Worried about rising prices


For some these are the best of times; for others, the worst. I'm trying to avoid the latter category.

My cable company sent New Year's greetings in the form of a $60 rate increase: 30 percent. It was lowered to an amount that comprised my Social Security cost-of-living adjustment.

The rates of utility companies like gas and electric are subject to control by state commissions. It is universally assumed that we have access to the internet, so it would seem that cable and satellite companies should be subject to the same restraints.

Who can afford cereal at $5 a box, salmon at $18 a pound, or halibut at $16? About three years ago I could buy five cans of corn or green beans for $1 with a coupon. Check the price now.

A rising tide may not lift all boats. The surging market has greatly enhanced the value of 401(k)s. But my portfolio of two stocks, which once provided a return that paid most of my property taxes, now covers about 60 percent. Am I the only one in this leaky boat?

Regardless of the above, I still see the glass as half full.

Bob Hall


Editor's note: Bob Hall is a former member of the Bellingham City Council.

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