I got a couple questions recently. Saddle Tramp asked me a very complicated question which I will address this afternoon or tomorrow. In order to address Saddle Tramp's question I think it is worthwhile to talk a little bit about inflation. Chris from AK asked how the dehydrator is turning out as he is in the market for one.
It took me a long time to really understand inflation. I of course understood that when stuff costs more it is inflation and when it costs less it is deflation. On a very individual Joe everyday trying to pay bills, save and generally live that is enough. However what about the rest of the story.
Two truths shape my beliefs in inflation as they are now. First is that it is a hidden tax. How is it a hidden tax you ask? Simply because the government (ours or some other one) prints money and spends it. This money makes the value of the money in circulation lower. Politicians like this because they get the benefit of spending more without having to raise taxes or decrease spending neither of which voters like. There is no need to take money out of peoples paychecks or extract it from them annually when they can reach into our pockets and just decrease the value.
Lets say you keep a few hundred dollars in cash at home because well that is what you do if you are smart. If we have 5% inflation the money in your sock drawer or gun safe is able to buy 5% less stuff. No guy who was too low in his accounting class to get a lucrative private job and thus has a big chip on his shoulder is going to show up at your house backed by the implicit threat of force. They just print more and it decreases the value of what you have.
The second is a bit more conceptual. Dave Duffy said it best "Inflation isn't so much that prices go up—because that would imply that groceries and stuff like that have somehow become more valuable. Inflation is when money becomes less valuable so it takes more money to buy a sack of potatoes, a gallon of gas, or hire a babysitter. It's a distinction most people don't seem to get.".
Inflation isn't stuff becoming worth more through companies adding features to something, having increased costs or God forbid deciding to just make a little bit more profit. Inflation is the value of money going down.
Anyway I felt like revisiting those foundations is important for what I will talk about later.
Not too long ago I purchased a 4 tray Excalibur dehydrator. There were two features I initially wanted, the ability to set the temperature and a timer. Because of cost considerations I decided to get one without a timer. As Angela pointed out you can just plug it into one of those Christmas tree timers.
I am really enjoying the dehydrator. If we had a bigger family I would have purchased a bigger one but since we don't the smaller and cheaper model is just fine. Not having a timer is a bit of an annoyance but I just time it so I will be around when the stuff should be done. The trays just get tossed into the dish washer and come out clean. There is no need to rotate trays as with some models.
I found it well worth the roughly $100 it cost. Hope that helps.