Shortages, Inflation, Or Hype?

Tim Pool has an interesting video here:

The basic theme is that there’s rampant inflation coming, that there’s a dramatic shortage of drivers, delivery, production, etc.

Is that true? Maybe…

Or maybe some grocery store buying managers are just being a bit nuts.

Though I must say, at Smart & Final the latest price of Chicken Parts was $1.79 / pound for legs / thighs / specials. It was 88 ¢ / lb before the Chinese Wuhan Covid pandemic. But only 99 ¢ / lb during the pandemic. So what is the deal now? I’m not so sure.

Yet the stores, here, are fully stocked. It is just the prices that are out of line.

Is that $20 Trillion of sudden debt coming home to roost? Or is it just some minor dislocations from all the crap going on.

In the 4th of July celebration we had meat cases overflowing with pork ribs, beef ribs, chicken, and more. Still do.

So is that a Silly Con Valley thing? Or a national thing? Or just news spin…

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in Economics - Trading - and Money, Emergency Preparation and Risks. Bookmark the permalink.

37 Responses to Shortages, Inflation, Or Hype?

  1. H.R. says:

    The price hike in fuel causes immediate inflation at the grocery store, E.M.. Grocery items are low margin, so price increases get passed through quickly.
    The influx of illegals and the shortage of workers, who are still being paid not to work, has to have some effect on supply.
    There has been a sudden spike in wages because to get anyone to work at those hourly jobs, businesses have to offer more than people are getting to sit at home on their duffs.
    I’m not sure what’s going on with the lumber shortage. Wait… I think we are not getting Canadian lumber. Canada has been the major supplier of building lumber to the U.S., a trade imbalance that Trump was trying to address, and I’m pretty sure that there has been some disruption in that supply.

    New house construction was through the roof (😁) until the supply of lumber hit the basement (😁). New construction contracts are being cancelled because contractors cannot deliver at the price they estimated or quoted. The same goes for remodeling. Home buyers and builders are both backing out of their contracts.

    I bought some stud grade 2 x 4s two months ago for just over $6 each. I hear they are now over $8 each. Last year, just before the current occupant of the Whitehouse was installed, they were only a couple of bucks each. Plywood has gone from $18 per sheet to $80 per sheet.
    We’re getting the house painted this week. It seems the price spikes haven’t hit paint yet. They are up a smidge, but nothing like lumber. We got a quote that was quite reasonable; lower by $2,000 – $3,000 than I expected and about the same price as quoted 12 years ago (by a price gouger, it seems 😡). I’m not sure we’d get the same quote from this painter in 3 – 4 – 5 months though. Maybe so, maybe not.

    The U.S. produces a lot of paint and there are a lot of places in the U.S. that produce paint. It’s one of those “too-expensive-to-ship-too-far” goods, so it will be a little while before paint prices spike as high as lumber.
    The shortage of truckers is hurting. There are a lot of goods sitting because there’s no one available to pick up and deliver the load.

    Many producers are behind due to the shut-downs, and they can’t get workers in to get caught back up, now that they are open again. (The place I retired from just ignored the gummint and kept working. “What shut-downs? We don’t know nothin’ ’bout no shut-downs” 😜 I think the company decided they were an “essential business” and just kept going. “Prove we aren’t, Guv.”)
    Prices always go up quickly, but it seems like they are always slow to come back down. The GEBs and commie bastards may meet their goal of crashing the U.S. economy ASAP.

    The mid-term elections can’t come soon enough and hopefully, the cheating mechanisms will be neutralized in enough places to matter before then. It’s a race between the GEBs crashing things and the electorate getting people into office who are on the side of the their constituents.
    That’s the way I’m seeing it.

  2. corsair red says:

    H.R. has a pretty good view of things, as far as I can tell. I needed some “magic” primer for glass, and the Sherwin-Williams store told me at least two weeks. The woman I spoke said, ” We just can’t get the components to make it. “

  3. Simon Derricutt says:

    See also for more musings about inflation. Maybe also for the housing problem.
    It’s pretty obvious that if you put a load of fiat money into the system (quantitative easing) that the actual value of the currency will go down, and that as in the Weimar period (or Venezuela now) you’re going to need a wheelbarrow of official notes to buy a loaf of bread after a while. The value of a bank note after all depends on whether you believe it has value (or to be more precise whether the person you’re trying to buy from believes it has value). Once that belief is eroded, the value evaporates.

