Contrary to what the White House says, our Fourth of July cookouts are going to be more expensive this year.
The Biden administration tweeted out a graphic with the latest Farm Bureau statistics, celebrating how the cost of a cookout has fallen this year by ... 16 cents. You heard me correctly, 16 copper-colored coins.
To be fair, some of the numbers are worth celebrating. For instance, pork and beans fell by 13%. The price of ground beef, the staple of our juicy, mouthwatering American hamburgers, decreased by 8%.
But even when we accept the White House’s numbers, some of the price decreases are negligible at best. Center-cut pork chops are only down 2% from last year, when COVID-19 outbreaks threatened to shrink our meat supply. Sliced cheese is down by 1%.
And the 16-cent savings on this annual cookout won’t put a dent on inflation, either. According to the Department of Agriculture, food-at-home prices increased by 1.4% in 2021. The price of lumber for residential housing has skyrocketed, while the price of gas has soared to a seven-year high.
Let’s also consider another crucial component of the Fourth of July cookout: fuel for the grill and stove. Retail prices for propane have increased. From March 2020 to March 2021, the average prices of residential and wholesale propane have risen by about 23% and 137%, respectively.
And from April 2020 to April 2021, the average prices of residential and commercial natural gas have both risen by approximately 15%. These price increases may pass down to even those consumers looking to fill their 20-pound fuel tanks to fire up their grills.
If you’re looking forward to the exciting burst of Fourth of July fireworks, be prepared to pay more. Shipping delays and supply-chain backlogs have meant that companies cannot satisfy demand, especially this time of year.
Yes, there is much to celebrate this Fourth of July: a successful vaccine rollout and signs of an economic recovery. But don’t be deceived by the political smokescreen. Your Fourth of July barbecue is going to cost more than you think.
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Original Author: Samuel Kim
Original Location: Our American tradition is more pricey this year