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Old 03-14-2008, 11:11 AM   #41
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I could come up with tons the numbers but you'd just dismiss them so it's not worth my effort. Let's start with the price of a typical house doubling or tripling in around 5 years, "but that doesn't count", we should just look at the cost of rent. None of us would possibly want to buy a house in our lives, would we?
No, you've got that wrong. I'm a programmer and am more than willing to make up my mind on things based on facts. I don't do well with "because I said so" arguments.

Let's start slow. Show me the stats of typical houses in typical locations tripling every 5 years. The NAR says the average home price doubles every 10 years (~7% CAGR) and it's in their best interest to inflate that number.

Again, to stress the need to understand your personal situation without relying on the goverment or media to explain your life to you, let's look at my townhouse. I'm not saying that my situation is typical or even normal, but it is 100% typical for my personal situation. My wife and I purchased our townhouse for $263k six years ago. At the high point of the market for our neighborhood, similar models sold for $280k. Our current best offer is $247k and we expect to be able to sell for about $255k. You can figure out the CAGR yourself, but I can give you a hint, it's not 7%.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:16 AM   #42
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Yours or Gabe's?
Mine. I bought two high def directv DVR's, a couple of terabytes of sata disk storage, a wii, a new cell phone, a wifi digital photo frame, and a new HVAC system.

On the matter of basket substitution, I think I have a problem with a system thats supposed to measure cost of living adjustments incorporating the REACTION people have to cost of living changes. If I'm eating steak, the cost of steak should be in there. Not chicken or hamburger.

I also dont agree that since my car, computer or television is subjectively "better", that as a result it costs me less.

In fact, steak wrapped in BACON oughta be in there. Its what everyone really wants, right?
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:18 AM   #43
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Speaking of bacon. Man I had some really good apple wood smoked stuff the other day. Im a bit disappointed Im all out. Im starting to get the twitches.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:19 AM   #44
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Costco has 2-3lb packages of apple wood smoked bacon, thin and thick cut. I think its about $8.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #45
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Costco has 2-3lb packages of apple wood smoked bacon, thin and thick cut. I think its about $8.
Let me check my numbers and see if that will match my personal inflation allowance rate for smoked apple wood bacon.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:26 AM   #46
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Let me check my numbers and see if that will match my personal inflation allowance rate for smoked apple wood bacon.
If not, you'll have to substitute pigs feet.
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:28 AM   #47
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If not, you'll have to substitute pigs feet.

Funny story. My MIL was telling a story of how she loved pig feet as a kid. So for her 80th birthday I got her some. Anyways they weren't as good as she remembered them
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:32 AM   #48
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a wii
You didn't even lie and say it was for Gabe? I'm impressed.

Wait, does he get to play?
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Old 03-14-2008, 11:55 AM   #49
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I think you have to substitute turkey bacon. You dont necessarily get to remain within an animal family for a substitution.

Pigs feet can be kinda good if they're made right. Not what i'd call 'good eats' though.

Yes, Gabe gets to play with it. We play tennis and baseball together on it. So far neither of us has spazzed out and thrown the remote through the tv set.

Super Mario Galaxy allegedly has some sort of "play along" feature for kids to join in. As soon as I quit losing all my lives in 4 seconds, I might figure out how that works.

I'm really impressed with the motion sensitive controllers, one in each hand. Very amusing to watch someone else play the game.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:07 PM   #50
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That thing made my arms sore from the boxing game. Man Im getting old
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:28 PM   #51
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Yeah, but all that exercise will come in handy the next time someone pisses you off and you wanna punch them.
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Be fearful when others are greedy, and greedy when others are fearful. Just another form of "buy low, sell high" for those who have trouble with things. This rule is not universal. Do not buy a 1973 Pinto because everyone else is afraid of it.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:45 PM   #52
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Whatever they are smoking, I want some.