    It gets a bit weird when you look at the costs of items at the factory gates versus the shops, especially when you consider that at the factory gates that the price is still inflated by the various taxes that are included/embodied in that price. Actual productivity per human hour is amazingly high, but the overheads are very high too and that stuff still needs to be transported to where it will be used. If you figured that you could achieve factory-like productivity at home you’d only need to work an hour or so per day to survive quite happily. The rest of the time you’re working is paying for the overheads.

    I’ve been seeing reports of a shortage of lorry-drivers in the UK (which probably also means across Europe, too) but also self-driving lorries starting to be used for real. Maybe a convoy where the first one has a human driver and some following lorries slaved to the leader, thus reducing the number of humans needed though not eliminating them yet. Maybe that transport will become cheaper in real terms.

    Given the amount of transporting needed, any change in fuel cost will immediately affect the final price you’ll pay for some item, too. Pretty obviously it’s going to cost more if you mandate battery-powered trucks, too, since they’ll spend more time charging and less time on the road.

    The more time you need to spend doing something, the more expensive it becomes. That is after all the basic cost of an item – how much human time it embodies. The value of it is actually something else – unlike the Marxist idea of the value increasing the more human time it embodies (thus a spade you have spent time repairing has more value than one that hasn’t needed to be repaired), the value depends solely on whether it does the job you require. If you’re building a road, do you use one person with a bulldozer or a hundred people with shovels or a few thousand with tea-spoons to shift the ground?

    Thus “green energy” giving rise to millions more “green well-paid jobs” will necessarily raise the price of everything else. Fewer people available to make products because more of them are needed to produce the amount of energy required to make those products, thus less actual production of products for the same number of workers and each product embodies more human time, so a higher basic price.

  4. philjourdan says:

    My company is in the process of buying IHS Markit. They noted recently that the inflation is not filtering down to the COGS line, i.e. it is purely the helicopter effect. I think it is just a matter of time (they also are positing that if the trend keeps up, once the inflation bubble bursts, we will have deflation).

    COGS will go up as well, but the leader of this inflation cycle is too many paper dollars chasing too few goods. And manufacturers are not going to ramp up inventory for a bust, so there is less pressure on COGS.

  5. D. J. Hawkins says:

    I spend some time on an electrical contractor’s blog. Electrical bits and pieces, like service panels and junction boxes are becoming rarer than hen’s teeth. Orders for larger components already 3 months out are being pushed further out on a weekly basis. The price of Romex is up 300%.

  6. rhoda klapp says:

    Prices for all kinds of building supplies are going up here in the UK too. If it’s too much money, it ain’t mine. Inflation doesn’t seem to be a natural thing in this market only. We can see it’s temporary and if it goes up too much we will put off a project. Even housebuilders can push things into the future rather than pay over the odds. Now if it was food (and it doesn’t seem to be so far..) that is a purchase you can’t put off.

  7. E.M.Smith says:


    A couple of months ago I visited Lowe’s for some doo-dad… Saw mediocre plywood at something like $50 / sheet and decent grades higher. Chose not to buy any and postponed the project.

    Talked to a “Flipper Agent” about house. Was told crews are booked out 3 months and you can’t get anything even started before that (12 weeks…) lead time. Oddly, this worked in my favor as they said they would be happy with a long occupancy post sale before they started the flip work…

    No, not made any deal with anyone yet. “Just looking”…

    Local Walmart has a sign up begging for workers, offering $19.50 / hour for night time shelf stockers.

    Cost of a “Fast Food Lunch” has risen from “About $5” to “About $10” now that the Gov mandated a $15 / hour minimum wage for fast food workers. So now I just don’t go there unless there’s not a real choice (time limit on events, no grocery store in sight, can’t get home).

    @Corsair Red:

    I think the “Globalization” of production has run into the issue of too much concentration of individual production in just one remote country. Even “Local products” are now dependent on an international shipping / manufacturing base. Toss an AwShit into any minor (and formerly irrelevant) country and the globe takes a gut punch. Example?

    Car Production globally got a pause because Taiwan was slow at making the semiconductors they need (for little things like, oh, Engine Management, without which they can’t meet CAFE fuel economy standards and smog laws…).

    So ask yourself: What happens when China invades Taiwan (only a matter of time, IMHO, perhaps as short as a year off if Biden signals the OK) and TSMC goes “Off Line” for a year? That will also mean no spares / replacement parts…

    So you want to make a complex drug. Where do you source your raw materials? What happens when India takes a shutdown for a few weeks to stop disease spread? Yeah, all sorts of drugs have shortages. How about Polyethylene rope? Major supplier? China (both the rope and the polymer). Now what can you no longer do if you can’t get rope?

