Search This Blog

Friday, August 5, 2011

Inflation Strikes the Valley…

Valley inflation

Beyond deciding what to do with the quarter I found in the parking lot, I don’t understand much about economics. The media of late has been raising the roof about “debt ceilings,” tossing about terms like “deficit” and “default.” Inflation. Deflation. Stagnation. Consternation…you’ve heard some of the same talk maybe? Something about the United States of America running out of money? Appears the Federal Reserve can no longer replace the ink cartridge at the U.S. Mint. Doesn’t the Fed have a hotline to Staples’ Easy Button or have the Easy folks discontinued that line of cartridge, too.

Now I’m no John Maynard Keynes but apparently this default thing has serious consequences should it occur. I guess China would have to consult all three credit reporting agencies for a credit check of our country (we are entitled to one free report a year, you know…save us taxpayers some money there) before they float Uncle Sam another loan. So what does all this mean to you and me? Just as our personal credit rating is affected when the personal check for our bills isn’t in the mail, so  is the Government’s. Risky loans mean higher interest rates. Higher interest rates can lead to INFLATION: we little people pay more for the money we borrow, and all we buy with it now costs more, too.

Now Fort Knox is a good distance from us here in Tualco. China much farther yet. But I’ll tell you, there’s some serious inflation taking place here in the Valley right under our very noses. Inflation in the commodities department. You think a barrel of oil is expensive these days, consider the price of an EMPTY barrel.

Gladys and I wheeled past the Barrell Man’s place the other day and noticed the barrell site was stocked—or stacked—with a new shipment of barrells. I thought of my rain barrell back home, half empty, a pessimist’s rain barrell, because of some holes rusted through the sides and was gratified to see this new shipment of metal drums. Bucks for barrell'sJust then I noticed the familiar price tag nailed to the pole. “What’s this!” I gasped. The zero in $10.00 was smudged out and replaced by a whopping big, black 5!Whoa!! $15 for a barrell? “This is an outrage!” I fumed.

Now as earlier stated, economics is not my strong suit, but I know a ten dollar to fifteen dollar increase is substantial. I work a little fifth grade math on this latest threat to my personal finances. Let’s see…percentages…just what did Miss Franz teach us now….hmmmm…. From ten dollars to fifteen bucks. Subtract the smaller from the larger=$5. Divide the difference by the original number “10”… 50%!! Wow! Even Payday Loans doesn’t charge that much interest! If I weren’t riding Gladys, I’d kick myself for not buying one of those ten dollar barrells when I had the chance! Now it’s fifty per cent more expensive to store rainwater.

Mine is all feigned umbrage, of course. Let the Barrell Man make hay while the sun shines (given this summer and his merchandise, there’s ever so much wrong with that cliché). Besides, one doesn’t have to have a degree in economics to understand the concept of the “law of supply and demand.” The last time I talked to Mr. Marty, he told me his metal drum source had  dried up (the Sky Valley Meadery in Sultan), and he was having difficulties stocking up on barrells. Apparently he has found a new supplier and plans to make the most of it should the metal barrell business go bust. Thus the 50 percent inflation on his wares.

When I purchased my last barrell from the Barrell Man, I asked him if he gave a senior discount. He looked at me like I had just landed in a flying saucer. After all, Mr. Marty will be ninety sometime this year, and senior discounts are as foreign to him as alien spacecraft. But I’ve been thinking…. That quarter I found in the parking lot? I’m wondering if the Barrell Man has a lay-a-way plan. Wouldn’t hurt to ask now, would it?

Print this post

No comments:

Post a Comment