“No Resistance” to Price Increases

The Restaurant Industry Reacts to a Messed-Up Economy Plagued by Shortages & Transportation Snags.

By Wolf Richter for WOLF STREET.

These reports are coming from all directions, from small mom-and-pop operations to large corporations: Input costs are surging, wages that companies have to pay to attract workers are rising, transportation costs are surging amid driver shortages, supply chains are tangled up and there are delays and bottlenecks, and suppliers suddenly can’t deliver because they’ve run out of something, and companies are furiously juggling these issues, and they’re raising their prices to make up for those higher costs, and there is no resistance to these higher prices.

Consumers mostly just pay whatever – when before, higher prices would have entailed the loss of some customers and some revenues, which might have forced companies to back off those prices.

Chipotle Mexican Grill was the latest company to confirm this phenomenon of higher costs and higher prices, and no resistance by consumers to higher prices.

It had raised prices by 3.5% to 4% in order to deal with higher labor costs, and so far, there has been “no resistance” to higher prices, CFO Jack Hartung told analysts during the earnings call today.

Turns out, those price increases, originally designed to pay for higher labor costs, will now be eaten up by higher raw material costs and the costs associated with the staffing shortages at suppliers, Harting said, adding, “It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Q3 is going to be challenged by several industry-wide issues.”

There have been numerous reports, anecdotally and in statements, that companies are struggling with sporadic driver shortages, container shortages, and supplier issues because they’re having a hard time hiring staff. There are backlogs, and suddenly the thing a company really needs got stuck somewhere. It’s one thing after another.

Taco Bell has been getting ripped in the social media for various items that it had run out of at some or many locations, from hot sauce to allegedly chicken and beef.

Taco Bell blamed transportation issues. A spokesperson told MarketWatch: “Due to national transportation delays happening throughout most of the industry, we may temporarily be out of some items. Apologies for the inconvenience and we hope to feed fans’ current Taco Bell cravings again soon.”

There is plenty of meat, but meatpackers are having one heck of a time hiring staff and filling orders, amid red-hot demand particularly from the restaurant industry, and suddenly, meat prices are jumping.

Even the Bureau of Labor Statistics picked up on it with its CPI report for June: The price of uncooked ground beef, for example, jumped by 3.4% in June from May, uncooked roast jumped by 5.0%, and steak by 6.0%. Pork chops, roasts, and ribs jumped by 5.0%.

These price increases of meat in the CPI don’t reflect the price increases in the meat supply chain. This goes item by item, with some items seeing no price changes, but prices of many other items are suddenly jumping 20% or 50% or more, and deliveries are falling short, and some specialty cuts might not get shipped at all, because there is enormous demand, and the meat packer is prioritizing other customers that pay more and are easier to handle.

This massive demand for meat and other food items comes from restaurants, and restaurants are paying whatever they need to in order to get the shipment so that they can serve their customers.

Restaurants are facing Americans who’re super-eager to dine out and splurge, spending their stimulus money and stock market gains, and restaurants are raising their prices and Americans don’t mind.

Chipotle and Taco Bell are just fast-food chains. But there are innumerable individually-owned and corporate-owned restaurants with much higher menu prices, and if steak is an important part of the menu, they must get the steaks, essentially no matter what the price, and they now know that they can pass on those higher costs to their customers and face no resistance.

Lots of restaurants are facing supply issues mostly related to transportation problems and labor shortages further up the supply chain – even Starbucks, which told customers on its app, according to Restaurant Business, that “due to supply shortages, some items are temporarily unavailable.”

These are all signs of red-hot demand by consumers in an economy that is afloat in enormous monetary stimulus by the Fed and fiscal stimulus by the government, where economic mechanisms that normally would resist price increases have evaporated.

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  304 comments for ““No Resistance” to Price Increases

  1. Duke says:

    I listened to an NPR article with a guy who used to love his shitty meat packing job. Then the company fired him, told him he had to go work for a sub contractor to do the same job for the same company. He lost benefits and got a wage cut. I don’t wonder why they can’t find workers.

    • Tom S. says:

      Well, if the companies can make record earnings with this level of unemployment, there’s really not a lot of incentive to change much of anything.

      • Joe Saba says:

        I believe many suppliers/companies have LOST customers for good
        or until prices reset

        many a builder is now DORMANT after few months of NOT BEING ABLE TO GET BID FROM THEM

        I got call out blue for job we put on HOLD with builder almost begging us to reconsider
        we gave it thought for at least 10 or 20 seconds before saying NO

        • kam says:

          Killing off customers with outrageous prices, has it’s consequences:

          “Today Canfor Corporation (TSX:CFP) is announcing the curtailment of approximately
          115 million board feet of production capacity at its Canadian sawmills during the third quarter of 2021
          due to the significant supply chain challenges and transportation backlog in Western Canada as a result
          of the extreme wildfire conditions.”

          No fires near any of Canfor’s mills and the railways are all operating.
          Headline should be: “After bankrupting the rest of the lumber supply chain and having no orders as cash prices have dropped 70%, Canfor and the rest of the lumber mills don’t have any solvent customers.”

      • jon says:

        Although the level of unemployment is high, but people are flushed with cash.
        Many of my friends in San Diego, on UE, are not paying rent/mortgage, getting good UE $$, food stamp/ EBT card, child care credit and on top of this Newson the Governor is throwing billions of dollars at these people to win the recall election.

        Unless govt stops giving free money, I see the level of consumption being high.

        • Erin says:

          I can’t decide if you’re trolling with anecdotal info you’ve blown out of proportion, or if you’re jealous of some random jerk you’ve heard about. If you really do have SO many lazy friends living the high life off the government, perhaps you might want to rethink your social circle?

          No one in my circle is doing what you’ve described and we’re all low-income, people who are used to working two jobs, some people three. We’ve worked when work has been available. Been frugal with our stimulus checks, stashing them away for the lean months, because really, what other choice is there when you don’t know what’s ahead? Trips to Aruba?

          I bet you think all poor folk on food stamps are out there exchanging them for lottery tickets and smokes, booze, drugs, or running packages of lobster over the scanner at Walmart. Get over yourself. The fellow Californians I know exist in reality, not MAGA land where every liberal is a “taker.”

          I’ve also paid my rent to my landlord of 14 years on time every month during the pandemic, though I was unemployed for 8 of them. Yes, I was grateful UE was higher than is normal, but it was hardly a bonanza.

    • Nacho Libre says:

      NPR uses anecdotal stories to drive home opinions. I take what I listen there with plenty of salt.

      Is there a survey they can point to instead? Is it the wages? retirements? reluctance to be in people facing jobs? moving out of cities? going back to college? undocumented temp work?

      • Nacho Libre says:

        NPR article does have a link to the survey “poll of about 13,000 job seekers (former hospitality workers) during the second quarter from Joblist, an employment-search engine”.
        Half of them seem to hate the work setting.

        • Joe Saba says:

          1/2 of them HATE TO WORK period
          no need to go any further
          of course GOVT will hand out whatever they can

        • Wisdom Seeker says:

          Online polls aren’t worth the paper they aren’t printed on.

          Heck, even government polls are suspect.

          People would rather toss around bull* numbers for propaganda points than actually study and solve policy problems cooperatively.

      • cas127 says:

        “no resistance by consumers to higher prices.”

        Nacho,

        I tend to agree with you. The above CEO quote could just be him “talking his book” (bullsh*ting for personal advantage).

        I find it a little hard to believe that,

        1) After decades of consumer price sensitivity,

        2) Pandemic job losses still exceeding 7 million, and

        3) Over 600,000 Covid dead,

        *now* is the time that US consumers have discovered a willingness to eagerly pay more.

        For me, it seems like it might have a lot more to do with dislocated supply chains restricting supply/producers trying to recoup lost 2020 sales/the shrinking financial goofball populace going on a subsidy fueled bender/etc rather than some sustainable, secular long term trend.

        Look at the plywood hyper-inflation now unwinding.

        Absurd overpricing tends to be self-correcting as enough buyers take a second thought, walk away, and wait (maybe for a *lonngg* time).

        • kam says:

          Railcar loads of lumber have been rolling for more than 2 weeks, and will continue to roll, with more than $100,000 losses PER CARLOAD.

          Thanks to the Fed, viable businesses are now going bankrupt because of too much money going into speculating in everything.

    • Winston says:

      “He lost benefits and got a wage cut.”

      No surprise. He’s competing with “self-imported” unskilled labor. Just a few headlines one can find using the right search terms:

      Meat processing across the Midwest largely done by immigrants
      May 15, 2013

      Ex-owner of meatpacking plant targeted in mass ICE raid sentenced to 18 months in prison
      Aug 1, 2019

      Mississippi Meat Packing Managers Indicted in Illegal Worker Case
      Aug 7, 2020

      • John says:

        “Peonage.”

        The peon in the southern Mexican states is the last remnant of Feudalism in the Western Hemisphere. By importing them here through non-enforcement of borders, the destruction of the uppity, arrogant, unionized working class American, earning a livable wage with benefits is assured.

        The elite can’t bear to pay for the labor they extract from humans. Until robots replace most workers, the “Bienvenido” will suffice.

    • gametv says:

      the bottom line is that with all the money being thrown around – stock market gains, real estate gains, free stimulus money – it turns out that Americans really DONT want to work for a living.

      this is the ultimate liberal fantasy – a free loader society, where people dont have to be responsible for laziness.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        gametv-might one ask what you work at for a living?

        may we all find a better day.

      • Trailer Trash says:

        “Americans really DONT want to work for a living”

        Yeah, and it turns out they don’t think they should have to get sick and die on the job just to feed their family. How unpatriotic.

        Lotsa meatpackers got sick, plenty died, and no one bothers to count the ones who got Long Covid and may never be able to work again.

        But let’s forget all that and just blame stupid lazy workers. That will definitely fix the problem.

    • Lisa says:

      I just went to a very nice take out restaurant with some picnic benches outside the restaurant. It was counter service with some salads and bakery items. The prices were already high and noticed at the credit card terminal it stated 15% gratuity added to all orders. After the credit card went through the guy behind the counter asked if I wanted to tip an additional amount and if so to press the button on the terminal. It was repulsive he even asked. The mandatory 15% “tip” would be automatic to anything you order. Asking if we wanted to tip on top of the 15% was insane. We took our food outside and on the picnic table it had a sign that we needed to clear the tables when done, basically bus them ourselves. Why are they calling it a “tip”? A tip is optional when services are working for tips. No one came to our table or bussed it. On the bottom of the receipt the tip is called “living wage tip”. I couldn’t believe it. Ill never go back. I also do not plan on going out to eat except out on vacation. Btw, we are 20% tippers when we know the people who are serving us are working for tips. I’m disgusted.

      • General Strike says:

        Contrary to your worldview, workers are not slaves. If they received a living wage, “ tips “ would not be necessary.

        • chillbro says:

          Why is her job to worry about compensation of the service worker? Who is running the business and who is obligated to provide the wages?

        • Lisa says:

          No I never said they were slaves. It’s not my responsibility to pay workers a living wage. The business shld call it something else. A tip is optional, always. Don’t assume my worldview. My point was that they shld be paid a living wage but it’s not my responsibility to tip to cover what the cheap owner won’t pay!

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Lisa-reinforcing another need to employ the old ‘American Value’ of ‘always reading the fine print’. I’ve seen this billing practice with more frequency in the few times i’ve gone out to dine over the last five years, and see it as a further ‘meaning’ of the streets of the country, i.e.: using a pre-existing, widespread-level of transactional trust (you have always been, i assume, a 20% tipper prior to ‘seeing the fine print’ on the invoice) to cravenly pop smoke to hide/offset what may be necessary supply/labor price increases. You, hopefully, told the management that they just lost a customer.

        may we all find a better day.

        • Lisa says:

          You bet! I was called cheap by the owner because I didn’t agree to adding more money to the compulsory tip after receiving no tipable service. And tipping before you receive service is insane. Unfortunately, the reality is we are being nickel and dimed or made to feel “tipping guilt” for not paying a company’s wages. T-Mobile charges consumers 30.00 for purchasing a phone in store or on the phone. They call it an “upgrade fee”. I want to vomit

    • General Strike says:

      My name says it all.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I’m not sure why anyone is still eating meat? Bad for our health, bad for the environment, horrific for (non-human ) animals. The information is everywhere and has been for a very long time. One example from 2008

    Seriously, how can we be so stupid?

