Rambling post to follow from Palin to Beck to Pineapple Soda…
Palin calls out WSJ reporter Sudeep Reddy for criticism of facts reported by the WSJ… irony?
Does the press ever tire of underestimating Sarah Palin? The latest to assume that Palin doesn’t research her topics is — surprisingly — the venerable Wall Street Journal, and on the equally surprising topic of economics. When Palin objected to the Fed’s second round of “quantitative easing”, otherwise known as “printing more money,” on the basis that American consumers already see enough inflation at the grocery store, reporter Sudeep Reddy scoffed that Palin had no clue and that inflation had been non-existent. Where could Palin have come up with the idea that prices have been rising for supermarket shoppers?
So, imagine my dismay when I read an article by Sudeep Reddy in today’s Wall Street Journal criticizing the fact that I mentioned inflation in my comments about QE2 in a speech this morning before a trade-association. Here’s what I said: “everyone who ever goes out shopping for groceries knows that prices have risen significantly over the past year or so. Pump priming would push them even higher.”
Mr. Reddy takes aim at this. He writes: “Grocery prices haven’t risen all that significantly, in fact.” Really? That’s odd, because just last Thursday, November 4, I read an article in Mr. Reddy’s own Wall Street Journal titled “Food Sellers Grit Teeth, Raise Prices: Packagers and Supermarkets Pressured to Pass Along Rising Costs, Even as Consumers Pinch Pennies.”
The article noted that “an inflationary tide is beginning to ripple through America’s supermarkets and restaurants…Prices of staples including milk, beef, coffee, cocoa and sugar have risen sharply in recent months.”
I’m guessing Sudeep Reddy has never gone grocery shopping, because while I don’t do a lot of in-store grocery shopping personally because I mainly order online and what little in-store shopping that I have done I’ve seen sharp increases in prices in the last two years. I’ll give you some examples…
A little over a year ago I bought gnocchi for $0.80 for a 16 oz. bag, it went to $1.30 last year and today that same bag is $2.40 – needless to say I’m not buying gnocchi anymore, I’ll just make my own it’s not that complicated.
I’ve also switched to store brand soda’s because I am not going to pay $4.99 for a 12-pack of Coke that cost half as much about 2 years ago. I’ll buy store brands and by the way “Best Choice Brand Pineapple Soda” a Food Giant Store brand is like crack in a can – it’s highly addictive and no way it’s good for you, but I love it. Which interestingly enough is made by AWG Brands and you know anything from AWG has got to be good.
The price of beef is way up too, milk is up, sugar is up and a damn loaf of Bunny bread is often close to or over $2.00 a loaf – and if the price isn’t going up the sizes are getting smaller. A bag of sugar use to be 5 pounds, now it’s 4 pounds and cost more – a 24 can case of sodas is now only 20 cans, a 38 oz. jar of spaghetti sauce is now 26 oz. and the price of eggs have gotten to the point I’m about ready to raise chickens.
Don’t get me started on bacon and everything, no matter what it is – is better with bacon and it’s getting to be $5.00 to $7.00 a pound for run of the mill bacon.
Now if you listen to Glenn Beck and haven’t slit your wrist yet he has been talking about hyper-inflation and the the cost of groceries reaching unfathomable prices – $70+ for a can of coffee, $62+ dollars for a bag of sugar, $23+ for a loaf of bread, etc, etc … which seems a bit out of line to me as I don’t think the American people would stand for that. Food prices that high would lead to extreme civil unrest in this country because most people would not be able to either 1.) afford those prices or 2.) raise a garden to supplement their needs for food and if you could grow a garden you would have to stand arm guarded on it 24/7 and when people get hungry and there is little food to be had they get violent. Look at any US food aid delivery to any country around the world, it is never orderly and always ends in violence.
Glenn is getting his info from here…
“For every economic problem the U.S. government tries to solve, it always creates two or three much larger catastrophes in the process,” said Adams. “Just like we predicted this past December, the U.S. dollar index bounced in early 2010 and has been in free-fall ever since. Bernanke’s QE2 will likely accelerate this free-fall into a complete U.S. dollar rout,” warned Adams.
NIA projects that at the average U.S. grocery store it will soon cost $11.43 for one ear of corn, $23.05 for a 24 oz loaf of wheat bread, $62.21 for a 32 oz package of Domino Granulated Sugar, $24.31 for a 32 fl oz container of soy milk, $77.71 for a 11.30 oz container of Folgers Classic Roast Coffee, $45.71 for a 64 fl oz container of Minute Maid Orange Juice, and $15.50 for a Hershey’s Milk Chocolate 1.55 oz candy bar. NIA also projects that by the end of this decade, a plain white men’s cotton t-shirt at Wal-Mart will cost $55.57.
NIA’s special U.S. food price projection report is now available to download for free by clicking here.
For the record I know nothing about NIA (yet) and how valid their information is… I have my concerns. So $15.50 for a candy bar? $24.31 for soy milk? Frankly you couldn’t give my $23.41 to drink soy milk and $45.71 for OJ… call me a doubter because as I have said if prices reach this point this country will completely boil over and you’d better have more bullets on the shelve than beans and even if prices do not approach anything close to this – Obama will blame American influence and greed along with big business and the Republicans for it where in reality it is monetizing the debt by Obama that is really at fault. So you can expect to see the price of goods go up – primarily gas and energy. (My utility usage went down 90 kW last month and yet my utility bill was higher – thank you TVA! Assholes!)
But the NIA does point out the following…
The report highlights how despite cotton rising by 54%, corn rising by 29%, soybeans rising by 22%, orange juice rising by 17%, and sugar rising by 51% during the months of September and October alone, these huge commodity price increases have yet to make their way into America’s grocery stores because corporations have been reluctant to pass these price increases along to the consumer. In today’s dismal economy, no retailer wants to be the first to dramatically raise food prices. However, NIA expects all retailers to soon substantially raise food prices at the same time, which will ensure that this Holiday shopping season will be the worst in recorded American history.
I can see how this is true, in my line of work I have absorbed raising prices for a long time to keep end prices reasonable, but I’ve had to start slowly passing this along these increases because I can’t absorb it forever it just costing me too much money, but while prices have gone up – they have not gone up at the rate projected by the NIA – if so I’ll would be paying $30 for a 2X4X8 or $50.00 for a 80 lbs bag of cement today and the reality is nobody will pay those prices. Not for food, not for durable good, no for building supplies – there is a point where people will not pay the price and if food got to be unaffordable to the degree they are talking about, people will just steal it to survive.
Side note – My grandfather told me before he died as he was worried it would not go to heaven because he had to steal food and money to feed his 9 children during the Great Depression. He ran shine and worked in the mines and still could not afford to feed his children so he stole to do it and if food becomes unaffordable again people will resort to the same tactics.
In spite of this news the government says – and I don’t trust the government very much – reports food prices to rise but nowhere close to Glenn’s and the NIA hyperbole projects …
Guess we’ll all just have to wait and see.