Saturday, January 01, 2022

Happy 2022: The Year of Omicron

So everyone was hoping 2021 would be the end of all this Covid nonsense, but"Dr." Fauci and his merry bunch of misfits who reside in the news media, the tech companies and various 3-letter agencies of the Federal government have other ideas. From the FDA banning the use of antivirals for people infected with Covid to Twitter banning the inventor of the mRNA "vaccines", the display of sheer stupidity and naked greed by all parties was disgusting.

As if all that were not enough, the massive money printing by the Fed to the tune of $120 billion a month finally began to show up in other places than stock and real estate prices; namely in the price of food. We were already balanced on a knife's edge financially and would be in complete free fall if not for a bit of reserves we still had from when we were working. But those are gone and somehow we're supposed to pay a 7.5% increase in our rent, 50% increase in the price of gas, and a 25% increase in our grocery budget with a disability check that had a 5.5% COLA. And we are more fortunate than about half the country.

But no need to worry; Uncle Joe wishes 40% of the nation a Christmas full of pain and death.

So what do we have to look forward to in 2022? Nothing good, I'm afraid.

First, no matter what the Fed does, inflation is baked into the cake. There is so much money sloshing around in the banks and stock markets that it will continue to affect prices for some time to come. Second, the Fed can't really do anything right: stop printing money and raise interest rates to some reasonable level (say around 10%) and stock markets will crash faster and farther than anyone can imagine, and most debt, including a lot of government debt, goes into immediate default. The alternative is to continue to print $120 billion a month and hold interest rates nominally near zero (meaning negative real rates) and inflation continues to climb into the stratosphere.

In other words, we can be dirt poor and not able to afford anything, or we can have mountains of dollar bills that are not worth a loaf of bread. Either way, there will be a lot of hungry and angry people with nothing to do but roam the streets seeing how much damage they can do. Imagine the 2020 BLM protests times 100.

It looks like Omicron (which I swear was the name of one of the Transformers) will be the excuse for a new round of lockdowns and restrictions on churches (but not titty bars). The economy, already weakened by inflation and supply chain breakdowns, will simply fall over. The only ray of hope is the CDC's recent guidance that quarantine is only 5 days. No real science behind this; merely The Science and a sop to businesses trying to staff operations.

Another bright spot is the passing of peak Wokesterism. The witch trials are finally over and the hysteria seems to be dying down. Not that our college campuses are in any way safe for white straight males, but things are improving a bit out in the real world.

My advice for weathering all this is the same as it has been for the last couple decades: 1) get out of debt and stay out of debt. Do whatever you have to; sell everything that isn't nailed down, drive the oldest, cheapest thing you can find, downscale what you live in. Whatever it takes. 2) Keep the pantry stocked. I'm not saying buy 100-pound sacks of beans or anything; just the normal things you eat. Make sure you have a way to heat up food if the power is out. 3) Think about investing in a generator, especially if you depend on a well for water. Nothing sucks worse than being stuck in a house with no electricity for a week and no way to flush the toilet. 4) Keep some drinking water on hand. Again, nothing fancy; just a few days worth that you routinely use and replace.

Most importantly, keep your head on straight. Don't waste mental energy getting into pissing matches with "friends" on social media about vaccination status or Donald Trump. You have far more pressing concerns that are facing your immediate circle that you can actually do something about. I hate to say it, but the die are already cast as far as what happens to America. It's time to think small; your immediate family, neighbors, your church, etc. National events will play out regardless of what you do (and yes that includes voting). Go local.

And kids, always remember: don't do school; stay in drugs.

Happy 2022 everyone!

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