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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
    More: Misc, birthday party, Standard Oil, relative term, John D. Rockefeller, local income taxes, commercial real estate, CPI, official statistics  
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4373 clicks; posted to Main » on 13 Mar 2013 at 9:04 AM (5 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-03-13 02:37:38 PM  

Warthog: impaler: Here's a metric that blow some posters' minds: Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers: All Items (CPIAUCSL)*

*technically doesn't measure inflation.

Here's some more interesting data, gas to oil prices. They have a nonlinear relationship (only a percentage of gas price is depdendant on oil). Basically, gallon gas = (BBL/137 + 1)*LOG10(BBL). Being non-linear, they won't match up without an inflation adjustment. Try getting this to fit with anything other than CPI.

[growlersoftware.com image 680x554]

No CPI adjustment.
[growlersoftware.com image 475x494]

I'm sorry, but my mind isn't feeling blown.  What am I supposed to take from these tables?

that the cost of red ink is more than the cost of blue ink unless you take CPI into account

/or something
2013-03-13 04:21:37 PM  

Pangea: Tommy Moo: Have they fixed that? I haven't had toner in my printer for over a year now. I got sick of buying a cartridge to print something, waiting three weeks between each time I had to print from home, cleaning the print heads with a damp cloth every time, and then throwing the cartridge away a couple of months later after having printed seven sheets with it.

You're mixing terms I think. Clogged cartridges and low print volume was a terrible problem with my inkjet printer.

I've had my Lexmark laser printer for 4 years and have only replaced the original (500sheet) toner once. I print 50-75 pages a month and it's been 100% reliable. Got the unit for under $100 on sale, and the only sacrifice is no color. Best purchase I've ever made...other than my indestructible Linksys WRT54G.

Right. The funny thing about printers is that my cartridges would always stop working because I didn't use them enough. The print heads would clog and dry out. I kept a file on my desktop with a black, cyan, magenta, and yellow square that I would print every few weeks, but I'd often forget and have to throw the cartridges away.
2013-03-13 05:48:11 PM  
It would be nice if a semitrustable group would report inflation numbers a day before the official government numbers.

If someone like Consumer Reports would issue number such as "The inflation rate is 7.5% based on food prices climbing and durable white good not lasting as long" the day before the Whitehouse says inflation is running at .3%, one of them will start to look like fools very quickly.
2013-03-13 05:56:06 PM  

By which I mean, why does the article ask why ink cartridges got even more got-damn expensive and then not try very hard to find out why.
2013-03-13 07:40:28 PM  

DON.MAC: It would be nice if a semitrustable group would report inflation numbers a day before the official government numbers.

If someone like Consumer Reports would issue number such as "The inflation rate is 7.5% based on food prices climbing and durable white good not lasting as long" the day before the Whitehouse says inflation is running at .3%, one of them will start to look like fools very quickly.

These guys are pretty good.  The compute inflation based on the formula used in 1980.

shadowstats.comView Full Size
2013-03-13 08:16:19 PM  
part of me gets inflated every time your mom comes over to talk dirty to me
2013-03-13 08:41:26 PM  
Inflation is the general rise in prices of goods across the economy, and an erosion of the value of the monetary supply.

But, you can't just pick and choose what you want to biatch about as causing inflation.  Thats not ow it works.

Increasing costs due to demand and willingness to pay isn't inflation.  Things like education, healthcare, transpiration, and houses are rises in prices due to demand and really screwed up markets.  It's not inflation.

Then you have the flip side, things that have held stead or decreased in value such as super cheap consumer electronics, durable goods, and the like.  If video games kept up with inflation you'd be paying close to $140 per game, not even taking into account how much value has been added to new games vs older games from back in the 80's.

tl'dr, deflation is actually a big problem right now.  And the FED targeting 3-4% would do wonders to held employment, at the expense of the rich and corporations that would rather just keep their money parked in low interest investments (and not losing any value) instead of making capital expenditures in investment.

The middle class and poor are losing much more by letting them hoard all that cash which sits stalled in the economy, then slightly higher inflation would bring.
2013-03-13 08:51:39 PM  

mcreadyblue: These guys are pretty good.  The compute inflation based on the formula used in 1980.

Those guys are idiots. Why would you base CPI on 80s formula? Are people still buying 8-tracks? I'm pretty sure computers take up a much larger portion of the economy now too.

According to shadow stats, there was no housing bubble. None. In fact, it shows inflation-adjusted 2007 housing prices to be half of what they were in 1980.

4.bp.blogspot.comView Full Size

2013-03-13 10:21:22 PM  

Nutsac_Jim: 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.

1998 two tacos from Jack In the Box - $.99
2013 two tacos from Jack In the Box - $.99

According to Jack there is no such thing as inflation.

/selectively choosing items to base your perception of inflation on is retarded
2013-03-13 11:13:37 PM  

mcreadyblue: Incontinent_dog_and_monkey_rodeo: 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.


If you read Wired, Seed, and Popular Science every month and NOTHING ELSE his comment will make perfect sense.
2013-03-14 03:24:06 PM  
Guys, the CPI doesn't apply to everyone equally. If you don't buy eggs or milk or eat out, but do buy protein shakes and salmon and make it all at home, it's probably meaningless for you. CPI is just a rough average of the pain everyone in the country feels, not a guarantee of the kind of pain you feel. Ranting that it isn't what it was never meant to be makes you look retarded.

The wild swings in gasoline and natural gas prices over the past two decades basically impact every budget and price more than CPI. Just follow those graphs and you'll probably get a much better idea of the real value of the dollar at any given time, whereas it takes months or years to show up in CPI.

Christian Bale: Gold was $930 an ounce when the recession ended, and today it's $1,583. So if you believe in the gold standard, prices have increased 70% in four years - or an annualized rate of 14.2%.

eh, no. If you believe in the gold standard--that gold is or should be the the basis of currency--gold rising in value means that everything else is LESS expensive, not more. He's describing deflation, not inflation. Your gold will buy more goods, just like your dollar, when it goes up, buys more goods. That's not inflation.

Given that basic misunderstanding, it's hard to lament skipping the rest of the article from that point on.

Came in here to say exactly this. Glad to see it's covered. Ah, journalists, are there any basic facts you can't screw up?
2013-03-14 06:25:27 PM  

MBZ321: Seriously, if you still need an inkjet, buy a Brother.

You feel me?
2013-03-14 09:17:22 PM  

dragonchild: 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 ...

This is interesting. Is there any reading your could suggest?
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