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Old 04-11-2011, 01:56 PM   #101 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by jamesqf View Post
The US had a gold standard, then FDR made it illegal for Americans to own gold (except as jewelery). As for stability, look at the price of gold since the '70s, when it became legal to trade in gold. Stable? Not hardly. There have been wild price swings like '78-82, when it rose fourfold, then dropped by half.
Yes - that was the last period of double digit inflation and a dollar that had declined in value. Once the government starts printing more money and there is loss of confidence in the fiat currency, gold prices "go up" (but only relative to what the paper fiat currency is worth) because that paper buys less and less of everything, including gold.

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But the price of food hasn't gone up significantly over that period (at least going by my shopping cart index, which admittedly contains little if any processed food). If anything, it seems to have declined a bit. Or at least meats &c seem cheaper than they were before then.
Surely you must be joking! In just the past few year food prices have doubled or tripled. (But why should I be surprised. People have very short memories when it comes to prices.)

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Gas, of course, is a different animal. The price increases aren't being driven by inflation or changes in currency, they're driven by supply & demand. Basic economics: increase demand for a product in limited supply, and the price rises.
And you omitted the flip side of the equation, which is that of limiting the supply to drive the price up. Those sweethearts at the old OPEC cartel know how to do that very effectively.


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There's inflation which is not devaluation, prices going up (or coming down - checked housing prices lately?) that have nothing to do with the value of the underlying currency.
That's called a market bubble. I chuckle when the phrase "value added" is used. My house is supposedly worth four times what I paid for it 25 years ago. However it is the same house. The increase in the current price of it is due to an increase in price, not an increase in value. The difference in the estimated value is all the result of inflation. And we are now taxed according to that estimated valuation, so the higher the assessed valuation is, the more tax you will pay on owning it.

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Old 04-12-2011, 01:55 AM   #102 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
Once the government starts printing more money and there is loss of confidence in the fiat currency, gold prices "go up" (but only relative to what the paper fiat currency is worth) because that paper buys less and less of everything, including gold.
Nope, look at the numbers for the spike in the early '80s. Inflation may have set off the bubble, but it fed on itself and greatly outpaced inflation. Then it crashed, without any corresponding deflation in the dollar.

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Surely you must be joking! In just the past few year food prices have doubled or tripled.
Stopped by the store tonight & bought a few things, so I have the receipt right in front of me.

Cheerios: $2.98/box, a bit under 17 cents/oz, about what it's been (except on sale) for years.

Strawberries: $1.88/basket, typical for this time of year.

Coffee: 2 lbs @ $6.98. This has gone up a bit, used to be around $5.xx.

Pedegree dog food: $1.08/can, been in the just over $1 for as long as I can remember.

Ground chuck: $3.58/lb, doesn't seem like any major increase, but I'm not sure as I usually just look at the package price.

Whole wheat flour: $0.50/lb, no noticable change

Long grain brown rice, $0.56/lb. This has gone up a bit, used to be about $0.45/lb.

Carrots: $2.29/5 lb bag, same as usual. Apples 0.78/lb likewise...

So I can see maybe 20% average price increase over the last year or so, but doubling or tripling? No way! As I said before, if you're seeing that, I suggest shopping somewhere else.

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My house is supposedly worth four times what I paid for it 25 years ago. However it is the same house. The increase in the current price of it is due to an increase in price, not an increase in value. The difference in the estimated value is all the result of inflation.
Now you're just being silly. Or did you sleep through the housing bubble? Almost entirely demand-driven. A thing's worth what someone will pay for it, and with easy credit and an expectation of ever-rising prices, demand was pretty high.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:00 AM   #103 (permalink)
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Aero84, you could throw all you data into an excel (or any other spreadsheet program), and have it do the conversion. Can you export the data from your other site, or do you already have it stored somewhere? That way the conversions are done, and all you have to do is enter it in.

You could also add up all the tanks up until the last month or so and enter them as one huge tank, then enter the more recent ones individually.
That does not sound too bad!
I expect to have some time next weekend, I'll give it a try.
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Old 04-12-2011, 03:28 AM   #104 (permalink)
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At the grocery- without actually comparing year-old receipts to today's- I'd say prices have gone up somewhere between 0 and 20, maybe 25 percent... hard to say because of the wild (+20%) fluctuation grocery store prices have ALWAYS had week-to-week, but easy to say it's nowhere near 50 or 100 or 200 percent like some allude to. Kinda like gas prices, people are getting nutso and saying they'll lose their homes, won't be able to feed the kids, etc. and I'm like, yeah, if gas went to $10/gallon I'd have to fork over another $60 IN A MONTH.
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Old 04-12-2011, 11:40 AM   #105 (permalink)
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So this morning it happened! 4.09/gallon of diesel today- soy veggie oil at the grocery store 3.99/ gallon!!!