    • Wolf Richter says:

      Elizabeth,

      Nah. Small amounts of meat are good for you, very nutritious. And meat is delicious if prepared properly. A pure joy. A pleasure in life. And no problem if consumed in small quantities. Sure, humans are “bad for the environment,” but hey, whether we eat meat or plastic, we’re still humans and bad for the environment.

      • Mira says:

        “bad for Environment”

        RUMINANTS are what is said to be bad for the environment .. because of how they digest their food.
        The roughly 200 species of ruminants including both wild & domestic species.
        Cattle
        Sheep
        Goats
        Domestic water buffalo
        Northern Giraffe
        Elk
        Moose
        Aurochs
        Red Deer
        White tailed deer
        American bison
        European fallow deer
        African buffalo
        Japanese serow
        Reindeer
        Roe deer
        Domestic yak
        Chamois
        Musk ox
        European bison
        Gaur
        Wild yak
        Saiga antelope
        Alpine ibex
        Springbok
        Water deer
        Mountain goat
        Common eland
        Addax
        Bighorn sheep
        Irish elk
        Mule deer
        Markhor
        Wild water buffalo
        Reeve’s muntjac
        Great kudu
        Takin
        Gemsbok
        Black buck
        Wild goat
        Samba deer
        Nyala
        Chital
        Pere David’s deer
        Water buck
        Gerenuk
        Bharal
        Goitered gazelle
        Argail
        Puku
        Camel
        Ruminants are hooved mammals that have a unique digestive system that allows them to better use energy from fibrous plant material.
        These animals have roamed the planes on earth is massive numbers & now .. today they pose a threat to the environment ??
        And before them there were dinosaurs.

        Mankind needs meat ..

        • Mira says:

          That we can farm animals in a better way goes without saying
          Where there is a will there is a way.

        • Mira says:

          We need to get rid of the old ways of farming .. with chemicals & go back to organic growing.
          Canola oil costs 10 times more to produce than olive oil .. so why do we grow canola ??
          For no good reason .. because .. just because & it is totally subsidised by the TAX PAYERS.
          First we should stop growing canola so as not to degrade the land & prevent salination.

        • Mira says:

          Before you go believe other peoples suppositions you really should research the facts yourself.

        • Mira says:

          I have asked ..
          Except for .. The One Percent ..
          If the world is no longer eating meat .. which also means no dairy & no wool .. what happens to the sheep & cattle .. do we just turn the loose ??
          They are now nuisance animals like the lions & tigers & elephants that are gradually vanishing.

          Question: What would the worlds economy look like if Just The One Percent ate meat ??

          Tent city’s in New Jersey ..
          What would I do with $100.000.000 .. I would buy land & invite the poor to come & build a slum city.
          Charles Dowding’s No – Dig Gardening – youtube
          Have a look at his amazing produce garden .. we would do this & have chickens .. subsistence living .
          NIMBIN, NSW Australia .. was built with recycled building materials .. I do not want a drug city .. but Nimbin show us that it can be done successfully & I would be the landlord.
          We would not need charity from The One Percent .. keep it u might need it one day mate.
          & 1 slum city would lead to 2 & more than 2.

        • Mira says:

          For Sale
          ORGANIC FOOD
          Home Grown

        • gametv says:

          the percentage of animals that are wild is tiny percentage, i think it is under 10%.

          nearly all of the animal life on this planet is domesticated and for the pleasure or food-chain of mankind.

          yes, we are the problem.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          gametv- insect, avian, marine and microcellular life will be interested to learn this…(…not disputing we are our own problem, and in so doing, have become theirs…).

          may we all find a better day.

      • Eating meat is a symbol of dominance over your environment. Swift said it all. A Modest Proposal…

        • Paul from NC says:

          I guess all the omnivores didn’t get Swift’s memo. Here I thought my chickens and pigs were just trying to survive, but no, they’re using feeding their own life-giving systems as a symbol of dominance!!! :-P

      • Brent says:

        High incidence of cancer among strictly vegan Brahmins (not all Brahmins-just one particular Brahmin sect) was noticed by the British administrators in India.This fact was mentioned in the book “Caste in India” published 150 years ago.

        Steve Jobs was strict vegan eating mainly apples & carrots.Everybody noticed his unhealthy skin glow and peculiar body odor (Steve showered once a week).How this ended is in the article “Strange Diet of Steve Jobs”

        Finishing blow to this BS vegan fad was administered in the recent book “Big Fat Surprise !”

        Writer relocated from LA to NYC and got a job reviewing the 5 star restaurants.Pay was bad but meals were free.And she lost 10 pounds in the first 3 months stuffing her mouth with foie gras and other such meaty fatty delicacies ?

        • Phil says:

          More likely she lost weight because she moved from a car-centric to a pedestrian-centric town. Not many fat people in NYC, but loads of nice glutes.

        • Brent says:

          @Phil

          She backs her conclusions with deep research which is rare in contemporary journalism.

          Like the case of one anthropologist who lived for one year with Inuit in Canada.Then proved his point about what constitutes healthy diet by spending 13 months at NYC Bellevue hospital eating ONLY fat meat.

          And this anthropologist lived long healthy life dying in his late 80’s

        • Marvin says:

          Steve Jobs also drank a six pack a day of Diet Coke. Aspartame sweetener breaks down into formaldehyde in the body.

          One thing’s for sure in the diet wars and conflicting advice; eating biocides or pesticide residues, is bad and causes disease. Organic food, when properly and honestly certified, i.e, CCOF, or Oregon Tilth, is a means of avoiding pesticides, GMOs, irradiated food and the problems they cause in the body.

      • Pavel says:

        My feelings exactly. Instead of eating a Macdonalds of dubious quality a few times a week just get a quality steak and cook at home 2 or 3 times a month. The Japanese way — small portions of very high quality. (^_^)

        I just sent a NY friend of mine this post — we have gone to one of NY’s best steakhouses for years on my occasional visits to the city. But after drinks, wine, tips and the meal itself it can be $150 per person. That was before the new price increases.

        I am at the stage now where I’d rather just dine at home with friends and my own music… I know the ingredients I use (organic) and no mask hysteria!

        • Brent says:

          I read “Big Fat Surprise” then listened to it on audio.My BS detector never flashed red ☺

      • Duke says:

        Elizabeth is right. There is plenty of studies showing every bite of meat above zero bites raises your risk of disease and early death. But it’s one of many factors. The right way to state your reply is, ‘One can be healthy eating small amounts of meat. Despite the meat. Not because of it..’

        Asian cultures had the portions right. Meat used to enhance flavor. Basically meat was a side to the vegetables and rice. America has gotten it backwards. And Brazil is cutting the rainforest to grow soy to feed cows. Only like 5% of the calories fed to the cow come back as meat calories. It’s an extremely inefficient way to feed humanity but a very effective way to destroy the planet.

        • kam says:

          News Flash:

          Living results in Death. Always. No exceptions.

        • Paul from NC says:

          Duke, you literally cannot get all of the amino acids your body, my body, other animals’ bodies *need* to synthesize certain proteins absolutely necessary to keep your organs functional (not just heart! you have many organs, and *all* equally important), without eating meat or dairy. This is why practicing Vegans *have to* supplement with lab-made vitamins (which by the way, the body certainly cannot metabolize as thoroughly or easily as it can with meat/dairy), leading to most of them ending up in our Oceans through our waste stream, and leading to furthering our clean water problems and climate change crisis. Life eats life. We are designed by many millions of years of evolution to eat everything around us.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          in a rather grisly addendum to Paul’s comment, it was found that lack of certain necessary for life trace elements in New Guinea’s biosphere led to the rise of a cannibal culture among its hominids-i.e.: the only way to obtain these trace elements was through occasional consumption of fellow who carried them in their body…

          (comparisons with human economic practices not encouraged…).

          may we all find a better day.

        • Duke says:

          91b20 – I could not verify your New Guinei trace mineral cannibalism story. What I did find is they ate their dead, brains and all, and it gave them kuru, a mad cow like prion disease.

          whatever Paul said about amino acids is verifiably false by any basic nutrition book. The largest mammals (gorilla, elephant, cows etc) can get all the amino acids required to build huge muscles from plants. You don’t even need to combine plant foods at meals. Your body stores a pool of amino acids for building hormones and muscles, as you wod expect evolutionary biology. Solutions evolve to make Vital needs easily met.

          many meat eaters are deficient in b12. Everyone should suplement it.

    • andy says:

      Elizabeth,

      You have to try these new lab-grown gluten-free fishsticks. They grow them out of compost and bugs. Healthy, unprocessed, environmentaly friendly, and delicious.

      • Stephen says:

        I think this is taking it a bit far. Humans are omnivores. Meat keeps us healthy, it is good and natural for humans to consume meat.

        The problem is the manner in which meat is produced and distributed in modern industrial systems.

        • andy says:

          Fishsticks is meat. Try it with I can’t Beleive It’s Not Butter. Crunchy but chewy.

        • Duke says:

          Stephen. No evidence that wild meat doesn’t also cause heart disease. Lookup Otzi

          RE your idea about ‘clean’ meat…
          Otzi the iceman, at age 46, preserved 5000 years, ate lots of wild game meat and was ravaged with heart disease. There were no refined sugars, factory farming, refined carbs and processed foods back then as far as I know.

          Eat meat because you like it. But don’t fool yourself that it is a health food.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Duke,

          Otzi didn’t die from heart disease. He died from an arrow. He was murdered — shot in the back. Let’s keep some things straight.

        • Duke says:

          Wolf – yes i never said he died of heart disease.. but the point is he HAD heart disease.. back when there was no processed food. Just evidence that wild organic meat can likely cause heart disease.

      • RepubAnon says:

        Lab grown meats would likely have an energy cost. Grass requires sunshine, soil, and water. Cows process the grass into edible protein without the need for electricity.

        Of course, so do insects.

        The real problem is the laws of thermodynamics. On Earth, there’s only so much carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, calcium, iron, etc. This forces limits to growth. If the population keeps expanding, we’re going to run out of food and water even without climate change.

        It’s starting to happen now. It’s going to get worse. Unless someone finds a way around the law of conservation of mass /energy, there’s no “one weird trick” to solve this.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Repub-careful, a lot of folks don’t care much for eye-scales lifting…

          may we all find a better day.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          Occasional-Cortex will reverse entropy with positive thinking and “feelings.”

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          LH-…but it never lasts…(sorry, just couldn’t resist).

          may we all find a better day.

        • Paul from NC says:

          I mean, there is one very normal trick to solve this. Humans have done it since the dawn of humans – death, often caused by war over scarce resources. We need about 6.5+ billion people to die and soon. I think nature’s working on it.

    • Jos Oskam says:

      @Elizabeth

      “If God did not intend for us to eat animals, then why did he make them out of meat?”

      — John Cleese

      • MiTurn says:

        Or so tasty, e.g. barbeques! Mmmm…

      • Anthony A. says:

        Real Men eat meat!

      • Turtle says:

        People were created vegetarian. Later our Maker said we could eat meat. It will be back to a vegetarian diet for everyone in the future.

        There, I added religion to an already sensitive topic. Let’s see what happens.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          I do understand the vegetarians viewpoint.

          I mean, I have trouble digesting meat.

          BUT……As the premier superior lifeform on the planet, I have a DUTY to subjugate all the lower life forms.

          And what better way to do that than by consuming them.

      • Pete in Toronto says:

        As the t-shirt says:

        “MEAT IS MURDER!

        “…tasty, tasty murder. Mmm.”

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Pete in Toronto,

          Lots of “murdering” going on over the past billion or so years in the food chain of nature. We’re just sort of a recent addition.

    • Frederick says:

      Because we enjoy how it tastes Liz I don’t see where intelligence plays into it And no good quality protein is certainly not bad for our health That’s nonsense How bad it is for the environment is questionable as well Could you pass the steak sauce?

      • Duke says:

        Frederick – look up the China Study book by Campbell.

        Kaiser Permanente recommends a plant based diet. Many doctors do to. If insurance companies have run the numbers and decided its healthier, maybe you guys should take a hint. Nutrition science has come a long way in the last 30 years.

    • Miatadon says:

      I pretty much agree. But maybe eating meat in small amounts is the best way to go. I eat mainly a vegetarian diet, but do eat a bit of meat now and then. Perhaps black-and-white thinking blinds us to ways that are middle-ground, and not so absolute.

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Miat-and that, my friend, is the longterm conundrum of what might be called ‘the American Way’: “…if we find a little is good, then a whole lot more must be better…”.

        may we all find a better day.

