployment crisis.

According to the International Labour Organization, close to half of all the workers in the world “are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods”…

Some 1.6 billion workers in the informal economy, representing nearly half of the global labour force, are in immediate danger of losing their livelihoods due to the coronavirus pandemic, the International Labour Organization (ILO) said on Wednesday.

The U.N. agency’s latest report sharply raised its forecast for the devastating impact on jobs and incomes of the COVID-19 disease, which has infected more than 3.1 million people globally, killed nearly 220,000 and shut down economies.

This is one of the biggest reasons why lockdowns all over the globe need to be ended as quickly as possible.  If people are not allowed to make a living, they aren’t going to have anything to feed their families.

Even in the United States, we have already seen an explosion of need that is absolutely shocking.  All over the country, people have been lining up for miles to get whatever food that local food banks are able to give them, and we witnessed more examples of this growing phenomenon on Tuesday

Masses of cars waited in line for the drive-thru food giveaway in Pico Rivera, California, as volunteers sporting face masks, gloves and high-vis jackets helped dish out supplies.

Over in Prospect, vehicles were seen snaking through the Big Butler Fairgrounds. It comes as millions of people across America lose their jobs amid the coronavirus pandemic and households have been thrown into turmoil.

If things are this bad already, what is this nation going to look like as we get even deeper into “the perfect storm”?

In recent days I have been writing quite a bit about the coming “meat shortage” that the mainstream media has been warning about, and now we are being told that a serious shortage of boneless chicken is already upon us

Goodbye, boneless chicken.

Food retailers across North America are swapping boneless chicken legs for less popular thighs and drumsticks as a wave of shutdowns at meatpacking plants has reduced supplies of sought-after cuts.

As I discussed yesterday, President Trump has decided to order meat processing facilities that were closed down because of COVID-19 to reopen, and many are hoping that this move will put a quick end to the shortages.

But on Wednesday the mainstream media was full of stories about how meat processing workers may decide to defy President Trump and refuse to go back to work…

Meat-processing plant workers are concerned about President Donald Trump’s executive order that compels plants to remain open during the coronavirus pandemic. Meat plant employees are among America’s most vulnerable workers, and some say they expect staff will refuse to come to work.

“All I know is, this is crazy to me, because I can’t see all these people going back into work,” said Donald, who works at Tyson’s Waterloo, Iowa, facility. “I don’t think people are going to go back in there.”

If fear of COVID-19 keeps a substantial percentage of workers from returning to their jobs, that could cause the emerging meat shortages to get even worse in the weeks ahead.

Of course fear of the coronavirus is paralyzing many sectors of our economy right now, and that is not going to end any time soon.

So we should expect really dismal economic numbers for the foreseeable future, and it appears exceedingly unlikely that there will be any sort of a turnaround before the election in November.

America’s next economic depression has begun, and it is going to be really, really painful.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Millions Of Of Pigs, Chickens And Cattle Are Being Euthanized While The Media Warns “Shortages” Are Coming

More than 26 million Americans have lost their jobs during these coronavirus lockdowns so far, and this has created unprecedented demand at food banks all over the nation.  In many cities, vehicles start lining up at the food banks at the crack of dawn, and in some instances the lines have literally stretched for miles.  But at the same time, farmers all over America have been dumping millions of gallons of milk, disposing of millions of pounds of fresh vegetables, and putting farm animals to death at a rate that we have never seen before.  In fact, Reuters is reporting that “millions of pigs, chickens and cattle will be euthanized” because they can’t be sold.  Unlike other parts of the globe, we actually have plenty of food right now, but we can’t get much of that food to the people because so many food processing facilities have been shut down due to fear of COVID-19.

What we are witnessing is nothing short of a tragedy.  Even though there are so many needy families all across America at this time, so many farmers are being forced to waste what they have produced because food distribution pipelines have been brought to a standstill.  The following is how Forbes is describing the current state of affairs.

Dairy farmers are trying to decide between dumping their milk and selling their dairy cows for beef. Contract chicken growers on the Eastern Shore have been asked to “depopulate” nearly 2 million chickens. Hog farmers in Iowa and Minnesota are starting to euthanize their pigs. For contract and cooperative farmers—producers in the food system who are obligated to a larger entity—the options are limited.