Tonight I fill up at wal-mart!


yes it is on sale usual price 4.75/gallon
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:35 PM   #106 (permalink)
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At the grocery- without actually comparing year-old receipts to today's- I'd say prices have gone up somewhere between 0 and 20, maybe 25 percent...
Yes, that's in one year. Compare prices over ten years and tell me there is no inflation.

I can remember that ten years ago gas was $1 a gallon (or even less). Over the ten year span, the price has quadrupled. So tell me there is no inflation. People have short memories when it comes to prices. The older you get and the more decades you can remember, the more obvious it becomes.

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Kinda like gas prices, people are getting nutso and saying they'll lose their homes, won't be able to feed the kids, etc. and I'm like, yeah, if gas went to $10/gallon I'd have to fork over another $60 IN A MONTH.
The ones hit the hardest are those who have to commute long distances to their work and have no alternative. They aren't nutso. You and I might be 'sitting pretty' but some are hit harder by price increases than others.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:45 PM   #107 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
I can remember that ten years ago gas was $1 a gallon (or even less). Over the ten year span, the price has quadrupled.
To be fair it dropped to about $1 per gallon after being around $1.80. I do remember this. So, prices have merely doubled in ten years.
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:47 PM   #108 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Frank Lee View Post
At the grocery- without actually comparing year-old receipts to today's- I'd say prices have gone up somewhere between 0 and 20, maybe 25 percent... hard to say because of the wild (+20%) fluctuation grocery store prices have ALWAYS had week-to-week, but easy to say it's nowhere near 50 or 100 or 200 percent like some allude to.
Yeah, that's about what I see, maybe 20% at most. So I have to wonder what or where the 200% folks eat: upscale restaurants, maybe? Or maybe it's increased prices of chips and soda pop?

As for feeding their families, maybe they should learn to cook. I noticed the store had pinto beans on sale at $0.38/lb. Onions & potatos are pretty cheap, too. Add them together, and you can make some pretty cheap & filling stews. For fruit, oranges were on sale at $0.18/lb...


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...and I'm like, yeah, if gas went to $10/gallon I'd have to fork over another $60 IN A MONTH.
I do have to admit, I'm pretty upset about this. I'd gotten used to just putting $20 worth in the Insight (the el Cheapo station I sometimes pass has the pumps that take bills, and charge less than with a credit card), and having it last me about a month. Last time I didn't even make it three weeks - financial disaster is looming!
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Old 04-12-2011, 01:57 PM   #109 (permalink)
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Now you're just being silly. Or did you sleep through the housing bubble? Almost entirely demand-driven. A thing's worth what someone will pay for it, and with easy credit and an expectation of ever-rising prices, demand was pretty high.
The bubble is worse in less stable markets. You are ignoring or missing my point. At the height of the bubble my property was worth five times what I paid for it; now it is 'only' worth four times the original amount paid. My comparison is that of now, after the bubble, not during it.

The housing market here is stable. The turnover rate is about the same as ever, so it has nothing to do with increased demand.

The fourfold increase is all inflated "value". The price has increased and some may think that is a profit, or some form of progress. But the house is the same. There is no increase in real value of it, just an increase in price, which actually is a devaluation of the currency. The money simply buys less, as reflected in the price which is ever rising over time. THAT is inflation, no matter how you look at it, or no matter to what you attribute the cause.

People think that rising prices are beneficial to them. Sure, they have more money now than before, but it doesn't buy more, it buys less. They don't realize it because they only think short term.

Remember, the government can always print more of what is in your wallet. Inflation is the cruelest tax of all: it fools people into thinking they are getting wealthier, when in reality they aren't.
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Old 04-12-2011, 02:03 PM   #110 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Thymeclock View Post
Yes, that's in one year. Compare prices over ten years and tell me there is no inflation.
But you're changing the rules, now. We never said there was NO inflation, just that it's not anywhere near the food prices going up 100-200% a year range.

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I can remember that ten years ago gas was $1 a gallon (or even less). Over the ten year span, the price has quadrupled. So tell me there is no inflation.
But that increase of price of gas has almost NOTHING to do with inflation (yes, there's been an underlying 2-3% inflation for years), and everything to do with increasing demand on a limited supply. If it was inflation, we would have seen the prices of everything go up by similar percentages, and they haven't.

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The ones hit the hardest are those who have to commute long distances to their work and have no alternative. They aren't nutso. You and I might be 'sitting pretty' but some are hit harder by price increases than others.
They had alternatives. They could have found jobs closer to home (or homes closer to the job), arranged to telecommute, or simply have chosen to buy cars with good fuel economy rather than the oversized gas-guzzlers that so many of them did. Then they'd be sitting pretty, too. But they chose to ignore all the warnings that gas prices would keep going up and up, and cling to their "Gawd gave us the right to cheap gas!" fantasies.

There was a story in the New York Times a few days ago, about how after the last mega-tsunami (a few centuries ago) the Shoguns set up marker stones at the high-water mark, warning people not to build closer to the shore. And of course people ignored them, or treated them as quaint historical relics with no relevance to the modern world...

I don't know whether they're nutso or not, but they sure were stupid.

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