Most people think the incense in eh cost of food is because the supermarkets are ripping off the public. To a degree, yes. Not that much however in comparison to some other businesses/reasons..

Some find a way to benefit from a crisis such as the pandemic.

In this instance, food producers. Those who manufacture the canned goods, meats, and anything else sold in a supermarket.

Notice how certain food stuffs are absent for weeks on the shelves. The items always return. However at an increased price.

The producers have learned to play the gouging game.  They intentionally hold on to goods they produce so as to manipulate prices. The game again is to keep a product off the shelve for several weeks and then have it return at a higher price.

Then there is the cost of shipping/delivery of goods.

Shipping prices have gone out of sight! Which of course increases the final cost to the consumer.

Tucking rates have soared despite a demand below prior years.

Diesel #2 prices are up. Twenty percent from November 2020 through February 15, 2021. A big jump in a short period of time.

Crude oil is up 64 percent during the same time period. Wild!

Shippers, such as retailers and manufacturers shipping goods to the customer, have experienced a 20 percent hike from January 2020 through January 2021. The steepest increase since 2011!

Only a few examples contributing to increased transportation costs have been provided. The statistics/data involving the increases in various types of shipping were too much for me to understand. Wow! The only thing clear was that there is an increase in every area. Reasons generally different. My opinion is do not blame everything on the supermarket. They are responsible to some degree. The examples set forth herein are responsible to an even greater degree.

Texas. A disaster!

Hopefully Texas has learned a lesson. The lesson also is a warning to other states not to go the “independent” way Texas did.

There are two national grids. The East and the West. Then there is Texas standing alone. Texas knew how to provide power more efficiently and cheaper.

They bull shitted themselves.

If you are going to run your own business, it must be run properly to avoid something as has occurred in Texas.

Once set up, Texas failed to do the necessary to keep structures up to date and failed to pay attention to anticipated wild weather developments.

“Once in a hundred years” has become common in everything involving weather.

However, if you have a neoliberal austerity State which has spent 40 years deregulating and privatizing public infrastructures, and downsizing public service into incapability, you end up with a gigantic bad situation. A problem where people cannot depend on the State for water, food, and power during emergencies.

There are adverse weather events to prepare for. Texas did not prepare.

Set aside State damages for which Texas is responsible, most of which probably are not insured. Another way to save a buck.

Home owners and businesses normally are insure. I m confident many Texans are insured for the damages wrought by the snow and ice. Note however that insurance companies are a business. They claim they are available to protect their insureds. No! Most are corporations and worried more about their bottom lines.

So insurance policies are written with various exceptions. Happenings where coverage is excluded. Take for example water driven by wind. The insurance companies will play with that one big time. How about an act of God? Can one argue the cause of snow and ice other than an act of God. Insurance companies try and do.

There are numerous other examples. The poor homeowner and businessman is going to have a hard time getting paid actual damages incurred or getting paid at all.

And what of the time factor involved between the time the claim is made and the insurance company pays. Could be a year or two or more.

Billions of dollars are involved.

The news keeps saying Biden definitely is not in favor of an increase in the minimum wage to $15 in this stimulus package. I sense it is something he will consider at another time. Biden cannot be expected to do everything at one time.

Biden is in favor of a $15 minimum wage for federal employees. Evidence he is aware of the problem and is working on it.

Joseph Anthony Pizzo died recently. He was 88.

I first met Joe when I came to Key West some 30 years ago. He and his wife Beth wee already here. We became friends.

Joe was a happy person. Always a big smile when he saw you. Beth likewise very personable.

Joe was into things that grew from the ground. A botanist/horticulturalist.  He taught life science classes for 30 years at Chicago City College. In addition, he and Beth opened Floral Consultants, a business they were able to expand to multiple Chicago locations.

Rest in peace, Joe!

Key West has had many citizen who have been responsible for what Key West has become. Good, bad, or indifferent, Key West would not be what it is today without their genius and hard work.

One of those persons is David Wolkowsky. David died a few years ago.

On this day in 1967, David began construction of the Pier House Motel. On that Motel site, today’s Pier House sits. Developer over the years by David.

David was my friend. I unfortunately met him in his later years. I enjoyed his company. He was respectful to all. Everyone loved him.

Enjoy your day!

