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Monday, April 21, 2008

Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?

posted by on April 21 at 8:48 AM

Heckavajob, Bushie.

Many parts of America, long considered the breadbasket of the world, are now confronting a once unthinkable phenomenon: food 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.

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its only going to get worse. gas went up 20 cents this weekend. our petroleum dependent food system is teetering.

i'd suggest stocking up on wood, water filters, & fishing gear. squid jigging is also a possibility.

Posted by max solomon | April 21, 2008 8:58 AM

I'm expecting martial law by August.

Posted by Cat in Chicago | April 21, 2008 9:04 AM

but we need to subsidize the farmers!!!

Posted by Bellevue Ave | April 21, 2008 9:08 AM

It seems that the price of wine has gone up too. It's hard to find a decent bottle under $10.

Posted by Lushy J | April 21, 2008 9:11 AM

It's not gas. Gas is still cheap.

Posted by Fnarf | April 21, 2008 9:11 AM

Expect to see maximum fear mongering from conservative organs like the NY Sun. They have no hope of pushing a line of "four more years of good times," so they're going to turn hard the other direction and scare the pants off you.

Posted by elenchos | April 21, 2008 9:12 AM

our petroleum dependent food system is teetering.

Well then, we better seriously ramp up ethanol production, to bring down food prices. Oh wait...

Posted by JMR | April 21, 2008 9:19 AM

@6 Kinda feels like what the media is already doing, isn't it?
I mean, OMG, they're rationing food, WE'RE DOOMED!! Instead of maybe glancing around and going," Okay, so we have to cut back on eating like fat pigs. We'll survive."

The media sensationalizism that is coming along with the recession is sickening.

Posted by Marty | April 21, 2008 9:20 AM

Yeah, sorry; that story seems like it's mostly a load of crap.

"An anonymous high-tech professional writing on an investment Web site, Seeking Alpha, said he recently bought 10 50-pound bags of rice at Costco. 'I am concerned that when the news of rice shortage spreads, there will be panic buying and the shelves will be empty in no time. I do not intend to cause a panic, and I am not speculating on rice to make profit. I am just hoarding some for my own consumption,' he wrote."

An anonymous professional on an investment web site said it? Well then, it must be true!

Posted by Levislade | April 21, 2008 9:21 AM

I've had it up to here with this place and its food shortages, late April snow, and retarded gas prices. I'm moving somewhere tropical where I can survive on pineapples and coconuts, wear nothing but swimsuits, and ride my horse everywhere I need to go. Later suckas!

Posted by Queen_of_Sleaze | April 21, 2008 9:21 AM

You know... a week ago I would have blown this off, but I went grocery shopping yesterday and things like flour, sugar, milk etc. had VERY low stock. Part of it was probably just that it was Sunday, but it seemed like there was just less of everything. Scary.

Posted by SDizzle | April 21, 2008 9:22 AM

With you @9. This sort of stuff has always struck me as a bunch of rich suburbanites worrying that their behavior might eventually make them beholden to the poorer city-dwellers whom they've fucked over (see avian flu).

Posted by Ziggity | April 21, 2008 9:26 AM

I am so starting a 1/4 acre kitchen garden this year.

Posted by Michigan Matt | April 21, 2008 9:27 AM

Yeah, I'm shaking in my boots.

When Americans are suddenly faced with the horrifying prospect of having less than the requisite 300 kinds of chocolate chip cookies, or, 128 different brands of breakfast cereal to choose from, clearly things are going to hell in a breadbasket.

On the other hand, I have been thinking about going on a reduced carbohydrate diet anyway, so I guess this is as good an incentive as any.

Posted by COMTE | April 21, 2008 9:29 AM

One Costco running low on rice + a blog post = NATIONAL CATASTROPHE.

Really, we will be the last nation to face disaster from global food shortages.

Posted by tsm | April 21, 2008 9:34 AM

The media sensationalizism that is coming along with the recession is sickening.

We can expect nothing else during an election seasion.

e.g. this very post ("some buyer at Costco ordered less rice than he wanted to, blame Bush")

Posted by JMR | April 21, 2008 9:34 AM

More Al Gore's fault than W's.

Posted by raindrop | April 21, 2008 9:42 AM

On the plus side, maybe the wing nuts will think it's gotten so hopeless that there's no point in giving money to McCain or the swiftboat groups. They'll save all their donations to buy ammunition and 500 pound palettes of rice.

Posted by elenchos | April 21, 2008 9:47 AM

raindrop can always be counted on to bring the idiocy.

Posted by tsm | April 21, 2008 9:52 AM

Dan, thanks for skipping the Drudge middleman and cutting right to the source with the link. I'm assuming this story appeared on Drudge with some sort of insane scaremongering headline just because I remember his Y2K hysteria.

Posted by just sayin' | April 21, 2008 10:00 AM

Dammit! It's Passover! How the hell I am gonna hoard grains at this time of year?

Posted by Gitai | April 21, 2008 10:04 AM

The mass lootings of rich neighborhoods are planned for December, once they are crushed at the elections.

Remember, don't tell anyone it's at 2 am on 01-20-2009 ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 21, 2008 10:39 AM

I went to costco this weekend and bought several bags of rice. All you suckers are going to be bartering your porsches and flat panel tvs to me for a cup of rice. hah!

Posted by already done! | April 21, 2008 10:51 AM

"Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Eight Years Ago?"

Eight years ago I was in high school, lived with my Mom, and made minimum wage.

So... yeah, I am.

Posted by w7ngman | April 21, 2008 10:58 AM

@14, I agree, really there's only a need for about 120 different kinds of chocolate chip cookies.

Most useless new cereal item I've seen recently: cereal straws. WTF?

Posted by PopTart | April 21, 2008 11:41 AM

So that's why George Stephanopoulus asked during last week's debate,
"Senator Obama, is it true that your bitterness toward America will result in mass famine next week?" I guess that McCain, Clinton and the God network weren't all conspiring to eliminate the one candidate who offers this country hope.

They are relying on 'journalists' like you to blindly pass off their baseless rumors as fact, Dan. I hear that Obama might be a muslim, could we get a post about that?

Posted by left coast | April 21, 2008 11:45 AM

I love cereal straws, especially the Chocolate Sugar Bombs cereal straws. They have extra gunk to solidify your gut too!

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 21, 2008 1:47 PM

Three (non-bush) food-price factors you can't ignore:

The rise of bio-diesel motivating farmers to switch to corn from other venues and pulling food items out of the food market.

The obsession over trans-fats leading to an astronomical rise in the price of palm oil and other trans-fat free cooking oils.

When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, "Come!" And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, "A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!"
Revelation 6:5-6 ESV

Posted by Mr. Joshua | April 21, 2008 2:37 PM

Actually, palm oil is a major biofuel in the Phillipines and Malaysia, Mr. Joshua. So your first point is more correct than your second point, even if it also contributes to the demand side.

Posted by Will in Seattle | April 21, 2008 4:38 PM

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