High Cost of Living
For most of us the high cost of living is making it difficult to afford the things we need, much less the things we want. They tell us the inflation rate is 3%, well I do a lot of the shopping for my family and I can tell you that many of the things I buy have gone up a lot more than that. In Costco a case of Apple juice used to be about 12 dollars or about 1 dollar per liter on sale. When I checked last it was 17 dollars on sale and it doesn’t seem to go on sale very often. That’s about a 40% hike in just a couple of years. It is made right here so transportation can’t play much of a role. I bet the Growers aren’t getting a lot more for their Apples. I believe that they received about 20 cents a pound back in 2020. I haven’t found the current price I hope they are getting a 40% raise though to 28 cents. I am sure that most of the cost of the juice is processing and packaging not the cost of the Apples. Maybe a reporter should look into it and find out why the price hike? The rice I buy has gone up from about 32 dollars a bag to about 45 dollars. Again about a 40% increase. Milk is up about 1.50 dollars a 4 litre or about 30%. Prime Rib has gone up about 9 dollars a kg (not that I could afford it before) so that is about 26%. Chocolate chips are about 18 dollars a bag around 38% up. I think that covers the most important food groups Fruit, Carbs, Dairy, Meat and Chocolate. I am sure most of you are noticing that things seem a lot higher than what they keep telling us.
The price of fuel, Insurance, vehicles, services, and restaurants keep heading up as well. The only thing that doesn’t go up are wages. I know that we have raised the minimum wage to over 15 dollars an hour and at first blush this looks like a good idea, however what I seem to notice is that the minimum goes up but people who were making 22 or 24 dollars an hour a few years ago are still making the same amount. Businesses use the minimum wage increase to justify charging more for everything but very rarely raise the wages of employees making more than 15 or 16 dollars per hour. This adds to inflationary pressure and just means that people who studied and worked hard to earn a livable wage are finding out that their real earning power has decreased. They are earning far less in real purchasing power than what they earned a few short years ago. In real terms minimum wage increases are hurting those who tried to better themselves through education and staying with the same employer because now everyone makes more money but them. We seem to be squeezing everyone in the middle closer to the bottom. This is the government deciding that everyone should earn the same or close to the same amount. What is a system called that no matter the effort you put in you get the same as everyone else… hmmmm. However government employees and those with influence with a certain political party all seem to get cost of living raises and the rest of us just get a bigger tax bill.
The government makes it easy to hire people from out of the country so there is no pressure on businesses to increase what they pay to their workers. I don’t fault the businesses so much because they have competitors that do the same. However, if the middle class stops having any extra cash around for discretionary spending lots of businesses will suffer and eventually they will downsize or close putting further pressure on our economic system. We are in serious danger of causing a very real, very deep, recession and we need to look carefully at what we have in place and start making changes while carefully considering what unintended consequences may occur because of our choices.
Inflation is real and is consuming our savings. Remember if inflation is 10% a year for 2 years then a 100 dollars in the bank from 2 years ago is now worth about 80 dollars in real spending power. If you did the right thing and tried to save for your future you are being punished for it because of the decisions of your Governments. Inflation is a tax the same as any imposed by the government. It might not directly take away your money dollar by dollar, however it does take away your wealth or what you can afford with what you have saved. It is a shell game that governments play so they can say it isn’t our fault its inflation knowing full well that it is their policies and actions that cause the inflation. Remember that the next time you vote!!