Save Three Cents Here, a Dime There, No More Food For You!
This may sound like a dumb question, but it really is not. So please bare with me on this.
In today’s world when you go to the store they want you to subscribe to their store cards that they say will save you money, and some like Sam’s Club and Giant Eagle save you so much on a gallon of gas. Of course that depending on how much you spend at their store to accumulate points.
Now this is all well and good, especially on the price of gas. In the short run, but in the long run it will possibly screw you. So here is the question. Is it worth 3 to 10 cents you might save if they are monitoring what you buy and eat? Dumb question right? That would never happen in a million years, but it already is, and could get much worse.
It seems that major retailers such as Costco, and Sam’s Club are rationing items like rice, flour, and cooking oil, because the supply is far less than the demand. Some of the factors that are be playing a part in these shortages are the food riots in Haiti, Indonesia, and many African countries. India has stop all exports of it top grade rice, and Vietnam has stop the rice export contract. If it is not rethought, Bio-fuels will add to the problem greatly, if it has not already.
One of the controls the Bush administration could put into place is, export controls on wheat. However in typical Bush administration fashion, they have done nothing. Will we see a color-code, telling us when it will be ok to buy the food we need?
At a Costco’s on the west coast that caters to a large Asian population, there was no rice to be found, and many customers became irritated.
Shoppers grew frustrated and occasionally uttered expletives as they searched in vain for the large sacks of rice they usually buy.
“Where’s the rice?” an engineer from Palo Alto, Calif., Yajun Liu, said. “You should be able to buy something like rice. This is ridiculous.”
The bustling store in the heart of Silicon Valley usually sells four or five varieties of rice to a clientele largely of Asian immigrants, but only about half a pallet of Indian-grown Basmati rice was left in stock. A 20-pound bag was selling for $15.99.
With the diminishing supplies of these items, and the rising cost of a barrel of oil, prices are going through the roof. On top of manufactures lack of supply, there are reports of hoarding which is also playing a part in the rationing.
Major retailers in New York, in areas of New England, and on the West Coast are limiting purchases of flour, rice, and cooking oil as demand outstrips supply. There are also anecdotal reports that some consumers are hoarding grain stocks.
Now what this has to do with the store cards? They know what you buy and the quantity of the product. Thanks to the Costco cards they could set up how much you could buy according to past purchases.
Most Costco members were being allowed to buy only one bag. Moments earlier, a clerk dropped two sacks back on the stack after taking them from another customer who tried to exceed the one-bag cap.
“Due to the limited availability of rice, we are limiting rice purchases based on your prior purchasing history,” a sign above the dwindling supply said.
Shoppers said the limits had been in place for a few days, and that rice supplies had been spotty for a few weeks. A store manager referred questions to officials at Costco headquarters near Seattle, who did not return calls or e-mail messages yesterday.
There will be a second part to this blog in a day or two.
In the next part of this story,
The National ID will make it easier to control food and fuel purchases.
On a lighter note, the wealthy won’t be styling. Shortage causes rationing of designer handbags.