Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Parabolic Trend Failure of the Day: Human Labor vs. Animal Labor

The following chart shows the consumer price index for personal care services (think haircuts) divided by the consumer price index for meats, poultry, fish, and eggs (1982-84 = 100%).

Click to enlarge.

The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades of green.

Source Data:
St. Louis Fed: Custom Chart


TJandTheBear said...

You always come up with the damnedest charts. :-)

Anonymous said...

So haircuts are getting cheaper or meat and related are getting more expensive? I can't decide whether that is good or bad?

Stagflationary Mark said...


I think our economy deserves the "damnedest" credit. I'm just a messenger. ;)

Stagflationary Mark said...


If you are a barber who enjoys ground beef, it's bad. Very bad.

If you are the CEO of a large conglomerate in an era of rising income inequality who enjoys salads, it's good. Very good.

Unfortunately, the Barber to CEO Ratio doesn't generate good odds for the typical American to find it very good.

As a side note, CEOs who cut hair as a second job (to make ends meet) are probably undecided. I'm guessing that there can't be many more than zero of them though.

I say this somewhat tongue in cheek of course. Sigh.

Stagflationary Mark said...

Put another way, I don't think it is a sign of prosperity to see a labor intensive activity like cutting hair lose out to farm animals.

It implies at least one (perhaps both) of the following:

1. Human labor glut.
2. Farm animal shortage.

I believe that it is a structural problem that is likely to get worse over time (as the parabola in my chart predicts). If so, no amount of money printing can fix it. Higher meat prices and lower wages over the long-term? As if shopping malls don't have enough headwinds (think nonstore retail sales growth)?

mab said...

I don't let it bug me.

Stagflationary Mark said...



I let an earwig escape today. I saw it scampering across the carpet and by the time I got back, it vanished. Seriously.

That's how bad times are. The bugs know! ;)

mab said...

That's how bad times are.

Out of the fly paper and into the frying pan!

Maybe it's not bad as it seems. Consider. Soylent green is sheeple! Doesn't that make you feel better?

The bugs may know, but as long as the sheeple don't, it's business as usual.

Stagflationary Mark said...


Maybe it's not bad as it seems.

It's worst at the seams!
Sew, it's ripping along!
Thanks to the ZIPPER*!
Has teeth! Be wear!

The economy's got artificial tears!
Salty wet liquidity drops!
I is irritated and in flames!

* ZIPPER = Zero Interst Policy Produces Euphoric Rationalizations

Stagflationary Mark said...

* ZIPPER = Zero Interest Policy Produces Euphoric Rationalizations