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Usury and alcohol/disinfectants

Old 05-27-20, 09:09 AM
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TakingMyTime
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Thumbs down Usury and alcohol/disinfectants

I'm not sure about the prices in the stores but when you go online the prices for containers of 75%-90% alcohol are outrageous and the sellers should be prosecuted for usury. We have enough alcohol base wipes and in liquid form here at the house so I'm not really in the market for them (i'm an old Boy scout and we've always had these kind of supplies on hand). But, holly smokes! The prices people are asking for these things now? I remember buying my order of Wet Ones wipes for next to nothing when buying 4 boxes at a time. That gave me something like 200 wipes. Now you can't even find them.

Just my little rant. Move on, there's nothing else to see here.
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Old 05-27-20, 09:21 AM
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Probably made in China too.
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Old 05-27-20, 09:58 AM
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We started in Jan with a nearly full 32oz bottle of IPA and have been using it sparingly for when soap/water is not possible. We haven't found any in stores locally. We are now down to about 4oz left and will need to find a refill soon.
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Old 05-27-20, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by noisebeam View Post
We started in Jan with a nearly full 32oz bottle of IPA and have been using it sparingly for when soap/water is not possible. We haven't found any in stores locally. We are now down to about 4oz left and will need to find a refill soon.
I always liked IPA's, but the last GF hated them: Too strongly hoppy-flavored for her.
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Old 05-27-20, 10:04 AM
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I don't get it. Are they selling you these products on credit and charging you unusually high interest? You getting payday advance loans to finance your hand sanitizer purchase? Where's the usury?
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Old 05-27-20, 10:22 AM
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With plenty of gloves, and soap and water where available, there isn't much need for alcohol disinfectants.
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Old 05-27-20, 08:05 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
I don't get it. Are they selling you these products on credit and charging you unusually high interest? You getting payday advance loans to finance your hand sanitizer purchase? Where's the usury?
i think he means "profiteering" > a lot of states have anti profiteering laws that criminalize profiteering in emergency situations
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Old 05-28-20, 04:11 AM
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If you're talking about those recent disinfectants in booze bottles that are around 80% alcohol with hydrogen peroxide, no additives like glycerin, etc., those mostly came from US distilleries that shifted manufacturing to hand sanitizer to meet a critical demand. That isn't usury. That's just the reality of market forces.

I know some folks in that business and they made sacrifices to make this happen. They lost a ton of their regular business as bars and restaurants were closed for several weeks (although, apparently, Americans have been drinking a lot more booze during the stay-home weeks). They had to lay off employees. At around $10 a booze-bottle full, I doubt they're making much profit on shifting from vodka or whiskey to grain alcohol and having to learn the standards for acceptable hand sanitizer, with fewer employees and new challenges in the supply chain and distribution.

One problem is most of these domestic distillers were committed to glass bottles. That's heavy and expensive to handle and ship. But they were selling premium products before the pandemic, and weren't thinking in terms of pushing $5 half gallons of no-name vodka in plastic jugs. Chances are, they're reconsidering this as a sideline now, using more efficient methods.

And with any products in high demand -- sanitizers, toilet paper (why, America, why TP?) -- the supply chain is complicated. All that was disrupted by the pandemic.

Most retailers have gone to Just In Time inventory. That works fine when everything is normal in the world. But the pandemic sparked hoarding by individuals, bulk purchasing by government agencies and private organizations before the products ever left the manufacturer, and all the usual newsworthy stuff we've heard for two months. Market pundits have been writing for two months about the supply chain disruption and speculating about a paradigm shift back to domestic production (won't happen, Americans are too cheap, and stockholders want profits, not patriotism).

