Get Prepared for 2022
Just to get it out there, I believe we all should #standwithUkraine. That said, the United States and the world have entered a dark time, and the end of this war is not in sight yet.
So what now? We know that no matter what happens with Russia and Ukraine in the coming days, weeks and months, the situation is dire. I am not going to go further into this issue here, except to say it breaks my heart to hear of the destruction, injuries and death. It is horrific for all people involved.
As some of you know, Jill and I predicted the supply shortages well before they happened with the COVID-19 Alpha strain in 2020. So once again, Jill has been doing some due-diligence to help us and our little farming operation anticipate potential impacts, and has come to the conclusion that we all need to be aware that more shortages and general economic hardships are likely on the way due to both the current economic situation and the Russia/Ukraine disruptions.
First things first. Let’s discuss what this Russia/Ukraine war might impact Americans.
Russia has the fifth-largest economy in Europe, the world’s eleventh-largest economy by nominal GDP (gross domestic product), and the sixth-largest by PPP (purchasing power parity). Here are the top 10 Russian exports:
- 1. Mineral fuels including oil: US$141.3 billion (42.1% of total exports)
- 2. Gems, precious metals: $30.4 billion (9%)
- 3. Iron, steel: $16 billion (4.8%)
- 4. Cereals: $9.5 billion (2.8%)
- 5. Machinery including computers: $8.3 billion (2.5%)
- 6. Wood: $8.2 billion (2.5%)
- 7. Fertilizers: $7 billion (2.1%)
- 8. Copper: $5.6 billion (1.7%)
- 9. Aluminum: $5.5 billion (1.6%)
- 10. Fish: $4.6 billion (1.4%)
That translates into these products being the top ten exported from Russia:
That comes to less than 75% of total items exported. So there are a lot of smaller things, for example alcohol (Vodka) is not on the list.
The top imports into Russia are Cars ($11B), Packaged Medications ($10.2B), Vehicle Parts ($8.21B), Broadcasting Equipment ($6.75B), and Planes, Helicopters, and/or Spacecraft ($4.81B).
Russia imports mostly from China ($47.1B), Germany ($30B), Belarus ($13.4B), United States ($9.21B), and Italy ($8.79B). Given the size of the Russian economy, these imports numbers do not seem very big. So, I think we can assume that the sanctions will only have a modest impact on Russia – especially since it is unclear whether China will join with the sanctions at this time. China is tightly controlling their media, but what has been expressed is that they believe they will have a special role in negotiating an end to the “special military operations” (their words).
We also know that transportation can not turn on a dime to fill the whims of war and sanctions.
The size of the Ukrainian economy is ranked 64th out of 190 countries. So, it is much smaller than Russia. Here are the top 10 Ukrainian exports:
- 1. Cereals: US$9.4 billion (19.1% of total exports)
- 2. Iron, steel: $7.7 billion (15.6%)
- 3. Animal/vegetable fats, oils, waxes: $5.8 billion (11.7%)
- 4. Ores, slag, ash: $4.4 billion (9%)
- 5. Electrical machinery, equipment: $2.5 billion (5.2%)
- 6. Machinery including computers: $1.9 billion (3.9%)
- 7. Oil seeds: $1.8 billion (3.7%)
- 8. Food industry waste, animal fodder: $1.6 billion (3.2%)
- 9. Wood: $1.4 billion (2.9%)
- 10. Articles of iron or steel: $877.8 million (1.8%)
Lumber, petroleum, precious metals, iron, cereal are all going to be under increasing world-wide demand due to supply disruptions traceable to either of these countries. Supply and pricing of many items are sure to be impacted. This translates into yet more inflation.
With interest rates increasing and lumber/metal shortages from both Russia and world, I think it is safe to assume that 1) new housing costs will increase 2) mortgages rates will climb, unless artificially kept low and 3) the housing market will become unstable, as many will perceive that this is not the time to buy a new house. The Federal government will be under increasing pressure to artificially support the industry through the continuation of low interest rate loan programs at the federal level. However, the inflationary pressure will make it hard for the Federal government to want to print money to support such low interest loans. This will put them in a Catch-22, with many opinions on what should be done.
If we assume shortages of wheat and corn, then the resulting inflation pressure will impact not only the price of cereals and bread on the table. These price increases will also impact meat prices. Expect there to be shortages and a significant cost increases in beef, pig and chicken-derived foods. That means that prices for everything from frozen dinners to pet food will increase. Not to mention the cost of grain for our horses, as well a general livestock prices.
Then we have the EU (European Union). Resources, including transport, will be diverted to help Ukraine. Shortages in the oil and gas (as well as other items) that EU countries usually get from Russia will impede manufacturing, transportation, heating, and everything that is dependent on petroleum-based energy. Remember, if only one component of a car or a computer can not be obtained, the item can not be manufactured. Like, say, computer chips (see Taiwan, but that is another topic).
Altogether, we can expect shortages and lots of them, as well as further inflationary pressures!
Normalcy bias refers to a mental state people enter when facing a disaster. It causes people to underestimate both the possibility of a disaster occurring and its possible effects. This may result in situations where people fail to adequately prepare for a disaster, and on a larger scale, the failure of governments to include the populace in its disaster preparations. – Wikipedia
Below, Jill and I offer some very basic advice – some of it we personally are doing now. This is practical stuff that we are thinking about, just as we anticipated the coming impact of COVID-19. Our intention is to help our friends and neighbors to prepare and protect themselves. For a few of the more extreme measures listed, we are (personally) in a “wait and see” mode.
