Income Baskets – Basket Village USA Fri, 01 Jul 2022 04:10:52 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Income Baskets – Basket Village USA 32 32 In an impoverished hinterland of Brazil, inequalities are tackled with creativity and resilience Fri, 01 Jul 2022 02:00:00 +0000

We cruise the clear waters of the Bay of All Saints towards Praia Grande on Ilha de Maré. This island in the state of Bahia, in northeastern Brazil, is home to a fishing community “quilombola”, or a rural settlement founded by descendants of slaves. Before arriving, we are greeted by two large chimneys spitting thick black smoke. Selma Jesús de Souza, a powerful 60-year-old woman, awaits us on the shore.

Selma respectfully greets the members of her community whom we pass during our walk. Rather than a leader, she describes herself as a “social advisor” to her community. She is also an educator and a master’s student at the Federal University of Bahia’s School of Nursing. She was the first quilombola woman to study there.

Selma Jesús de Souza, a “quilombola” woman, in a plantation in Praia Grande, located on Ilha de Maré in the state of Bahia in northeastern Brazil.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

In Brazil, the term “quilombo” refers to rural communities in the hinterland whose members are descended from African slaves. The term is also associated with a centuries-old history of collective resistance to the oppressive legacy of slavery. The Brazilian state granted the quilombos their own legal status in 1988 in an effort to secure ownership of the lands on which these communities live, but progress has been slow and conflicts over land rights persist.

It is estimated that 16 million Brazilians live in conditions of poverty in the quilombola territories. The communities of Ilha de Maré are mobilizing to ensure a better future for their young people.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

According to official data from a 2019 report by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR)people of African descent represent 56.8% of the approximately 213 million inhabitants of Brazil.

Selma Jesús de Souza shows us the fibreboards ready for sale.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

Selma shows us the site where her community makes sound-absorbing panels from wild cane fibre, which is also used to build walls. Initiated in 2009 with the support of the ASBL SOMMAR, this community action project brings social, environmental and quality of life improvements in its village and territory.

Cane fiber waste on the shore of Praia Grande. Behind, boats belonging to local residents.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

The idea for these ecological panels came from an academic study by Professor Célia Grahem of the Federal University of Maringá in the state of Paraná. While visiting Ilha Maré, Grahem realized the potential of using wild cane waste discarded by artisans on the island. The panels provide sound insulation and improve sound quality in theatres, auditoriums and restaurants. Improving room acoustics has a positive impact on the health of education professionals.

A resident of Praia Grande displays his handicrafts during a public holiday on the island. Several families in the region supplement their income with craftsmanship.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

The moment we set foot on the island, the main economic activities of its inhabitants become immediately apparent – ​​one is fishing and shellfishing; the other the production of wild cane baskets for a variety of uses. Fishermen’s livelihoods are however threatened by petrochemical companies in the port of Aratu, located to the east and 25 minutes by boat from Praia Grande.

Selma Jesús de Souza at the office. The poster behind her reads: “There is a history of blacks without Brazil, but there is no history of Brazil without blacks.”

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

Sitting on the sofa in the office under posters highlighting messages of resistance, Selma explains that social and community groups have faced neglect and violations of fundamental rights guaranteed by the Constitution in recent years, for example, to be able to live in dignified and just conditions. Selma and other quilombola women like her help create economic incentives and encourage new generations to keep their economy alive by taking care of the environment. Faced with adversity, they have a very important tool: creativity. Women are at the forefront of all activities that benefit the community.

In the workshop, Selma shows us the processed cane fiber used to make the panels.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

This project of ecological panels is one example among many others. It was the women who organized the construction of the workshop where the panels are made. With limited space and few machines available, they produce 22 panels a day. This is far from their ideal target, but the best they can hope for without additional investment support.

We move through the thick vegetation and intense heat of the island, passing through several neighborhoods of Praia Grande. For many years, local schools have had vegetable gardens for self-consumption. Several groups of women are gathering in their neighborhoods to work towards a better future for the next generation. The ‘Yabás’ project currently under development will, for example, provide training and tools for the empowerment of citizens. The project – which takes its name from the Yoruba expression meaning “queen mother” – is aimed at children and adolescents in Ilha de Maré.

