: Why is everything so expensive? Trending Google and Reddit queries reflect everyone’s pain right now
The rent … medical care … therapy … home prices … eyeglasses … bras … it’s all too damn high right now!
The No. 1 upvoted thread on Reddit’s homepage on Wednesday was a post asking, “What do you wish wasn’t so expensive?” It had drawn more than 22,000 comments and counting by the early afternoon, with users venting their shared pain over rising rent and housing prices; the often prohibitive cost of U.S. healthcare, particularly dental work, insulin and therapy; as well the price of everyday goods like groceries taking a bigger bite out of their budgets in the face of inflation.
Some popular sentiments:
“Housing. The prices are ridiculous,” wrote one Redditor in a comment upvoted more than 1,000 times.
And it wasn’t just Americans griping about the housing market. Redditors from the U.K. and Australia also said that buying homes in those countries was out of their reach. “To buy an apartment in my country you need to win 2-4 game shows,” wrote one user who claimed to be from Israel.
“Insulin,” noted another — one of many Reddit users (aka Redditors) listing the high price of treating their diabetes as an expense hitting them especially hard right now. The price of life-saving EpiPens for those with severe allergies was another common complaint, as well as the cost of healthcare in general — particularly dental work and eyeglasses, which are often not covered by basic health insurance in the U.S.
“Glasses. I just want to f—ing see,” wrote one person. Another noted they had “easily put a good 10 grand in my mouth” taking care of their teeth.
Several people pointed out that mental health care is often too expensive, as well, which is particularly problematic during a two-year pandemic that has seen depressive and anxiety symptoms in young people doubling, according to a recent Surgeon General report. Indeed, drug overdoses in the U.S. topped 100,000 in just one year during the pandemic. And prior to COVID-19, overdose deaths were already rising for more than two decades.
“I didn’t ask for the trauma,” noted one reader. “I’m seriously trying to help myself so I can be a good mother and wife, and it’s going to cost me like $900 to get the diagnosis I probably need to move forward? Mental,” wrote another.
Many Redditors also highlighted popular consumer products and everyday staples such as gasoline to fuel cars (and the cost of cars, themselves), grooming products like razors, bras and household utilities such as internet and electricity for costing way too much right now. In fact, compared to last November, Americans are paying 25.1% and 6.5% more for gas utilities and electricity, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. For gas, that’s the largest annual increase since around 2008, and for electricity, it’s the largest since 2009.
And this has been a common refrain in conversation both on and offline of late as the increase in wholesale prices rose to 9.6% this year; the fastest pace wholesale inflation has risen in 40 years, although it should be noted the index was recalculated in 2014 using different methodology. The consumer price index also spiked last month to push the increase in the cost of living to the fastest rate in 39 years.
So it’s not too surprising that “Why is everything so expensive” was among the top five most-Googled “why is … so expensive” questions in the U.S. for the week of Dec. 10, and searches for “inflation” and “price” reached all-time highs in the U.S. and abroad that week, the Alphabet-owned
search engine reported.
The hashtag #WhatNotToBuy was also trending on Twitter
on Tuesday, and peppered among many of the more amusing memes were practical suggestions about canceling expensive subscriptions such as cable in order to save money, or working on improving your credit score on your own rather than hiring a pricey credit repair service.
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