    Maybe it’s a good thing. Hopefully some Top Execs are getting a lesson in supply chain logistics and risks…


    Similarly, those bits of pseudo-paper called “Stocks & Bonds” only have value due to trust. Once a person figures out that the trading market in them has become corrupted and cheaters run it (unlike the prior case of “just” being in competition with traders with more experience) the game becomes uninteresting.

    Guess why I’m about 95% in Real Estate… (And, when the house sells, will put that money into other inflation proof real value assets).

    Why sell now? Capital Gains rules. From this point forward, 1/3 of all “gain” will go to the Feds & State on sale. As a whole lot of that “gain” is going to be inflation. Essentially they will be taking 1/3 of my accrued value over time. Roll it forward, new basis, there’s a nice $1/2 Million new exemption before that “take” kicks in again. (Plus Biden pushing for a “take” on “sales price” – forget step-up in basis on death for the kids…)

    I note in passing that there is an ever growing number of things where I’m in the DIY camp. Just too much crap rules and too much crap “overhead” being packed into the product. I can make a loaf of bread for about 25 ¢ while in the store, even crappy “wonder bread” is over $3 a loaf. So I’m looking for a place where I can install a decent general purpose “shop” (wood and metals) along with a 3D printer (or two… plastics and metals).

    I just set up a 3D Printer for my Dentist. He now scans folks teeth and 3D prints a model of them (for braces and crowns and such). Instead of $Several Hundred a pop outsourced to a vendor, he’s DIY…) Those “bite the tray of goo” things and send it off to an expensive shop? Done with that for him. So it isn’t just one guy complaining about bread costs…

    IMHO, the folks who will do best in what is coming will be those folks who can DIY all the basics and on land away from a city. Small rural town or actual country spot.


    Good info!

    Yes, the whole notion you can just print your way out of this with a flood of money is daft. It is a “liquidity trap” and the Fed are stuck in it. As long as the economy is dithering, they can print (and are for “stimulus”…) but that will just put us back in the “Stag-Flation” of the ’70s. You CAN have massive money printing AND a depression at the same time. (See: Venezuela).



    Wonder if “light manufacturing” was not considered “critical work”? A panel is just an iron box, some paint, copper buss bars, and some clip in breakers (that are themselves just plastic, copper, a spring, and a few minor bits). I wonder where in the process they were “non-essential” and that’s the limiting part…

    Romex is a big surprise. Copper wire with plastic coating (and old school stuff with some fibers in it). Wonder if it was copper mining?

    Copper Mining Market Segmentation
    The global copper mining market is further segmented based on type and geography.
    By Type – The copper mining market is segmented into refining industry, metal processing industry, chemical industry, others.
    By Geography – The global copper mining is segmented into North America, South America, Asia-Pacific, Eastern Europe, Western Europe, Middle East and Africa. Among these regions, Asia-Pacific copper mining market accounts the largest share in the global copper mining market.

    Asia-Pacific the biggest player. Did Australia shut down the mines?

    Perhaps it is like the Auto Semiconductor shortage. Long lead time essential part where they stopped making them for about a year, and now can’t catch up with the hole in supply even at full capacity. IF folks making things like wire drawing dies were “non-essential” you could have wire making plant shut down waiting for the long lead time tooling to be made.

  8. jim2 says:

    Shrinkflation has been going on a long, long time. The official inflation numbers are worse than useless. The guv-mut needs to report prices per unit weight, not just the price per box.

  9. jim2 says:

    Our real estate agent, after considering the condition of our house (which wasn’t too bad), told us not to fix up anything else, other than paint for walls and porch and such. Said a buyer is likely to rip it all out and re-do it in their own style anyway.

  10. E.M.Smith says:


    Had that happen just down the street. Folks put a few $10s of K into “fix up”. Flipper bought it, redid the whole thing.

    I’m either going with “bare minimum to remove real road blocks to sale” (like rip out the 60 year old carpet that’s trash and just polish the hardwood under it – near zero cost really); or I’m going to “Flip my own house” with an addition to bring the square footage up to par and a complete makeover of the bath and kitchen away from “mid last century”… Actual TBD based on who offers me what and when…

  11. H.R. says:

    Someone is going to get a solid house when we sell.

