Word from two correspondents in South America: (A) inflation in Argentina is approaching 40%. There are two problems with this – (1) it wipes out just about all financial and material resources for most families as goods must be sold to buy food at terribly high prices and (2) there is very little to stop inflation from worsening into the 50% and 60% ranges. It is not clear at that point if a country actually has a functioning currency
(B) inflation is now over 70% in Venezuela. The minimum wage guaranteed to all Venezuelans is 4252 bolivars. That should be about 675 US dollars but no one can get the official rates, so in practice one can get about 40 US dollars. The Venezuelan couple has an autistic son. He is very particular about what he eats – almost always two Big Macs, two fries and a soda for lunch. That would be about $15 in the US. It is currently costing nearly $25 – when there are Big Macs even available. It is apparently not any easier trying to buy ingredients. A tough situation.