May 09, 2008
I SAW A FEATURE BY NEIL CAVUTO last night on food stockpiling, in which one of his correspondents explained how he'd spent $1500 at Costco stocking up against shortages. You know, if you have stories like this on TV regularly, you'll get food shortages at stores even if there's no actual shortage in supply, because today's just-in-time inventory practices mean that there's no real slack for sudden increases in demand. The empty shelves will then promote panic and more stockpiling, setting the stage for the equivalent of a bank-run on grocery stores even if there's no actual reason. I'm all for people keeping a good-sized supply of food at home in case of emergencies, but press people who cover this need to do so responsibly.
On the other hand, if they create a crisis, then they can report on the crisis. Your media at work!