People thinking we’re in a recovery are in denial, or worse, and about that whole “no inflation” meme – that’s a fraud and a scam too…
(by Half Dollar) I drove to Washington, DC over the weekend.
My mom was finally buried in Arlington National Cemetery on Monday.
I’d like to share some of my observations, because they may be of value to people who haven’t really been out-and-about since the Zombie Apocalypse began.
Let me be blunt: The people who say there is no inflation are idiots, liars or shills.
For I fired-up the old beater, my wannabe crappy rally car, that is, and I drove with Wifey and Son to Washington.
DC, that is.
First things first: The hotel room was “only” $87.20.
There is a problem with the Hotel Billing System, however, so see if you can spot it below:
Washington hotels have a Junk Fee and Tax Infestation!
Overnight parking was $32, and that fee was taxed!
You can’t make this stuff up!
Good thing the Valet Parking service was nixed, because I basically had the entire parking garage to myself, considering it was totally empty of vehicles, employee transportation considered, which I’m probably mistaking for abandoned cars anyway, with who knows what in them, and who knows how far underground?
Needless to say, I parked in Spot Numero Uno of the entire sixteen+ story building, plus parking garage, plus underground tunnels, plus the se, ahh, nevermind, and since I drive like a blind old Asian lady suffering from an acute attack of Covid-19 hysterimonium, or possibly a stroke, or both, or whatever, you’re dang right I double parked and took up Spot Numero Two, too!
Still, there are not one, not two, but three taxes applied to my bill!
Which is, in part, why the whole “no inflation” meme is a myth.
Sure, the room “costs” $87, but in reality, after all of the fees and taxes, you end up paying over 50% more!
Question: How can Americans afford to travel when they look online, and it seems they can stay at a hotel for like, a hundred bucks, per night, but when all is said and done, they end up paying $150?
Furthermore, I have a hunch, and the masked Hyatt employee taking my debit card agreed, that pretty soon, coffee in hotel rooms will only be available as part of an “upgrade” package.
Which, in the case of the Hyatt we stayed in, will nearly cost an extra $30 per night.
No, I didn’t spring for the upgrade.
Here’s what’s going on: It’s shrinkflation, and it’s inflation by things that were not previously things at all, but now they are!
We got Micky D’s a couple hours after arriving.
We were very hungry, in a hurry, tired, and in the middle of the Zombie Apocalypse, so, um, yeah – Micky D’s take-out it was!
The price I paid so Wifey, Son and I could get McBloated?
Thirty seven bucks.
And it was apparent they hadn’t changed their fryer oil in quite a while, because while everybody knows ‘Ol Half Dollar ain’t no dang Five Star Food Critic, I’m pretty sure the McNuggets aren’t supposed to taste like the McFish.
But I digress.
The hotel restaurant was closed, and dine-in at several places was closed, and eating out, in general, is a pain in the butt during the Zombie Apocalypse.
This is, and has been, my experience with restaurants across several states and many cities, now with Washington DC included.
I must admit, the Ministry of Propaganda has done one fine job in the nation’s capital.
I have never seen so many people wearing their masks while driving in their cars, alone, with the windows rolled-up and the air-conditioning presumably set to ‘re-circulate’.
Most people had masks, even if they were the stupid kind that don’t actually protect against Covid-19, and as I was wearing my mask on the top of my forehead, like any Good Contrarian would, I certainly got the evil eye and the stares.
One guy was staring me down so hard from across the street, that while he was walking, but looking at me, he tripped over one of the rental scooters you see parked and strewn on the sidewalks all about the city!
You know those electric Razor Scooters that fat kids used to like to ride to school on, pre-Zombie Apocalypse?
Yeah, kinda like that.
Renting scooters is a apparently a thing in big cities.
People are apparently paying to rent these grimy electric scooters built for and marketed to lazy adults, and they’re doing it in the middle in a raging pandemic no less, with no way to know what the green, slimy-sticky stuff dripping from the throttle control really is because you don’t know who had rented the scooter last, nor where it had been.
Note to anybody who cares: The litter and trash one sees and at times has to deal with, as well as the road hazards in general, and the condition of the roads, as you drive into and all around Washington DC are, well, let’s just say that if you’ve ever driven through the third world, conditions are pretty much like that, sans the cool or cruel stuff that never ceases to surprise on the street corner of any given traffic light of the old school third world.
OK, “Hey Half Dollar, what does this tangent have to do with masks?”.
It has to do with clean and sanitary conditions in the first place.
Moreover, a mask may look good, arguably, although that’s not an argument I’d make, but in general, around the city, it’s already looking like prime breeding grounds for other diseases such as Hepatitis A and Dysentery.
Not at the cemetery, however.
Everything there was pristine.
Back on track: Many places, from grocery stores to other retail stores to restaurants, were enforcing the “customers must wear masks” policies, right from the point of entry.
There is no doubt the Zombie Apocalypse has badly damaged the collective, American psyche in very profound ways.