    New roof, new water heater, new furnace, new air conditioner, house and trim freshly painted, never-even-been-moist basement, trees trimmed up away from the house, Fiberglass door (builder’s cheap-ass steel door long gone), interior paint fresh enough to show without repainting, storage galore – you can use the garage, and a few other things.

    I’d say $5,000 to $7,000 – definitely under ten grand – would make the house ‘yours, and not ours’ for a buyer.

    But… for now, we’re not selling. We can’t stay in this area and downsize to a house that costs less than ours. Half the size house costs more! We looked.

    The kids can sell it to cover costs when they put us in “the home”, which they already threaten to do now, from time to time 😜🤣 Kids…

  12. jim2 says:

    A worn out carpet wouldn’t phase me in the least. If multiple home systems or foundation house is janked, that phases me.

  13. philjourdan says:

    Shrinkflation is not new. You can thank Nixon for that (his wage and price controls). He is also responsible for rebates (usually on items that you cannot “shrink” when price controls go into effect).

  14. Power Grab says:

    I have a friend who is fixing up the house their son was in (son got divorced…got remarried…moved elsewhere…my friend ended up with the house) to sell ASAP. She is fretting a lot about missing the prime summer selling season. She had ordered some wood flooring to match some that was in the house, but Lowe’s lost it. She said if she had known it would be that hard to get it, she would have driven to another town 2 hours away and picked up the wood they said they had that would match. But it’s gone now.

    I told her this week that we started looking at houses last fall (September was when we started). Almost every house we told the realtor that we wanted to see was “sold” by the time he inquired about a tour. I think we’re talking about 10-20 houses over about 4-6 weeks.

    So the one Sunday we saw two houses that made me drool, I told my offspring that we needed to make an offer on one of those that evening. So I made an offer and it was accepted right away. We closed in November and actually moved completely out of our apartment in mid-December. It might not have taken that long except for the “dueling inspectors” affair. Oh, and I still was working 12-17 hours a day.

    In case you’re wondering why I used a realtor, this was my first rodeo. I had never before gone out house shopping myself.

    The point was, of course, that we weren’t even thinking about looking for a house during the summer. And then the market was very active in the fall, so I think this might happen to my friend. Once they put their house on the market, maybe it will only sit for a few days(!) It can happen. My family’s house sold in 2-3 days back in 1972. My mom and I had stayed a month after we moved out to do the paint-up/fix-up/clean-up thing. It was definitely worth the trouble.

    I had several reasons for waiting until retirement age to do this. One reason was that my offspring finished their college degree and wasn’t looking to leave town. Another reason was that since said offspring and I are still living together, it was time to get more room…and some dirt of our own. Another reason was that the apartment we were living in seemed like it might have a bull’s-eye on it for heavy-handed Big Brother Covid enforcement activity. I really didn’t want to be there for that, on the chance that it might happen. Another reason was that all the bigger places cost way more than even the high-rent apartment we had been in for so long. Then I found out I could use money from one of my pensions as down payment and closing costs. Finally, I had a gut feeling that it might be time for another round of inflation. Interest rates were incredibly low compared with the time someone plopped a house/mortgage into my lap when I didn’t even have one degree yet. The payment just kept going up back then. IIRC, the interest rate was 14%. :’-P

    I know some people always talk up tax “advantages” if you’re paying on a mortgage, but back then when I was making a pittance, the fraction of a pittance “tax advantage” doesn’t amount to much.

  15. philjourdan says:

    @Power Grab – actually you did the exact right thing! Buyers need to get their OWN realtors. The commission is paid by the seller and the selling agent splits the commission with the listing agent, So the cost to you is NOTHING! What most people do not realize is if you deal with just the listing agent, you are dealing with the sellers mouthpiece! No one represents you. So when buying a house, find an agent you trust and have them represent your interests.

    Congratulations on the new home!

  16. Ossqss says:

    I have sold several properties and never used a realtor or paid commissions. If the buyer had a realtor, they paid them, not me. I used a good real estate attorney to do the contracts and closings.
    If I were to sell my home right now, I would not put a dime into it and just negotiate the costs as credit against asking price for needed upgrades for essentials like a roof or windows etc.. I have watched several homes sold in my hood that the sellers did floors and paint and it was ripped out or changed every time. What a waste of money for the sellers. Prices here are crazy right now from all the Northerners moving here. Last home in my hood sold for $311 a square foot.

