Friday, July 30, 2010

No COLA For You

Since a politician never believes
what he says, he is quite surprised

to be taken at his word

--Charles De Gaulle

A dream is a wish your heart makes

when you're fast asleep

In dreams you lose your heartaches

Whatever you wish for, you keep

--A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes

The shape of things to come

--advert for TR-7 (1974)


The story of postage hikes to take effect Jan. 2012 just reminds us of the imbalance in our current abysmal economic climate.

Fighting to survive a deepening financial crisis, the Postal Service said Tuesday it wants to increase the price of first-class stamps by 2 cents — to 46 cents — starting in January. Other postage costs would rise as well

. . .

The price to send periodicals would go up about 8 percent, and other rates for advertising mail, parcels and services would rise by varying amounts. ... [P]ostage costs would rise an average of 5 percent (
Stamp Prices Going up Again -- 46-cent Rate Asked).

The USPS is a microcosm of things to come. At our local postal station, waits can be upwards of 45 minutes, even during off-ours. This is due to staff reductions -- a cost-saving measure you see implemented at numerous businesses. Now, we get to pay more money for a reduction in services.

Meanwhile, Social Security recipients suffer
no Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for 2010 or 2011. The story is, there is no inflation, even though the Consumer Price Index (CPI) rose 5.9 percent in fiscal year 2009 -- the index which COLA is usually tied to. This is the first time in 35 years there has been no COLA.

Sadly, the official line is belied every time one empties one's basket and runs one's good through checkout in the supermarket. But politicians don't engage in such quotidian tasks, so -- pity -- they don't understand the hits the average consumer feels on a daily basis.

Why does the USPS get, in effect, a COLA because they cannot make it, yet the fiction is imposed that a COLA is not needed by Social Security recipients?

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Anonymous Grant said...

I would be careful likening a government organization that enjoys pretty hardcore legal protection from competition to a privately run business. They have wildly different incentives, and aren't comparing apples to apples.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 12:18:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous barcalounger said...

The CPI since June 2009 is +1.1%. That's right from http://www.bls.gov/cpi/. Bad Tux could explain it better than I can. But that's why there's no COLA for you.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 1:13:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous basilbeast said...

We all must make sacrifice for the greater good.

Except, of course, for the greater among us.


Friday, July 30, 2010 at 2:00:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Ok, i accept the 1.1% cola that you are offering us old farts.
Isn't 1.1 more than zero?

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3:41:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

Why do i not get cola, BUT USPS can get a boost?

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3:51:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm not comparing the USPS to private business.
I'm comparing them to my sorry ass.
BTW-there's a police essay coming up on RAW.

Friday, July 30, 2010 at 3:54:00 PM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ranger, you're correct. how can anyone understand this as anything but fraudulent? you'd have to be simple or out of your damn mind.

Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 1:00:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger Terrible said...

If you want to see some really shocking COLA related figures find the average pay for laborers(NOT the national income average which includes ALL taxpayers) in 1981 and the average housing, food and clothing costs for that same year. Then compare it to today. There's a reason I often use the word Feudalism these days.

Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 7:26:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I believe the only reason that i catch this stuff is because i am simple.
Ranger simple.
It's the best way to look at things.
Complexity is beyond my perimeter.
I think i'll do a essay called-I am a child.

Saturday, July 31, 2010 at 11:14:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, ranger, it's lot's of fun to have you there.

Sunday, August 1, 2010 at 8:20:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...

I'm more fun than a barrel of politicians.
Glad that you are on board.
I'd appreciate if you'd pick a moniker, as i like to get to know our readers. You can still be anon.
I actually learn a lot this way.

Monday, August 2, 2010 at 9:01:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous Grant said...

Oh, I'm tracking now ;)

It's got to do with which wheel is squeaking. Squeak louder!

Of course, SS as a whole is a giant insolvent pyramid scheme... I personally would like to keep my 15% now rather than be at the mercy of our wonderful politicians in my old age.

As for there being no inflation... If you use the economically correct definition (not BS things like the CPI which are loaded to make sure inflation is low) as an increase in the supply of money... Bernake is printing like mad, the banks have excess reserves, and we're gonna see some serious price hikes once everyone else figures it out.

Thursday, August 5, 2010 at 12:01:00 PM GMT-5  

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