Thursday, April 24, 2008

To stockpile or not to stockpile?

On the Internet, someone is always having the same conversation you just had with your spouse, and yet you'd swear you were an utterly unique person with a unique perspsective. This morning I was discussing the food shortages and run on rice at local stores, the fact that flour is up to 6 dollars at my convenience store, and *also* discussing a long ago book (Rubbish) and its chapter on the end result of the "meat shortages" of the 70's. Just a few minutes ago some person, not myself, put up this comment at Digby's blog:

Digby, panic buying is a terrible affliction. The School of Garbology at the University of Arizona has studied American socialogical and economic issues for many years by digging into land fills. They discovered that during the big "beef shortage" of a few years ago there was more meat thrown away than at any other time. The waste was attributed to over-buying due to fear of scarcity.

Anyone remember "The Great Toilet Paper Shortage" started by a joke by Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show?

I am very concerned that we have, or will soon, cross a threshold or see a phase change (whatever your favorite metaphor might be) and enter a world of extreme scarcity, competition, and ugliness the like of which Americans have not seen since the thirties. This is going to get very ugly. I'll save my gloomiest thoughts about population crashes for another day.