Wed. Apr 17th, 2024

By Samuel Strait, Reporter at Large – May 19, 2021 — Cartoon credit to

For those that do not go into town on a daily basis, or for that matter
very often, probably the first thing that they will notice is that the
price of regular gasoline is up well over $4 per gallon.  Those of us
that live in this part of the world often see spikes in gasoline prices
when the fuel mix is changed, before holidays, and at the beginning of
Summer, no surprise there.  What we haven’t seen for several years now
is the kind of fuel price spike of over a dollar per gallon for several
years.  Up until the end of January of 2021, the fluctuation of fuel
prices had been modest, perhaps only a few cents per gallon at a time. 
Most are going to point to the recent East Coast pipeline disruption as
the culprit for rapidly increasing price and short supply, something not
really seen since the 70’s under President Jimmy Carter.

That probably isn’t the whole story.  For some months now, Americans
have been receiving the same kind of rapid increase for a number of
things that they purchase, and services that they contract.  Escalating
grocery costs, electricity, water and sewer are some of the most
noticeable, unless you don’t have to pay attention to such mundane
increases.  Higher cost for Insurance, health, auto, and home, have all
increased in some cases 10% or more.  Property taxes have increased by
the usual 2% (thank heaven for Proposition 13), sales tax by 14%.  We
will no doubt find that both State and Federal Taxes are soon to
increase, just how much we won’t know quite yet.  All in all the added
costs to our budget has for most of us taken a rather significant hit
over the past three months.

It should not be very hard to discover why that is.  As was pointed out
in a recent article by Roger Gitlin in these very pages “Have You
Noticed The Spike In Costs In Del Norte County,” the current Federal
Administration has set a course which will increase the National Debt by
trillions.  Now any one who believes that can occur without consequences
is living a sheltered existence.  What isn’t apparent, is exactly who
will pay the biggest price for this activity from the Federal
Government?  The wealthy, I don’t think so.  Those that feed at the
taxpayers dinner table?  Not them either.

You guessed it, the very people that the Federal Government is
purportedly trying to help; the poor, the small business person, those
laid off by the pandemic, and seniors living on a fixed income are all
going to feel the pain when not only prices have increased, taxes have
gone up, but their dollars have declined in value.  It takes more of
them to get the same thing back.  When government tinkers with the
economy by giving money out like toilet paper, it soon becomes just
that.  We have had multiple examples of just such activities in the past
century, something our current leadership at all levels cannot seem to
comprehend. It is not as if this should be a surprise for anyone, nor
what is happening, because this has been carried out since January 20,2021.

A ton of excuses have been given for why things are not working out very
well, but the bottom line is that when governments are more concerned
with guaranteed income for some people, open borders, and a host of open
wallet policies, nothing good will come of it.  When we say that the
Country is in debt to the tune of nearly thirty trillion dollars, and
more spending is in the hopper, how can this be a rational way to
behave?  Those that have already seen those checks from the government
for hundreds if not thousands of dollars have just seen them disappear
with the recent tide of inflation.  It will not stop any time soon as
both local, and that is important, State, and Federal Governments gear
up to spend far more.  As “Cadillac” style projects pour out of the
mouths of our local representatives and needed projects are ignored, it
can’t be made any clearer that swimming pool openings, and grand front
street park improvements are best left for another time.  Handicapped
ramps at random street corners and bicycle paths are something that also
can wait.

The US Census Bureau recently came out with some interesting numbers
that claim the average salary for Del Norters was a bit over $45,000. 
While that seems like a high number, the Census Bureau also said that
the poverty level was higher than typical and high level earners were
also higher than other similar areas. Since not many who make salaries
above $100,000 occupy private sector jobs in this area, it is rather
easy to show who those employees really are, the Public Sector.  Keep
that in mind as you struggle over the next year and a half to pay bills
and experience a decline in life style.  The unaffected “Kings, Queens,
Prince, and Princesses” of our political classes are returning the rest
of us to that of the life of serfs.  Clearly their concern is not for
the poor, the small business owner, the unemployed, or the senior
citizen who lives on the meager increases offered by Social Security.

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