    • VintageVNvet says:

      Probably ”Bad to the Bone” to eat meat from mammals that are more or less fed and/or ”finished” on grain in filthy feedlots, etc., instead of on the natural products of the forests and fields, eh? Maybe so, Maybe NOT so bad for grass fed or others of that kind…
      On the other hand, news this morning that millions of ”feral pigs” are making more CO2 than a million cars,,, so that is another side of the problems of the global environment, far shore.
      Feral pigs are certainly a big problem for many farmers, including those trying their best to farm ”organically” humanely, etc., etc.
      As to the ”spiritual” aspect of eating other species, seems as though all atoms have been in existence since for eva, so, each time you eat such, you may be eating your mother, etc., etc…. so just enjoy already, IF you choose, and let everyone choose for themselves.

      • Auldyin says:

        V V
        “all atoms have been in existence since for eva,”
        Profound as always.
        To nit pick a little,—apart from those split in reactors, etc, not a lot in the way of things.
        What’s on Earth has always been on Earth, apart from asteroids and space dust to nit pick again. Stuff is only ever transformed from one thing to another eg from ‘good’ trees to ‘bad’ waste paper, etc, by use of the carzillions of watts of energy delivered to the Earth each day by the Sun. Carbon is the oldest solar battery there is. If the watts aren’t radiated off each night on the dark side, the Earth gets warmer. It’s that calculation (by a model) we are all betting our future on.
        When Charles Darwin undermined the basis of Western religion, the religiously minded science fraternity moved their focus towards trying to construct a theory of the weather believing it was a Godlier pursuit. Vicars always had weather stations in their Manse gardens. They were frustrated for years by their inability to mathematically calculate the complexity of climate forecasting until powerful computers came along and ‘Shazzam’ they’ve now got their day at last.

    • Dan says:

      Got any of that science based research , not financed by big food that proves normal grass grown meat eggs etc. is a unhealthy way to eat. I started showing signs of insulin resistance . Started low carb more meat 5 years ago. Best thing I ever did for my health.

      • Paul from NC says:

        Shhhh, don’t tell the vegans the processed, high-in-simple-sugars, factory-food is killing them. In seriousness, I have a good friend who’s family has been vegan before the word was popularized. He was 6’6″ and 340lbs when we were teens. As soon as he stopped with the processed vegan-food-you-find-in-stores and introduced meat into his diet, he lost about 80 lbs. and started feeling *great* (and his sinus infections he’s had since a baby magically went away). Obviously, just one anecdote. We’re all a bit different with how we process different foods. Most of my friends are vegans, and most are unfortunately either overweight, underweight, and suffer from various mental problems. :-( Thankfully, after seeing how I let my chickens roam wherever the hell they feel like (for better or worse), some have started eating my eggs, and have reportedly cut some of their vitamin supplementation.

        • Duke says:

          Paul, the fact that you equal not eating meat with Vegan shows your ignorance. Vegans can eat junk food and be unhealthy. Plant Based diets are based on optimal nutrition for health and longevity. See the Blue Zones book. Longest lived people all over the globe eat the least amount of meat ..approaching zero.

    • Cobalt Programmer says:

      The main advantage of tacobell is their $1 options. Tacos wrapped in different fillings. For a $5+ tax, we can eat 1000+ calories of food with meat, potatoes, rice, beans and cheese. Fine dining on a budget when self cooking is not an option.

      Humans are indeed omnivores. Lot of us need protein in food to be healthy. Meats are very essential source of protein+fat+vitamins+minerals.

      All the noise about workers and raw materials in food are going to bite the customers. So, there is need of more money. Time to print.

      • Turtle says:

        Whatever the problem, print more money. That’s how we do.

        BTW, where did the cattle get that protein from? Indeed, plants.

        • Wild Bill says:

          Sunlight actually….meat is just concentrated sunlight via plant life doing the heavy lifting.

    • Vincent Lee says:

      I’m going hunting hogs this weekend in FLA. Want some? Best BBQ in the union.

      • Harrold says:

        Feral hogs taste horrible.

        • KGC says:

          You’re not doing it right.

        • NBay says:

          You have to smoke the shit out of them and go heavy on spices. Then you can enjoy even cold cubes with toothpicks in them. Use only the lean meat. And since they eat ANYTHING, you have to be kinda lucky there, too.

          That said, I have NEVER read such a thread of “popular science” collected misinformation here. I don’t know where to start debunking….SO…..

          Let me, as best I can, simplify; NONE of you understand EPIGENETICS (and pretty damned thoroughly), so you are ALL FULL OF SHIT. (plus a few non-biological pieces of flailing horseshit here which is more in the Physics realm.

          Elizabeth is very close to right. Most here should copy a European Peasant diet from, say, 500 to 1600 AD. Your digestive enzymes are PERFECTLY tuned to it….and of course with exercise and staying in the good “BMI” area (not exactly true in all cases, but close enough)

          I can hardly wait to see what else shows up on this thread!!!!!!!!

        • Wolf Richter says:

          NBay,

          I love you, but that — “Most here should copy a European Peasant diet from, say, 500 to 1600 AD” — is an amazingly goofy thing to say for a wise old man.

          Depending on how poor these “European Peasants” were, life expectancy ranged from as low as 30 years for the poorest to maybe 50 years for well-to-do-peasants.

          Their diet was shitty, and dairy and grain based, and it was particularly shitty in the long winters. They didn’t even have potatoes then. Malnutrition was standard.

          But if they were well-to-do peasants, they did have lousy meat (for example from milk cows that were too old to produce milk and from chickens that were too old to lay eggs), and they could smoke their own sausages and hams, etc., and so they lived longer and a few might get to be 50.

        • NBay says:

          Amylose and Lactose and Whole Grain Fiber…..finer ground flour was for aristocrats……you know, “Let them eat cake” and all that……btw, there is a difference between “whole grain” and “100% Whole Grain”, and between “Peanut Butter” and “Peanut Spread”…..good luck.

        • NBay says:

          Whey protein should have been added…I originally wrote Amylase and Lactase and then added fiber, which is mixing IMPORTANT enzymes with IMPORTANT food. Cells in your lower colon can (and should) actually be FED by bacteria that digest fiber.
          And take a good big solid crapp every morning like I do.

          Only slightly sorry for rant, but you stumbled into MY wheelhouse, whereas I’m usually stumbling in ya’lls.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          In our area, sows are always preferred over boars (and, as NB sez, check the carcass’ interior carefully for any potential medical mischief…). In any event, our North Coastal bunch have developed a preternatural sense for hunters and move away, up or down the range quickly in the event (the drought also likely to be limiting numbers). They’re ‘what’s for dinner’ much less often now than even five years ago…

          may we all find a better day.

        • Duke says:

          WR..

          Up until Agricultural Revolution humans were stronger and healthier , IF they survived child birthing and lived to be 5yo or more.

          Clayton & Rowbotham, 2009. How the mid-Victorians worked, ate and died. International journal of environmental research and public health, 6(3): 1235-1253.

        • Wolf Richter says:

          Duke,

          Whatever you’re trying to say, the Victorian era was during the reign of Queen Victoria, Jun 20, 1837 – Jan 22, 1901, and “mid-Victorians” lived at a time when railroads already existed as did steam ships. You just changed the subject. Totally different era.

          NBay was talking about the Dark Ages in Europe from 500 AD to 1,000 AD, and then on up to 1600 AD.

        • NBay says:

          Wolf, their life span has NOTHING to do with it…doesn’t matter if they ALL only lived to 30.
          The point is simply WHAT they mostly ate and if their offspring survived and had offspring and so on up to you and me and others of European descent.

          Most people alive today are WELL past their evolutionarily required “expiration date” simply because we came up with clever ways to produce more foodstuffs. BTW I have been eating the exact same things once a day for over 5 years now. Since my back went out I can’t do what I’d really like to do, so why not enjoy a “library” Carnegie would envy? And throw in a little bio-experiment that also greatly simplifies my life?

          I read a cool paper a while back that proved people were baking flatbread from ground up tubers from the base of a kind of cat tail 40,000 years ago in a popular study site around the Spain-France border. DNA amplification techniques enabled the discovery. I wish more money was spent on Anthro and Paleontology sites and finding more, rather than sending rich jerks to space, etc,etc. I’m not wise (but thanks, anyway) just very curious and totally luckily have been able to see, learn and do a lot of different things. So, whether it’s right or wrong I have a fairly large general knowledge base.

          Making diet/drink an art-form is obviously expensive, but hey, it’s a free country (for fewer all the time, sadly) so I’m not trying to be a “sage”. Like I’ve said before, good friends have called me “disgustingly practical”.

          Thanks for letting me learn Econ stuff and dump my 2 cents here and I hope some people go look up epigenetics and see things get more complicated the more we try to learn concerning the very tiny and the very large, and especially the massive amounts of TIME that has passed on this ball in space. All the stuff that’s not obvious to our natural senses.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          @NBay – As we all transition from serfdom to villeinage a feudal diet might appear appropriate. For the few the King’s venison is tasty.

    • Misc.etc says:

      @Elizabeth
      Did you just say that eating meat is bad for animals? As in all of them? As in cats (of all sizes), bears, wolves, etc. that are CARNIVORES?
      Not to mention, it was eating meat (and cooking it, i.e., fire) that allowed us to evolve into creatures with large enough brains to create everything that we have today. Including people who can now criticize the fact the meat is eaten at all.

      • Josie says:

        Brain research reported on NPR showed people who are vegan/vegetarian have more brain disorders. Not sure how Beth missed that. Significant enough that the researchers switched to eating a little meat after.

        Of course anyone who has spent time around the tofu crowd already knew this to be true.

      • NBay says:

        Sialic acid.

    • NoPrep says:

      Never thought the longstanding interweb verbal diet wars would reach Wolfstreet! But here we are..for a passing moment anyway. I do believe in conscious food choices and in not being a heavy carnivore. But some Keto folks who feel better on that odd but strangely effective (for some) diet would argue against me!

    • Swamp Creature says:

      Elizabeth

      Agreed, I’m on the Mediteranian diet. Much better for you health and your wallet. Lots of fish fruits and vegetables, low on Carbs. Saving a lot of Cows. Haven’t noticed much price increase in these items over the past year.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        By the way I heard the average American put on 29 Ibs because of the stay at home mandates dictated by our fascist local government. Drug overdoses are spiking out of control, and mental health facilities are overflowing. So they have destroyed the health of people in this county and elsewhere in order to save them.

        They remind me of the Colonel in Nam who once said:

        “We destroyed the village in order to save it”

    • Petunia says:

      I’ve never seen a vegetarian that looks healthy.

      • QuadQ says:

        I only eat vegetarian cows

      • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

        Pet-but, but the bumpersticker says they taste GREAT…

        may we all find a better day.

      • Turtle says:

        You should see a raw vegan. They glow.

        I tried a raw vegan diet for a while. I could get by with less sleep, which was surprising. But all the nuts and avocado were going to make me fat. There wasn’t much else to eat! And I’d have to construct a solar oven to bake pizza at 114 degrees for like 9 hours.

      • helmick says:

        they get their fiber from all the anti-depressants they munch on

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        I figure foie gras is vegetarian as it is simply grain that has been processed through a goose. My favorite vegetables are truffles and saffron, although cabbage and potatoes are more affordable.

    • Andre says:

      Meat and dairy are subsidized in multiple ways and the animal industry is concentrated in just a few hands. For some reason people who are opposed to these practices don’t care about all that when it comes to eating animals and the products made out of them.

    • Depth Charge says:

      I have not eaten any meat or fish for 6 years, Elizabeth, and I am quite healthy and strong. I agree, we do not need meat in this day and age, and the way animals are raised and treated are horrific. We’ve also been overfishing the oceans for almost 30 years.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        Frontline had a special on the treatment of animals that are sent to the slaughterhouses. Didn;t see it but was told that if you did see it you would turn into a vegetarian overnight. I’m glad I didn’t see it. I’m not a vegetarian but have limited my red meat consumption to a few lamb chops once an a while.

        • Depth Charge says:

          I am not a holier than thou type and don’t encourage anybody to live the lifestyle I choose. But people like Petunia are absolutely clueless when it comes to diet. There are innumerable ways to get all the protein you need, and she would never guess I was a vegetarian if she saw me in public.

          I have zero issues maintaining weight and muscle. I am middle-aged and am 6’1″ 190, and I can bench press 250. I’m not The Rock, but hardly weak or malnourished. Lots of BS opinions from people who have no idea how to manage a diet. They’re probably loaded with high fructose corn syrup and sitting on the couch every day as they cast aspersions.

