Monthly Archives: July 2015

Kris Rosvold shared an answer on Quora with you

My @Quora answer to Why do large US corporations no longer believe in paying more than minimal wages and benefits to…

See Original post for missing charts.
This is a topic I’ve considered over the decades and watched become increasingly worse as I get older.

What is the driver behind the US Race To The Bottom in wages for the vast majority of workers?
One word: GREED

Pure, unadulterated, greed; with precisely ZERO regard, or care for, the costs to our society, our Nation, or our Citizens.

Over the past 4 decades the US ratio of CEO, CFO, and Board incomes, relative to median (not the janitors, but the median wage) employee income have consistently risen from a 1980 low of 40:1 to a current ratio of between 160:1 and 1795:1 in 2012 ….!!
And you WONDER why it’s an increasing struggle in the USA to pay the bills each month??!

Here is an interesting little interactive map of the issue:
CEO-to-Worker Pay Ratios Around the World

Backup Data for my assertion:
CEO Pay 1,795-to-1 Multiple of Wages Skirts U.S. Law
“These multiples are based on CEO pay for either the fiscal year ending  in 2011 or 2012, as disclosed in the companies’ most recent filings  before noon on March 26. Because most companies don’t disclose their  average workers’ pay, Bloomberg used U.S. government data on worker  compensation by industry. The average ratio for the S&P 500  companies is up from 170 in 2009, when the financial crisis reduced many  compensation packages. Estimates by academics and trade-union groups  put the number at 20-to-1 in the 1950s, rising to 42-to-1 in 1980 and  120-to-1 by 2000.”

CEO to Employee salary ratio
The median CEO salary of $9.587 million:

HOW LONG IT TAKES OTHERS TO MAKE THAT MUCH: A minimum wage worker would  have to work 636 years to make that much. A person making the national  average salary would have to work 244 years to make the median CEO  salary.

BY THE HOUR: If you assume the CEO works a 60-hour week, the pay comes  to $3,072.84 per hour, or $51.21 per minute. To put that in perspective,  the minimum wage worker would have to labor more than 10 weeks to make  what the median CEO earns in an hour. It would take the average U.S.  worker nearly a month to make what the average CEO makes in an hour.

COMPARED WITH AMERICA’S CEO: The CEO who made the median salary took in  12 times the total $789,674 in gross income that President Obama  reported last year. But it is less than half the $20.9 million in income  that presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney reported in his tax  filing.

0Fortune 500 2012 – CEO pay vs. our salaries – FORTUNE on

Fortune 100’s CEO to Employee Incomes Compared

Top CEO Pay Ratios Bloomberg

HERE’S and interesting little comparison:
CEO Pay Exceeds Tax Bill at Major Corporations

AND: THE TRUTH ABOUT THE ECONOMY: In the 1980s, Greed WAS Good… Then We Went Overboard

So, PLEASE, all you CEOs, tell me all about how “It’s not GREED!

Here are the “reasons” (read excuses) that corporations don’t want to comply with the new SEC Regulations about wage disparity reporting (hint: it’s too much work is what they claim… the REAL answer is: “If our employees KNEW what we were doing while screwing them over; the hate letters to the executives of banks after the Bailout would look mild by comparison!”)
Corporate pay ratio plan proves divisive

We are NOT “broke”!! We ARE BEING ROBBED!!!

If you’re not outraged, you are not paying attention!

Truth about tax breaks for the wealthy

My @Quora answer to Everyone knows that lower taxes boost the economy, so why do politicians always want to raise ta…

Question contains politically convenient false assumptions and false conflations.

No, everyone does not “know” that lowering taxes (especially on wealthy and multinational corporations) creates jobs or stimulates the economy. Because it doesn’t. That’s an assertion started in the US just prior to the Reagan Administration, and it, quite simply, is dead wrong.  In fact one of the major past proponents of policy based upon this version of voodoo “economics” recently admitted that he’d been wrong in supporting it.