Two young boys are playing on the main pier in Praia Grande on a public holiday.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

Selma also participates in projects with women, adolescents and children focused on community health and well-being. “Local women are responsible for leading and implementing all social activities,” Selma proudly says. Not too long ago, she started a handbag-making course to provide other women in the community with a way to earn extra income to supplement traditional work like shellfish harvesting, which requires effort and has long-term health consequences.

As a direct consequence of the pollution, explains Selma, certain fruits such as bananas and mangoes are no longer found in the territory. These fruits were once produced on the island and transported to the mainland to be sold in markets. As we walk along the dry seaside roads, Selma explains to us that the infertility of the soil is linked to the pollution generated by the port of Aratu and its chemical activities. Gas emissions accompanied by a very strong odor are also common.

Panoramic view of Praia Grande, Ilha de Maré, from the boat shortly before arrival. Two large smokestacks and numerous industrial warehouses stand out on the shore.

Photo: Morena Perez Joachin

Speaking on the phone, another leader of Ilha de Maré – who did not want to be identified because of the threats she received for her activism – explains that the number of people with cancer has increased in recent years and resulted in a series of deaths. She attributes the increase in cancer cases and deaths to the pollutant emissions from chemical and petrochemical companies in the Bay of All Saints.

Through their daily actions, these women weave a web of resilient resistance. It’s a bit like “the work of ants”, explains Selma, which involves a major effort to juggle the different initiatives.

The Carr Report: Inflationary Prices Reduce Discretionary Income Wed, 29 Jun 2022 11:00:21 +0000

by Damon Carr, for New Pittsburgh Courier

During the week of this writing, I was out and about running errands. I decided to stop at a convenience store for a drink. I bought an Arizona Tea, half lemonade, half tea. It was rewarding for my taste and it quenched my thirst. I decided to take a photo of the Arizona tea box. I posted the photo on Facebook with the caption: “Sitting here enjoying the one thing inflation hasn’t touched: Arizona iced tea, still $0.99.

The post elicited some reactions and comments. One person said, “Make your own tea and lemonade. I jokingly replied, “The prices of tea bags and lemons have also gone up.” Another person added to my comment, “Don’t forget the price of sugar.” Two days later, someone tagged me in a post and another person uploaded a meme to my Arizona Ice Tea Post. They shared the same meme. It was an Arizona Tea meme. The photo had two cans of Arizona iced tea. One marked with the price of $0.99. The other marked with the price of $1.29. The caption read, “It’s officially time to start worrying!” This post got more reactions and comments than my original post. One person said: “I just want to know what we blame him for, the blocking of shipments, the Russian-Ukrainian war, the COVID, the CPU chips? Why is everything going up? Another person said, “Damon, it’s your fault. The moment you mentioned the only thing inflation didn’t hit was Arizona Tea, they raised the price.

Turns out it wasn’t my fault. In fact, the price of Arizona tea remains at $0.99 in the United States. The image of two cans of Arizona tea that has gone viral is actually of Arizona tea in Canada. The box priced at $0.99 is several years old. The price of $1.29 is the actual cost of tea in Canada, adjusted for the US exchange rate. My original point remains the same. Arizona Tea may be the one thing inflation hasn’t touched.

Everyone sees and feels the impact of higher prices at the gas pump. People posting photos of the cost of filling the gas tank are trending on social media. Over the past month, there have been a host of memes on social media poking fun at high gas prices. A recent meme I posted said, “Where can I request ‘fuel’ stamps.” Not only are gas prices higher, but it feels like we’re getting fewer miles per gallon. Although I always fill up my tank when I buy gas, it seems that I buy more gas, more often.

After going to the grocery store, my wife told me that she basically bought the same items she buys every week at the grocery store, but the total cost was $125 more. We do the grocery shopping every week. If our total cost has gone up, $125 per week, that’s $500 more per month for the groceries and household items we spend.

For the person who asked the question, “Why is everything going up? ” The answer is INFLATION. For the rest of this article, I will attempt to explain inflation and its impact on prices, purchasing power, and your discretionary income.

What is Inflation? Inflation is the general rise in prices of the cost of goods and services. Inflation reduces the purchasing power of your hard-earned dollars. Inflation is a normal part of the economy. It helps to foster stability and growth within the economy. The problem arises when prices rise too high or too fast. Inflation occurs as a result of an imbalance between supply and demand. There are two main drivers of inflation: cost inflation and demand inflation.

