Sunday, September 2

Getting Milked at the Pump

I don’t care what that cute Economist on TV said the other day about us having 1.2% inflation from last year to this, all I know is that I now pay over $18 for a gallon of milk. Okay, so I drink (correction: drank) soy milk. Not being much of a meat eater, I figured I’d get rid of the dairy and add protein all in one fell swoop. Well, not anymore. But, even regular milk works out to $7.85 per gallon.
The same economist stated that between July and August inflation was 0.2%. Oh yeah? Tell it to my corner grocer who just raised my milk price from July to August, 6.78%!!! I mean, if you stop and think about it, soy milk should be vastly cheaper than milk made from live cows; I mean, no heifers to feed, no mating, no automated-milking systems, no foot-in-whatever disease, no mad cows. Pure and simple grass.

But, what about the pizza man I just paid $17 to just last night for a simple salami pie? Prior to the euro, pizzas cost exactly $5.55. Adjusted for say, 3% inflation per year, that should be about $6.45 today. Ditto for drinks in bars and movie theatres. Cappuccinos doubled overnight and continue to climb. According to some estimates, in the last few years bread has gone up 140%. Whatever the economists say, my personal basket of goods is going through inflation rates that make Argentina & Brazil in the ‘80s pale by comparison.

The surprising thing is that milk basically follows the gas prices so closely, whenever I pull up to the pump, I think of a fillup in numbers of cappuccinos. I’m convinced, actually, that Exxon and Shell really don’t have huge oil rigs off the cost of Norway where they battle the elements whilst drilling miles down for a little black gold. No, in my opinion, the Petroleum Cos. actually own vast territories of land in France, Germany and Austria, in which they raise cattle. And in those round carriers supposedly carrying gasoline across the continent? Milk. Coming in fresh daily.

I know, it’s my very own little Italian conspiracy theory, but, I really don’t believe I’m wrong on this one. And, imagine that if it were true, it’d still fill the greens’ agendas perfectly: what with what we know about cow gas and the ozone, well, Al Gore could still say that the petroleum cos. are causing the earth’s demise.

My dad used to love to toss out a quote from Henry Ford: “You buy a cow and the cow milks you.” Ford was supposedly referring to upkeep costs of a car. But from where I sit, supping a cappuccino, I’d say he knew exactly the true meaning of his words.

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