Inflation: How has rising prices affected the United States?


Ashley Torres

Inflation Graphic

The general increase in prices for goods and services over time, most commonly known as inflation, had not been a severe problem in the United States since 1982 until COVID-19 hit and the US was faced with a drastic rate reaching its highest at 8.5% in 2022. 

Inflation can affect people in different ways, depending on their income, expenses, and savings. Historically, the average inflation rate per year was 3.8% which produced a cumulative price increase of 910.71%  between 1960 and today. For example, an item that cost a 100 dollars in 1960 costs 959.55 dollars at the beginning of 2022. 

Several students around Blackman High School have been noticing the differences in prices and it has slowly started affecting their everyday life. 

 Eduardo Loria, a junior who drives every morning to school, commented on how everyday expenses such as gas, have become a toll due to its price. 

“Gas prices keep increasing, so every time I go to fill my tank it’s a bit frustrating that the price increases without warning,” Loria stated. 

Due to this, most individuals have found themselves having to take drastic measures, such as rationing food items and avoiding overspending on necessary goods. 

Anabelle Whitaker, a sophomore, shared her experience and some of the changes her family has had to make due to the current economy. 

“With both of my parents being unemployed, it has caused us to pay more attention and try to be more frugal. However, I do think it has taught us how important is to keep money saved and how to spend it,” Whitaker commented. 

When prices go up, the cost of living also increases, which means that people may need to spend more money to purchase the same goods and services. Consequently, this can be particularly difficult for those on a fixed income or with limited resources.  

Inflation can destroy the purchasing power of people’s savings over time, as the value of their money declines. Additionally, it can lead to higher interest rates, which can make it more expensive to borrow money, such as for a home or car loans. All of these factors can create financial challenges for Americans, especially for those who were already struggling to make ends meet. 

Bradley Fraiser, personal finance teacher, also shared his thoughts over the current situation that is happening right now in the United States. 

“Inflation has slowed our going out to eat, travel, and expenses around the house. We haven’t had to make drastic changes in my household, but we have become more mindful about money,” he stated. 

However, inflation remains to be something a lot of people are still uncertain of, believing that it isn’t a real problem even though it affects the lives of millions of people everyday. 

“Yes, inflation is real, groceries have made a dramatic price jump, also people on a fixed income or families on a single income are being affected more than others,” Fraiser said. 

In times like this, the key for success is to stay together as a community and help those in need, that way, we can all get through the issues that inflation challenges us with.