Peter over at Bayou Renaissance Man says that readers claim inflation isn’t here. Let me show you how it sneaks up on you. A Denny’s commercial from 1997:
Note that one of those breakfasts was this one:
2 strips of bacon, two link sausages, two eggs, and two pancakes. This is the breakfast that Denny’s calls the “Original Grand Slam.” For $1.99.
How much is this breakfast now? $9.29, or 467% more than it was 24 years ago. That works out to an annual inflation rate of 6.7%. The published rates for that period were anything from negative 0.2 all the way to 3.0. The official inflation rates say that this breakfast should only cost $3.28 today.
When I was in high school nearly 40 years ago, I remember being able to go to McDonald’s and eat my fill for less than $4. A Big Mac was only $1.09. Krystal Hamburgers were 25 cents. Compare them to today’s prices.
It isn’t just food. In 1999, you could purchase gasoline for less than $1 a gallon. The hit is even larger than that- because in 2005, Congress mandated that all gasoline be diluted with alcohol.
But wages haven’t kept pace. In 2000, the starting pay for a Paramedic right out of school was $14 an hour. Today, that same new paramedic would start at – $13 an hour.
Prices have been increasing at a rate of 6 to 7 percent per year, while wages have remained static.