I would like an idiom to describe a situation:
During World Wars I and II, food was not really scarce in the US and UK, but there was a lack of variety and rationing. There was “hoarding” and black marketeering, which actually created the impression of shortages.
During the 1950s in the US, there were rumors of an impending meat shortage, leading to millions of housewives running out to stock up in preparation against it. However, this rush on meat led to a later massive dumping of old stores which were well beyond the expiration. This was later confirmed in an Anthropological study done on landfills in the 1980s.
[This resulted in a brief meat shortage.]
“Self-fulfilling prophecy” does not make it, as I am looking for the word or expression to describe the phenomenon of mass consumption in anticipation of a shortage.
Another example: An alcoholic or drug addict, confronted with a looming lack of preferred mind-expanding substances, will often overdo it by imbibing to the point of toxicity.
It might be as simple as describing the situation from John le Carre’s novel “Smiley’s People”, in the scene where he is going to pick the destitute Connie’s brains, bringing with him a bottle when she has scant hope of getting another, and she says:
”Goody…Let’s have lots.”
I think that sums it up.