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Amazon ships food, but the company doesn’t grow it. Netflix has plenty of cooking shows, but the company doesn’t do any cooking. While backyard gardens are quaint, serious food production isn’t something that can be done by people who are sheltering in place. Domestic production is being disrupted:

Across the country, major meat processors are starting to shut down plants as employees are getting infected by coronavirus. Tyson, one of the world’s largest meat processors, suspended operations at its Columbus Junction, Iowa, pork plant this week after more than two dozen workers contracted Covid-19 there.

Tyson said it would divert livestock that was headed to Columbus Junction to other pork plants in the region to minimize the impact on its production.

JBS USA, another major meat processor, has stopped operations at its beef plant in Souderton, Pennsylvania with plans to reopen April 16, after two weeks. The company decided to close the facility after several members of the plant’s management team stopped going to work because they were experiencing flu-like symptoms, a company representative explained, adding that all other JBS USA’s plants are still open. Cargill has also paused operations at its protein plant in Hazleton, Pennsylvania, where 900 people typically work.

Similar production problems are happening in other areas of the world. At the same time, one-quarter of cloistered Americans report eating more since the lock downs began:

Bad combination.

Total food prices rose 0.3% in March. That annualizes to about 4%. Take home food prices–food purchased at the supermarket–rose by 0.5%, annualizing to over 6%. This is just the beginning. Does $8 sound crazy for a gallon of milk? It won’t in a year.

If only I could afford a slab of the great terror bird to ease my worried mind–and fill my empty belly!

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Economics • Tags: Economics, Food, Polling 
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  1. WHY ARE THERE EMPTY SHELVES ?

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    This series of articles provides a good explanation of the complex supply chain that delivers packaged goods to stores and how the WUHAN-19 response has created problems for the system.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/14/phase-five-supply-chain-with-a-message-from-a-dairy-farmer/

    Most Americans were not aware food consumption in the U.S. was a 60/40 proposition. Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers). …

    The ‘food away from home‘ sector has its own supply chain. Very few restaurants and venues (cited above) purchase food products from retail grocery outlets. As a result of the coronavirus mitigation effort the ‘food away from home’ sector has been reduced by 75% of daily food delivery operations. However, people still need to eat. That means retail food outlets, grocers, are seeing sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, depending on the area.

    Sorry if this is a dupe. IMHO this is important.

    Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.

    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.

    PEACE 😷

    • Thanks: res, Mr. Rational
    • LOL: eah
    • Replies: @eah
    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    Right -- a persistent shortage of food at the supermarket is no cause for "unnecessary concern".
    , @DanHessinMD
    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    "Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves."

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be 'price gouging' but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    , @songbird

    Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home”
     
    It's kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don't go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out.

    I hear that bulk stores like Costco, don't have the same shortages. I was thinking of it mainly in the sense of them sort of being their own warehouses, but I had forgotten that many small restaurants buy items there.
    , @Audacious Epigone
    For what it's worth, I don't think there will be empty shelves, just substantial price increases.
  2. There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    By the way, my family and I have suffered massive financial losses due to Covid-19 from our investments in healthcare, and I also expect that our farmland rents will decline. Nothing like losing loved ones or jobs, but still stinks.

    Ammo is doing well though. 😉

    • Replies: @iffen
    There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    Don't forget about armadillos-- AKA Hoover hogs-- AKA 'possum on the half-shell.

    , @Audacious Epigone
    Because the 'elective' procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven't (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?
  3. Does $8 sound crazy for a gallon of milk? It won’t in a year.

    Meanwhile, Nervous Nancy is proudly displaying her Fabergé egg to the peasants.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    ... I'm speechless.

    This is not a serious country.
  4. To know the ways of all professions, and to ask of every particular thing around you, “How did it get here, how did it come to be in its present form, where is it tending?”, this is the beginning of real management. To know what is necessary, what is fairly compensated, what is sustainable, what can be realistically done with what you have on hand, this is the economics and politics and prudence of the don.

    Unfortunately, very few people (our elites notably among them) have this sense of managerial awareness anymore. And for those who do, applying that insight to the American economic situation is a horrifying glimpse into the abyss. Your mind breaks; you know the situation is lost. It’s like seeing wave after wave of Huns flowing over the hills, knowing your little village defenses are pathetically inadequate, seeing yourself about to lose everything you hold dear, and nobody giving a damn.

    To “have a job” in clown world is to be either a slave or a circus performer, but not to do anything useful. For young people, leaving the nest is like walking the plank. Everything is distorted, scoured, evil. All around us the terrifying egos rage, meanwhile the tenderest buds of honesty and hope and spirit are trampled underfoot.

    There is a solution here, but while its conception is peace and simplicity itself, its working out will require the straining of every nerve against all the forces of the world. The wisdom of the philosopher-king is founded on a pristine stock of pure experiences: the joys of a full larder, a happy home, a child playing. All science, too, does not exceed the boundary of innocent wonder, otherwise it is but demonic wizardry and occultism. To protect the simple things from the maelstrom of technologically-enabled hubris is the task of every man of destiny today, and it is perhaps the hardest one that mortals have ever faced.

    • Agree: Lowe, paranoid goy
    • LOL: iffen
    • Replies: @AaronB
    Instead of putting your hopes in a philosopher king, why not "give up the world", as your Catholic doctrine recommends?
  5. @Twinkie
    There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    By the way, my family and I have suffered massive financial losses due to Covid-19 from our investments in healthcare, and I also expect that our farmland rents will decline. Nothing like losing loved ones or jobs, but still stinks.

    Ammo is doing well though. ;)

    There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    Don’t forget about armadillos– AKA Hoover hogs– AKA ‘possum on the half-shell.

    • Replies: @Realist

    Don’t forget about armadillos– AKA Hoover hogs– AKA ‘possum on the half-shell.

     

    Armadillos carry leprosy
  6. @iffen
    There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    Don't forget about armadillos-- AKA Hoover hogs-- AKA 'possum on the half-shell.

    Don’t forget about armadillos– AKA Hoover hogs– AKA ‘possum on the half-shell.

    Armadillos carry leprosy

    • Replies: @iffen
    Armadillos carry leprosy

    Shunning animals because they are disease vectors is not who we are.

    , @GeraldB
    Armadillos carry leprosy.

    So cook them before you eat them.
  7. @A123
    WHY ARE THERE EMPTY SHELVES ?

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    This series of articles provides a good explanation of the complex supply chain that delivers packaged goods to stores and how the WUHAN-19 response has created problems for the system.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/14/phase-five-supply-chain-with-a-message-from-a-dairy-farmer/


    Most Americans were not aware food consumption in the U.S. was a 60/40 proposition. Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers). …

    The ‘food away from home‘ sector has its own supply chain. Very few restaurants and venues (cited above) purchase food products from retail grocery outlets. As a result of the coronavirus mitigation effort the ‘food away from home’ sector has been reduced by 75% of daily food delivery operations. However, people still need to eat. That means retail food outlets, grocers, are seeing sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, depending on the area.

     

    Sorry if this is a dupe. IMHO this is important.

    Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.

    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.

    PEACE 😷

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    Right — a persistent shortage of food at the supermarket is no cause for “unnecessary concern”.

  8. @Realist

    Don’t forget about armadillos– AKA Hoover hogs– AKA ‘possum on the half-shell.

     

    Armadillos carry leprosy

    Armadillos carry leprosy

    Shunning animals because they are disease vectors is not who we are.

    • Replies: @Silva
    Very Wǔhànrén of you.
  9. @Realist

    Don’t forget about armadillos– AKA Hoover hogs– AKA ‘possum on the half-shell.

     

    Armadillos carry leprosy

    Armadillos carry leprosy.

    So cook them before you eat them.

    • Replies: @Realist

    So cook them before you eat them.
     
    Handling them is the problem.
  10. @A123
    WHY ARE THERE EMPTY SHELVES ?

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    This series of articles provides a good explanation of the complex supply chain that delivers packaged goods to stores and how the WUHAN-19 response has created problems for the system.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/14/phase-five-supply-chain-with-a-message-from-a-dairy-farmer/


    Most Americans were not aware food consumption in the U.S. was a 60/40 proposition. Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers). …

    The ‘food away from home‘ sector has its own supply chain. Very few restaurants and venues (cited above) purchase food products from retail grocery outlets. As a result of the coronavirus mitigation effort the ‘food away from home’ sector has been reduced by 75% of daily food delivery operations. However, people still need to eat. That means retail food outlets, grocers, are seeing sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, depending on the area.

     

    Sorry if this is a dupe. IMHO this is important.

    Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.

    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.

    PEACE 😷

    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    “Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.”

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be ‘price gouging’ but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?

    Not very likely, is it?  They're going to have both kinds of packaging operation.  They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it.  They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it.  And of course there are many, many grocery stores which do their own meatcutting.  They can take stuff from the restaurant supply pipeline too.  Consumers can buy e.g. rice in 20 or 50 pound lots; it keeps very well.

    If you want to, you can buy restaurant-packaged stuff at restaurant supply stores.  You can buy whole pork loins at the one near me.  That's a lot more food than a family typically buys at once, but if you have freezer space you can consume it over a month.

    The real problem will be if the aliens/refugees at the plants walk off, which I heard rumor was happening.
    , @Mark G.

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!
     
    Austria, which locked everything down a week before us, is planning to let restaurants reopen in the middle of May. They are going to let small shops, public parks and hair salons open a couple weeks before that. There will be some continuing restrictions like limiting the number of in store customers and wearing face masks.

    Some of the current restrictions seem ineffective. Instead of going to a clothing store to buy clothes or a shoe store to buy shoes, people are now going to Walmart to buy those items. They kept the Walmarts open since they sell food. The CDC issued a report last weekend saying the virus may travel up to 13 feet from one person to another so standing in long lines six feet away from each other at Walmart may not be helping. It would be better to let small stores and restaurants open soon rather than continue to funnel everyone into crowded Walmarts with long lines so they can get food and other items there.
    , @A123

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.
     
    It is unlikely to reach that point.

    Grocery stores will have plenty of food calories available for sale.

    The problem is more that certain categories will be periodically wiped out. At my local grocery, single serving canned soup was out-of-stock for over a week. However, they had other options to meet my calorie needs.
    ____

    Even though dining areas are closed, drive-thru and pickup are available in many locations.

    States are also beginning to waive rules that blocked restaurants from re-selling ingredients, such as breaking bulk packages into smaller quantities "not labelled for individual sale".

    Convenience and selection are likely to suffer. However, there is plenty of capacity to meet basic needs.

    PEACE 😷

    https://www.androidcentral.com/sites/androidcentral.com/files/styles/large/public/article_images/2015/08/dont-panic.jpg
    , @The Alarmist

    All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.
     
    You may be right, but reflect on how senseless it is that dairy farmers are dumping milk and other farmers are dumping crops into fields because these are not being sold to restaurants; meanwhile, hundreds of cars are lining up outside food banks, many because store shelves might be sparse. I don't know about you, but I'm not against opening up an institutional-sized can of Sysco® Tomatoes to feed my family for a couple days. I'll even pay for it.

    IOW, we are seeing a massive fail of central planning at the same time the central planners are killing what was left of the market economy.
  11. I too am an enthusiast for de-extincting various megafauna in order to put them into zoos and for their useful meats and, in this case, feathers. And, no doubt, bringing back this sort of beast would please sporting Haitians and Dominicans to no end – two peoples otherwise generally at loggerheads.

    However, in this case, I feel the need to urge a bit of caution. After all, aren’t chickens monstrous enough, as it is?

  12. @A123
    WHY ARE THERE EMPTY SHELVES ?

