Too Bad I Can’t Eat A Ford
I don’t know what tomorrow’s October CPI inflation report will show. But if today’s producer price index is any indication, tomorrow’s CPI may well be viewed as a positive by Wall Street and its enablers in Washington. The October producer price numbers showed a 0.3 percent decline in prices, the largest in 20 months. Much of this decline was due to a 1.4 percent drop in the price of energy, while the decline in new model car prices also played a part.
The fact that energy priced fell by a lot last month means absolutely nothing, of course. The summer driving and air conditioning season ended by October. The winter heating season has yet to begin almost anywhere. And though while new model car prices were a tad lower is a nice development, I don’t buy cars daily.
What I do daily is eat. What I buy daily is food. And therein lies the real inflation angst for real people who don’t make a hefty livelihood trading securities or eat in a subsidized congressional cafeteria.
In the last year, and certainly on view in October, food prices have continued to soar. Poultry, milk products of every kind, eggs, bread, the staples at the groceries I shop (I shop at several hunting for specials) have all gone up and up. Peanut butter prices is taking off or about to do so because of a lousy peanut harvest. Beef is on the rise because it is costing ranchers so much more to feed their cattle pricier grain. Don’t even mention fish, once a staple of the poor, now a luxury item for many.
I don’t care how officialdom mixes and matches its basket of prices to come out with a CPI average. I can’t eat a Ford.
If I keep getting squeezed when I buy my daily sustenance, I am hurting bad. People who depend on food stamps to eat are doing worse, running out earlier in the month. Those who depend on food banks are finding less of everything but macaroni and cheese.
And no one on Wall Street or in Washington seems to care.
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