Country Living Series

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Inflation? What inflation?

I'm in shock. Sticker shock, that is.

We're working on an order of tankards. The customer would like them later this week, so Don's finishing up sixty pieces. He shot them with the first coat of varnish, then waited until they dried so we can scratch them (with 000-gauge steel wool) and brush them, then shoot them a second time with varnish.


But we were out of steel wool, so I volunteered to go to the hardware store to get some.

"While you're there," said Don, "could you pick me up some tomatoes?" My hard-working husband asks for very little, so a few out-of-season tomatoes is a treat I'm not going to deny him.

So off I went -- with $18 in my wallet. No problem, right? I mean, how much could a few tomatoes and some steel wool come to?

Well as it turns out, $19. I had to scrabble some coins together from the dashboard of the car to finish paying for everything.

The tomatoes were $2.99/lb. The total for five tomatoes came to $7.05. This was so startling to the checkout lady that she rechecked both the weight and the price, then shook her head sadly as she bagged them up.

At the hardware store, I confidently expected my remaining $11 to cover two bags of steel wool. Wrong. Steel wool, it seems, is now $5.99 per bag. As I said, I had to scramble for the last few coins to complete the sale.


I got back into the car stunned at the cost of these two items. It's not like I haven't had sticker shock before. But for Pete's sake -- $19 for two things...??!!


Therefore it was with grim amusement that Don forwarded me a ZeroHedge article on the official "lack" of inflation. This came on the heels of two articles linked on Drudge about the increases in food and electricity prices.

The ZeroHedge article is amusingly entitled There Is No Inflation (Unless You Eat Food, Use Water, Live In A House, Get Sick, Go To School, Or Do Taxes). It illustrates how deliberately manipulative government statics on inflation are for the common person. These number-crunching bureaucrats apparently never take a jaunt to the store for tomatoes or steel wool and leave with moths flying out of their wallets.


The article had a table showing the annual price increases for items that might impact your life on a daily basis, such as meat (up 12.7%), eggs (10.7%), fruits and vegetables (up 4.1%), butter (22.5%), and hospital care (up 4.9%). The funny thing is, ZeroHedge got these figures from an "official" government site. We already know they massage numbers -- so these price increase represent the massaged numbers. Are we having fun yet?

Hard on the heels of this article was another article which documented the record-high prices for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs. "In January 1967, when the BLS started tracking this measure," notes the article, "the index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs was 38.1. As of last December 2013, it was 239.151. In November 2014 it hit 260.247. And in December 2014 it hit a record high of 261.002, an increase of 9.1 percent in one year."

Yet another article noted, "Data released today by the BLS indicates that the electricity price indexes hit all-time highs for the month of December and for the year. 2014 was the most-expensive year ever for electricity in the United States."

But remember: "Inflation? What inflation?"

The bottom line, folks, is we are having the (steel) wool pulled over our collective eyes by those who want to convince us the economy is just ducky.

I challege the pencil-pushers at the Bureau of Labor Statistics to go shopping for two items with $18 in their wallet, then tell me to my face there's no inflation.

Okay, rant over.

41 comments:

  1. If only the inflation numbers were the only ones the government was lying about. I think they are lying about almost every number they produce although to their minds they just call it spin I suppose.

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  2. I still have shock every week when I grocery shop for our family of 7. My husband thinks prices will go down now that oil is low, but I doubt the savings will pass on to the consumer.
    5 tomatoes up here in Alaska is 9$. We use a lot of canned.

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  3. I hear you. I was lucky hunting in 2012 and 2014, so it's only been recent that I have started looking at the price of red meat in the stores. It is tough to find anything...even round roasts, for under $4.00 a pound. If you want something labeled 'steak', you better be prepared to go over $7.00 a pound.

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  4. This has been a growing shadow on my mind. I continue to be surprised when I go to the store and see how little my money buys me for things like groceries. I honestly believe this is one reason that there is a lingering sense that things are not right in the world - people see the statistics and then see the real world experience and think "Something is not right".

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  5. Here on the central coast of CA, tomatoes are currently $1.99/pound out of season, imported from Mexico. So perhaps its based on where you live? Probably the farther south you live the cheaper the produce prices.

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    1. That is correct. When we visit CA, we gorge ourselves on strawberries and such, out of season. Not too many years ago, I bought the largest container of strawberries, several pounds, for $.75/lb at a store in Ramona. They were $4.99/lb in Wyoming at that time.

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  6. Please go look at the Shadow Stats site

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/inflation-charts

    They are not doing the calculation the same way they used to. I only go to the site about every 6 mo. as I get so angry when I see how we are being manipulated.