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    This series of articles provides a good explanation of the complex supply chain that delivers packaged goods to stores and how the WUHAN-19 response has created problems for the system.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/14/phase-five-supply-chain-with-a-message-from-a-dairy-farmer/


    Most Americans were not aware food consumption in the U.S. was a 60/40 proposition. Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers). …

    The ‘food away from home‘ sector has its own supply chain. Very few restaurants and venues (cited above) purchase food products from retail grocery outlets. As a result of the coronavirus mitigation effort the ‘food away from home’ sector has been reduced by 75% of daily food delivery operations. However, people still need to eat. That means retail food outlets, grocers, are seeing sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, depending on the area.

     

    Sorry if this is a dupe. IMHO this is important.

    Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.

    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.

    PEACE 😷

    Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home”

    It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out.

    I hear that bulk stores like Costco, don’t have the same shortages. I was thinking of it mainly in the sense of them sort of being their own warehouses, but I had forgotten that many small restaurants buy items there.

    • Replies: @anon
    It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day.

    Most people you know, maybe. Look around your town, how many fast food places are still open with a driveup window? Have you seen any cars with that temporary "Domino's" plastic sign on top in your neighborhood? How many DoorDash or GrubHub deliveries are in your area?

    Prior to the crisis how many food trucks were operating in your area? How many casual dining places like Applebees / Chili's / Dennys / Shoneys / IHOP / Red Lobster / Golden Corral /WIngstop / very much etc. ... how many of those were open in your town? Then add in all the family owned places on top of all the whole world of chains...

    There's a whole world of food service out there, with associated supply chains. That world has been hit hard by the current shutdowns, and it's part of the "how soon to reopen" debate.
    , @CJ
    The 60% figure seems hard to believe at first, but there are a lot of people who (a) get all or almost all their food from restaurants (not just welfare types but a lot of trades people, construction workers, college students, and just younger people in general), or (b) eat lunch at a cafeteria or restaurant every single work day, (c) never make breakfast at home, or (d) work in hotels, restaurants or cafeterias and get most or all of their food there, and finally (e) people institutionalized in hospitals, prisons, old age homes and the military.

    I’m a retirement-aged person who is still working and in contact with a lot of under-40 people. For quite a few of them the idea of preparing a meal from scratch is akin to building your own house or sailboat.

  13. I am guessing before too long we will get some think pieces from the MSM moaning about how this disproportionately hurts minorities because they cannot afford higher priced fresh produce and meat and just consumed more pre-packaged and processed/fast food than before…which leads to obesity, diabetes, hypertension, etc., and makes them more vulnerable to Covid-19, and exposes the structural racism of our society. Or something like that.

  14. “It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out.”

    A lot of people at home throw food out for various reasons.

    Are you thinking of sit down restaurants? You realize that the guy who runs into Subway for 10 minutes to grab a sub counts as having eaten in a restaurant, right?

    • Replies: @UK
    Also schools, work cafeterias, hospitals and prisons.
    , @songbird
    I could possibly see by expense. By quantity or caloric intake I'm very skeptical about, unless people brown-bagging it are counted.
    , @anon
    Supermarkets throw huge quantities of fruit and vegetables away. So do households.
    Broccoli Kale Cabbage Cauliflower Celery Pumpkin Potatoes Carrots, people only buy this because they're told to.
    Supermarkets don't throw any meat away.
    Lot of links in the meat supply chain.
    Once that breaks down, there will be trouble.
  15. @DanHessinMD
    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    "Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves."

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be 'price gouging' but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?

    Not very likely, is it?  They’re going to have both kinds of packaging operation.  They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it.  They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it.  And of course there are many, many grocery stores which do their own meatcutting.  They can take stuff from the restaurant supply pipeline too.  Consumers can buy e.g. rice in 20 or 50 pound lots; it keeps very well.

    If you want to, you can buy restaurant-packaged stuff at restaurant supply stores.  You can buy whole pork loins at the one near me.  That’s a lot more food than a family typically buys at once, but if you have freezer space you can consume it over a month.

    The real problem will be if the aliens/refugees at the plants walk off, which I heard rumor was happening.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    "How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?"

    Check out this article:
    https://prospect.org/coronavirus/supply-chain-broken-american-food-supply/

    I have seen others like it...

    "What accounts for this massive logistical failure, now artificially creating shortages? In nonviral times, much of the food being produced on farms would be sent to schools and restaurants. But with those locations shut down almost categorically nationwide, there’s no infrastructure in place to simply redirect the food to grocery stores and food banks, especially with short-shelf-life items like vegetables, meat, and dairy. Those two tracks—commercial and consumer food supply chains—remain fiercely separated."

    "Not very likely, is it? They’re going to have both kinds of packaging operation. They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it. They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it. "

    Do you know about food supply chains or are you speculating? A123 and Conservative Treehouse seem to make a serious point. Can someone speak based on knowledge of this?

    Thanks Mr. Rational for the point about restaurant supply stores. I will try to check out what the restaurant supply store scene looks like around me and report back!
    , @Intelligent Dasein

    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?
     
    It is 100% likely (as in, fact) that these two supply chains are separated not only by a vast logistical, but also a regulatory, commercial, and financial apparatus. Grocery stores and restaurants buy from dedicated suppliers who sell their produce and products forward. The whole supply chain's dance card is spoken for months in advance, which is why the failure of a local crop can still cause disruptions and shortages even when there is no general famine. It can be difficult to source things on the open market when a regular supplier has problems.

    This is one of the problems that caused widespread economic hardhsip when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had plenty of agricultural and industrial capacity, but the regular patterns of distribution had ceased to operate, what Kratoklastes refers to as "the potline problem." We may be looking at our own 1991 here, in many ways.
  16. @jbwilson24
    "It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out."

    A lot of people at home throw food out for various reasons.

    Are you thinking of sit down restaurants? You realize that the guy who runs into Subway for 10 minutes to grab a sub counts as having eaten in a restaurant, right?

    Also schools, work cafeterias, hospitals and prisons.

  17. @DanHessinMD
    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    "Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves."

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be 'price gouging' but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    Austria, which locked everything down a week before us, is planning to let restaurants reopen in the middle of May. They are going to let small shops, public parks and hair salons open a couple weeks before that. There will be some continuing restrictions like limiting the number of in store customers and wearing face masks.

    Some of the current restrictions seem ineffective. Instead of going to a clothing store to buy clothes or a shoe store to buy shoes, people are now going to Walmart to buy those items. They kept the Walmarts open since they sell food. The CDC issued a report last weekend saying the virus may travel up to 13 feet from one person to another so standing in long lines six feet away from each other at Walmart may not be helping. It would be better to let small stores and restaurants open soon rather than continue to funnel everyone into crowded Walmarts with long lines so they can get food and other items there.

  18. @DanHessinMD
    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    "Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves."

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be 'price gouging' but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    It is unlikely to reach that point.

    Grocery stores will have plenty of food calories available for sale.

    The problem is more that certain categories will be periodically wiped out. At my local grocery, single serving canned soup was out-of-stock for over a week. However, they had other options to meet my calorie needs.
    ____

    Even though dining areas are closed, drive-thru and pickup are available in many locations.

    States are also beginning to waive rules that blocked restaurants from re-selling ingredients, such as breaking bulk packages into smaller quantities “not labelled for individual sale”.

    Convenience and selection are likely to suffer. However, there is plenty of capacity to meet basic needs.

    PEACE 😷

  19. @jbwilson24
    "It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out."

    A lot of people at home throw food out for various reasons.

    Are you thinking of sit down restaurants? You realize that the guy who runs into Subway for 10 minutes to grab a sub counts as having eaten in a restaurant, right?

    I could possibly see by expense. By quantity or caloric intake I’m very skeptical about, unless people brown-bagging it are counted.

    • Replies: @RSDB

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted
     
    Why wouldn't they be?

    Still, the figure seems pretty odd, I would like to see a source on it.

    Expense-wise it might actually be reasonable; if one person consumes $20-$50 worth of groceries weekly and eats out twice a week, the cost of eating out will range (where I am and very roughly speaking) between $20 and $60; so a range of ~29% to ~75% of the food budget of this hypothetical person will go on restaurants.

    According to "thesimpledollar.com" average American household weekly expenditure is $78 on groceries and $61 on food out, so ~44% goes on food out.
  20. Hey Audacious, been reading you for years and never commented, you’re my favorite writer here at UNZ, and we share most of the same life philosophies, and high fertility rates,

    Anyway, to the UNZ readers out there, I have a blog where I detail how to grow your own food and become more self sufficient. I don’t necessarily think this virus will be the straw that breaks the camels back, but the day is approaching fast, so might as well be ready for when it happens.

    https://hungergapfarm.com/

    The feed stores near me were packed when I went to make my quarterly supply run, and many farmers near me have transitioned from cash crops like hemp last year to food this year, so trouble is on the horizon. We’ve also had unusually cold temperatures this spring with lots of late frosts, which is never good for harvests.

  21. @Mr. Rational
    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?

    Not very likely, is it?  They're going to have both kinds of packaging operation.  They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it.  They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it.  And of course there are many, many grocery stores which do their own meatcutting.  They can take stuff from the restaurant supply pipeline too.  Consumers can buy e.g. rice in 20 or 50 pound lots; it keeps very well.

    If you want to, you can buy restaurant-packaged stuff at restaurant supply stores.  You can buy whole pork loins at the one near me.  That's a lot more food than a family typically buys at once, but if you have freezer space you can consume it over a month.

    The real problem will be if the aliens/refugees at the plants walk off, which I heard rumor was happening.

    “How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?”

    Check out this article:
    https://prospect.org/coronavirus/supply-chain-broken-american-food-supply/

    I have seen others like it…

    “What accounts for this massive logistical failure, now artificially creating shortages? In nonviral times, much of the food being produced on farms would be sent to schools and restaurants. But with those locations shut down almost categorically nationwide, there’s no infrastructure in place to simply redirect the food to grocery stores and food banks, especially with short-shelf-life items like vegetables, meat, and dairy. Those two tracks—commercial and consumer food supply chains—remain fiercely separated.”

    “Not very likely, is it? They’re going to have both kinds of packaging operation. They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it. They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it. ”

    Do you know about food supply chains or are you speculating? A123 and Conservative Treehouse seem to make a serious point. Can someone speak based on knowledge of this?

    Thanks Mr. Rational for the point about restaurant supply stores. I will try to check out what the restaurant supply store scene looks like around me and report back!

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    Having finished reading the CTH piece I have to agree that there are going to be issues with certain things like milk, but if e.g. it's approved to sell 2.5 gallon bags to consumers they can just pour it into their own jugs when they get home.  For things like meat, your small chain groceries with meat-cutting on site become your new route to the consumer (direct or via delivery service).  Labelling regulations can be waived for the duration of the crisis.

    I've seen institutional-size cans of all sorts of stuff at restaurant supply stores.  If I had a bunch of mouths to feed, I would probably buy things like soup now and then as it would not have time to go bad in the fridge.  Despite the lack of mouths I'm okay here.  I've got a habit of stocking up on stuff when it goes on sale and I'm pretty well set for non-perishables.  Even some perishables are pretty easy to come by ATM; I got a pound of mini-bella mushrooms for $3 last week.
  22. @iffen
    Armadillos carry leprosy

    Shunning animals because they are disease vectors is not who we are.

    Very Wǔhànrén of you.

  23. @DanHessinMD
    "How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?"

    Check out this article:
    https://prospect.org/coronavirus/supply-chain-broken-american-food-supply/

    I have seen others like it...

    "What accounts for this massive logistical failure, now artificially creating shortages? In nonviral times, much of the food being produced on farms would be sent to schools and restaurants. But with those locations shut down almost categorically nationwide, there’s no infrastructure in place to simply redirect the food to grocery stores and food banks, especially with short-shelf-life items like vegetables, meat, and dairy. Those two tracks—commercial and consumer food supply chains—remain fiercely separated."

    "Not very likely, is it? They’re going to have both kinds of packaging operation. They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it. They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it. "

    Do you know about food supply chains or are you speculating? A123 and Conservative Treehouse seem to make a serious point. Can someone speak based on knowledge of this?

