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Blowing Up Illusions on Inflation

Dowbrigade has been smelling something fishy in the Department of Labor
and Office of Management and Budget statistics for a while now. Although
we don’t have an advanced degree in economics, it is obvious to any fool
with half a brain and less than a million dollars to spend that prices
in the US are rising
faster than the officially reported 1.1%. Gasoline
is almost two dollars a gallon, the T just went up 25%, we spend more
at the supermarket every week (when did milk get so expensive?) and the
hidden surcharges and stealth fees in our bills are gutting our budget
every month.

On a related front, unemployment is clearly higher than the officially
reported 5.6%, and calling the govenment’s statistics in this area "misleading"
is being charitable.

Appearantly we are not the only one to notice these discrepancies.  Check
out today’s OP/Ed piece by Robert Knutter, "Statistics
lie on the true cost of living

The inflation numbers also fail to capture pocketbook realities for
retired Americans. A low official inflation rate plays a cruel trick
on seniors. For starters, it means that cost-of-living adjustments in
Security Security checks are mere pocket change. One new prescription
can more than eat up this year’s Social Security increase.

Further, a low rate of inflation translates into a low interest rate
on savings accounts, Treasury securities, and other prudent investments
for the elderly. Moreover, older people on fixed incomes who are not
homeowners are also at the mercy of rising rents.

And the same deficiencies in the consumer price index that fail to capture
cost shifting in health care particularly affect the elderly, who spend
a disproportionate share of their income on doctor’s bills, hospital
costs, and drugs.

from the Boston Globe

~ by glasscastle on .

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