The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

How To Predict If The Shortages Will Be A Priority To Fix

Covid has not been a priority to fix in many countries for a simple reason: it’s making the rich a lot richer. U.S. Billionaires have seen their wealth increase by 70% during the pandemic.

Man, people dying and getting sick and having to buy much more online is good for Billionaires! What a time to be a peon!

So, as for the shortages, the question is how much they are inconveniencing people with power. If shortages are actually making the rich, richer, how can they be a problem politicians or anyone else with any power in most Western countries will take seriously?

I don’t know the answer to this, but so far what I’ve seen is that large customers are receiving limited goods first. Walmart fines supplies for late deliveries, small and medium size businesses can’t do that.

So my guess is that this will lead to further consolidation, wiping out more small and medium firms and allowing many to be bought up by their bigger brethren, and on top of that will make the big boys more money at the same time.

Of course, some industries will be losers, but overall it seems likely that at least for a time shortages will redound to the benefit of those with more money, and that they will see no urgency in ending them.

Hopefully I’m wrong (quite possible, not my area of expertise) on the shortages being good for most of the rich, but I’m sure I’m not wrong that if they are, the rich and powerful won’t give a damn how much other people are hurting, and won’t feel any urgency in ending the shortages.

Remember: in a lot of countries now, certainly the US and Britain, you cannot expect the government to act in your interest or care for you, unless it is in the interests of the powerful and rich that it does so. It may, if there are still existing programs not yet privatized but you should never expect it. You, your family and your friends, should make plans assuming that when bad things happen, there will be little help.

It’s ugly that this is so, but acknowledging the truth makes you more likely to survive.

(My writing helps pay my rent and buys me food. So please consider subscribing or donating if you like my writing.)


Periods of Popular Political Change Happen When…


The Perceived Self-Interest Of The Rich And Powerful


  1. Hugh

    I’ll believe the powers that be are interested in eliminating shortages when I start hearing about the repatriation of factories and jobs to the US. So far, the official and media treatment is to view all this as ‘temporary’ or akin to an act of God. That is, nothing to see here, move along.

  2. someofparts

    Like a cold cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Thanks, as always, for the bracing clarity.

  3. Ché Pasa

    Obviously, there’s no shortage of luxury goods, mansions, yachts, bolt holes in Montana, Idaho and New Zealand, joyrides into space, multi-million dollar classic cars, “art” that has no corporeal existence, jewels and fancy baubles, governments and their functionaries to buy, movements to buy off, etc. etc. etc.

    There’s also no shortage of willing dupes and accomplices to Our Rulers’ frivolities and shenanigans. Low cost and easy to control. What’s not to like? What could possibly go wrong?

    And as noted, so long as the compounding shortages for everyone else produce handsome profits for the Overclass, they will not only continue, they will intensify.

    Lucky us.

  4. John

    Walmart may have monopoly powers but Mr. Monopoly has been slacking off at my local one a little more than an hour’s ride west of the imperial capital.
    I noticed one shopper peering in disbelief thru the glass door of the very empty frozen food section.

  5. anon

    My prediction is that this could go on for years. It is very likely that cars and houses be more expensive long-term if not permanently. So could food items. There is no incentive for those with money to lower prices unless we see another black swan event like Covid-19 that throws everything into chaos. People waiting for another 2008 crash will be renting and taking public transportation for a long time.

  6. Willy

    One shortage they’re seeing is for heads to maintain employer headcounts. The more informed of honest pundits are saying that workers are fed up with spending their lives working stressed out with no future in sight, at every level from big retail to big tech and big medical. Gee, I wonder what the theme is there? I’m predicting an opening of the borders to fill those needs, to be blamed on “the left” but enabled by the corporate right, even the Trumpian right. That’s be an opportunity for workers to stand united, to not get suckered into wasting energies on tribal blame games and point the blame at exactly the root cause instead.

  7. Hvd


    And so as those shelves start to fill again but with prices raised your Walmart shopper will breath a sigh of relief and be thankful that those all important frozen goods are back.


    As to those workers – it’s just fine if they don’t come back. Time to cut back services but not prices. It’s time right now to get back to real capitalism. Let those workers starve a little. They don’t know how to actually organize and make demands and so divided they will fall. They will come crawling back one by miserable one. And if not let them eat dirt.

