Technical Difficulties from on Top of the Mountain
  Its hiding out there
This weekend I had the kids at Home Depot and after they finished painting their creations together, we wandered into the store to look around and to wash their hands. As we headed in, I browsed various prices on various things but was in for a rude shock in the electrical department.


I keep a fair amount of wire around the house, just for whatever. Some 14 gauge for light work, lots of 12 gauge (yellow is pretty), and even some 10 for those welder circuits. I also have a bunch of heavy duty welding leads that look like giant jumper cables (handling 400amps takes a serious cross section of metal, otherwise all the energy heats up the wire and not the weld).

The last batch of 12/2 I bought around a year ago was $60. The same roll is now priced over $100. Why? I thought to myself. Sure oil is expensive, but shipping can't be that much on a roll of wire to get it to Flagstaff. Turns out Oil isn't the only thing that's more expensive in the last year. I knew silver was up there (the last silver I bought was at $4/oz, now its at $11), but I thought that was riding the gold bug's coattails. Turns out not, a bunch of industrial metals are higher as well, including copper. As recent as a month ago it was dancing around $4/pound, where as historically its been sitting around $1.60/pound. That's quite a jump.

That's going to have an impact on things—lots of things. Think you're safe because you're not accumulating electrical wiring like me? Well, are you going to be buying anything in the near future that uses electricity? has a motor? or a transformer? or a circuit board? Well, guess what those use: copper. Anything made by equipment that uses electricity: same thing. Replacement costs for pizza mixers, air conditions, and shop cranes is going up; and its going to take the rest of the economy with it. And with those other metals, you are basically seeing a 4X increase in materials for just about anything metal (even stainless steel—lots of nickel in there).

The fed has been trying to hide inflation for quite some time now, looks like its run out of places to stick it.

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