Here he is:

Here’s more on this little Fact which we’ve known since ’89:

See… we live in what’s called a Consumer Driven Economy and have since about 1900. So why do we call it that? Quite simply, because when the poor and middle class have spare cash they spend a good portion of it to improve their lives. When the wealthy (and multinational corporations) have spare cash they sequester it.  Like this:
Here’s the declared “legal” tax evasion:
Here’s a few examples of the real (and most carefully un-talked about) problem in tax collections:

Pepco Holdings

Headquartered in: DC
Industry: Utilities, Gas & Electric
Average Tax Rate: -33%

Here’s the sequestering:

What creates economic growth (and thus jobs) isn’t production, or effects in production; it’s consumers using their spare cash to purchase stuff. Yes, it really is just that simple.

Doubt me? Good! Here’s your homework:
Walk up to any local small or mid sized business owner and ask them: “When (what things cause you to) do you create and fill new job positions in your company?”

You’ll get a variant of one of three answers.
“Because my existing crew can’t produce enough of what my customers (Consumers) are demanding”
“Because I’m hiring in the hopes that the Consumer demand will increase beyond what my crew can produce.”
“Because I’m hoping to cut production costs at the same output by consolidating tasks.”

That’s it. Other than “Cousin Joey need a job.” There is no other reason to hire. 

Now ask those same business owners when they eliminate a position.

Here’s what you’ll get:
My crew can produce what the customers are demanding without the extra body.
Go ahead… ask them, ask a dozen of them. I dare you.

Here’s Why having a strong middle class is absolutely critical to having a strong economy, and having a strong wealthy class actually harms the economy (Thanks Nora Rivkis!): Nora Rivkis’ answer to Everyone knows that lower taxes boost the economy, so why do politicians always want to raise taxes?

Now consider, logically, the primary claim of Voodoo (Trickle Down) “Economics”:

That the reduction of consumer costs for products drives corporate spending which creates jobs (the “privilege” of mass production).

So… you open a coffee brewer factory making brewers with full automation at 2/3 the cost of your competitors.  Great. However, if the Consumers are broke and have their spending clamped down hard (as we do right now, and have had since ’06)… how many brewers are you going to sell? Right… all you’ve done is increased the speed of the race to the bottom in price for your industry.

Here’s a smart rich guy talking about that dynamic and how that really works (or doesnt):

Now, can we please shut the Faux “News” lies up?!

Addenda from comment thread:

Here’s the game politician play so as to appear to be “doing something” while actually doing nothing:

Most wealthy folks get the vast majority of their income from capital gains income, and have sucessfully bribed legislators into dramatically discounting that tax rate as if it were somehow a “different” type of income than wages. Thus changes to the top tiers of wage income (which is what the article talks about) have almost zero effect on the taxes paid by the wealthy… because they don’t get their income from wages, they get their income from capital gains.

As an example in the US…
I, as a wage earner, pay about 21% of gross income in total Federal taxes (not counting SSI & Medicare also not counting the myriad excise taxes) where a person “earning” the same amount via capital gains would pay below 15% of gross income, and more likely eould pay less than 13% as Romney and Buffet admit to.

Since the vast majority of my income is from wages, and the vast majority of the wealthy persons’ income is from investment, theoretically the government could raise the wage tax rate to +100% and still not affect actual collections from the wealthy much at all. This IS the obfuscation which government uses to service their bribers at Our expense. We get taxed on Wages, they get taxed at a MUCH lower percentage of their gross income on investment income. So talking to me about the “tax rate on wages” is just another obfuscation.

Bottom line: Our government’s are intentionally and conveniently using the wrong tool in order to appear as if they are “responding” by “working” at “solving” the problem of wealth and income inequality which they created at the behest of their corporate bribers; while actually doing absolutely nothing of any substance or effect.

This is called (in casinos and in government) the game of Three Card Monte Carlo… on the streets it’s called “Find the Red Queen” and you’ll never find her in play (unless the dealer wants you to) because once play starts she “vanishes” up a sleeve or into the palm of a hand.