    And who is to blame why that damn commie Biden and all those blood sucking libs. Just look how they can’t make things better after saying all those nasty things about Trump and stealing America from us.

    This is not going to end well.

  8. different clue

    This post could be taken as a warning and some advice to those people who are capable of more than just resigning themselves to fate. Those people who are only capable of resigning themselves to fate should be left free to do so.

    Those people who think some shortages of essential survival goods and services can be mitigated on way or another by informal individual or family or group action, don’t have to let the counselors of resignation to fate deter them from attempting to prepare to survive. ( They can if they want to, of course, as is their perfect right).

    Those people who have something to offer the goal of surviving might offer their knowledge or links or sources or publication titles or anything else to the readers of the Surviving Hard Times thread which our host still re-ups every Saturday.

  9. Gaianne

    Simple and obvious, Ian. Again, thank you.

    And no, most of my friends will never believe it. They are still waiting for the return to normal!

    You build your own survival with your own two hands. And any friends who can read what is written on the wall.


  10. Trinity

    “you cannot expect the government to act in your interest or care for you, unless it is in the interests of the powerful and rich that it does so”

    Great article, Ian, and a really good reminder to pay attention.

    But I don’t fully agree with the quote. I think it might be closer to the truth to read:

    … you cannot expect the government to act in your interest or care for you, unless your interests happen to align with the interests of the powerful and rich

    They will never care. They’ve demonstrated multiple times in multiple ways that it’s a “let them eat cake” situation. (Again, I might add. Lather, rinse, repeat.)

  11. different clue

    A question arises , and I hope it is not merely rhetorical or hopelessly whistful . . . can we destroy the Rich before they destroy the world?

  12. Eric Anderson

    Anecdotal data:
    I’ve been shopping contractors to install a heat pump and been having a devil of a time even getting one to commit due to stock/staff/time constraints. One told me Trane, Carrier, and Goodman were 6 mo’s to a year out, and that he’d been able to reliably get Mitsubishi’s but they’d just informed him recently that they were cutting back on serving orders only to “diamond” list buyers. Which, he interpreted paying “diamond” wholesale prices to be on. So, being in a small rural community means basically that he’s out.

    Your analysis seems accurate in my case.

  13. Eric Anderson

    different clue:
    A theory —

    Seems a sound theory to me.

  14. different clue

    Directly attacking sociopaths in their centers of power and command means attacking all the multiple layers and swarms of defense and counter-attack personnel they will deploy against you to defeat your attack.

    It is not surprising that most normals would rather not run that risk if they can avoid it.

    It would be easier to inspire and organize numbers of people to create zones of parallel survival and existence in hopes of sidestepping and avoiding those areas of existence where sociopaths have power. If significant numbers of people were to created such zones of Separate Survival and Existence and the sociopaths invaded those areas to restore sociopath rule over the Separate Parallel lives of those people who took such pains to evade and avoid sociopath rule, then they might feel desperately driven to attack the sociopaths at that point. Attack or die. Attack and maybe die or don’t attack and die for sure.

    If that is probably what it would take to get parallel normals to attack sociopaths, then perhaps one should at least organize and assist as many people as possible to “go parallel” so that if sociopaths reach out to destroy their last parallel hope, they might indeed attack where the resigned mainstream normals never will.

    Not even a theory. Just a thought.

  15. Plague Species

    Survivalist culture is a bubble industry too. Think of all the waste over the years that has emanated from selling doom, not that doom isn’t real but quite a few selling it aren’t worried and in fact are happy to spread doom because they profit from it.

    If you truly believe the doom, do you really want to survive in the world or worlds that is/are coming? If so, you’re a pretty sick person because what’s coming is a hell on earth.

    The most important purchase you can make to prepare for what’s coming is something that will allow you to take your life in a humane and dignified manner rather than jumping off a bridge or building or shooting yourself in the head.

  16. Trinity

    Eric Anderson, that was a great twitter thread. I think he nailed some of the reasons people don’t do anything (we are sociopaths).

    He also had a comment at the bottom that I believe wholeheartedly:

    Ian does inspire and stimulate thought in so many people with his writing. Maybe I get a little too inspired (or forget to close a bold bracket) but that’s why I keep coming here. Thanks, Ian, for everything.

  17. Eric Anderson

    Thanks Trinity. It’s why I keep coming back as well. And why I push as many people here as I can.

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