I am sure I am about to piss off my parents, neighbors and at least one of my favorite readers/bloggers. I read at Guy's place today that there will be a raise in social security beginning in January. That 4% is higher than the annual rate of inflation, even taking into account the increase in gasoline and heating costs. Like most, I have seen my natural gas bill increase by almost 150% in the last few years. My water bill went up 50% in the last two years. I put out these facts not to complain, but to point out that it is not just seniors who have been hurt by the higher cost of living.
I discussed this is much harsher terms on this post. Many do not realize that these same costs and increases have an effect on businesses. As gas prices increase it costs more to ship goods. The trucking companies can only absorb a small portion of this cost. Heating bills hurt factories and office buildings. My rent was increased last year on my office to offset the cost in heating fuel. The bottom line this eats into business profits. If a business makes less profit -- they pay less in raises.
I have not seen a raise in four years. I have a choice, I can get another job, or lump it. It is unconscionable for the government to be giving raises, with my money, that exceed, by a significant amount, the rate of inflation. Social Security is already on teetering solvency and giving more away will only exacerbate the problem. It is just a further example of those in office doing all they can to buy votes for the next election. Now Democrats and Republicans alike can suck up to the ever increasing retirees from the baby boom generation. And for those of you who will respond "I deserve it, I worked hard my whole life", I say to you -- what do you think I am doing?
Short of a person who works on commission, all working men and women are on fixed incomes. Most businesses have become very parsimonious when it comes to raises. One industry report I read recently stated the average increase in pay last year was 2%. For most of my customers, contacts, and friends, the days of 5 or 7% raises are far in the past. I think we would all like a 4% raise.
Again, I can only say, fixed income my ass.