Inflation is on the rise, says the Fed and many economists. Yahoo Big Story is that apartment rents, haircuts, Starbucks Coffee, and gym memberships are higher. Um, well, those don’t affect me. My honey does my haircuts, I own my home, sweat every day on the job—the last thing I would think of is a gym membership, and don’t drink coffee. If I did drink coffee, I’d tell you that you are wasting money on Starbucks. You can get the same thing at 7/11 for 99 cents.
But I rather welcome the economists to a belated acknowledgment of inflation. It’s just that we live in such an urban nation these days. 70% of Americans live in the top 100 urban areas. That’s where you find gyms and Starbucks. Well, actually here in small town America we have a tiny Starbucks kiosk in the grocery store which I call Son of a Bucks. If the economists wanted to study inflation, they should check the price of the groceries because that’s where all the action is around here. Maybe I should give them my shopping list—Meat, chocolate, and sweet corn. But the government CPI doesn’t count food, fuel and pharma. That’s because people in the cities just go vegan when meat goes up. These are the same guys who, when I asked for a barbecue beef sandwich, served me something that looked like a sloppy Joe. So anyway, beef has gone up 17% in two years. Haircuts are alarming everyone because they are up 2.8%? Horrors!
They won’t count fuel either because that’s just Big Oil and OPEC artificially setting the price. Really? So why was it that a bunch of enterprising independent Okie engineers, drillers and geoscientists invented the fracking miracle, which now sets the price? Well, prices are down, thus anti-inflationary. Still, they should be counted as they are a big part of most people’s expenses. Oh, and speaking of fuel, last time I bought an Oregon chain for my saw, it was $24. 5 years ago it was under twenty. I hope I haven’t lost any readers from those urban areas with this sentence.
Practically no inflation up to now? When Oriented Strand Board went from $5 a sheet to $9 that seemed like an indicator to me. 2X4 studs have gone from $2.25 to $3.25 in five years—supposedly in the midst of a housing bust. And how come builder’s tiles, which used to be 70 or 80 cents are all over a buck now? I guess those Fed bankers and federal bureaucrats don’t know which end of a hammer to hold. Maybe they are looking at the price of suing a local police department for racial abuse as an inflation indicator. That’s gone down in price because the law schools are generating far more lawyers than we need and they tend to bring up frivolous unusual cases on contingency to try to win the recognition lottery. Supply and demand.
Pharmaceuticals don’t count in the CPI. But I now pay almost double for blood pressure pills. Checked your health insurance premiums lately? In 5 years these are up 74% under Obamacare. Some things Obama cares and some things he doesn’t care at all.
Have you bought a lawnmower this year? Garden plants? Hot water tank? Fast food? Electric bills? They’ve gone up. How about the cost of educating a kid? Here in stingy Oklahoma, the educrats howl about how we keep cutting budgets, yet the state figures show budget increases in 38 of the last 40 years. Educrats spend money, just not on teachers.
If you accuse me of picking items that affect seniors as an inflation gauge, I am probably guilty. No gym memberships, thank you. I got yards to mow and roofs to fix. The price of Aleve gets more concern. But I wonder if the government has succeeded in re-defining a CPI that underestimates inflation so that they can’t be accused.