I mean, how else can we explain it, when from my 15th floor window, I saw a kid outside of another hotel, playing with a radio controlled car, totally by himself with nobody around him in what I would call a 30-foot circumference, and yet there he was, playing with his RC car and wearing a mask?
Nanny state indeed.
There is no freakin’ recovery!
The economy’s still collapsing!
We drove down in one day, spent the night, attended my mom’s limited service at Arlington the next morning, and drove home that day.
I physically went, via walking and elevators, from our room on the 15th floor (with 14 potential stops in just the main elevator) to the hotel lobby, during what I would call “normal” hours, if not “peak” hours, at least seven times during my stay, for various reasons, and I never once saw another single guest staying at the hotel.
How does a hotel survive like that?
Additionally, I noticed there was very, very little traffic, both pedestrian and vehicular.
It’s the prime of vacation season, and all of the things-to-do are still closed to the public, and that goes for both the indoor museums, like the Smithsonian, and even outdoor attractions (such as those found at Arlington).
In fact, Arlington is so tightly controlled right now, that even if you’re allowed in to attend a funeral service, in a ‘Soup Nazi’ kind of way, your movement in the national cemetery is fully escorted and scrutinized from Point A to Point B and directly back again, so don’t get to thinking you’ll be swinging by Kennedy’s grave, or The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Side Note: Stuff that sounds nice and simple in theory, doesn’t work in practice.
For example, at Arlington, you’re supposed to keep your car windows rolled up and hold your ID to the window from the very first of multiple security/vehicle checkpoints, but in reality, since pretty much every car has people with questions to ask, or limo tint, or both, such as mine, well, let’s just say that dog don’t hunt!
And if one’s car doesn’t have air conditioning in that heat and humidity?
Well, not only does the dog not hunt, but the dog also dies of heat stroke.
There were no active protests near where we were staying, nor were there any protests in the places we went to during our time there.
I’m glad I didn’t have to deal with that headache.
That said, I’m pretty sure the sidewalks of Washington would normally be bustling during this time of the year, and yet in walking around, we perhaps crossed paths with just one person per city block of walking, on average, and again during what I would call “normal” times of the day.
I have family in Hawaii who were going to make the trip, but in the end, their airline tickets were cancelled, and they couldn’t come, even though they were willing and able.
Honest question: When the government tells businesses and customers what they can and can’t do, in such an extreme, micro-managing way, how are you not totally retarding economic activity or simply causing people to say, “forget this crap because it’s just not worth it”?
Fortunately, we were able to drive, which is my preferred method of travel.
If my blown memory is functioning correctly, I recall as a kid travelling on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and chucking quarters into the toll booths, hoping you don’t miss the basket because that’s a total party foul that really gets the horns honking from the cars behind you.
Well, you just drive through the toll booths because there are no actual people there anymore, “temporarily”, or so they say, and the Turnpike Commission simply scans your license plate and sends you the bill for the toll!
And – get ready for it – just today, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission has approved a 6% increase for next year!
The 6% increase in 2021 is coming off the back of a 6% increase in 2020, and no, I didn’t research if the 6% is an annual thing or not beyond the last two years, forwardly looking, of course.
It’s funny how all that people can see is deflation, isn’t it, but regardless, there’s no inflation, huh?
Speaking of tolls, between travelling on toll roads, in two different states, I paid $14.50 each way in one of the states, so add $29 in fees for that, and I’m still waiting on the bill from Pennsylvania.
I’m pretty sure it will be $24 for the toll, but then again, this is Pennsylvania we’re talking about.
In addition to the toll, I’m sure it will also have a “courtesy fee” added to the total, for the courtesy of being able to pay the bill online, even though it wasn’t really a choice, and I’m sure it will also have a “processing fee” added to the total because, well, to transfer some ones and zeros across the digital ether, that comes with a price, you know, and I’m pretty sure it will also have a “credit card usage fee” added to the total, ’cause, like, why the heck not?
Furthermore, if I choose to mail in a check to the good folks at the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, I’m sure it will also have a “handling fee” added to the total since, well, let’s just say they there’s a reason it’s called a “racket”.
And besides, everybody knows it’s not a real Philly Cheesesteak unless it’s dripping with melted, processed cheese food, you know!
THE BOTTOM LINE
Just like you can only squeeze so much blood from a stone, you can only squeeze so much in taxes and fees from the public, and sadly, the public has already bled-out.
The US Federal government may be able to spend whatever, on whatever, but if you or I try to print up some money to pay for the junk fees and taxes, well, there’s a word for that: Counterfeiting.
Americans are being bombarded by junk fees and taxes galore, and every single freakin’ taxing and fee-charging body and authority keeps demanding, or extorting, more.
And it is clear: America is fast-tracking its way to 3rd World Status.
Travel is now a chore, not a pleasure, except perhaps for me, since I have loved driving, living and travelling all over the country ever since I was a kid, but pretty soon, traveling in the United States will be an unaffordable burden for most people.
And taking a vacation?
Good luck with that.