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Can we talk a little Economy 101?

Photography by Bruno Kelzer

Western North Carolina

They’re back – lines for gas that is. With more than 60 percent of gas stations in the state without fuel, the hunt for the precious liquid is on for the area’s motorists.

The problem, of course, started as a cyber-jacking of Colonial’s pipelines, which supplies most of the gas and diesel to the east coast. Ac- cording to some reports, the pipeline company paid cyber hackers $5 million to regain control of their company sys- tems, and the pipes are once again flowing with petrol to make our cars and trucks go.

Still, the company said it would take some time for dis- tribution to return to normal. Until then, people will fill up every time they see a station with gas, even if their tank is the least bit off of full. As a re- sult, gas lines will continue un- til things are back to normal.

This got me thinking about what if instead of gas or in ad- dition to gas, it was also food? Most of us go to the grocery store and buy enough food for a couple of days, expecting the grocery stores to have what we need, but will they?

I’m not talking about a short- age of toilet paper or paper towels. We’ve seen that with the pandemic, but food. Con- sumers are already seeing an increase in food prices, no doubt due to all the money that is being injected into the economy. Shortage of chicken is hitting restaurants from the smallest to even the mighty Chick-Fil-A. Add to that, farmers had to destroy millions of pounds of food because they couldn’t get pickers at $17 per hour. Many say it’s due to the crisis at the southern border.

The government recom- mends having enough food and water on hand to where if there were a disaster of some kind, you’d be able to take care of you and yours for a couple of weeks. It’s not a bad idea to have more than a couple of weeks, given what I be- lieve might be the perfect food shortage storm coming. How- ever, stay away from the long- term food storage (you know the good for 25 years stuff) and just stick with food items from

the store with long shelf life. The federal government hands out trillions to state, county and cities. Unemploy- ment offers bonuses to sit at home instead of taking one of the millions of jobs employers offer at more than minimum wage. I believe we’re headed for trouble.

If you want to see the effects of inflation at its most extreme, then just look at the cost of building supplies. Last year you could buy enough wood to build 10 homes—yet that same dollar amount this year will build 2.2 homes.

I’m no economic professor, but I’m afraid bad times are here and worst times are around the corner. I don’t want to be chicken little running around crying, “The sky is falling! The sky is falling!” I do, however, want to say, like the Boy Scouts, “Be prepared.”

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