Tastes great, less inflating.

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MONDAY 4-7-08…I walked into a restaurant here in Chico to grab a quick sandwich. I picked up a free newspaper called Senior Lifestyle…just something to read while I waited for my order. Flipping through it, I saw the headline of an article. It read…”Strategies for Saving a Bundle on Groceries.” My little blond does the grocery shopping, but I thought I might gain a few points by reading the article and sharing some of it’s ideas with her.

Unfortunately, I never made it past the first paragraph, which states “Food prices are up, way up. The overall cost of weekly groceries today is nearly six percent more than last year — higher than the inflation rate. To the uninitiated, there could be the question of why it’s higher than the inflation rate. Shouldn’t the inflation rate go up just like the cost of food?

The answer is, yes it should, but it doesn’t because the cost of food and energy is erased by government officials who keep tabs on inflation. So, the cost of food and gasoline doesn’t count. It’s sorta’ like the golfer who wants to brag about his low scores on his scorecard, so he erases all bogies, do-over’s and Mulligans at the end of each round.

So now you know why the price of groceries and gasoline is so much higher than the inflation rate. It allows the government to say “inflation is under control” or “within the comfort margin of the Federal Reserve.”

It was not an April fool’s joke when the Sacramento BEE headlined “Food-cost Hike Seen as Farmers Plant Less Corn.” The first line says it all: “From chicken nuggets to corn flakes, food prices at grocery stores and dinner tables could be headed even higher as farmers cut back on the land they’re planting in corn this spring. Combine that with higher energy costs for transporting food, and consumers are likely to see their food bills going up and up.”

But not to worry. The government will tell us “inflation is under control and within the comfort margin of the Federal Reserve.” That’s supposed to make us all feel better.

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