Friday, February 17, 2012

Ben Bernanke Says You're Not Really Seeing Higher Prices

It must be nice to be one of the Elites, and to inhabit such a rarefied, nosebleed ozone that such things as exploding prices have no meaning other than "made up numbers" and "statistics". But there it is! When one partakes of the Pareto Distribution nonsense and mistakes that for reality in terms of "optimization" and "efficiency" then one will witness such inverse reality sideshows as the wealthiest 1% now owning 1/3 of all resources, while the top 1% of income earners have 25% of all income in the nation, even while more than 13 million remain unemployed.

But in the world of the Elite, the Political Elite - like the world of Ben Bernanke - real prices have zero meaning and all that matters is whether a biased statistical measure, weighted toward Vilfredo Pareto's confection.....errr....creation.....makes sense.

Pork chops now $4.95 a pound? The cheapest hamburger at $5.50? Even veggies' prices going up through the roof? Gasoline at $3.50 a gallon? What about the rent which just got raised by another $100 a month? How about the meds like I have to take that just went from $210 for 90 to $480?

Hey folks, are you gonna believe your lying eyes or Ben Bernanke?

According to Ben (WSJ, today, p. B1, 'Consumers Price in Real Cost of Living'), all such costs as food, housing - even exploding rent, as well as meds - which are referred to as "shelter costs" are - get this:"essentially made up numbers" to quote Mr. Bernanke. Well, here's an easy question: if all those shelter costs including groceries are "made up" numbers, how about we pay the costs of them in "made up money"? Maybe I will just present an ideational, invisible "made up" $50 bill next time I go to the check out counter. "Here, Mr. Clerk, see this fifty, no you CAN see it if you try! It's not just in my head! But see, I am using this made up entity to purchase goods which have prices that - according to our Federal Reserve Chairman, constitute "made up numbers"!

Now, anyone care to speculate how far that gig would get me? How about either a fast trip to the funny farm, or more likely, getting booted out of the grocery mart one time.

Bottom line, according to Bernanke's statistics, higher costs of gasoline, groceries, rent and so forth - while not directly in our heads- are of no concern to him as regards inflation. After all, the CPI or consumer price index, is gamed to lowball the impact of these shelter costs so that even if inflation is really going up by about 2% a month, to Bernanke and his Pareto-stats it is really ZERO since his statistics (like the 'owner's equivalent rent") don't show up anything worth fretting over. Thus, he can jolly well continue to keep interest rates near zero - giving all the stock investors major Joneses - while savers and ordinary mortals who have to pay costs in the real world suck salt.

Of course, this is one reason why inequality reigns, and why - according to an article in the current Playboy, the US of A is an "inequality-generating machine". How could it not be when high rollers are granted such tax breaks that now CEOs earn 300 times the average worker, when it was barely 30 times in 1960? Or when ordinary folks must scrunch and scramble to even scrape together enough to buy a measly Burger while the 1% (who would teach us all morals - according to Charlie Murray) are busily enjoying their nightly repastes of foie gras and lobster thermidor ....with 5 magnums of champagne on the side.

If the country was not an inequality -generating machine then Bernanke would have his head examined by the nearest real world shrink who'd inform him he's suffering from a species of statistical delusion. And therapy....force him to grab $500 and take it to Hialeah, FL or Grand Junction, CO, or Henderson, NV to live for a month. Then see how far that dough stretches!

Of course, the investor and trader entourage are like on steroids with the news that despite these spikes in cost Ben is determined to keep interest rates near zero. And hey....if little guys or pedestrian savers don't like it...they can either get into the stock market.....or go suck salt! As the author of the WSJ piece so aptly put it:

"Unfortunately, average Americans have to pay their bills in the real world, not the statistical one."

Bingo! And especially not the Pareto statistical one!

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