DAY 26…..Greece the First Time

Posted on June 22, 2012 by Key West Lou

Not easy to communicate via internet from the middle of the Aegean Sea. Equipment here all old. Connections not dependable. Things keep getting lost. I spend more time looking for lost material than writing.

None of the above is intended as a complaint. I expect no more nor no less from an island so remote as the one I am presently on. Amorgos. It is almost nowhere. Access is by boat only. The boat comes and goes. The boat arrives two times a week.

I share the preceding with you for a particular reason.

Recent blogs have contained many errors. Paragraphs repeated, misspelled words, capitalizations missing, etc. I cannot help it. I reach a point where I have spent 4 hours doing the blog, 2.5 of which were spent finding the blog when it has disappeared.

I reach a point where I say I must publish before I lose the blog in its entirety for good. So I publish. I must admit when I am at that point, I am also very tired and say screw it.

Forgive me. The substance is good, even though the form may be lacking on occasion.

Which brings me to my present abode. A small white cottage with blue trim. Trim includes windows, shutters and doors. Sitting about 12 feet from the ocean. Yesterday I described the area between me and the water as a road. I was mistaken. It is a stone foot path.

Amorgos is one of the far out of the Greek islands. Off the beaten path. Few visitors. Not on the tourist routes. No big fancy hotels. Nothing but you, a couple of neighbors, and God.

If 2,000 people live on this island, I would be shocked.

My little house sits at the end of the path previously described. After that, nothing but water.

Sunsets terrific. Like Key West. Across the water from me. Over the peak of a mountain. Glorious!

I bought a bottle of Beefeaters yesterday. Enjoyed a couple of drinks from my terrace watching the sunset.

I was shocked I could buy Beefeaters. It has been almost non existent at my previous stops. Not only was it available on Amorgos, it was also cheap. About half the cost compared to the U.S. I suspect it is the taxes. If the Greeks taxed alcohol as much as it is in the U.S., it would dramatically help their financial condition.

Cigarettes. I took 4 packs with me. I have been gone 2 days shy of four weeks. Just finished the fourth pack yesterday. I am not doing bad in smoking little. I know. I should not be at all.

I bought a pack yesterday. $4.10! No way in the U.S.A. Another example of where Greece might help alleviate its financial problem. Increase substantially the cigarette tax.

There is a Chora on Amorgos. You will recall there was one in Mykonos. Chora is also referred to as Hora. It means old place. The old places on most islands are federally protected in Greece. Much like our historical buildings.

The Chora here is a large number of buildings constructed during the middle ages. Most at least 1,000 years old. Typically Grecian. One to 3 stories. Small terraces. White. Blue trimming. Narrow walkway, 3-4 feet wide.

Whereas Mykonos’ Chora was full of people, stores, bars and restaurants, the one on Amorgos appeared deserted. I saw no more than a dozen visitors.

Every 200-300 feet there is a restaurant or coffee house. Few or no customers.

Stairs. To the sky! Just what I love! Steps everywhere. Up, up and more up! Each one a stress test for me.

Chora was six miles away. On the top of a hill. The cab ride was straight up. The return trip straight down. How these cars do it, I will never understand. I consider it physically impossible for a car to keep its wheels on the road under such conditions.

Somewhere along the way yesterday, I found out what the windmills were for. There are many here as on Mykonos.

Olives were and still are big. The windmills were used to crush the olives. Where there were vine yards, the grapes were likewise crushed by the windmills.

Last night the wind returned. Cold. Very cold. I had to wear a sweat shirt.

I had a late dinner. At Demetrius’. After dinner there the night before, I could eat nowhere else. I was not disappointed.

Eggplant is big here. I had a warm appetizer of eggplant, tomatoes and onions. All cut up and cooked together. To die for!

My entre surpassed everything! My friends in Utica will especially enjoy that which I am about to share. I had lamb chops. Thin. The bone intact, not cut from the chop’s body. Fatty and juicy.

Just like Pelletieri Joe’s.

I got up with the sun this morning. Walked down the road a bit to buy coffee, a loaf of hot bread and butter. Then back to the cottage and my terrace. I watched the sun and water move a bit. Nothing else.

A bit later I was playing around with my tablet. A very lovely young lady walked by. Ann. Swiss. 18. Blond hair. Trim body. White blouse. Short jeans.

