As inflation doesn’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon, it’s becoming painfully noticeable that working wages aren’t keeping up with the inflation rate. Now, Kamala Harris is promoting the Inflation Reduction Act in response.
On Wednesday Sept. 14, Vice President Kamala Harris visited the University at Buffalo North Campus to discuss the Inflation Reduction Act, according to CNY Central. Upon landing, Harris was greeted by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz and Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown.
During her speech, she addressed the audience about the climate regarding the Inflation Reduction Act. She began by talking about meeting with students, teachers, and leaders as well as everything they brought up. Topics ranged from gun rights to healthcare, and even voting rights.
“During these conversations, there was always one other issue, a single issue, that came up every single time, more than any other,” Harris said. “The climate crisis.”
She explained that for young leaders, it’s the biggest thing on many of their minds. She added that for young people, they have been present for every single one of the ten hottest summers on record as well as wildfires while the nation fails to act.
“Today, more than 60% of electricity generated in our nation comes from fossil fuels,” Harris said. “We know that is not sustainable.”
Harris went on to explain that billions has been invested to help with clean energy under the Inflation Reduction Act. This includes wind turbines, solar panel farms, and providing money to households to be able to create solar panel electricity of their own. Jobs will be created by switching to green energy, allowing millions to help with the switch.
Watch the full speech below.
As inflation continues to increase the costs of food, gas, and utilities, Harris’ point to switching to clean energy is that it can become more affordable for Americans. In addition to it becoming more affordable, the climate will benefit as well. Electric cars would replace gas, electric HVAC systems would replace using gas to heat homes. Solar panels would reduce the cost of electricity each month for families.
Currently the federal government offers programs that help households weatherize their homes. These benefits help to keep the home cool in summer and warm in winter, reducing the need for heat or air conditioning. This helps families use less electricity and it also costs them less.
As prices rising continues, workers’ wages aren’t keeping up with the cost of living
Wages have continued to rise across the nation as working Americans still struggle to keep up. Unfortunately, even with the rise in wages, Americans still can’t afford life at the cost it is with gas, food, and utilities rising dramatically each month.
According to CNY Central, a recent survey completed by Bankrate discovered that 39% of those working were given a raise or found a job that pays better. These raises or new pay rates have kept up with inflation, but that leaves 60% of workers struggling. The survey said 55% of those working have not had their wages keep up with the rate of inflation.
Greg McBride, Bankrate’s chief financial analyst, told The National Desk that this is what Americans have been saying for months. While 61% of workers reported a raise or better paying job, even those factors aren’t helping them with the 8% inflation rate in 2022.
Another major piece of data regarding inflation is that the CPI showed private employees hourly earnings was down 2.8%. This basically means people simply don’t want to work even more for wages that aren’t going to make a real difference. Households are finding themselves either deeper in debt or spending their savings in order to get by with the basics.
McBride stated that inflation rates and prices will eventually come down, but it will take time and happen very slowly. He added that it’s important to remember that inflation coming down isn’t the same as prices coming down. Inflation measures the speed that prices are increasing. So even if inflation slows, prices will still rise, but at a slower pace.
While individual Americans are struggling to get, the businesses that pay them are as well. As businesses try to pay their employees more money, they’re also trying to keep spending costs down. Small businesses are being hit the hardest, with many closing under the pressure caused by inflation.
Despite gas prices starting to fall, inflation still rose 0.1% in August
While gas prices continued to drop in the month of August, the same couldn’t be said for the cost of housing and food. This unfortunately offset the drop in gas prices, still causing inflation to rise this month, according to CNBC.
According to the CPI, or the Consumer Price Index, for the month of August the rate of inflation rose by 0.1% and 8.3% for the last 12 months. In July the rate of inflation was 0.6% for the month and 6.3% for the year. The August numbers ended up being higher than originally projected.
For decreases this month, energy costs dropped 5% and gas fell 10.6%. Increases were food by 0.8% and shelter by 0.7%. These rises canceled out the decreases in other places for the month. Medical care saw an increase of 0.8% for the month and 5.6% for the year. New vehicles rose 0.8%, while used vehicles dropped 0.1%. These fluctuations caused a slump in the market.
It’s been made clear that the increases are with food, transportation and rent. Rent is the hardest part and what the Federal Reserve is struggling the most with. Food saw a jump in cost for bread by 2.2% for the month and 16.2% for the year. Eggs rose 2.9% for the month and 39.8% for the year. Canned fruit rose 3.4% for the month and 16.6% for the year.