Friday, November 6, 2009

Lies, Damned Lies, and the CPI

While the Federal Reserve is a big supplier of stolen goods to the government, it is by no means the only supplier. As Ron Paul points out, simple adjustments in calculations will accomplish the transfer when the machinery of theft is already in place.

According to the government's current version of the Consumer Price Index, life has gotten cheaper for the first time in decades, which means there's no reason for increasing payouts to Social Security recipients. The CPI is the average price for a "fixed" basket of goods and is supposed to help us gauge how much more (or less) it costs us to live.

But "economist John Williams of Shadow Government Statistics has estimated that if the original methodology of CPI had not changed, Social Security checks would be nearly double what they are today," Paul writes. Substituting hamburger for steak is one way officials arrived at the CPI they needed. Meat is meat according to the government, so the basket of goods remains fixed. Next time will it be dog food for hamburger? Social Security was wrong from the start and should be abolished, but in the meantime government should be held accountable for administering it fairly.

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