Friday, I got the last of my 1099 wages statements from my employers for 2017.  I was able to add up all the money I had made in the year.

Halleluiah! I finally earned exactly the same amount I earned in 1992, twenty-six years ago. In 2008, I made the big plunge, left the corporate world forever and went back to school to become a teacher. It has been a bumpy road from time to time, but I will say I do enjoy what I do now much more than then.

So much for the vision of self-fulfillment. I am currently in the same size apartment I was in that year; two bed-room, one bath, car-port, pool-jacuzzi, pets okay. The only difference is that the amount of the rent has gone up 33% in the same period of time. I live in a moderate sized town in Central California; not Manhattan or San Francisco.

I estimate food prices are double what used to be since I am paying $600 to 900 per month for one person while I was paying $400 to $600 for two people.

In the same time period, electricity has increased from $6.57 per kilowatt hours in 1990 to $10.28 kilo hr. in 2016. The increase is 36%. Retrieved from

The price of gasoline has gone up and come down; $1.30 per gallon in 1990 to $2.42 per gallon in 2016. Retrieved from

Prices for Water And Sewerage Maintenance, 1990-2017 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for water and sewerage maintenance were 254.46% higher in 2017 versus 1990.

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Prices for Food, 2000-2017 ($20)

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, prices for food were 48.95% higher in 2017 versus 2000. Retrieved from


Wow! You really have to look at the numbers to believe it. I keep wandering around saying “Why am I so broke? Why do I never have any money?” And, I am broke, and I do never have any money. The only break I get from the economy is since I have Medicare for medicals; the program reduces the amount of the bills and how much they pay. As a result, the doctors and hospitals reduce their fees. That’s it. Maybe some reduction in the costs of parks and museums. But, the big-ticket items: food, shelter and transportation – I’m in there with the rest of the rabble. I frequently ask myself, how do people live who have kids and make less money than I do? Basically, they do without is how.

Last thought; because I am in the senior group (sigh) I can easily remember a pack of cigarettes that cost 25 cents, gasoline that was 25 cents a gallon and going to the market and for $20, bringing back 5 bags of groceries. Easily enough to last a week. Today I can spend $20 and come out with two things, literally.

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U.S. Inflation Rate, 1990-2017 ($100)

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics consumer price index, the dollar experienced an average inflation rate of 2.35% per year. Prices in 2017 are 87.3% higher than prices in 1990.

Years with the largest changes in pricing: 1917 (28.65%), 1921 (-24.20%), and 1947 (21.43%). Okay, so maybe it is. But, an increase of 28.65% in inflation in one year. What the heck is going on? Two of the years listed above were war years.

Okay, I’m simple, I don’t get it. I just feel like saying, bring back the old days. Ah, me.