Cost inflation: Prices increase when the cost of making a product or providing a service increases. Increased costs are passed on to the consumer by increasing these prices and services. Example: I was at a Chinese restaurant the other day. They had a sign that said: Due to the increase in the price of chicken, all meals that include chicken have increased

Demand pull inflation: The demand for goods and services increases but the supply remains the same. Example of this would be the current real estate market. There are more buyers in the markets than houses for sale. The end result: Real estate prices are skyrocketing and many people are paying above market value for various properties.

Since the start of COVID-19, we have experienced just about everything imaginable that affects supply and demand, which ultimately impacts prices. We have seen companies shut down production completely, which is impacting supply. We have encountered problems with importing various products and goods into our country which are needed to produce other products and goods. The computer chip comes to mind. The computer chip reduced the ability to manufacture cars, which reduced the supply of cars. The demand for cars was still the same, which led to higher prices for new and used cars. We’ve had an influx of money into our economy through stimulus checks, lower interest rates, student loan forbearance. All of these things facilitated an increase in the money supply to encourage people to spend money. This increased demand. From the pandemic and high unemployment to supply chain issues and the Russian-Ukrainian war, product production and service providers have been unable to consistently meet demand.

The end result is inflation. The Consumer Price Index recently reported inflation at 8.6%. This is the highest inflation rate since 1981. The average inflation rate has been 3.8% over the past 60 years.

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) measures the monthly change in prices paid by US consumers. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) calculates the CPI as a weighted average of the prices of a basket of goods and services representative of overall US consumer spending.

Below are some of the most recently reported cost increases for various categories:

  • All items: 8.6%
  • Food: 10.1%
  • Food at home: 11.9%
  • Out-of-home food: 7.4%
  • Gasoline: 48%
  • Rent: 5.2%
  • Air travel: 37%
  • New vehicles: 12.6%
  • Used vehicles: 16.1%
  • Electricity: 12%
  • Natural gas (ducted): 30.2%

If you’re feeling poorer than usual these days, you’re not alone. Inflation has raised prices on virtually everything. Rising prices have reduced purchasing power. We pay more for less. Employee salaries have not kept pace with inflation. The average cost of goods and services increased by 8.6%. The average wage increase is up 3.4%. Long story short. We have less discretionary income. Things feel tighter than normal.

Solution: Increase income: Secondary work or part-time work. Reduce expenses and non-essential expenses. Manage your hard-earned money better. This too should pass.

(Damon Carr, Money Coach can be reached at 412-216-1013 or visit his website @

]]> John Wall to sign with Clippers Tue, 28 Jun 2022 02:07:11 +0000

Photo: Mike Wyke/Pool via USA TODAY Sports

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, star guard John Wall plans to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers once he clears the waivers.

In a buyout deal between John Wall and the Houston Rockets, Wall is expected to return about $6.5 million of his $47.4 million player option… in state without income tax.

Wall’s last game was on April 23, 2021 (450 days ago) against the Clippers. A five-time NBA All-Star, he has earned more than $124 million in 40 games over the past three seasons.

Houston narrows roster to 18 guaranteed contracts after John Wall buyout. $30 million below luxury tax and plenty of options in the trade market or free agency this offseason.

Sebi’s new ETF rules are a game-changer for investors Sun, 26 Jun 2022 16:12:01 +0000

On July 1, Sebi’s new rules for ETFs and passive funds come into effect. Having been in existence for a few decades, and with significant sums now committed to the passive ETF space by the largest pension fund EPFO ​​(also the largest single fund in the country), Sebi has formed a task force made up of representatives from industry to see how these might smooth the functioning of the ETF market.

As a starting point for broader reform, the Circular addresses the concerns of issuers, authorized participants, market makers and investors while helping everyone stay abreast of market developments.

The most significant changes are in the bond markets (with the exception of Bharat Bond – largely the idea has been to leave existing large pools unaffected).

Corporate bonds are languishing and ETFs are seen as a way for investors to participate in the market and earn the attractive returns currently available without taking cash and risking money with single issuers. Managers have leeway by ensuring that at least 60% of index securities must represent 80% of the net asset value and that non-index securities must not exceed 20% while at least 8 issuers must be included in the underlying index.

This separate set of rules for fixed income will go a long way to inducing liquidity in bond markets by trading baskets and securing ETF trades in the event of liquidity issues, such as a few fund closures we’ve seen. in the recent past.

