2009 prices of commodities I use, tax on property we own:
- the price of gum (I used to chew occasionally until last week): UP 16%
- our estimated 2009 property taxes: UP 11.15%
- Cheezits, veggie dogs (and other "meats"): Prices -- steady! -- package weights or actual product have dropped 20-25%.
- Water bills (in Eugene, OR, anyway): UP 24%
- Gasoline (from the government's Energy Information Administration: UP 54% (since Jan. 1, 2009)
- etc., etc.
The first thing I noted was it's author -- Sharon Epperson. I remember Epperson from when I watched CNBC faithfully during those internet bubble years of irrational exuberance. She was another "pretty face" ala Maria Bartiromo, analyzing markets for us with their most distractive, attractive presences.
But I digress. Cut to Epperson's article in today's mag rag where I read with incredulity, "Even a 2% rate of return will beat inflation these days," she assured us all.
I have one question: Where in the fuck does Sharon Epperson and whoever she's working for come up with a 2% CD rate of return beating the inflation rate in this country? A visit to the United States Department of Labor's Consumer Price Index through the end of April 2009 shows me why I'm obviously speaking here from inside the looney bin, to wit:
Thru April, 2009, the inflation rate for all urban consumers for the previous 3 months was an annualized rate of 2.5%. But that did not include the cost of food and energy which, according to the BLS, declined 1.7% and 8.5% respectively meaning, if you add those two items back into the index, a 2.0%/yr. CD makes you feel like you discovered gold in Sutter's Creek! (See the above price in gas this year --up just 54%!)
So what's my point? Well, my experience doesn't match reality obviously. That leads me to one conclusion: I'm apparently fucking crazy! (Either that, or my CD's enriching me daily, just when I was feeling more and more impoverished. "Okay, have you finished ironing the kinks out of my "straight" jacket? Take me back to my rubber room.)