by James Howard Kunstler, Kunstler:
In these United States where up is down, it’s really so much more than that. In fact, it’s alarmingly shocking…
(by Half Dollar) With very specific examples and an overabundance of details, I constantly point out the absurdity, and, quite frankly, the pure evil of so much in this world.
Not that evil people tolerate it when one points out the absurdities and the evil, however.
Regardless, one such absurdity I’m still allowed to talk about here at Silver Doctors is inflation.
TRUTH LIVES on at https://sgtreport.tv/
Inflation is, after all, a matter of the markets and the economy, and today, with the release of the US Federal Government’s latest official inflation report, the Bureau of
Lying Sadists Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index, or CPI, for August, 2021, we’re bound to get plenty of chatter about inflation.
All day long.
Side Note: It might be a good idea to keep those barf bags at the ready today.
Nonetheless, I’d like to focus on one single thing and begin by asking a question: Is the US Federal Government, by way of policy, both official and unofficial, understating price inflation?
And before diving into that one single thing, let me go ahead and just spoil it for you by saying, “yes, the US Federal Government is understating price inflation” (see a recent explanation here).
Building on recent analysis, let’s recap where we’ve been, and where we are today, or where we were on Sunday at least, when I took the most recent pic in Walmart, and yes, I’m once again talking about those dang tortilla chips.
The “Great Value Bowlz Tortilla Chip Dippers, 10 oz”, to be exact, but really, any variety of Great Value tortilla chips of the same size will do as they are all priced the same.
First, some reality: The thing about the Great Value brand of tortilla chips is that you’re already at the bottom of the barrel when it comes to price.
I mean, sure, you can (and we do at times) cut up some corn tortillas and fry them in a pan, and now that I think about it, I’m totally going back to the cutting up corn tortillas and baking them in the oven for both crunchiness and improved nutritional statistics, but frying corn tortillas in a pan costs oil, time, electricity, gas and/or fire for the stove, and etcetera, so while inferior in so many ways, most people just buy tortilla chips in the bag from the store.
Here is the first point: Great Value tortilla chips are already as cheap as they come.
In other words, if, for one reason or another, a person is no longer willing or able to pay for the premium, name-brand brand tortilla chips, then one can always downgrade and pay for the generic stuff instead.
The problem now, clearly, is that with prices skyrocketing everywhere and one already scraping from the bottom of the barrel, what is one to do?
Here’s point number two: For me, it’s not about price.
As I’ve said before, there aren’t a lot of things that irritate me much in life, but one thing I can barely stand to the point of borderline madness is broken chips.
That is to say, I hate broken chips with a passion, and they don’t make me angry.
They make me mad.
There’s a difference.
Although with the Great Value Bowlz tortilla chips, I have found, through my own exhaustive field research, that those particular chips tend to be less broken than others.
Perhaps it’s how those particular tortilla chips nest inside of each other inside of the bag, or the fact that the Great Value bag generally seems to be thicker than other tortilla chip manufacturers’ bags, including the more expensive stuff, so the Great Value chips are also less prone to breaking?
Whatever it is, it’s a combination of all those things, and specifically, it’s a combination of price and value, which, in this instance, “value” means “good tasting” and “less broken chips”.
When I say “good tasting”, that’s subjective, of course, but I am the Master Pizza Baker who invented stuffed-crust pizza, so it’s not like I don’t know a thing or two about taste, and Wifey is an actual Professionally Educated and Trained Pastry Chef, so there’s that too.
When I say “less broken chips”, I say that hesitantly because it’s starting to feel like a losing battle, lest I go back to baking my own tortilla chips.
Pro Tip: Pan frying or oven baking your own tortilla chips results in zero broken chips, and not only that, but they taste better and can be more nutritious with less artificial crap.
Now, see if you can spot the problem below.
Here’s an order I placed on Walmart in March of 2020, around the very last time I was able to get the Great Value tortilla chips at the long-time stable price of $0.92 per bag: