Dana at the First Street Journal picked up on a couple of my recent posts regarding how the cost of living is going up for us here in this Obama economy. Seeing that we run a family business, and pay for our own health care, I suppose this makes me the opposite of Obama’s beloved Julia.
Karen and her favorite [and only] husband are paying rather close attention to the economy, and she related two letters that they have received, one from a materials supplier noting significant price increases and another notifying her that her family’s group insurance coverage premiums would be increasing by 10% starting in April…
Note that her insurance company specifically stated that part of the increase is directly due to higher costs due to federal regulations. Why, it’s almost as though nothing about health care coverage is free.
I really recommend looking at Karen’s brief article concerning material price increases. The letter she quotes has substantial percentage price increases listed, and that means the costs to contractors doing jobs will increase . . . which means that fewer people will be able to get work done that needs to be done. Some jobs that need to be done simply have to be done: if you need a new roof, you have to get that done, or the rain will destroy your house. But if you were considering new vinyl siding to upgrade an existing older home, well maybe you can live with the old stuff a while longer; if you were hoping to improve your home by adding a deck, maybe you’ll just have to put off that deck for another year or four. This means less business for home improvement contractors, and higher prices for new home construction. Those are things which, in the aggregate, slow down the economy and slow job creation, which is just what we have seen. yet, at the same time, Obama Administration regulations are directly increasing costs for things like health insurance.
Read the whole thing. He’s right. Business has been tough for years. People are really tight with the dollars, because they have fewer dollars to spend. You can’t blame them. How many more material increases can we pass along to customers before they decide they don’t want, or need, the work done? Plus, as the cost of materials has skyrocketed along with our cost of living, we aren’t able to raise the labor rates. If we did, work would probably dry up altogether. So we just continue slogging along like the rest of the economy. Our plans to expand the business have been put on hold indefinitely. At this point, we’re just thankful we’re still getting by.
Something tells me that I’m far from alone in this struggle against rising costs. But hey, at least I can say I’m not living the life of Julia.