Two government generated data reports hit the wires this morning from the BLS and the Commerce Department. We all know they wouldn’t fudge the numbers. Right?
According to the drones at the BLS, your overall inflation in the last year was 1%. I find that curious and possibly a wee bit off the mark. See, I live in the real world. Not the excel spreadsheet model world of the BLS.
Here is a link to the BLS report:
My curiosity about the specific items within the report are detailed below:
- On the food front, there number of 1.3% is probably in the ballpark as crop prices have dropped due to the drought lifting, while meat prices have risen.
- Their contention that energy prices are 9.5% lower is complete and utter bullshit. The price of oil is 7% higher than one year ago. The price of gasoline is only 2.4% lower than last year. You can check the actual prices yourself: http://money.cnn.com/data/commodities/
- They contend that car prices are only up 1%. It’s completely untrue. The debt financed auto boom has driven prices up by 3% to 4% in the last year: http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20130907_Demand__frills_spur_auto_price_increases.html?c=r
- They contend that the cost of shelter has only risen by 2.3% in the last year. Rents have gone up by more than 3% in the last year, while home sales prices have risen by 13%. Those are the facts. I guess you can make a model say anything you want it to say.
- Hysterically the BLS says that Medical costs only account for 5% of your budget and they only went up by 2.9% in the last year. That’s a good one. I work for the largest employer in Phila, and my medical costs went up by 20% in the last year. Obamacare has driven costs sky high, but the BLS has the gall to tell you that your costs are only up 2.9%.
For people who live in the real world, fill up their gas tanks, pay their utility bills, pay tuition, pay real estate taxes, buy groceries, and see how the corporations reduce packaging sizes while keeping the price the same, our inflation rate is not 1%. My inflation rate is at least 5%. What’s yours?
The 2nd government report was retail sales, which the MSM proclaimed to be solid. Here is the link:
Shockingly, my view is slightly different than the MSM. Here are my observations:
- The year over year change was 4.2%. Using a real inflation measure of 5% reveals that REAL retail sales were negative.
- Getting down to the nitty gritty, retail sales were $17 billion higher than they were in the previous year. A full $7.8 billion, or 46% of the increase was due to automobile sales. These weren’t really sales. The automakers financed $31,000 vehicles for 7 years to subprime borrowers with money provided by the Federal Government (Ally Financial) and the rest of the Wall Street shyster banks.
- When you back out the auto sales from the totals, you get the rest of the retail industry generating a pitiful 2.9% annual increase.
- Even the furniture & electronics retailers, who offer no interest, no payments for 4 years on all their merchandise, only generated a modest 3% YTD gain. If we are having such a dramatic housing recovery, how come people aren’t buying furniture and TVs?
No matter how our owners spin the data, the average American faces increasing costs, declining real wages, and less disposable income. The owners don’t care because Bennie is keeping them rich. So it goes.