The U.S. Is a Powder Keg, by Jeffrey Tucker

It’s a question of when, not if, the powder keg is going to blow. From Jeffrey Tucker at dailyreckoning.com:

Last night I did my usual grocery run. I don’t shop at stores with philosophies. I go for el cheapo places that don’t have olive bars and don’t play Schubert on the intercom. I just want the stuff I need at the lowest possible prices. Even I was stunned at the 40% increase in my usual bill. I thought I was buying in a minimalist way.

Later I looked more carefully at what went wrong. I bought beef and bacon. Beef price increases are now at double-digit rates, and bacon is even higher. You are paying much more per pound than one year ago. Pork and chicken are less, but that could change.

Turkeys are in short supply for Thanksgiving. It will be the most expensive Thanksgiving meal in our lifetimes.

Stores don’t tag groceries based on the percentage increases in prices. Those you have to remember from last week and last month. Indeed, stores have every reason to disguise this. Manufacturers too, which is why packaging these days is holding ever less product. This is called “shrinkflation.” It is an epidemic right now, as manufacturers are struggling to survive huge increases in their own costs.

Biggest Inflation Spike in Over 30 Years

The Consumer Price Index came out this week. It revealed that consumer prices soared 6.2% in October, the biggest inflation spike in over 30 years. And it’s probably even worse than the official figures show.

Meanwhile, the Producer Price Index revealed that the year-over-year change in the index for construction materials is up almost 20%.

Now let’s look at gasoline. You experience it daily, the high prices at the pump. Last year at this time, the average price per gallon was $1.81. Now it is $3.40. It is also rising as demand intensifies and supply faces restrictions.

Most important here are the monetary effects, as all the money that the Fed sloshed up in the last 20 months reduces its value or what it can buy. This inflation will never hit all products and all sectors evenly. It moves from sector to sector. These days the toxin is moving so fast and in so many directions it makes one’s head spin.

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