As with “the cases! the cases!” – about which you don’t hear as much anymore – you cannot trust the truthfulness of what the government says about inflation, which as everyone knows is much higher than is being reported.
Here is some on-the-scene data that gives some measure of the actual increase in the cost of things – which is also a way of saying how much less our money buys:
At my local Kroger supermarket the other day (Oct. 14) I bought a couple of pork chops for almost $10. The same two-pack of pork chops cost about $7 just ten months ago. A small container of blackberries that cost $2 ten months ago now costs more than $3. There were raspberries on sale – for $6.99 per pack.
Steaks are unaffordable – and hamburger, getting there.
McDonalds – not that I eat there – charges almost $4 (not counting tax) for a Big Mac. Which is mostly bread, iceberg lettuce and some thousand island sauce. A “meal” for two easily costs $15.
We all know what gas costs – which is about $1.20 more per gallon than it cost just ten months ago. This is a great deal more – on all counts – than the government’s claim that inflation is only 4.2 percent so far this year.
Personal anecdote: When I went pork chop shopping, I brought $100 with me – in cash – thinking it’d be plenty to cover the cost of the handful of items I needed to get, in addition to the chops. They included a bag of cat food for my outside strays, six frozen burritos, one pound of ground beed, a can of anchovies (not for me), a pint of heavy cream, a container of sour cream, a pack of paper towels (six) and a few household-related items. The total for this came to $117 and change. I didn’t have enough cash to cover it. So I put it on the card.
I left the store with three small plastic bags of sundries, a bag of cat food and a pack of paper towels. And $117 lighter.
As I walked to my truck my thoughts turned to people who have families to feed. How are they feeding them? I know what it costs to feed me – a single guy, with no dependents other than a pack of cats. Where are people with kids to feed finding the means to feed them – plus themselves?
I figure the typical family is spending at least $300/week on groceries – just food – as of now. Not counting what they are spending on the gas that they need to get the food and get it back home. And then on the electricity/propane or whatever they’re using to cook the food and keep the food cold (in the ‘fridge).
Plus their pets.
Based on my admittedly anecdotal calculations, the real rate of inflation seems more like double what the government is claiming – and in some cases, higher than that. Consider the proportionate increase in the cost of a gallon of gas. We are paying $1.20 more (average, many are paying more) for a gallon of gas that cost $1.20 less ten months ago.
At some definite point, this becomes unsustainable. As in, people can no longer sustain it. Has the average person’s income increased by even the 4.2 percent claimed by the government? How does the average person continue to economically function when what he earns no longer buys what he needs?
Hugo Chavez, phone home.
. . .
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