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  7. I wouldn't complain if I were you. I mean, I might, but where I'm at - the "cheap midwest", you've got to add on an additional 10-11% sales tax on everything. Bread, butter, tomatoes, steel wool, blankets, socks, everything. And of course, all the extra fees on our utilities, which in this past autumn were more than our actual usage of fuel. So we were paying something like 35% fuel, 65% fees.

    So with the sales tax, my grocery budget has actually shrunk by 10% before food price increases. I can't buy for $60 now what I could buy for $40 six years ago, and I'm buying rice and dry beans and flour. We haven't had bacon for nearly four years because of the price, or any other kind of red meat either. Now, I don't care, but my husband sure misses it, and other meat too. Buying chicken is a once-every-few-months treat.

    I'd sure take that no-sales-tax.

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    1. Idaho has 6% sales tax. I would wager a guess that since this is a purchase for a business, they will be paying their own sales tax.
      I've been known to be wrong though…
      Wyoming has no sales tax on real food, something I miss since moving away.

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    2. ya, according to wikipedia there are no states that charge sales tax on basic food items.

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    3. I've told my husband that I will need to raise the grocery budget soon. It is becoming more and more difficult to buy what we need on the amount I have budgeted.

      Our utilizes company is proposing a fee raise. If I understand it correctly it will be $8 a month for us. That is highway robbery, something like 10% of our bill. I sure wish we could get a 10% raise for our family income!

      Lone Star State Mama

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    4. Oklahoma collects full sales tax on EVERYthing, with the possible exception of Rx drugs. That's eight-point-something percent on all retail goods, including the most basic of foods. And thrift shop clothes. Surprised?

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    5. idaho collects sales tax on basic foods.

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    6. Idaho taxes all groceries.

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  8. Tomatoes are o er $4/lb. where I am.

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  9. Patrice Jam sure you are like we are is why you work so hard in your garden and can is to save for those necessary expenses...if we didn't garden I don t see how we could make it on our farm without leaving the farm to work and that is something we are not willing to do...we love our self sufficient lifestyle!! Inflation is bad here in VA also with grocery prices at all time highs...we only buy what's needed as we have chickens...we garden on a large scale....we hunt for venison wild turkey etc...we fish...we buy a share of beef from a relative...we live frugally..we don t ever feel deprived..we feel rich to have both come from farm families and be fifth generation farmers on this land!! We always have to be prepaired to pay for equipment repairs which parts are expensive but necessary and usually have to be made before we harvest so these are things you have to be prepared for on so farm. I hear where you are coming from because I have gathered change from the cupholder myself!!!

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    1. We are right there with you anon. The hubs and I are in our early 50's and growing gathering & hunting more of our food than ever. Though we both have health issues (Ihave had 3 back surgeries) we both work full time, and still make time to do these self sustaining activities. Our larder is well stocked and have been BLESSED to be able to give food to others in need. You have not lived till you go out a pick blackberries in 90 degree heat, fighting the mosquitoes, ticks, briars, &snakes & then go give a couple of gallons to an 80 year old lady.... Money can not buy what you receive from that. Inflation and tough economic times are the number 1 topic here as elsewhere, but the hubby thinks that people our age and older are fairing better than others cause we will buckle down and git-er-done! I also think mental attitude can take you a long way, a little less talk(whining) and a lot more action! God bless you folks, love to read you thoughts, and hear from your neck of the woods!

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  10. I completely agree that we're being manipulated. We live in CT, which has the highest electric rates in the continental US. As of January 1, 2015, there was a 35% increase approved. WHAT????? Of course, in the meantime, we're paying significantly more at the grocery store than we were even a few months ago. I don't see any signs of economic improvement. I'm really, really shocked by the number of people buying the governmental rhetoric.

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  11. And it's no better over here in Australia, and they call us the "lucky country" Gosh I hope we never get unlucky!!!!!
    Blessings Gail.

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  12. Just what DOES the government count when they tell us how low inflation is? The cost of sphygmomanometers?

    I have 10 bananas on my counter and can't afford to buy more right now. Six are browning and will rot soon.

    That leaves 4 good bananas - 40%.

    But, to my government, 100% of my bananas are good because the browning ones simply aren't counted. They're taken out of the equation all together.

    They say to me, "100% of your bananas are GOOD! Geez! What is your dang problem?!"

    Must stop now. Blood pressure rising.

