Will food prices post y2k (if food is available as always) be too expensive?greenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
While preparing for y2k food shortages, I am beginning to see the importance of having a food supply simply because the price keeps going up. If the food supply stays constant after y2k, the price may be so high, that it may be impossible to buy all that is is needed to feed your family. Just how how much will a jar of jelly or box of mac and cheese be this time next year? Anyone have any thoughts about this?
-- Carol (email@example.com), July 25, 1999
That really depends--if there is a fod supply and if no one has much money to buy food, the food might be at the lowest possible price that the food manufacturers can afford to sell it at. If, on the other hand, there is runaway inflation, food might be very expensive, indeed... It's so hard to know what the scenario will be.
-- Mara Wayne (MaraWAyne@aol.com), July 26, 1999.
35% of the fruit and vegetables consumed in America are now imported.
As for domestic agriculture, the farmer requires diesel to run equipment and irrigation pumps. He requires chemicals fertilizers and pesticides to keep his production high. (Many of these are oil based.) When his product is harvested, it requires more diesel to move it by truck, train or ship to the food processors.
Given that he/she has no problem with embedded systems and is able to get bank financing for next year's crop, I imagine the cost of these inputs will be high - if available to him. If the costs cannot be passed on to the consumer, he will have to take the land out of production or operate at a loss. As many small operators have been forced into marginal financial status already, it is probable that they will fold under additional market stress.
I cannot say how this will effect food prices. Historically, agriculturalists have been unable to pass on the higher costs of inputs and regulation. This is a prime reason why so many are in dire straits this year.
-- marsh (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999.
The fod supply will dry up during Y2K, because Clinton will be Y2K cannon fodder and eat the fod and lose the election because he's been lying (again) to Americans about Y2K. Jessy Ventura will be the next president, fod or no fod!
-- $$$ ($$$@$$$.com), July 26, 1999.
It's the same old question and a new problem, supply and demand. last I heard, farmers and ranchers are anticipateing and planting record crops and herds, however, getting those products to market could be the problem. The meats are at record levels, and more grains are being planted, world wide.
The problem will be distibution.
Got a garden?
-- CT (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
Carol, I think food prices will go UP due to "supply and demand." Even during the depression of the 1930's, there were people who had plenty of money. In this case, I think we will see shortages due to problems with imports, manufacturing, etc. For example, if the price of gasoline doubles, then everyone who uses gasoline (such as trucks) to ship their product will charge more for the product. At this point all we can do is guess, but I agree with you that stocking up on things while they are so cheap is a GOOD idea! :-)
-- Gayla (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999.
A good backround ag article released by the American Farm Bureau Federation is "The General Economy vs. the Farm Economy." It will give you a grasp for the economic field upon which y2k will play http://www.fb.com/news/nr/nr99/nr0708a.html
-- marsh (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
Farmers appear to be getting screwed in the current system. The US produces an EXCESS of food. The reason you pay more is that Safeway, Albertsons, etc.. jack the price up tremendously.
To support this argument, compare the price of 25 pounds of fine white flour (4 bucks) to 10 oz of cereal (5 bucks). Processors and Retailers are ripping us off.
I don't think Y2K will suddenly cause the US to stop being the worlds largest producer of food.
-- Bryce (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999.
Define "too expensive". If you don't have something someone wants (money, however defined) then what you want will be too exensive.
Prices of food RELATIVE TO WHAT? Fiat paper dollars (the funny money now in your wallet)? Saudi reals? Gold/silver? Local scrip? Local barter credits? Alkaline AA-cells? ....
Prices depend both on the quantity of money (whatever it is) and the supply of what you're looking to buy.
A lot of "money" will be wiped out (the computer 1's and 0's erased), so the remaining money will have more value. But that depends on the government maintaining control, as the paper is fiat (worthless except for the "greater fool" scenario). In that case, paper money would be worth more than now. If the government loses control and various states/provinces/regions secede, then the paper money will be worthless, so prices will approach infinity in terms of that paper, regardless of supply.
Then there is the supply side -- Disruption of the money and transportation systems will put a huge dent in ability to both raise food (tractors nowadays instead of horses and mules) and get it to market.
Because the sheeple (most people, including most of you, dear readers) have accepted fiat money, we're going to get screwed either way.
If it's more than a bump, everything essential will be more expensive, in terms of paper money. And it's been so long since people have used gold and silver, if that's all you have, you could starve in the meantime before people came again to appreciate the value of honest money.
This whole Y2K thing will be exacerbated by the fact that your governments are oppressive, manipulative, dishonest, and fraudulent. (Of course that just reflects the general population, which is why I would not shed one tear for all the sheeple going over the cliff, as long as I could stand out of the way.)
-- A (A@AisA.com), July 26, 1999.
Don't for get that one of the first things a gov thinks to do in a crisis is this: slap on wage and price controls. If things get really tight, this will be one of the first actions gov will take.
Of course, the next thing that happens is this: a black market grows and proliferates.....
-- Anita Evangelista (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
My guess is that most prices will drop.
Demand always drops when people lose their jobs and don't have money to spend.
Supplies will also drop which should affect prices upwardly. But if people don't have money to spend, demand over-rules suply.
If people sense that their currency will be devalued, they will convert money into commodities (such as food). That could increase demand a little.
But, overall, I expect lower food prices and a lack of availability.
-- walt (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 26, 1999.
As far as local grown produce, I believe prices will be moderate. Anything processed will go up, and anything from overseas like coffee or other luxuries will have a high ticket price or be unavailable.
-- iceman (email@example.com), July 26, 1999.
Am growing watermellons. Figure it costs me a dollar a mellon to grow them. Every week I've been taking them to town in my truck and selling them for a dollar each. Cann't make any money. Think I need a bigger truck?
-- Farmer (firstname.lastname@example.org), July 27, 1999.
ok, farmer. Next year it may cost you $4.00 to grow each watermellon, and you may have a much smaller crop. (Because you (1) don't have the same fertilizer supplies as you had this year; (2) didn't have the diesel to run the irrigation pump/tractor.) Also, you will only be able to sell the mellon in the nearest town. There, you will compete with all the other local farmers who grow nothing but watermellon.
According to others on this thread, the government will control the price of watermellon so you only get $1.00 for it. Hmmmmm - what will you do?
During the depression farmers drove animals into pits and shot them. They couldn't afford to care for them at the reduced market price and demand.
Of course, it has been pointed out that watermellon make ideal targets for firearms practice, so you might find yourself with a windfall niche market.
-- marsh (email@example.com), July 27, 1999.