In 1976 the price of stewing beef was $13.00 a pound in Kyoto, Japan. I remember being astonished at the cost back then. I was equally astonished when I peered into the case with packaged corned beef chunks, the smallest was just over $10.00 and the tags went up from there. Marilyn had mentioned her shock at seeing the price about a week ago, but I hadn’t looked yet. I went from one store to another to find the same situation and like my neighbor, I did not buy any. As I browsed further just checking beef in general, I remember commenting to a lady standing next to me, “$30. for this roast, can you even believe it?” She squinted at the package and added, “and it’s only just over three pounds!” Every week the prices escalate. When we lived in California I paid $.49 for a small cauliflower. We moved to Illinois and the price was $.49 per pound and then to Cleveland where it was $2.49 for a cauliflower. At first the excuse was that the cost of shipping rose with the cost of gasoline, but in the months since gasoline prices dropped, there has been no decrease in the cost of groceries. With the hard winter experienced by the states that grow most of our food as well as the states that usually endure these conditions, the warning is, news flash: prices will increase again.
It isn’t just groceries though, it is everything. My telephone (land line) and Internet (not what I would call high speed, but a grade up from dial-up) bill jumped up by one third this past autumn and while I did go through the exasperating experience of calling the phone company to ask them if there wasn’t something they could do to help me, the person I spoke with said, “$91.00 a little steep for you, is it?” Ah, yes! So after being transferred once, disconnected and starting over at the beginning, waiting the long time before I got a human being on the line and reiterating the whole story, I was told that basically there was nothing they could do for me. It is pay up or opt out and pay the disconnect service charges, go with another carrier, pay their connection fees and after a short period of decent billing, the special deal would expire and the price would skyrocket and I’d again be paying through the nose.
Well, I can honestly say, you’ve been no help at all.