    Just Me

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  13. Notice how when prices and surcharges are in place they never go down. Even when oil goes down to less than half of what it was a couple of years ago. UPS still has their fuel surcharges up and running. The government is not the only one screwing us. Groceries cost more and the sizes of the packages go down. We shop with a food coop and are lucky to live without sales tax. If I can't buy it in bulk, I don't buy it. I will not buy tomatoes from, Mexico, either. I can wait until summer or buy canned. When I was a kid we never had off season fruit or veggies unless canned. People are so spoiled nowadays.

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  14. This time of year the produce prices are often very high. Last week in the price of cauliflower ranged from 4.99 to 5.99. Needless to say I left without . Oh and lettuce and were bot 3.49. They stayed in the store too

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  15. It is not only the inflation rate numbers that the Govt is cooking. Take a look at shadowstats.com and you will see they are cooking inflation, unemployment, and GDP numbers and have been doing so for a long time now. Even though it would be nice to be able to blame it on Obama both parties are guilty of doing it and have been doing so for decades.

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  16. As the prices climb, like many, we buy less or go without. The vicious circle is still in place, as those in the food chain must increase the prices to make up for the decrease in volume.
    Last week while walking the dog, I found large footprints in the snow coming from up the hill, through a barbed wire fence, across our back drive and into the pines and spruces. Tracks went to where the deer bed down, always staying concealed, finally out to an easement (that we plan to have rescinded), but only for a few feet, then followed in ditch along easement to the corner of the property that follows the road. Tracks ended there, I guess they got a ride…
    Took the trash to the local dumpster, and what did I see? A skinned out headless deer, with the quarters gone and the back straps. The neighbor told me yesterday there were now four down there.
    People are poaching in order to eat. I feel stuck in the middle, right now, I don't like poaching, but I can't say I blame them. I am not happy they are hunting where the deer bed down in my trees, and I'm probably going to go about "discouraging it". The two does and the fawns that were regulars haven't been seen for days now, I'm guessing they are in a freezer; I was hoping my teenager would have a shot at them next fall.
    I read a terrifying book a few years back, "One Second After." Story aside, it describes how quickly game disappeared when the stores ran out of food. I can see it happening.

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    1. I read One Second After as well. Shortly after that the rabbit population in our neck of the woods disappeared. We were in serious drought so I think that was the cause but for the longest time I kept thinking about the book and how fast things went downhill. It has made me think hard.

      LSM

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    2. Yes I also read that book, very thought provoking. You sit there reading while the light bulbs are going off in your head! Did we not see the same things going on in New Orleans after Katrina? And the part about within 30 days folks run out of meds.........blood pressure, diabetic,, psyc drugs. Think about how many of the neighbors are on Paxil or the like, then they run out,,,low on food water, no power. Hmm..

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    3. When we lived on the grasslands of WY (before moving to mountains) during the drought, we had the opposite happen: rabbits were everywhere, the ground swarmed with them, both cottontails and jackrabbits. We had them burrowing in our corral and getting the feed pans at feeding time. There were two that would spent their days under my brother's seldom used car. Our cats only ate the young, so the breeding continued.
      We also had the largest white tailed jack rabbit I've ever seen, and he would boldly come into our yard and stand up tall to intimidate our cats, which worked every time.
      I am at a loss to explain the opposite scenario we experienced other than the raptors in our area were greatly affected by west nile at the same time.
      I hope brining up that book didn't cause any nightmares. It took me awhile to get over it, and just go about my business of trying to be prepared for just such an event.

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    4. "One Second After" was a good book, a real eye opener. The husband read and liked it, loaned it to a co-worker a rough and tough guy who was floored by it. He voiced his opinion that things could very easily mirror a lot of that book. I look back to some of the Fema train things I have read & wonder.... is that what the body bags are for?

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  17. Wait until the EPA closes down even more coal fired generation plants. Word in the industry is that if we have another "polar vortex" this winter there WILL be rolling blackouts in the NE US because of the facilities shuttered in the past year. One of our local suppliers has two 1950-1960's vintage coal generation units and a brand new state of the art Combustion Turbine (natural gas fired). The break even cost for them to sell the coal generated power is about $28/MW. The CT is $55/MW. There is a lot of pressure from certain local groups to shut down the coal units. The whole area would be in for a frighteningly cold and unpleasant ($$) surprise should that happen....

    Worse yet - there is so much crop dusting that takes place here because of the GMO's that I can't grow much in a garden. It would be nice to grow more to store. Good thing I have friends and relatives who will trade for what little I can grow!

    Natokadn

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    1. Maybe You should think about a greenhouse to protect from dusting.

