Here’s the difference between the inflation rates that the United States has been reporting and the inflation rates we’ve been experiencing:
- What $100.00 would cost, according to the inflation rates as listed by CurrentInflation.com: $114.01
- What $100.00 would cost, as figured by the Sun-Times (1/3 of the way down): $146.97
Is it any wonder people look at the official inflation rates and laughcry?
The official inflation rates, which include such warped items as hedonics (adjusting for “pleasure” gotten by the higher priced purchase) and purchase shifting (This month powdered vegetable powder is cheaper, so we’ll use that to figure out prices. Last month is was pork, before McD’s decided to do their MacRib thing.), calculates the yearly inflation rate between Jan 2005 and Jan 2009 as around 3.3%. Not really that bad, although the occasional raise would be nice.
But the fact is, people don’t always throw money at clothes, cars or other things. People generally pay for food, fuel and electricity; and the one thing that the jumping-around in fuel prices has done is jack up the price of food and other necessities. And with food jumping up at 10% a year the past four years, there’s been a lot of belt-tightening.
It also shows the farce that is the Official “Consumer Price Index.” They change things to make sure prices stay as low as can be gotten away with. The Sun-Times article has the same things being bought each day, and to the degree that can be done, the same products across all stores. Hence, we’re not talking about a shifting basket that can be massaged to effect (i.e. Steak is changed to Hamburger, Hamburger is changed to risky chicken, and risky chicken is changed to Doritos and Lays). Store Brand Orange Juice is always Store Brand Orange Juice, Ritz Crackers are always Ritz Crackers and a T-Bone Steak is always a T-Bone Steak.
The fact is, the increase in prices has been understated since the Clinton years, mainly to insure that people on fixed incomes and retirees would end up losing money and status. That’s right, it’s been a war on the elderly poor and those unable to work due to disability.
A class war. With the rich (again) winning.