    Thanks Mr. Rational for the point about restaurant supply stores. I will try to check out what the restaurant supply store scene looks like around me and report back!

    Having finished reading the CTH piece I have to agree that there are going to be issues with certain things like milk, but if e.g. it’s approved to sell 2.5 gallon bags to consumers they can just pour it into their own jugs when they get home.  For things like meat, your small chain groceries with meat-cutting on site become your new route to the consumer (direct or via delivery service).  Labelling regulations can be waived for the duration of the crisis.

    I’ve seen institutional-size cans of all sorts of stuff at restaurant supply stores.  If I had a bunch of mouths to feed, I would probably buy things like soup now and then as it would not have time to go bad in the fridge.  Despite the lack of mouths I’m okay here.  I’ve got a habit of stocking up on stuff when it goes on sale and I’m pretty well set for non-perishables.  Even some perishables are pretty easy to come by ATM; I got a pound of mini-bella mushrooms for $3 last week.

  24. @Mr. Rational
    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?

    Not very likely, is it?  They're going to have both kinds of packaging operation.  They may have to run the grocery one on 3 shifts, but they can do it.  They can take commercial stuff and slap retail labels on it.  And of course there are many, many grocery stores which do their own meatcutting.  They can take stuff from the restaurant supply pipeline too.  Consumers can buy e.g. rice in 20 or 50 pound lots; it keeps very well.

    If you want to, you can buy restaurant-packaged stuff at restaurant supply stores.  You can buy whole pork loins at the one near me.  That's a lot more food than a family typically buys at once, but if you have freezer space you can consume it over a month.

    The real problem will be if the aliens/refugees at the plants walk off, which I heard rumor was happening.

    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?

    It is 100% likely (as in, fact) that these two supply chains are separated not only by a vast logistical, but also a regulatory, commercial, and financial apparatus. Grocery stores and restaurants buy from dedicated suppliers who sell their produce and products forward. The whole supply chain’s dance card is spoken for months in advance, which is why the failure of a local crop can still cause disruptions and shortages even when there is no general famine. It can be difficult to source things on the open market when a regular supplier has problems.

    This is one of the problems that caused widespread economic hardhsip when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had plenty of agricultural and industrial capacity, but the regular patterns of distribution had ceased to operate, what Kratoklastes refers to as “the potline problem.” We may be looking at our own 1991 here, in many ways.

    • Replies: @A123

    ... one of the problems that caused widespread economic hardship when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had plenty of agricultural and industrial capacity, but the regular patterns of distribution had ceased to operate,
     
    In the U.S. case this will be inconvenience, but not hardship.

    Whether it is called "food national security" or "farm vote buying subsidy", the truth is -- U.S. Agriculture generates vastly more calories than are consumed by the U.S. public. So much so, that overseas U.S. food aid programs can be a threat to lower productivity foreign farmers.

    In terms of the current pandemic the inherent oversupply is a huge advantage for the U.S. Even if a material % of total calorie production is lost due to supply chain bottle necks, Americans will still be able to buy enough food. It may not be 1st choice of what they want, but there will be more than enough to meet the need.
    _____

    A true supply chain breakdown (e.g. Trucks and Trains stop) would yield genuine hardship, but that will not happen with this disease. Some truck stops were briefly closed, but that mistake has been reversed and not repeated.

    PEACE 😷
  25. @Intelligent Dasein

    How likely is it that there are two seriously different supply chains for food, e.g. different meat-packing plants for home vs. commercial consumption?
     
    It is 100% likely (as in, fact) that these two supply chains are separated not only by a vast logistical, but also a regulatory, commercial, and financial apparatus. Grocery stores and restaurants buy from dedicated suppliers who sell their produce and products forward. The whole supply chain's dance card is spoken for months in advance, which is why the failure of a local crop can still cause disruptions and shortages even when there is no general famine. It can be difficult to source things on the open market when a regular supplier has problems.

    This is one of the problems that caused widespread economic hardhsip when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had plenty of agricultural and industrial capacity, but the regular patterns of distribution had ceased to operate, what Kratoklastes refers to as "the potline problem." We may be looking at our own 1991 here, in many ways.

    … one of the problems that caused widespread economic hardship when the Soviet Union collapsed. They had plenty of agricultural and industrial capacity, but the regular patterns of distribution had ceased to operate,

    In the U.S. case this will be inconvenience, but not hardship.

    Whether it is called “food national security” or “farm vote buying subsidy“, the truth is — U.S. Agriculture generates vastly more calories than are consumed by the U.S. public. So much so, that overseas U.S. food aid programs can be a threat to lower productivity foreign farmers.

    In terms of the current pandemic the inherent oversupply is a huge advantage for the U.S. Even if a material % of total calorie production is lost due to supply chain bottle necks, Americans will still be able to buy enough food. It may not be 1st choice of what they want, but there will be more than enough to meet the need.
    _____

    A true supply chain breakdown (e.g. Trucks and Trains stop) would yield genuine hardship, but that will not happen with this disease. Some truck stops were briefly closed, but that mistake has been reversed and not repeated.

    PEACE 😷

  26. A lot of people won’t be able to afford to buy ‘food’ at the grocery stores after their unemployment checks and rebates are exhausted. Food banks too will run out of donations. Therefore what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.

    Since most of these people will lose their homes and apartments too being able to dine on the twigs and bushes of their new habitat will keep them out of sight and avoid upsetting the remaining people able to afford ‘food’.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational

    what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.
     
    Long time ago, I read a SF story in which someone had done exactly that (symbiont, not enzyme though).  Alien race arrives at Earth to find it stripped bare of most life.  Statues of a certain human all over the planet... some of them defaced, some pristine.

    After deciphering the language, they put the story together:  scientist (thinking Mr. "Green revolution" here) invents symbiotic bug which lets humans eat wood and grasses.  Initially he is seen as the savior of mankind, thus the statues.

    Fly in the ointment:  this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.  They literally consume all the vegetation on the planet, and then starve to death after killing most everything else in the process.  The defaced statues are where populations were smart enough to see the curse and the fate of the Earth due to this invention.  The pristine statues are where they were not.

    Moral of the story:  be careful what you wish for.
    , @Lars Porsena
    Hey, we could probably get them to do landscaping even cheaper than illegals.
  27. @Intelligent Dasein
    To know the ways of all professions, and to ask of every particular thing around you, "How did it get here, how did it come to be in its present form, where is it tending?", this is the beginning of real management. To know what is necessary, what is fairly compensated, what is sustainable, what can be realistically done with what you have on hand, this is the economics and politics and prudence of the don.

    Unfortunately, very few people (our elites notably among them) have this sense of managerial awareness anymore. And for those who do, applying that insight to the American economic situation is a horrifying glimpse into the abyss. Your mind breaks; you know the situation is lost. It's like seeing wave after wave of Huns flowing over the hills, knowing your little village defenses are pathetically inadequate, seeing yourself about to lose everything you hold dear, and nobody giving a damn.

    To "have a job" in clown world is to be either a slave or a circus performer, but not to do anything useful. For young people, leaving the nest is like walking the plank. Everything is distorted, scoured, evil. All around us the terrifying egos rage, meanwhile the tenderest buds of honesty and hope and spirit are trampled underfoot.

    There is a solution here, but while its conception is peace and simplicity itself, its working out will require the straining of every nerve against all the forces of the world. The wisdom of the philosopher-king is founded on a pristine stock of pure experiences: the joys of a full larder, a happy home, a child playing. All science, too, does not exceed the boundary of innocent wonder, otherwise it is but demonic wizardry and occultism. To protect the simple things from the maelstrom of technologically-enabled hubris is the task of every man of destiny today, and it is perhaps the hardest one that mortals have ever faced.

    Instead of putting your hopes in a philosopher king, why not “give up the world”, as your Catholic doctrine recommends?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    There is no such recommendation in Catholic doctrine, and I'll not have you distorting the doctrine in the minds of casual readers by proclaiming that there is.

    There are the evangelical counsels of poverty, chasity, and obediance which are offered to those with a special charism to serve completely the Kingdom of God. They are only possible through grace, and such special grace is not offered to a large proportion of the Church. Such things are great and beautiful gifts, but they are the little leaven that leavens the lump. They are not the lump.

    The Catholic doctrine does not change nor does it seek to change the realities of politics in the world as it is. To do so would be gnosticism, not divine truth.
  28. anon[618] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home”
     
    It's kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don't go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out.

    I hear that bulk stores like Costco, don't have the same shortages. I was thinking of it mainly in the sense of them sort of being their own warehouses, but I had forgotten that many small restaurants buy items there.

    It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day.

    Most people you know, maybe. Look around your town, how many fast food places are still open with a driveup window? Have you seen any cars with that temporary “Domino’s” plastic sign on top in your neighborhood? How many DoorDash or GrubHub deliveries are in your area?

    Prior to the crisis how many food trucks were operating in your area? How many casual dining places like Applebees / Chili’s / Dennys / Shoneys / IHOP / Red Lobster / Golden Corral /WIngstop / very much etc. … how many of those were open in your town? Then add in all the family owned places on top of all the whole world of chains…

    There’s a whole world of food service out there, with associated supply chains. That world has been hit hard by the current shutdowns, and it’s part of the “how soon to reopen” debate.

  29. @unit472
    A lot of people won't be able to afford to buy 'food' at the grocery stores after their unemployment checks and rebates are exhausted. Food banks too will run out of donations. Therefore what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.

    Since most of these people will lose their homes and apartments too being able to dine on the twigs and bushes of their new habitat will keep them out of sight and avoid upsetting the remaining people able to afford 'food'.

    what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.

    Long time ago, I read a SF story in which someone had done exactly that (symbiont, not enzyme though).  Alien race arrives at Earth to find it stripped bare of most life.  Statues of a certain human all over the planet… some of them defaced, some pristine.

    After deciphering the language, they put the story together:  scientist (thinking Mr. “Green revolution” here) invents symbiotic bug which lets humans eat wood and grasses.  Initially he is seen as the savior of mankind, thus the statues.

    Fly in the ointment:  this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.  They literally consume all the vegetation on the planet, and then starve to death after killing most everything else in the process.  The defaced statues are where populations were smart enough to see the curse and the fate of the Earth due to this invention.  The pristine statues are where they were not.

    Moral of the story:  be careful what you wish for.

    • Replies: @Toronto Russian

    Fly in the ointment: this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.
     
    Midcentury sci-fi often did not age well (people calculating spaceship routes with pencil and paper, etc). In reality, desert Arabs did exactly the opposite when their food began to fall from the sky in the form of oil rent. They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
  30. @unit472
    A lot of people won't be able to afford to buy 'food' at the grocery stores after their unemployment checks and rebates are exhausted. Food banks too will run out of donations. Therefore what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.

    Since most of these people will lose their homes and apartments too being able to dine on the twigs and bushes of their new habitat will keep them out of sight and avoid upsetting the remaining people able to afford 'food'.

    Hey, we could probably get them to do landscaping even cheaper than illegals.

  31. @songbird
    I could possibly see by expense. By quantity or caloric intake I'm very skeptical about, unless people brown-bagging it are counted.

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted

    Why wouldn’t they be?

    Still, the figure seems pretty odd, I would like to see a source on it.

    Expense-wise it might actually be reasonable; if one person consumes $20-$50 worth of groceries weekly and eats out twice a week, the cost of eating out will range (where I am and very roughly speaking) between $20 and $60; so a range of ~29% to ~75% of the food budget of this hypothetical person will go on restaurants.

    According to “thesimpledollar.com” average American household weekly expenditure is $78 on groceries and $61 on food out, so ~44% goes on food out.

    • Replies: @A123
    It is a USDA number: (1)

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/charts/90507/november18_datafeature_elitzak_fig01-01_450px.png

    It is based on spending. By calories, the split would be different (higher home, less away from home). However, for high level discussions "around 50/50" covers most bases.

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2018/november/new-us-food-expenditure-estimates-find-food-away-from-home-spending-is-higher-than-previous-estimates/
    , @songbird

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted

    Why wouldn’t they be?
     