It gets even worse when you look at the tax code for small businesses… my business income and expenses are treated very differently from those of a C Corporation in that they get to deduct all utilities, housing, fuel, travel, etc while I only “get to” deduct that portion which could not be reasonably used for any other purpose outside of running the business.

Thus, I only “get to” deduct 1/3 or less of my largest expenses (housing, utilities, property taxes, insurance, etc) while big corporations get to deduct everything (often including houses and cars for their executive and upper management).

And so we end up with disengenuious claims of “Well we tried to do something about the problem but it didn’t work…”
It can’t ever work until and unless the tax rates taken from Investment Income are equal to those used on Wage Income .

Of course it didn’t work because politicians are (intentionally) using a hammer in an “attempt” to drive a screw.

Want to really solve the problem? Simple:
Make capital gains and corporate effective tax rates mirror what individual Citizens pay, by tax bracket, as a percentage of gross income.  (Oh, BTW: Don’t ever talk at me about our “insanely high” Marginal Corporate Tax Rate… you and I both know it’s utter bull shit when talking about multinational corporations they average 12.6% of gross income or less)

Institute a “No Pay, No Play” policy on corporations and the wealthy. “You no pay tax? Cool! You no get to use our markets for anything! Until you pay up… no using our markets to invest, no selling your products here, no using our banking system to move money. (This make the tax code self enforcing because paying taxes becomes less onerous than evading them… the exact reverse of what we have now for the wealthy and corporations)

Throw corporations (all of them), bodily, out of our campaign finance process by reinstating our laws about bribery of public officials and by using RICO to enforce those laws. (C.E.O.s, C.F.O.s, and Boards, start going to prison for corporate tax evasion. RICO is purpose written for this function).

Will this happen? No. Not without a violent and bloody revolution… Here’s why:

“Between 2007 and 2012, 200 of America’s most politically active corporations spent a combined $5.8 billion on federal lobbying and campaign contributions. A year-long analysis by the Sunlight Foundation suggests, however, that what they gave pales compared to what those same corporations got: $4.4 trillion in federal business and support.
That figure, more than the $4.3 trillion the federal government paid the nation’s 50 million Social Security recipients over the same period, is the result of an unprecedented effort to quantify the less-examined side of the campaign finance equation: Do political donors get something in return for what they give?”
Just 200 corporations spent $5.8 Billion to get $4.4 Trillion in aid and business, during a time when we spent $4.3 Trillion on our retired and disabled folks.

So much for the Republican party brass’ claims that “we’re too broke” to offer S.S.I. and Medicare at ANYTHING close to a livable level!

*insert 30 pt. Flashing neon red letters*


*answer is written for reproduction under the Creative Commons license*
Short version: So long as you attribute it properly, share it as you will.

Bald Truth about so called Republicans and Our economy.

My @Quora answer to The overall economy does better with Republicans in charge, but it’s all concentrated in the top…

I’m going to start by responding to your question in line, then I’ll support the Why with commentary and Citations.
Before we get started note that when I’m talking about “corporations” I am talking about multinational corporations and not small or medium U.S. corporations. Those small and medium corporations provide over 85% of all jobs in the US and are being screwed over the exact same way, for the exact same reasons, that individual Citizens are being screwed over. It is the multinational corporations and the multinational wealthy which are the entire problem here.

The overall economy does better with Republicans in charge,

Um… no. That’s straight out of Fox “News” which spelt accurately would be Faux News. In common parlance the above statement is referred to as as “Pants On Fire Lie.” 

Here’s the Facts on that assertion:
Except for Obama, who (much as I despise him for other reasons) was handed an unfunded $4 Trillion war, a bail out of fraudulent criminal bankers (all of whom belong in prison for their intentional fraud), and a completely tanked economy, the market, and G.D.P. does substantially better under democratic governance..

