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CPI, bald faced lies
Old 03-14-2008, 08:46 AM   #1
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CPI, bald faced lies

I haven't located all the monthly details yet, but it's time for citizens to file a Class Action suit. If anyone out there doesn't think the numbers are a lie, you have to be brain dead.

Gas down 2% for the month, commodities down, medical care up 0.1%.....what a joke.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:00 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by RockOn View Post
I haven't located all the monthly details yet, but it's time for citizens to file a Class Action suit. If anyone out there doesn't think the numbers are a lie, you have to be brain dead.

Gas down 2% for the month, commodities down, medical care up 0.1%.....what a joke.
Which month and column are you referring to?
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:17 AM   #4
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in their dreams, maybe...
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:28 AM   #5
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Its one month of numbers big deal. Put away the tin foil hats.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:32 AM   #6
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Its not a lie. The metric simply records price changes for a particular budget and type of person. That many ER's probably dont equate to.

I'd bet that for the average urban worker that rents an apartment, takes the train and doesnt pay for health care, its spot on.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:33 AM   #7
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Which month and column are you referring to?
This months CPI numbers that were reported this AM.

There is nothing tin foil about it, it is real. It's not just one month either.
What a joke.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:35 AM   #8
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What I don't get is that TIPS are rallying today. They should be selling off viciously as people who hold them realize what a scam it is and sell.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:35 AM   #9
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Its not a lie. The metric simply records price changes for a particular budget and type of person. That many ER's probably dont equate to.

I'd bet that for the average urban worker that rents an apartment, takes the train and doesnt pay for health care, its spot on.
Get real. So that persons medical care is going up 1.2% a year? Get real.
Oh, I see you excuded health care, I guess it's free!
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:41 AM   #10
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What I don't get is that TIPS are rallying today. They should be selling off viciously as people who hold them realize what a scam it is and sell.
I don't get it either. Wall Street is drinking the koolaide, unlike Main Street.

As far as Wall Street, did you watch Bear Sterns this morning. Up $10 on the news is was about to go under (who the hell was buying on that news), then down 50%. The koolaide drinking is out of control.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:46 AM   #11
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This months CPI numbers that were reported this AM.

There is nothing tin foil about it, it is real. It's not just one month either.
What a joke.
You can find data easily to prove to yourself whether CPI is right or not, whether by looking at your past purchases or online (see below, one of hundreds of sources, choose one you trust). I gather you're referring to the Feb 08 CPI numbers, and if I eyeball the chart below down 2% looks feasible for Jan to Feb. Sounds like you're thinking about Feb to Mar, which appears it will be a different story. I've tracked and used CPI in my job for about 15 years, and I'm not so sure it's inaccurate as you allege.

US Gas Prices.bmp
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:47 AM   #12
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Get real. So that persons medical care is going up 1.2% a year? Get real.
Oh, I see you excuded health care, I guess it's free!
Yep, it is almost free in the CPI model. The CPI model presumes a worker who has their health care costs largely paid by their employer.

Even in the CPI-E (elderly) health care costs are presumed to be absorbed somewhat by medicare, but it does account for increased out of pocket expenses due to age.

Unfortunately, theres no CPI-ER where the primary cost is health care, followed by food, energy, travel and toys.

My frickin toy budget skyrocketed 498% in the last month.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:50 AM   #13
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Unfortunately, theres no CPI-ER where the primary cost is health care, followed by food, energy, travel and toys.
See, that's the thing. It may well be true that "discretionary" big-ticket items have fallen in price due to decreased demand, but that's because everything else is so damn high that a lot of people can't afford that big screen TV or new car because they're spending everything filling the gas tank, heating the home and keeping food on the table.

What they really need is a CPI-MC for the middle class, one that reflects a typical budget and recognizes that when prices of the essentials is very high, discretionary "stuff" is weighted less to account for the fact that fewer people can afford it.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:52 AM   #14
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I'll get you some better percentages later...

For my CPI-P:

Health care is down against last month but up 10% over last year

Gas is down and trending down faster (employing new driving style)

Food is up horribly but that's from moving the hedonic scale up (eating out multiple times a week)

Energy is even

It's not like the calculation for CPI is a mystery. And, it's based on polling real people. Do you think they're putting some ringers in the mix? Maybe you don't like their component weighting?

I didn't look hard, but this doc shows the weighting by category:

http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpiri2006.pdf
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:54 AM   #15
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You can find data easily to prove to yourself whether CPI is right or not, whether by looking at past purchases or online (see below, one of hundreds of sources, choose one you trust). Your referring to the Feb 08 CPI numbers I gather, and if I eyeball the chart below down 2% looks feasible for Jan to Feb. I've tracked and used CPI in my job for about 15 years, and I'm not so sure it's inaccurate as you allege.

Attachment 3394

I'm a little fired up about this, so I might be missing something but it looks like gas was up 18% in the last year by your example. Yet CPI is less than 4% year over year? We can all pick and choose and play games with numbers.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:56 AM   #16
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Why be fired up about it. We know they exclude certain things its not like they change the parameters every month. Keep track of your own inflation rate.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:57 AM   #17
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Why be fired up about it. We know they exclude certain things its not like they change the parameters every month. Keep track of your own inflation rate.
But they claim that the OVERALL rate (which includes food and energy) is also unchanged. If you only said the "core" rate was unchanged, I could believe it. But you can't drive to w*rk or eat the core rate.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:58 AM   #18
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They are stealing from us through COLA's. Even the standard deduction on our taxes.
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Old 03-14-2008, 09:59 AM   #19
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I've tracked and used CPI in my job for about 15 years, and I'm not so sure it's inaccurate as you allege.
Midpack, do you think the CPI accurately reflects the real cost-of-living for the average American?
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Old 03-14-2008, 10:00 AM   #20
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But they claim that the OVERALL rate (which includes food and energy) is also unchanged. If you only said the "core" rate was unchanged, I could believe it. But you can't drive to w*rk or eat the core rate.

Why is it so hard to believe for 1 month it was unchanged?
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