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Saturday, June 07, 2008

Stock up your larder

Reading "The Grumbler" today, I was struck by Rosie Boycott's article on our vulnerability to oil and food shortages, particularly now that so much of our food supply is dependent on the supermarkets' just-in-time logistics.

I believe the Mormons have a rule that members of their church must have 12 months' security set up for their families - I remember an old colour supplement article with a picture of a Mormon sitting on a year's supply of baked beans. Doesn't seem so daft now - and it's worth remembering why landlocked Utah is the Seagull State.

More generally, there is now a feeling that the government has failed to prepare for material and financial shocks. Genesis 41 has been obscurely referenced by George Osborne ("Our competitors used the fat years to prepare for the lean years"), though back in 2002 Treasury Committee member Dr Nick Palmer was using the same analogy, but in Gordon Brown's favour ("in the first years [Gordon Brown] repaid a lot of government debt so as to give us a really strong basis for difficult times as and when they arose").

On the financial front, I think the government cracked in 2003, when extra liquidity (simplified graph here) began to be released into the system, over-hydrating the housing market. Radix malorum est cupiditas, and that applies here if you interpret "cupiditas" in the general sense of over-attachment to worldly things, especially to power and its accompaniments.


Sara R said...

Yes, Mormons are counseled to get a year's supply of basic food: wheat, powdered milk, flour and so on. The church has a website that gives some guidelines about what kinds of things you can store and in what amounts.

Sackerson said...

Thanks, Sara, and welcome. I had an interesting day many years ago, being shown around Salt Lake City by a Mormon woman.

Anonymous said...

Gordon certainly repaid a lot of debt in those early years - by bankrupting Marconi and placing a leaden weight around Vodafone. Repaying £35billion in national debt by placing a huge disproportionate tax on the mobile phone industry may have been a little short-sighted....