  17. H.R. says:

    Seconded, Phil – Way to go, Power Grab!

    You will enjoy having a place that you can modify to suit yourself without having to check in with a landlord, or have a laundry list of things that are forbidden. Don’t like that wall? Knock it out and open up the room. You get what I’m saying.

    And… at the least, you now have a patch of dirt to grow some ‘maters. 😁

  18. John Hultquist says:

    From central WA State:
    I visited two grocery stores today – one a national brand and the other a regional with much sourcing from Topco. Both were crammed with food, including fresh veggies and fruits. The major increase in price here has been in gasoline, but lower than CA, I think. We are in the $3.75+ range.

    The odd things I’ve noticed (I expect food prices to go up) are products, such as a pickup canopy. I ordered a Leer. Apparently there is a bottleneck in the glass supply, so there is a 3 month wait. A local auto-sound shop is having similar issues with high end sound-systems for auto. There’s lots of things therein that could be problems – – but glass?

    “Cost of a “Fast Food Lunch” has risen from “About $5” to “About $10” . . .”
    Right, and I don’t go. Our local grocery has had simple sandwiches (bun, meat, lettuce) for $2.
    Keeping a bag of jerky and dried fruit in a “go bag” is a good idea. [I usually have a large go-box with a change of clothes +, but that’s a different issue.]

  19. Power Grab says:

    @ philjourdan, Ossqss, & HR:

    Thanks for the reinforcement!

    I was very happy with both my realtor and my mortgage lady. They couldn’t have been better! There was an ice storm in October that left large areas of the state without power for weeks, IIRC. My mortgage lady’s house (and her daughter’s house) were left without power long enough that the generator my mortgage lady bought was passed on to the daughter because her power took longer to restore. But even though my mortgage lady had to charge her phone at work during the outage, I would never have known of the difficulty unless she had told me.

    I was just talking with my offspring about our growing some of the leafy greens for our house bunny. I’ve never done that. Does anyone have luck raising leafy greens during the heat of summer?

    I don’t think anything except the front yard by the street gets full sun all day. Does partial sun help or hurt leafy greens?

    I’m thinking we should harvest them frequently so both we and the bunny have fresh-picked greens to munch on.


  20. Graeme No.3 says:

    Power Grab:
    Where is your house? Is it an area which gets snow in winter? In which case the house bunny will be on a severe diet. My experience in South Australia is that you can get some greens to grow all year if there is a reasonable amount of sunshine. But then I remember having to photograph my mother by the climbing geranium on the fence so she could send a copy to a lady she met in the USA who grew geraniums (in pots) but had to move pots indoors into a glass house over winter.
    If you are in a cold climate then some form of protection would be necessary, a ‘glass house’ perhaps made from plastic film, or something simple like a container with a sheet of perspex on top (but some ventilation otherwise the plants use up all the CO2 and starve).
    Have you considered hydroponics? These can be set up in sheds, basements etc. with power for grow lights (and maybe heating) and don’t require much work. Can be as simple as a pot standing in a dish with diluted liquid fertilizer, with a bit of light.
    Asian greens esp. mustard leaf types or chard are easy to grow if out of severe frosts.

  21. David A says:

    The housing market is nuts. We have been saving like crazy for a few years, and hesitated to buy in the area we were renting as we thought – hoped ( based on history) home prices were at the tail end of a ten year run up. COVID hit and prices barely paused.

    After house hunting, and backing out on offers several times we bought in October. Personally I see very very little reason to use a realtor buying or selling in California. I have sold twice and bought twice without realtors, although realtors always welcome. Fees paperwork and costs are reasonably standard ( shopping around is allowed) and, in a sense, buyer and seller pay the commission, because the realtor representing the listing agent now has 2.5 to 3 percent to play with. ( And that agent see you the free agent buyer, as a major bonus. On a 600,000 house you mean up to plus 18 k to them. In a sellers market your bid will get far more attention, and the realtor will sweeten your offer, push your offer, and should you enter escrow, they legally represent both parties. Also it is very easy to know the market reasonably well. As mentioned, we entered three contracts, each one with 10 to 17 offers, each time we got the home at a minimum of 5 k below other offers. Inspection, issues found, etc… led to backing out.

    Finally in October we bought. ( had it all, .5 acre 4 year old remodel with new expanded kitchen, single story, travertine floors, newer pool, etc. 3 car garage 350 sq foot insulated storage building. ( about 75 k in upgrades within 4 years including AC) We beat out 12 other offers, again not the highest offer either, the realtor just gave breaks to the seller. ( this is what I mean by both parties pay the commission). Had to pay more then 20 percent down as prices were moving up faster then appraisals.

