Tue. Mar 5th, 2024

By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – October 4, 2021 – Picture Credit to livemint.com (AFP)

For many the trip to the grocery store or even the pharmacy is a chore. 
For others who enjoy shopping it is a smorgasbord visual.   You enter
the doors of your favorite market, pick out a shopping cart, hopefully
one that hasn’t a squeaky wheel or a wheel that stubbornly fails to
work, and off you go.  Down the paper goods aisle looking for that
toilet paper that feels soooo good, then a shock awaits you when the
slot for it is empty.  You search for an employee who informs you that
they won’t be getting any of that kind until the end of the month.  
Wow! not a very good start to your shopping experience bliss. 
Grudgingly you select that kind that your husband got last spring when
you were laid up, but it costs $2.00 more per bundle.

The meat section is next and you have already noticed a jump in cost for
most cuts, that outdoor barbecue is going to be hot dogs and hamburgers
instead of some nice juicy steaks.  $8.00 a pound for round steak,
really?  On to the milk and bread, wow another shocker and the orange
juice for breakfast is missing from the cooler.  Not even the flavored
water kind of juice is present. Stiff upper lip and on to the fresh
vegetables to be greeted by a meager selection at breath taking prices. 
Wonder what it will be like this winter?

Rounding out your adventure you case the spice section to find your
favorite seasoning is no longer available, and you notice three other
empty slots on the shelves nearby.  As your gaze lifts to take in the
whole aisle you notice that there are at least a dozen or more empty
spaces on shelves that are normally full to the bursting.  Now that you
think back to previous trips to the market, this experience has become
more and more common over the last six months or so and prices seem to
have gone up substantially.  Bread that you had previously paid for was
$1.00 a loaf more, milk was up $0.75, other items were up 10% or more.

Time to head for the check out counter, while quickly calculating the
total of the few meager items in your cart.  You’ve budgeted $60 for
shopping this week and hope you haven’t gone over.  The cost of a fill
up at the service station, normally about $40 came in at $62.  The
attendant warned you that if you needed to fill up any other vehicles,
the cost was going up nine cents per gallon on Monday, that is if they
got the truck in to fill the tank before then.  The total on the read
out above the credit card machine read $74.76.  Looks like $60 was
wishful thinking.  And the cart was short a quite a few things that the
store simply did not have in stock.

Inflation and shortages we were told are short term events surely to
correct themselves by September.  Now government officials are not even
pretending that shortages and inflation will not continue into 2022.  By
the time things level off, if they do any time soon, be prepared for
much of the variety found in most retail outlets to shrink.  With the
rise in transportation costs, shortages of trucks and drivers, plus
interruptions in production and manufacturing, this scenario will only
get worse.  This will particularly affect the Western United States
where transportation has already suffered from environmental regulation
and higher cost for fuel.  Long distances to service retail stores,
climate change mania, and the progressive/liberal agenda will insure the
effects linger long after other parts of the Country emerge from the
train wreck to the economy caused by the political machinations of the
Biden Administration.  A tip of the cap to those  that voted “No” in the
recent recall election as the Newsom administration will now make the
problems worse over the next year and a half.

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