What Will Happen After The Supply Chain Breaks

If you are paying attention to the news cycle nowadays, you can see that it moves incredibly quickly, hence writing about current events is almost impossible.

For the past two months we had the SARS-Covid19 extravaganza pushed on us 24/7, but today is a police shooting stealing headlines, and tomorrow, well, no one knows. Obviously, we are exaggerating a little bit, for dramatic effect; however, we believe that this pandemic crisis has the potential to develop over the next year (or more), i.e. this is not over yet and on a long time-line, we predict that major developments are almost inevitable.

To begin with, there’s the so-called lockdown issue; the term lockdown is borrowed from the penitentiary system and it’s hardly compatible with living in the free world; moreover, this is the first time in history when governments forced people to stay indoors to mitigate a so-called pandemic. Until now, only sick people were quarantined, while the strong and healthy continued with their daily lives. Keeping people indoors with the “2 weeks until reopen” mantra being continuously pushed in mainstream media to keep them docile and placated had only worked so far.

It’s only a matter of time until the general public becomes fed-up with this situation and civil unrest is to be expected if we don’t reopen the economy soon. This is an interesting subject on its own, and by that we mean the “reopening” thing. It’s scientifically proven that our immune system gets suppressed if we live in constant fear, due to stress, and also if we avoid social contact. Moreover, our immune system must be “trained” regularly (read exposed to viruses and bacteria) to keep us healthy, and we require fresh air, physical activity, and sunshine to maintain optimal health. Staying indoors while being assaulted with fear-porn via mainstream/social media constantly is hardly optimal for our health and well-being, not to mention the current obsession with using disinfectants, washing hands obsessively, and all that nonsense.

Which brings us to the next issue: what happens when we start all over again?

Here’s one possibility:  we will see a spike in the community spread infection numbers, and some people may die. That’s only natural because social isolation was a bad idea from the beginning, and I bet that mainstream media is already preparing for a big “WE TOLD YOU SO, you should’ve stayed indoors until 2023”, i.e. we reopened too soon, etc. But the problem with keeping people indoors on “universal basic income” of whatever flavor is going to devastate small and medium businesses. Keep in mind that the US economy is a service economy, and Trump’s small business stimulus package was a dud that burned up in a week. At the same time, too big to fail corporations are getting trillions of dollars, while small businesses are getting crushed.

If you do the math, that means fifty percent of US jobs are literally on the chopping block, and even if we open the economy tomorrow, many of them will not return due to the current economic model: extensive debt obligations and razor-thin margins of profit. As some in the liberty movement like to describe it, the pin to the grenade has been already pulled, i.e. our economy is already dead, yet we don’t realize it yet. The unemployment numbers are dismal, government stimulus via fiat/borrowed money is drying up fast and everyone and their dog is looking to get their “gibs” from the Federal Government, with the corporatocracy getting theirs first, as usual, and being the biggest drain.

However, a bigger problem looms ahead, beyond illusory individual stimulus measures, and we’re talking about the issue of inflation, plus, most importantly, the supply chain disruptions. Here’s how it goes: what are you going to do with your “free gibs” (government checks) if something like ninety percent of stores is shut down as being non-essential businesses, fifty percent of the items are also considered non-essential and/or restricted, and those that you’re “allowed” to buy are becoming increasingly more expensive?

We are not selling fear here, but if things don’t change dramatically, including our perception of the “pandemic”, supply chain breakdowns will go mainstream in 2-3 months tops. Big stores are already stretching their inventory to fill gaps in shelves; some of them are already limiting purchases to 1 per customer on a long list of items, but keep in mind: we’re not in crisis mode just yet. Another thing to contemplate is this: farms and big meat producers are having problems hiring workers to process produce and other goods. It’s true that due to lockdown, with restaurants and small businesses closing we ended up with an oversupply of goods, which caused a drop in food prices. This is going to end if nothing changes rapidly, as our supply will get destroyed due to a lack of production. Consumers are never going to profit medium-long term from economic collapse, even if uneducated economists push this fallacy originating from the depression era.

To give you an example, you may profit today from cheap gasoline prices caused by a crash in global energy demand, but this phenomenon is tied to a collapse in production which means less supply and higher prices long term. This cycle will continue until everything breaks and you will be reduced to 1 of 2 choices: self-sufficiency or poverty.

