“A buck buys a nickel’s worth.”
Those were the words of Peter Finch’s Howard Beale from the unforgettable 1976 motion picture “Network.” He goes on a tirade about the downfall of Western civilization and how businesses and governments collude while everyone else gets shafted. It was a monologue that is still remembered to this date.
Well, it is true that a dollar does purchase a nickel’s worth, especially considering that the greenback has lost at least 90 percent of its value since the inception of the Federal Reserve System. On top of that, everything else has become too expensive: food, energy, housing, education.
Whether it’s due to disastrous Fed policy, the unintended consequences of well-intended government officials or businesses adapting to certain economic variables, everything is getting more expensive for the average household. Indeed, it has become too costly to live and breathe.
Don’t believe it? Here are 15 ways the cost of living has risen in the past year alone:
1. Water prices across the country are expected to increase as two-thirds of water utilities face a revenue shortfall.
2. The consumer price index (CPI) jumped 0.4 percent in May, including a 0.5 percent increase in food costs and a 0.9 percent spike in energy costs.
3. Hundreds of thousands of consumers face enormous Obamacare tax and fee hikes.
4. U.S. coffee roaster J.M. Smucker Co. recently announced it is raising prices on its coffee brands by an average of nine percent.
7. Gas prices have soared to an average of $3.67 per gallon in the U.S.
8. Prices for meat, fish, poultry and eggs reached all-time highs in May.
9. The electricity price index hit a brand new record high as the average price for a KWH topped 13.6 cents in May, up from 13.1 cents the same time a year ago.
10. With student loans surpassing $1 trillion, interest rates are scheduled to rise significantly on Jul 1. Federal Stafford Loans for undergraduate students will be 4.66 percent.
11. The price of margarine has risen 30 percent during the last four years.
12. The cost of oranges has increased 23 percent over the past year.
13. U.S. lawmakers are proposing a 12-cent gasoline and diesel tax – right now, the gas tax is 18.4 cents per gallon, while the diesel tax is 24.4 cents a gallon.
14. Medical devices will become more expensive as Obamacare legislation added a 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers.
15. Last year, it was reported that more than three-quarters of U.S. households saw their taxes increase, despite their wages remaining stagnant.
Perhaps these signs wouldn’t be as worrying for the average household, but it should be considering that the median household income in the U.S. is actually seven percent lower than it was 14 years ago when adjusted for inflation. Hard times are living in today’s economy.