This larger pool of issuers contributes to the liquidity of ETFs in adverse market conditions.

Similarly, unique names (issuers) in the ETF/passive portfolio are restricted to AAA: maximum 15%, AA: maximum 12.5% ​​and A&lower: maximum 10%, which is very useful for risk control with these limits on the riskiest securities.

A diverse pool of issuers balances investor rewards with the security allowing indexers and fund managers to create laddered bond portfolios.

One of the other issues addressed is exposure aggregation. Often we see group entities lending to each other, leaving investors exposed to sectors like real estate or infrastructure when they may have only wanted media exposure.

To this end, group-wide limits are imposed which cannot exceed 25% and with single sectors capped at 25% of NAV.

With this in place, a passive hybrid debt fund (and ETF) class is possible where 80% of securities must be corporate bonds with single issuers capped at Corp AAA: max 10% and G-Sec/PSU AAA : maximum 15%. With these, a fund or ETF can have bonds rated AA up to a maximum of 8% and A& below <6%.

For equities, the new fund is a passive ELSS. However, the fund house can only have one option – passive or active ELSS. As these are long-term investments, this will give investors the opportunity to compare passive versus active management over longer periods of time.

In the passive space, iNAVs should be available on the exchange, tracking error and tracking difference should also be published and freely available, allowing investors and advisors to access critical information that was not readily available in the past.

One of the complications of the Indian ETF market has been trading liquidity. In a first step to address this and increase volumes on the exchange, the regulator has now mandated a direct transaction limit with AMC of Rs 25 crores (albeit with some caveats) unless one is an authorized attendee, in which case, they may downgrade tickets.

This is by no means the end of regulatory inputs. Although, we may see some nuanced market developments come with appropriate regulation in the future. With the current changes, we are sure to see renewed interest in the product directly and in the underlying strategies. Investors will directly benefit from finer pricing, reduced tracking errors, better information flow as well as a wider basket of products available.

Le Promeneur, June 25, 2022: Events in the Alle-Kiski valley Sat, 25 Jun 2022 10:00:00 +0000

Advertise your community events, fundraisers and club meetings for free in The Stroller. Send information at least one week in advance to or The Stroller, 210 Wood St., Tarentum PA 15068. Please include a daytime phone number.

Saxonburg fire carnival opens Tuesday

The Saxonburg Volunteer Firefighter Carnival will take place Tuesday through Saturday on the carnival grounds.

There are no admission fees. There will be an animal parade at 7 p.m. Tuesday, food, games and rides. Doors open at 6 p.m. every night. For more information on ride tickets, visit

Church of Taranto collecting used mobility aids

Tarentum Central Presbyterian Church is collecting canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, incontinence supplies and manual wheelchairs to donate to Global Links, a charity working to redirect materials still useful away from landfills to support public health programs in targeted communities throughout the Western Hemisphere.

Clean items can be dropped off Monday through Saturday through June 30 at the church, 305 Allegheny St. For details, contact the church at 724-224-9220 or email centralpresoffice@verizon. net.

Leechburg Area Veteran Book Available

The Leechburg Museum Genealogy Group has compiled a binder of information on veterans of Leechburg, West Leechburg, Gilpin, Allegheny Township and Hyde Park.

More than 425 veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present day are featured in the 304-page binder that is on display at the museum on First Street. Copies are available by sending a check for $30 payable to the museum, plus $5 for shipping to Leechburg Museum, PO Box 156, Leechburg PA 15656.

The group would like to thank everyone who submitted information.



Thursday: The Apollo Memorial Library sells raffle tickets for a basket of scratch tickets and historical items. Cost: $1 for 1; $3 for 5; and $5 for 10. The draw will take place on June 30. Tickets: Stop by the Library, 219 N. Pennsylvania Ave.


Saturday: Real Life Church, 1826 Freeport Road, will be sponsoring a free family game night at 7 p.m. in the church fellowship hall. Bring a game to share. Snacks will be available.

Sunday: A food truck festival will be held from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the grounds of 1701 Fifth Ave. Restrooms and tables will be available in Arnold Fire Department Bingo Hall #2.

July 10: Table reservations are being accepted for a flea market scheduled from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Arnold Volunteer Fire Company Social Room #2, 1702 Fifth Ave. Installation will begin at 6 a.m. Cost: $10 for two tables. Details: Jim Duncan, 724-754-7666.