    It fits grammatically, but it seems like a really weird stat, if it includes brown-bagging. I can't really wrap my head around why there would be a logical reason for including it.

    Oh, one could say something like "potential market for eating away from home", but that wouldn't really make sense. No place is going to be able to compete with your self-spread P&J sandwich. So, food service can't capture the full market.
  32. serious food production isn’t something that can be done by people who are sheltering in place.

    Part of Agenda 2030 is that growing food will be illegal, as will buying or selling seeds. Hunting is out because public lands will be inaccessible, all in the name of reducing each “human carbon footprint” to as near zero as possible. The endgame is that nothing you eat (Which will be very, very little) will be organic.

    https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

    I keep hearing what a genius board this is. Maybe it’s time for some proof?

    • Replies: @Truth
    And I don't mean you any offense personally by that Audie. The point is that the cause celebre of this board can be encapsulated by saying that "the problem with this country is that we have too many of low IQ here." If I were new to this board and had read the Coronavirus threads for a week, I would have to strongly, concur.
  33. @Truth

    serious food production isn’t something that can be done by people who are sheltering in place.
     
    Part of Agenda 2030 is that growing food will be illegal, as will buying or selling seeds. Hunting is out because public lands will be inaccessible, all in the name of reducing each "human carbon footprint" to as near zero as possible. The endgame is that nothing you eat (Which will be very, very little) will be organic.

    https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/post2015/transformingourworld

    I keep hearing what a genius board this is. Maybe it's time for some proof?

    And I don’t mean you any offense personally by that Audie. The point is that the cause celebre of this board can be encapsulated by saying that “the problem with this country is that we have too many of low IQ here.” If I were new to this board and had read the Coronavirus threads for a week, I would have to strongly, concur.

  34. I have never followed through on my prepping intentions. However,

    according to the article, the examples indicate that the shut downs are the direct choice of the producers in response to x number of employees either becoming ill or concerned that they are ill.

    That may be a management issue with staffing – an inability to replace staff on short notice. Which might be a long term logistics failure, but I am unconvinced it represents a breakdown in delivery systems.

    Which may very well come to pass. However, there are also great opportunities for industries to innovate their logistics and perhaps more importantly, employ train and put otherwise unemployed citizens to work – eventually.

    side note; also being reminded just how valuable and viable the trucking industry remains as parents are being reminded just how valuable the educational system is and they had better pay more attention to what is going on in their school systems.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist

    ... employ train and put otherwise unemployed citizens to work – eventually.
     
    There was buzz about the spectacular success of the call for a "Land Army" in the UK to pick fruit and veg that hitherto had been picked by EU migratory labour. A lot of it bandied around the term volunteer, though you sometimes would see a mention of payment ... I even saw £15 per hour in one article. The thing that caught my eye earlier today is that the Brits are chartering flights to bring in Romanian workers. Seems the farmers don't want to pay the locals after all.
  35. @DanHessinMD
    A123 makes an incredibly important point.

    "Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.
    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves."

    That seems right.

    But however the supermarkets lack food, you have a big problem.

    To sum up then:

    Some large share, such as half, of the food in this country goes through restaurants and cafeterias of various kinds. All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    Grocery stores should be jacking up prices 100% and 500% if they have any sense. That would be 'price gouging' but that is pretty important right now. The grocery store supply chain is totally insufficient because grocery stores are configured to handle only half of American food needs.

    I concur. If you have ever seen commercial food packaging and supply, it is completely different from the grocery store side.

    So you are likely to wind up with a completely disjointed market where food is lacking in grocery stores while it is rotting in the restaurant supply chain. On the one hand, you have a shortage in grocery store food while on the other, the price/value of restaurant food plummets to zero!

    Jesus!

    You may have to open up restaurants to get people fed!

    This is an incredibly shocking story. Is it true?? It seems you have to open up the country to avoid hunger, or else find a way to instantly rework the supply chain.

    All of this food is packaged totally differently. It is not packaged for individual resale.

    You may be right, but reflect on how senseless it is that dairy farmers are dumping milk and other farmers are dumping crops into fields because these are not being sold to restaurants; meanwhile, hundreds of cars are lining up outside food banks, many because store shelves might be sparse. I don’t know about you, but I’m not against opening up an institutional-sized can of Sysco® Tomatoes to feed my family for a couple days. I’ll even pay for it.

    IOW, we are seeing a massive fail of central planning at the same time the central planners are killing what was left of the market economy.

    • Agree: Achmed E. Newman
  36. @EliteCommInc.
    I have never followed through on my prepping intentions. However,

    according to the article, the examples indicate that the shut downs are the direct choice of the producers in response to x number of employees either becoming ill or concerned that they are ill.


    That may be a management issue with staffing - an inability to replace staff on short notice. Which might be a long term logistics failure, but I am unconvinced it represents a breakdown in delivery systems.

    Which may very well come to pass. However, there are also great opportunities for industries to innovate their logistics and perhaps more importantly, employ train and put otherwise unemployed citizens to work - eventually.

    side note; also being reminded just how valuable and viable the trucking industry remains as parents are being reminded just how valuable the educational system is and they had better pay more attention to what is going on in their school systems.

    … employ train and put otherwise unemployed citizens to work – eventually.

    There was buzz about the spectacular success of the call for a “Land Army” in the UK to pick fruit and veg that hitherto had been picked by EU migratory labour. A lot of it bandied around the term volunteer, though you sometimes would see a mention of payment … I even saw £15 per hour in one article. The thing that caught my eye earlier today is that the Brits are chartering flights to bring in Romanian workers. Seems the farmers don’t want to pay the locals after all.

    • Replies: @EliteCommInc.
    And the Brits are undermining themselves by choice if that is the case. They seem to have missed the pint of Brexit . . . their choice . . .

    I hope the flying in Romanians is just a rumor. But when profits trump long term health and welfare --- so you have it.


    God save the Queen.
  37. @RSDB

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted
     
    Why wouldn't they be?

    Still, the figure seems pretty odd, I would like to see a source on it.

    Expense-wise it might actually be reasonable; if one person consumes $20-$50 worth of groceries weekly and eats out twice a week, the cost of eating out will range (where I am and very roughly speaking) between $20 and $60; so a range of ~29% to ~75% of the food budget of this hypothetical person will go on restaurants.

    According to "thesimpledollar.com" average American household weekly expenditure is $78 on groceries and $61 on food out, so ~44% goes on food out.

    It is a USDA number: (1)

    It is based on spending. By calories, the split would be different (higher home, less away from home). However, for high level discussions “around 50/50” covers most bases.

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2018/november/new-us-food-expenditure-estimates-find-food-away-from-home-spending-is-higher-than-previous-estimates/

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    I went to my local Restaurant Depot. Normally only restaurants can shop there but it was open to all because they don't have their restaurant business. There was an absolute abundance.

    Lots of toilet paper, paper towels, every kind of meat at great prices. Fifty pound sacks of onions and potatoes at very low prices. I got lots of fish, which would normally be very expensive where I shop.

    The drawback is that the sizes of everything is enormous. You might want to cooperate with another family or two if you shop there, because of the sizes of the packages.

    Americans will come out of this crisis fatter than ever before, God willing.

  38. @GeraldB
    Armadillos carry leprosy.

    So cook them before you eat them.

    So cook them before you eat them.

    Handling them is the problem.

  39. These meat workers should have masks and other protective gear to reduce the chances of disease spreading. In the future, important operations like this should have temperature checks on workers before they enter the premises. Since the U.S. is not a serious country, we probably will not implement these common sense measures.

    • Replies: @The Alarmist
    We aren't quite back to the situation Upton Sinclair described in The Jungle, but I would be happy if the just wore PPE properly to start with. A good start would be to stop relying on Somali and Mexican labour in these plants.
  40. @EldnahYm
    These meat workers should have masks and other protective gear to reduce the chances of disease spreading. In the future, important operations like this should have temperature checks on workers before they enter the premises. Since the U.S. is not a serious country, we probably will not implement these common sense measures.

    We aren’t quite back to the situation Upton Sinclair described in The Jungle, but I would be happy if the just wore PPE properly to start with. A good start would be to stop relying on Somali and Mexican labour in these plants.

  41. anon[836] • Disclaimer says:
    @jbwilson24
    "It’s kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don’t go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out."

    A lot of people at home throw food out for various reasons.

    Are you thinking of sit down restaurants? You realize that the guy who runs into Subway for 10 minutes to grab a sub counts as having eaten in a restaurant, right?

    Supermarkets throw huge quantities of fruit and vegetables away. So do households.
    Broccoli Kale Cabbage Cauliflower Celery Pumpkin Potatoes Carrots, people only buy this because they’re told to.
    Supermarkets don’t throw any meat away.
    Lot of links in the meat supply chain.
    Once that breaks down, there will be trouble.

  42. @AaronB
    Instead of putting your hopes in a philosopher king, why not "give up the world", as your Catholic doctrine recommends?

    There is no such recommendation in Catholic doctrine, and I’ll not have you distorting the doctrine in the minds of casual readers by proclaiming that there is.

    There are the evangelical counsels of poverty, chasity, and obediance which are offered to those with a special charism to serve completely the Kingdom of God. They are only possible through grace, and such special grace is not offered to a large proportion of the Church. Such things are great and beautiful gifts, but they are the little leaven that leavens the lump. They are not the lump.

    The Catholic doctrine does not change nor does it seek to change the realities of politics in the world as it is. To do so would be gnosticism, not divine truth.

    • Agree: utu
    • Thanks: AaronB
  43. @RSDB

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted
     
    Why wouldn't they be?

    Still, the figure seems pretty odd, I would like to see a source on it.

    Expense-wise it might actually be reasonable; if one person consumes $20-$50 worth of groceries weekly and eats out twice a week, the cost of eating out will range (where I am and very roughly speaking) between $20 and $60; so a range of ~29% to ~75% of the food budget of this hypothetical person will go on restaurants.

    According to "thesimpledollar.com" average American household weekly expenditure is $78 on groceries and $61 on food out, so ~44% goes on food out.

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted

    Why wouldn’t they be?

    It fits grammatically, but it seems like a really weird stat, if it includes brown-bagging. I can’t really wrap my head around why there would be a logical reason for including it.

    Oh, one could say something like “potential market for eating away from home”, but that wouldn’t really make sense. No place is going to be able to compete with your self-spread P&J sandwich. So, food service can’t capture the full market.

    • Replies: @A123
    Trying to slice and dice the numbers to fine detail will bog you down. For example:

    -- A prepared sub from Subway is "Away from home"
    -- The same sub from a grocery deli counter is "At home"

    The numbers are not particularly precise estimates.
    _____

    The best bet is to accept the broad split at the high level and move on to more interesting points.

    PEACE 😷
  44. @songbird

    unless people brown-bagging it are counted

    Why wouldn’t they be?
     
    It fits grammatically, but it seems like a really weird stat, if it includes brown-bagging. I can't really wrap my head around why there would be a logical reason for including it.

    Oh, one could say something like "potential market for eating away from home", but that wouldn't really make sense. No place is going to be able to compete with your self-spread P&J sandwich. So, food service can't capture the full market.

    Trying to slice and dice the numbers to fine detail will bog you down. For example:

    — A prepared sub from Subway is “Away from home”
    — The same sub from a grocery deli counter is “At home”

    The numbers are not particularly precise estimates.
    _____

    The best bet is to accept the broad split at the high level and move on to more interesting points.

    PEACE 😷

    • Replies: @songbird
    Yes, supermarkets are kind of a fuzzy area. You can get a lot of things like rotisserie chicken there.
  45. @songbird

    Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home”
     
    It's kind of hard for me to believe this ratio. Most people don't go to lunch or dinner every day. Though I know restaurants throw a lot of food out.