I have a feeling that we are going to end up deeply regretting letting so many resources go to waste during this time.

In Iowa piglets are being aborted by the thousands, in Minnesota tens of thousands of chickens are being gassed to death, and in Wisconsin farmers have been pouring countless gallons of good milk on to the ground.

Meanwhile, the mainstream media is breathlessly warning us that “shortages” are coming.

With food processing plants closing all over the nation, our choices are going to become a lot more limited, and Tyson Foods is openly admitting that “millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain”

Tyson Foods is facing a new set of challenges. In small communities around the country where we employ over 100,000 hard-working men and women, we’re being forced to shutter our doors. This means one thing – the food supply chain is vulnerable. As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain. As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.

And Smithfield Foods has also released a very ominous statement

“During this pandemic, our entire industry is faced with an impossible choice: continue to operate to sustain our nation’s food supply or shutter in an attempt to entirely insulate our employees from risk,” Smithfield Foods, the largest global pork producer owned by the Chinese WH Group, said in a statement on Friday. “It’s an awful choice; it’s not one we wish on anyone.”

“It is impossible to keep protein on tables across America if our nation’s meat plants are not running. Across the animal protein industry, closures can have severe, perhaps disastrous, repercussions up and down the supply chain,” the statement said. “Beyond the implications to our food supply, our entire agricultural community is in jeopardy. Farmers have nowhere to send their animals and could be forced to euthanize livestock, effectively burying food in the ground. We have a stark choice as a nation: we are either going to produce food or not, even in the face of COVID-19.”

Ultimately, these big corporations are scared to death of being sued into oblivion by their workers if they stay open during this pandemic, and so that is why it is going to be necessary for the federal government to step in.

President Trump has the authority to order meat processing facilities to stay open, and apparently that is exactly what he plans to do

President Donald Trump plans to order meat-processing plants to remain open as the nation confronts growing food-supply disruptions from the coronavirus outbreak, a person familiar with the matter said.

Trump plans to use the Defense Production Act to order the companies to stay open as critical infrastructure, and the government will provide additional protective gear for employees as well as guidance, according to the person.

This should greatly help matters, and I wish that it had been done sooner.

But for the economy as a whole, the outlook continues to be very bleak.  Fear of the coronavirus is going to keep many Americans from resuming normal activities for a long time to come, and that is going to absolutely paralyze economic activity.  If you doubt this, check out the results of this new poll

Fewer than half of Americans plan to go to sports events, concerts, movies and amusement parks when they reopen to the public until there is a proven coronavirus vaccine, according to a Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll released on Tuesday.

That includes those who have attended such events in the past, an ominous sign for the sports and entertainment industries hoping to return to the spotlight after being shut down by the pandemic.

I was deeply alarmed when I read that.

There has never been a successful vaccine for any coronavirus in all of human history, and so those that are waiting for one may be waiting for a very, very long time.

Meanwhile, economic suffering is going to continue to escalate all over the nation.  In Arkansas, people were lining up at 5:30 AM on Tuesday at a food bank in the Little Rock area, and all of the food “was gone within an hour and a half”

The Arkansas Foodbank planned to hand out food for four hours on Tuesday, but the demand was so high that all the food was gone within an hour and a half, the charity said.

Cars lined up at the Outlets of Little Rock mall, which hosted the event, as early as 5:30 a.m., when the food bank’s workers arrived to unload the trucks, Arkansas Foodbank CEO Rhonda Sanders said.

Everything that I have been warning about for so long is starting to happen, and this country is heading for incredibly challenging times.

Hopefully Trump’s executive order will be implemented smoothly and all of the meat processing plants will be forced to reopen.

But this is yet another example that shows how vulnerable our supply chains really are, and one has to wonder how we will fare when an even greater crisis comes along.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

Are You Ready For The Great Depression Of The 2020s?

For those of you that were expecting just a “deep recession”, I am afraid that you are going to be very disappointed.  It took years for the U.S. economy to fully unravel in the 1930s, but now we have witnessed a similar level of economic devastation in just a matter of weeks.  More than 26 million Americans have already lost their jobs, economic activity has come to a standstill, people are lining up for miles at food banks all over the nation, and businesses are being permanently shuttered at a staggering pace.  But the good news is that some states will attempt to “reopen” their economies in the weeks ahead.  In most instances, there will be several stages before all of the restrictions are finally lifted, and that means that economic suffering will be stretched out for an extended period of time.  And of course if cases and deaths start spiking again we could see another wave of strict lockdowns all over the country, and needless to say that would greatly escalate this economic downturn.

