warhol-dollar-sign.jpgPerhaps because the Bureau of Labor Statistics site is a bitch to navigate (it's the total webification of what you think government bureaucracy might be), the NY Times looks at the BLS's recent news release on spending in cities, and how NYC has a raw deal. The most distressing thing, amidst statistics like food prices going up 9.3% in NYC, vs. 2.7% nationally, and rental prices going up 8.1% in NYC, vs. 4.1% nationally, is the fact that spending went up 4.3% while inflation increased by 5.5%. And for everyone who doesn't know what that means, including those who majored in econ:

Economists say that when inflation goes up faster than spending, it indicates that consumers find it difficult to keep up with rising prices.

"Expenditures went up less than inflation because New Yorkers allocated a large percentage of those expenditures on necessities," said Michael L. Dolfman, regional commissioner in the bureau. "Basically, New York is getting too expensive."

Wow. Commissioner Dolfman totally sounds just like Gothamist's parents. And sure, Gothamist understands that paying over $10 for a cocktail (let alone $15) is par for the course when the bar makes sure that you get to rub shoulders with thousands of other interesting people you never speak with. And paying $2+ for a subway ride is not that bad considering it can take you to most anywhere you should be going. But it's those moments when we go to the bodega and find out that a half gallon of milk is $5 that Gothamist wonders if maybe we should go to Starbucks and swipe milk from the cream-and-sugar station.

What are some essentials that you've found to be expensive?