28 April 2011

Sticker Shock

Nor on a car or a house (Christ, house prices are plummeting all over the country, except here in God's own Texas). Not at the gas pump (I sold the Subhuman, Truckina Truckovna Truckskiey, to help cover bills last month, plus I don't have depth perception. Long story. I don't drive.)

Damn grocery store. Own-brand and generics were up, up, up, up, up. (Cue Mick and Keef:

The house brand saffron rice up from 2/88 cents (would you believe that this keyboard doesn't even have a key for the "letter c nwith a vertical strike? Shit.)

Generic whole wheat bread - 2 weeks ago $0.88, now $1.18. Every damn thing. I thought I was getting a deal on the whole boneless pork loins (hey, I'm a Cathoic, I can eat pork. Almost pure proteiney goodness, nearly fat-free. Pretty damn tasteless nowadays, but then so is anything). The I remembered that they were $0.99 er pound at this time last year.

"So", you ask the wise and mighty JC, "why are our prices suddenly defying the laws of gravity? Why, o savant, are they rising through the roof?"

So, grasshopper, Ima school you. There are 2 major causes for this disturbance in the force. The first is that the prices aren't really getting all thwt much bigger. It's that your dollars are getting smaller. "

"But Master, you reply, I just inspected the contents of my wallet, and they seem the exact same size!"

Yes grasshopper, and that reminds me to put up the rates for this dojo. But although the actual pieces of paper you carry are of the same size, there are now countlessly more of them, carried by many people. The amount of goods and services that can be purchased with them is still the same. The value of the currency has been debased. But nonetheless, the thing purchased may still be worth the price.

"O Master? Why do you use the conditional?"

I use the conditional, as you have so well noticed, my young follower, because the market is often perturbed. That is why I mentioned a disturbance in the force.

"O Grand Sensei, tell us more!"

Very well, I will. The condition I have before described is known as the market. From time to time men, not evil men, but misguided men, will declare: The Important Thing Is That Every Man Shall Own A House. Again, he may say: It Is Important That The Earth Not BE Destroyed!

"But Sensei, surely they could ban the atom bombs?"

Thet is not the destruction they seek to avoid, my perceptive student. The destruction they seek to avoid is...(ominous pause)...Global warming!

But, and mind well the lesson, my acolytes, this comes at a cost. And the cost is the burning of foodstuffs to power your mothers's selfish SUVs and minivans.

"But...why, o wise and noble Sensei", through the tears of the younger students.

It is meet and noble that we, the most advanced and formidable nation ever to exist on the planet Earth, should make this sacrifice. For, despite the fact that the actual growing of corn, its distillation, its transport to the refining and blending facilities, and the fact that it yields only 80% of the energy of gasoline at a cost of almost double the cost of gasoline, and that it causes accelerated deterioration of engines and yields inferior milage and performance, it is still a great maker of moneys for Archer, Daniels, Midland, and also for ConAgra. These great companies are the sails which move teh ship of state, and without everyone possible providing hot air, there might be no movement at all.

"But Sensei, that's just, like, stoopid" says one child. (note to self, set that child to breaking cinderblocks with her forehead next week. My Federation of Teachers membership may depend upon it!)

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