Gas is up, sneakers are up, onions are up and eggs, too. The only thing that is not up is your income.
There are exceptions. Your income is up, of course, if you are a member of Congress, some other privileged government employee or a million/billionaire. Congresspersons and such get an automatic pay adjustment for inflation. You do not, unless you are on Social Security–but they want to take that away from retirees if they can. Otherwise, every month or every hour the prices go up the salaried and hourly wage earners in our country take a cut in pay.
Rich people avoid being pauperized by inflation. Most of their fortunes are not sunk into things that inflation robs of their value. Ordinary savings accounts and certificates of deposit, for example, pay around 3 percent or less, while inflation is now running somewhere in the vicinity of 4-plus percent.
Rich people do not keep their wealth in low-yield certificates of deposit. They move their money into euros, which are as protected against inflation by the European Central Bank as the dollar is not by our Federal Reserve Board.
The rich may do other things, such as putting their money in commodities like oil. Such investments preserve spending power and you can make a profit off them in the bargain. Sheltering money in oil drives up the price of gasoline, which the non-rich must buy or walk to work.
Every kind of commodity is way up price–wheat, meat, copper, cotton, coal and so forth. As soon as it begins to look as if commodity prices have gone too high and may collapse, the rich will take their money and move on to another kind of investment which, as it protects them from the inflation, will gobble up everybody else’s standard of living .
As inflation worsens, ultimately you will see the numbers in your paycheck grow larger but they will not catch up with costs. Thus it is that a small minority is immune to its ravages while, everybody else takes it on the chin. But a surprising number of people do not seem to mind.
Maybe that is because they are beguiled by statements from government officials and the economics professoriate that inflation can be “contained” or “tamed” or, per the Federal Reserve Board, that though “uncertainty about the inflation outlook has increased. It will be necessary to continue to monitor inflation developments carefully.”
Even low rates of inflation do awful things to people’s savings. A 3 percent inflation rate, well below what we are running now, will cut the value of your savings in half in a little more than twenty years. So much for the misnamed “golden years.” In your lifetime the penny, the nickel and the dime have become useless units of currency.