Now, Fox “News” lies constantly and loudly.  In fact their lies are so blatant that a website was started just to refute their lies, and set the record straight! 
I would also note that in 2003 and again in 2011 Fox was denied a broadcast permit in Canada because Canada, unlike the US, mandates that News programing contain actual verifiable facts! (thus the addition of “and Entertainment” to their name in 2003)

Also Please Note: It’s not just Faux News which does this… it’s ALL mainstream “news” media.  The difference is that most of the mainstream “news” media uses lies of omission rather than lies of comission as Faux News does. 
Like this:

but it’s all concentrated in the top .1%.

Ever wonder how the HELL Wall Street got bailed out? I do….
I call this Treason in exchange for corporate Bribery.

​See that? The periods when Our nation actually worked for everyone are the periods when wealth inequality was the lowest… why? Because the middle class are the actual job creators in Our “Consumer Driven Economy.” It is only our demand for products and services which creates a situation where business can’t provide what their customers are demanding with their existing crews… and that’s the only time jobs get created!

With a Democrat (in control), the numbers are a little bit smaller,

Actually it’s just the reverse. When we have republicans in control most off the economic “growth” is created by being in a war, and that’s a much smaller growth rate for the overall economy because it removes money from the true job creators (the middle class and poor) and gives it to those who create the fewest jobs per dollar.

but everyone does well, with a thriving middle class.

Yes, the economy grows faster, and everyone does better when the middle class is healthy, however that also puts a damper on corporate and super wealthy greed because you can’t have a healthy middle class when money is being sequestered (parked in the stock market or off shore) because that money isn’t moving around where it actually boosts the hundreds of millions who spend the bulk of their income. This is called a “Consumer Driven Economy” and the US has been one for well over 150 years now.
Here’s the results of what has been done over the past 80 years by our bribed and treasonous Congresscritters.

​This is called a wealth transfer, and it’s from the poor to the wealthy. And from the poor to the multinational corporations…

See that little flip starting in 1955 between collection from corporations and wage earners? That was intentional, and paid for with corporate bribery of Our F’ing Congresscritters.

Because of that blatant bribery, and the use of great roaring waterfalls of corporate money to silence the voices of Citizens, we get this:

and this:  Note that the term “fixed” here is a sports usage… as in “The game is fixed (rigged)!” Or “The fix is in!”

Is this why there is disagreement about who is better?

No. Any “disagreement” is a complete sham… a puppet show for the masses to keep all +300 million of Us from noticing that 500/535 Congresscritters are working exclusively for the wealthy and multinational corporations which bribe them.

Neither party actually works for Citizens, Our Nation or Our Constitution at all.

Doubt me? GOOD!
Look up the actions of Congresscritters over the last 50+ years and ask yourself “Cui Bono assholes?!” (Who profits from this?).

Here’s a few tool to aid you in that Quest. (More are available in my long Bio)

You might also read the Sherman Act and the Clayton Act which specifically prohibit corporations and trusts owning any stock in other corporations while thinking a bit about how Wall Street operates.

The “problem” isn’t the law, the problem is that “Our” bribed and treasonous Congresscritters carve out “exemptions” for their bribers without any regard for their Oath of Office, Our Constitution, or the direct damage they do to Our Nation and Her Citizens that they ostensibly work for.

While considering that, also consider this:

Then take a long hard look at this chart… See the “problem”?

Even more egregiously we already have the tested and Constitutional laws on the books (R.I.C.O., Sherman, Clayton, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment and more) to resolve these Congresscritter created problems in Our nation; yet Congress, and our Department of “Justice” utterly and “with great diligence and care”,”very conveniently” ignore them ALL.

Note: If you’re as utterly outraged by the blatant treason for money of Our Congresscritters, please don’t just sit and fume about it… do something!

Here’s a few suggestions:
Take this post viral by tweeting it out, posting it everywhere, and emailing it to Your Congresscritters, and State Legislators. We The People desperately need to get back to the days when government was afraid of the ire of Ctitzens.

