The hyperinflation is no longer contained to mostly fringe items and non-essentials. Hyperinflation is now hitting the necessities of life. Here’s the details…
Editor’s Note: This series tries to go beyond the Venezuelan collapse to pick out signs that it’s not the Bolivar or the Zimbabwe dollar in a death spiral, but the US Dollar itself. That is to say, when it becomes obvious to everybody that the U.S. dollar has already hyper-inflated, that’s when we enter the “crack-up boom” leading to the fiat currency crisis and the death of the dollar.
Without further ado, here’s the latest installment of our Hyperinflation Watch. Check out previous articles to learn how to spot the signs that are all around us. This is a series where, so far, we have highlighted the absurdity of mainly non-essentials in life, but now, we’re getting into the actual costs of living that are affecting Americans in their everyday lives.
Anybody who favors free markets and loathes central control and government intervention, and especially wage and price controls should despise the word “price gouging”.
And the MSM jumps all over it with cherry-picked cases.
Case in point: A recent example we gave post-hurricane was of a local Best Buy charging $42.96 per case of bottled water.
One Houston resident sent me a pic of water he saw being sold for *$42* at a nearby Best Buy. They were kind enough to offer $29 bottles too pic.twitter.com/8dKz3sJJM1
— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) August 29, 2017
The significance of the bottled water pricing demonstrates just how broken the entire US economy has become:
A $42.96 case of water is price gouging and requires an apology, even though [a boxed and shrunk-wrapped case] is just a convenient carry-out case priced at the per-bottle price of $1.79, which is at the same time somehow not price gouging because that’s just Best Buy’s going rate for a single bottle.
Yes, that Best Buy was called out for price-gouging, even if it made for an easier way to lug around 24 bottles of water if somebody wanted to purchase that quantity.
We went on to conclude:
Even in the retail bottled water market, things are totally, completely, and utterly mis-priced…
Here’s the sticker: Best Buy did the bad thing because people did not effectively have a plan “B”, or “C”, or “D”, and most likely, most people had no plan at all.
Anecdotally, I went to Cedar Point Amusement Park this summer with family. My plan was to buy water there to stay hydrated.
Well, when I was thirsty and wanted to buy a bottle of water, the bottle of water cost $4, and that price was from a vending machine.
Try sticking four $1 into a machine. It’s painful.
Yet at an amusement park in summer, where people certainly get dehydrated, that is not price gouging? Cedar Point’s price per case ($4/1) is $96, and you don’t even get the box or the shrink-wrap!
So back to the point of this article.
We’ve been covering the stealth hyperinflation that has been taking place in plain sight.
Sure, right now it’s fringe, but that fringe is inching it’s way inward and now it’s starting to affect real people with items they cannot do without – housing.
Here’s the most recent developments from the L.A. Times:
Kalen Wehagen thought her troubles were over after her apartment survived the wildfires that ripped through California’s wine country.
But the sense of relief wouldn’t last long. Within weeks, Wehagen said her family was handed a 60-day eviction notice. She said the property owner informed them that their Santa Rosa apartment would be remodeled and that they could return if they paid an extra $700 a month in rent — after already hiking the rent 10%.
Scores of residents like Wehagen have alleged rent gouging after the October firestorms torched thousands of homes, leaving many people without homes and exacerbating an already severe housing shortage.
So when accusations of price (rent) gouging fly, the government steps in because, you know, government knows best. Granted, don’t think about complaining that schools and universities are gouging, or insurance companies or hospitals are gouging, see, it’s only what benefits politicians and the companies and industries to which they are slaves, so don’t look for a reprieve on a $25 Tylenol the next time you find yourself in the urgency room with the flu.
And so the government is doing what it always does, which is making the situation worse. So the government is getting involved, and now come the “wage and price controls”:
As the wildfires ravaged Northern California, Gov. Jerry Brown on Oct. 9 declared a state of emergency, making it a crime under the state’s anti-price gouging law to raise the prices of goods and services, including housing rentals, more than 10%. The governor extended the ban through April 18.
But in the areas hardest hit by fires, rents have skyrocketed and prosecutors say allegations of rent gouging are often not clear-cut.
The median rent listing increased from September to October by 32% across Sonoma County, 23% in Napa County and 16% in Santa Rosa, according to Zillow Real Estate Research. Neighboring counties unaffected by the wildfires showed little change in the median rent price.
Now, perhaps you’re thinking, so what? 32% increases are not hyperinflation!
Well, that’s all relative. If we want to think of hyperinflation as a rise in price to which the underlying can no longer be purchased, then 32% may in fact be hyperinflationary.
Secondly, compared to what our own government tells us is happening to rents, a 32% increase in rent certainly looks hyperinflationary:
Furthermore, judging by enforcement actions already taken in California, in some cases the rents are way higher than just 32%.
Here’s more from the L.A. Times:
Ravitch said her office has investigated more than 140 complaints, but so far prosecutors have filed only three criminal cases. The property owners of one home are facing a misdemeanor charge after listing a home at $3,400 per month but ultimately renting it for $10,000, according to the charging document.
Get your preps in order so that you have a plan “B”, “C”, or “D”, and:
– Half Dollar
About the Author
U.S. Army Iraq War Combat Veteran Paul “Half Dollar” Eberhart has an AS in Information Systems and Security from Western Technical College and a BA in Spanish from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Paul dived into gold & silver in 2009 as a natural progression from the prepper community. He is self-studied in the field of economics, an active amateur trader, and a Silver Bug at heart.