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Sun May 20, 2018, 06:35 AM

It's not just you: Everything really is getting more expensive

http://money.cnn.com/2018/05/18/news/companies/amazon-mcdonalds-chipotle-walmart-prices/index.html

You're not imagining things: Prices are creeping up.
Americans want to buy more stuff, and businesses are rushing to meet demand.

Unemployment is below 4% for the first time in 17 years, wages are slowly inching up, and consumers are spending money on clothes, furniture, and cars. At the same time, elevated labor, transportation and commodity costs are pinching their profit margins.

Both consumers and producers are feeling the squeeze from a healthy US economy. After years of low inflation, prices rose 1.9% in March from a year ago, according to the Federal Reserve's favored inflation measuring stick.

Consumer prices were up 2.1% in April from a year ago, while suppliers paid 2.6% more.

Auto loans are getting more expensive because the Federal Reserve is gradually raising interest rates. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has moved to a seven-year high above 4.6%, according to Freddie Mac.

Dozens of companies in recent weeks have said they already hiked prices or plan to in the coming months to combat inflation.


Excited for inflation? The Fed is definitely going to raise interest rates. Somehow Arizona Iced Tea has remained 99 cents for many years.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 07:11 AM

1. One benefit of getting old

is that you no longer need to buy as much stuff. Sometimes I'm out shopping, and I see something I like, like beautiful towels that would look great in my bathroom, or an All-Clad pot on sale, and I don't buy it because I already have everything I could possibly need thanks to fifty years of marriage with a stable income (Granted, some of the household things I own are pretty worn out, and if I were forty years younger I'd replace them. It is often hard to resist something new, even though what I already have is serviceable still, but I remind myself that I'll be dead before what I have is not usable). I don't go out to work, so I don't need new clothes or shoes or purses or that stuff; we'll never in this lifetime need new sheets or any kind of household good; we have two cars that work and are paid for. It's a trade-off, to be sure; we're in this happy consumer situation because the grave yawns for us, but we are almost inflation-proof. We still have to eat, to be sure, but you can always find something cheaper to eat if you have to.

The one area where inflation could (literally) kill us is in the cost of drugs.

And it occurs to me that we are in this bubble of baby-boomers, many of whom will never need to buy certain consumer goods again, and I wonder what effect that will have on the national economy, and on younger generations.

There are, of course, plenty of baby boomers who are not as fortunate as I am. Because I'm stocked-up on things like clothing and a car, I can live on social security if I have to. Boomers who did not have a good, steady income through their working years--and remember, we are the last generation where private employers offered pensions--are going to suffer, but inflation alone shouldn't be a factor for them, either.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 07:46 AM

2. Exactly

I find that I simply do not need or want more stuff. Sometimes things wear out and need to be replaced, but as you mentioned no need for work clothes and things associated with being in the workforce. That which I have lasts longer, less car maintenance, less gas and oil used. Things that I do buy are to replace a worn out item or something for a hobby or for fun.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 08:22 AM

4. You're so right

Don't buy much anymore unless something breaks down. But the unknown future of needing medical care that goes up each year IS frightening. Alas, no one be seems to be addressing this problem. One day I looked up the price of every drug heavily advertised on tv. Most of them were in the $thousands per month! Why the advertising? Seems to me that affects the cost even more. Thanks for letting me rant.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 09:34 AM

8. Right. I still use and wear things I bought in the late 1980s.

 

Not everything I own is that old, but much of it is.

People wonder how you live on Social Security.

You stick with your marriage. Your husband/wife gets even better with time. I also have been married over 50 years to the same dear man.

Divorce usually impoverishes those who get divorced. So if you are young, be careful who you marry. And don't make drinking alcohol or anything to do with it your most frequent entertainment. Because alcoholism is a sure way to poverty (and divorce).

And try to buy and pay off the mortgage on a house if you possibly can.

It's not a matter of being rich. It is a matter of enjoying what you have. That is what is important. Not getting caught up in the consumer mentality that is sold us day-to-day on TV and everywhere else.

Take a walk every day that you can. It's healthy and changes your perspective.

That's my advice as one over 70 and quite happy really.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 10:32 AM

10. Or if you bought quality stuff that was made to last

or is easily repaired, that is a great way to save money over a long time.

