The summer of 2012 has created one of the worst food disasters since the Great Depression to hit the United States. Drought conditions have virtually wiped out over 2/3 of the nations crops of corn, wheat, and soy all essential for our nations food supply. That being said, the markets themselves immediately shouldn't expect to see any fluctuation in prices we all pay at the grocery stores. But according to Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack, Americans really should be on the lookout for food price gouging. Why? Because, this historic drought has created an opening for stores to overcharge their unsuspecting customers. You know, "Greed is good" still prevails even in our supermarkets all across the country. They will stoop at nothing to gain any advantage over their unsuspecting customers.
Echoing the views of other agriculture industry analysts, the Department of Agriculture warns that as the drought batters America's crop supply, prices at checkout lines will eventually increase but not now. Ah Contraire` on a recent trip to the nearest Wal-Mart prices are already pushing peoples wallets to the breaking point. For it was just a week ago the price for a steak was around $6 a pound. A week later the price shot up by more than $2 a pound. Not only are meat prices on the rise so is every thing else. Could it be that Wal-Mart and other supermarkets are dramatically raising prices now? Are they just trying to scam customers when they know full well that supply and demand are at levels where prices should remain stable and even lower than they were?
When you try to get an answer from store mangers all they say is the market dictates the price we all pay for food. Gee! that says allot. A blatant refusal to acknowledge that this summers drought is nothing more than a cover up for increasing food costs at a time when we know they should be lower. The Department of Agriculture keeps emphasizing that food prices at grocery stores will eventually increase by early next year and not before. One of the reasons being in the case of beef ranchers are already selling off beef and increasing the supply right now into the market place.
The drought will affect the prices of items you buy at the grocery store, eventually. But, according to the Department of Agriculture we shouldn't be seeing any price increases at all now. Secretary Vilsack says “We want to make sure people understand now is not the time they should see higher food costs. If there are going to be higher food costs, you will likely see them later in the year and first part of next year.” Contrary to what many people may think, or have been told, it may be months before the worst drought in 50 years drives up food prices. Meat prices are actually headed down [ Oh really!] as farmer rush livestock to market because there is not enough corn or feed for them to eat.
If Wal-Mart is already inflating food prices just think of the prices we pay now at top shelf grocery stores like Publix. We have seen it time and time before in other cases especially when natural emergencies strike like a Hurricane where price gouging is so evident but the consumer is still stuck with having to pay more just because of an emergency. When actually the most benevolent approach would be to lower prices or even offer free items. Their has been so few examples of the benevolence of shop keepers and owners of hotels. These individuals did typify a willingness to understand the plight of those caught in emergency situations where afterwards what they did in the heat of the emergency were rewarded many more times the amount that they would normally have charged. That is so rare today, when our society values monetary compensation above everything else. A very sad commentary of our times.