      • Paul from NC says:

        Depth, 6 years is nothing. Show me the kids that grew up on vegan/veg only and how their overall health and mortality outcomes look at the end of the line. I have quite a few of such friends. Most with various health problems (more are overweight vs underweight). Give it another 25 years and report back!!! :-D
        You have to murder so many thousands of different species of plants just to get the same nutritional profile of a single animal, it’s a bizarrely inefficient way to stay alive.

        • Depth Charge says:

          6 years is not “nothing.” Furthermore, if everybody on this planet did what I have done for the past 6 years, the animals would be better for it. And “murdering” vegetables? C’mon, man, don’t be stupid.

        • Duke says:

          Paul – there may not yet be plant based athletes raised from birth. The nutrition science has o ly caught on recently. But many athletes who switch to plants and regain health and improve performance. Listen to David Carter’s NFL story first hand.

  3. MCH says:

    This is just so hilarious. I wonder if the people who refuses to work due to “low wages” are the same people who eats out and are willing to pay higher prices.

    Inevitably, when their money runs out, the restaurants (the ones that are sufficiently forward thinking) will have adapted to automation and be able to support price drops. At which point, a McDonalds will be run by a couple of technicians and security guards whose job is to safe guard the robots.

    There will be all sorts of funny drivers that will change things due to the artificial inflation. And soon, it won’t be just Bezos thanking his workers for putting him into space.

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      Computer chip shortage lasting years into the future.

      Thus no automation.

      • MCH says:

        You know, all of these weird distortions are going to work itself out of the system. And chips, like any commodities are going to be dependent solely on the price that one is willing to pay and the volumes.

        If you break it all down, it eventually gets to the consumer vs the corporations demand for chips. There is a limit to how much a consumer will pay for consumer electronics or cars, eventually, they reach a breaking point. That will happen long before a corporation reaches its breaking point.

        If this is a corporation, there is much more leverage over the long run, and let’s face it, the ones that pay now to automate will have an significant long term advantage over it’s rivals. Amazon showed this over a decade ago. Imagine how many more people they would be forced to hire for warehouses today if it wasn’t for their robotics.

        Forward thinking companies are going to push this. I imagine McDonalds, Starbucks, Chipotle are in the lead for this. The long run cost reductions can be significant. At the end all of this stuff is just repetitive motions.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          MCH

          Old old story….

          Walter Reuther & Henry Ford ll touring auto assembly plant.

          Now looking at robots painting cars…..

          Ford says to Reuther….How many UAW workers do you think these robots will replace ?

          Reuther to Ford…. So Henry, how many cars you think those robots will buy ?

          So yeah, like the snake swallowing its own tail and disappearing down it own throat….well, looks like automation has lots of drawbacks. You know, like reduced sales and revenues.

          The technology fan boys think that they came up with the idea of automation smashing labor.

          Nope.

          The above conversation took place close to sixty years ago.

        • Seneca’s Cliff says:

          I wouldn’t be so sure about food service being automated beyond ordering and drink dispensing. Ever since the middle 90’s I have seen entrepreneurs come along ( in my role as a contract manufacturer) with dreams of making a pizza vending machine. Each one thought they solved the spoilage, cleaning, downtime issues of making a pizza in a robotic machine. Yes I see you tube videos, but here we are 25 years later and I have never come across a pizza vending machine in real life.

        • Duke says:

          If you just put a cook in the vending machine … problem solved.

      • Auldyin says:

        OtB
        Unless you’re a friend of China???

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          A

          What in the world are you talking about ?

        • Auldyin says:

          OtB
          Do you really think China is going to have a chip shortage lasting for years?
          All China’s trade partners will have all the chips they could ever want or need at reducing prices and increasing quality.
          Would you help somebody who slagged you off at every opportunity? What’s really crazy is that UK, Japan, Australia and even the EU are joining in this BS. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot.

    • 3D Modeler says:

      Well said, MCH. Classic case of careful what you wish for…especially on the part of the Fed. Together with the federal government, they’re instigating a toxic psychology in the minds of the American worker/consumer…work less, pay more.

      • OutsideTheBox says:

        Oh you mean workers are finally wising up ?

        Their “psychology” is only toxic for the overpaid owner.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          The overpaid owners will love the “pay more” part. As far as “work less” goes, many owners will eventually leverage automation to circumvent that problem…notwithstanding any Luddite attitudes to the contrary.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          I was referring to worker pay/working conditions.

          Automation has always been oversold by technology fan boys.

          Its not Luddite to recognize that the technology fan boys seldom deliver on what they propose.

          No chips – No robots.

        • MCH says:

          @OTB

          seriously, have you ever seen the inside of an Amazon warehouse? Their automation is refined over decade or more. Do you have any idea how much money they are saving with those robotics.

          Check out how many logistic robotics companies there are today vs a decade ago. It’s crazy. Then check out how many robotics companies are pushing into other areas. Yes, a whole bunch are going to fail, but it’s a long term trend here. The chip shortage is a transient issue at this point. (transient could be as long as five years, but I go back to my original point about who has more monetary firepower, consumers or coporations)

          Yes, it could be more permanent if the geopolitical situation gets out of hand tomorrow. But if that’s the case, everyone is f***ed.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          MCH

          Yeah…I’ve seen a few videos of what the Amazon automation is like. On the surface very impressive.

          But automation is just machinery. All that stuff in the warehouses is brand spanking new.

          After a few years maintenance will skyrocket. All that automation is very very complex. Complex industrial machinery is very very expensive to maintain. See, future cost are not yet factored in. NEW robots may be be very cost effective. Five or ten year old robots…..not so much.

          And just replace the robots every five years….Wowza, that won’t be profitable either.

          If you don’t believe that, just check out how trucking companies deal with such things.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          All you have to do is type “factory automation” in the search bar of YouTube.

        • MCH says:

          So, let’s extrapolate this out a bit. Kiva was acquired I believe in 2011 or 2012 by Amazon for not an inconsiderable sum of money. They then removed their wares from the market and dedicated themselves to Amazon. Their work has been accelerating, not the other way around.

          So, do you think that the bean counters in Amazon hasn’t gone through the costs and details with a fine tooth comb? There will be finance guys sitting there modeling out the cost of the robot over its life time vs the cost of human labor to accomplish the same work. I mean they would’ve been insane not to do that when they bought Kiva.

          Will every company succeed here? Doubt it, lots will fail to implement, but they will keep trying until they get it right, because everyone sees that there is a sustainable advantage. Just look at what Walmart has been doing in that field.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          MCH

          Here’s what I know….

          UBER ( a technology fan boy company if there ever was one ) once owned a truck and car companies devoted to self driving vehicles.

          UBER no longer owns either company.

          As far as the bean counters….

          They make ESTIMATES of future maintenance. Those estimates are often wildly off the mark.

          No one knows the actual cost of maintaining a fully automated Amazon warehouse until a number are older and the data comes in.

          Corporations miscalculate ALL the time.

        • MCH says:

          Yep, Uber failed in their autonomous segment. What’s the point, I said there will undoubtedly be failures along the way. Probably far more than successes. But it takes just a few successes to change things around.

          Amazon is just one example, do you see them backing off from their warehouse robotics effort? If anything they are accelerating it. They will no doubt have failures internally, remember the Fire phone? What difference does it make, they have succeeded enough to force an ongoing push for automation across the warehouse logistics industry.

          Technology will come and go all the time, messy expensive failures are to be expected, look at GM’s EV-1, ahead of it’s time, the same naysayers laughed at Tesla in the late 2000s, look at where the EV industry is today.

          Now will the automation hit the service industry, of course, can anyone predict timing? Of course not. But the more impetus there is, the more people will look for such solutions. Don’t believe it? Just ask all the auto industry guys that has had their jobs replaced by automation.

          Why do you think Foxconn spent billions on robots in China to replace line workers on consumer electronics manufacturing. It’s not because they want to waste money I can assure you of that. Yep, they will probably fail, but I bet there is enough success to keep them going. If nothing else, labor expense is potentially one of the highest and least reliable line item in the expenses.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          OTB, you should book a trip to space with Jeff Bezos or one of the other billionaire thrill-seekers. Perhaps they could drop you off on a planet were your vision of technology will be a reality for the next few hundred years.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          3D

          With your technology fan boy approach, I reckon you are some sort of coder/developer/software engineer.

          I DO have a technology dream believe it or not. I wish for a software/AI that does all the work formerly done by coder/developer/software engineer.

          You know…..sauce for the goose….

          Wecome to the glorious future !!!

        • 3D Modeler says:

          OTB, you’re funny. The thing about conversation sites like this is you often have no idea what a person behind a screen name is all about. No, I’m not a software coder. I’m actually fully retired. I do enjoy 3D CAD modeling and printing as a hobby, but that’s neither here nor there. Fact is, technology advancements have been impacting what generations of people choose to do for a living for centuries. I have no reason to believe that’s going to change anytime soon.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          3D

          Yes….my friends and coworkers find me very amusing.

          Like you, I’m a geezer, still working.

          And I do basically agree with your premise that progress and technology move along whether we like it or not.

          My grievance comes from the lies and misrepresentations of what a given technology can actually do.

          Point in case….Over twenty five years ago Syeve Jobs declared that ALL movies EVER produced would be available online at the click of a mouse. We still can’t do that.

          Amazon’s Jeff Bezos said over 15 years ago that EVERY book ever printed would be available as an ebook for Kindle. When we look at what is actually available on Kindle….well, they missed that stated goal about nine hundred million times over.

          And anyone who has ever worked is corporate America knows about IT proclamations/projects that actually take the company backwards.

          So I take tech technology sales BS with a ton of salt and a jaundiced eye.

          Still waiting for my jetpack and flying car.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          I hear what you’re saying OTB, and to some extent I agree. But I’m more intrigued by the real-time incremental changes taking place than I am by the prospect of jetpacks and flying cars. For example, back in March the local Walmart did a remodel that included ripping out a half dozen conventional checkout counters and replacing them with ten self-checkouts. So now at least five of those six displaced cashiers will either be re-assigned to other Walmart job functions or be let go. It’s a slow but steady trend towards increased levels of automation that shows no signs of letting up.

        • 3D Modeler says:

          I should note that those new self-checkouts are in addition to the existing lots of self-checkouts on both sides of the store.

        • MCH says:

          Well, if you listen to just the pitch by the guys on stage, then you’re usually missing the point. Jobs, Bezos, etc, they are all sales guys at their core, they do other stuff too, but their focus is selling their vision. Getting enough people to buy in and making it a reality.

          But technology has advanced, and far faster than you can imagine. There will always be hiccups. Have you gone to an Amazon Go store lately? Eventually, that’ll be supermarket shopping as a whole. It may take another few decades to get there. But you can see it happening in places like Safeway, or Costco. It’ll eventually get there.

          Some of these changes will happen faster than you think, other will take longer. But it doesn’t make sense to rule it out.

  4. Apple says:

    “from hot sauce to allegedly chicken and beef.”

    Hahahaha…made me laugh so loud I woke up my dogo.

  5. GotCollateral says:

    Fed gov should have stayed out of markets…

    This is just the start of what “piper being paid” looks like…

    Mal incentives and moral hazards of bailoutistan come home to roost

    All for a little bit of “safety”… hope you all stateside are enjoying your “safety”… :P

  6. CG says:

    Ya know, if Taco Bell needs meat, they could always get it from Costco (ha!). There is going to be a surplus somewhere if everyone is going back to Taco Bell. Still the same number of humans consuming the same calories.

    Sort of like if all the industrial/office toilet paper stored in businesses and warehouses was redirected to panicking consumers during the “Great TP Scare of 2020″….

    • rich says:

      Buying food at Costco used to be a deal, but now Costco is as expensive, or more so, than the average supermarket, and, at Costco, because of the way food is packaged, you have to buy more of everything. Other than for the discount on gasoline, Costco’s $120 membership fee is just not worth paying.

      • historicus says:

        Same old game played out…
        Now they just have certain items as a deal….in quantities too large for most….to get you in the store…
        then the remainder is normal pricing…
        competition is wonderful

      • Sams says:

        Well, the supply chains have been shaken. One problem is that the goods are not where they should. Next, there have been a lot of shifting around on where and what is consumed. Shortages somewhere, but little surplus as manufacturers are quick to cut back as they don’t produce to stock a wharehouse. Just in time, have conspired to somethime later:)

      • RightNYer says:

        Nonsense. First, the membership fee is $60, not $120. The $120 is for the executive membership that gives you 2% back, so the breakeven point is $3,000 of annual spending.

