Saturday, September 14, 2013

Frustration and Outrage over Rising Costs

My last foray into an art store for needed supplies gave me “sticker shock!” I was in need of Turpenoid (odorless turpentine) to use as a paint thinner and brush cleaner. The price had escalated by 50% since my last purchase!  I left empty-handed hoping I could find something cheaper elsewhere.

Mineral oil was my next choice, but it too had gone up in price. The end result when mixed with paint and applied to canvas is also less than satisfying; any suggestions?

For the last two years, I’ve been painting with acrylics to relieve my allergy symptoms, save my lungs from toxic odors, and to keep my skin chemical free. I also use acrylic surgical gloves while painting to protect my skin even further.

My latest project required going back to oils for painting an image on glass. I was also eager to use up some of my long-forgotten oils that are beginning to harden in their metal tubes. I was overwhelmed by the fumes. First, my eyes began to water. And even though I vented the room with a fan, the feel of my lungs suggested that irritation was effecting my breathing as well.

As I grumbled at the price increase in Turpenoid, and ranted at the “Environmentalists” and the cost of added regulations on our profession, I had second thoughts as I used these toxic materials. It was too late to change to water-based oils; I had to begin what I’d started.

In the Government’s efforts to protect us from our own stupidity (and theirs), the cost of food is also increasing at a rapid pace because of additional information required on labels. For example, my favorite “Smart Balance” margarine was for sale in brand new packaging. This is code word for increased pricing. Sure enough, they are selling two ounces less product for the same price as two ounces more in their older packaging.

Manufacturers are really selling us packaging. Packaging that is more expensive than the food it contains. We as consumers continue to buy it up pretending it will make our lives easier, happier, and cleaner ignorantly unaware of this new “shell game.”

People who are more familiar with the land and the process of growing things understand this better than anyone; although, many farmers are also being scammed on the other end by being paid less money for their products. Corporate farmers and landowners are having the last laugh because most are subsidized by the government.

Many families would like to return to the land and grow some of their own produce, but neighborhood restrictions sometime make that impossible. Patio gardening is the next logical step. Growing tomatoes and squash in used tires lined with plastic and filled with potting soil or planting in small spaces is one option. My brother-in-law harvested zucchini, cucumbers, and summer squash all from this method.

I hope we don’t end up like people in many socialist countries: waiting in one long line to buy a loaf of expensive bread, and in another for vegetables, and another for coffee, milk or tea. The only way to prevent this scenario is to remain self sustaining and free from government intrusion and control.

The Nanny State cannot provide us with freedom and independence. When supplies run out, the government will not be able to fill our empty gnawing stomachs. In fact, government bureaucrats may very well become hoarders of the goods and services produced by the few for their own selfish purposes.