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Stealth Inflation October 14, 2006

Posted by weare1 in commentary, economics, frugality, rant.
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sr-71_blackbird_3.jpgAt the simplest level inflation is where your dollar buys less then it did before. If you follow the Federal numbers on inflation you would think inflation is under control, well I’ve got news for you, they have manipulated their statistics not to show real inflation. Stealth inflation is the slow creep of value being drained from your dollar. Does it cost you the same to live the same way now as it did last month? No, just a little bit more. If you’ll read some of my earlier posts you’ll see some complaints about hidden pricing. I’ve had 2 service providers pull bullshit “regulatory compliance fee” price hikes this month alone. This is stealth inflation. It costs me more this month to use my cell phone and Internet then it did last month, however if you called up those companies and said “how much is your service” they would tell you the same numbers they did last month. They lie. My cable TV costs have risen about 25%, for less service. These companies are going to continue adding hidden pricing just as fast as they think they can get away with, this problem isn’t going to get better, it’s going to get worse, a lot worse. Unless and until consumers band together and refuse to accept hidden pricing it will continue. Clog their customer service lines, cancel your service (price hikes allow you to escape your contract or commitment.) Incidentally two-year contacts are a relatively recent development starting around ’95. Because we consumers have refused to argue this practice is now quite widespread. Contacts like this are purely in the corporate interest, they don’t help you at all, if you think it protects you against price hikes you’re wrong, they still pull stealth increases like additional “regulatory compliance fee.” What kind of bullshit is that? They obviously want you to believe it’s some sort of official tax, thats why they list it with the real taxes and not in your main bill, their intention is to deceive you. Are you stupid? They think so. If you accept these you may very well be. My generation has seen approximately 35% inflation over our lifetime, meaning my dollar can buy 35% less stuff then my dad’s dollar. Think about that.

At the same time are you making 35% more income then your parents? Not likely as wages have been essentially stagnant for the last 15 years. We are going in the wrong direction. With our law making bodies hopeless addicted to special interests and their corporate bosses, what chance do we have to change the way things are going? Not good. I am very seriously considering cashing in all my investments and investing in Euros to protect my investments against inflation.

I would love to hear some arguments telling me why I’m wrong, or what we should do.

I don’t digg getting shafted by large corporations!

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Comments»

1. Dick - October 14, 2006

35% ?! You’re not even close. Today it costs $2.47 to buy what you got for a dollar in 1980. That’s more like 250%

When I got my first real job in 1968, I worked for minimum wage. $2.00/hr at that time.
That works out to $11.72/hr in 2006 dollars for minimum wage.
I worked alongside grown men who were supporting families with stay-at-home wives on that wage.

That year, in the same issue of ‘Newsweek’ with Kent State, was an ad for a new Monte Carlo for $2,500.

To check for any particular year:

http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/cpicalc.pl

Dick


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