Friday, April 29, 2011


"Wal-Mart's core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

"We're seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure," Duke said at an event in New York. "There's no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact."

Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they're "running out of money" at a faster clip, he said.

"Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year," Duke said. "This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern."

If all you ever listen to is the government line on the economy you'd think that the recovery is nicely underway, job growth is healthy and inflation is nonexistent. Well, I suppose if you're a public employee then all these things may be true.

But out here in the world of blue collar people life isn't quite as rosy and the statement from Walmart above is probably the most accurate picture of reality I've heard in a while. And this new reality is starting to move into the white collar world pretty quickly, too.

Perversely, as gas and food prices continue to rise because the Fed continues to print money to support the banks and the stock market there's going to be less and less money to go around among the working class. And that money is going to be worth less wile the prices skyrocket.

Stagflation has returned.


  1. >and inflation is nonexistent.

    Who has said that?

  2. and inflation is nonexistent.

    What has said that?

  3. Sorry. Perhaps I should have said "essentially" nonexistent. From Fed Chairman Bernanke's recent speech:

    "As the increases in commodity prices moderate, inflation should decline toward its underlying level. Specifically, participants projections for inflation have a central tendency of 2.1 to 2.8 percent for this year, noticeably higher than in the January projections.

    Before declining to 1.2 to 2.0 percent in 2012 and running 1.4 to in 2013, both about the same as in January."

    Anyone that thinks inflation is running between 1%-3% hasn't bought fuel, been to a grocery store or bought lumber lately.

    Admittedly the following statement is anecdotal, being as I'm stating it based on my own observation, but 6 months ago we could buy a pound of coffee for about $6. When I was at the store the other day the same pound was almost $14. 6 months ago I could buy a 10# box of bacon for $13. That same box, at the same store, cost $23.49 last week. 6 months ago I could get a loaf of bread for about $1.29. That same loaf today costs $2.19.

    And the cost of fuel? It's gone up over 50% around here in the last year.

    So, either I'm imagining all this and Mr. Bernanke is correct in his assertion that inflation is running about 1%-3% yearly or somebody's lying.

    So I stand by my statement,"If all you ever listen to is the government line on the economy you'd think that the recovery is nicely underway, job growth is healthy and inflation is nonexistent." I may have been a little off in the precise wording but overall I think that what I said about government and its masters at the federal Reserve and their distortion of the truth is pretty much on the money.