    I hear that bulk stores like Costco, don't have the same shortages. I was thinking of it mainly in the sense of them sort of being their own warehouses, but I had forgotten that many small restaurants buy items there.

    The 60% figure seems hard to believe at first, but there are a lot of people who (a) get all or almost all their food from restaurants (not just welfare types but a lot of trades people, construction workers, college students, and just younger people in general), or (b) eat lunch at a cafeteria or restaurant every single work day, (c) never make breakfast at home, or (d) work in hotels, restaurants or cafeterias and get most or all of their food there, and finally (e) people institutionalized in hospitals, prisons, old age homes and the military.

    I’m a retirement-aged person who is still working and in contact with a lot of under-40 people. For quite a few of them the idea of preparing a meal from scratch is akin to building your own house or sailboat.

    • Replies: @songbird
    I can actually almost kind of see it. I'm thinking of colleges. I don't know how they price a meal in 2020, but in my day, I thought the price was kind of ridiculous. I mean, especially if you're eating breakfast, and you might get cereal, toast, or boiled eggs. The quality of things was generally pretty low. You could easily get a better meal, at the same price by going into town, or cooking one yourself, but it was about convenience.
  46. @CJ
    The 60% figure seems hard to believe at first, but there are a lot of people who (a) get all or almost all their food from restaurants (not just welfare types but a lot of trades people, construction workers, college students, and just younger people in general), or (b) eat lunch at a cafeteria or restaurant every single work day, (c) never make breakfast at home, or (d) work in hotels, restaurants or cafeterias and get most or all of their food there, and finally (e) people institutionalized in hospitals, prisons, old age homes and the military.

    I’m a retirement-aged person who is still working and in contact with a lot of under-40 people. For quite a few of them the idea of preparing a meal from scratch is akin to building your own house or sailboat.

    I can actually almost kind of see it. I’m thinking of colleges. I don’t know how they price a meal in 2020, but in my day, I thought the price was kind of ridiculous. I mean, especially if you’re eating breakfast, and you might get cereal, toast, or boiled eggs. The quality of things was generally pretty low. You could easily get a better meal, at the same price by going into town, or cooking one yourself, but it was about convenience.

  47. @A123
    Trying to slice and dice the numbers to fine detail will bog you down. For example:

    -- A prepared sub from Subway is "Away from home"
    -- The same sub from a grocery deli counter is "At home"

    The numbers are not particularly precise estimates.
    _____

    The best bet is to accept the broad split at the high level and move on to more interesting points.

    PEACE 😷

    Yes, supermarkets are kind of a fuzzy area. You can get a lot of things like rotisserie chicken there.

  48. @The Alarmist

    ... employ train and put otherwise unemployed citizens to work – eventually.
     
    There was buzz about the spectacular success of the call for a "Land Army" in the UK to pick fruit and veg that hitherto had been picked by EU migratory labour. A lot of it bandied around the term volunteer, though you sometimes would see a mention of payment ... I even saw £15 per hour in one article. The thing that caught my eye earlier today is that the Brits are chartering flights to bring in Romanian workers. Seems the farmers don't want to pay the locals after all.

    And the Brits are undermining themselves by choice if that is the case. They seem to have missed the pint of Brexit . . . their choice . . .

    I hope the flying in Romanians is just a rumor. But when profits trump long term health and welfare — so you have it.

    God save the Queen.

  49. @Mr. Rational

    what is needed as much as a Covid vaccine is an enzyme that would allow the new pauper class to digest wood and grasses.
     
    Long time ago, I read a SF story in which someone had done exactly that (symbiont, not enzyme though).  Alien race arrives at Earth to find it stripped bare of most life.  Statues of a certain human all over the planet... some of them defaced, some pristine.

    After deciphering the language, they put the story together:  scientist (thinking Mr. "Green revolution" here) invents symbiotic bug which lets humans eat wood and grasses.  Initially he is seen as the savior of mankind, thus the statues.

    Fly in the ointment:  this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.  They literally consume all the vegetation on the planet, and then starve to death after killing most everything else in the process.  The defaced statues are where populations were smart enough to see the curse and the fate of the Earth due to this invention.  The pristine statues are where they were not.

    Moral of the story:  be careful what you wish for.

    Fly in the ointment: this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.

    Midcentury sci-fi often did not age well (people calculating spaceship routes with pencil and paper, etc). In reality, desert Arabs did exactly the opposite when their food began to fall from the sky in the form of oil rent. They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).

    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @songbird

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
     
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I'm not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I'm pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I'll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.
     
    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn't like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.
  50. @Toronto Russian

    Fly in the ointment: this removes the brake on populations in the third world, which goes into a renewed orgy of eating and breeding.
     
    Midcentury sci-fi often did not age well (people calculating spaceship routes with pencil and paper, etc). In reality, desert Arabs did exactly the opposite when their food began to fall from the sky in the form of oil rent. They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).

    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I’m pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I’ll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.

    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn’t like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.

    • Replies: @anon
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=total+fertility+rate+by+country&t=brave&ia=shopping

    Second result:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html
    , @nebulafox
    > Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Anybody who believes in the notion of Islamic universalism need only interact with a Pakistani or an Indonesian who has worked in Saudi Arabia to disprove it. They are treated like subhumans. The laborers and the maids obviously get the worst of it, but even highly educated professionals from those countries (my old Pakistani roommate's brother worked there as an engineer) are treated with a noted lack of respect by the locals, possibly because of association.

    , @Almost Missouri
    Agree. Gulf Arabs still have large families. Besides statistical dilution by foreigners, local governments produce whatever statistics they think their audience wants to hear, so you can't rely too much on their published figures. Lower fertility is "modern", so that is the result the local Ministry publishes, irrespective of the reality on the ground. Even if one chooses to believe published figures, countries like Saudi Arabia are still above replacement, and above just about everyone except Sub-Saharan Africa, so saying "plentiful food leads to low fertility" is not true for much of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa, core Arabia and most of the Muslim world are not shrinking in the era of plentiful calories.

    Another deceptive aspect of current birth statistics is that even where births are declining, so is infant mortality, so populations keep going up despite declining births.

    Very recent (since MBS) changes may yet crater native fertility rates in oil sheikdoms, but that effect—if it happens—is a decade or two down the road.
    , @Toronto Russian

    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I’m pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.
     
    Sure, this is a factor, but the dynamic continues to be downward and the latest real numbers we have from these regions are from 10 years back. We don't know how low it fell since. Only the next census will show.

    The mistake of sci-fi author is associating breeding only with sex. But even primitive peasants were concerned with things like land use, household divisions between sons, dowries, sending younger children off to find their own fortune, etc. The need to outpace child mortality usually superseded everything, but if starvation was removed as a major child killing factor, the pressure to breed at any cost would be eased and all these other considerations would come into play. As they did, for example, in Ancient Rome, which had abundant supply of grain from conquered North Africa. They loved sex... but made sure it didn't have unwanted consequences, and family wealth and power weren't diluted by too many heirs. I don't even know how it was physically possible (a sponge soaked in lemon juice doesn't look like reliable contraception), but apparently third-world level technology was enough.
  51. @songbird

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
     
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I'm not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I'm pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I'll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.
     
    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn't like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.

    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=total+fertility+rate+by+country&t=brave&ia=shopping

    Second result:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

    • Replies: @songbird
    That's by country, not by ethnic group in those countries. Really huge difference, in this case.
  52. @songbird

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
     
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I'm not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I'm pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I'll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.
     
    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn't like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.

    > Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Anybody who believes in the notion of Islamic universalism need only interact with a Pakistani or an Indonesian who has worked in Saudi Arabia to disprove it. They are treated like subhumans. The laborers and the maids obviously get the worst of it, but even highly educated professionals from those countries (my old Pakistani roommate’s brother worked there as an engineer) are treated with a noted lack of respect by the locals, possibly because of association.

    • Replies: @Talha
    Islam is very universalist in doctrine, but some people obviously don't abide by the precepts. My father and my brother both worked in Saudi for a stint and my father didn't report discrimination, but the thing that frustrated him was that his project manager was constantly asking pressuring him to fudge the numbers so they could get contracts and he finally got sick of it. My brother reported that most of his co-workers were very friendly (he was in an office setting) and they even took him out to the desert for camping and hunting jerboa.

    My uncle and his wife (both very capable doctors) were generally treated with respect in the hospital they worked in, but they did mention an incident here or there with discrimination.

    So I guess it depends on who you interact with on an individual basis. Though, yes, it is well known that there is plenty of abuse of day-workers and maids in the Gulf countries.

    But things are starting to change; some famous celebrity guy in Kuwait or UAE stated something like (when talking about how immigrants from different places are no all the same):
    "How could we treat Egyptians the same as Bengalis? God forgive us! God forgive us! God forgive us!"

    But he had a lot of backlash and had to come out and clarify and backpedal and, I kid you not, stated something along the lines of: "No. I'm not racist, some of my best maids are Asian!"

    Maybe it sounds better in Arabic.

    Speaking of Arabic...

    THIS is how you do propaganda my friends..well played - the accent is solid:
    https://twitter.com/MsMelChen/status/1250479172281122821

    "seafood market" - Pffffshshshwahahahahahahaha!!!

    Peace.

    Also...because my kids got this fishy song stuck in my head, I'm going infect you guys with it...covid-style (click at your own risk - you've been warned):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxutWCBDpAc
    , @songbird

    They are treated like subhumans.
     
    I agree. On certain levels their treatment is really abominable.

    But you've got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren't going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn't mean that something isn't coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.

    I think all that really needs to happen for them to be in danger of replacement is their fertility collapsing. UAE is always the example that blows my mind - how could anyone think that making your population 80% foreign labor is a good thing? Arabs have a tradition of big man politics, so I think that they, like us, are subject to the whims of their ruling class, without being consulted about anything.
  53. @songbird

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
     
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I'm not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I'm pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I'll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.
     
    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn't like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.

    Agree. Gulf Arabs still have large families. Besides statistical dilution by foreigners, local governments produce whatever statistics they think their audience wants to hear, so you can’t rely too much on their published figures. Lower fertility is “modern”, so that is the result the local Ministry publishes, irrespective of the reality on the ground. Even if one chooses to believe published figures, countries like Saudi Arabia are still above replacement, and above just about everyone except Sub-Saharan Africa, so saying “plentiful food leads to low fertility” is not true for much of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa, core Arabia and most of the Muslim world are not shrinking in the era of plentiful calories.

    Another deceptive aspect of current birth statistics is that even where births are declining, so is infant mortality, so populations keep going up despite declining births.

    Very recent (since MBS) changes may yet crater native fertility rates in oil sheikdoms, but that effect—if it happens—is a decade or two down the road.

    • Replies: @songbird

    Another deceptive aspect of current birth statistics is that even where births are declining, so is infant mortality, so populations keep going up despite declining births.
     
    Right. And this is a really big deal in a lot of Arab countries since they have limited water, and so limited agricultural capacity.

    Anyway, even if it falls below replacement eventually, I think the idea of a full convergence in fertility rates between different peoples is very mistaken. That's not what tends to happen in the wild, when you introduce two species of organisms into the same ecological niche - one outbreeds the other. In Arabia, this might be Africans, if they are not careful.
  54. @A123
    It is a USDA number: (1)

    https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/charts/90507/november18_datafeature_elitzak_fig01-01_450px.png

    It is based on spending. By calories, the split would be different (higher home, less away from home). However, for high level discussions "around 50/50" covers most bases.

    PEACE 😷
    _______

    (1) https://www.ers.usda.gov/amber-waves/2018/november/new-us-food-expenditure-estimates-find-food-away-from-home-spending-is-higher-than-previous-estimates/

    I went to my local Restaurant Depot. Normally only restaurants can shop there but it was open to all because they don’t have their restaurant business. There was an absolute abundance.

    Lots of toilet paper, paper towels, every kind of meat at great prices. Fifty pound sacks of onions and potatoes at very low prices. I got lots of fish, which would normally be very expensive where I shop.

