OPINION

Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Inflation deflation

Mar 10, 2022, 4:40 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2022, 2:17 pm
Inflation rates are up, and it might affect things at home....
Inflation rates are up and it might start affecting things at home. Photo: Adobe Stock

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY— I have a rule against doing Minutes of News that involve math. It’s hard to follow, and numbers are boring, but I’m going to make an exception after the new inflation numbers. 

The new year-to-year inflation rate is approaching 8 percent and that’s before the price of gas blasted off two weeks ago.

What does an 8 percent inflation rate mean?

First, a thousand dollar monthly grocery bill will cost you $1080 a year from now. If this keeps going for five years, those same groceries will cost you $1469 in 2027.

And if you make $50 thousand a year with an 8 percent wage increase each year, in 2027 you’ll be earning $73,466. An extra 23 grand.

Except it never seems to work that way. Inflation raises wages but over the longer-term prices tend to rise more and everyday folks find their standard of living going down.

Are you still following this?

Here’s what inflation will look like at home: Hamburger Helper shows up more at dinnertime. You’ll have to think before you drive. The McDonald’s dollar meal starts looking better and better— but it’ll probably be a two dollar meal soon enough.

Is there anything positive to report? I googled “items that are falling in price” — and I found three things. Only three.

Girls’ clothing was down 4 percent this past year. Men’s pants. And cosmetics.

So guys who wear the pants in the family, have daughters, and spend a lot of time at KISS concerts are smiling but for the rest of us, it’s kind of bleak.

Other Minutes of News:

Listen to Jeff Caplan’s Afternoon News every weekday from 3 to 7 p.m. for more of his “My Minute of News.” And check out the podcast below.

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Jeff Caplan’s Minute of News: Inflation deflation