The thing is to be aware of broad global trends, and to use your own judgement. Do not rely on the legacy media to tell you what to think and how to respond. They are not your friends, and if we have learned one thing from the past two years it is that the legacy media cannot be trusted to tell the truth. They will spin everything in whatever way the government (or the World Economic Forum) wants them to say. We do not want to sound like alarmists, and are not predicting the “end times”, but we suggest that it will just be good home and farm practice to take a little time and invest some resources to prepare in case things take a turn for the worse.
What all of the information that we are seeing predicts is that the historic levels of inflation are likely to continue and may well accelerate. That means that a dollar saved today is going to be worth less tomorrow. And we now know that the Overlords have no problems weaponizing the current fiat currency-based banking and finance system for political purposes. Frankly, here on the farm, we are torn about what to do in terms of financial management. So as usual, we try to think global and act local. In our case, that translates to sinking cash into upgrading farm infrastructure – fences, buildings etc. using local sawmills and skilled labor. We recommend that you do your own diligence and thinking about how you and your family should plan and adapt.
Our “preparedness” list:
- Keep your cars close to filled with gas or diesel. Fuel prices will go up and availability will go down.
- If you keep a diesel tank for your rural farm, keep it filled.
- If you have liquid petroleum, keep the tanks well stocked. Also, if you have abar-be-que, keep the tanks full or charcoal on hand. That way there is a way to cook and boil water.
- If you have a fireplace, make sure you have a supply of wood or fuel – if it is still cold in your area.
- If you have a generator (for you rural folks), make sure it is working and has fuel.
- Now is the time to spend your money wisely. Despite the inflation, having savings in some form of liquid assets provides security. Our friends that are finance specialists are advising us that a major economic disruption is likely, and that in those situations (wall street crash, for example), cash is king.
- Consider buying used. Particularly for big items.
- Have back-up systems in place. Such as data storage (disk drives, icloud, etc). Be prepared for internet disruptions.
- Do not expect to see the price of cars to come down – availability of new cars will continue to be low .
- Supply chains/availability for computers, machines, electronics, car parts, etc. will be disrupted (even more than they already are).
- Keep a little cash at home.
- Keep your credit up and your card balances low – when the economy gets tough, loans become harder to get.
- Airplane tickets will go up. If you know about upcoming travel, book now.
- Keep the basics well stocked. Make sure you have supplies to live comfortably for at least two weeks, it not more.
- For imported items, be prepared for them to become harder to come by, and adjust accordingly by both stocking up when possible and/or finding substitutions. Just to illustrate in our case, supply chain for tractor parts has become a problem.
- If you are a “prepper”, this may be the time to re-evaluate and re-stock.
- Keep water in the house. We can and should expect electric grid issues – unknown where they will occur and for how long. For me, that means a 3 day supply drinking water for people and animals. Also, a bucket or source of water kept near the house for flushing toilets.
- So just keep the basics on hand, and prepare for black and brown outs. They may or may not happen, but be prepared.
- Work on your metabolic health. That means working on weight and getting more exercise.
- Vitamin D3 (yes, make sure your blood levels are high enough), Zinc and a good multi-vitamin are important. If you need a primer or have been living under a rock, go to the FLCCC website for more information.
- Don’t let your prescriptions and medications run low.
- Use urgent care centers, instead of hospitals. 1) the wait time and cost is generally lower and 2) COVID policies are still in place- hospitals are still not safe places and should be avoided, unless acutely ill. Luckily, we have lots of choices for alternatives in the USA. Staying healthy is the best way to stay out of hospitals.
- Seek alternative news sources. Do not rely on a single source for information.
- The US government will give us a load of propaganda in times of stress. Listen with a “critical ear” and remember that the objectivity of most social media and search engines have been compromised.
- Most main stream media has been infiltrated with government spooks (see Glenn Greenwald’s article on this). Often what the media reports is not accurate or at least is incomplete. I also highly recommend Greenwald’s Substack as a good primary news source, along with Bannon’s war room. As an aside, I just read an interesting piece on US war propaganda here.
- As an aside, in the case of an Internet black-out or brown out, many are building AM and ham radio capabilities. Even now, AM radio – some of which is broadcast from out of country (such as Mexico), is a good place for news in a major emergency, if other sources are down.
- COVID and health related information is still being withheld. The US government has had total regulatory capture by the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries. Do not rely on main stream news sources as your primary information source for COVID.
- Be flexible.
- Community – keep an eye on how you can help your neighbors and friends. Particularly those who are elderly, frail and/or isolated.
Feel free to write what you are doing to prepare for the “worst” while hoping for the best?
For now, unless the government says otherwise, the best thing we can all do is live our lives. Keep yourself busy doing what you love. Whether it be hiking, reading, gardening, going to events, church, volunteering, whatever. Don’t isolate yourself from your family and friends. It is through our connections to others that we remain centered. Remember the teaching of Dr. Matttias Desmet- the root cause of mass formation psychosis is social isolation. Free floating anxiety is not good for our health or mental wellbeing – it is how we fall under the spell of the mass formation hypnosis. So, live your life – just be a bit more prepared to whatever bad may happen.
Be that leader for your family and friends. Stay connected. Stay strong. Stay centered. Be prepared. And please be well, friends.