I had three emails come in from two different friends.
...groups can be strict on items as long as they provide a “close substitute.” Think, for example, of banning social media but then providing a lot of new in-person social opportunities to make up for that sacrifice.
...The rules do have to be strong enough, though, to keep “free-riders” from claiming the benefits of the community without participating. He called these rules “costly signals,” like the sacrifices the Amish make by limiting their clothing styles and technology use.
...the total amount of food available in Cuba is greater, and caloric consumption is up, that is no thanks to the ration system. The growth has occurred in privatized markets and cooperative gardens and through massive imports, while state food production fell 13 percent last year and the ration shrank with it. It is commonly agreed that a monthly food ration now contains just twelve days of food.
ERJ note: Everybody has a side-hustle. Nurses are prostitutes on their time off. As corrupt and as inefficient as the side-hustles are, they still run circles around the official, Communist economy in terms of productivity.
This article has few compact "clips" so you get my synopsis.
The Chinese population is docile as long as the number of calories and availability of meat/fish goes up each year and the Communist Party can maintain the illusion of progress.
Domestic Chinese production of soybeans and corn has been impacted by flooding. Internal production of meat has been impacted by viral diseases.
Transportation has been unavailable as ports are snarled up on both sides of the ocean(s). Ships are parked, waiting their turn and are unavailable and so are the "containers" on those ships. The logistics issue has been exacerbated by Hurricane Ida and its impact on the Port of New Orleans and the lower Mississippi River.
Worldwide, grain production has been lackluster with Russia and the Ukraine being the only major producers to have a better-than-average year.