The supply chain collapsing is a hell of a thing, as globalism and so-called free trade created a very vulnerable and fragile system that is not capable of withstanding shocks. Highly optimized supply chains are incredibly fragile to external shocks like a global pandemic, and the fact that we import something like 80%+ of our medical supplies from China, which is currently designated public enemy number one, hardly helps. As we live in the industrialized comfort of our cities, we are unaware of the invisible supply chains that truck in daily various commodities, including fuel and food. Generally speaking, each city only has 3 days of fuel and food stocks, and the slightest disruption will deplete current stocks instantly. Also, the so-called governmental emergency services are quite limited and they’ll get overwhelmed quickly by a small number of injured/sick people, especially in densely populated urban areas. Cost-cutting policies stripped essential systems, including supply chains, of redundancies, hence any monkey-wrench thrown into this well-oiled mechanism has the potential to destroy the entire system.

It’s important to mention that the food industry in America is not in good shape, as there was trouble even before the crisis hit, due to its high volume/low-profit business model. Due to central bank policies from the past 20 years which created an economic model based on cheap money, the food industry is drowning in debt (an endemic problem in the US), and hyperinflation may become a very real possibility in the future years. This situation is not sustainable long-term, and we may be confronted with many food suppliers/producers going belly up; the disappearance of food providers will lead to further disruption of the supply chain, and those who will get hit the most will be small stores, i.e. those with the lowest volume and the highest overheads. Obviously, some areas will be hit harder than others.

Food panic

When the supply chain breaks, especially when it comes to essential items like food, we’re confronted with a food panic. As panic sets in, due to erratic/insufficient shipments from suppliers, shoppers clean out the stores, and then, as stores fail to resupply on time, shoppers become unreasonably demanding, and that can be observed in inner-city situations even today when everything’s still working as it should. On a long enough time-line, fear-based full-scale self-perpetuating riots may become the new normal in cities like New York, Baltimore, Chicago, et al,  with the situation escalating fast.

Obviously, local and/or federal government will step in and start working with wholesalers, in order to make sure that enough food reaches the cities in time. However, this will not work, as suppliers and truckers will refuse, saying that they are not getting paid for the food they deliver in such a situation, not to mention the dangers of delivering essential supplies in riot-infested places. Homeland security and the National Guard may be deployed to pacify the situation and to deliver “free gibs” for the needy; another solution would be to nationalize food supply and to take over the delivery business.  This is not a long-term solution, and for history buffs, there’s nothing as dangerous and chaotic as famine, especially in a highly urbanized nation where self-sustaining families are virtually nonexistent.

This is yet another failing of centralization, which has caused many problems in the modern world, including our current pandemic. If you recall recent events, we refused to close our borders and continued schlepping people from Wuhan(!)-China via airplane even after Wuhan was quarantined by the Chinese authorities due to the SARS-Covid19 outbreak.  Supply chain disruption is currently a global issue, as the Baltic Dry Index essentially collapsed, signaling that global demand for goods is at historic lows. This was the first sign that we’re in big trouble, but the mainstream media only pays attention to the stock market, and never to the fundamentals. Even Apple, one of the world’s biggest corporations, announced that it abandoned its projections for the current year, and admitted that shutting down its Chinese factories “may be a problem”.

And if you think that iPhones are not essential items, guess what: if Apple is in trouble, and their production is in the toilet due to supply chain disruption, this means the global economy and many other companies are in the same situation. This is due to globalism, which created nation-states and interdependent economies that eliminated redundancies in production. We are all forced to rely on corporate “industrial parks” located half-way around the world for the vast majority of our products and goods. If the Chinese economy shuts down, the United States economy will lose something like twenty percent of its supply chain, with huge repercussions for US retailers, which make something like 70 percent of the US GDP. If the supply chain in Asia gets cut-off, the US economy will kick the bucket. Now, just think about the “war with China” mantra pushed in the media lately, whether we’re talking about an economic/commercial war or a “hot war”. The fall of Chinese dominos in a globalized world with China being America’s industrial park will knock out our dominos as well.

Here’s a very real possibility…

even if our economy remains unscathed by the SARS-Covid19 crisis, which is impossible but let’s play it like that for the sake of argument, the economic supply chain already suffered major setbacks. On top of that, the global economy was already in trouble and crashing (just like ours) due to historic levels of consumer/corporate debt, plus faltering freight and exports, so this Covid19 extravaganza may be the final straw that broke the camel’s back. Remember that we currently live in a massive Everything Bubble, created by more than a decade of inflationary FED stimulus; this bubble is prone to implode at any moment.

Even if the long-term situation may sound grim, because it is, there are ways to prepare for the new reality. As usual, stockpiling helps, but you never know how long a crisis is going to last. It would be wise to relocate to a rural community, near renewable/self-sustaining food sources. Also, having a well with an electric/manual pump is advisable.

Speaking of stockpiling, here are the emergency items that will disappear first in case of an emergency, so go get yours while they last, provided you have the money: water filters/purifiers, generators (high quality ones are expensive and gas storage is risky business), seasoned firewood, lamps/ wicks/ lamp oil, guns/ ammo, sugar/ honey, rice, beans, wheat, vegetable oil, lighter fluid, charcoal, vitamins/ supplements/ antibiotics/medical supplies generally, baby supplies, thermal underwear/ clothing, condensed/ powered milk, aluminum foil, toilet paper (not kidding), garden seeds, dog food, first aid kits, tuna fish/canned food generally speaking), batteries, salt, flour, yeast, spices, vinegar, baking supplies, matches, work boots, durable clothing, light sticks, flashlights, lanterns, cast iron cookware, fishing tools/ supplies, mosquito deterrents, garden supplies/ tools, duct tape, canned goods generally, bleach, sleeping bags, hand pumps & siphons for fuel and water, paper plates, rain gear, calorie dense foods like chocolate/cocoa, jerky, nuts, peanut butter etc., lumber, hardware like nails, nuts, screws etc., coffee, tea, cigarettes, hard liquors, and even livestock like chickens, goats etc.

I  hope the article helped. Read it carefully, prepare, stay safe, don’t watch the news and you’ll be okay.

Written by

Chris Black is a born and bred survivalist. He used to work as a contractor for an intelligence service but now he is retired and living off the grid, as humanly possible. An internet addict and a gun enthusiast, a libertarian with a soft spot for the bill of rights and the Constitution, a free market idealist, he doesn't seem very well adjusted for the modern world. You can send Chris a message at editor [at] survivopedia.com.

Latest comments
  • Great article. I hate to think this is a future we can expect, but I am afraid you will be proven absolutely correct!

  • Thank you Chris for your commentary. You put a lot on the plate to digest, but all seems to make quite rational sense. My biggest conundrum is a water supply I can rely on.
    Living on a shared well of more than 400′, I have tried several ways of getting a manual back-up pump, all road blocked by the depth of the well. I have a propane generator capable of providing the 240volts electric necessary, but how much propane can I store, should the unthinkable last along time.. Any suggestions Please. Take care, WZ

    • Wally, can’t you just extend the uptake hose?

    • Propane is the one fuel that will store for a very long time. I have kept it for years.

  • The one response from too many of the unprepared is “I’ll just go out and hunt deer or whatever” to get by. The problem with that is the 150 million other unprepared souls who have the same plan. The forests will be littered with human remains because of those who will not hesitate to kill another human for a deer carcass because none of them could tear themselves away from the televised ball games long enough to contemplate the possibility that something could possibly go wrong.
    Too many have no concept of how to plant and maintain a garden, or how to identify and gather edible wild plants, or how to make improvised fish traps (or figure out how to clean fish if, by some miracle, they catch any)….
    Things are going to get rough, folks. Learn how to do the things I mentioned, as well as stock up on what food items you can, while you still can. Learn how to go un-noticed as much as possible. And, for the Love or God, DON’T brag about your preps to ANYONE! While they are highly unlikely to heed your advice about being prepared themselves, they’ll damn well remember your preps, and come to your home armed and ready to forcibly take your food or die trying.

