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Quote of the Day

Statistics du Jour

From Alan Abelson's column in the latest Barron's:

The annual tab for homeowners' insurance is up some 108% since the turn of the century. During this period, yearly taxes on real estate have climbed 77%. A gallon of heating oil costs a whopping 150% more. The average electricity bill is 50% higher. And filling up your rig at the friendly neighborhood service station is more that twice as much per gallon. Monthly Medicare Part B premiums have climbed 143%. A humble potato goes for 67% more than it did 10 years ago, an equally humble egg 93% more, and the price of a loaf of plain old white bread is up a decidedly unappetizing 50%.

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Most of this, like electricity use, is understandable, but the skyrocketing costs of commodities like potatoes, rice, etc. must be reflecting energy costs or something like that. Those costs should be declining (and were, for the longest time), but all of a sudden food prices keep going up (and now appear to be delinked to energy prices).

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