Buffalo Township

Saturday: CS Kim Karate will be hosting a free child safety workshop from 1-3 p.m. at the Karate Studio, 612 S. Pike Road. There will be self-defense classes for children and meetings with local firefighters, police and paramedics. Details: 724-504-9498.


Sunday: Sons of the American Legion will serve an all-you-can-eat community breakfast from 9 a.m. to noon at the American Legion, 845 E. First Ave. Cost: $8; under 12, $5.

East of Vandergrift

Sunday: Our Lady Queen of Peace Parish will be holding Bingo at 6:30 p.m. in the Social Hall, 411 McKinley Ave. Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

July 3 and 4: Our Lady, Queen of Peace Parish is selling raffle tickets to win $1,000 cash and a $200 gift certificate to Naser Foods. Cost: $10 per two-issue ticket. Winning numbers will be the first number officially drawn at 7:00 p.m. Pa. Lottery Daily Pick-3 on July 3-4. Each day’s winner will receive cash and a gift certificate. Tickets: Deborah, 724-859-3186 or after mass in the church vestibule.

Town of Ford

July 16: Tickets are on sale for the Ford City Community Kennywood Picnic at Klingensmith Pharmacies in Ford City, Kittanning and West Kittanning. Cost: $28 for a FunDay pass. Passes can also be used on weekdays until August 19. An additional $10 fee will be charged to use tickets on weekends through August 19. Picnic day bus tickets are also available for $8. Details: 412-389-8366.


Monday: The free children’s playground program sponsored by Natrona Comes Together will feature a reading program and bookmark games at 12:30 p.m. at the park pavilion.

Monday: The Allegheny Valley Community Library’s Outside the Lines Adult Craft Club will meet from 5:30-7 p.m. at the library, 1522 Broadview Blvd. The group project will be a personalized flowerpot. Join the group project or bring your own. Welcome new members of all levels. Reservations and list of supplies: or 724-226-3491.

July 31 : A scholarship to benefit the Robin’s Home charity which helps low-income female veterans and their children will be held at Natrona Heights Veterans of Foreign Wars, 894 Veterans Lane. Doors open at 11 a.m., lunch will be served at 12:30 p.m. and bingo starts at 1 p.m. Cost: $35 in advance; $40 at the door; includes lunch. There will be a cash bar, break open tickets, silent auction, table selection and raffles. Tickets: 724-904-7649.


Sundays and Thursdays: The Armstrong County Historical Museum, 330 N. McKean St., will be open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Other hours available by appointment. Free parking available behind the museum via the North Grant Avenue entrance. Details: 724-548-5707 or


Today and Wednesday: The Leechburg Museum will be open from noon to 3 p.m. Alternate hours available by appointment. Details: 724-845-8914 or

Monday: The Leechburg Volunteer Fire Company will hold bingo at 7 p.m. at the fire station, 268 Canal Street. Doors open at 5 p.m. The kitchen will be open.

July 10: Team registrations are being accepted for the Shawn DesLauriers Bocce Tournament scheduled for noon at Club Marconi, River Avenue. Team fee: $300. There will be a raffle of baskets, food and a 50/50. Proceeds will be used to establish a scholarship in the name of DesLauriers. Details: Dan Swartz,

Lower Burrell

Today: The Lower Burrell Farmers Market, 2800 Bethel St., will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Lower Burrell Lions will be selling broomsticks and raffle tickets.

Today: Peoples Library will present “Oceans of Fun” with Stage Right at 11 a.m. at the library, 3052 Wachter Ave. No reservation required. Details: 724-339-1021.

Today: Church of God will be holding a treasure sale in the parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the church, 273 Chester Dr. Ddetails : 724-335-4422 or

Sunday: A take-out spaghetti dinner will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. at Moose, 499 Reimer Street. Menu: spaghetti, salad and roll, $9.