Don’t know who your Congresscritters are or their addresses? Find them here:

If a few thousand do this it will be ignored. If a few hundred thousand do this they will notice and dismiss it as a blip on the radar. If a few million do this they will sit up and pay attention. If a few tens of millions do this they will start acting to correct the problems which they created out of whole cloth in the service of their corporate bribers.

Nick is right… the pitchforks and the tar and feathers are coming! I’m truly hoping things start shifting back before the lid on the societal pressure cooker blows off. Once it blows it’ll be too damned late, and the results will be world wide; making the French Revolution look like a spat in a kindergarten school yard.

Congress would do well to heed the prophetic advice of Mr. Heinlein:
“Be vary careful when you’re trying take anything from a man with nothing left to loose, he may just kill you.”

Note: This content is created under a Creative Commons copyright and is free to use, so long as proper attribution and a link to the original is given.

Note from comments elsewhere on this question: If you want to compare the financial aspects of the parties… Look to Alix Lane

The worst corporate fascists

My @Quora answer to What are the worst corporate offences of all time?
For my money it’s the treasonous, ongoing bribery and gas lighting of Our Congress which got the Sherman Act gutted, removed Glass Stegal from law, created the War on Drugs, and in 1981 got this little bit of international Three Card Monte “declared” legal:

Oh… you meant specifics?
(Not in any particular order)
Ford Pinto
Ford Pick up truck 15 years later
Blackwater exposing our soldiers to hexavalent chromium, and then having our government cover it up in court by asserting “national security issues.”
Halliburtons’ multi-billion dollar frauds and having smoking gun evidence buried by a federal court.
Bophal India where oil companies murdered thousands and maimed tens of thousands.
B.P. “oops” spilling oil due to a blowout preventer that they knew full well was insufficient, and drilling at +2000 feet deeper than their permit allowed.
B.P. trying repeatedly to get the “settlement” on this spill which they asked for, set aside, without retrial, because (sniffle, whine) “it’s just too expensive.”
The K.X.L. pipeline.  This pipeline would move (and leak massive amounts) of oil from Canada tar sands across some of our most sensitive and massive aquafirs, for shipping to the far east. It would use eminent domain and would give the Nation and Her Citizens precisely zero but a couple of dozen jobs. Worse, it would exempt the company from paying cleanup costs when (not if… when) there is a spill… There’s that corporate bribery of a treasonous Congress hard at work again.

It bears repeating: The “election” game IS utterly rigged by corporate fascist bribers.

My @Quora answer to Why wouldn’t you vote for Donald Trump for president?

Note: Welcome to the joys of Down Vote Trolling on Quora. This answer has better metrics and 4× the Up Votes of the “Top Quora Answer” yet it gets held near the bottom of the que, simply because folks want convenient lies instead of Blatant Truth.
Because of this Intentional Cognitive Dissonance on the part of Quora in flat refusing to deal with this issue I’ve started a B Log at and am in the process of migrating all my several thousand Answers there.
*dismayed, disappointed, and disgusted*

Answering in line for sanity.

“Donald Trump is smart, successful, driven”

I’ll grant you the driven part, not so much the smart and successfull… consider 4 bankruptcies (of casinos no less) and a pair of Federal Fraud charges. Plus family convicted of Fraud  (where do you think she learned it from?) I’m sorry,  but if you can’t make a profit in one of the only businesses where people give you money while knowing that you’re keeping it for nothing…

“and sincere about returning America to its former prominence.”

Not so much. He’s far more interested in serving his own profit, self aggrandaizing, and requiring that every one else does too.

“Why wouldn’t you vote for him as our next president?”

Four bankruptcies, two Fraud charges, and one family member convicted of Fraud in a company related to his businesses.

I’ve had quite enough of 40 years of pre- selected criminals, and corporate fascists, bidding defiance to Our Constitution, Our laws, and their oaths.

I hereby propose this as his Official Campaign Theme Song:

I’ve also suggested this as the Official US Presidential Election Theme Song (only half joking. the game IS rigged):

Hey! Easy there… it’s only cynical if it’s without cause.

