This is the place to find out what new and exciting events are unfolding in the life and times of Je Kemp.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

This is a fact, over the past five years, my net pay has decreased and I am making less money today than I was back in the year 2000.  The strange thing is that I still work for the same company. 

What makes this hard for me despite earning less $$$  is that the cost of the things I have to buy have largely increased over that same period of time.  I have noticed that recently the price of most goods and services have increased by larger proportions and it is making a pauper out of me.

The price of milk is twice as much as it was just five years ago, the price of cheese is about three times what it was even a year ago.  I was fascinated to discover that the price automobiles have also gone through the roof.  Who the hell has 35k to spend on a Nissan?  Actually what I would really like to know is who all of these people are who can purchase a 700k house or a 350k one-bedroom condo in midtown. 

What do they do for a living and where did I go wrong?

I can't handle being poor anymore.  I can't afford to take a vacation, I can't afford a car, I can't afford to get a new computer, I barely manage to keep my mortgage, gas, communications, electricity, and food expenses from overwhelming me.  Let's not even discuss when the last time I was able to buy myself some new clothes or shoes and we all know that it is the clothes that makes the man..

Lets break it down shall we? 

One example is how much the cost of communications has risen these days,  A phone line into the house $25-$55 dollars a month, a cellphone costs about $50 a month, the cable television bill $50 a month with broadband internet adds another $50.   A household with all of these costs adds up to over $200 a month just for communications.  Sad, when the only calls you receive are from creditors and telemarketers.

My natural gas bill is over $130.00 a month and I don't even live up in the northern colder states.  The recent de-regulation of the natural gas industry here in Georgia has done the opposite of what the politicians at the time promised, as if adding middlemen to a bureaucratic process could ever drive the cost down in the first place.  Too bad I can't drill for my own natural gas or make it somehow, hmmm.

My electricity bill hovers around the $100 mark, got to keep the security lights burning, the air-conditioner churning just to fight off that sulty southern humid air, the appliances, the computer whirring.  All for what?  So I can hide out inside my little house,  a virtual shut in from the rest of the world?

Thankfully, I no longer drive my car.  I am saving about $100 a month on insurance costs and another $80 or so in fuel costs.  Add to that the randomly occurring $30-$1200 repair and maintenance costs incurred by having to own an older car and it is easy to see why I am no longer behind the wheel.   I never have owned a gas guzzler.  I could not even imagine having to pay $50 every time I visited the pumps.  What about the people with new cars and the car payments.  $200-$500 a month plus the price of insurance plus the cost of fuel and maintenance costs? 

Sometimes I wish I could just live in the time before the industrial revolution.  I have actually heard that they had more free time than we do today.   Imagine, a world without damn cars, power poles, utility bills.  It must have been truly wonderful.

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