    My zero hedge “ the world is ending” friend told me I was crazy. Knowing his biggest fear was run away inflation I asked him if my mortgage cost would inflate? He admitted that that particular large cost could not inflate. So my over appraisal 585,000 house in October is now about 750 k, not including the new solar, whole house water filter, patio cover and windows. So yes, if we sold it would be the easiest 100 k I ever made. And if this crazy world prices could potentially collapse and we could be underwater in a year or two. Yet somehow I think the junkie stimulus addicted patient ( the US economy) will continue to print until the world says we don’t really want your paper anymore. ( Not certain the US have a choice, as the withdrawal would be fatal)

    So here we stay, a nice place, yet in California with associated concerns, water and hot summers perhaps the biggest. The wife loves the house, yet not the inland heat. Since she always wants to move after a few years regardless. ( a woman in every sense of the word) perhaps we sell, get a few year old ( 250 to 300 k ) top of the line Newmar “New Aire 33’ diesel with everything, and I tell her to point. ( ha, not a terrible thought)

  22. p.g.sharrow says:

    @power grab;
    Growing leafy greens that are tasty to humans is a bit more demanding the providing for critters.

    A Cheap Greenhouse

    This works well in winters and fairly inexpensive but will require some heat in hard freezing winters and shade covering in summer heat. My hoop house is now over 20 years old and requires a covering renewal again. Clear polyethylene only lasts 1 season but greenhouse vinyl lasts about 5-7 years. Greens need lots of water and shade to grow tender and mild. Hot summer sun makes them tough and bitter…pg

  23. jim2 says:

    Everywhere I know of, housing is crazy hot. Some houses sell in a day of being listed. If it walks like a feeding frenzy and quacks like a feeding frenzy, it’s probably a bubble. I expect it will pop when interest rates go up.

    Even though we used a RE agent to sell our last house, I agree with ossqss. We sold one house by owner, but it’s absolutely required to use a RE lawyer. For the last one, we just couldn’t hang around to take care of the final cleanup and such. We moved to a new location across the country and got an apartment while we looked for a new house. It worked out OK for us.

  24. John Hultquist says:
    Bret Weinstein – who previously made headlines after being pressured out of his biology professorship at Evergreen State College in Washington State for criticizing an anti-White “day-of-absence” – told Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today” that he has been analyzing the vaccines, and has summarily been censored for raising concerns about the shots and the medical establishment’s opposition to alternative treatments.

  25. The True Nolan says:

    I think that all the reasons already mentioned for current price inflation (and HR listed a bunch) are valid, but there is one cause which has not been mentioned. Yes, as was said, the base cause of price inflation is, of course, the artificial inflation of the money supply — so why are we seeing more inflation now than in the past? Combined with the giant leap in money creation has been a corresponding decline in the willingness of other countries to accept an increasingly worthless dollar. In the past, the supremacy of the petrodollar insured that any country wishing to raise its productive capability had no choice but to accept fiat dollars for the goods it produced. Because the dollar was tied to the most basic world commodity, petroleum (which is to say “energy”), all developing nations needed an increasing supply of dollars to pay for its increasing energy needs. The US was, in effect, exporting its inflation. The US could create trillions of dollars (and the politically and financially well connected could skim off the lions share), use those dollar for importing cheap goods (and the cheap goods mollified the increasingly indebted US citizens) but the normal price inflation was delayed, at least here in the US. Those dollars are coming home to roost. Other nations are arranging non-dollar ways of conducting trade, and are doing their best to get rid of dollars held as financial instruments. And if they DO accept dollars in payment of goods, they are demanding MORE.

    Consider China. They have a MUCH greater manufacturing base than the US now does. Their technical know-how is on roughly par with the US. (And honestly, many of the American workers who actually know how the systems work are approaching retirement age.) They have a much stronger worker base. And they have added enormously to their ability to produce electricity. If they keep a hold in the South China Sea they will arguably have a strong base for petroleum production as well. Why should they continue to have workers spend productive time and raw materials so that they can send real, tangible goods to America while we pay with computer entries in a central bank? Most countries in the world are, to a greater or lesser degree, faced with the same set of conditions and questions which China faces.

