I've been going on for sometime about what I view to be the cynically dishonest calculation for the headline unemployment number, otherwise known as U3. Which number only the most blatant of our government's paid shills in the press and the most willfully ignorant of both left and right wing partisans are able to tout without cringing.
This morning we'll look into what I view to be the equally dishonest inflation numbers being offered up as factual by the Federal Government's Bureau of Labor Statics or BLS and worse yet supposedly beiing used to drive monetary policy at the Federal Reserve.
Ed Butowsky, managing partner for Chapwood Equities has developed his own method for calculating the rate of inflation and has compiled it into "The Chapwood Index".
That's Ed over there on the right.
Click on the image below for a trip to the Chapwood Index.
Here's a short history of the CPI as seen by Mr. Butowsky.
"In 1983, the government CPI rose roughly 12% and the government modified the CPI calculation to save money. In order to save money on salary increases and entitlement benefits, which are tied to CPI, the government changed their calculation of the CPI to reflect a much lower number.
The statistic underwent another reconfiguration in 1995/96 with the Boskin Commission. These changes made the CPI an even worse indication of the real cost of living increase.
It is estimated that between 1996 and 2006, this reconfiguration of the CPI saved the US government over $680 billion.
Since then, the government has been artificially deflating the CPI to keep figures as low as possible. The readings you see published today no longer represent the real out of pocket expenditures incurred by most Americans.
The government’s baseline CPI measure excludes items such as taxes, energy, and food; which are not only necessities, but also often a majority of our daily expenditures.
The CPI increase from 2008-2012 was a total of 10.2%, but our research has found that for many cities, the cost of living increase was more than that in 2012 alone. The increase was slightly more in 2013."
... and furthermore ...
I'm not entirely sure about the bolded sentence above. Among the reasons I am not entirely sure about the bolded sentence above is that having actually gone over to the Bureau of Labor Statistics site in an effort to figure out just exactly what the hell they are doing to come up with their rate of inflation, I run into a lot of stuff like this, or this. Then there's this, and of course, that.
Actually I read most of what BLS offers on the subject and came away from the experience with the distinct impression that on this particular subject, there is a sincere desire on the part of the Bureau of Labor Stastics to baffle with bullshit.
Anyway, I give creedence to Mr. Butowsky's method on the basis that it makes sense to me when he explains it in plain English.