Thursday, February 2, 2012
Think about the past 5 years, when the Great Depression 2.0 began to ramp up as the real estate bubble burst, auto manufacturers in Detroit were co-opted by the Federal Government, the Federal Reserve gave us a couple of rounds of "qualitative easing" and both Bush and Obama approved Tarp bailouts for the Banks too big to fail.
Is it just me, or does inflation appears to be escalating at a quicker pace in the past several years?
Just three years ago, I distinctly remember you could buy a plate lunch in downtown Honolulu for $6. Now, the exact same meal averages $9.
While I almost never eat at national corporate chain restaurants anymore, I did stop off at one after work the other day for an after-work beer with a co-worker. I looked at the menu while waiting for my beer to be poured...the price of appetizers are all around $10-$12 a piece, and typical entree's were around $15-$19, $22-$28 for seafood. About 4 years ago, I used to eat at such places like Chili's, Outback Steakhouse, Ruby Tuesdays, etc. pretty regularly as our "weekend" entertainment activity.
I certainly remember the average prices for such fare. But $12 for a burger and fries? 4 years ago, I remember thinking $9 for a burger and fries was ludicrous!
I also recall that a six pack of Micro brew beer was around $7. Now, it's typically $9-$12 for the same brands I favor.
Same goes for whiskey. A bottle of Glenlivet or Glenfiddich 12 yr. single malt used to average around $24 for a 750ml bottle. The same bottle is typically $32-$35 now.
Even more dramatic has been the price of bulk items I have been regularly buying at Costco for years now. Toilet paper, dog food, laundry detergent, coffee, artisinal cheese, bacon....the list goes on.
I think everywhere you look at today's prices, most of them are 2-6 dollars more for the same amount of product or service you used to pay for just several years ago.
Gee...you think all that the Federal Reserve's qualitative easing programs may have had an effect? What exactly is getting eased here?