    There is an old joke. A ship wrecks on a desert island with a Chinese man, a Mexican man, an Indonesian man, and an American. After a few months, the Chinese fellow is growing a garden. The Mexican man has built several nice huts, and the Indonesian man has made a net and is catching more fish everyday. The American man has done nothing but is comfortable in his status on the island. “Why should I do anything? They CAN’T AFFORD to get rid of me. I’m the biggest consumer on the island!”

    What can’t go on, won’t.

  26. Paul, Somerset says:

    I’m in England, and I agree with Chiefio that the shelves do look well stocked, at least with fresh food and groceries. But I’ve definitely noticed ongoing shortages of certain canned and non-perishable items. These things are marginal – it only a few of us feel a general sense of unease, and almost unconsciously grab a few extra cans of sardines or evaporated milk “just in case”, and a just-in-time system of stocking can turn into empty shelves.

    And I must say, having been subjected for the last 18 months to one bizarre set of lies and fabrications after another, that feeling of general unease has become one of real worry. I don’t know the details of what’s going on or being planned, but I do know that something is very wrong, and the instinctive reaction is to fill the pantry, save the seeds, service the bicycle, clean the well, chop more wood and check the locks.

  27. Rudolph Hucker says:

    Regarding food supplies in the stores, the MSM seems to blame shortages on Covid, Trump, Brexit, etc. But if we are heading into a Grand Solar Minimum, and the recent “unusually” cold and wet weather is having an impact on crop yields, should we be looking at the crop forecasts as well?

  28. Lars Silén: Reflex och spegling says:

    I happened to find a very interesting video via an article by Dr. Lars Bern (physicist) regarding the roots of the COVID virus. One year ago I wrote that from my view point it seemed obvious that what we saw was a artificial virus, possibly a biological weapon let loose. Now there are a number of patents that clearly show that critical components of the COVID virus were known a long time ago. The oldest patens seem to be from ca. 2003. Notice that it isn’t possible to patent for example natural DNA strings. If a genetic patent is granted for example regarding the saike protein then this means that the component was designed or significantly altered in the laboratory. The time line of granted patents explains how it was possible to patent a vaccine before the virus was “known”. The virus has been well known for a long time but not in nature …

    The link to the video, in english, is found at the end of the article which is in swedish.

    Does this mean that we now need a new Nürnberg round about crimes against humankind? Who is really controlling the world when USA, Canada, France and possibly other players participated in developing something that clearly is a bio weapon. Developing bio weapons is forbidden by international treaties but doing it together seems ok.

    Brott mot mänskligheten

  29. Pinroot says:

    @Lars – At the video link there’s also a link to a 205 page pdf called “The Fauci/COVID-19 Dossier”. Definitely worth a look.

  30. Alexander K says:

    Down here in New Socialist Zealand shortages are a fact of life, house prices went upwwardly nuts with covid, and doctors are being warned by ‘someone’ to say nothing about cures alternative to the innoculations the State is pushing.
    Sound familiar?

  31. The True Nolan says:

    One more case of shrink-flation. Just opened a contained of pimento cheese. Noticed that even though the container had not changed size, it is now not filled as full. My first thought was “the machine shorted me!” but when I checked the net weight printed on the package, it now said seven ounces instead of eight. Of course the price had not gone down.

  32. Pinroot says:

    @TTN – They’ve been doing that for a while. There was a cider I liked, years ago, which came in a 12 oz bottle. One day I noticed that the bottles looked a little smaller. I checked the size and it was 11.6 oz (or something similar) but it was no longer a 12 oz bottle. Same price tho. That was at least 10 years ago. I occasionally run across articles talking about this: manufacturers put less in the package, then charge the same price. It’s mostly with dry goods (cereal, snacks, laundry detergent and so forth), but I guess they can do it with other things too. As for pimento cheese, I make my own, we think it’s better than store-bought, so I don’t have to worry shrinkage with that at least ;)

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    IIRC, Hershey’s chocolate started shrinkflation way long ago. They had a national “Nickel candy bar” but the size varied by 1/64 ounce increments with costs in any local market and variation in milk and cocoa prices.

    Per greens:

    Bunnies love greens, but need hay. Keep pellets and hay around always.

    Their digestion is very chemical sensitive (hind gut fermenter) so fertilizer is OK but no weed killer or insect sprays.

    They have different flavor preferences than people. What I thought were bitter collards they thought was great candy treat… bunnies and humans are among the few who can eat onions (they are toxic to many species) and mine liked nibbling the green tops.

