Early yesterday afternoon I was in my local Sam's Club. I walked into the dairy section--there was not a gallon of milk to be had. There were several quarts of cream or half-and-half, and a few dozens of eggs, but not a single gallon of milk. I slowly turned 180 degrees to my left, marveling at something I imagined only in state-controlled economies, and then left the room-sized dairy frig.
A moment later I saw a lady walk in. She did exactly as I did--looked to her right, saw only empty floor space where hundreds of gallons of milk should be, slowly did a 180 to her left to see if maybe there was milk in the rest of the area, and then walked out.
I saw an employee who seemed to be working in that general area, so I asked him if more pallets of milk would be coming in a minute or if the store was truly out. He told me that their supplier now brings only the absolute minimum they can get away with, and it's usually gone in the morning.
I recall the story that Boris Yeltsin knew communism's gig was up when he saw grocery stories full of goods in the US. Now, in California, is there a shortage of milk?
I'm quite at a loss.