Over the last few years I have commissioned various kind people to make translations for us of ancient texts. But in that time prices have not remained static; yet I have tended to offer the same money. I only realised this last night.
Inflation is a curse, because it creeps up on you. “Quantitative easing” is the current weasel-phrase for printing money, which makes every coin in circulation suddenly worth less. The official inflation statistics continue to give ridiculously low figures, which tells me only that they are being fixed.
What is the real rate of inflation? It’s much higher. In the last few years prices have increased quite a bit. But it’s hard to know how much, other than by feel. This is why the dishonest inflation rates are such a curse.
But I do know that petrol in 2007 was 87p a litre in the UK on average; in 2012 it is now 134p a litre, an increase of 65%! That feels much more like the real change in prices in my weekly grocery bill. In the UK, admittedly, the government taxes this essential heavily; but an overall increase of 50% seems reasonable. I only wish my income had increased by a similar amount!
I think, therefore, that I will apply a 50% increase to the money that I pay for translation. That’s only fair to the translators.