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  18. My Heart goes out to young families with many mouths to feed. My children are young adults now and support themselves. They live at home still due to the fact that the cost of living in San Diego is very expensive. I pray for every family to reinvent themselves with the Lord's guidance. Gardening, bartering, animal husbandry, side jobs, etc... Many families in our rural town buy in bulk through co ops and
    give away produce on local Facebook page to try and out run inflation. A lumber co. In town gives scrap wood away free many people heat their homes for the cost of gas to drive and pick it up. May we all ban together to educate and help each other out.

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    1. Amen the Lord helps them that help themselves.

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  19. Here in Ca. I bought a carton of eggs(18count) yesterday for $5.55. In Sept. they were $2.49.

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    1. You can thank the animal rights actvists for that.
      They are forcing cage free eggs and so much space per layer hen.
      justifies the middleman jacking up prices on the consumer.

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  20. Shop for meat the monday before food stamps come out. This month that's the 26th. The stores get the meat in and if it doesn't sell over the weekend they mark it down on Monday. However if it's the first week or two in the month everyone on food stamps buys meat.

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  21. 3 deer in freezer, chickens in coop, full shelves of canned garden produce. Bring it on...

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    1. That's what I say, bring it on I won't be defeated or outsmarted! The deer are getting harder to hunt here, (I have hunted for 30 years) due to the poaching someone mentioned. We live close to a lake and I think we should get a boat and look into fishing as our old backs could take a break from running up and down the hollers. Also we sometimes catch meat on decent sales, & buy up a bunch and can it. I can not imagine what our groceries would cost if we were not doing all this gardening, hunting, foraging, and canning.

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  22. We live in Alaska and food has always been high here, but lately, it is out the roof. Last week we shopped at Fred Meyer's and 80% lean hamburger was $5.98/lb. 93 % lean was $6.99/lb. We can buy pork at Costco still for between $2.49 -$3.69/lb., but beef is untouchable for our family. We're certainly not buying hamburger for that price!

    And I just read this morning that the longshoremen at the West Coast Ports will probably go on strike. Then what for Alaska? It will be bad! Read it at the Financial Times on a link from Drudge.

    Yes, always keep throwing that spare change into the car cup holder or ashtray!

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  23. We have learned to live very carefully and frugally. We waste almost nothing, if we can help it. We wait until something is on sale, then buy it. We also have 3 different grocery stores in our town, as well as a Wal-Mart and a K-mart. Whatever we need is always a bit cheaper SOMEWHERE. Most people won't shop around. They shop at one store for the "convenience." But you can't save money that way! We drive to the farthest store first, then hit each of the rest on the way out of town and buy only the things on sale. Tomatoes, as well as most everything else, fluctuate a lot in price. We buy them when they are down, often as cheap as .99 cents a pound. Otherwise, we use canned. We have to do this, being retired and living on a fixed income!

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  24. Boy, do I have an inflation story for you guys. 15 years ago my son spent a total of 10 days in 3 different hospitals (long story). He was airlifted and went for a ride in an ambulance too during this ordeal. To the best of my recollection total price was $30,000, thanks goodness for medical insurance. Fast forward to this November, my husband had sinus surgery at a local short stay surgery center. We were there for 6 (six) hours, the total bill is $47,000!! How's that for inflation.

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  25. As much as I love my fellow Americans, I must say this: Everything that is happening is by design and it is our own fault and the fault of our parents for not being vigilant. Every American needs to wake up and find out the truth about their country. Your lives have been manipulated from the time you were born, you are nothing but chattel. Stop complaining and start researching the law, history and your bible and you will find the answers to why things are spiraling downward so fast. America is being destroyed on purpose and we are allowing it to happen by our ignorance and cowardice. We have all been dumbed down by the public school system - all of us. We have all these unpleasant things going on in the country and 99.9 percent of the public have no idea why.

    The plan is to break the back of America so that she will go along with the new world order. You will be so poor and so tired of war, hunger and chaos you will do anything and forgo any freedoms you might have remaining to have peace. They will squeeze you till you cry "uncle". You will want the government to "do something" which is exactly what they are hoping for.

    Find out what has been done to you. Find out the truth. How about starting with the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1933? Or how about the fact that the United States is a corporation? Or how about the public law for the disarming of the United States of America 1961? Or how about the fact that the Federal Reserve is not Federal, but a private bank started by handful of money mogels (Federal Reserve Act 1913)?

    Wake up America, it's time to get out of the matrix. You have been bamboozled, hoodwinked, sold a bill of goods. The world is a very different place then you grew up believing. If you ever fancied yourself as a God fearing person, now would be the time to call on him.

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