Price of an iPhone 6 in Venezuela

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In America, famous people like Michael Moore and Sean Penn will tell you how much the U.S. needs to adopt Venezuela’s political/economic system.

Unfortunately for them there is this thing called the media and they keep track of Venezuela’s dire situation. Continue reading →

Inflation Alert: Chipotle Restaurant

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Chipotle Mexcican Grill recently made headlines by going “GMO Free” on certain ingredients. I believe this announcement was more of a marketing ploy against the news in their recent financial statements. I’m not a big investor of restaurants in this day and age of the Federal Reserve printing money at a high rate and American beef in demand world wide. (Some investment advice, put your money not in the restaurant but with the beef farmer) Chipotle is hiking prices again on its customers. Within a one year time period prices on certain items will have increased 11-13%.

This write up came from TheStreet.com a week before their GMO announcement –

Chipotle stands to receive another jolt to the top line from another round of price increases. The company, which has historically been reluctant to lift prices, confirmed it will hike prices on steak and barbacoa in the third quarter by 4% to 6% in order to compensate for persistent beef inflation.

In the second quarter last year, Chipotle implemented an across-the-board menu price increase of about 7%, as it dealt with beef, dairy and avocado inflation. Same-restaurant sales growth accelerated soon after the menu price increases went into effect — after rising by 13.1% in the first quarter of last year, same-restaurant sales increased averaged 17.7% in the remaining three quarters.

Inflation Alert: Beer Prices Spike

Back in July I wrote about beer going up on sale and regular prices. Now the complete increase has taken affect. I took this photo today at the same Meijer’s I always shop at:
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Case of beer is now hitting almost $20 warm. For many months the sale price ran $16.50.

Janet Yellen has her foot on the printing presses from most recent money supply data and consumers are spending more. Watch for more price increases over the next few months.

Competition Has Driven Technology Prices Down for Consumers

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Economist Mark J. Perry at the American Enterprise Institute provided a piece showing the technology marketplace and how competition helps not only bring more products to the marketplace but also cheaper pricing.

Pictured above are some color TVs from the 627-page 1964 Sears Christmas Catalog, available here at the WishbookWeb website along with many other Christmas catalogs from 1933 to 1988. The original prices are listed ($750 for the Sears Silvertone entertainment center and $800 for the more expensive one), and those prices are also shown converted to today’s 2014 dollars using the BLS Inflation Calculator: $5,700 for the basic 21-inch color TV model and $6,100 for the more expensive model.

Click on this link to see what he found you can buy with the amount of money in todays dollars from the televisions listed above.

He also leaves on this final note and one reason why the U.S. is still one of the greatest economic innovators the world has ever seen.

As much as we might complain about a slow economic recovery, the decline of the middle class, stagnant median household income, rising income inequality and a dysfunctional Congress, we have a lot to be thankful for, and we’ve made a lot of economic progress in the last 50 years as the example above illustrates, thanks to the “magic and miracle of the marketplace.”