I’m writing in Bernie.

Kris Rosvold shared an answer on Quora with you

My @Quora answer to How has progressivism taken such root in the US?

OMG!… Dude?!…  Seriously?!
Of course progressivism took hold, that’s precisely what was supposed to happen!
Historically the US Constitution and the documents surrounding it were, and are, the most radically Progressive, and radically Humanist documents to ever have been used to form, and STRICTLY, limit a government.

As to your “assertion” that *spit splutter* gawd damned progressives *spit splutter* want “big government”… Well, it’s like this:
Fact: Under every republican administration in recent memory the budget  has INCREASED relative to prior years.
Fact: Under every democrat administration in recent memory the budget has DECREASED relative to prior years.

Who Is The Smallest Government Spender Since Eisenhower? Would You Believe It’s Barack Obama?
From Forbes.

See that little note at the bottom?: “2009 (Bush) stimulus re-assigned to Obama”… WOW! How “convenient” is that?!


You do the math, but here’s what I find “interesting” and extremely inconvenient for any republican claims of “wanting smaller government”… The deficit almost EXACTLY TRACKS defense spending, regardless of what the other current budget reductions are.

In other words, all these cuts on social programs we’ve had rammed down our throats in recent decades haven’t even touched the deficit… BECAUSE the defense spending is so huge that it completely dwarfs everything else, and because “conservatives” use deficit spending to finance their war debt (and the resultant corporate profits of their bribers) and then (cynically and conveniently) shove the “blame” for the huge deficit  onto the next administration… ESPECIALLY if the next administration is progressive. I never heard one single word about “unsustainable deficits” during ANY of the Bush and Shrub years unless they were attempting to cut “entitlements” (which are things that We the People have ALREADY PAID FOR, and thus the government is obligated to provide) in order to pay for their wars and for the war profits of their bribers!

We, progressives, and our founding fathers recognize that corporations are, by their very design, inherently, anti-moral in nature.

From Thomas Jefferson: “I hope we shall crush in it’s birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”

From Abraham Lincoln: “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country.  As a result of the war, corporations have been enthroned and an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the People until all wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.”  Prophetic words when you consider the consolidation of the media via corporate ownership.  That Media is supposed to be our “canary in the coal mine” of Liberty, yet how do you as a reporter speak out when your bosses’ Big Boss is the guy whose actions are the entire problem?!

We assert that the entire Purpose for having corporations, including the corporation of government is to Serve the Citizens. That purpose was insured by placing strict (draconian even) limitations upon our government; which limits were practically unheard of  when the Constitution was passed and ratified.

Here are some of those many and varied limitations:
Government shall not ever use law to Speak about religion.
Government shall not ever restrict the Citizens freedom of speech or peaceful assembly.
Government shall not ever Restrict the Right of Citizens to own and bear arms (weapons of all sorts… not just guns).
Government shall not ever Put soldiers in the homes of Citizens in peacetime without the consent of the Citizen.
Government shall not ever search Citizens, their homes, papers, or property (computers and phones) without a Warrant issued by a Judge.
Government shall not ever hold a Person to answer for a serious crime without an indictment from a Grand Jury composed of Citizens.
Government shall not ever hold a person to trial more than once for the same offense.
Government shall not ever compel a person to testify against themselves.
Government shall not ever take private property be taken for public use without due (fair) compensation.
Government shall not ever use excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishments.
Government shall not ever assert that the listing of Rights here is a complete list.
Government shall not ever tax the Citizens without using apportionment to the States. (note that it most carefully says NOTHING about not taxing Corporations…)

You get the idea.

My gentle suggestion is that you read the Declaration of Independence as a guide to the intent behind the Constitution, and then re-read the Constitution.

It might also serve you to turn off the TV “news” (ALL of it) which is ++85% owned by multinational corporations and has become a de facto propaganda arm advocating for their unfettered profits.

