A look at the new year
By Clif Knight
The current year has left us with a ton of things to be concerned about as we prepare for the start of a new year.
The COVID-19 pandemic crushed the nation with the loss of nearly one million lives, shut down an untold number of manufacturing firms and retail businesses and kept millions of citizens confined within their own homes for consecutive months.
The virus and its derivatives continue to affect human behavior as it relates to vaccinations, masking and social distancing. Many so-called unnecessary businesses – such as sit-down restaurants – have lost workers they cannot replace and have gone out of business, while others have reduced operations because of a labor shortage.
American voters elected a liberal president in 2021. One of the first actions he took was to shut down the American-Canadian oil pipeline and take other actions that undermined the nation’s energy independence.
His goal was to move the nation from energy produced from fossil fuel to that produced by wind and sun by mid-century.
The loss of fossil fuel caused gasoline and diesel prices to rise quickly by more than $1 per gallon at the pump. Inflationary costs followed on practically every item purchased by the average consumer.
The cost of inflation on consumer goods had reached 6.9 percent by year end. Social Security recipients were notified in December that their checks in 2022 would reflect an increase of 5.9 percent.
No relief from inflation is expected in 2022. It reached double-digit figures during the Carter administration 40 years ago.
Geanell and I were reminded of the cost of providing food for our young and growing family back then. It was not only reflected in what we had to pay at the grocery store for the ground meat in the meat loaf but the cost of a gallon of gas to keep the car running.
As part owner of a small business, I was also aware of how difficult it was for our business to stay ahead of inflation when it came time to give raises to our employees and somehow still have a little left to divide at the end of the year.
The simplest of food is what we had to share with family guests the day after Christmas.
It was turnip greens, beans, cornbread and a slice of onion.
Best wishes for the good health and happiness of your family in 2022.