At this moment, so many hard working people all over America are deeply hurting.

I personally know people that have lost their jobs, and you probably do too.  And because virtually nobody is hiring right now, it is going to be exceedingly difficult for newly unemployed workers to find other jobs.

Because it has an economy that is so dependent on the entertainment industry, Nevada is being hit particularly hard by this downturn.  The New York Times spoke to one Nevada resident named Valicia Anderson, and she hardly knows anyone that is still actually working

When Valicia Anderson starts to count the people she knows in Las Vegas who have lost their jobs, she runs out of fingers fast.

Her husband, the breadwinner of her family and a restaurant worker in the Rio casino. All 25 of his co-workers. Her grown son, in a temp agency. The technician who does her nails. The barber who cuts her husband’s hair. Her best friend, a waitress. The three servers and a manager at the TGI Friday’s that is her family’s favorite treat.

It has been estimated that the current unemployment rate in the state is “about 25 percent”, and that number is almost certainly going to go higher in the months ahead.

Down in Texas, they are also dealing with an oil crash at the same time that they are wrestling with this coronavirus pandemic, and this has created the worst budget crisis that the city of Houston has ever seen

On the same day that the price for U.S. crude oil fell to about $30 below zero — a mind-bending concept and the first time oil prices had ever turned negative — Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, the self-proclaimed energy capital of the world, stood before reporters. His words were grim and muffled by the black mask covering his face.

The mayor announced that city employees would soon be furloughed, but he declined to say how many. The Houston Zoo, he said, could expect to see funding deferred under what he called “the worst budget that the city will deal with in its history.”

The high paying energy industry jobs that fueled an incredible real estate boom in Texas are now disappearing by the thousands, and it is being reported that many of those that are being laid off are learning the news “during painful Zoom sessions from home”

Thousands of energy workers, some of whom only lately moved to the region to take advantage of the recent prosperity, have been laid off. Many of them were told the bad news during painful Zoom sessions from home.

Warning letters from energy companies have been flooding the Texas Workforce Commission about layoffs and furloughs: 3,500 at Halliburton, 223 at Tenaris, 184 at Baker Hughes, 102 at Diamond Offshore Drilling, 95 at Energy Transfer.

By the way, when did Zoom become such a big thing?

It seems like so many people are using it now, and I don’t understand why it is so popular.

Perhaps my readers will help me to understand this.

Getting back to the economy, at this point even the Trump administration is admitting that the unemployment rate will soon be approaching levels that “we saw during the Great Depression”

White House senior advisor Kevin Hassett says US economy is in “grave situation” and the unemployment rate could be hitting the same numbers seen during the Great Depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We’re going to be looking at an unemployment rate that approaches rates that I think we saw during the Great Depression,” Hassett told ABC’ ‘The Week’ on Sunday.

Let’s put that into perspective for a moment.

During the last recession, we thought that things were really, really bad when the unemployment rate got up to about 10 percent.

But back in 1933 the unemployment rate peaked at 25 percent, and now we are being told that we should expect something similar here in 2020.

Wow.

And of course low income Americans are being hit harder than anyone else.  Just check out these numbers

Most Americans support stay-at-home restrictions to protect public health. And yet the burden of the country’s shutdown is disproportionately falling on those least prepared to handle it: About 52 percent of low-income Americans say they or someone in their household has experienced job upheaval, compared to 43 percent of the broader adult population, the Pew Research Center found. Only 23 percent of low-income Americans say they have enough emergency funds to last them three months.

Hopefully as some states attempt “reopenings” it will help to slow down this enormous tsunami of unemployment.

But as I pointed out the other day, millions of Americans are now making much more money being unemployed than they did when they were working, and so that is going to provide an incentive for millions of Americans to stay unemployed for the foreseeable future.

And even if all of the coronavirus restrictions in the entire country were lifted tomorrow, fear of the coronavirus would cause economic activity to be greatly depressed for many months to come.

