Some things that don't appear in the Consumer Price Index:
1. The Peoples Natural Gas Company included a notice with last
month's bill advising that they are filing a request with the
Pennsylvania PUC to increase gas distribution service rates by 25.2
percent, beginning December 27.
2. The employee and retiree share on the Aetna health insurance plan will increase
from $97.13 per month to $123.38 per month beginning January 1, 2011.
3. The Township Real Estate Tax millage will be increased from 11 to 14
mills. I expect similar bad news regarding the county and school taxes,
as well as water and garbage pick-up bills.
Then, of course, there are those "hedonic adjustments"–when there is
some technological advance in home computers, television sets, microwave
ovens, washing machines, etc., whether you want them or not, this
cancels any price increase (likewise when the price of steak increases,
it is assumed that people will switch to chicken, so there's no
increase in your food bill).
Yes, "our"(?) government first decides what it wants the CPI to be, then
by means of "enhancements" and "hedonic adjustments" works backwards to
arrive at the desired figure.
As I commented to an old friend recently, thank God for Zimbabwe; at least there will always be one government more duplicitous than our own!
You are right government statistics are always suspect, considering the source. Not just economic statistics but all government statistics are suspect. In Criminal Justice class in college one of the first things they taught us was don't believe the crime statistics because they are manipulated to fit agendas. I have become suspect of all government statistics, unemployment is estimated to be over 20% by many, diseases it has been suspected that AIDS rates have been keep lower than reality to protect certain groups and to keep others from rioting. Demographics and population could be changed to either make people feel that the invasion is going slower then it is or increased to make a minority get more goodies and have more perceived power. Education's, IQ, economic, there is no end to how much manipulation statistics can be put through in order to spread propaganda and how far would the PTB go in order to keep people in the dark is anybody's guess.
175,000 jobs a month needed to reduce unemployment. November jobs created 120,000. 315,000 people dropped out of the workforce. Unemployment drops to three year low to 8.6%. Voilà! Obama has got his mojo back.
Article: Jobs Mirage: 315,000 Drop Out Of Workforce, Driving Unemployment Rate To Three-Year Low -Huffington Post - December 2, 2011
Article: Did Economy Create Nearly 500,000 Jobs in November? - Wall Street Journal- December 2, 2011
Article: Unemployment rate falls to 8.6%, lowest in 2 1/2 years - JS Online - December 2, 2011