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Archive for Wednesday, August 7, 2013

40 years ago: Meat prices rising rapidly, even visibly, in wake of price freeze

August 7, 2013

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From the Lawrence Daily Journal-World for Aug. 7, 1973:

Rapid inflation, especially of meat prices, was illustrated in Lawrence today at a local fast-food restaurant. As described in today's Journal-World, "The state of flux of the local meat situation was reflected by an incident at a local short order emporium just before noon today. In the space of seconds, one patron got a roast beef sandwich for 89 cents, a price change was made on the board and the next purchaser paid 95 cents. 'That's just the way the price is going now,' the manager said, 'and if things keep up it'll probably be up to $1.10 before long. Matter of fact, we're even getting warnings that things like mayonnaise may be scarce before long, or at least so costly we can't afford it.'" An AP article the same week reported that grocers nationwide were turning to rationing or the black market to cope with beef-buying sprees by customers and the increasing beef shortage. By the end of the previous week, 9,000 workers had been laid off at 100 beef plants that had been forced to close or cut back on production. Cattlemen across the U.S. were reported to be withholding their beef from market until the scheduled Sept. 12 end of the beef price freeze ordered by President Nixon.

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