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Prices down, but not for essentials

February 15, 2009

Regarding the Your Money story "Deflation: When low prices buy high anxiety," Feb. 8:

Instead of focusing on price deflation of a service item that is largely a discretionary purchase, you would better serve readers with an article on how, despite the severe loss of jobs and the decrease in wages and retirement savings, a lot of nondiscretionary consumer items have not dropped in price at the retail level.

Food staples such as bread, pasta, sugar, flour, milk, vegetables, fruit and juice and household essentials such as toilet paper, cleaners, paper towels and disposable diapers have largely remained at the same inflated prices.

This hurts the middle class the most, and lower living standards ultimately result when food staples and household essentials have to be reduced or forgone.

Rick Alsagoff

Long Beach

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