That's not for gasoline. That's what a gallon of milk is expected to cost by year's end. Milk prices have jumped by more than 20 percent in the past year, eggs are up by 44 percent and other grocery essentials are rising as well. Add in ballooning mortgage rates, soaring home heating bills, ever-rising medical costs and hikes in the other basics of life -- combined with stagnant wages -- and you've got a harsh economic reality that doesn't fit the rosy picture touted by clueless politicians and media barons. A weekly paycheck that used to last a week now isn't lasting more than two or three days.
This is a reality that is now experienced not only by low-income families, but also the middle-class majority -- folks making $35,000 or $40,000 a year. But politicians and media elites don't hang around people from these neighborhoods, nor do they personally experience the stress of living paycheck to paycheck, so they accept the contrived wisdom that somehow or other the economy is booming. They don't ask the essential question: a boom for whom?
The elites running our country mostly dwell in what one economic analyst calls the "plutonomy" -- that's the golden strata of our economy, made up of CEOs, hedge fund managers, Washington lobbyists and other swells who live in a rarified world of luxury homes, private jets and bottles of cognac priced at $200,000 each. So what if milk is $4 a gallon? No one cares about that... do they?
This aloofness is why so many working-class Americans are down on both political parties. They wonder where the political party is that'll represent reality. Which party cares more about $4 milk than catering to the cognac class?