Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Gloom, Despair, and Agony on Me

According to USA Today, economists aren't worried about inflation even though the consumer price index rose 2.7% last month.  Economists might not be worried, but I am. The article lists "13 items that cost more" or will become more expensive in the near future.

I'll run through the 13 items and predict the impact on my life.  The scale will range from no impact, through minor misery, then to gloom, before reaching despair, and finally agony. For information about the scale, see below.

1. Airfare--I don't fly much but I want to get my kids home from college for a visit  Gas prices make driving more prohibitive, I guess I'll have to live with video chats.  Rating:  Gloom

2. Chocolate--I eat candy, but I can do without it if I have to.  The problem is that all snacks will probably become more expensive; see below.  Rating: Minor Misery

3. Coffee--I can't get through the day without coffee right now.  My pocketbook or my emotional well being are going to suffer.  Rating: Despair

4. Fast Food--I don't go out much, but I will grab stuff from the dollar menus.  I expect those offerings to shrink. Rating: Minor Misery

5. Fruits and Vegetables:  I don't know what vegetables are, but apples, oranges, bananas are necessary items, especially if one is going to forgo snacks like chocolate.  Rating:  Despair

6. Furniture: I can sleep on the floor and use pillows for cushions to lean against the wall. Ok, my wife won't let me do that, but I don't need to by any furniture right now. Rating:  No Impact

7. Gasoline: We South Dakotans have to drive everywhere.  In this state, mass transit is what happens when Lutherans become Catholics or vice versa.  Rating: Agony

8. Household Products:  Let's look at the list:  "[d]iapers, soap, toilet paper, toothpaste, trash bags."  In short, anything that's necessary to keep the house in order is on that list.  Rating: Agony

9. Insurance:  'Nuff said.  Rating: Agony

10. Juice:  I only drink orange juice when I'm sick.  Rating: No Impact

11. Packaged Foods:  "Among those announcing price hikes: B&G Foods, maker of fruit spread, canned goods and sauces; ConAgra Foods, whose brands include Banquet, Chef Boyardee, Healthy Choice and Peter Pan; General Mills, maker of Nature Valley snack bars and Cheerios cereal; H.J. Heinz, world’s largest ketchup maker; Kellogg, which makes Frosted Flakes, Pop Tarts and other foods; spice maker McCormick; and Sara Lee, the maker of frozen desserts, Hillshire Farms lunchmeat and Senseo coffee."

They're raising prices on Pop Tarts, the bastards! I'll admit that I don't need Pop Tarts, but combined with the increased prices for chocolate, fruit, and fast food, the cumulative effect will shrink the pocket book. Rating: Despair

12. Soft Drinks:  They're taking my coffee and my soda!  If I'm not drinking coffee to survive the day, I'm relying on Diet Dew to keep myself artificially stimulated. I could switch this rating with the coffee rating, but the combined effect has to be taken into consideration here. Rating:  Agony

13:  Tires:  See the gasoline comments.  Rating: Despair

It's going to be a long summer.

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