You’ve certainly heard by now that Social Security recipients, including SSI recipients, aren’t getting a cost-of-living increase this year, a fairly rare occurrence. Apparently the way they calculate the cost of living gives great weight to the cost of gasoline, which hasn’t risen much in the last couple of years while everything else has skyrocketed.
All I know is that at Winco, a lot of the stuff I buy has increased by at least 50% from a couple of years ago. Broccoli used to be $.99 a pound, now it’s often $1.99. Tuna used to be $.59, now it’s $.89. It all adds up.
My cousin, also a retiree, shared with me the following statistics from EPI. Bloomberg and the USDL.:
Since 1978, the cost of college tuition has increased by 1,120%.
Medical care has increased by 601%
Food has increased by 244%
Shelter has gone up by 380%.
MEANWHILE the pay of typical workers rose by just 10%
The pay of minimum wage workers fell by 5.5%
And the pay of average CEO’s increased by 937%.
No wonder everyone’s feeling squeezed, whether on a “fixed income” or not. I really feel for the many folks who have no other income and hope that Sen Elizabeth Warren’s bill or some other fix will be appllied, and soon. For those who, like me, have other sources of income, it’s just an annoyance but it cannot be denied that increased discrepancies between income and expenses force more people into homelessness. The rent IS too damn high.