Alternative News

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are Decimating The Middle And Lower Class

By Tyler Durden

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While the government continues to peddle the CPI fairy tale and
the true cost of living (as measured by real-world inflationary
indicators like the Chapwood
) appears to be closer to 10%, instead of 2%, the middle
and lower class are bearing the brunt of the pain.

This was the topic of a new
NPR piece
that took a look at exactly why Americans were having
trouble paying their expenses. What they found shouldn’t surprise
anyone: incomes were being vastly outpaced by the cost of
. “An unexpected bill like that is what separates
millions of Americans from financial disaster,” the piece

While some of this can be attributed to poor financial planning,
some of it can also be attributed to an increasingly skewed playing
field that’s being created as a result of monetary policy.

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class 1

As of today, 33% of U.S. adults said they are having trouble
paying for everyday costs. “Even some households making above
$200,000 are straining to pay basic expenses,” the report notes.
For many families, it isn’t just the pandemic that has put them
in dire straits. More than 33% of Americans said they couldn’t
cover an unexpected $400 expense a year ago.

And in identifying the culprit, we’re going to say something
we rarely ever say: NPR nails it.

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For decades, U.S. wages have failed to keep pace with
the rising costs of what many perceive as essential ingredients for
a successful American life
: good education and health
care, a home and a family.

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In other words, the true cost of�inflation is vastly outpacing
wages, as
we have been saying
for years. For example, last year, we
posted what we called “The Inflation Chart That Explains
Everythingâ€. In that article, we noted:

Over the past 20 years, US prices of goods and services has gone
up by 56% while wages have gone up by 95%, which sounds quite good.
However, when we look beneath the headline, we find that hospital
services and college tuition have gone by a whopping 208% and 186%,
respectively. This is much higher than wage growth, and
shows that key services that enable people to move up the social
ladder are being priced out of their reach. 
On the
flipside, the price of TVs, cellphone services and toys have
collapsed, so people can at least distract themselves away from
their social woes.

We showed a similar chart, visually explaining just how
burdensome these key expenses had become:

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class 2

As we also noted, the NPR article continues: “A home
mortgage and utilities can bite off half of a monthly income,
especially in big cities.â€

But we were told by Jerome Powell that the rising cost of houses
and the never-ending spike in the housing market
was creating prosperity, not ending it.

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class 3

Rhonda Alvarez, a dental assistant, told NPR: â€œI
don’t feel like, even if I’m saving, I’m saving … I’m
ever going to get ahead of anything. I feel like it’s a constant
struggle, you know what I’m saying?â€

And it isn’t just through inflation that the government is
ruining the average American. Job losses as a result of Covid have
been decimating the finances of many U.S. citizens.

As part of their report, NPR took a look into the finances of
several families to show just how unsustainable their budgets were.
Alverez’s budget shows her spending, even while cut, vastly
outpacing her income as a result of the Covid pandemic taking her

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class 4

Alverez’s situation is being echoed across the country on a
daily basis – even while Fed chair Jerome Powell insists that the
country needs more inflation. Of course, Americans have trouble
getting ahead not only due to lack of access to jobs and income,
but also due to rudimentary misunderstandings of finance to begin

On top of it all, the government – who the average Joe
trusts to do right by them – is telling them inflation has
basically been a myth
. Again, the Chapwood Index paints a
different story, showing cost of living rising about 10% in major
U.S. cities, annually.

“It’s A Constant Struggle”: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class 5

It says on its site:
“The myth that the CPI represents the increase in our cost of
living is why the Chapwood Index was created. What differentiates
it from the CPI is simple, but critically important.â€

The Chapwood Index:

  • Reports the actual price increase of the 500 items on which
    most Americans spend their after-tax money. No gimmicks, no
    alterations, no seasonal adjustments; just real prices.
  • Shines a spotlight on the inaccuracy of the CPI, which is
    destroying the economic and emotional fiber of our country.
  • Shows how our dependence on the CPI is killing our middle class
    and why citizens increasingly are depending upon government
    entitlement programs to bail them out.
  • Claims to persuade Americans to become better-educated
    consumers and to take control of their spending habits and personal

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“It’s A Constant Struggleâ€: Cost Of Living Increases Are
Decimating The Middle And Lower Class

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