    The drawback is that the sizes of everything is enormous. You might want to cooperate with another family or two if you shop there, because of the sizes of the packages.

    Americans will come out of this crisis fatter than ever before, God willing.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    I'm so glad I threw this out there!  Americans un-bottlenecking our food supply, one bit of information at a time.
  55. @nebulafox
    > Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Anybody who believes in the notion of Islamic universalism need only interact with a Pakistani or an Indonesian who has worked in Saudi Arabia to disprove it. They are treated like subhumans. The laborers and the maids obviously get the worst of it, but even highly educated professionals from those countries (my old Pakistani roommate's brother worked there as an engineer) are treated with a noted lack of respect by the locals, possibly because of association.

    Islam is very universalist in doctrine, but some people obviously don’t abide by the precepts. My father and my brother both worked in Saudi for a stint and my father didn’t report discrimination, but the thing that frustrated him was that his project manager was constantly asking pressuring him to fudge the numbers so they could get contracts and he finally got sick of it. My brother reported that most of his co-workers were very friendly (he was in an office setting) and they even took him out to the desert for camping and hunting jerboa.

    My uncle and his wife (both very capable doctors) were generally treated with respect in the hospital they worked in, but they did mention an incident here or there with discrimination.

    So I guess it depends on who you interact with on an individual basis. Though, yes, it is well known that there is plenty of abuse of day-workers and maids in the Gulf countries.

    But things are starting to change; some famous celebrity guy in Kuwait or UAE stated something like (when talking about how immigrants from different places are no all the same):
    “How could we treat Egyptians the same as Bengalis? God forgive us! God forgive us! God forgive us!”

    But he had a lot of backlash and had to come out and clarify and backpedal and, I kid you not, stated something along the lines of: “No. I’m not racist, some of my best maids are Asian!”

    Maybe it sounds better in Arabic.

    Speaking of Arabic…

    THIS is how you do propaganda my friends..well played – the accent is solid:

    seafood market” – Pffffshshshwahahahahahahaha!!!

    Peace.

    [MORE]

    Also…because my kids got this fishy song stuck in my head, I’m going infect you guys with it…covid-style (click at your own risk – you’ve been warned):

    • Agree: Yahya K.
    • Replies: @nebulafox
    >Islam is very universalist in doctrine, but some people obviously don’t abide by the precepts.

    Oh, no doubt. That's the irony of Western bien-pensant Orientalization of the faith to a racial identity: it's a notion that'd be deeply offensive to any pious Muslim, and moreover assumes that you know... Bosniaks don't exist or something. Still, though I can't speak for Pakistan, I do live pretty close to Indonesia, am learning the language, and keep up on events there: and I can attest to the fact that there is a *lot* of resentment toward the Saudis over the treatment of maids, even from social conservatives. I'm sure that the local media, as medias do everywhere, tend to blow up and exaggerate juicy, scandalous stories, but the stories of rape and torture are authentically documented.

    In the end, people are individuals, and ripping off or abusing imported social inferiors is depressingly common in much of the world. Even squeaky clean Singapore has come under (justified) scrutiny on the conditions of migrant laborers, particularly since the COVID pandemic is spiking here thanks to that. The issue in Saudi Arabia, though, is that it is particularly easy there to legally get away with mistreatment due to a number of factors, not least that all contracts are exclusively in Arabic.

  56. @anon
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now.

    https://duckduckgo.com/?q=total+fertility+rate+by+country&t=brave&ia=shopping

    Second result:

    https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/rankorder/2127rank.html

    That’s by country, not by ethnic group in those countries. Really huge difference, in this case.

  57. @nebulafox
    > Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Anybody who believes in the notion of Islamic universalism need only interact with a Pakistani or an Indonesian who has worked in Saudi Arabia to disprove it. They are treated like subhumans. The laborers and the maids obviously get the worst of it, but even highly educated professionals from those countries (my old Pakistani roommate's brother worked there as an engineer) are treated with a noted lack of respect by the locals, possibly because of association.

    They are treated like subhumans.

    I agree. On certain levels their treatment is really abominable.

    But you’ve got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren’t going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn’t mean that something isn’t coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.

    I think all that really needs to happen for them to be in danger of replacement is their fertility collapsing. UAE is always the example that blows my mind – how could anyone think that making your population 80% foreign labor is a good thing? Arabs have a tradition of big man politics, so I think that they, like us, are subject to the whims of their ruling class, without being consulted about anything.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.

    But you’ve got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren’t going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn’t mean that something isn’t coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.
     
    https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/4/83281/Kuwaiti-actress-Hayat-al-Fahd-sparks-controversy-over-COVID-19
  58. @Almost Missouri
    Agree. Gulf Arabs still have large families. Besides statistical dilution by foreigners, local governments produce whatever statistics they think their audience wants to hear, so you can't rely too much on their published figures. Lower fertility is "modern", so that is the result the local Ministry publishes, irrespective of the reality on the ground. Even if one chooses to believe published figures, countries like Saudi Arabia are still above replacement, and above just about everyone except Sub-Saharan Africa, so saying "plentiful food leads to low fertility" is not true for much of the world. Sub-Saharan Africa, core Arabia and most of the Muslim world are not shrinking in the era of plentiful calories.

    Another deceptive aspect of current birth statistics is that even where births are declining, so is infant mortality, so populations keep going up despite declining births.

    Very recent (since MBS) changes may yet crater native fertility rates in oil sheikdoms, but that effect—if it happens—is a decade or two down the road.

    Another deceptive aspect of current birth statistics is that even where births are declining, so is infant mortality, so populations keep going up despite declining births.

    Right. And this is a really big deal in a lot of Arab countries since they have limited water, and so limited agricultural capacity.

    Anyway, even if it falls below replacement eventually, I think the idea of a full convergence in fertility rates between different peoples is very mistaken. That’s not what tends to happen in the wild, when you introduce two species of organisms into the same ecological niche – one outbreeds the other. In Arabia, this might be Africans, if they are not careful.

  59. @songbird

    They are treated like subhumans.
     
    I agree. On certain levels their treatment is really abominable.

    But you've got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren't going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn't mean that something isn't coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.

    I think all that really needs to happen for them to be in danger of replacement is their fertility collapsing. UAE is always the example that blows my mind - how could anyone think that making your population 80% foreign labor is a good thing? Arabs have a tradition of big man politics, so I think that they, like us, are subject to the whims of their ruling class, without being consulted about anything.

    But you’ve got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren’t going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn’t mean that something isn’t coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.

    https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/4/83281/Kuwaiti-actress-Hayat-al-Fahd-sparks-controversy-over-COVID-19

    • Replies: @songbird
    That is kind of darkly humorous - if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don't know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal - maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.

    This tweet accused her of "racism":
     
    This guy I would banish, just to be on the safe side. It's pretty scary to me that one can write that word even in Arabic. Next some Chinese person will tell me there's an ideogram for it.
  60. @Talha
    Islam is very universalist in doctrine, but some people obviously don't abide by the precepts. My father and my brother both worked in Saudi for a stint and my father didn't report discrimination, but the thing that frustrated him was that his project manager was constantly asking pressuring him to fudge the numbers so they could get contracts and he finally got sick of it. My brother reported that most of his co-workers were very friendly (he was in an office setting) and they even took him out to the desert for camping and hunting jerboa.

    My uncle and his wife (both very capable doctors) were generally treated with respect in the hospital they worked in, but they did mention an incident here or there with discrimination.

    So I guess it depends on who you interact with on an individual basis. Though, yes, it is well known that there is plenty of abuse of day-workers and maids in the Gulf countries.

    But things are starting to change; some famous celebrity guy in Kuwait or UAE stated something like (when talking about how immigrants from different places are no all the same):
    "How could we treat Egyptians the same as Bengalis? God forgive us! God forgive us! God forgive us!"

    But he had a lot of backlash and had to come out and clarify and backpedal and, I kid you not, stated something along the lines of: "No. I'm not racist, some of my best maids are Asian!"

    Maybe it sounds better in Arabic.

    Speaking of Arabic...

    THIS is how you do propaganda my friends..well played - the accent is solid:
    https://twitter.com/MsMelChen/status/1250479172281122821

    "seafood market" - Pffffshshshwahahahahahahaha!!!

    Peace.

    Also...because my kids got this fishy song stuck in my head, I'm going infect you guys with it...covid-style (click at your own risk - you've been warned):
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxutWCBDpAc

    >Islam is very universalist in doctrine, but some people obviously don’t abide by the precepts.

    Oh, no doubt. That’s the irony of Western bien-pensant Orientalization of the faith to a racial identity: it’s a notion that’d be deeply offensive to any pious Muslim, and moreover assumes that you know… Bosniaks don’t exist or something. Still, though I can’t speak for Pakistan, I do live pretty close to Indonesia, am learning the language, and keep up on events there: and I can attest to the fact that there is a *lot* of resentment toward the Saudis over the treatment of maids, even from social conservatives. I’m sure that the local media, as medias do everywhere, tend to blow up and exaggerate juicy, scandalous stories, but the stories of rape and torture are authentically documented.

    In the end, people are individuals, and ripping off or abusing imported social inferiors is depressingly common in much of the world. Even squeaky clean Singapore has come under (justified) scrutiny on the conditions of migrant laborers, particularly since the COVID pandemic is spiking here thanks to that. The issue in Saudi Arabia, though, is that it is particularly easy there to legally get away with mistreatment due to a number of factors, not least that all contracts are exclusively in Arabic.

    • Agree: Talha
  61. @Yahya K.

    But you’ve got to keep in mind that they are on a different time scale than us. Saudi Arabia had legal slavery into the 1960s. They aren’t going to be in woke synchronicity with us, but it doesn’t mean that something isn’t coming down the pike with immigration, even if they never reach our level of wokeness.
     
    https://www.egypttoday.com/Article/4/83281/Kuwaiti-actress-Hayat-al-Fahd-sparks-controversy-over-COVID-19

    That is kind of darkly humorous – if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don’t know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal – maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.

    This tweet accused her of “racism”:

    This guy I would banish, just to be on the safe side. It’s pretty scary to me that one can write that word even in Arabic. Next some Chinese person will tell me there’s an ideogram for it.

    • Replies: @Yahya K.

    That is kind of darkly humorous – if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don’t know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal – maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.
     
    Correct. Elderly women in the Arab world tend to be very matriarchal and and brook-no-nonsense types. They were there before Arabia was rich and soft with oil and foreign labor etc. You can imagine the sort of life they had as girls in 1950s Arabia. The younger generation is definitely a lot softer, but what can you do.

    This actress stood her ground after being condemned too:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2020/04/02/-I-did-not-say-anything-wrong-Kuwaiti-actress-responds-to-critics-on-expat-ban

    “This is my opinion and I did not say anything wrong,” Kuwaiti actress Hayat al-Fahad said in response to uproar on social media after she called for a ban on expatriates amid the coronavirus outbreak in Kuwait.

    Dozens took to social media platforms on Wednesday to criticize the 71-year-old after she said the government should “send [expatriates] out... put them in the desert” to make room in hospitals for citizens who may get infected with the virus.

    In an interview on Al Arabiya’s Tafa’olkum, al-Fahad said that she failed to accurately express what she meant.

    “My words did not come out as I intended them to…I won’t throw them in the desert. I told you the words may have come out wrong. But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.”

    Social media users called out the actress, with many saying her comments were “racist.” When asked if she thought her statements were racist, al-Fahad answered “no.”

    “The people who stayed quiet before, and are hiding their salaries now, and are acting honorable now, let them pay for [the expatriates]. Let them provide meals for them,” al-Fahad said, adding that several people who criticized her for her comments have not spoken up against illegal migrants in Kuwait and visa trade.

    “When there is no supply of food, there is no supply of vegetables, there is no supply, all 5 million of us how will we eat? [The expatriates] themselves will get tired,” the actress added.