        Second, while there are some things that you can get cheaper at a supermarket on sale, that isn’t true of most or even many items. For example, where can you get a half gallon of real maple syrup for $10 except at Costco?

        Where can you get a 10 pound bag of flour (I bake a lot) for $4 or $5?

        Where else can you get 3 pounds of broccoli florets for $5 or $6?

        • rich says:

          Our local Walmart and Aldi are far less expensive. Eggs, cheese, salmon, frozen chicken breasts, ice cream and bananas, for instance, are no longer bargains at Costco, and less expensive at both Aldi and Walmart. All we get at Costco now are nuts, Kirkland coffee and gasoline.

        • Brant Lee says:

          Yes, Aldi prices have actually gone down this year except for meat. By far the best value store in my area. They run a good ship with good employees, they all seem to be motivated.

      • Paulo says:

        I have never thought buying at Costco was a deal for isle items because we comparison shop sales. It is expensive and always has been. But many many things are very good buys and the quality is always good. You have to know your prices, though. Their meat is very expensive, but of good quality. Their cheeses are really good for the price. Dairy is cheap. There are often big big discounts on coffee beans. Not always, but often. Their hardware stuff is often 1/2 price; lighting, batteries, oil, shop supplies, are about 2/3 of normal prices. Propane is just over 1/2 price.

        We buy just enough with an Exec membership that the rebate return pays for the membership fee after one year. Plus, they ship to rural areas for free. This year I bought a fire table for a new deck. I saved $300 and they delivered it for free. With fuel and shopping time, it probably saved me $450 by doing it online thrrough the Costco portal direct to the manufacturer.

        We don’t go often, but build up a specific list and do a Costco run about once per month.

        Hate those GD food carts and get frustrated with people who seem to shop there to socialise in the aisles.

        And last, the staff are union, paid well, and not exploited. I have never seen a cranky employee at Costco.

      • Wolfbay says:

        No Costco near us now. I miss the hotdog and drink for $1.50.

      • Duke says:

        Costco produce and paper products are a great deal. As well as furniture and large items.. if you buy cereal and junk food pricing isn’t great.. Almost every month I find a new organic plant based product. The are helping to lead that shift.
        The packaging does suck.

  7. Bobber says:

    Darn, I noticed yesterday that the Tillamook ice cream pales seem to have shrunk again. I swear the average ice cream container has reduced by darn near 40% over the past year, but the price is the same.

    • MCH says:

      You know, I saw this umpqua brand ice cream that seem to come out of Oregon area, I think that’s where it comes from at least. It was kinda good.

      I haven’t seen them shrinkflat yet. Although all things considered it’s the fill factor on the ice cream that matters. So, you could get the same container, and be stuck with more air. heh heh.

    • NoPrep says:

      Ben & Jerry’s US ice cream supply may start to increase, since they are now planning to exit the Israel market in protest (support for the Palestinian cause).

      • Depth Charge says:

        I haven’t eaten their woke ice cream for over a year now. Never again. After eating other ice creams I realized Ben and Jerry’s is so sweet it’s cloying anyhow.

    • El Katz says:

      Tillamook shrank the container several months ago. I wrote them a nastygram because they had ,initially, cut down on the “good stuff” in the ice cream (cherries, caramel, etc.,) and then shrank the container not long after. The response I got from the company was that they put the “good stuff” back in, but had to reduce the container size because the ice cream line had become unprofitable. They conducted a poll of customers and that’s the direction that the customers asked them to take – if they *had* to do something.

      I still buy it. Remains one of the better ice creams. Bought two today for $4 each (with a coupon).

      Ben and Jerry’s is a sellout…. now owned by Unilever. I’d rather do business with a farmer’s cooperative (Tillamook).

      • Bobber says:

        The problem for sellers of ice cream and other food luxuries is that consumers might refuse to buy them at higher prices. Consumers already have one reason for not buying them (i.e. health), but now they have a second reason (i.e., price). When the food budget reaches its limit, the junk food could be the first to go.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          There are many luxurious foods. Ice cream is not one of them. Ice cream is an antidepressant.

        • Duke says:

          So many people are switching off dairy that even the farm subsidies can’t make dairy economical. Dairy farmer journals have anti suicide hotlines because suicide when losing farm is common. Some have success switching to plant milks which are booming despite anti-subsidies (lawsuits against plant milks using the word milk).

  8. kalsprite says:

    i don’t know if, or when it will show in the data, but i have halted all restaurant outings, as has my sister’s family. the food quality has had a drastic decline in the past year, and prices seem to be akin to Atlas V.

    The final straw for me was one of the restaurants we enjoyed many a time added an unannounced, but mandatory 20% fee to ‘tip’ the cooks. They also expected another 20% tip for the wait staff. On a bill of $50 for lunch for two adults, no alcohol (Last year same bill was $30).

    no thanks, we’re done.

    • Paulo says:

      Wow, I guess.

      You can eat better at home, anyway.

      We’re down to one restaurant that has remained fair and of good quality. We tip well because of it. The owner is a good guy, local, and they have no turnover. None that I remember in over 30 years. Probably a reason for that. They shut down for 2-3 weeks after Christmas so everyone can have an escape vacation and notify their regular customers ahead of time.

      • Swamp Creature says:

        Paulo

        Had to start eating at home because nearly every restaurant we went to went out of business. Cooking healthy food exclusively. Lost weight during the pandemic instead of packing it on like most people. Back to my normal weight.

        We only go to one place now that treated us very well. They set up outside dining. Kept all their staff and kept the quality up, with only small price increases. It is packed most of the time. Its an Irish and English pub. The only problem is they ran out of Bud light last week because of supply chain problems.

    • Robert Hughes says:

      Could not agree more. The dining out experience has declined to the point, with exceptions, that not worth it. Portion size, quality down, price somewhat up, but the worst is service which to a very high degree has declined to inexperienced servers who don’t really care or understand what service is all about.

      We travel alot and when we are serviced by an old hand that makes the meal pleasant and really tries we make sure they know they are appreciated with a large gratuity.

      Recently ate at Zorts in N Sioux City, SD, family type place of the past, best prime rib we have had in decades, waitresses all been there forever and knew customers. What fun, as strangers treated like family. So places like this exist, but have to search or have them recommened.

  9. OutWest says:

    It all makes sense when you stop for a moment and think about it.

    The average American parent reports that they struggle to teach their kids age appropriate math.

  10. MCH says:

    Wolf, one thought, steak is rather subjective, cause not everyone will want to eat it. Perhaps a better question is what would one be willing to pay for something common, like a gallon of milk, or a 16 oz of Coke.

    I saw somewhere there is such a thing as a Campbell’s tomato soup index, because the can has stayed consistently the same size for a long time, and you could track inflation pretty well that way.

    Or may be some other commodity, like a banana. I know your favorite, and mine is still the TJ banana for $0.19. How long do you think it’ll be before that goes up? In that case, at least shrinkflation is possible, you could get smaller bananas that weight less and cost it at $0.19 per.

    • Bobber says:

      Yes. The companies that produce milk are probably regretting the plastic gallon container about now. You can’t shrink the container or under-fill it without everybody knowing, and the price is something everybody remembers. You can’t remember what you paid for 50 other items, but you know what you paid for the milk, for some reason. Maybe because it’s so bulky and heavy, it leaves an impression.

      • historicus says:

        Milk is heavily subsidized.

      • Paulo says:

        Go metric like everywhere else and watch the magic unfold at transition. Then after? Simplicity makes it harder to play with numbers/quantity. It’s always per 100 gm or per Kg.

      • VintageVNvet says:

        10-4 b:
        Having been one of those who jumped on the milk wagon to help the driver/delivery guy AFTER delivering my 125 newspapers,,, I can absolutely testify that that milk, only in quart GLASS bottles with the cream on top, will not likely be known again…
        In spite of the clear degradation of the USA ”milk” supply, there are equally clearly many companies doing their best to supply us with really great fermented milk products, IMHO the only cow milk products for anyone/any of the human species, anywhere.
        IMHO, these really good for us humans products include cheeses from the grass fed cows, along with such products as yoghurt, kefir, and probably others of a similar fermentation that this old guy hasn’t seen yet.
        Will only add that after many years as ovo/lacto ”vegetarian”,,, I tried ”vegan” for a few years, and loss a ton of muscle mass in my thighs while also working outside in FL heat,,,
        thankfully ”rescued” by full blood Sicilian professional chef!!

        • David Hall says:

          A vegan surgeon from Loma Linda, CA named Ellsworth Wareham lived to be 104. He was assisting in heart surgery during his 90’s, driving at 100. There is protein in beans, lentils, peas, grain and vegetables. He was very thin.

          Tom Brady, superstar quarter back, ate an 80% plant based diet.

          A doctor in Japan lived to be 105 eating vegetables, rice, two servings a week of meat and a little fish. He climbed the hospital stairs instead of taking the elevator.

        • Depth Charge says:

          You can find smokers who lived to 100, and health nuts who never smoked a cigarette in their life who died of lung cancer in their 50s. There are anecdotal stories which run the gamut. But we know that a healthy diet and lifestyle is better than an unhealthy one.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          My uncle survived to a ripe old age eating only dry cliché.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      MCH,

      Milk makes me sick. Milk makes many adults sick. Stay away from milk. Drink water instead. Then top it off with a beer and a steak.

      This entire article was about restaurants. If a restaurants serves Campbell’s soup, it needs to go bankrupt on the spot.

      • MCH says:

        Heh, Wolf, you know Costco’s bulk items are there for a reason. That wonderful marinara sauce you had from your favorite Italian joint… ?

      • Winston says:

        “Before the evolution of lactase persistence, humans typically lost their ability to digest lactose around the age of five. (This is thought to have helped motivate weaning.) Still today, most of the world’s population can only tolerate milk for the first few years of life. But, through at least four parallel evolutions starting several thousand years ago, lactase persistence spread throughout human populations. One of these, the earliest, is known to have originated in Europe.”

      • aqius says:

        re. don’t drink milk; haha! must be a German thing. same statement Arnold S. said many years ago. “milk is for babies”.

        In high school I worked kitchen prep at a nice seafood restaurant, Walt’s Seafood Market, in Sarasota FL many years ago . .

        when they had me use 2 huge cans of condensed Campbell’s Clam Chowder & milk for the “fresh soup”, I knew, even as a teenager, that place was going downhill by cutting corners.

        which was a shame because at its peak they had the best fresh seafood, generous portions, good atmosphere, etc.

        I’m of Germanic heritage & love milk

        • Wolf Richter says:

          aquius,

          I cannot digest milk. Like I said, it makes me sick. Like many adults, and like all adults eons ago, I’m lactose intolerant. My brother has no such problem and drinks milk out of the carton.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Wolf-understand there is a genetic variant found in Scandinavian-heritage populations that allows lactose-tolerance not found in much of the world’s peoples (looks like Winston’s done a deeper dive on this. Am a big milk-drinker, always have been, and when i experimented with cutting it from my diet i became less-healthy. A lotta people on this ol’ rock, with a lotta differing individual metabolic requirements-how DO we deal with our oft-seeming desire for a ‘one size fits all’ existence???).

          may we all find a better day.

      • Island Teal says:

        Thanks for clarifying what the article was about. I got lost ??

      • Duke says:

        Gave up all dairy in 90s after reading NotMilk website (spoiler alert…. does NOT do a body good, despite millions paid for milk mustache ads and brainwashing/addicting kids in school with free chocolate milk(added sugar)..

        Want a good not-so-free market story? Listen to freakonomics government cheese episode.

        Or Dr. Greger explain that USDA helps market insane creations like cheese filled crust pizza, double cheese everything, and more. So government money spent to market dairy to everyone and we are consequently fat and sick. At the same time our beloved food pyramid removed meat and milk and replaced with protein and water despite industry lobby’s best efforts.

    • Lisa_Hooker says:

      @MCH – my favorite is the Economist annual , international, Big Mac Index.

  11. Grave Digr says:

    I am not buying anything, I am just selling the dollar because I have no trust in it as store of value. The G has proved they will devalue it as much as it takes. Inflation is lack of confidence in the currency.

    • Frederick says:

      Agree Short the dollar, long grass fed beef

      • VintageVNvet says:

        NOW you’re talking F!
        Never mind all the increases of costs of inferior foods for humans such as cow milk — except when properly fermented and aged, etc.,
        Fortunately getting good discount at the natural/gourmet grocery store a relative works at, we, the family we, experimented carefully with the allegedly same products from grass fed/not finished on grain vs what for some reason is referred to as ”conventional” meats.
        NO doubt about which tastes better, much better, and no ”gastric distress” or headaches either!