As I discussed yesterday, the meat processing industry is a perfect example of this.  Meat processing facilities are being shut down all over the nation, and one expert just told NBC News that we should expect shortages of meat in our grocery stores “around May 1″…

Beef, chicken and pork could be as scarce as toilet paper soon because so many meat processing plants have been temporarily shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic, industry experts are warning.

“We’ve just completed our third week of reduced slaughter and production,” Dennis Smith, a commodity broker/livestock analyst with Archer Financial Services in Chicago, said. “My guess is that about one week out, perhaps around May 1, shortages will begin developing at retail meat counters.”

So many of the things that we have been warning about for a long time are starting to happen, but most Americans still do not grasp the seriousness of this crisis.

All of the economic dominoes are starting to fall, and even if the remainder of this pandemic goes much more smoothly than anticipated, it will not fundamentally alter our current economic trajectory.

The “Everything Bubble” lasted far longer than it should have, but now that it has burst the pain is going to be absolutely immense.

And it is those at the bottom of the economic food chain that are going to be hit the hardest.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

“The Food Supply Chain Is Breaking” And We Are Being Warned That “Meat Shortages” Are Imminent

When meat processing facilities started shutting down because of the coronavirus pandemic, we were initially told not to worry because the facilities that were still operating normally would be able to make up the difference.  But now all of that has changed.  As you will see below, even the mainstream media is beginning to use the phrase “meat shortages”, and we are being told to brace for supply chain disruptions all over America.  Hopefully any “shortages” will only last for a few months, and hopefully supply chain disruptions will disappear later this year as the pandemic fades.  But this is yet another example that shows how exceedingly vulnerable our system has become, and it makes one wonder what will happen once a crisis even worse than this pandemic comes along.

In today’s extremely litigious environment, big corporations are going to exercise an abundance of caution when it comes to COVID-19, and we have already seen that just a handful of confirmed cases can shut down an entire food processing facility for weeks.  As a result of all the shutdowns that have already taken place, Bloomberg is warning that we are “dangerously close to meat shortages”…

Plant shutdowns are leaving the U.S. dangerously close to meat shortages as coronavirus outbreaks now spread to suppliers across the Americas.

Almost a third of U.S. pork capacity is down, the first big poultry plants closed on Friday and experts are warning that domestic shortages are just weeks away. Brazil, the world’s No. 1 shipper of chicken and beef, saw its first major closure with the halt of a poultry plant owned by JBS SA, the world’s biggest meat company. Key operations are also down in Canada, the latest being a British Columbia poultry plant.

Who ever imagined that we would be talking about “meat shortages” during the first half of 2020?

It is crazy how rapidly things have changed.

On Friday, Smithfield Foods announced the closure of a fifth meat processing facility

Smithfield Foods has closed another meat processing plant amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company’s fifth facility to discontinue operations this month as a result of the illness.

According to Smithfield, a significant supplier of the global meat market, the company has stalled production on a rolling basis since April 19 “out of an abundance of caution” for employees of its St. Charles, Illinois, facility.

And on that same day, Hormel announced the closure of two major turkey plants

A Hormel Foods subsidiary has shut down a pair of Jennie-O turkey plants after reporting some employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The company said 14 employees out of about 1,200 workers at the two Willmar plants have tested positive for the virus.

Even more chilling, on Sunday Tyson Foods actually ran a full page ad in the New York Times in which they admitted that “the food supply chain is breaking”

Tyson Foods, one of the U.S.’s biggest meat processors, didn’t mince words in a full page New York Times spread that ran Sunday, in which they warned, “the food supply chain is breaking.”

“As pork, beef and chicken plants are being forced to close, even for short periods of time, millions of pounds of meat will disappear from the supply chain,” John Tyson, Chairman of the Board of Tyson Foods, wrote in a letter published as an advertisement. “As a result, there will be limited supply of our products available in grocery stores until we are able to reopen our facilities that are currently closed.”

Look, the truth is that the head of Tyson Foods would not be talking like that if things were not very serious.

I believe that things will be better by the end of the year, but for now we should expect significant meat shortages in the grocery stores for several months.

And for some portions of the supply chain, the shortages are already here.  In fact, one expert is warning that restaurants “could be out of fresh ground beef” in a week…

While hundreds of plants in the Americas are still running, the staggering acceleration of supply disruptions is now raising questions over global shortfalls. Taken together, the U.S., Brazil and Canada account for about 65% of world meat trade.