My weakness is food and drink. And by far my biggest expense is my mortgage which can be sold eventually. I don't waste money buying much other stuff.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 11:42 AM

12. I am in my early 50's but I still find that so many things need to be replaced.

I see so much wear and tear everywhere, especially clothing, bedding, towels and other basic household items. My sweaters all seem to wear out in the elbows, my summer cotton blouses seem to start fraying after a few years, my socks always have holes in the toes, my shoes wear out. I like fleece bedding because I like how soft it is, but after about a year, it starts getting "pilly" and is no longer comfortable. I could go on and on, but it always seems like I am always having to replace things. I usually buy decent quality things too, but they just don't last.

My dishes get chipped, my appliances break down, things just wear out. The only thing that I have found that really holds up for years and years is my Patagonia gear (bags, coats, fleeces, etc). They are really worth the money because I have had some items for over 20 years and they are still going strong. Especially the bags.

Healthy food is getting more expensive too. Fruits, vegetables, dairy, meat. All those things have just become ridiculously expensive in recent years.

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #1)

Sun May 20, 2018, 12:03 PM

13. We live full time in a 34 ft. Motorhome. Don't have room for more stuff.

We got rid of almost all of our stuff when we bought the motorhome to live in. It was very freeing.

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Response to SammyWinstonJack (Reply #13)

Sun May 20, 2018, 06:20 PM

16. I can't tell you how appealing that sounds n/t

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Response to cyclonefence (Reply #16)

Sat May 26, 2018, 04:33 PM

17. There are times when it is a struggle. But for the most part we like it

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 08:17 AM

3. Our employer has put out a bounty for new employees

If a current employee gets someone to apply for a job, and they get hired, the bounty is $250 for a production hire and $500 for a professional staff hire.

Thats how I got my new pellet grill.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 09:18 AM

5. Businesses use it as an excuse to raise prices too

even where costs are stable. When recession hits they raise prices to maintain profits on reduced volume. It's called target return pricing.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 09:20 AM

6. at the start of a hyperinflation cycle nt

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 09:27 AM

7. Who else remembers when you could buy a candy bar for a nickel?

 

And a small piece of candy for a penny?

Those were the days.

Inflation was terrible during the Carter and Reagan eras because of the rise in the price of oil during the 1970s. I remember the oil crisis around 1973-1975. After the price of oil went up, all prices rose. The oil crisis repeated itself around the time of the fanatical revolutions in Iran in the late 1970s just in time for Americans to blame Jimmy Carter for the subsequent inflation and elect Ronald Reagan under whose presidency inflation went through the roof.

(At least that is what I perceived living in Europe during those years.)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oil_crisis

Q. Did the 1981 Reagan tax cut spur enough economic growth that it paid for itself?

A. When Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington in 1981, circumstances were very different than they are today. Inflation was nearly 10 percent. The Federal Reserve had pushed interest rates into double digits. The federal debt was about half what it is today, measured as a share of the economy. The Reagan tax cut was huge. The top rate fell from 70 percent to 50 percent. The tax cut didnít pay for itself. According to later Treasury estimates, it reduced federal revenues by about 9 percent
in the first couple of years. In fact, most of the top Reagan administration officials didnít think the tax cut would pay for itself. They were counting on spending cuts to avoid blowing up the deficit. But they never materialized.

Q. So the spending cuts never materialized, the deficit increased, and then what?

A. As projections for the deficit worsened, it became clear that the 1981 tax cut was too big. So with Reaganís signature, Congress undid a good chunk of the 1981 tax cut by raising taxes a lot in 1982, 1983, 1984 and 1987. George H.W. Bush signed another tax increase in 1990 and Bill Clinton did the same in 1993. One lesson from that history: When tax cuts are really too big to be sustainable, theyíre often followed by tax increases.

https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2017/12/08/what-we-learned-from-reagans-tax-cuts/

I have to add that when the price of oil goes up, prices generally tend to go up. That may spur us to change to alternative energy, but that will cost us too.

And the Trump administration as all who are watching the investigations of his corruption are learning is closely tied to the countries that produce oil. Americans may find they are paying a price for Trump's cozy relationship to certain oil-producing countries.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 10:07 AM

9. Everything except you.

You cost your company the same as 10 years ago.
Cost of living raises are a thing of the past.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 10:38 AM

11. Arizona Iced Tea has been 99 cents for the last 16 years

https://www.foodbeast.com/news/arizona-99-cents/

And that's about it. Everything else is much more expensive.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 12:03 PM

14. Yes I have noticed a spike in prices for some everyday goods. So if you don't run a sale I like

 

then I'm buying less often, spending less and I just delay purchases on my wish list until it is advantageous.

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Response to IronLionZion (Original post)

Sun May 20, 2018, 12:37 PM

15. meanwhile banks pay 0.000000003% interest on savings and charge 6% on loans nt

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