  12. TenGallonHat says:

    “There is plenty of meat, … , and suddenly, meat prices are jumping.”

    There is this thing called a “drought” going on. Wells are drying up and farmers are having to use local water for their cattle. The price for this water is expennnnn$ive. You wouldn’t believe how much water a cow needs per day!

    Also, your comment about meat being healthy… LOL. Have you seen red-meat digestion in the body? ROFL. Shall I share the maladies of the cattle-buying meat-eaters I know? I could write what I know, but, you don’t pay me enough.

    I ain’t no sissy lib’rul but seeing the production just to eat a d@mn burger makes me nearly agree with AOC and cow farts.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      TenGallonHat,

      Stick to your own diet of candy bars and plastic. I’m well into my 60s, I work seven days a week, often from 5 am till god knows when (like right now), and I can still out-swim, out-hike, out-cross-country-ski, and out-kayak 90% of the GenZers out there. My motto is: “eat like a pig (everything), and work like a horse.” So you’re not going to tell me what is “healthy” to eat. I’ve been around too long and know better. So yes, you’re a burden on the planet, and so am I. Get used to it. And if you equate “meat” with the substance you get at McDonald’s, you’re clueless.

      • Boomer says:

        Out doing GenZ at anything isn’t saying much. Many of them unfit for military service. As Gerald Celente points out 70% of Americans are overweight, 40% obese.

        I eat veggie at Chipolte, even Veggie at In N Out. Because I like it. It’s cheaper too. Longevity is subjective. My competitive Marathoner relative dead at 54 from cancer, my Grandmother 92 on Sweet Rolls and lucky charms. Smoking terrible, some smoker hunters can outdo everyone else out on the trail

        • Swamp Creature says:

          My grandfather ate very healthy. He was a top executive for Prudential Life Ins company. Had 5 kids. He also died at age 30 in Brooklyn NYC, from the second wave of the Spanish flu in 1919. Need I say more

      • LeClerc says:

        Chill, dude.

      • Earl says:

        Couldn’t agree with you more. Humans began as hunter/gathers until argiculuture began in earnest only 10,000 years ago to feed a large population necessary to run an empire. The whole “meat is bad” theroy started from 1 study in the 1930’s. Laughable are the comments about ice cream packages shrinking, loaded with corn syrup, the worst thing in the modern diet

        • El Katz says:

          @Earl:

          Don’t know where you buy your ice cream, but there’s no corn syrup listed among the ingredients in the ice cream in my freezer.

      • Recently (few years back) the FDA went after Jack in the Box because their meat didn’t meet their legal definition, it was less than 40%. The restaurants use the same suppliers, just about everything is frozen, and you pay through the nose. The only real food is at some of the mom and pop taco shops. They buy at the super just like you.

      • Paulo says:

        Now I know why I love this site.

        It reminded me of when I taught my son and his girlfriend how to tile their kitchen. She asked me, “Do you have to be like that just because you’re working with Thinset”?

        My reply, “Look, let’s just get it done and we’ll talk about our feelings later”.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Good one P,,,
          Heard the same from my best significant other when we were building our ”farmstead” in the northern hills of the TN river watershed, and I was an ogre, for the first and only time for her:
          She was clearly a ”worker bee” as opposed to others in her role formerly, who, after tons of self introspection were clearly ”gold diggers”,,,
          So I just did my best to encourage her to use the hand tools, especially the drawknife, to scrape all the bark off the timbers that held up the roof of our original hand made cabin….
          Those timbers still in place after 20 years, with no deflection as far as known today…

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          @VV – the thing about “gold diggers” is harnessing that digging ability for mutual benefit. Some of ’em are pretty darn sharp if treated properly.

      • Rcohn says:

        Wolf
        I moved to the Bay Area 3 years ago to be nearer my daughter.
        Because the weather is so conductive to outdoor activities , I assumed that California residents would be much fitter and much less fat than those residents in NJ. While there are obviously a certain % of people who meet my expectations , I was very surprised to see how many Californians are just plain fat and out of shape . Maybe it is because of the automobile or maybe it is because of the diet , but something is at okay here.
        Some people are lactose intolerant , some people are sensitive to gluten ,but study after study suggests that people eat too much red meat and saturated fat and too many simple carbohydrates .

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          RCohn-as someone whose family came to California in 1910, it takes a while to realize the truly staggering numbers of the population that came (and still come) from somewhere else, and that simply arriving in the land of easy (if never wet enough) climate doesn’t instantly (if ever) change the health/eating/exercise habits of the immigrant. (Despite what we should now know as obviously unhealthy, it hasn’t been that many years since being ‘stylishly overweight’ was a virtue-sign that one was prosperous-enough to afford to be so…-have a listen to Bob Wills’ ‘Roly-Poly’ as just one popular example…).

          may we all find a better day.

      • Alex says:

        I maintain moslty a vegetarian/vegan diet for religious and ethical reasons but a lot of vegans are just spewing fake info, it’s ideological. Just like circumcision, people have a pre formed opinion and refuse to hear anything else.

      • Josie says:

        You’re looking at things in your bay area bubble where everyone is sickly. Outside of that I guarantee a 20 something z even in middling shape will school you and no amount of training can make up for the toll of age on the body. Hard to beat youth, except they lack wealth and wisdom

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Josie-…which a larger number than i would expect to encounter, seem to…(back out to clearing firebreaks, now…).

          may we all find a better day.

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          josie – guile and subterfuge are an asset oft used by the aged.

      • Duke says:

        WR – you are healthy because you are a badass outdoorsman, despite your unhealthy meat intake, not because of it. You will never know how much better you could have been. :)

        But seriously, make sure to get a calcium CT scan from cardiologist. Many marathoners and athletes have heart disease despite being badass. The host of biggest loser had heart attack. Out of nowhere. Shocked him toward plant diet.

        Follow Dr. Joel Kahn cardiologist. Follow the science..

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        There is a reason that the Lord permits Beef Wellington.

    • Wolf Richter says:

      TenGallonHat,

      “You wouldn’t believe how much water a cow needs per day!”

      Well, I drink about a gallon a day, unless it’s hot outside and I’m out there, and then I might drink 2 gallons plus. Lots of plants require a huge amount of water. Life requires water. Do you have any idea how much water an almond orchard requires? This is a huge industry in California. 85% of the water consumption in California is by agriculture. No water, no life. Get an education, dude.

      • Zantetsu says:

        Wolf, you’re getting a lot more ornery. What’s up man? You OK?

        • Frederick says:

          He’s an Alpha male who enjoys a good steak and is obviously fed up with the BS God bless him Enjoy Wolf

        • Mark says:

          He’s gonna get “moderated” at this rate……..

      • DVD says:

        85% of the water consumption in California is by agriculture

        feedlot cattle requires 70 percent plus of grain, that also includes things like water and tramsport

      • Artem says:

        Wolf, I would be careful alienating the vegans. When the zombie apocalypse hits, they’ll eat you first.

        • Swamp Creature says:

          I haven’t eaten a steak in 40 years and don;t intend to start now. I’m saving Cows so they can produce more milk and dairy products like they do in India.

      • Artem says:

        Wolf > Cow

      • Paulo says:

        Gallon of water to grow one almond in California.

        1.1 gallons
        To grow one almond requires 1.1 gallons of water, and to grow a pound takes 1,900 gal/ lb[1]. The crazy thing about that is that walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios, and cashews all use roughly the same amount of water to grow as well, but it is the almond which is in such high demand at this time.

        • Duke says:

          It takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat.
          Only 25 gallons of water are required to grow 1 pound of wheat.
          You can save more water by not eating a pound of meat than you can by not showering for six months!

      • Rcohn says:

        Cotton farmers in Ca delta area use subsidized water , while cotton farmers in Lousiana ,where water is plentiful, are paid to NOT plant cotton .

        • Petunia says:

          There’s more water this year in Louisiana than normal. I expect the rice crop will be large. New Orleans underwater as usual.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Wolf you are so right. I consume a great deal of water myself. I like mine flavored with hops and just a touch of yeast. Guinness Stout or a good porter. It’s the flavinoids don’cha know.

    • Whatsthepoint says:

      We’ve stopped eating beef and any ‘farmed animal, including pork and chicken. Substituted with (less frequent) wild game – venison- and turkey. It’s expensive but more nutrition bang per ounce…feel much better, too.

    • Frederick says:

      I’ve been a voracious mat eater all my life and lots of those deadly kielbasa’s too and yet at 67 I have 100% clear cardio arteries and no sign of colon cancer so evidently meat isn’t so terrible for your health after all In my case anyway Stay away from Carbs, sugars and fast food IMO

      • Duke says:

        Frederick. That is great. But please don’t use your n=1 anecdote to “prove” anything. The statistics are not good for meat eaters.

        If you like eating meat and bloodwork and CT scans are good, then eat it. But your are healthy despite eating meat , not because of it.

    • NoPrep says:

      Your viewpoint vs. sissy-liberal vegan flakes vs. Atkins/keto diet. “keto cured my diabetes”. There’s no winning or changing anyone’s mind when the diet arguments ensue!
      (oh so many people loved and admired the famous Dr. Atkins, and swore their health to his diet and his vitamins! He was just about as famous as Trump was in NYC, back at his peak).

    • Petunia says:

      I don’t know where the everything police get the nerve to impose their crazy ideas on others. If you don’t like it, don’t do it, don’t eat it, don’t use it. Mind your business, we don’t care, and don’t think you are smart, at all.

      • Trailer Trash says:

        I agree that it is very sad that every food choice is now some kinda moral statement, and it has to be broadcast to the whole world at maximum volume.

      • Old School says:

        We seem to have become society that forgot the teaching about cleaning up your own moral life before you go around criticizing others. It’s the Christian teaching about seeing the dust in your neighbor’s eye while you have board in yours.

      • Duke says:

        It will take generations for science to change our bad habits that are killing us and the planet. But some people are interested in the truth even if it is opposite of what our mums taught us. So I will speak the truth and welcome evidence to the contrary. Just cuz you don’t like it doesn’t mean it ain’t true.

      • Lisa_Hooker says:

        Petunia, when you achieve the state of being an ideologue you are empowered to attempt to impress everyone with your ideology. Further thought and skepticism are not required.

  13. hikusar says:

    Is it possible that many people who left expensive metros during COVID and moved to lower cost areas have so much more disposable income that these marginal restaurant cost increases just don’t matter in the big picture of saving $1-2k/month on rent?

  14. Dean says:

    “There is plenty of meat, but meatpackers are having one heck of a time hiring staff and filling orders, amid red-hot demand particularly from the restaurant industry, and suddenly, meat prices are jumping.”

    Reap what you sow. When you go out of your way to infect 1/3 of your employees during a pandemic, killing God knows how many, this is your payback.

  15. historicus says:

    Restaurants have strong head winds…..
    employment issues and cost of goods sold…

    Should be a good short to balance out a long portfolio..
    DRI

  16. Old school says:

    These spending stories remind me of what usually happens during government printing and spending booms. Think the civil war. A lot of spending to fund the war with paper promises on both sides and shortages as well. Different story after war was over. The piper has to be paid eventually.

  17. Micheal Engel says:

    Kobe steaks to TX delegates renegade.
    Kobe fat invade the “Ion Channels” of the virus, and kill the covid virus, , win the war, according to Mei Hong, MIT.

  18. Dave k. says:

    My go to afternoon drinks spot has had a helluva time staffing up. They’ve now hired a bunch of 16-18 yr old kids. The service isn’t very good, but I give the kids credit for working. As a younger person there’s no better time to be alive if you’re willing to work.

    • Old School says:

      That is a bright spot. My 16 year old grandson got a part time job this summer because adults don’t want to work.

  19. RedRaider says:

    uncooked ground beef + 3.4%
    Pork chops, roasts, and ribs +5.0%
    steak +6.0%

    Seems like the higher the cut of meat the larger the increase. But a pound of steak doesn’t cost any more to ship than a pound of hamburger does it?

    Seems like normalcy is being restored top down. With those buying at the top able to afford a larger increase. And the current supply chain capacity is going after the largest increases. Which means it’s not a supply chain issue. It’s pure demand related. When the novelty wears off maybe the price increases end?

    I think that’s the gist of the article. Just wanted to make sure.

  20. Christopher says:

    Thirteen years in the restaurant industry and I can glean some light on the dynamics of labour shortages in a restaurant .setting

    – the experienced staff you do retain end up carrying more responsibility and working more hours as management views them as dependable and indispensable..

