Anyone who pulled their vehicle in to a gas station these days has received a stinging dose of sticker shock. Yes, there has been a significant escalation in prices at the pump lately, especially in New York City. No one ever expected to say close to $5.00 per gallon just to be able to get to wherever they need to go, but these are the sad facts. With an administration in Washington that is careening out of control and as fiscal chaos is taking center stage on the national agenda, there should be no surprise that we are now being subjected to the kind of national inflation rates that send shivers down our collective spine.
When one draws a comparison to gas prices over the past summer and prices in the summer of 2020, we see a literal universe of difference. In the summer of 2020 gas prices were at bargain basement prices; with some gas stations selling gallons for as low as $1.77. While it is true that during the summer of 2020 most Americans were still hunkered down; unable or unwilling to leave their homes due to the deleterious effects of the coronavirus, it is still mind numbing to even contemplate just how much gas prices have skyrocketed.
Having said this, analysts have said that fuel prices have catapulted due to the price of crude oil being very high. The Automobile Association of America has said that the average price of a gallon of regular gas in New York City this past Monday was $3.47; up seven cents from a week ago. A year ago, it was $2.27.
If this was the only problem we were compelled to tackle, that would be one thing. Tragically, inflationary prices have invaded practically everything we need to survive.
Over the last year, food prices in the New York, New Jersey area have risen by 5.5 percent over the past year and that includes a 9 percent increase for such staple items as eggs, fish, poultry and meat. At this rate, any kind of epicurean delicacy that we may be craving will just have to be jettisoned from our shopping lists.
While we’re at it, let’s address our monthly utility bills. Energy prices have also increased by 10.7 percent since last year. Electricity bills shot up by 5.6 percent and the price of natural gas was 16 percent higher than the year before.
For those of us in the greater NY/NJ area, we were dealt a blow when learning that rent prices went up by 1.2 percent, while the cost to furnish our homes and to operate them went up by 8.7 percent. The prices on all motor vehicles, be they new or used shot up by double digits as did the price of alcohol and apparel.
Now matter how one slices it, this year our finances were traumatized by inflation whereas last year they were not. Isn’t it time to hold someone in Washington accountable for this mess?