I don't know about y'all, but regardless of the numbers the good ol U.S. government is throwing at us, I do believe we're in the midst of a big, fat, recession.
In the US, the judgment of the business-cycle dating committee of the National Bureau of Economic Research regarding the exact dating of recessions is generally accepted. The NBER has a more general framework for judging recessions:
"A recession is a significant decline in economic activity spread across the economy, lasting more than a few months, normally visible in real GDP, real income, employment, industrial production, and wholesale-retail sales. A recession begins just after the economy reaches a peak of activity and ends as the economy reaches its trough."
I'm not quite sure what most of that means, and I'm almost certain that it's not meant that I do (takes a degree in economics to know what the hell is going on). What I do know is that around the delta here, wages and salaries haven't risen even a penny but everything else sure has and my figures aren't gee-hawing with the Consumer Price Index numbers. Do the folks who come up with those CPI figures use the same calculators that the rest of us do?
The CPI claims that food prices, overall, have only risen 4.2% from March 2007 to March 2008, but I haven't seen even one item in the grocery store that hasn't, at least, increased that much. Many of the basic food items have increased so much that it feels more like I'm shopping in a jewerly store than a food store.
According to the CPI, beef prices have only increased 3.1% from a year ago. When I do the figuring I come up with an 87% increase, but then I'm only talking about that one package of 2 steaks that I could afford to buy a year ago. CPI figures eggs increased 29.9%, where I shop the increase figures up to a 68% increase, that's a big difference in calculations there. Maybe I need to put on a suit and tie so my brain will work better, ya think?
I've also been reading little tidbits here and there that the same good ol U.S. government is considering a tax on snack foods to combat obesity. Holy Shit, who can afford snack foods? I believe if they'd get their heads out of the fairway holes and their asses out of those plush chairs at the Country Club restaurants, they'd be able to look around and see that the normal, everyday working stiffs are having to supplement their meat dishes with a load of starchy foods such as pasta and rice (which has also risen ridiculously in price) so they won't go to bed hungry. That'll combat obesity right there, yessiree.
Dare I mention that it costs $1.50 more in gas for me to go to the grocery today than it did a year ago?
What's going to happen to the folks on fixed incomes, the ones working for minimum wage, the ones who haven't seen a raise over the past 2 or 3 years, the ones who were barely making ends meet to begin with?
Let's just fire all those folks over there in D.C. and start all over. I think we should buy them a Wal Mart calculator too.
Jerri took the two photos above of Jordan and Alexis at their ballgames. Jordan's team came in 2nd in their tournament last weekend and Alexis's team have won one and lost one.
Zach went fishing with his Pop-Pop on Sunday morning and all he brought home was this little dude. I told him that sure didn't look like a fish to me!