Friday, October 15, 2010
Inflation - Illusions and Delusions
In a couple of months, New Yorkers will get slammed with huge train and subway fare increases.
Using the subway will cost 17% more in January.
And tickets on the commuter rails (Metro North and Long Island Railroad) will jump an average of about 10%.
Recall also that they recently raised the parking fees at my wife's train station outside of Boston; they raised it by $2 a day or $500 for the entire year!
Electricity bills here in NY are already slated to rise 12% over the next 3 years.
Water bills are rising everywhere.
Credit card companies and banks are sliding all sorts of new fees onto their customers.
Property taxes have continued their inexorable rise; as has college tuition.
Health insurance rates are still creeping up AND they are also finding inventive ways to JAM their customers. Recall the $500 co-pay they hit me with for my knee MRI.
Remember when cable TV installation/wiring used to be free? You know, because they were going to recoup that investment in spades, right off the bat?
Well, I had Verizon FiOS expanded here - actually it was already fully installed upstairs - so all I had the guy do was wire (re-wire) one bedroom and drop another router into the basement. Guess what...
THEY CHARGED ME $450!!!
No one, in the course of ordering the expanded service, said a word about *cost*. I just assumed it would be free - as it had been throughout my lifetime.
I'm paying $3.09 a gallon for gas, again.
Also, the cost of *saving* has skyrocketed because money market interest rates are around 75 basis points. In this same vein, the cost of saving for retirement has also INFLATED by 10-20% via the furious bear market stock rally. Think about it. Y'all are investing in the DOW at near 11,000 when you could instead be buying shares closer to 8,000 - where it's inevitably going.
And yet somehow, these reality-inverters stand up and assert:
They have the balls to say there's no inflation!!!
Sure, some things have in fact gone down in price BUT they are mostly in the unnecessary or frivolous categories: iPods, pleasure boats, commercial real estate, Floridian condos, etc.
Bernanke obviously subscribes to the theory that if one going to lie, they may as well tell a REALLY BIG ONE.
See also my post from three years ago - What Inflation? - Soybeans and the Lying CPI.