Before we get to that, this is Kai Ryssdal talking to truck driver Don Holzchuh as he does each month on American Public Media's "Marketplace" (which airs on NPR):
Ryssdal: That doesn't sound 'not too bad.' That sounds more bad than not too bad.
Holzschuh: It's food and fuel. The fuel jumped up quite a bit; it's levelled off right now. But the food is just, going to the grocery store is almost having a heart attack. Have to take my banker along with me.
Ryssdal: It's funny because if you talk to central bankers like us, like Ben Bernanke -- you listen to him and he says, 'yeah, inflation's fine in this country, there's really no inflation, especially if you don't count food and fuel.'
Holzschuh: Well, that's what most people buy, is food and fuel. That's how they turn their paycheck if it doesn't go that far. How many people are going on food stamps? It's just trying to get by.
Ryssdal: What about people you meet out on the road? You know, the people whose hardware stores you deliver to or people you talk to you at the truck stops? What do they say?
Holzschuh: Well, I ask them all, 'What do you think about how the economy's doing?' and they just say, 'It sucks.' That's it. I hate to be the guy at the end of the bar, but it just sucks.
That's exactly right: Food and fuel.
You can't leave that out and the inflation is just getting worse.
The job numbers weren't good. Fewer jobs were created than last month and fewer than the White House predicted. On "Morning Edition" (NPR), David Green discussed that with Scott Horsley (Horsley is their political reporter):
GREENE: And Scott, often the message from the White House, you know, as Chris said, there's so much attention played - paid to these numbers, that the White House often says, you know, use some caution here, they don't want to make too much out of any one month's numbers.
HORSLEY: They do say that. But, there aren't that many months left between now and the November election. And really, these are the months that count. The next three, four months are when people's attitudes about the economy are really going to start to solidify. And, you know, it's - it's a mixed bag out there. There are different ways you can spin this report. The president is going to argue, look, the gains are not as fast as we'd like, but we are showing steady improvement. Remember where we were when he first came into office? On the other hand, Mitt Romney will be arguing we should be doing a whole lot better.
No, it's not a mixed bag. It's depressing and it's appalling.
America deserves better.
"Iraq snapshot" (The Common Ills):