Even if a business could still churn out liquid sanitizer or wipes, what are they going to put it in if they don't have an inventory of containers? The vast majority of this stuff comes from other countries now.
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Old 05-28-20, 07:19 AM
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We need to go back to producing essential supplies at home, by law. Medical PPE, incl hand sanitizers, pharmaceuticals, food supplies, critical technology,etc. It does get complicated when you
consider things like containers and raw materials for such. We are going to see a re-ordering of our econom ies and society in the next two years to radically accomodate these changes.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:13 PM
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I tried to make hand sanitizer but it came out as a martini.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I tried to make hand sanitizer but it came out as a martini.
If you make a few, you're bound to spill a little on your hands anyway.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:43 PM
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Originally Posted by TakingMyTime View Post
I'm not sure about the prices in the stores but when you go online the prices for containers of 75%-90% alcohol are outrageous and the sellers should be prosecuted for usury.
In my town, the past couple of weeks or so, there has been a really good supply of 1gal jugs of ~80% (?) alcohol fluid, for about $39/jug. It's not a gel type, nowhere near viscous enough to compare to the typical bottles of such stuff. But, still, with a couple of good spritzer to hold the stuff, it'd last a good long time. The individually packaged containers, the puny 2-8oz varieties, have been mostly absent from stores since February.

I'm not a fan of charging folks for usury unless there's a really unconscionable rise in price completely disjoint from the market. Fact is, costs increase when the supply chains are upset or slowed or otherwise challenged, and prices will rise.

I've seen some whining in the news about, oh, the price of eggs. The typical 12ct container of eggs I do has in recent years been in the ~$2.49/dz range whereas now it's in the ~$2.89/dz vicinity. I suppose some brands of certain eggs might be higher-priced; it's not often I've seen a dozen eggs for $6/dz, but they're out there ... they're just not the ones I've ever bought. Can't say that I know what those used to be, 6mos ago, 2yrs ago, etc.

As for the opportunists who soaked up all the "spare" 8oz bottles of hand sanitizer back in February and March, for example, where some were charging 8-10x the price ... well, I can appreciate why governments would get cranked over such a thing, when lack of proper hygiene was getting folks killed. Can't say I recall another headline-grade news story of someone taking gross advantage of reduced supplies, since that one from back in the Feb/Mar timeframe.
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Old 05-28-20, 02:43 PM
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back in early March I started making my own special sauce of alcohol & creamy hand soap in a spray bottle & squirt bottes for the car. even found some small spray bottles for the car, for me & family. I bought a 10 pack of alcohol on Amazon for cheap but can't get it anymore. that's OK I still have some plus I've been finding plenty of alternatives. I can even find customary disinfectant wipes. I just have to go early in the morning & go to several stores.

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Old 05-28-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Seattle Forrest View Post
I tried to make hand sanitizer but it came out as a martini.
Odd, I tried making a martini and it turned out tasting like hand sanitizer. I now drink Manhattans.
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Old 05-28-20, 06:04 PM
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Again, usury has a very specific meaning and price gouging is not it.
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Old 05-28-20, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
Again, usury has a very specific meaning and price gouging is not it.
qft
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Old 05-28-20, 07:01 PM
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Need Iso-alcohol? Go look in the paint dept at your local big-box hardware store (Home Depot & Lowes, maybe some paint-specific specialty stores like Sherwinn-Williams) . Lots of the strippers and cleaners these days are almost straight iso-alcohol. Just look at the label to make sure (some are acetone with a little toluene). mix with a little glycerin and aloe to thicken it up a little and you'll have a good-enough hand sanitizer.
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Old 05-28-20, 09:26 PM
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I don't get why the distilleries don't bottle 95% pure ethanol in their glass bottles and just use their regular distribution chain. Keeps them going, gets us the stuff and even is the answer to our leader's pitch a couple months ago of using internal disinfectants and unlike bleach or Lysol, this one won't kill us.

And the price? Yeah it will cost more, but marketing to the rescue. Meyers190 Rum. The real stuff. People will be lining up at liquor stores.
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Old 05-28-20, 10:20 PM
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Originally Posted by Clyde1820 View Post
I've seen some whining in the news about, oh, the price of eggs. The typical 12ct container of eggs I do has in recent years been in the ~$2.49/dz range whereas now it's in the ~$2.89/dz vicinity. I suppose some brands of certain eggs might be higher-priced; it's not often I've seen a dozen eggs for $6/dz, but they're out there ... they're just not the ones I've ever bought. Can't say that I know what those used to be, 6mos ago, 2yrs ago, etc.
I use a lot of eggs. The price varies a lot. That's normal. They can be a dollar a dozen one week and $3 a dozen the next. That's been typical for years. Sometimes when the price goes up above $2 a dozen at one store I'll go to another down the block and they still have some "old" stock for less than $2.

