Inflation is hitting harder – but not officially

I’ve written a lot about inflation in these pages over the years.  In particular, I refer readers to an analysis of the elements of inflation that I published in 2012.  It’s still valid.  Furthermore, those relying on government benefits to pay their monthly bills have seen their overall purchasing power either flat-line or gradually reduce over the past decade, even as food and fuel have increased significantly in cost.

A report at CBS drives home this reality.

Writer Jen Singer, the mother of two teenage boys, wrestles with her grocery list every week to keep the household budget from getting away from her.

“I’d like the government to stop by my house, come food shopping with me and see where the real costs are,” she said.

. . .

It’s not her imagination. While the government says prices are up 6.4 percent since 2011, chicken is up 18.4 percent, ground beef is up 16.8 percent and bacon has skyrocketed up 22.8 percent, making it a holiday when it’s on sale.

. . .

Many are concerned that while economists paint a benign picture, middle-class families are quietly struggling.

“The disconnect is severe, because it’s the economists that make policy but it’s the people who have to live with the outcome of that policy and that disconnect is growing to the point where I think it has to break soon,” Colas said.

There’s more at the link.

In case you missed it in my earlier articles, let me point out again that the official rate of inflation, as calculated by the US government, excludes food and fuel costs.  Would you please tell me how that can in any way be an accurate reflection of the prices we’re actually paying?

Sooner or later – probably soonerthe economic chickens are going to come home to roost.  When they do, it’s not going to be pretty.



  1. Great point (again) Peter, and you're right… Sooner or later this IS going to come home to roost. And when it does, this WILL blow the country apart…

  2. My father observed today that it used to take three sleeves of crackers to fill the cracker-bin. It will now hold almost five sleeves. I don't think the bin suddenly grew.


  3. Similar to what LittleRed1 said, there's a great deal of "hidden" inflation in grocery and sundry prices right now. Bars of soap, toothpaste, deodorant, and paper products are being sold for the same price as always, but with less actual product inside. Food is getting the same treatment in many cases, less net weight per package, at the same old prices, so it doesn't appear to be rising. We just have to buy these good more often.

  4. Fedgov has been almost continuously modifying how inflation is measured for a long time now … primarily to hide the true inflation rate. Business helps by continuing to repackage things in smaller amounts at the same price, or raising prices when they have no choice, all in the effort to make things appear normal.

    Too many cost of living allowance issues would cost the budget too much, and besides, it helps them rationalize monetary policy of artificially keeping Treasury rates low, screwing over anyone who saves money and forcing people into riskier investing, thus pumping up the stock market. It's all part of the plan to bankrupt most folks when the fiat dollar crashes, leaving lots of assets available cheap at the national bankruptcy.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *