By Dr. Mathew Maavak, a Malaysian expert on risk foresight and governance.
The coming years will be marked by extreme socio-economic turbulence. The world is reportedly facing an “everything shortage” where essential goods are getting harder, farther, and more time-consuming to find. These shortages affect the entire gamut of the social pyramid structure. The typical production to delivery cycle is repeatedly hammered by a macabre musical chair of woes in tune with Murphy’s Law: “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.”
If the problem is not a lockdown, then it is a dearth of raw materials. If ports are ready to unload raw materials and finished products, then truckers are unavailable to pick them up. If truckers are available, ports are unable to process freights. Alternatively, the problem could be an acute power or fuel shortage. Coronavirus restrictions worldwide have also led to a shortage of essential labour, ranging from garbage collectors to pilots. Under the pyramidical hierarchy of the New Normal, only the capstone representing the top 0.1% is truly detached and thriving.
The long-festering supply-demand disequilibrium entered a point of no return when the coronavirus pandemic was declared in March 2020. A mass of freight ships bobbing aimlessly off the coast of China is now joined by a similar armada along US coasts. A container that cost $2,500 before the pandemic now commands a hefty $25,000 for the same load. Imagine the snowballing costs to the consumer?
Everything is now conveniently blamed on Covid-19, with causations and fearmongering reaching epically absurd proportions. Australia locked down the entire city of Perth (population 2 million plus) after discovering a single new coronavirus case in late January. Nearly eight months later, another single case resulted in the lockdown of the capital city of Canberra (population over 400,000). This insanity is just the tip of the Covid-19 iceberg.
Australia is arguably the most locked-downed nation on earth. More ominously, it is also one of the world’s primary food baskets. After 18 months of socio-economic disruptions, its agricultural exports are headed for a slump. The situation is worse elsewhere. Food inflation is already at a 10-year high in the United States, with prices in September notching a 32.8% increase on a year-on-year basis.
Scarcities and inflation herald a variety of social woes. An epidemic of organized shoplifting, for instance, has emerged as a $45 billion industry in the United States. This poses an additional whammy to the US. Brinkwire Summary News. For more information, search on the internet.