I'm not seeing it myself. Groceries have not gone up at all. French Bread costs the same as it did five years ago. Butter has gone up, but yogurt is
the same. Veggies are seasonal, I know, but asparagus is the cheapest I've ever seen it at $1.58 a pound. Hamburger is the same. Chicken is the same.
No real difference. Batteries are up, but they last longer. Parmesan cheese and baco bits remain steady.
Everyone I know is now working. Two of my friends just got jobs. One is in commercial construction at very big bucks. (We're talking $200K here.) The
other, not so hot a job, but it's better than no job at all. No one has bought a new car recently, but they aren't driving clunkers either. Gas is up,
of course, but still less than half what Europe pays. My neighbor has his own business and so does my cousin. Both have had the best years they have
ever had. My cousin's business, a one person operation, expanded over 20% in 2012. I made a little bit more money this last year, but my taxes went
down. I'm actually getting money back for the first time in a long time and it looks like that will continue this year as well. I don't expect to do
either better or worse this year. No big changes either way, which is fine with me.
I know four people (2 couples) who just graduated college. One girl with a double major in accounting and human resources got a job almost
immediately. She's the only one who wound up with student loans, but she has the job to pay them off. The others three had weird majors, but they did
get jobs and have no debt. One has a degree in "judicial management" (??) whose name, oddly enough, is "Court," and got a job working for a law firm.
This will allow him to build some contacts. The other guy has a job working in IT, and the other gal got hired off an internship in archives
management, whatever that is. These two couples just bought houses, though I am suspicious one got help from Daddy. They are looking to start families
here pretty quickly. These guys are all mid-twenties. One of their sets of parents just lost their house to foreclosure, but, you know, it was their
own damn fault, I'm sorry to say. They had plenty of blown opportunities.
The house next door just sold. It was on the market for less than two weeks. I was astounded. The housing market has been stagnant and prices have
fallen, but they are still way above 20 years ago. Two new houses have been built across the way as spec houses. One sold for sure. I don't know about
the other. Interest rates are the lowest ever, even including the fifties. If someone could lock in a 30 year fixed at 3% they'd save tens of
thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan. Of course you're not going to earn any interest either, so that can hurt old people depending on
savings. Unemployment is down a bit, though those figures can be misleading.
Fingers crossed, but no one I know is seriously broke and the economy, if not robust, seems at least steady for the moment.
edit on 3/1/2013 by schuyler because: (no reason given)