    Things in the Triangle Of Wu are their favorites.

    So cabbages, broccoli, mustards, turnips, collards, etc. Russian Kale (a cross of the same type as rutabaga) grows in light snow, so you can have something growing pretty much all seasons but hard freeze feet of snow… then you pull the turnips and they get the roots instead of leaves…

    Hydroponics is easy indoors. Cheap LED bulbs are fine (you don’t NEED expensive grow lamps. They help, and for commercial production that matters, but many small greens expect to be shaded under trees and do ok in low light). I’ve used simple shop lights on top of cinder block “bookcase” like shelves to grow greens in pots indoors. So stack two cinderblocks high, 4 feet apart, span with cheap shop light, place pots. All up it was about $15, so likely $30 now. Miraclegrow fixes most nutrient issues, but good potting soil ought to be fine.

    Partial sun is fine for many greens outdoors. Some die in full noonday sun….

  34. Power Grab says:

    @ Graeme No.3:

    In my part of flyover country, we don’t have significant snow every winter. I remember at one place I lived, I had a planter of pansies that lived and flowered all through the winter. It was on our tiny front porch, so maybe the little bit of heat that escaped the house was enough to keep it from freezing.

    Last winter was a bear. We had extraordinary cold and snow/ice that kept my workplace on “work from home” for a full week. Usually, though, our inch or two (or three) of snow that we might get is usually gone by the next day or two. Or at least the streets are clear enough that traffic is back to normal pretty quickly.

    I remember a blizzard that lasted pretty long in 1966. Another snow event in 1972 around Thanksgiving that meant we had to put chains on the family car to get me back to college across the state.

    One time between 1976 and 1979 I got on the road to meet my parents in another town to see Hal Holbrook do his “Mark Twain Tonight!” show. I had an exciting time dealing with the very small amount of snow that fell while I was driving. The snow kept falling during the show, and my parents insisted that I follow them home to their town. We drove in unbroken snow at that time, though it was probably only 5-6 inches deep. I didn’t tell them about my exciting drive until, oh, a couple decades later. Didn’t want to scare them. ;-)

    I had to put chains on my car on New Year’s Eve of 1975/6 because I had committed to go babysit a family whose parents went to a party.

    Between 1976 and 1981 I lived in a house that was down a slope from the main street. I got stuck trying to drive up the hill to go to work one snowy morning. The garbage collectors were on my street and pushed me. Then I had to stop for traffic and got stuck again, so they pushed me again.

    One snowfall in the mid-1980s I had to shovel the berm of snow at the bottom of my driveway so I could get onto the street. This was a different house. My town had snowplows by then.

    Once between 1988 and 1992 my car slid off into a ditch because of the icy conditions on the road. I was able to get back out without calling AAA. Wait…I didn’t have a cell phone then!

    There were a few days in maybe the winter of 1991/2 that I stayed at work so I wouldn’t have to drive home and back to work. My office was in a converted hotel, so every office had a bathroom. That worked well!

    I don’t remember doing much snow shoveling between 1997 and 2006, but I have photos of my offspring playing in our snowy backyard one winter.

    I don’t remember any big snow events between 2006 and 2009, but I do remember offering neighbors something to scrape their car windows with a time or two.

    Between 2009 and 2020, we had a handful of snow events. I have a photo of myself standing out in the snow, but I don’t remember what year that was.

    October 2020 we had a major ice storm that it took many weeks for the town to remove dead branches that had fallen.

    And February 2021 we had the extraordinarily cold snow/ice event that kept us working from home for a full week. I have a rose bush in the back yard that I need to prune. The top half of the branches froze to death, but the bottom half survived. I reckon it has new growth. A couple smallish bushes in the front looked dead, but have a nice amount of new growth. You can’t really see the dead part now. The trees in the front didn’t really drop many branches, and they look fine and lush now.

    Some people use “cold frames” to keep their plants alive when the weather gets harsh. I wonder if cold frames would work better than growing them indoors…

    From the little bit of gardening we’ve done at the new place, I’m getting the idea that the plants that are in the ground survive better than ones in pots and planters. Maybe it’s because they’re not dependent on us to water them! My offspring is prone to put planters under eaves where runoff gets to them. But you have to remember to move them as conditions change!

  35. Power Grab says:

    @ p.g.sharrow:

    Thanks for the greenhouse link and comments. :-)

  36. rherndon47 says:

    Yes it costs more now!

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