We talked. She was back packing it. Was looking for a cheap place to stay. Elini’s was too expensive for her. She moved on to continue her quest.

By the way, I think Elini’s is dirt cheap. Everything on this island costs next to nothing. For example, my dinner last night cost 11 euros. About $14 American money. Tip built in. Tip is 16 per cent of a bill.

I had another visitor while sitting outside.

I heard clinging bells. Saw nothing. Got up and looked over the terrace wall. There were three ducks walking along. Each had a bell around its neck. Looked like a family. Two big ones, one little one. Obviously house pets out for a stroll.

I have no idea at this point what today will bring. Maybe a trip to the monastery. Maybe nothing.

Enjoy your day!



  1. Years of Republican love for libertarian Milton Friedman’s ‘John Birch Society’ excessive free trade, no regulation capitalism. That’s what has got us into this mess. The crisis in Texas is only a recent example proving this. So is the opportunistic price gouging we see during the pandemic crises.

    We need a better balance with respect to our society and the needs and DESIRE of commerce. We need to start with a better relationship and understanding of rules and regulation.

    Teams sports would NEVER survive without rules and regulations (Lance Armstrong) and neither do societies or economies.

    Real freedom needs realistic parameters and controls.

  2. In regard to your comments on food prices, that’s all anecdotal and not really accurate. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, food price inflation has been less than half a percentage of overall inflation over the past decade. On farming, the USDA reports that agricultural productivity and efficiency is at an all time high–we’re producing more food for less cost than at any point in human history, so wrong again. I’d like to debunk your commentary on trucking but I don’t think you’ll appreciate how shifting trends in warehouse and logistical costs and freight labor have significantly more to do with it than diesel prices. Anyway, almost none of what you presented there is correct. You should try starting sentences with “In my opinion…”

  3. I don’t recall that Friedman was ever a member of the John Birch Society. Friedman described himself as a libertarian with a small ‘l’. The JBS was much further to the political right. Their respective economic theories are too detailed to discuss here, and they were often in disagreement. But Friedman did advocate free trade, and the JBS opposed economic intervention. Same thing? Neither has enough influence on today’s economic practices to matter, except as historical reference.

    • ..or as a means to explain why we’re in the pickle we’re in.

      Your arguments seem to me to be the same old denial argument, so many small “l” people have about EVERYTHING that’s happening they don’t want to be responsible for.

      Always denial, always obfuscation.

      And of course Milton Friedman wasn’s a Member of the John Birch society (which I never claimed) any more than most libertarians (big or small “L”) don’t want to be labeled as Republicans) but that’s just because they’re spineless and don’t want to be held responsible for anything, lest they be unable to deny all responsibility for everything.

      Denial IS libertarianism (big “L” or small “l”, whichever you are willing to not deny) – Not unlike the ‘Zelots’ of in 1st-century Second Temple Judaism.

  4. If labels are important to you, then by all means attach labels to whomever or whatever offends you. But I think we have to give Friedman credit for labeling HIMSELF as a small ‘l’ libertarian, probably before anyone else even heard of the term. If you disagree with his self-proclaimed economic position, then it is far too late to argue with him.

    • Who’s arguing with Friedman, tt’s YOU who are the problem.

      It does NOT matter what you or Friedman label yourselves, that doesn’t make it such and that is MY point.

      I label myself as pretty, that isn’t what others would say is true.

      You have far to high an opinion of yourself and that isn’t true either. Please work on you comprehension issues. Things aren’t the way YPU want them to be, they are what they ARE.

        • No not upset at all, but then you always seem to want to decide what others mean or say, ignoring reality with your pompous statements, always void of any personal responsibility.

          Lou got it right about prices and your alternate reality attempt is just one more cop out. You have always been a bully trying to force your nonsense on everyone else, then wiggle out of it by blaming whoever challenges you, with your typical pa*sive aggressive statements and not so clever innuendos.

  5. Speaking of price increases, the cost of a gallon of gas at my neighborhood pump at noon on Inauguration Day was $2.10. How is going in your area?

  6. I think our current government is now rolling back the unnecessary price subsidies Trunp allowed the oil industry to get their financial support and brag about cheap gas. EVERYTHING was corrupt about him.

    This new regime is more fiscally responsible and far less dishonest about everyday things at the cost of taxpayers.

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