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Old 03-14-2008, 04:10 PM   #61
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Before we blast each other on the percentage points, is this really a significant portion of one's budget? If the price of gas could derail an ER plan, is the plan sufficiently capitalized to begin with?
Maybe not to ERF bloggers Nords, but rising energy costs are devastating (or at least severely crimping) the lives of the "Walmart people". Just the fact that there are so many of them makes this situation significant.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:12 PM   #62
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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.
I had to leave for awhile, I had to make some money to pay my kids tuition and my health insurance. Before I talk about the house price increase, let me add this. Our state tried to pass a bill to limit tuition increases to 9% a year at our public colleges. I'm not up to date on the outcome but I read it was likely to fail because the schools wouldn't accept it.

On the house price increase I did not mean to say house prices typically tripled every 5 years. Typically they barely keep up with inflation. What I say is they doubled or tripled in the last 5 years (it might have been 6 or so, I didn't look it up). I can get some Case-Shiller stats to back that up. That is a house price increase of 100% plus. Tripled might be had to find in the stats, doubling would not be. What was the reported CPI increase in the last 5 years? 16% from my source. That's about a 5 to 1 factor on that item. Can you buy that? I have the sources for Case-Shiller if you need them. Find for me anything in the world that went 5 to 1 the other way to make up for that. Want to try a few more? (Of course I realize house prices do not count.)

P.S. We could try housing (which we just did), utilities, food, healthcare/medical, transportation, taxes, and insurance. You know, just the things most of us actually have to buy. It might take me awhile to find the stats but I'm sure they are not going to average anywhere near 16% over 5 years. I left out computers, TV's, and clothing; the things often discussed as going down, because they are minor items on my list.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:25 PM   #63
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Table 1. Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U): U. S. City Average, by expenditure category and commodity and service group

There's the source data.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:29 PM   #64
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Good beer seems to cost about $1-$1.50 more a six pack this year than last year. Thats pissing me off...
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:40 PM   #65
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Good beer seems to cost about $1-$1.50 more a six pack this year than last year. Thats pissing me off...
Need I say more. What's that, about 15% in a year. Sorry, good beer doesn't count either, there's always some cheap swill you should have switched to. If you were rational that is.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:53 PM   #66
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We just bought a laptop for $800 that would have been $1500 a few years ago. Neighbor just bought a 32" flatscreen LCD similar to the one we have except he paid $900 instead of $1400 like we did two years ago.

I've also noticed that with the gas rise smaller cars are more common again. Toyota Yaris, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent etc. are taking over much of the former SUV turf.

I've got no idea whether things like car prices and consumer electronics fit into CPI but if they do I'm curious how much of an offsetting effect they have?
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:54 PM   #67
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Ditto on the beer. There's been much press about some hops pricing crisis, I assume related to that.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:55 PM   #68
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I've also noted salmon and shrimp (two things I'm quite fond of) seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper. What used to be a sale price I'd jump at seems to be pretty much every day now.
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:57 PM   #69
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That is the source, thanks for putting it up. We can pick it apart. Want me to start? You can probably see through it yourself.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:29 PM   #70
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Need I say more. What's that, about 15% in a year.
I dunno. You'll have to ask me later when I've had a couple of them. I'm way better at math after 2 beers. At least I think I am.

When I have to buy a TV or computer every week, and when the ones I really want dont cost $3000 and $1200, respectively, then they count.

I suppose in the modern consumer lifestyle where you buy mature electronic products hand over fist, have $30k in credit card debt, expense half your meals out, have your health care paid for, etc...its all good.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:47 PM   #71
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Everything you wanted to know about manipulation of reported government statistics like CPI:

Shadow Government Statistics Blog Archive 4. Consumer Price Index
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:49 PM   #72
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I dunno. You'll have to ask me later when I've had a couple of them. I'm way better at math after 2 beers. At least I think I am.
Yeah I hit that zone too. For me some skill areas are far more open-ended with alcohol like with bowling or dancing, but things like giving a toast or speaking a foreign language I've studied there is definitely a 2-3 beer sweet spot where I'm gold but if care isn't taken I'll quickly slide back quickly as consumption continues.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:00 PM   #73
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I've also noted salmon and shrimp (two things I'm quite fond of) seem to be getting cheaper and cheaper. What used to be a sale price I'd jump at seems to be pretty much every day now.
i think what happened is in the last few years a lot of fish farms started up production. whole foods has a lot of farmed salmon now compared to a few years ago and most of the shrimp is now farmed from thailand instead of the real thing
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:13 PM   #74
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Mmmm MMMM! Fish filled with parasites packed into tiny polluted tanks!

Fortunately they taste just as good as wild caught!

http://www.fishwelfare.net/projects/...atfishtank.jpg
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:26 PM   #75
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Everything you wanted to know about manipulation of reported government statistics like CPI:

Shadow Government Statistics Blog Archive 4. Consumer Price Index
Been there, done that. John Williams doesn't cut it with this crowd. His numbers do seem over the top. If he is correct in that he is calculating CPI like it was done in the 70's that would be significant. Either inflation was not really 12% in the late 70's, or it is really 12% now. Can't have it both ways. That is an amazing thing for me to ponder.
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:33 PM   #76
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Good news. Tequila is staying around the same! Woo all is right in the world...
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Old 03-14-2008, 07:36 PM   #77
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Took off my flip flops stepped on a pop top...
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:07 PM   #78
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Took off my flip flops stepped on a pop top...
Life is good. After bitc**n about the CPI I'm worn out. It is hopeless and all we can do is watch as our purchasing power vanishes. Got another of those generic brews?

What you might not believe is that even though I feel this way about the rigged CPI and that we are getting hosed right now, my gut feeling is that inflation might not last that much longer. If the Fed starts up the printing presses, then I'll change my mind. I think odds are that we will be seeing a deflationary stage within a year or so. Housing is already deflating. When the government numbers show the CPI down for 20 months in a row, the BLS will figure out the CPI is being under reported and will scramble to change things so that on paper we are no longer deflating. When politics gets involved in influencing markets that is what happens. The full circle of life.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:11 PM   #79
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Life is good. After bitc**n about the CPI I'm worn out. It is hopeless and all we can do is watch as our purchasing power vanishes. Got another of those generic brews?

What you might not believe is that even though I feel this way about the rigged CPI and that we are getting hosed right now, my gut feeling is that inflation might not last that much longer. If the Fed starts up the printing presses, then I'll change my mind. I think odds are that we will be seeing a deflationary stage within a year or so. Housing is already deflating. When the government numbers show the CPI down for 20 months in a row, the BLS will figure out the CPI is being under reported and will scramble to change things so that on paper we are no longer deflating. When politics gets involved in influencing markets that is what happens. The full circle of life.
I don't know about you but I had a real good 4 or 5 years of growth. So lighten up take a year or so off and the boom will be back. 4 to 5 years of nice returns and people get worked up about 5 months of crap. I wont charge thats a freebie from my news letter.
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Old 03-14-2008, 08:26 PM   #80
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Shrimp depends on what I'm doing with it. Asian tiger shrimp is fine for most things, as is Kroger farm raised pink dyed salmon. I wouldn't make lomi salmon out of it.
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