High Food Prices & More Are Beating Up the Middle Class-Moms To the Rescue

food

CBS News recently reported that while the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011 many food staples have gone up much more than that. Some specifics reported on were that chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent. And the big problem with these increases are not only that they are higher and no one likes higher prices but that incomes in America have been stagnant. When prices skyrocket but wages stay the same–trouble is brewing for the poor and middle class.

Median income is up about 1 percent a year and is plainly lagging behind food inflation. CBS showcased a writer, Jen Singer who is the mother of two teenagers. She said that she wrestles with her grocery list every week. It’s taking her family budget to the limit and she struggles to be able to feed her family no matter what the government says about prices not rising very much. “I’d like the government to stop by my house, come food shopping with me and see where the real costs are,” she said. And about eating healthy, she opined, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is impossible thanks to apple prices.” It’s apparently not just some fringe food items that have skyrocketed either. “The things that are going up in price are the things I absolutely need to buy,” Singer said. “It’s the meat, it’s the milk, it’s the eggs and it’s getting out of hand.”

CBS interviewed ConvergEx market strategist, Nick Colas. He said that mothers could tell the government a lot about inflation. “Food inflation is far greater than the government thinks it is.” Singer also added, “If my income isn’t going up, how am I going to keep up with inflation?”

However, it’s not only food that is going through the roof. A watercraft broker just told me that diesel fuel has quickly risen about a dollar a gallon and now a gallon of diesel costs around $4.50. Those prices make it cost prohibitive for middle class folks to purchase and in many case operate anything that uses diesel fuel such as some vehicles, trucks and pleasure boats.

America has struggled to get its financial act together and in some ways we have come a long way. However, there is a problem.  Bureaucracy. Bureaucracy basically means leading from a desk and the government is famous for doing that. Generally, the larger the company the more bureaucracy but it’s much easier to lead from a desk when you’re using and dealing with other people’s money.

In-favor economists generally paint a benign present picture, however, as CBS reports, middle-class families are quietly struggling. “The disconnect is severe, because it’s the economists that make policy but it’s the people who have to live with the outcome of that policy and that disconnect is growing to the point where I think it has to break soon,” Colas said.

We’ve had tough economic times in the recent past and are still facing daunting issues. Some of which, seemingly, are not correctly focused on our government’s radar. So what can we do? How about getting help from those who know what’s really happening? How about getting real live, walking and talking moms to help economists. I say, don’t completely lead from a desk,  textbook or from the theoretical. I say, get some real live moms on board with the movers, shakers and policy makers. Moms who have traditionally been the lifeblood, the brains and caretakers of families. People who see the reality of the economy daily. Farfetched? Perhaps, but does anyone believe that it wouldn’t be better with getting those on board who see, smell and feel reality every day?

Steve Kovacs
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Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics.

Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.

For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.

Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Steve Kovacs
Follow Steve
Steve Kovacs

About Steve Kovacs

Steve is a bestselling author with his latest book being, 'Protect Your Kids! The Simple Keys to Children's Safety and Survival'. Steve has also written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics. Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer. For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show. Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
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5 Responses to High Food Prices & More Are Beating Up the Middle Class-Moms To the Rescue

  1. Patricia JohnsonPatricia Johnson says:

    Morning Steve,

    This is really strange. Someone by the name of Michelle Miller wrote the original article with the data, which was then reported by Scott Pelley; but I definitely question the source of their numbers.

    The food index was up 1.1 percent for 2013 and 1.8 percent for 2012, which would mean it increased a total of 2.9 percent since 2011, not 6.4 percent, as CBS reported.

    Actually, the 1.1 percent increase for 2013 is the smallest December to December increase since 1976, so in that respect we are doing very well. Over the past ten year period of time we have averaged a 2.5 percent annual increase.

    While the price of meat, poultry, fish and eggs has increased, 2.9 percent, that increase was partially offset by decreases in the price of fruits and vegetables.

    This particular index has a tremendous number of variables so it is difficult to take one particular number and hone in on it, due to the fact so many of the other numbers have an impact.

    Median income also has some oddities. Back during the Bush administration the data going into the various quintiles was revised considerably which altered the numbers. Richard and I wrote an article on it back when the revisions took place and plan on writing an update in the near future.

    The situation with the middle class in this country is serious, but there is a solution.

    Nice article Steve – have a good day,

    Pat

  2. Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs says:

    Thanks for the read Pat and also the compliment…stay well……

  3. “The bureaucracy is expanding to meet the needs of the expanding bureaucracy.” Oscar Wilde.

    That’s basically what’s happening. As for statistics, I know damn well that the price of a loaf of generic, sliced, whole wheat bread here in Canada has gone from $1.99 or less, to around $2.49. That’s a 25% increase, Bread is a HUGE staple. Eggs have increased approximately the same amount here. This is just in the last couple of years.

    The real issue with almost every single product we buy in a store or online, though, has to do with fuel prices. Every time they raise the fuel prices, transportation is more expensive, so the delivery of goods costs everyone much more. It’s not just food, but every single item we buy unless we go directly to the source, such as a farm. I know a number of people who shop that way. The closer you are to your food source these days, the less expensive it will be, and it will likely be much healthier, too.

    • Steve KovacsSteve Kovacs. says:

      Yes, bread here is similar. It has gone up. Some breads are even
      $ 3.49! Milk is high and meat is supposed to go up a bunch this year as well. Chocolate is off the charts as I noticed yesterday and fuel just yesterday was about 4.80 a gallon. Peppers are crazy in price and some fruits too.
      Fuel certainly makes everything more expensive to ship and maybe that’s the big issue.

      Maybe things will get better.

      • That’s why I specified it was generic bread I was talking about. I’ve seen bread a lot more expensive than $3.49, but they’re usually the 9-grain stuff, or ‘ancient grains’ and that sort. Rye has always been expensive, but just a regular 100% whole wheat in generic packaging should be the least expensive bread you can buy – oddly they charge the same for white bread, despite the fact that white bread actually takes a great deal more processing. They have to remove all of the food value and bleach it in order to make it white. In Elizabethan England they used to give the highly refined flours to the richest people, and the less refined to the poorest, not realizing that the less refined was actually healthier because it still had the whole grains in it.

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