Friday, April 25, 2008

#390 Privatized Rationing

#390 Privatized Rationing

Corn crisis, rice crisis, fuel crisis, food crisis. We sure have a lot of crises these days.

The discount "club" stores are starting to ration rice. Four bags to a customer.

Is there a rice shortage? No. There's plenty of rice, and most of it's grown in the U.S. So what's with the rationing?

The so-called "clubs" don't make any money from the stuff they sell. I'll say that again. They don't make two nickels on all that stuff in the aisles. Not usually. They make money selling "memberships."

The price of rice has doubled. That puts it somewhere near 50 cents a pound. Sam's Club the others don't want to raise the price. They want to preserve the illusion of cheap stuff. So rather than buy more rice to sell, they're relying on the stock on hand and parceling it out. They don't want you to think that stuff is getting expensive. Even more so, they don't want you to think that THEY are getting expensive.

The best of all worlds. They hold the price down and start privatized rationing. It's more American than, oh, say, welfare and get-rich-quick seminars, phony wars and intentional depressions.

We're talking pennies, here, folks.

Sam's Club holds the price on rice and looks like a hero. Plus they sell the stuff in trillion-pound bags, not the little boxes you find on the supermarket shelves. So everyone gets enough, and some enterprising merchant takes a new step toward self-regulation, or as some folks call it, anarchy.

Rice is pretty important to the diet. Half the world survives on little else. Sometimes that's a choice, sometimes it's the only answer. But there IS no "rice crisis."

But why stop at rice? Privatized rationing is the wave of the future.

Start with something subtle, like information.

The 24-hour news networks could cut back to 12 hours.

The daily paper could cut back to publishing three times a week.

The library could hide half its books.

How about air? Ration air. Of course, first you'd have to sell the air industry to private owners. Then, they could control how often you inhale and exhale.

The phone companies could ration talk time. (Oh, wait, don't they do that already?)

And we kind of have that with gasoline, now. Oh, Exxon will sell you as much as you want. But they're working toward intense conservation by keeping the prices artificially high. They're big, but they're chicken. They don't want to CALL it rationing.

Sam's Club should be congratulated for naming and starting this new trend. And you can help support their patriotic effort by forking over forty bucks and joining.

You get to learn the secret handshake, and get a free Sam's De-coder ring as a bonus for joining.

Of course, you join as a low ranking neophyte member. But if you are ambitious, you soon will rise through the ranks. They have degrees, like the Masons, the Boy Scouts and the dictatorship of the proletariat.

I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®
©2008 WJR

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