A recent headline reads: “A ‘Tsunami of Shutoffs’: 20 Million US Homes Are Behind on Energy Bills“.
The Nice household is one of some 20 million across the country—about 1 in 6 American homes—that have fallen behind on their utility bills. It is, according to the National Energy Assistance Directors Association (Neada), the worst crisis the group has ever documented. Underpinning those numbers is a blistering surge in electricity prices, propelled by the soaring cost of natural gas … more and more people are facing a choice among food, housing, and keeping the power on. “I expect a tsunami of shutoffs,” says Jean Su, a senior attorney at the Center for Biological Diversity, which tracks utility disconnections across the US.
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The average price consumers pay for electricity surged 15% in July from a year earlier, the biggest 12-month increase since 2006. Regulation of electricity rates makes it hard for providers to immediately pass on higher fuel costs, so the recent hikes may be just the start … US households owe about $16 billion in late energy bills, double the pre-pandemic total, according to Neada. The average balance owed has climbed 97% since 2019, to $792. “The bills just aren’t affordable,” says Mark Wolfe, Neada’s executive director. “People on the bottom, they can’t pay this.”
There’s more at the link.
My wife and I are noticing the same thing. We’re paying about 30% more for electricity at present than we were a year ago. I’m sure most of our readers have noticed the problem. It’s not confined to the USA alone, either – it’s all over the world. The price of natural gas, essential for the generation of electricity, has skyrocketed, and as a result the price of the electricity produced using it has done the same. Here in the USA, the local price of natural gas has done likewise, because producers have redirected much of their natural gas to the European market, where they can get much higher prices and make a much larger profit.
Sundance points out:
Already struggling with a doubling of gas prices, massive food price increases at the grocery store and the pain of all costs for goods far outpacing any rate of wage increase, this type of uncontrollable increase in price of electricity is going to hit the middle class hard.
Steve Cortes calls this the backside of the Biden created inflation hurricane. The backside of a hurricane is the worst because it hits from the opposite direction upon already weakened infrastructure.
The hurricane metaphor is apt because any increase in energy costs will be accompanied by the simultaneous arrival of another wave of food inflation, as the massive increases in field and crop prices start to feed into the food supply chain headed to our forks next month.
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One in six U.S. households, that is tens-of-millions of Americans, are now facing having their electricity turned off due to lack of payment. It is certainly understandable how this horrific outcome would happen. Joe Biden’s energy policies are destroying working class families with unsustainably higher prices.
20 million households is a catastrophic level of utility default. This is a serious issue with major social implications created by the desperation of those families. Middle- and lower-income families cannot survive this level of financial pressure.
Rents are behind. Mortgages are behind. Car payments are behind. And now this report on utility bills.
Again, more at the link.
And, in the middle of all this, the Biden administration has just committed $300 billion (which we don’t have – it’ll all have to be borrowed) to pay down student loan balances. A more fiscally ridiculous, budgetarily insane, economically short-sighted decision would be hard to imagine… and just think of the inflationary pressures it will release on its own, even without considering other examples of government overreach and irresponsible expenditure.
Financial site Quoth The Raven observes that “Inflation Is Quietly Stripping Us Of Our Private Property Rights“.
I had to look no further than my own personal circle to find recent examples of grown adults who were having difficulty making ends meet due to rising prices. These people had some money saved up, but still could not keep up with the price of rent and housing, and ultimately wound up giving up on having their own place and moving back home with their parents … everyone is having the same problem: they simply can’t afford things anymore and, with inflation at between 8% and 9%, the value of their savings is collapsing.
In just 3 years, things cost between 15% and 20% more than they did when many savers were putting away a majority of their money – before the pandemic. The purchasing power of the dollar is down by about 20% over the same time.
Those who are still working on a wage that isn’t 20% higher than it was just 3 years ago are losing significant ground. Those who have stopped working and are either on a fixed income or are living off savings have been hit even worse…
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We hear the news talk about a slowdown in spending all the time when economic times get tougher – it’s one of the dynamics that creates recession and de-leveraging cycles. But what happens when it’s the cost of shelter (i.e. rent and housing) and real estate that are also getting too expensive for everyday buyers. This is talked about far less, so let’s quickly think about what it could mean for the future … everything will be communal and shared. The focus will be taken away from private property and private property rights.
Inflation helps this narrative greatly. If you have less purchasing power to buy discretionary items then, by proxy, you have less private property.
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I now can’t help but think of inflation as a way to help strip away people’s individual private property rights. When you take away a person’s private property, private property rights don’t hold the same meaning to them … If you could afford 8% more “stuff” last year with the same dollar, what type of mental gymnastics do you need to perform to convince yourself that your rights to private property aren’t being whittled away and taken out from underneath you?
Remember Klaus Schwab and the World Economic Forum? This is their vision of a future Utopia.
Just imagine how unaffordable electricity could play into making that happen.
“You can’t afford power? Well, we, the benevolent State, can supply you with all you need! However, we’ll decide how much you need, and if you exceed that limit, we’ll cut you off. Still, let’s not worry about that. All that’s needed is your obedient submission to our dictates.”
Fancy that? No, I didn’t think you would – and neither do I.
International Man notes that many of these concepts can be directly traced back to Nazi and Fascist ideology.
For many years following the war, Nazi concepts remained under the radar, but in recent years, they’ve become a major force within not only the US, but also US ally states: Canada, Australia, the UK and, most notably, the EU.
The basic concepts are perennial in their attraction to those who seek to dominate:
1. Create an uber class of those who are highly positioned in both industry and politics.
2. Cripple the middle class economically, so that they no longer have the power to make their own life decisions.
3. Offer dramatically increased dependency on the State as a relief from the economic hardship created by the state.
4. Remove freedoms, in trade for the promise of largesse from the State.
5. Institute a police state and totalitarian rule to ensure that the new paradigm will be lasting.
6. Once controls are fully implemented and the populace has become dependent on the new system, begin to remove the promised entitlements.
The idea behind this final bullet point is that, once the population is thoroughly dependent upon the state, they will have lost the power to object or rebel if entitlements are removed. They are then fully dominated.
More at the link. It’s well worth reading their article in full.
Note the emphasis I provided for points 2 and 3 above. Do the drastic increase in our electricity bills, and our inflationary environment in general, have any correlation to that? I think they do.
EDITED TO ADD: As if on cue, via links at Instapundit we find these two articles:
Looks like I’m not alone in seeing the trend . . .