Saturday, November 30, 2013

What is coming to America: Inflation

The question is not if.  It's WHEN.  And this is really the sticking point. What I want to do is bring together several articles on inflation in various countries.  Also, I want to bring some perspective to the present inflation we are experiencing now.

So, a lot of people will call all of this a scare tactic.  And, yes, that's exactly what they are.  Scare tactics can be hoaxes.  But they can be real.

Inflation in the USA. I lived through the inflation in the 70s and early 80s.  I know what it was like.  I know the symptoms of inflation.  I know what the steps are.

The first realization that nothing would ever be the same:

I was in my late teens.  I took a summer job working for an appliance store named Cayce TV and Appliance.  It was located on Knox Abbott drive at the top of the hill.  It was close to the old Putt-Putt. Across the street was a Dunkin Donuts that I loved to visit.  I dated the daughter of the owner of the store.

Anyway, I worked with Charlie Powell, who was the pick up and delivery guy.  He drove an old Ford pickup that was fitted with a rusted steel pipe frame so that we could tie ropes around the appliances and secure them when careening around corners.

Old Charlie also had a night job as drummer and lead singer for a smooth rock band called "The Gas Lights".  I even went to go watch him one time.  He was great!

It was always fun riding with Charlie.  He did have a great voice.  I enjoyed singing, too, so we would end up harmonizing some song.  Or I would start singing something and he would finish the song.

In-between deliveries I had the job of dusting and arranging things on the showroom floor.  I also helped on of the old electricians keep his work area sorted out.  I helped alphabetize all of his old vacuum tubes for the TVsets.

One of my jobs was restocking the drink vending machine.  It took the old returnable glass bottles.  The drink machine was one of the real old ones where you put the money in the slot and then opened a narrow vertical glass door and yanked out a cold "Co-Cola" as we called it back then.

So, the drinks were delivered to us in a short wooden crate that held maybe 24 bottles.   Each crate had a grating of wooden slats to segregate the drinks so that they wouldn't rub together and crack or tarnish the bottles.   I would take the bottles out of the crate, put them in to the machine.  Then take straggler bottles that were just left all over the store and put them back into the emptied crate for the drink-guy to pick up during his delivery rounds.

But one day, something was different.

The bottles wouldn't fit.

Or, rather, SOME of the bottles wouldn't fit.  Yet some did.  No matter what I tried, some of the bottles just would not fit.  What the heck!??

And then I saw it.  The new bottles of soft drinks were only 10 ounces.  The other bottles were an ever-so-slightly fatter 12 ounces.

I could not believe it.  The drinks were being sold for the same price....but you were getting 16% less drink.

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