    – you end up hiring inexperienced, generally younger employees which will raise the costs you eat for food and beverage mistakes, training and generally many will not work out but you will have no choice but to retain them as any bodies will do

    – fewer cooks in the kitchen will lead to slower output for food orders, fewer dishwashers in the dish pit will leave FOH staff and kitchen short of tools, fewer servers on the floor will lead to longer wait times for orders, slower bussing of tables, and therefore slower table turnover.. same dynamics for the bar and hostess stand

    Loss of revenue and unhappy guests are the consequences of labour shortages in restaurants depending on the severity. I was previously employed at a very busy restaurant in downtown Toronto and many of our best employees moved to other companies, catering or to other cities. Very few are subsisting on Employment Insurance.

  21. Prue Grubstreet says:

    I was at IKEA on Saturday. A 1/2 mile line of cars around the building by 3pm. Lines to get food. Lines to check out. Lines everywhere. Never saw it like this. I suppose people are wanting to outfit the new homes they FOMOed on. But very few workers and help wanted signs posted all around the store. Lots of items out of stock too. And price increases. The plate of meatballs (or plantballs) and lingonberry just isn’t a bargain anymore.

  22. Micheal Engel says:

    1) A popular restaurant, 100 seats + a bar, average meal $50, including
    tips :
    2) Every Fri & Sat dinner, two shifts : $50 x (100 seats + 20 in the bar) x 2 shifts = $12K.
    3) The rest of the week, breakfast, lunch, dinner, another : $10K.
    4) Total volume : ($12K + $10K)/week x 52 weeks = $1.15M.
    5) Cut capacity to 50%, raise the average price to $60 :
    $60 x (50 seats + 10 in the bar) x 2 shifts = $7.2K for Fri + Sat.
    6) The rest of the week : $5K.
    7) Total volume : ($7.2K + $5K)/week x 52 weeks = $630K.
    8) Cost is rising, PPP loans are gone, wages are up, moratorium expired ==> the restaurant is losing money.
    9) If covid spread, the restaurant might shut it’s door, unless Jeff hypersonic is a partner.

    • Nicko2 says:

      Thanks for the Math; very entertaining. In my opinion, most of the restaurant chains are nothing more than fast food of the lowest quality; extremely unhealthy, full of salt/sugar/oil, GMO, antibiotics and pesticides.
      No great loss.

      • crazytown says:

        Most restaurants should just have a sign outside that says Sysco instead of pretending they are some unique place

        • VintageVNvet says:

          Agree totally ct:
          And, with a better half who was a ”line chef” ,,,
          and so on and so forth for many years because she loves to cook,,,
          For many years we only go to restaurants where at least one of the owners is in the kitchen doing his or her passion:
          Don’t know where the costs these days are, relative to ”pre pandemic” and We don’t really care.
          We will go back to the, I suppose, ”top of the line” restaurants we patronized for many years,,, as soon as I am clear, very very clear, that I will not transmit anything, any virus, etc., to any of the really great staff of the various restaurants we had formerly patronized…
          Until then, we, the family we, will continue to cook at home, or just ”order out” or pick up.
          BTW, after The Blue Fox, and Ernies closed in SF,,, it is absolutely challenging to find that kind of quality outside of ”Panisse” and similar, eh?
          Would appreciate any references for my next visit..
          Thanks

        • Verdant says:

          The feed stock is all the same high fructose corn syrup, pesticide laden GMO garbage, from a giant processing mill somewhere, owned by a billionaire family, packaged and delivered from the same central warehouse.

          The menus, the names of the dishes and the clever advertising is different, as are the price levels depending on whatever flock is attracted by the advertising brand loyalty salt lick and enters the cookie cutter, look alike national chain outpost.

          Overcoming Consumerism, a website over a quarter of a century old. Nothing has really changed, except the media they use to advertise and of course, the prices.

  23. Micheal Engel says:

    Tokyo : the kneeling US women soccer team lost.

  24. joe2 says:

    These price increases hit consumers sporadically one at a time now: daily gas fill-up, grocery store, lunch. And Wolf reports customers are kind of blasé about these little 4% of $50 increases. But wait until the monthly, quarterly, and yearly increases in bills and taxes start accumulating. And intermittent repair costs. And pricing that vacation. People will find they cannot just shuffle around and prioritize their expenses. It will be like a wave. Then full realization will hit.

  25. MF says:

    As long as money could be printed to juice the supply side while arbitraging the cost of labor across the globe, everything was “fine” (unless you the one being arbitraged).

    Now, that supply can no longer be juiced, the money printed over the last 21 years — and especially the last 18 months — can catch fire in the dry tinder of an uncleared economic forest.

    There are too many areas where suppliers are now down to one, two or three providers. It doesn’t matter if there are 150 restaurants in town to compete for your dollar if there are only a handful of suppliers they all buy their basic commodities from.

    You’re also seeing the exhaustion of the entry level worker. Everyone has figured out these aren’t stepping stone jobs anymore. They are the only jobs. So why not move to a more rural place with a more pleasant pace of life if you know your “career” is going nowhere?

    The majority of jobs are “part-time” (i.e.: 30, 33 or 39 hours, whatever allows the employer to avoid paying the benefits they advertised when you applied). There are now gig options that are just as shitty as a regular job but at least you can see the light at the end of the tunnel while you’re enduring it. No more fears of one bad reference ruining your “career”. Just go onto the next gig.

    Housing inflation has made the demand for higher hourly wages non-optional. The Fed can pretend all it wants. But if your family was already paying 50% of its income for rent and rent goes up, you either move or look around for more money. The 20% of people who do 80% of the work can’t add more hours. So they have no choice but to go on a constant search for higher wages.

    Millennials delayed starting families after the GFC. And now they get hit with this. Well, it’s now or never. Babies need a parent home at all times because current hourly wages don’t support child care and because it’s stupid to hand your baby over to someone else during the formative years (first 5 or so). This adds pressure to the labor shortage by pulling one worker week out of each couple that has a baby. It doesn’t matter how they divvy up the home duties — it always amounts to one worker’s worth of hours taken out of each workweek.

    The money printed in the last 21 years is now aflame on multiple fronts and the Fed’s firefighters are taking a wait-and-see approach hoping it’ll burn itself out like it always has in the past. But this time *is* different. The underbrush was never cleared, and wasn’t allowed to clear itself during the last 2 fires.

    Or I’m totally wrong and it’s due to those lazy people sitting around at home getting rich on an extra $300 a week. Yeah. That must be it.

    • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

      MF-outstanding depiction of ‘last 21 years’, and i would posit from earlier (and ongoing) jiggered unemployment figures, longer than that. Kudos!

      may we all find a better day.

    • Trailer Trash says:

      When workers can’t earn enough to reproduce their own labor (aka “raising a family”) they are subsidizing the boss.

      When the bosses being subsidized are blowhard billionaire bozos taking joy rides to the edge of space, worker resentment turns to rage. We all know from history what happens next.

      Will dear leaders pay attention? Nope. Not a chance.

    • Old School says:

      Saw a guy on internet that says house is the liability and the loan is the asset. Kind of funny, but there is a risk house goes down and locking in 3% loan for 30 years could be a good thing.

  26. Artem says:

    Taco Bell has run out of meat in mid-90’s, and no one noticed.

  27. David Hall says:

    Corn and soy prices are up. That is used to feed hogs.

    I used to eat bacon, ham, salami, bologna, sausage, etc, then the WHO declared processed meats (with nitrite preservative) is a carcinogen and red meat in general is a less toxic carcinogen with studies to back it up.

    Corn bread and beans is cheap.

  28. MiTurn says:

    Two local and unrelated Mexican restaurants in two different towns, both owned and operated by families (not chains) are now closed two days a week instead of one. My wife asked why and they said lack of supplies and lack of workers.

    There are ‘help wanted’ signs everywhere I live and seemingly at every retailer. Signs of the times — pun intended.

    • Harrold says:

      I always thought businesses being open 7 days a week was bad for business.

    • Nemo 300 BLK says:

      We took niece and her boyfriend to the local Waffle House this morning (their choosing) and they had half the restaurant roped off because they only had two waitresses and one cook.

      I know of another WH that closed for an hour at 9 PM (WF never closes) one night in order to clean the restaurant for the next shift due to a lack of help.

      • random guy 62 says:

        While I certainly enjoyed my fair share of 24-hour diners in my college days (nothing like some greasy food when you’re drunk after the bars close down), staffing them is usual a terrible job that I would not want.

        The local general store/gas station in our town quit being open 24 hours a few months ago. I heard all of their night staff just walked out and went elsewhere.

        Perhaps it is a good thing. Americans are used to being able to shop 24/7. It really isn’t necessary at all, and sometimes it just makes a miserable schedule for employees.

        • 91B20 1stCav (AUS) says:

          Random-the 24/7 economy is an in-my-lifetime (i’m hard-pushing 70) event. I remember as a youngster in the late ’50’s, in avant-garde California, the HUGE kerfuffle with the advent of the Seven-Eleven mini-marts, referring, of course, to their operating hours, seven days a week. 24-7 businesses grew slowly (and steadily) after that (including Seven-Eleven’s hours…). There might be some reversion going on here, but for different reasons than found in pre-24-7 America.

          may we all find a better day.

  29. MiTurn says:

    “there is no resistance to these higher prices.”

    Perhaps people are resigned to the fact of inflation (for younger people, perhaps their first in-your-face exposure to it, as opposed to those of us who saw it in the late 70s and early 80s).

    Also, those still empty shelves at supermarkets and even Walmart have a psychological impact. FOMO?

    • Old School says:

      There is no push back on prices because people are flush with money and optimistic. Sometime in next ten years people will panic and will be trying to sell assets and personal property at fire sale prices if history is any guide.

  30. raxadian says:

    Once government free money starts to dry up, then there will more people looking for jobs, is not rocket science.

    • OutsideTheBox says:

      Maybe…..we will know soon.

      But consider….some data indicates that over 3 million folks took early retirement and are now permanently out of the workforce.

      Consider…..millions of females with children not returning to work for years and years. Small salary & day care expense & transport expense mean very little profit for such workers. Expect millions not to return.

      So we are talking millions and million of workers who may never come back.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        Many of them are “permanently” out of the work force only because of the unprecedented asset mania. Many of them will be back in it when they lose much or most of their net worth in the next market crash.

        “Eventually” there is going to be a market crash which is worse than any anyone alive has seen and lasts a long time where it recovers minimally, no V-shaped recovery.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          AF

          Sure

          All those missing hospitality workers are gone because asset mania something something.

          Were they all long pork bellies ?

  31. MonkeyBusiness says:

    Stock drop? Old news.

    Bear trap per usual.

  32. Bobber says:

    I think the restaurant staffing issue is a small issue. These are low-wage jobs in a low-profit industry.

    I think the biggest driver of inflation is dramatically increased housing prices. 60% of families own a home, and that is their biggest asset. They just saw their home increase 30-40% in value the past 2-3 years. They feel rich, and they want to spend.

    I think this is why car prices are rising. People think they capitalized on their “wise” home owner decision, so they feel justified buying new autos, even if it means taking out car loans.

    Leverage is building in the system, all based on unrealized gains and illusions of value.

    • Bobber says:

      Although I am grateful hard-working restaurant workers may soon be getting higher wages. They have a lot of room to run before they catch up to Jamie Dimon, who puts in a similar effort but has the benefit of lobbying and the too-big-to-fail welfare program.

      • jon says:

        I doubt Jamie Damon works as hard as other blue collar/low wage workers.

      • Old School says:

        If you don’t like Jamie Diamond’s pay then don’t use the bank’s products and don’t buy the company stock. Same with Bezos, Musk, Zuckerberg.

        • Bobber says:

          It’s not that simple when, as taxpayers, we are paying them.

          Dimon takes advantage of public money via bailouts, too-big-to-fail policies, sweethearts deals (e.g., buying Merrill Lynch for $1, with government guarantee of support) and other government welfare.

          Big tech has evaded tax and anti-trust law for many years.

          It’s not enough to leave them alone. They need to be taken off the government’s payroll.

        • OutsideTheBox says:

          Bobber

          You see what Old School did ?

          Rather than acknowledge the rapacity of Jamie Diamond and his ilk, he assigned blame to YOU for supporting him and his works.

          Yeah….Those old tricks are sooooo obvious now.

        • Bobber says:

          I don’t think Old School is that devious. I think he confused me for somebody that complains about success, and I don’t do that. I do complain about the rigged system, and Jamie Dimon is poster boy for that.

