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(Time)   Time writer asks, "If there's no inflation why are prices going up?" Also wonders how he'll fill up balloons for next birthday party   (business.time.com) divider line 15
    More: Misc, birthday party, Standard Oil, relative term, John D. Rockefeller, local income taxes, commercial real estate, CPI, official statistics  
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4338 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2013 at 9:04 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-03-13 09:41:59 AM
4 votes:

tlenon: The government cooks the books on the inflation numbers. It chooses what to include and not include in the calculation.


This is correct.  Technically.

What is wrong, asinine, retarded, mind-bogglingly stupid and above all else most likely warped by political bias is that inflation is "one thing", generally thought of as "rising prices" (if you're an economist) or "devaluing currency" (if you're a goldbug).  The currency is being devalued, quite deliberately in fact, because otherwise we would hit another deflationary spiral.  If your savings lose value because you've been keeping them in your mattress, that's your own fault for being stupid.  The currency has been devalued almost every year for as long as most Americans have been alive, though good times and bad.  The benefit has been much greater price stability than the wild swings that crippled our ancestors in the days of the gold standard.  Blaming your problems on one of the few things the government does right makes you part of the problem.

But that's not why all prices go up (or down, for that matter).  Oil had a price collapse in the 1990s that will probably never happen again in our lifetimes; since then most of the easily accessible oil fields are in steep decline while international demand is through the roof.  Oil has nowhere to go BUT up.  Healthcare costs and education are rising not because of currency (this is blatantly clear the way both are way, WAY outpacing "inflation" and even interest rates); they're skyrocketing because these industries accumulated staggering political power and can now get away with whatever the hell they want.  Short of the sort of massive overhaul House Republicans, Senate Democrats and Obama worked diligently to prevent, this problem is only going to get worse until it threatens to break the economy's back.  Yes, folks -- the worst problems in America (banks, hospitals, schools) are exacerbated with bipartisan support.  We could stop printing dollars today and prices here would still go up, because fiat currency is not what's driving the price increases here.

TL;DR:  "Inflation" is rising prices, and to some extent that's going to happen because the Fed very slowly and very deliberately causes it to prevent economic collapse.  But the big "ZOMFG" expenses -- health care, education, food, energy -- these have nothing to do with that.  Which is precisely why they are removed from the inflation calculation.  The Fed really only cares about the currency; that's their job.  What said currency can buy is a much more complex equation, and the fact that it affects ordinary Americans is something they couldn't care less about because frankly that's outside the scope of what they do.  If you got a problem with inflation, look at Congress and their inability to rein in the most powerful special interests.
2013-03-13 09:12:27 AM
3 votes:
If inflation rises, the economy doesn't grow as much.  And by 'economy', I mean 'investments of the hyper-uber-ultra-rich'.

So, we don't have inflation.  Can't have the top tenth of a percent of the top tenth of a percent not earning trillions per quarter, can we?  Why, there'd be nowhere for it to trickle down from!

Instead, we have "inflation".  Basically, this is inflation as calculated by the elite's pet government to exclude, well, anything that goes up in price, really.  See how nice that is?  They get to continue pulling down giga-cash, you get to pay more for everything you can't do without, and since everything else is pegged to "inflation", you don't get a COLA if you're on any kind of benefits, your boss probably doesn't give you a raise, and you get poorer.

Isn't that nice?
2013-03-13 09:08:15 AM
3 votes:
You don't need to look beyond corporate profit sheet to get the answer.
2013-03-13 09:16:24 AM
2 votes:
Only price changes in flat screen televisions and plastic trinkets from China count when they figure out inflation levels. You know, the REALLY important stuff. Food, insurance, healthcare and energy are too volatile and, honestly, you don't really NEED that stuff anyways. As long as I can still get cheap electronics and discount clothing made by child slaves in a 3rd world country, it doesn't matter that my food, gas and health insurance costs have gone completely through the roof. I'm just as well off as I was before!
2013-03-13 09:10:32 AM
2 votes:
Deflation is more the risk, with things being produced ever more cheaply by machines.  You can run a robot 24/7 and once it's paid off, the rest is gravy.  The days of scarcity are almost behind us.
2013-03-13 09:07:26 AM
2 votes:
But since ink cartridges were already priced way above cost and official statistics show little general inflation, why had ink gone up 25% in less than a year?


My guess - Because people are purchasing now cheaper home laser printers because the only have to replace the ink once in a blue moon and it doesn't evaporate away in 1-2 months even if you don't use it...so the grand collusion behind the printer ink market is trying to maintain the bottom line.
2013-03-13 08:16:19 PM
1 votes:
part of me gets inflated every time your mom comes over to talk dirty to me
2013-03-13 11:48:36 AM
1 votes:
Americans are so in debt, they could use an inflationary wage-price spiral to pay off that house.
2013-03-13 11:15:14 AM
1 votes:

Necronic: Came for a helium shortage reference.  Left dissapointed.deflated


FTFY
2013-03-13 11:06:38 AM
1 votes:

uberaverage: Because prices of TV's and computer's are dropping, while groceries are going up.


Imagine that. It's almost as if different goods in different industries can be affected by what happens in the world in different ways and only zooming in one or two little metrics when trying to make a complex economic point is always going to be doomed to failure....
2013-03-13 09:34:11 AM
1 votes:

ferretman: Because people don't seem to understand that some jobs should have a maximum wage (hourly/salary). When their pay goes over a certain amount the additional costs are passed onto the consumer. (Which makes people need more money and then they get another raise...which the costs are then passed onto the consumer). It also doesn't help when money is being printed on a 24/7 basis.


Yep. It's not the $8 corn, $5 diesel fuel, or the massive drought that's causing price increases at the grocery store, it's because the guy who bags groceries part time makes an extra $.25/hr. because of the the evil government. That makes sense.
2013-03-13 09:26:43 AM
1 votes:
Because people don't seem to understand that some jobs should have a maximum wage (hourly/salary). When their pay goes over a certain amount the additional costs are passed onto the consumer. (Which makes people need more money and then they get another raise...which the costs are then passed onto the consumer). It also doesn't help when money is being printed on a 24/7 basis.
2013-03-13 09:18:44 AM
1 votes:
The government cooks the books on the inflation numbers. It chooses what to include and not include in the calculation. There is inflation and it is picking up steam. But the clearly there is nothing to see here people. Move along. Hey did we tell you Obama is going to take away your guns? Oooh! and look over there! Iranians! Noth Koreans with a missle! OOh and over there free candy!... but nothing to see here. No nothing at all...
2013-03-13 09:13:01 AM
1 votes:
I went in to Subway for a $5 foot long.

The choices where a sub with lettuce tomato, cucumbers, and pickles, or a nitrate laden salami sandwich.
or a BLT.

Anthing else that would be deemed palatable or filling was 6.75 and up.


2008 bean burrito at Taco bell.  $.79 .
2012 bean burrito at Taco bell  $1.29

but there is no inflation.  see that's just a greedy corporation that needs to be punished, as they refuse to hire more people than they need to get the job done.
2013-03-13 09:09:39 AM
1 votes:
Because the crap people actually buy on a daily basis isn't included in the metric?


I'll eat my chinese TV.
 
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