  • An ” EXCELLENT” article, that is very well written. If you don’t take heed to what is mentioned in his article, don’t cry about it later. You have no one to blame but yourself. It is not a political problem, but a problem that has grown slowly since WWII, throughout the entire world,. founded on dedit allowing the general populace to live beyond their financial means. The scrape goat is not any particular group, or whatever, it is all of us combined in not only allowing it to happen, but supporting it as well.
    And even if we were aware that something was wrong, or not quite right, we often said, “What can I do about it ?” And so, with that excuse, we just say and do nothing, hoping someone else will.
    You might keep in mind a few events that has lead to this situation. I’m seventy seven years old. After the Vietnam War, this Country changed, radically in its values, and temperament. We lost our WILL to believe in, and back up the values this Country was founded on. Both the Republican, and Democratic Parties are now blatantly open to influence peddling.
    Consider the Oath taken to join either party is almost the same. You pledge your support to the Party in this order, “The Party”, “The Nation”, “The People”. This assures the Party will always survive,, no matter what happens to the Nation, or the People. Yet if you take the time to “READ” the Constitution, this direction of either Parties philosophy is in direct opposition to that of the Constitution, Which say’s, the People, above all else is the Nation, and the make up of that Nation. It also say’s,, it is up to the People to protect their rights at any cost.
    How much they do, determines what kind of government they have, how effective it is, and their well being. In short, a people of any Nation, usually get the quality of government their involvement and oversight has produced.. And usually, the more the People defer to the government in making decisions affecting various aspects their lives, the less freedom they will have in their lives.
    The scales began to rapidly get out of balance when corporations were allowed to make almost unlimited contributions through PAC’s. (Show me where in the Constitution it says, or implies, that a non voting entity can influence its well being through “donations”. to influence legislation over that of the People.}
    “NOTHING” has affected our freedoms of the People since this Nations founding as much as the Patriot Act. has. Passed to last 4 years, it now has been in effect for 18 years. I notice no movement to resend it. Terrorism is down dramatically, and yet it appears now that our government really likes it.
    A generation is growing up, believing that their right to privacy is non existent.. Your life is and open book, and that history is available to anyone will to purchase that information for personal or corporate gain. And that if your a responsible, law biding person, you have nothing to fear.
    What seems to be forgotten in this assumption is that, the “Eye of The Beholder” reviewing the information, often times determines the political correctness, or the moral correctness, or the loyalty, or intent of that individuals makeup.
    To say nothing of how much my personal views of life over the last forty years this information can be held, has changed and evolved. As my cares and desires have changed through life.
    I can say very truthfully, that I am glad that I am as old as I am. I believe I have lived in the peak time of this Nation. I know what freedom was.. I saw this Nation as a world leader, and I was proud to have served in the military. I came within twenty seconds of launching nuclear weapons during the Cuban Missile Crisis. And would of without a doubt.
    Afterwards, I found out what “REALLY” would of happened if that had happened. I walked out of that briefing a totally changed person. I was totally against any nuclear weapons for ANY REASON. Only God has the right to destroy the world.
    You probably think this would not/of could not occur in today’s world. Ah, I chuckle at that thought ! You see, NOTHING has changed over the last fifty-eight years. And it amazes me that it has not happened………….accidentally. There have been four near misses to that event.
    True, you can in theory, start out limiting their use, but that I assure you will break down rapidly. As other countries see opportunities, or greed sets in.
    The trend now is toward EMP wars, which leaves the Countries infrastructure intact for the most part. Four good high altitude bursts. would throw the US instantly back into the late 1800’s.
    The military has pretty well hardened itself to EMP effects. But the civilian infrastructure is a sitting duck. The same view that has been taken concerning the financial aspects,, has been taken in EMP protection as well. The thought is something to horrible and expensive to think about. Therefore it is pushed aside to be thought about another day. And the days continue to pass, then the years.
    Or maybe it may be like the financial situation that is before us now. Prevented from happening for forty years by corporation of many nations, as to horrible to allow to happen. BUT only to be triggered by a lowly little virus in Nature, That NOBODY foresaw in having that capability.
    The same could be said for a simple large solar flare, pointed by happenstance in the direction of the Earth. We would have three days to prepare to go backwards in time.
    I figure I have had a pretty interesting life. I think you younger types are going to find that, like it or not, you are to. .I don’t envy you in the slightest.

    • The govt is highly incompetent which is why they are ruled by elites with money and power and foreign govts with bribes and blackmail. The Patriot Act will not be a threat. Google already knows all about your every move. The real issue is the media and influence by foreign govts and elitists via these PACs. I’m not a marxist but alot of what Marx wrote is all true. Two things people don’t know about Marx are, there was prophecy and therefore it is an atheistic religion and not simply and idea. That prophecy is why Russia allowed Germany to attack them. Two, the more important one. Marx believed the only way to win against the capitalists was to forcefully compel humanity into socialism via capitalist means. That is what we are seeing today.

  • GOOD Article, Chris. I Noticed your mention of Livestock – from chickens to goats to cattle. Livestock eats A LOT ! Even our chickens consume over 55 lbs. per week of grain mill feed. Remember Pets eat too. AND, All of them need clean water – Lots of it !

  • It all seems ugly now, it it sure ain’t pretty by all means. It’ll be rough, a long and slow descent with some ups and downs, if something dramatic doesn’t help (WWIII) of course. When all else fails they take us to war so it’s not to be unruled totally in this environment. But it’s also possible things go the other way, with some nasty couple of years and the a decade-long slow recovery with perhaps some bonuses. We’ve advanced slowly but the tools and tech of the world, though not able to save us from everything, are there to be used if we get out stuff together. Either way I can’t see this dark cold river being crossed without some heavy losses, both in wealth and human lives. Many will falter early on, some later but many will also survive and thrive. But there will be suffering and sacrifices ahead that seems inevitable. So let’s Hager ready to face it as best we can, not give in to panic and despair and do our best.