Have you ever wondered why the CPI, GDP and employment numbers run counter to your personal and business experiences? The problem lies in biased and often manipulated government reporting. - John Williams, Shadow Government Statistics
I have not. I track every penny I spend and have been doing so since 2000. I'm just not seeing the inflation that Shadowstats claims.
Let's try a simple test using the historical price of Hershey's candy bars. If the CPI was vastly under-reporting inflation over the years, then surely the price of candy bars must be rising at a rate far higher than the government will admit. Therefore, all we have to do is look at the long-term trend in inflation adjusted candy bar prices.
I should also point out that Sugar #11 has been in a bull market. If inflation was going to strike anywhere, surely sugar-packed candy bars would be among the first to feel the inflationary pain. Therefore, it is probably not fair to judge the BLS on candy bar prices alone. Let's try anyway though.
The long-term trend is flat. The CPI has clearly been tracking the long-term price of candy bars fairly well. The two data points I offer from 2009 are well within the margin of error. You will note that inflation adjusted terms, the most recent Safeway data point is very similar to the pricing of candy bars seen in the 1970s (the last time energy prices were high).
I do not see any signs of a CPI conspiracy based on the price of candy bars.
Why do people continue to give credibility to an operation like Shadowstats? Now that's something that I'd like to hear explained. - James Hamilton, Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego
I'd really like to know too. Perhaps people just love a good conspiracy theory. Here's a favorite of mine.
Top 10 Wackiest Conspiracy Theories
Esoteric Hitlerists and conspiracy theorists interested in Nazi mysticism and World War II have speculated that the Germans landed on the Moon as early as 1942.
According to other theories it is believed that the Nazis had made contact with 'half a dozen' alien races, including the malevolent Reptilians.
The Food Timeline
BLS: Historical CPI
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