That Sucking Sound You Hear …

… is inflation cleaning out your wallet. The Consumer Price Index for August was up 8.3 % over August, 2021. That was higher than the “expected” rate.

The CPI’s food index rose 11.4% in August, the worst year-over-year increase since Jimmy Carter was President. (The Gentle Reader may remember that I once optimistically hoped that the Xiden Administration would be Carter’s second term.)

And the Dow fell about 500 points after the worse-than-“expected” inflation report.

Math is Hard

Karine Jean-Pierre really said this—

Look, when you look at the data, the inflation data, we’re seeing more progress, bringing global inflation down in the U.S. economy, as I just stated moments ago. Overall, uh, prices have been essentially flat in our country these last two months. That is welcome news for American families.

OTOH, if you believe Nineteen Eighty-Four is an instruction manual rather than a warning, then arithmetic is subject to revision as required. Two plus two can be five or three or four or whatever The Party needs it to be.

My 401k and rollover IRA were unavailable for comment.

BTW, I almost posted this with an I’m Not Making This Up, You Know headline.

A Significant Windfall

America’s newspaper of record reports that the average lifetime earnings of graduates who have earned a gender studies degree rose sharply to $10,000 this week. The report also notes—

[s]ome college graduates with gender studies degrees are actually hitting up to $20,000 if they received Pell grants, doubling the most common average of $10,000, and being more than $20,000 over the previous average of $0.

The Actual Cost of Electric Cars

I’m an electrical engineer. My day job involves designing the electronics that will drive a set of motors in a robot arm to be used on a NASA satellite. While the motors are not as powerful as those used in cars, the technology is similar. The paperwork below goes a long way in explaining why one of my VWs burns gasoline and the other is a diesel.When I first saw this quote, I thought it was fake. However, a bit of research showed that a low end estimate for replacing a Volt battery is around 9,000 bucks. A Los Angeles Chevy dealer was cited online as estimating just short of 20,000 dollars for a Volt battery replacement, and costs as high as 32,000 are reported.

I ran the VIN shown on the estimate at the AC Delco parts website. The car is a 2012 Volt hybrid which means that the battery could now be out of warranty. Because the car is hybrid, there is still a 1.4 L gasoline engine to maintain in addition to the battery and electric motor.

It would probably be more expensive to replace the diesel engine in my New Beetle that that gasoline engine in my GTI, but it would still be less that the cost of a low end estimate for a Volt battery job. And I’d expect a diesel engine to go a lot further than 70,000 miles before needing to be rebuilt or replaced. My other diesel cars all went past 300,000 miles before requiring serious engine work.

YMMV

UPDATE—The estimated cost of this battery replacement is almost the same as the original 2012 sticker price for a Volt.

A Bit of ECON 101

It’s beginning to look as if the economy shrank again in 2Q 2022. That would be a second quarter of negative economic growth which meets the formal definition of a recession

Informally, it’s generally agreed that a recession is when you neighbor loses his job, a depression is when you lose yours, and a recovery is when a whole lot of politicians (mostly Democrats) lose theirs.

T minus 135 days.

Whoda Thunk It?

I would not be surprised to learn that Peppermint Psaki doesn’t know who Larry Summers is or how he warned about inflation last year.

A Modest Proposal

The idea of forgiving student loan debt keep resurfacing. I’m sure some folks think it’s a good idea, but is it fair? What about those of us who paid our tuition as we went along? Shouldn’t that be refunded to keep things fair?

Let’s see … I graduated from Vanderbilt in May, 1970, having spent $9600 on tuition. The legal rate of interest in Tennessee is 10 %, so [punches calculator buttons] I’d be due $1,364,000.

Seems fair to me.

A Return to Normalcy

That was Harding’s successful campaign slogan in 1920. He was running in a country turned upside-down by the Wilson’s wartime proto-Fascist government. Wilson, who was no friend of the Constitution, had stuck the government’s nose into too many corners of American life, and the people pushed back against his overreach.

I’ve been writing about the overreach the Democrats have been engaging in since the 2020 election. They’ve sought to impose abnormality on the public, and the public is starting to push back. And the trigger seems to have been what is happening to kids while they are in school.

Forced cosmetic masking and coverups of crimes against students were issues that swayed the election in Virginia last year. Racist propaganda in the form of so-called Critical Race Theory, inappropriate sexual topics in kindergarten, and hidden efforts to promote and enable “gender” transitions have sent parent lobbying at state legislatures this year.

For the most part, it seems their pushback is winning. Several states have outlawed teaching racism. This week, Florida passed a ban on inappropriate class related to sexuality.

Of course, the media and the Democrats (BIRM) are howling, and it looks as if many of them are willing to go into this November’s elections without letting go of their overreach.

Meanwhile, the public is beginning to notice that inflation is at its highest in over 40 years, that the world is tending toward WW3, and that they can’t afford to buy $55k EVs. Things are about to get uglier.

Stay tuned.

Déjà Vu All Over Again

I’m so old, I remember the last time the government admitted that the inflation rate was 7.5 %. Of course, they bragged about the rate having come down from a much higher peak back then. Today, the rate is on the way up.

The Gentle Reader may remember that I once said that Carter’s second term would be a best case scenario for the present administration. That was much too optimistic. We’re already in James Buchanan territory and rapidly headed downward.