I just paid our homeowners insurance bill and noticed a 14.7 percent increase in premiums. After large increases in last year’s premiums, I decided to evaluate them.

Our auto premiums went up 14 percent in 2016, 14 percent in 2015, and 37 percent over a three year period while owning the same two cars. Our flood insurance went up 14.6 percent after a 14.4 percent increase last year. All increases have occurred with no claims made. Large increases in healthcare costs, under Obamacare, are well known too.

Insurance is not all that has increased significantly. The cost of some drugs, especially for diabetics, has soared. Since there is no generic insulin, the three major drug manufacturers increased its cost by 168 percent to 325 percent between 2010 and 2015. Other countries charge a fraction of that. The average college education cost increased 79.5 percent between 2003 and 2013. Food costs have also spiked.

All of these cost increases have occurred while real wages (after inflation) have remained stagnant for a couple decades. Since the 2008 recession, wages have increased about 2.9 percent a year while a 3.5 to 4.0 percent increase was necessary to keep up with inflation. Based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI), retirees’ pensions didn’t increase last year and will only go up by 0.3 percent this year. This shows how the CPI has been manipulated to keep costs down.

Many people who are considered impoverished receive entitlements, but what about the millions who are retired and live solely on social security benefits, or married families making just enough to not be eligible for entitlements? How do they survive? Each member of these families often works multiple jobs to pay bills and taxes.

Given these increases, you can understand why there was a populist movement in the country this year to elect a non-establishment candidate for president. Maybe the Democratic Party should consider this instead of looking for others to blame their loss on.

Brian Blue

St. Simons Island