“It’s absolutely unprecedented,” said Brett Stuart, president of Denver-based consulting firm Global AgriTrends. “It’s a lose-lose situation where we have producers at the risk of losing everything and consumers at the risk of paying higher prices. Restaurants in a week could be out of fresh ground beef.”

The good news is that once this pandemic fades things should get significantly better for the industry.

The bad news is that we are probably going to be facing elevated prices for a long time to come.  In fact, the price of U.S. wholesale beef just set a brand new record, and the price of wholesale pork surged 29 percent last week.

And as I noted the other day, all of this is happening at a time when African Swine Fever has already killed about one-fourth of all the pigs in the world.

When it comes to pork, the answer is really easy.  Just don’t eat it.  Pork is a highway to cancer, heart disease and a whole bunch of other very serious illnesses, and I don’t understand why anyone would ever want to eat it.

But the fact that we are also facing shortages of beef, chicken and turkey now is very concerning, and I hope everyone out there has stocked up.

Sadly, the truth is that there are plenty of chickens and turkeys out there at this moment, but because of the plant shutdowns many growers don’t have anyone to sell to right now.  As a result, millions of animals are being culled

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that 2 million chickens are set to be culled across farms in Maryland and Delaware amid coronavirus-related staffing shortages at meatpacking plants.

We’ve heard the same story with pork, turkey, and beef processing plants across the country. Reducing operations or shutting down due to virus-related illnesses among staff.

“With reduced staffing, many plants are not able to harvest chickens at the pace they planned for when placing those chicks in chicken houses several weeks ago,” before strict social distancing rules went into effect, trade group for the Delmarva poultry industry said in a statement.

I believe that it is a huge mistake to completely close all of these meat processing facilities, and hopefully many of them will be reopened as soon as possible.

But meanwhile things will become increasingly difficult, and American families will suffer.

Now that tens of millions of Americans have lost their jobs, people are starting to get desperate, and the National Guard is being deployed to food banks all over the nation.

Of course this coronavirus pandemic is not the worst thing we are going to face.  In fact, it isn’t even close to the worst thing we are going to face.

So if fear of COVID-19 is causing this much of a disruption to our supply chains, what is going to happen when a crisis that is far, far more severe comes along?

We are not going to see a full return to “normal”, but later this year there should be a window of opportunity to prepare for the events of 2021 and beyond, and I very much encourage all of my readers to take full advantage of that opportunity.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

The Next Generation: Giant Locust Armies Of “Biblical Proportions” Threaten To Cause Mass Starvation In Africa

Even before COVID-19 became the biggest public health crisis to hit the globe in decades, enormous swarms of locusts the size of major cities were devouring crops throughout eastern Africa, across the Middle East and even in some parts of Asia.  Now a new generation that officials are describing as “20 times bigger” has emerged, and the devastation that this new generation of locusts is causing is extremely alarming.  These colossal locust swarms can travel up to 90 miles a day, and as you will see below, when they descend upon a field they can literally eat everything there in as little as 30 seconds.  This new generation of locusts has been spotted as far south as Congo, as far north as Iran and as far east as India.  In other words, the food supplies of billions of people are at risk.

Yesterday, I reported that the UN had used the phrase “biblical proportions” to describe the famines that are starting to happen around the globe as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, the phrase “biblical proportions” is also being used to describe these giant armies of locusts

While much of the world focuses on the coronavirus pandemic that has infected more than 1.6 million people across the globe, East Africa is battling the worst invasion of desert locusts in decades — a months-long “scourge of biblical proportions” that experts warn could get worse with a larger second wave already arriving in parts of the region.

Heavy rains last month created ideal conditions for this next generation of locusts, and we are being told that the new swarms are “particularly severe in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia”

And now, at the worst time, a second wave of locusts 20 times bigger than the first has descended on the region, thanks to heavy rains late last month, according to the FAO. The swarms have infiltrated Yemen and firmly established themselves across the Persian Gulf, having laid eggs along 560 miles of Iran’s coastline. New swarms are particularly severe in Kenya, Ethiopia, and Somalia.

Unfortunately, this is a really, really bad time for a new generation of locusts to show up, because this is the time of the year when farmers are planting their fields.