That's pretty much how the free market would work if everything was priced similarly. But that makes it difficult for consumers and the entire supply chain, so for most groceries there are subsidies and "nudges" to help ensure prices vary only a little over time. Kinda like how some electrical utilities offer price averaging so consumers aren't shocked by higher bills in summer/winter.

You'd think milk would vary as much but price controls are different for dairy so those prices tend to be fairly stable. Eggs are more fragile, lots of loss due to damage, so pricing is more like produce. Tomatoes also vary a lot for the same reason.

Nerd stuff I learned working for my ex-brother-in-law, whose only job, ever, was in grocery stores from the time he was a teenager until he owned his own store.
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Old 05-29-20, 07:52 AM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I don't get why the distilleries don't bottle 95% pure ethanol in their glass bottles and just use their regular distribution chain. Keeps them going, gets us the stuff and even is the answer to our leader's pitch a couple months ago of using internal disinfectants and unlike bleach or Lysol, this one won't kill us.

And the price? Yeah it will cost more, but marketing to the rescue. Meyers190 Rum. The real stuff. People will be lining up at liquor stores.
I don't see anything in the WHO guidelines about what containers should be used for distribution, but some distilleries are switching to making hand sanitizer, or at least supplying GNS to hand-sanitizer makers. There are a few local businesses in my area doing it. I think the kink is that they need to be careful not to make potable products in higher proofs than they can legally sell in the state. (Used to be 190 here in Iowa, now it's 151.)

I've never tried 190-proof Myers rum, but I do keep a bottle of Wray & Nephew White Overproof (126 proof) around. Love that stuff.
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Old 05-29-20, 11:21 AM
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Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
I don't see anything in the WHO guidelines about what containers should be used for distribution, but some distilleries are switching to making hand sanitizer, or at least supplying GNS to hand-sanitizer makers. There are a few local businesses in my area doing it. I think the kink is that they need to be careful not to make potable products in higher proofs than they can legally sell in the state. (Used to be 190 here in Iowa, now it's 151.)

I've never tried 190-proof Myers rum, but I do keep a bottle of Wray & Nephew White Overproof (126 proof) around. Love that stuff.
I made up the Meyers 190, Now this is a national emergency. Can't we waive the 151 limit? (Perhaps with a warning label "Some users report loss of motor control, light headed-ness and slurred speech".

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Old 05-29-20, 02:04 PM
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Couldn't find any iso alcohol, but found "Red" brand grain alcohol at the liquor store for a bit over $10/liter. 190 proof.

Everclear is the brand of neutral grain spirits which seems to be most recognized but it's overpriced, in my opinion.
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Old 05-29-20, 02:21 PM
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If I want to prevent a 30,000 nucleotide single-stranded RNA from getting degraded, I precipitate it with salt and ethanol.

To destroy viruses, bleach is ideal.
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Old 05-29-20, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
If I want to prevent a 30,000 nucleotide single-stranded RNA from getting degraded, I precipitate it with salt and ethanol.

To destroy viruses, bleach is ideal.
Yeah, but you have to consider that, you're not doing an EtOH precipitation at -80C or storing at -20C, it's an enveloped virus, and many surfaces have lots of fairly stable RNases on them. RNases are hell to get rid of when you want to keep the RNA around. Ethanol is fairly decent at dissolving lipid membranes and does an ok job at coagulating proteins, so, if you can disrupt the membrane and screw up the capsid, you've got exposed RNA that the RNases on surfaces (or UV light) can kill. Plus, it's easier on your skin than bleach. Our environmental safety folks say 70% EtOH (so 140 proof) is best for bacteria (not sure for viruses).
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Old 05-29-20, 06:59 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I don't get why the distilleries don't bottle 95% pure ethanol in their glass bottles and just use their regular distribution chain. Keeps them going, gets us the stuff and even is the answer to our leader's pitch a couple months ago of using internal disinfectants and unlike bleach or Lysol, this one won't kill us.

And the price? Yeah it will cost more, but marketing to the rescue. Meyers190 Rum. The real stuff. People will be lining up at liquor stores.
I have seen several TV news stories about craft distilleries turning to making hand sanitizer when they got shut down. I know one is in PA. There may be others in other states.
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