    The Ministry of Trade on Thursday said on Twitter that it has been enforcing several measures in the country since the beginning of March to ensure that food supplies in the country remain adequate. This includes preventing suppliers from increasing the price of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens, has reported 342 confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Kuwaitis and expatriates.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13, and a nationwide 11-hour curfew was imposed.
     
  62. @songbird
    That is kind of darkly humorous - if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don't know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal - maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.

    This tweet accused her of "racism":
     
    This guy I would banish, just to be on the safe side. It's pretty scary to me that one can write that word even in Arabic. Next some Chinese person will tell me there's an ideogram for it.

    That is kind of darkly humorous – if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don’t know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal – maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.

    Correct. Elderly women in the Arab world tend to be very matriarchal and and brook-no-nonsense types. They were there before Arabia was rich and soft with oil and foreign labor etc. You can imagine the sort of life they had as girls in 1950s Arabia. The younger generation is definitely a lot softer, but what can you do.

    This actress stood her ground after being condemned too:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2020/04/02/-I-did-not-say-anything-wrong-Kuwaiti-actress-responds-to-critics-on-expat-ban

    “This is my opinion and I did not say anything wrong,” Kuwaiti actress Hayat al-Fahad said in response to uproar on social media after she called for a ban on expatriates amid the coronavirus outbreak in Kuwait.

    Dozens took to social media platforms on Wednesday to criticize the 71-year-old after she said the government should “send [expatriates] out… put them in the desert” to make room in hospitals for citizens who may get infected with the virus.

    In an interview on Al Arabiya’s Tafa’olkum, al-Fahad said that she failed to accurately express what she meant.

    “My words did not come out as I intended them to…I won’t throw them in the desert. I told you the words may have come out wrong. But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.”

    Social media users called out the actress, with many saying her comments were “racist.” When asked if she thought her statements were racist, al-Fahad answered “no.”

    “The people who stayed quiet before, and are hiding their salaries now, and are acting honorable now, let them pay for [the expatriates]. Let them provide meals for them,” al-Fahad said, adding that several people who criticized her for her comments have not spoken up against illegal migrants in Kuwait and visa trade.

    “When there is no supply of food, there is no supply of vegetables, there is no supply, all 5 million of us how will we eat? [The expatriates] themselves will get tired,” the actress added.

    The Ministry of Trade on Thursday said on Twitter that it has been enforcing several measures in the country since the beginning of March to ensure that food supplies in the country remain adequate. This includes preventing suppliers from increasing the price of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens, has reported 342 confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Kuwaitis and expatriates.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13, and a nationwide 11-hour curfew was imposed.

    • Replies: @songbird

    But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.
     
    Makes me wish she was my grandma.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens
     
    I had forgotten it was so high. Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off. Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13
     
    I've heard that Britain is bringing in tens of thousands of agricultural workers. I know COVID is already loose, maybe it is sensible in a way, but it seems like pretty inconsistent behavior, when you consider how aggressive they are about harassing dog-walkers, etc.
  63. @Yahya K.

    That is kind of darkly humorous – if only in contrast to typical Hollywood actresses. I don’t know her background, but it seems she was born near about when slavery was still legal – maybe just after, so I guess one would expect her to express herself like that. I imagine the younger generations are a bit different. Not woke certainly, but softer.
     
    Correct. Elderly women in the Arab world tend to be very matriarchal and and brook-no-nonsense types. They were there before Arabia was rich and soft with oil and foreign labor etc. You can imagine the sort of life they had as girls in 1950s Arabia. The younger generation is definitely a lot softer, but what can you do.

    This actress stood her ground after being condemned too:

    https://english.alarabiya.net/en/life-style/entertainment/2020/04/02/-I-did-not-say-anything-wrong-Kuwaiti-actress-responds-to-critics-on-expat-ban

    “This is my opinion and I did not say anything wrong,” Kuwaiti actress Hayat al-Fahad said in response to uproar on social media after she called for a ban on expatriates amid the coronavirus outbreak in Kuwait.

    Dozens took to social media platforms on Wednesday to criticize the 71-year-old after she said the government should “send [expatriates] out... put them in the desert” to make room in hospitals for citizens who may get infected with the virus.

    In an interview on Al Arabiya’s Tafa’olkum, al-Fahad said that she failed to accurately express what she meant.

    “My words did not come out as I intended them to…I won’t throw them in the desert. I told you the words may have come out wrong. But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.”

    Social media users called out the actress, with many saying her comments were “racist.” When asked if she thought her statements were racist, al-Fahad answered “no.”

    “The people who stayed quiet before, and are hiding their salaries now, and are acting honorable now, let them pay for [the expatriates]. Let them provide meals for them,” al-Fahad said, adding that several people who criticized her for her comments have not spoken up against illegal migrants in Kuwait and visa trade.

    “When there is no supply of food, there is no supply of vegetables, there is no supply, all 5 million of us how will we eat? [The expatriates] themselves will get tired,” the actress added.

    The Ministry of Trade on Thursday said on Twitter that it has been enforcing several measures in the country since the beginning of March to ensure that food supplies in the country remain adequate. This includes preventing suppliers from increasing the price of meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens, has reported 342 confirmed cases of coronavirus in both Kuwaitis and expatriates.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13, and a nationwide 11-hour curfew was imposed.
     

    But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.

    Makes me wish she was my grandma.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens

    I had forgotten it was so high. Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off. Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13

    I’ve heard that Britain is bringing in tens of thousands of agricultural workers. I know COVID is already loose, maybe it is sensible in a way, but it seems like pretty inconsistent behavior, when you consider how aggressive they are about harassing dog-walkers, etc.

    • Replies: @anon
    I had forgotten it was so high.

    Been that way for decades. Although I'm sure none of them are Palestinians.

    I'm just shakin' my head at Kuwaiti grandma dissing the hired help, guess she didn't learn a thing from 1990 - 91.

    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 - 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00's would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.
  64. anon[124] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    But maybe something can be built in the desert, quickly and within days.
     
    Makes me wish she was my grandma.

    Kuwait, where 70% of the population comprises of non-citizens
     
    I had forgotten it was so high. Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off. Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    All international flights have been halted since March 13
     
    I've heard that Britain is bringing in tens of thousands of agricultural workers. I know COVID is already loose, maybe it is sensible in a way, but it seems like pretty inconsistent behavior, when you consider how aggressive they are about harassing dog-walkers, etc.

    I had forgotten it was so high.

    Been that way for decades. Although I’m sure none of them are Palestinians.

    I’m just shakin’ my head at Kuwaiti grandma dissing the hired help, guess she didn’t learn a thing from 1990 – 91.

    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 – 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00’s would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.

    • Replies: @songbird

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 – 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00’s would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.
     
    I get it - Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn't mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.
     
    It's kind of ours, unless we pull out - and doesn't seem like that's happening. The US has no natural interest in the ME.
  65. @songbird

    They went from 9 children per woman to 2 (Saudi Arabia) or less (UAE).
     
    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I'm not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I'm pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    UAE is like 80% foreigners. Saudi is like 37% non-native. Big helot class in both countries. Generally, they are not treated like immigrants to the West. I'll bet Arab women in the workplace is pretty low too.

    Interesting question what will happen down the road. Arabs are pretty tribal, but Islam is pretty universal, many of the migrants are Muslims, and Arabs already bear the marks of earlier movement of cheap labor.

    Wikipedia has this to say:

    There are around five million illegal immigrants in Saudi Arabia, most of which come from Africa and Asia. These immigrants are planned to be deported within the next few years.
     
    But if I were an Arab nationalist, I wouldn't like how they are importing African ringers for their sportsteams.

    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I’m pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.

    Sure, this is a factor, but the dynamic continues to be downward and the latest real numbers we have from these regions are from 10 years back. We don’t know how low it fell since. Only the next census will show.

    The mistake of sci-fi author is associating breeding only with sex. But even primitive peasants were concerned with things like land use, household divisions between sons, dowries, sending younger children off to find their own fortune, etc. The need to outpace child mortality usually superseded everything, but if starvation was removed as a major child killing factor, the pressure to breed at any cost would be eased and all these other considerations would come into play. As they did, for example, in Ancient Rome, which had abundant supply of grain from conquered North Africa. They loved sex… but made sure it didn’t have unwanted consequences, and family wealth and power weren’t diluted by too many heirs. I don’t even know how it was physically possible (a sponge soaked in lemon juice doesn’t look like reliable contraception), but apparently third-world level technology was enough.

    • Agree: songbird
    • Replies: @Toronto Russian
    Proof that adjusting fertility to child mortality is normal for developing countries in peacetime:

    The graph below shows the historical path, from 1935 to 2015, of fertility and child mortality for selected African and other countries, using data from Gapminder. As you can see, African countries, in green, don’t look all that unusual. During periods of civil war and unrest, fertility gets unusually high, but other than those periods, the only one of these countries that may be a serious outlier on fertility today is Tanzania. Ethiopia actually has lower fertility today than South Korea had at a similar level of child mortality.
     
    https://ifstudies.org/ifs-admin/resources/fig-5-selected-mort-graphs-copy-w640.png
    https://ifstudies.org/blog/african-fertility-is-right-where-it-should-be
  66. @Toronto Russian

    Fertility has dropped a lot in Arab countries for sure, but I’m not sure it is below replacement, right now. Might be, but I’m pretty sure that the national figures are all inclusive, meaning that they include very large numbers of low fertility foreigners, who are often sex-segregated in barracks.
     
    Sure, this is a factor, but the dynamic continues to be downward and the latest real numbers we have from these regions are from 10 years back. We don't know how low it fell since. Only the next census will show.

    The mistake of sci-fi author is associating breeding only with sex. But even primitive peasants were concerned with things like land use, household divisions between sons, dowries, sending younger children off to find their own fortune, etc. The need to outpace child mortality usually superseded everything, but if starvation was removed as a major child killing factor, the pressure to breed at any cost would be eased and all these other considerations would come into play. As they did, for example, in Ancient Rome, which had abundant supply of grain from conquered North Africa. They loved sex... but made sure it didn't have unwanted consequences, and family wealth and power weren't diluted by too many heirs. I don't even know how it was physically possible (a sponge soaked in lemon juice doesn't look like reliable contraception), but apparently third-world level technology was enough.

    Proof that adjusting fertility to child mortality is normal for developing countries in peacetime:

    The graph below shows the historical path, from 1935 to 2015, of fertility and child mortality for selected African and other countries, using data from Gapminder. As you can see, African countries, in green, don’t look all that unusual. During periods of civil war and unrest, fertility gets unusually high, but other than those periods, the only one of these countries that may be a serious outlier on fertility today is Tanzania. Ethiopia actually has lower fertility today than South Korea had at a similar level of child mortality.


    https://ifstudies.org/blog/african-fertility-is-right-where-it-should-be

  67. @anon
    I had forgotten it was so high.

    Been that way for decades. Although I'm sure none of them are Palestinians.

    I'm just shakin' my head at Kuwaiti grandma dissing the hired help, guess she didn't learn a thing from 1990 - 91.

    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO. Locals probably would have been better off

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 - 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00's would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 – 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00’s would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.

    I get it – Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn’t mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.

    It’s kind of ours, unless we pull out – and doesn’t seem like that’s happening. The US has no natural interest in the ME.

    • Replies: @anon
    I get it – Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn’t mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Don't throw out your back moving all those goalposts around. Here are your words that I replied to:


    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO.
     
    The "it" in this case being Kuwait. Letting that Ba'athist keep Kuwait in 1990 would have had any number of negative results, such as handing over most of Saudi Arabia to him, with all the economic and geopolitical craptastic instability that would result. The US would have lost "face" in the ME because of that by ignoring the formal and informal protection agreements with Kuwait, which in turn would have led to more fun and games.

    Don't be retarded.

    Then you fretted:


    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.
     
    I pointed out the obvious:

    Their problem, not ours.
     
