Sunday, June 03, 2007

If You Think Gas Prices Are High, What About Food?

From John Stossell on ABC 20/20: "One reason that people are upset by gas prices is that the price is in your face every time you drive by the gas station. But it may surprise them that this year the price of lettuce, broccoli and apples increased much more than the price of gas. You probably don't know that because they don't post big signs like gas stations do."

Stossell is correct, see the annual price changes (April 2006 to April 2007) in the chart above according to the BLS: lettuce increased by 13.5%, broccoli increased by 12.7% and apples increased by 15%, which are far above the 3.7% increase in unleaded gas during the same period.

New food prices are not yet available from the BLS for May, but updating retail gas prices from the EIA shows that the year-to-year May 2007 increase in gas prices was about 8.0%, which is still lower than inflation for the 3 items mentioned by Stossell on 20/20.

Here's a related AP article that starts out "Rising gasoline prices have been getting all the attention, but the cost of another, more-important staple is actually rising even more: food."

What's next, claims of "unconscionably excessive" celery prices, "price gouging" for oranges, and taxes on the "windfall profits" of egg producers and lettuce farmers?

4 Comments:

At 6/04/2007 6:38 AM, Anonymous Sudha Shenoy said...

Of course, if American tariffs/trade restrictions were removed, foodstuffs would flood in & prices would drop like billy-o...And _everyone's_ real income would rise, except...

 
At 6/04/2007 5:01 PM, Blogger juandos said...

sudha says: "And _everyone's_ real income would rise, except... "...

Are you making the assumption that family and large company farms can't keep up with farm production from third world countries?

Just curious...

 
At 6/05/2007 4:24 AM, Anonymous Sudha Shenoy said...

1. Well, there's Australia & New Zealand...There _might_ be South Africa, too..

2. Why tariffs/restrictions if American farmers can compete? Wherever the foodstuffs come from?

 
At 6/05/2007 6:03 AM, Blogger juandos said...

sudha shenoy says: "Why tariffs/restrictions if American farmers can compete? Wherever the foodstuffs come from?"...

Ahhh, now there's the billion plus dollar question Mr. Shenoy...

Then again I can't help but wonder just exactly where the politics comes in...

Consider the silly nonsense being played out in both Congress and the media regarding ethanol and ask yourself, "why corn?"...

 

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