Phil at Bustednuckles occasionally puts up an open thread, asking his readers around the country to report on what they're experiencing, seeing and hearing in their part of the world. His latest has some interesting replies, such as:
"Petty crime way up. Explosion of homeless/transients without cars. Explosion of same, living in their cars. Panhandlers with signs (“HUNGRY”), on e v e r y street corner. We don’t do hyperbole. I’ve NEVER seen anything like it. The lid IS coming off." (No state mentioned) "Wife wanted some romaine lettuce. $4.97/head!" (Oregon) "Most food items are 30 to 40% higher than this time last year and rising slowly month over month." (New Hampshire) "I had to do my quarterly visit to the corp office in Calgary last week. I have never seen so many homeless drug addicts before. You couldnt go 20 feet on the street without one trying to hit you up for money. Offices have all sorts of new security because its such a problem suddenly." (Alberta, Canada) "food prices are up a lot ! coffee went from 9.99 to 14.99 inside of a month. ground beef is on average 5 bucks plus per pound. canned chicken went from 8 bucks for 4 cans to 12.99. canned veggies are double what they where last year, store brand was 47 cents, now 97." (Pennsylvania highlands) "LOTS of young and not so young men standing around drinking all day, all of a sudden. Every quick mart, gas station, and apartment complex has small groups near the dumpsters, leaning on the back wall, or clustered around a couple of cars. None look gainfully employed, and all seem to be recent border crossers. Lot more facial and other obvious gang and prison tattoos too. Lots of illegal dumping, overgrown lots, and closed retail too." (Houston, Texas) "The breakdown of Societal norms. The mood, manner, and method of the other members of the community, has changed. In a mere twelve months. And not for the better. It’s like a switch has been thrown. Many people on edge. Common courtesy and decency now disappearing. The rancid economy has hit really hard here. Bang, upside everyone’s head." (Location unknown) "we’ve been told some of the immigrant women panhandling with kids are part of organized groups and have to give their “earnings” to their boss. They tend to hit up church parking lots on Sundays." (Northern Atlanta, Georgia) "WA on the edge of a deep blue sh**hole metro. 92 octane was $5.29 today, regular around $5, a lot of the difference from other places is massive blue state taxes hugely increasing over time." (Presumably near Seattle, Washington) "Walmart is out of flour, regular all purpose flour. Has been for about 2 weeks ... Currently running my own little CPI on groceries, current annual rate of 57%. Believe that being held down by things where field to table takes a long time like canned goods. Things like eggs with short cycle are at 400% annual increase." (NE Alabama) "Living in SE Mich, too old to move. Decided to increase preps from 1 year to 3. Been seeing this coming for a long time, it got more serious for me this year and now I’m seeing everything I expected coming down and it affects me more than I expected ... My biggest shortage from before was vegetables, as I believed the those prices would stay down and the meat would become unaffordable or unavailable. Watching other area’s produce prices has convinced me otherwise. Running 3 dehydrators as hard as I can and storing dried vegetables in vacuum sealed jars." "Went to the local burrito barn only to find their newly printed menu has raised prices between 20% and 30% on everything. Good thing we rarely eat a restaurant meal anymore ... I try not to obsess on Doomsday Porn, but every indication is that it’s going to get very, very ugly sooner than later. Not looking forward to having to use all those stored preps." (Oregon) "The little food we purchase is up 30~45%. Lots of empty spaces on the shelves ... Normalcy bias is the mental state of the day. Folks have no idea what is coming down the pike and don’t want to know. We have increasing numbers of drifters coming through and some of them are real sketchy. The rest are desperate. There’s also been a few cases of folks just squatting in some empty houses." (Location unknown) "Locally owned grocery store – green onions were $.63 a bundle a year ago – now almost 3 dollars. Shelves are plenty stocked but prices are rising weekly. Best Foods/Hellman’s Mayo $8.67 a jar. Trying a generic brand for 5 dollars. 4 pack of chicken (legs and or breasts) $10 to $12 a package. Most packages of deli slice meats and cheeses are almost $6 a package. Ouch." (Abilene, Kansas)
I highly recommend clicking over to Phil's place to read the rest for yourself. It's good to know how things are going elsewhere; they're often a forecast and a warning about what's coming our way in our own areas.