Yesterday I paid $3.85 for gasoline at the local convenience store. A week ago, the price was $4.19. A week before that it was $4.49. So, as of today, the 12 gallons I put into my car every time I fill up is now costing me $6 dollars less than it cost me two weeks ago – enough left over for a coffee and a lottery ticket on my way to work.
According to the Commerce Department, the only two categories of expenditures which have increased more than 5 percent over the same time a year ago are energy and food. Now granted, these two categories comprise at least one-third of the average household budget, maybe as much as one half. And these two categories have increased over last year by more than 50 percent.
That’s the bad news about this current inflationary time. The good news is that these two categories are also categories whose prices are not just a function of supply and demand but are categories in which the demand for these products is not just a function of what consumers have to spend, it’s also a function of what they want to spend.
A few years ago, I recall that the average automobile commute was 16 miles each way which for the typical car being driven back and forth to work, means roughly 1.5 gallons of gasoline every day or 30 gallons every month. At 5 bucks a gallon I’m going to spend $150 a month to earn what right now is (again an average) a monthly paycheck of four or five grand.
I have yet to see one interview with one driver complaining about the price of gasoline where the person is asked how many miles they have to drive on a typical weekday. I have yet to see one, single story on the nightly Fake News (I watch NBC out of habit) which covers how many consumers are car-pooling to work.
As for food costs, the story is the same. The typical family can’t afford to put food on the table, particularly all those healthy foods like fresh vegetables and veggie meats. What about the bottled water which I see every other shopper at my local Stop & Shop still buying even though where I live the tap water is fresh and clean?
The last thing the ‘ruinous inflation’ will cause Americans to do is give up their middle-class lifestyles which basically are what makes this country the most stable and law-abiding society on the face of this earth. Yea, yea, I know all about January 6th. I also know there wouldn’t have been any riot if Orange Shithead had done what he was supposed to do, which was call out the National Guard.
I thought about how badly and stupidly OS responded to the ‘kung flu’ when I hear how Joe’s administration is responding to the monkeypox virus which granted, isn’t nearly as serious as Covid-19. But maybe the impact of the Pandemic might have been significantly lessened if Trump hadn’t bungled it from Day 1.
I love how Orange Shithead referred to himself during the Pandemic as a ‘wartime President.’ If Trump had been President when Pearl Harbor was bombed, the United States would have ended up as a satellite of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan.
Talking about inflation, how about the inflation in salaries which has occurred during these ruinous times? The convenience store chain near me is hiring drivers to deliver fuel from the wholesale depot to their individual stores and offering a starting salary of 105 grand plus a sign-on bonus of a thousand bucks.
Know what the requirements are to land one of those jobs in a community where nice, two-bedroom apartments rent for $800 a month? Try a CDL, pass a drug test and you’re good to go. Snag one of those fuel delivery jobs, then pay your rent and you only have six grand a month left over to cover the costs of bottled water and your subscription to Netflix.
Oops, I forgot. The company is also paying for a family medical plan.