July 25 to 29: Bethel United Methodist Church, 150 Alder St., will have a vacation Bible school, “Rocky Railway,” from 9:30 a.m. to noon for children ages 4 through those who have completed fifth grade. Donations will be accepted. Reservations:


July 6: Lenape Tech Adult Education will host a free information night for adult students from 5-6 p.m. at the school cafeteria, 2215 Chaplin Ave. Examples of programs include HVACR Fast Track, Welding Fast Track, CDL, Clinical Physician Assistant, Pharmacy Technician, Phlebotomy Technician, and eLearning. Donors will be present. Reservations required before June 30. Reservations: 724-763-5916 or

New Kensington

Today and Tuesday: The Community Clothes Closet, 1129 Kenneth Ave., will be open 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday and noon to 2 p.m. Tuesday. Items available include clothing for all family members, shoes and linens. New customers receive 15 free items. Donations of summer clothing accepted during opening hours.

July 2nd : Animal Protectors of Allegheny Valley is holding a raffle to win four tickets to the July 31 Pittsburgh Pirate game against the Philadelphia Phillies, a parking pass and barbecue supplies. The draw will take place on July 2 at 2 p.m. on Facebook Live. Cost: $10 each. Tickets:

July 17: The People’s Library is organizing a basket raffle to benefit the library. The baskets will be on display tonight at the New Kensington Library, 880 Barnes St., on Fridays in June during the Fifth Celebration and during the Library Book Sale. Photographs of the baskets will be available at the Lower Burrell Library, 3052 Wachter St.. The drawing will take place July 17. Cost: $5 each. Tickets: in both libraries.


July 31 : Reservations are being accepted for the Kerr Museum Victorian Bridal Luncheon scheduled for 12:30 p.m. at Oakmont Country Club. Hats and fascinators welcome. Cost: $75. Reservation required before July 22. Reservations: 412-826-9295.


Sunday: The Parks Township Sportsman’s Club will host a country music night from 5-8 p.m. at the club, 1111 Shipman Road. Bring your favorite string instrument and sing along. Refreshments available. Public reception. Details: 724-845-2390.


Today: The Dynamo Education Foundation football meeting will take place at the sports grounds of Springdale High School, Butler Road. Doors open at 1 p.m. The student game will start at 2 p.m. and the alumni game around 4 p.m. Admission: $5; students, $2. Proceeds go to the foundation. Details:

June 27: The Springdale Free Public Library’s Sherlock Holmes Book Club will meet at 6 p.m. at the library, 331 School St. Reservations required. Reservations: 724-274-9729.


Today: The clothes closet at Central Presbyterian Church, 305 Allegheny St., will be open from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Details: 724-224-9220.

Sunday and Tuesday: Alcoholics Anonymous will meet from 7 to 8 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church, 305 Allegheny Street. An opportunity for silent prayer will be held at 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 8 to 10: Summit Hose Co. is accepting applications from artisans and suppliers for its fall festival. No food vendors, please. Details: Tami Sudy, 878-302-5367 or


Until Thursday : Vandergrift Public Library’s Books & More store will be holding a $3 bag sale. Bags provided by the library. Individually priced items will include puzzles, DVDs, audiobooks and CDs. Opening hours: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Proceeds go to the library.

West Leechburg

Today: The Western Reserve Insulator Club’s Allegheny Valley Insulator Display and Sale will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the West Leechburg Firemen’s Recreation Hall, 1116 Gosser St. Admission free. Details: Ron Barth, 724-845-8439 or

Three Ways to Look at Inflation Wed, 22 Jun 2022 10:05:46 +0000

“Inflation” is a buzzword these days. No matter where you turn, inflation news is hard to miss.

Even if you never pay attention to the news or go online, if you buy something, you will notice the higher prices. Whether at the pump, in the supermarket or elsewhere, there is nowhere to hide if you are a consumer. The only question is how much more you pay.

Obviously, in times of inflation, the prices of goods and services rise. To catch up, you will need your income to increase as well. If you buy the exact same goods year after year, you can compare what you spent this year to what you spent last year, and the percentage change is the inflation rate of your basket of goods. But if you want to quantify how much prices have risen across the economy, that’s a much more difficult task because there are so many different goods and services available and consumption patterns are changing.

For a consumer, what matters immediately is what he is paying now. It doesn’t matter whether the official inflation rate is, say, 3%, 5% or 8%. If John pays 20% more for his beef today than he did last year, then 20% is what matters, even if the inflation rate is 5%.

The need to quantify inflation

But governments, which set monetary and fiscal policies, must quantify inflation. And it is not a simple task. Since a government cannot measure the spending trends of every citizen with exact precision, it must provide an approximation in the form of indices that represent what a typical consumer can buy.

