February 01, 2011
By coincidence I paid $3.31 for gasoline on the same day the Social Security Administration wrote to tell me that because there was so little inflation in 2010, no increase in my checks this year would be forthcomiong.
And various economists have lately been criticizing China for doing a pirouette with their statistics, accounting and budge figures. Thus they are not to be taken seriously.
And the price of gasoline in my hometown has risen 20 percent in the past year, although neither gasoline nor food prices are included in the official inflation rate issued by the government.
And various reasons are given for this oversight, but the real one is not. The real reason is that the government does not want the herd to know how much it is being sheared.
The same process works for unemployment figures. The so-called unemployment rate around here is 9.8 percent. Not included are the jobless sheep whose unemployment compensation has run out, those who never applied and those whose hours have been cut from full to part-time. The real unemployment rate is closer to 15 percent. Again the bureaucrats deny the real reason.
So the next time you read about China waltzing the numbers around, just remember the United States and its efforts to mislead.
Posted by Bill Doolittle at February 01, 2011 07:19 PM
You hit the nail, right on the head.
What you say is true, but Obama didn't invent this, he's just doing what every other administration has done. Your guess that the under/unemployment rate in your area is probably 15%. My guess is, it's probably higher than that.
It's only going to get worse. Everyone I know is getting a pay cut,hours cut and increases in what they pay for employer-provided health insurance.
All this happy talk that the economy is improving is going to end up biting us in the ass, because it's only marginally true in the sense that there are fewer massive layoffs. For the moment.
We are not even close to the bottom yet.
These standards were changed decades ago under Reagan/Bush and were changed to mask the pain of the peons who wouldn't know what the inflation rate was and thus believe they were denied increases in the cost of living legitimately.
Notice how long it's taken US to catch on. Of course, it's easy to ignore as long as you have a half-assed decent job (which most of us no longer have).
Welcome to Pottersville
They're inflating the US dollar (QE2 in November 2010 by the Fed) to pay our creditors back in cheaper dollars. Bush had a weak dollar policy, and Obama's goes even further.
But by not giving retirees a COLA in 2011 (after benefits didn't change in 2010 either), the government can save a little money. That lack of COLA affects many people: federal employees (even though their union AFGE strongly supported Obama in 2008), federal retirees, railroad retirees, many other retirees, VA benefits, SSI recipients, and union workers with wages tied by contract to the CPI.
But the euro is in terrible shape. The yen is strong but Japan has been in a recession for two decades and is still sliding downhill. We don't want to follow their example.