MAA Communication & Media Studies.


See, this is what you’re missing:
When ANY corporate media outlet talks about “too much government” its CODE (remember the Dick Tracy decoder ring?… It’s like that) for “Quit regulating us, and taxing us, to pay for the Nations’ infrastructure which we use/d to become wealthy, so that we can gouge the Citizens as much as we want, and whenever we want.”

THAT is what the assertion that “We have too damned much *spit splutter*  Government !” actually means when any corporation or their lackey (lookin’ at YOU, Congress) uses those words.

*Cue Python* And now for something COMPLETELY different.

My @Quora answer to How can you eat healthy (in the US) if you only have $300 for groceries per month and 4 people t… (see original link for missing pix)

It’s actually simple and fairly easy to eat on $300 a month or so for 4 people. The key is that you need to do ALL your cooking yourself.  No premade, heat and eat, anything.

Example: We’re a family of three and I do 90% of the food shopping for us. We run $200 many months and $300 a few. Some months we buy nothing but fresh veggies and eggs (<$100).

Here's how:
Get a freezer.
Learn to can food and get a pressure canner.
Get a vacuum packager.

Change how you think about food to a cost per serving basis rather than a convenience (instant meal) basis. Instant meals are insanely expensive per serving. As an example two small servings of decent chili is over $4.50 now. I make our chili from scratch in big batches (2 to 3 gal.) Can it in quarts and we have the best chili you can buy for less than $1 a serving.

Buy your staples in bulk. Pasta, brown rice, beans, olive oil, canned tuna, canned chicken, pasta sauce, ham steaks, bacon, chicken tits or tenders, cheese blocks, olives, pepperoncini, etc. are all available at Costco for less than half of retail. I get 12 pounds of whole brown organic rice for $14 or so… that's over 6 months worth at less than 1/2 of the $2.69/pound retail in our area. Cheddar cheese we pay $15 for a 5 pound block of cheese that at retail is closer to $5 per pound then we divide it, vacuum pack the cuts and use it over a few months.

Spices: Keep a WELL stocked spice cabinet because with spices you can take any foundation foods and go anywhere with it. Plus they're GOOD for you as well as being tasty!
Here's a well stocked spice cabinet.

Those big jars up top are the ones we use a lot of and they're typically  $10 to $14 where a 2 to 3 oz. Jar at retail is $4 to $7. That saffron in the bottom front was $20 for an amount that would have been over $45 at retail.

Yes, it takes time and effort to get there, in the interim, whilst stocking spices, get them at a Chinese or Mexican market. These are often great places to get meats too.

Here's another example of shifted thinking:
This holdover of a prior life was $3.50 or so (plus veggies)
It claims to serve 4 while it actually serves 2 (barely) IRL.

For the same $ plus a few misc. Spices and some sautéed veggies I can build two of these, throw in some sautéed veggies and feed 8 to 12 easily.

Yes folks, that's 36 oz of pasta for less than the cost of 7 oz! If I'm feeling expansive I can julienne or dice a ham slice at $4 and top the servings. Bringing us to $7.50 per 8 generous, decadent, servings ($0.94 per) vs. $3.50 per 2 smallish, edible, servings ($1.25 per).

As an object lesson this is what 1ea 17.5 oz (500g) bag of pasta looks like after 2 people are very well fed from it.

That container is about 8 cups volume and I could fit perhaps one more cup in it. There's another 3 to 4 servings easily,  more if it's served with fruit or bread on the side.

Total cost for this nice batch of yum was about half an hour and about $3.00 at 6 servings so… $0.50 per serving.
I'll admit to cheating a bit as the cucumber and peas were grown here.

Here's 1/3 of another cheap and decadent meal for three:

The base is 2 potatos, a stalk of celery, a shallot, and some reserved bacon grease with 4 eggs. Total cost per serving is less than half the price of a Sausage McMuffin "meal" (which is $2.79 here)

Kiss my ass Betty Crocker!