Tag Archives: hedonics

  • Blog

    ShadowStats’ John Williams Explains Why It’s All Been Downhill Since 1973

    by Adam Taggart

    Thursday, March 3, 2011, 2:53 AM

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    “If you look at the government’s latest statistics – the poverty survey of 2009, which is the most recent release, with average and median household income adjusted for inflation (and they use a really gimmick low inflation rate with that one) – it shows that not only has household income been falling the last year or two, but it’s below its near-term peak before the 2001 recession. Household income has not recovered above that, and if you use the CPI-U (the usual inflation rate to deflate that by instead of the gimmick one) it shows that household income today is below where it was in 1973. Again, the average household has not been able to keep up here. If income growth is not keeping ahead of inflation, very simply you can’t have consumption growing faster than inflation on a sustainable basis.”

    Government statistics guru John Williams believes the most important economic indicators used by our political leaders in their decison-making – the Consumer Price Index, the unemployment rate, the Gross Domestic Product – are deeply flawed in how they’re calculated. Whether these flaws result from letting theory trump reality or by machinating politicians, the result is the same: we are fooling ourselves at our peril. We have been understating the risks we face – which is why we are working harder for less today than the previous generation, and why our economy is not only not in “recovery” – but on the precipice of crisis.

    Click the play button below to listen to Part 1 of Chris’ interview with John Williams (runtime 37m:40s):

    [swf file=”http://media.chrismartenson.com/audio/john-williams-2011-03-02-part1-final.mp3″]

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    In this podcast, John and Chris outline how: 

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  • Blog

    Inflation Is So Much Worse Than We’re Told

    by Chris Martenson

    Tuesday, January 25, 2011, 3:00 PM

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    Inflation is actually much higher than what the BLS claims it is; something that purchasers of college tuition, pharmaceuticals, or health insurance know all too well.

    To give the BLS some credit, they must try and estimate a single rate of inflation that applies to everyone equally.  But that is a completely impossible task. An octogenarian living in Seattle on a meager pension and taking lots of prescription medications will have a totally different inflation experience than an 18 year old living in their parent’s basement eating Ramen noodles. 

    But even after spotting the BLS some slack, there are some enormous and glaring errors in their methods that render the official inflation measure hopelessly – and dangerously – inaccurate. 

    In this article, I am going to reveal how US inflation numbers are badly understated, how this practice short-changes institutions and fixed-income individuals alike, and why this means fiscal and inflationary train-wrecks are the most probable outcome for the US — and, by extension, the globe.

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