Read this story: It’s not the heat, it’s global inflation

Since these indices influence government policy, which in turn affects the economy and financial markets, it is incumbent on investors to have at least a basic understanding of the difference between the most important indices. For example, in the United States, inflation and unemployment are the two factors that most influence monetary policy, like interest rates, which have a major impact on the stock market.

Today we will briefly highlight three of these great US indices.

Basket of goods and services of urban consumers

The most commonly cited measure of inflation is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), maintained by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a unit of the Department of Labor. This index is meant to be a representation of urban consumer spending on a weighted basket of goods and services. It assumes that a typical city dweller will consume a certain group of goods and services and how the cost of that consumption changes over time.

The CPI makes a very important assumption that consumers will substitute one good for another (eg chicken for pork) if the original good becomes too expensive to achieve a constant level of satisfaction. This underestimates the inflation felt by consumers in real life, as the calculation constantly replaces goods and services in the basket with cheaper substitutes. The government also makes certain assumptions that do not take into account the real costs of the calculation. Due to the shortcomings of the CPI, policy makers generally do not base their decisions on this index.

Why use an inaccurate index? Politicians have an incentive to keep the measure of inflation low. It sounds good on political campaigns and reduces benefit increases related to the cost of living.

Inflation from the perspective of producers

The Producer Price Index (PPI) is another BLS index. It measures cost changes from the perspective of domestic producers. The PPI can give an indication of the direction inflation is heading. Producers may be able to absorb higher costs for a while, but sooner or later cost inflation will trickle down to buyers in the form of higher prices. Thus, the PPI is considered a leading economic indicator. A jump in the PPI points to inflation at the retail level.

The index consists of three sub-indices: raw products, intermediate products and finished products, offering an overview of products at different stages of production. Generally, an increase in the cost of raw goods (i.e. raw material inflation like what is happening now) means that the costs of intermediate goods will increase, and then finished goods.

What the Fed cares most about

The third index, the Personal Consumption Expenditure Price Index (PCEPI), is maintained by the United States Bureau of Economic Analysis, a unit of the Department of Commerce. This index is particularly important because it is the Fed’s inflation indicator of choice. When the Fed talks about a long-term inflation target, it is referring to changes to the PCEPI.

The index measures inflation based on information provided by households, businesses and governments, as well as gross domestic product. Unlike the CPI, which only surveys changes at the consumer level, the PCEPI also surveys businesses directly and thus collects more comprehensive information. PCEPI also takes into account changes in consumer spending patterns in the short term.

From an investment point of view, the PCEPI is very important because it directly influences the monetary decision of the Fed. As we have seen, extremely loose monetary policy is a huge tailwind for the stock market. In contrast, Fed tightening is a headwind. So while the CPI is the most widely reported measure of inflation in the media, it is the PCEPI that has the most impact on central bank action.

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Amber Heard was spotted shopping at TJ Maxx and people think she’s broke Mon, 20 Jun 2022 22:08:01 +0000

I guess her lawyers weren’t lying when they said Amber Heard didn’t have the money to pay what she now owes Johnny Depp.

Amber Heard was recently spotted out shopping for TJ Maxx with her sister, Whitney Henriquez.

Now, there’s nothing wrong with TJ Maxx. I definitely shop there. But hey, I’m not rich and famous with tons of disposable income to waste on overpriced stores.

Amber and Whitney were spotted on a girls day out shopping at TJ Maxx in Bridgehampton, NY.

Look at this. They are like us!! I would totally go on a girls day out shopping to the local TJ Maxx.

According to TMZ, Amber and Whitney checked all the clothes racks. They seemed to specifically like a pair of white linen pants.

They supposedly had their baskets filled to the brim with clothes – I guess – to buy.

When Amber noticed the cameras, she headed for the hills.

Hmmm. It’s not like Amber at all. She seems to LOVE the camera – as we could see from her dramatic performance in Johnny Depp’s libel trial.

Now I don’t know if they actually bought anything. If they’re like me, I can’t leave this store without losing at least $50!

It’s kind of weird that she’s in a TJ Maxx. But that goes hand in hand with the claim that she’s “broke”.

There’s no shame in acting, Amber. Filling your bag with retail therapy at TJ Maxx might be just what the doctor ordered.

FY’23 budget: price protection and rationalization Sun, 19 Jun 2022 14:13:03 +0000