          Based on what I’ve seen, JPM will implement any scam if the expected gains outweigh the likely penalties assessed by a soft-touch regulator.

        • historicus says:

          “If you don’t like Jamie Diamond’s pay”

          Is it fair to notice the Fed is helping the banks, because they allegedly need help, as those same banks throw money at their “stars”?

    • random guy 62 says:

      “Cash Out Refinance”

      My brother is refinancing his home now to get a crazy low rate of 2.125% on a 15-year. He said all his beer-drinkin’ buddies have been basically surprised that he isn’t doing a cash-out refi. They all are. Also said the bankers almost expect it in a refi right now.

      For those wondering how the heck people are affording all the new durable goods and toys with engines… that is probably a big chunk of the answer. Rates are crazy low, and prices has risen so it’s the perfect time to tap into the ol’ home ATM.

      Sacrifice your future financial stability to live a little now. What’s not to love? It’s the American way.

      • Augustus Frost says:

        Yes, and when it all falls apart again, it will be someone else’s fault again and someone else should make up these losses to pay for their birthright minimal living standards.

      • historicus says:

        Borrowing below the inflation rate is the new sport prompted by the Federal Reserve.

  33. Mark says:

    Chipotle is lying. Look again at the quote below. If they could pass on price increases with no resistance, why didn’t they pass on all the price increases instead of eating some of it and hurting profits.

    Turns out, those price increases, originally designed to pay for higher labor costs, will now be eaten up by higher raw material costs and the costs associated with the staffing shortages at suppliers, Harting said, adding, “It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that Q3 is going to be challenged by several industry-wide issues.”

    • Wolf Richter says:

      They may be preparing the world for another price increase, no? One price increase leads to another. That’s how inflation works. It’s the spiral…

    • Petunia says:

      Chipotle was a little bit more expensive the last time I went, maybe $1 more for 2 lunches. I didn’t mind because it’s a good lunch, but I don’t go often, maybe 4 times a year.

  34. Micheal Engel says:

    Millennials ladies delaying starting a family : too late for them.
    Game over.

  35. davie says:

    To constructively add where you’ve left something out, there is, naturally, still, COVID.
    It’s not difficult to have predicted what would happen following the most strangest year of food service in humanity. With the number of businesses folding last year, and the remaining business utilizing any number of the gig-economy food-delivery racketeering apps, prices will rise. Less competition in the market, while a middleman is cheerfully taking 20% off the top of every out-of-house order, one has to wonder where the break even point is.
    There’s the other factor that food service industry workers are the cohort with highest mortality rates from COVID, and are still largely paid an unlivable minimum wage, plus tips, despite the increased hygiene hassles. It’s not difficult to understand how that might make a labor shortage in the sector, when folks can be an Amazon picker or any other newly formed remote work job.

    One might even take a peak behind the curtain and find how anti-competitive the meat industry has become, and how opportunistic they are, seeing it’s easier to increase prices than increase production, but hey, we don’t need to look at it systemically.

  36. TenGallonHat says:

    in the news today:

    Eating red and processed meat can increase your risk of heart disease – with each additional 50g boosting the chance by 18 per cent, study warns

    doubt you’ll publish this or my reply to you!

    • Wolf Richter says:

      TenGallonHat,

      What the study said:

      “The team found that for every 50g of processed meat consumed per day, the risk of developing coronary heart disease increased by about 18 per cent…”

      “PROCESSED MEAT” and “50g” and “EVERY DAY.”

      I rarely eat “processed meat.” A few times a year maybe. What I said in my comment in reply to Elizabeth — the comment that got you started telling me what I should eat — is this. And note the words “small amounts” and “small quantities” and “meat” and “prepared properly” — and there is nothing about “processed meat” in this:

      “Nah. Small amounts of meat are good for you, very nutritious. And meat is delicious if prepared properly. A pure joy. A pleasure in life. And no problem if consumed in small quantities.”

      • TenGallonHat says:

        ACTUALLY:

        ” For unprocessed meat such as pork, lamb and beef, the risk increased by nine per cent over no red meat. There was no risk increase with poultry. ”

        50g is a TINY amount FYI!

        What is the deal with all of the LOONS on here including yourself suggesting I’m dictating food choices? ALL I SAID WAS:

        “Also, your comment about meat being healthy… LOL. Have you seen red-meat digestion in the body? ROFL. Shall I share the maladies of the cattle-buying meat-eaters I know? I could write what I know, but, you don’t pay me enough.”

        NOWHERE DID I SUGGEST IMPOSING ANYTHING. I think you’re all plugged up and bitter. Pathetic! Read the defensive comments—PATHETIC!

  37. Kreditanstalt says:

    Missing an essential point: there’s no difference between “stimulus” payouts and “stock market gains”.

    Both are UBI in action and that’s the future they have planned for us

    • random guy 62 says:

      Except that stock market gains go to the wealthy, and a stimulus/UBI is (so they say) intended for everyone… especially the poor. That’s a pretty big difference.

  38. Chris says:

    As someone who cares about small businesses and working people, one of the best things you can do, if you can afford to eat out, is pay cash for the meal and hand the cash tip to the waiter.

    This saves the business the up to 4% skim from the credit card company, the need to buy new $900 credit card readers and the IRS withholding, plus SS and state disability of 8% of assumed tips on ALL food and drink on whatever servers bring to your table.

    In some cases it prevents corrupt restaurant owners from keeping the alleged service charge for the server and kitchen staff that they pocket and are under no obligation to distribute legally.

    • El Katz says:

      The IRS has ways of detecting income fraud. A friend I once had was skimming at his restaurant. Do you know how they caught him? Napkin and tablecloth laundry invoices. That’s why you often find your favorite Chinese restaurant’s linens smell like fabric softener….. They launder their own.

      Many restaurants use point of sale computers. Those record the entire transaction. The best way, IMHO, to help a server is to put a minimal tip on the credit card receipt and give them the rest in cash. To those not paying attention, it makes you look like a cheap azz to anyone processing the payrolls, but the servers know who to take care of when you return.

      Another trick I learned from a wealthy guy (think Rolls Royce owner) was to tip the valet on the way in. You will never wait for your car.

  39. susan says:

    I have been puzzling over the inflation vs. deflation argument for years…

    Over the years I have heard many ‘experts’ state with confidence that the dollar cannot hyperinflate due to the exorbitant privilege of being the world reserve currency…

    do you think this assumption has any merit? Can you envision a scenario in which this privilege could be lost?

    • Artem says:

      Susan,
      The dollar is not backed with anything (except the U.S. taxpayer’s IOUs).

      So it’s only is worth what the future taxpayer is capable of paying. As long as U.S. isn’t totally useless on a global stage, U.S. dollar isn’t useless either, and hyperinflation is unlikely.

      However, runaway spending and a mountain of debt can place an ever-increasing burden on the future taxpayer and the overall economy, and can create some faultlines along the dollar’s reserve status.

    • Augustus Frost says:

      There will be no hyperinflation with the 10-YR UST @ 1.3%. You can take that to the bank. Any loss of confidence on that scale will show up in both soaring interest rates and a crashing DXY index, no matter what the Federal Reserve or government does or tries.

      Hyperinflation isn’t an accident, especially in a fractional banking credit dominated financial system. Both inflation and deflation are at root psychological and confidence driven.

      Contrary to what you read or hear, no one can stop a deflationary crash from happening FIRST in the absence of confidence because most supposed “money” is just someone else’s debt. The only actual money is FRB bank reserves and physical currency. All other financial assets are subject to default or loss of market value in the secondary market which has the same outcome by withdrawing purchasing power from the asset owner.

      The other factor ignored is that there isn’t a single person who can create hyperinflation even if they wanted to now. Powell can’t do it as FRB chairman as he isn’t the dictator of the US. The FRB can’t do it either not having a direct mechanism to get any “printing” into the economy. Even if it could, it’s not opting for voluntary self-destruction but would require a consensus from Congress, the executive branch and its member banks. No one in these entities has any motive for the foreseeable future to prefer it. At current low rates, it makes a lot more sense to borrow.

      The “policy response” was a lot faster this time versus the GFC but I attribute this mostly to there being no perceived cost to it. Just wait until there is a real crisis and see the gridlock which ensues where these conflicting interests can’t agree on hardly anything.

      Years later when living standards cannot be maintained in a bubble economy or the US has lost a major war it might happen, but not on the horizon now.

      • Old School says:

        You might be correct, but are not guaranteed to be. We are at new place with money.

        • Susan says:

          It’s difficult to recognize any normal pattern with money and markets anymore.
          On the one hand it makes sense there will be a lot of defaults of bad loans, and price discovery of bad investments – which would be deflationary.
          On the other hand, the central banks and governments are doing everything to prop up the bubbles, cover bad loans, and hand out cash to the public, which will compete for real goods… that would be inflationary.
          Maybe the answer is really both – deflation and inflation.
          I can’t help but wonder if they are deliberately trying to kill the currency. Could it be part of the great reset agenda? That would be conspiracy theory…

      • historicus says:

        “There will be no hyperinflation with the 10-YR UST @ 1.3%. You can take that to the bank.”

        You look at the interest rates and somehow think they are not manipulated by the Fed. Stop QE and lets see where the real rates are.

    • Nathan Dumbrowski says:

      ..It all depends. We already have seen crazy spikes in pricing for a number of items. Items you can’t just make or wish into existence. Would love to build a gaming PC for my son but the market dictates I can’t buy a high end video board at the local supplier. Not even by driving 100 miles can I get an high end card from any of the major electronic stores on the South East USA. So I can wait or buy on the secondary market for triple the MSRP. Now imagine that happening to food stuffs. Bread at $20/loaf

    • historicus says:

      Where has there ever been “deflation”?
      It can be filed with Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.

      • Susan says:

        Jantzen’s Ka-Poom theory made a lot of sense to me, watching the waves of recession and QE since around 2005. Now it looks like even Poom-Ka is possible… or maybe a simultaneous Kapoom-Poomka.

        how does one position for that? Diamonds and canned food? waiting in the food line in a Mercedes?

  40. otishertz says:

    You’d have to be a masochist to have a child with an American Millennial Lady today. Likely, you’ll lose half your stuff, your house, and end up with the government forcing you to pay 18-21 years of payments for a kid you may never see. If you’re lucky the kid won’t be sporting an extra chromosome, then it’s lifetime payments.

    IMO the iPhone portended the end of normal, respectful committed relationships. These women willingly make themselves into commodities on the online “meat market” and they constantly troll their social media looking for someone new. I hear it’s empowering.

  41. Swamp Creature says:

    WTF is going on with the supply chain for my favorite beer Bud Light? I was in two different restaurants in the last week and they were both out of it. They blamed the County for the shortage. Not surprising. I wonder if this is a problem nationwide. I ordered Michelobe Ultra (light) as a substitute, same company. Wasn’t too bad.

    • OutWest says:

      As a point of reference, I spend copious amounts of time picking up and disposing of trash in the wilderness. What is the number one beer can that gets dumped alongside the road? Bud light. Get out there and see for yourself. Funny you would bring that up….

      • makruger says:

        Significant bottle deposit laws would go a long way to solving this littering problem as well as giving the poor an alternate source of income. Many state laws are now 50 years old and the deposit so whittled away by inflation as to be meaningless today.

        • Depth Charge says:

          Illegal dumping is a problem because of horrific dump fees. A truckload to the dump costs as much as a day’s wages for the lower income folks. So they dump it in the woods under the cover of darkness.

        • VintageVNvet says:

          DC is correct re the dump fees, that’s far shore!
          Friend lives in a county in TN that charges a once a year flat fee, $60, and all visits to transfer station are included.
          Fee is added on to the electrical bill for each residence and biz, so the renter pays it, usually, along with monthly electric bill.
          Other than the free visits to the transfer station, there are private companies that will pick up at your driveway,,, or, apparently, even in your back yard, etc., if you want.
          Last I heard, they were charging $12/month to pick up at the driveway once a week.
          Seems like a good system, though, of course, no folks riding around on the city trucks making $100K/year, eh

        • Lisa_Hooker says:

          @VVN – I weighed my weekly trash for 3 months. My trash pickup company charges me more per pound than prime Black Angus filet mignon.

      • tom21 says:

        Preferred beer of big foot?

        Beats used syringes…drunk big foot is one thing….

  42. Depth Charge says:

    The “no resistance to price increases” is just another finely crafted narrative. Read: BS. Like somebody else said – talking their book.

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