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No COLA increase because no inflation. R they kidding?

By Dian Vujovich

I don’t know who the knuckleheads are in Washington who do the cost of living calculating but one thing is for sure—they aren’t people who go grocery shopping, use bleach or pay their monthly bills. If they did even one of those things, those wise guys would know that prices on all sorts of goods and services have increased this year over last. And by more than a tad.

Those of us who live in the real world may have scratched our heads when it was reported that the recession was over. But the news of no signficiant rise in prices is just plain laughable. Everybody knows that’s a bunch of bunk.

So since the ridiculous news about no increase in Social Security checks this year was announced I’ve been truly puzzled. And, can’t help but wonder if maybe the figurers think that all Social Security recipients are gullible and so old that they don’t really know when the price on something increases.

But don’t try to sell that to seniors who make up the lion’s share of the 54 million people who count on getting a monthly check. After all, it is the oldest folks in our nation that Tom Brokaw labeled as “The Greatest Generation” for a number of good reasons. Like living through the depression, WWII, then building a good life for themselves and their families. If there is one thing you can say about this group as a whole it’s that they knew how to skrimp and save. Apparently skrimping is back in again.

Even Boomers who collect their SS checks today aren’t all total financial illiterates. They’re kids of that greatest generation. Saving, investing and spending smarts are often passed on. And so is knowing when you’re being short-changed.

As for rising prices, at Costco last week I looked at the price on the Kirkland brand of pistachios in the shell. A bag cost right under 20 bucks. A few weeks ago it was around $17.

That’s up three bucks! Which happens to be more than 10 times higher than the Labor Department’s reported inflation rate for the third quarter of this year–it was up 1.5 precent.

Then there’s that wonderful smoked salmon spread Costco sells. Three months ago a 16-ounce container of Gold Coast spread was around $7. Now it’s nearly 10. Same size. Same company. Same spread.

And when did bleach turn into a precious liquid? In a gallon, 5.25% is sodium hypochlorite and the rest water. It used to sell for under a buck. No more.

As the daughter of parents from “The Greatest Generation” I notice prices and know the difference between rising and falling ones. So while I don’t know how the g-men figure rates of inflation, or deflation, I do know that it costs me a lot more money to live today than it did last year— or the year before.

No COLA increase because prices haven’t increased much? Who is kidding who?

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