Friday, October 21, 2011

Trends

We all take too much for granted. We never think about things or people that are always there for us. We think they will always be there.

We think that we will always have enough to eat, clothes to wear, and people we can always run to when things don’t go our way.

We think things will go on like they always have.

I have noticed a trend lately that disturbs me. Granted I am out in the middle of nowhere but our grocery shelves have more bare spots and less variety. More store brands and less name brands. Prices are going through the ceiling and what used to be staples aren’t so much anymore.

We raise cattle out here in my bit of what I call paradise. In the last year we have seen prices that we get at market increase drastically. You might think that this is a good thing for us and it is, but over all it shows that the prices at the grocery that we already think are high are going to take another increase. The increase in the prices we get at market for our cattle are directly linked to the prices on everything from steaks and hamburger to dairy products.

Last year we bought a hog from a friend of ours and had it butchered. I haven’t bought pork in the grocery in several months. I looked at the price of bacon the other day and my jaw dropped to the floor. In about 5 months the price of bacon has DOUBLED! I checked Wal-Mart when I went to the next town over yesterday and the price was less than my little local grocery but it had still increased sharply since the last time I actually bought bacon.

Prices of basically everything has gone up over the last year but these are the trends that I have seen mainly because I have not been buying beef or pork. When I checked prices yesterday I went into a bit of sticker shock. From what my friends are telling me the prices have went up slowly over the last few months and they really didn’t notice. Believe me I NOTICED.

We all know what fuel prices have done over the last few years so I really don’t need to say much on that subject except that it is running in the same trend.

Prices for medical services and insurance for medical services are frightening.

Utilities (gas and electric) are increasing and with winter coming on that will bring another cost increase, hide and watch.

Prices have gone up but wages haven’t. Unemployment is high, jobs are scarce. If someone loses their job it may take months for them to find another one. If you are an employer the regulations the government requires will eat you up. Between complying with regulations, taxes and cost of goods sold it has small business owners up against a wall too.

If this trend continues I am afraid we are going start losing those things we take for granted. We are going to have to work harder for basics and settle for less quality. And those people you have always been able to count on.? They are going to be too busy trying to survive to help you out like they used to. Their focus is going to change . When it comes to feeding your family or helping Joe fix his worn out car yet again guess what is going to win?

I don’t know what we can do to change this trend but I do know that I will be putting as much preserved goods as I can aside. I am luckier than most since I will always have something to eat since I raise my own beef and I’m not afraid of a little rabbit stew. But I do worry about the folks that live in the urban areas that don’t know how to find food unless it comes in a cellophane wrapper.

9 comments:

Alan said...

You can thank the Fed for that. Monetizing all those "too big to fail" bank losses has to get paid for somewhere.

Jess said...

Inflation, from what I've read, is rearing its ugly head, which will devalue the dollar even more.

The bright side is that the average salary of a Federal employee in the D.C. area is around $126,000, home prices are increasing, unemployment is around 5% and the benefits are good.

I know that's going to warm the hearts of most Americans. The people in Washington D.C. might want to avoid tar, feathers and mobs of any size over the next few months.

Well Seasoned Fool said...

Check out the increases in home hardware stuff. Doing my annual winterizing and needed some basics. Caulk, 4 mil roll plastic, duct tape, etc. I realize much of the stuff comes from China but it is no longer cheap.

Another huge jump is motor oil and anti freeze.

Ruth said...

Husband and I have been watching package sizes shrink for a while now. It does frustrating things to the budget and makes me start rethinking my ban on chickens in the yard....

Old NFO said...

Um... don't look at cheese prices then... And you're right! sigh...

Joshua said...

Yeah, us folks in the more urban areas are going to be screwed quite nicely.. I sincerely wish there were a way to affect those whom made the decisions that put us in this position as equally as it's putting the screws to the ones on the bottom.

But then, again, perhaps that would involve a catastrophic situation so bad, all we can do about it now is write about it... and fear what'd happen if it came true.

Kristopher said...

+1 Alan.

When the fed doubles the amount of currency in circulation by printing it up and giving it to failing banks, one should not be surprised if the value of the dollar is halved.

Fuel prices reflected this immediately, as the world set the price of oil.

Everything else will fall into line as the price of fuel gets passed on. As usual, wages will be last to reprice.

And everyone who saved dollars will be screwed as their savings are halved.

Mr.B said...

"When the fed doubles the amount of currency in circulation by printing it up and giving it to failing banks, one should not be surprised if the value of the dollar is halved."

Exactly right.

This may be the most damaging thing that our past two presidents did to our country...exceeding even the Supreme Court Justices and the long lasting damage they do.

mustanger said...

I'm outside suburbia too... I tend to think I'll eat regardless with so many deer and squirrels and other wild game. But then, consider the price of ammo doing the same thing everything else is doing.