When the locusts invade a new area, all the farmers can do is watch as all their hard work is destroyed.  The following is how one FAO official is describing the current state of affairs

“The timing is really horrendous, because the farmers are just planting, and the seedlings are just coming up now since it’s the beginning of the rainy season,” says Keith Cressman, senior locust forecasting officer with the FAO. “And it’s right at the same time when you have an increasing number of swarms in Kenya and in Ethiopia. There’s already pictures and reports of the seedlings getting hammered by the swarms. So basically that’s it for the farmers’ crops.

Here in the United States we have never experienced anything like this, and so most Americans don’t really understand how destructive these locusts can be.

As I noted above, when they come storming into a field they can literally eat all the crops there “in as little as 30 seconds”

Massive swarms of locusts are devouring entire fields of crops in as little as 30 seconds – fuelling fears of a major food crisis in some of the world’s poorest countries, international aid organisation Concern Worldwide has warned.

The charity said communities in Pakistan, Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia are facing alarming food shortages, with the crops they grow to survive being eaten in seconds by the flying desert locusts.

The United Nations is calling these locust armies “an unprecedented threat” to global food security.

Of course the exact same thing could be said about the coronavirus.

And let us not forget that African Swine Fever has already wiped out approximately one-fourth of all the pigs in the world.

This truly has become a “perfect storm” for global food production, and many believe that what we have seen so far is just the beginning.

And please don’t be tempted to think that this is just a problem that Africa is dealing with.  All the way over in Pakistan, officials are using the word “disaster” to describe the threat posed by these locusts.  The following comes from a Pakistani news source

Parliamentary leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Balochistan Minister for Secondary Education Sardar Yar Muhammad Rind has expressed deep concern over the procreation of locusts across the province, stressing upon anti-locust spray on urgent basis.

“If procreation of locusts does not stop it would badly affect crops and will also lead to nutritional disaster in Balochistan,” Rind noted, adding that due to consecutive attacks, growers and farmers are facing extreme difficulties as widespread destruction of crops is feared due to procreation of locusts.

And after everything that they have already been through, farmers in Australia are facing an enormous invasion of locusts as well, although it is a different species that they are dealing with

After a year of battling drought, fire, dust, flood and disease, farmers in far western New South Wales are now facing a plague locust infestation.

The Australian plague locust species, if not controlled, can cause significant damage to crops and pastures by consuming all in their path.

In the post-World War II era, can you point to another time when the world was facing so many major problems all at once?

As I write this article, I can’t seem to think of one.

In the days ahead, the coronavirus pandemic will continue to dominate the headlines, and the global death toll will soon cross the 200,000 mark.

But this plague of locusts should also be receiving a tremendous amount of attention, because it is wiping out farms at a blinding pace and countless numbers of people could face severe food shortages as a result.

Efforts will continue to be made to spray these locust swarms with pesticides, but when you are talking about swarms that are the size of major cities, the truth is that spraying really doesn’t make that much of a dent.

It truly is a plague of “biblical proportions”, and despite all of our advanced technology we are powerless to stop it.

About the Author: I am a voice crying out for change in a society that generally seems content to stay asleep. My name is Michael Snyder and I am the publisher of The Economic Collapse BlogEnd Of The American Dream and The Most Important News, and the articles that I publish on those sites are republished on dozens of other prominent websites all over the globe. I have written four books that are available on Amazon.com including The Beginning Of The EndGet Prepared Now, and Living A Life That Really Matters. (#CommissionsEarned) By purchasing those books you help to support my work. I always freely and happily allow others to republish my articles on their own websites, but due to government regulations I need those that republish my articles to include this “About the Author” section with each article. In order to comply with those government regulations, I need to tell you that the controversial opinions in this article are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the websites where my work is republished. The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only, and readers should consult licensed professionals before making any legal, business, financial or health decisions. Those responding to this article by making comments are solely responsible for their viewpoints, and those viewpoints do not necessarily represent the viewpoints of Michael Snyder or the operators of the websites where my work is republished. I encourage you to follow me on social media on Facebook and Twitter, and any way that you can share these articles with others is a great help.  During these very challenging times, people will need hope more than ever before, and it is our goal to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with all many people as we possibly can.

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