20 Price Increases That Are Breaking America’s Middle Class Families
American families are under the gun. Whether you are employed, unemployed, or underemployed you’re not alone, because millions of families are struggling in the U.S. With the cost of basic goods and services rising at an alarming rate many households struggle to supply the basic necessities some of us take for granted.
Whether you realize it or not we have all been affected by the California drought in one way or another. Watching your food and water prices increase, and in some case double due to lack of rainfall, is taking a toll on American families. With increased costs forcing tough decisions at the dinner table many consumers have been forced to make unhealthy eating choices, essentially doing their grocery shopping at dollar storeswhere healthy selections are far and few. This cycle of economic destruction has been going on for decades. We as consumers need to be smarter, vote with our dollars, and continue to find ways to become more self sufficient. Growing our own food to combat the increasing prices, exploring alternate energy options, or going off grid and heating our homes with wood again are just some of the ways we can make a difference that will help our financial situation and most of all our way of life.
The report estimates that Americans will pay about $4.5 trillion dollars in taxes of all kinds in 2014, with $3 trillion going to the federal government and $1.5 trillion dollars going to state and local governments. This is approximately 30.2 percent of the nation’s income paid in taxes.
In total, Americans will pay more in taxes in 2014 than on food, clothing, and shelter combined.
Since Obamacare passed, some 12 quarters ago. As far as the individual market is concerned, the increase in premium cost has increased 12 percent.
These figures indicate the average from 148 brokers having been surveyed. There are some states which show an increase of as much as 50 times that amount for premium costs. In Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, and Michigan, the most devastating increases in health care coverage costs are at a 90 percent increase for individual plans.
These are good times for U.S. landlords. For many tenants, not so much.
With demand for apartments surging, rents are projected to rise for a fifth straight year. Even a pickup in apartment construction is unlikely to provide much relief anytime soon.
That bodes well for building owners and their investors. Yet the landlord-friendly trends will likely further strain the finances of many renters. That’s especially true for the 50 percent of them who already spend more than one-third of their pay on rent.
A box containing 500 rounds of .22LR was selling for approximately $20/box back in December. Today, Mr. Hyatt tells me he is selling the same box for $49. This represents a 145 percent increase in price.
We “immediately started rationing” as there are “a lot of unknowns for deliveries of products,” Hyatt said.
The 5.56mm was selling for $0.50 a round in mid-December. Today it sells for $1.00/round; a 100 percent increase in price.
Mr. Hyatt also said that 50 rounds of 9mm were selling for $10.99 – but, they’re now priced at $24.00 per box. This represents an increase of 118 percent.
Water prices in 30 major U.S. cities again grew at a pace faster than inflation, according to Circle of Blue’s annual survey of water rates for single-family residential customers.
Water prices increased an average of 6.7 percent in these metropolitan areas, a slower rate than in recent years but well above the 2.1 percent increase in the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index for 2012. The median increase in water prices was 6.2 percent.
The latest data from the National Association of Theater Owners finds that the average ticket last quarter rose to $8.38 from $7.96 a year ago, sparking debate over whether moviegoing is losing its appeal as an affordable night on the town.
The electricity price index soared to a new high in January 2014 with the largest month-to-month increase in almost four years, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Meanwhile, data from the Energy Information Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Energy, indicates that electricity production in the United States has declined since 2007, when it hit its all-time peak.
Mothers who do work are paying more than ever for child care. In inflation-adjusted dollars, average weekly child care expenses for families with working mothers who paid for child care (24% of all such families) rose more than 70% from 1985 ($87) to 2011 ($148), according to research by the Census Bureau. For those families, child-care expenses represent 7.2% of family income, compared to 6.3% in 1986 (the earliest year available).
Nebraska consumers have seen the nation’s biggest percentage increase in auto insurance rates since 1988, a consumer group said Tuesday in recommending that all states adopt tough, California-style regulation of the auto insurance industry.
Over the last decade, the price of a four-year college education has risen faster for public schools than private ones in every region of the country.
The disparity is strongest in the West where the cost of public schools is rising at a rate more than six times faster than the cost of private schools, according to data from the nonprofit College Board. Break it down by state and Arizona was home to the largest hikes in public-school tuition and fees, which have skyrocketed 70 percent in just five years.
The amount of money bus, subway and commuter rail riders will fork over to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority will go up by approximately 15% by 2017, according to updated financial plans released by transit officials.
The Baltimore school system is raising the price of student lunches to $3 — one of the highest among the nation’s large, urban districts — under a plan that also provides free meals to every low-income student.
Since McDonald’s (MCD) launched the Dollar Menu nationally in 2002, it has grown to about 13 percent of sales–a whole lot of McDoubles and Sausage Biscuits. But the menu is no longer working for the burger chain, so it’s rebranding it as the “Dollar Menu & More” with $1 and $2 sandwiches and even some items at $5. It’s more like a neighborhood dollar store now: the name refers to the starting price.
Joe Lancarte, owner of Joe T. Garcia’s in Fort Worth, Texas, said he paid $2,200 for 20 cases of limes on Thursday. Due to the steep price, he said he will not put limes out on every glass, as he has in the past. Some restaurants are going even further, substituting lemons for limes.
That’s what John Berry, who runs La Fonda, a Mexican restaurant in San Antonio, said he would do. Food prices, particularly produce prices, are on the rise in general, but a 500% increase over just a few weeks is a lot, even by the current inflationary standard.
A growing pork shortage threatens American tradition as the reported cases of porcine epidemic diarrhea (PED) have now spread to 27 states since it was first identified in May of 2013, according to several sources.
Prices for April pork deliveries have increased by more than 45 percent since the beginning of the year. China has temporarily closed its borders to American pork products, fearing the spread of the disease to local hog farms, according to Gantdaily.com. At Friday’s closing, pork futures contracts dropped two cents to $1.23 per pound, but that still inflates the price of pork by almost 50 percent in less than one year.
Prices have never been higher, feed costs are down, and output is headed for an all-time high as exports surge to buyers from Mexico to China. While the average farm will see a 21 percent drop in net-cash income, led by declines for corn, wheat and soybeans, dairy farmers will earn 28 percent more at $334,100, the U.S. Department of Agriculture predicts.
Milk futures in Chicago are up 24 percent this year and cheddar cheese gained 19 percent, with both reaching records last month. The higher prices are eroding profit margins for domestic purchases including dairy processor Dean Foods Co. (DF), sandwich chain owner Potbelly Corp., and Annie’s Inc., a maker of organic macaroni and cheese.
At an average of $5.49 a pound, bacon was already pricey, Meyer pointed out. The price has been climbing steadily for a number of years; Kalo said retail bacon prices in the last year were 31 percent higher than they were in 2009.
And if you’re achin’ for those eggs that go with bacon…there’s good and bad news. According to the Department of Agriculture, egg prices fell 1.1 percent in January, but they are 6.1 percent above last year’s level. Egg prices are highly seasonal and are among the most volatile to forecast, the USDA said.
Coffee futures surged in heavy volume on Monday, in their biggest two-day rally in six weeks after a bullish crop report in top grower Brazil reignited concerns about drought damage to arabica output. Arabica coffee on ICE Futures US jumped 10.7 percent above Thursday’s settlement and is only 14 cents below last month’s two-year high, on dry weather worries in Brazil at the crucial time that beans develop on trees.