Prices unchanged? If private companies cooked their books like this, their executives would be in prison.
it's not cooking the books, it's seasonally adjusted. the press release just hypes whatever numbers they want.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:46 PM   #53
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Speaking of bacon. Man I had some really good apple wood smoked stuff the other day. Im a bit disappointed Im all out. Im starting to get the twitches.
niman ranch or welshire farms is what you are looking for, but it's like $5 a pound

i saw one of the farmers at one of the NYC greenmarkets had some and will probably try it soon
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:11 PM   #54
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I can see some inflation creeping into our budget in 2 categories in particular (as per Quicken):

gas: +27% in the last 12 months
groceries: +19% in the last 12 months
(with no obvious change in driving or eating habits)

Based on actual numbers for 2008 YTD, it looks like we might have reduced our gas consumption by 20-25% since the beginning of the year (it's not clear how we did it and we were not planning on reducing our gas consumption this year, but maybe we are just tired of being raped everytime we go to the pump). But groceries are on pace for another 16% increase this year.

The saving grace though is that gas and groceries represent only about 2.7% and 10% of our overall annual budget respectively, so a 27% increase in gas prices and 19% increase in grocery prices translate to only a 2.6% overall inflation rate for our annual budget, well within the 3% built into our plan (most other expenses in our budget have either remained the same or decreased over the past year and therefore our overall inflation rate is even lower than the 2.6% quoted). Plus an increase of only 1.7% in our gross annual income (we are still working) would be enough to keep up with inflation.

On the other hand my mom lives on a much smaller budget (SS benefits mostly) than we do and for her, food represents about 30% of her annual budget and gas about 7.5%. That gives her an inflation rate of 7.7% overall, but very little wiggle room to absorb that increase, and her SS benefits don't increase nearly enough each year to keep up with inflation.
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Old 03-14-2008, 02:39 PM   #55
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On the other hand my mom lives on a much smaller budget (SS benefits mostly) than we do and for her, food represents about 30% of her annual budget and gas about 7.5%. That gives her an inflation rate of 7.7% overall, but very little wiggle room to absorb that increase, and her SS benefits don't increase nearly enough each year to keep up with inflation.
I can imagine that a lot of retirees living on modest incomes anchored by Social Security and COLA-adjusted pensions were throwing things at their TV sets when they announced there was "no inflation" in February and that it's "only up 3-point-whatever percent" over the last 12 months.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:41 PM   #56
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I was not sure the CPI was BS before, this morning did it. CPI flat and mega-billions go to BS (meaning Bear Sterns, the previous "BS" does not mean Bear Sterns). What a system.
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:56 PM   #57
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Come on, its a good number with excellent transparency.

I'm also sure there is very little organizational influence. Most certainly if there are 4-5 ways to factor something and half of them give higher inflationary figures than the other half, I know they'd pick the numbers that would make almost everyone in almost every part of the government upset. You know, all things being equal.

Isnt it amazing how the feds can spin on a dime to bail out a financial firm, but we struggle to put money into education, health care, food and shelter for the poor, the health of social security/medicare, and large portions of a major US city are still in ruins three years after a storm?
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Old 03-14-2008, 03:59 PM   #58
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Isnt it amazing how the feds can spin on a dime to bail out a financial firm, but we struggle to put money into education, health care, food and shelter for the poor, the health of social security/medicare, and large portions of a major US city are still in ruins three years after a storm?
You can pay for those with the Chinese Manufacturer Full Employment Act "stimulus package" money...
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"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)

RIP to Reemy, my avatar dog (2003 - 9/16/2017)
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:00 PM   #59
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Come on, its a good number with excellent transparency.

I'm also sure there is very little organizational influence. Most certainly if there are 4-5 ways to factor something and half of them give higher inflationary figures than the other half, I know they'd pick the numbers that would make almost everyone in almost every part of the government upset. You know, all things being equal.

Isnt it amazing how the feds can spin on a dime to bail out a financial firm, but we struggle to put money into education, health care, food and shelter for the poor, the health of social security/medicare, and large portions of a major US city are still in ruins three years after a storm?
Government is slow (I should know). And in the case of Katrina recovery, I don't expect any more will ever be delivered to those who need it than already has, since we are yesterday's news by now.

The Federal Reserve is not government exactly, though, even if we call them the feds. The Federal Reserve is a private company (but you knew that). Still, their speed was mind-boggling. Reminds me of that commercial for DSL, with the window washers dropping down the side of a building.... "THAT fast!"
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:03 PM   #60
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Election year might have something to do with the speed of light they are moving at.
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