Thursday, June 5, 2008

They couldn’t stop Charlie, but they sure stopped those price hikes

A recent Associated Press story began, “Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has moved inflation up on his list of worries …”

When I was in Vietnam, the Saigon government one day announced it was sick and tired of rampant inflation and that, from that day on, merchants who raised prices would face imprisonment or even death.

Yeah … death.

Inflation in Vietnam ground to a screeching halt.

If Ben took a similar approach here, it would be a bloodbath.

After all, the top dogs at Dow Chemical just announced they’re raising prices across-the-board by up to 20 percent – mainly to offset fuel costs.

And we all know diesel fuel costs 40 percent more this year than last, while gas is up 20 percent.

Come to think of it, the price of eggs is up 60 percent.

Milk is up 26 percent, pasta up 30 percent, and fruits and veggies are up 20 percent.

Amy Brunger of Portsmouth, NH, tells The Boston Globe that she fed her family for years on $125 a week. But this year the cost suddenly shot up to $200.

And now, the natural gas industry is warning that this winter our heating bills will skyrocket because the price of natural gas has gone up 50 percent.

Put all those percentage increases together, and we’re talking some Big Time Inflation.

For the sake of a lot of nice grocers, gas station owners and truck stop fuel desk managers, I’m glad Ben’s in charge – instead of the Saigon generals.

Or at least … I think I am.