    You:
    It’s kind of ours, unless we pull out –

    What kind of stupid statement is that? First you don't want the US to be the cop of the ME, now you want the US to tell the ultra rich Gulf locals how to run their countries to keep them from getting more pozzed by globalhomo? Lol, whut? Have you ever been there, or maybe do you know anyone who has been there? Do you know what the late leader of Oman used to do in his spare time in London?

    Dude, the Emirates, Oman, Bharain, etc. are going to go down whatever cultural path their elites want, no matter what we tell them. That's why it is their problem, not ours because we do not have the power or authority to tell them what videos to watch, what whores and drugs to import, what rentboys to visit in London, how to treat their almost-slaves from the Phillipines and so forth. There's more than enough degeneracy there for anyone whether we hold a defense umbrella over them or not.

    We can't clean up our own place, but you think we can do anything about rich Arabs halfway around the planet? Take a break and get your brain working again. Don't be so naive.

  68. @DanHessinMD
    I went to my local Restaurant Depot. Normally only restaurants can shop there but it was open to all because they don't have their restaurant business. There was an absolute abundance.

    Lots of toilet paper, paper towels, every kind of meat at great prices. Fifty pound sacks of onions and potatoes at very low prices. I got lots of fish, which would normally be very expensive where I shop.

    The drawback is that the sizes of everything is enormous. You might want to cooperate with another family or two if you shop there, because of the sizes of the packages.

    Americans will come out of this crisis fatter than ever before, God willing.

    I’m so glad I threw this out there!  Americans un-bottlenecking our food supply, one bit of information at a time.

  69. @A123
    WHY ARE THERE EMPTY SHELVES ?

    There is a great deal of unnecessary concern over the lack of goods on supermarket shelves.

    This series of articles provides a good explanation of the complex supply chain that delivers packaged goods to stores and how the WUHAN-19 response has created problems for the system.

    https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/04/14/phase-five-supply-chain-with-a-message-from-a-dairy-farmer/


    Most Americans were not aware food consumption in the U.S. was a 60/40 proposition. Approximately 60% of all food was consumed “outside the home” (or food away from home), and 40% of all food consumed was food “inside the home” (grocery shoppers). …

    The ‘food away from home‘ sector has its own supply chain. Very few restaurants and venues (cited above) purchase food products from retail grocery outlets. As a result of the coronavirus mitigation effort the ‘food away from home’ sector has been reduced by 75% of daily food delivery operations. However, people still need to eat. That means retail food outlets, grocers, are seeing sales increases of 25 to 50 percent, depending on the area.

     

    Sorry if this is a dupe. IMHO this is important.

    Those that may be scared that there is food/calorie crisis are wrong. The U.S. is 100% food secure.

    Modern packaging and supply chains are creating empty shelves.

    PEACE 😷

    For what it’s worth, I don’t think there will be empty shelves, just substantial price increases.

    • Replies: @A123

    I don’t think there will be empty shelves, just substantial price increases.
     
    I doubt there will be significant, across the board price increases.

    -- Transportation is a key expense and fuel prices are very low.
    -- Firms want to protect their brands from accusations of price gouging and exploitation.

    The Risk-Reward trade off will encourage holding pre-pandemic pricing for most product categories.

    PEACE 😷
  70. @Twinkie
    There is a large number of deer in most American suburbs. Learn to bow-hunt, you all.

    By the way, my family and I have suffered massive financial losses due to Covid-19 from our investments in healthcare, and I also expect that our farmland rents will decline. Nothing like losing loved ones or jobs, but still stinks.

    Ammo is doing well though. ;)

    Because the ‘elective’ procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven’t (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?

    • Replies: @Twinkie

    Because the ‘elective’ procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven’t (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?
     
    Just the first. Most hospitals derive a great deal of net income from electives (which are usually paid in cash or quality insurance). EDs usually lose money. For ambulatory surgery centers and smaller clinics, almost every procedure is elective.
  71. @Nodwink

    Does $8 sound crazy for a gallon of milk? It won’t in a year.
     
    Meanwhile, Nervous Nancy is proudly displaying her Fabergé egg to the peasants.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DgfumenJbXE

    … I’m speechless.

    This is not a serious country.

  72. @Audacious Epigone
    For what it's worth, I don't think there will be empty shelves, just substantial price increases.

    I don’t think there will be empty shelves, just substantial price increases.

    I doubt there will be significant, across the board price increases.

    — Transportation is a key expense and fuel prices are very low.
    — Firms want to protect their brands from accusations of price gouging and exploitation.

    The Risk-Reward trade off will encourage holding pre-pandemic pricing for most product categories.

    PEACE 😷

  73. @Audacious Epigone
    Because the 'elective' procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven't (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?

    Because the ‘elective’ procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven’t (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?

    Just the first. Most hospitals derive a great deal of net income from electives (which are usually paid in cash or quality insurance). EDs usually lose money. For ambulatory surgery centers and smaller clinics, almost every procedure is elective.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
    Pardon my ignorance, but did you mean ERs often lose money? Or is ED something else?
  74. anon[231] • Disclaimer says:
    @songbird

    The guys I know who went to Saudi / Kuwait in 90 – 91 and to the big sandbox in the 00’s would disagree pretty strongly with that. Not just because of the oil, either.
     
    I get it - Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn't mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    Their problem, not ours.
     
    It's kind of ours, unless we pull out - and doesn't seem like that's happening. The US has no natural interest in the ME.

    I get it – Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn’t mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Don’t throw out your back moving all those goalposts around. Here are your words that I replied to:

    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO.

    The “it” in this case being Kuwait. Letting that Ba’athist keep Kuwait in 1990 would have had any number of negative results, such as handing over most of Saudi Arabia to him, with all the economic and geopolitical craptastic instability that would result. The US would have lost “face” in the ME because of that by ignoring the formal and informal protection agreements with Kuwait, which in turn would have led to more fun and games.

    Don’t be retarded.

    Then you fretted:

    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.

    I pointed out the obvious:

    Their problem, not ours.

    You:
    It’s kind of ours, unless we pull out –

    What kind of stupid statement is that? First you don’t want the US to be the cop of the ME, now you want the US to tell the ultra rich Gulf locals how to run their countries to keep them from getting more pozzed by globalhomo? Lol, whut? Have you ever been there, or maybe do you know anyone who has been there? Do you know what the late leader of Oman used to do in his spare time in London?

    Dude, the Emirates, Oman, Bharain, etc. are going to go down whatever cultural path their elites want, no matter what we tell them. That’s why it is their problem, not ours because we do not have the power or authority to tell them what videos to watch, what whores and drugs to import, what rentboys to visit in London, how to treat their almost-slaves from the Phillipines and so forth. There’s more than enough degeneracy there for anyone whether we hold a defense umbrella over them or not.

    We can’t clean up our own place, but you think we can do anything about rich Arabs halfway around the planet? Take a break and get your brain working again. Don’t be so naive.

    • Replies: @songbird

    Don’t throw out your back moving all those goalposts around.
     
    As I already stated, Gulf I is the necessary precursor to Gulf II. Not only that, but it helped maintain the idea that we we're the world's policeman. You think neocons like Bolton or Cheney have any restraint? Have you seen how many pols bow to AIPAC? It is necessary to avoid the ME to avoid getting sucked into it.

    Letting that Ba’athist keep Kuwait in 1990 would have had any number of negative results, such as handing over most of Saudi Arabia to him, with all the economic and geopolitical craptastic instability that would result. The US would have lost “face” in the ME because of that by ignoring the formal and informal protection agreements with Kuwait, which in turn would have led to more fun and games.
     
    Saudi Arabia has a pretty big military. It may not be very functional, but that's their problem.

    The ME is not an American problem - how is that hard to understand? The US does not need the oil. It does not need traffic through the Suez Canal, it "has" the Panama Canal. It might be a Saudi problem or an Arab problem or a Muslim problem or an Indian or Chinese problem, because they need the oil - which Saddam was happy to supply, I might add, but it is not an American problem.

    You're seriously talking about losing face in the ME?! To whom? Israel? I don't think the Arabs liked us very much on 9/11. I think they disliked us even more after we destabilized Iraq. I think other countries looked at that and thought, wow look how much that cost them - it wasn't quite as easy as they thought going in - they are not so powerful, after all.
  75. @anon
    I get it – Saddam was a bad guy. Doesn’t mean the US should be in the ME, or that destabilizing Iraq was the right thing to do. Or that we can invade a country and turn it into Japan or Germany. Or that democracy works for everyone.

    Don't throw out your back moving all those goalposts around. Here are your words that I replied to:


    Should have let Saddam, keep it, IMO.
     
    The "it" in this case being Kuwait. Letting that Ba'athist keep Kuwait in 1990 would have had any number of negative results, such as handing over most of Saudi Arabia to him, with all the economic and geopolitical craptastic instability that would result. The US would have lost "face" in the ME because of that by ignoring the formal and informal protection agreements with Kuwait, which in turn would have led to more fun and games.

    Don't be retarded.

    Then you fretted:


    Small countries in the ME are in danger of becoming fortresses of globohomo.
     
    I pointed out the obvious:

    Their problem, not ours.
     
    You:
    It’s kind of ours, unless we pull out –

    What kind of stupid statement is that? First you don't want the US to be the cop of the ME, now you want the US to tell the ultra rich Gulf locals how to run their countries to keep them from getting more pozzed by globalhomo? Lol, whut? Have you ever been there, or maybe do you know anyone who has been there? Do you know what the late leader of Oman used to do in his spare time in London?

    Dude, the Emirates, Oman, Bharain, etc. are going to go down whatever cultural path their elites want, no matter what we tell them. That's why it is their problem, not ours because we do not have the power or authority to tell them what videos to watch, what whores and drugs to import, what rentboys to visit in London, how to treat their almost-slaves from the Phillipines and so forth. There's more than enough degeneracy there for anyone whether we hold a defense umbrella over them or not.

    We can't clean up our own place, but you think we can do anything about rich Arabs halfway around the planet? Take a break and get your brain working again. Don't be so naive.

    Don’t throw out your back moving all those goalposts around.

    As I already stated, Gulf I is the necessary precursor to Gulf II. Not only that, but it helped maintain the idea that we we’re the world’s policeman. You think neocons like Bolton or Cheney have any restraint? Have you seen how many pols bow to AIPAC? It is necessary to avoid the ME to avoid getting sucked into it.

    Letting that Ba’athist keep Kuwait in 1990 would have had any number of negative results, such as handing over most of Saudi Arabia to him, with all the economic and geopolitical craptastic instability that would result. The US would have lost “face” in the ME because of that by ignoring the formal and informal protection agreements with Kuwait, which in turn would have led to more fun and games.

    Saudi Arabia has a pretty big military. It may not be very functional, but that’s their problem.

    The ME is not an American problem – how is that hard to understand? The US does not need the oil. It does not need traffic through the Suez Canal, it “has” the Panama Canal. It might be a Saudi problem or an Arab problem or a Muslim problem or an Indian or Chinese problem, because they need the oil – which Saddam was happy to supply, I might add, but it is not an American problem.

    You’re seriously talking about losing face in the ME?! To whom? Israel? I don’t think the Arabs liked us very much on 9/11. I think they disliked us even more after we destabilized Iraq. I think other countries looked at that and thought, wow look how much that cost them – it wasn’t quite as easy as they thought going in – they are not so powerful, after all.

  76. @Twinkie

    Because the ‘elective’ procedures slate was cleared out to make room for coronavirus cases that haven’t (so far) materialized in the expected numbers?
     
    Just the first. Most hospitals derive a great deal of net income from electives (which are usually paid in cash or quality insurance). EDs usually lose money. For ambulatory surgery centers and smaller clinics, almost every procedure is elective.

    Pardon my ignorance, but did you mean ERs often lose money? Or is ED something else?

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    Same thing. ED = emergency department.
  77. @Audacious Epigone
    Pardon my ignorance, but did you mean ERs often lose money? Or is ED something else?

    Same thing. ED = emergency department.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone

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