Inflation Myth Busting: How Expensive is Wyoming?
No matter where you go you can hear folks complaining about rising prices.
$100 spent at the grocery store does not fill the cart like it used to. In fact, there is a lot of empty space in that cart.
The bad news is that, while prices are skyrocketing everywhere, inflation is far worse in states like Wyoming that in the more populated states like California.
BUT HOLD ON! Don't get so down. I dug into the numbers around and found something.
There is an anomaly that makes Wyoming looks worse than it really is, so keep reading.
First, let's dive into the national numbers so we can see the comparison.
Prices increased 9.9 percent from January 2021 to March 2022, costing the average American household $536 last month alone.
Across American the average household will spend an extra $6,431 over the next 12 months.
Families in the Mountain West (Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming) are facing the highest inflation rates, with prices in March 11.9 percent higher than in January 2021.
As you can see by the map, from the Congressional Joint Economic Committee, Wyoming is not the worst when it comes to suffering through inflation. but there are better places to be right now.
Looks like Colorado and Utah are suffering more than anyone else in the nation.
Prices are going up everywhere. But why is it so much worse in these states over others?
Inflation Is Highest in Midwest and South according to a headline in the Wall Street Journal.
The cost of goods and services is increasing at different rates depending on which part of the country someone calls home. Generally, prices are rising fastest in areas that were relatively cheaper to live and work in prior to the pandemic, and rising more slowly in the country’s more expensive corners. (Economic Innovation Group).
So most of the states that have seen the greatest inflation have traditionally had the lost cost of living, and lowest cost of government. Many of these states don't even have a state income tax.
This does not mean that prices are anywhere near what they are in those more expensive states. But they are catching up a bit.
So, about that silver lining that I promised? Hang on I think you'll like this.
Prices might be going up much faster in states like Wyoming, but it is still FAR cheaper to live here than in any other state.
Gas, for example, is just over $4.00 a gallon in Wyoming. But it's crossing the $6.00 mark in states like California.
Except for places like Teton Country, the cost of EVERYTHING in Wyoming is still far lower than most everywhere else in the nation.
HOLD ON! I mentioned Teton County!
That is a Wyoming anomaly that we have to account for.
Teton County is an anomaly in Wyoming economics for quite some time.
The joke is that, in Teton County, the billionaires are pushing out the millionaires. It's because the MEGA RICH have been moving there.
They are making our inflationary numbers look far worse than they really are.
Even before skyrocketing national inflation Teton Country prices were SOARING!
So if we lop off Teton County, and many Wyomingites want to, we find that, in fact, Wyoming's inflation numbers drop considerably.
So, actually, Wyoming's inflation is nowhere near as bad as the official counts show it to be.
We have far lower government regulations, which lower the price of everything.
Even our taxes are far lower and we don't even have a state income tax.
Yes, prices across Wyoming have jumped. But it is still far cheaper to live here than in the rest of the nation.
Except for Teton County.
Be glad that you are here, in this state, and not in a state that already had an outrageous cost of living, and then inflation on top of that.