Inflation and Porn

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [‘hard-core pornography’]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it…”

Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s concurring opinion on pornography (1964)

I can’t help but sympathize with Justice Potter.  He was trying to define something that’s pretty hard to pin down.  It must suck being a Supreme Court Justice.  That’s why I turned it down when they offered me the job.  Just kidding…relax!

Being of a libertarian bent I dislike virtually any form of censorship.  Thus I don’t have to define pornography.  Call it whatever you want, so long as it’s not spamming my in-box and you’re not on an Ed Meese crusade.  I don’t care.

I can ignore porn but I can’t ignore something else that’s hard to define: inflation.  The idea is simple, clear, and repeatable.  When the supply of any good or service significantly increases, the relative value of the portion already in existence decreases.  This applies to stuff; candy, crack, corn, cats, and cars.  It also applies to services; hookers, handy men, herpetologists, and hack writers.

Where this bites us in the ass is when morons go apeshit and increase the supply of money.  Using the magic rainbow money photocopier makes the money I’ve already got in my pocket worth relatively less.  The way you see it is that everything costs more.

Even Kool aid drinking flat Earther’s like Paul Krugman can’t deny the mechanism of inflation.  Some examples of inflation are so darned obvious that nobody can wish them away.  (Wikipedia lists 30 some examples hyperinflation.)

Given that theoretical basis, I’m convinced that inflation was a done deal when the government crapped huge bucketloads of cash in 2008 and 2009.  Not “is it likely?” but rather “when and how much”.  I’m not predicting (nor ruling out) hyperinflation but I was (and remain) almost certain that Jimmy Carter level inflation is a mathematical certainty in the long run.  (Hint, the inflation rate for 1980 was 13.58%.  There is no reason on God’s green earth why 13.58% is impossible again.)

Life seems to indicate my guesses are correct.  For anything that I buy year after year I try to keep an eye on the price.  My memory ‘aint perfect but it’s ok.  Nearly anything where I can clearly remember last year’s price has a noticeably higher price this year.  There are a few exceptions, notably gasoline (which is subject to deliberate Federal manipulation), houses (which are still reeling from the mortgage bubble), and computers (which seem to be sticking with Moores Law).

So if everything but gas, houses, and iDevices are getting more expensive, isn’t that inflation?  Everything from my morning coffee to a bag of chickenfeed has increased.  Yet the press seems to be bludgeoning me with news that it’s not happening.  Here are some random links I picked off Google in five minutes:

There are several possibilities:

  1. Everything is getting cheaper and I’m a victim of confirmation bias.
  2. The government is playing games when defining inflation.  (In part this is expected.  The consumer price index ignores food and energy, which only makes sense for people who don’t eat and ride a mule to work…the zombie Amish?)
  3. Google is biased and pleasant news floats to the top of the search.  (Don’t be evil.)
  4. The media has their pet Democrat in power so all news is good news.  (Duh!)

What I can’t get my head around is that nobody seems to notice inflation even though it seems obvious to me.  (Name a monthly bill that’s gone down!  Name daily stuff people buy that’s getting cheaper.  Find a receipt from 2010…for anything…and go buy the same thing today.)

If the emperor has no clothes why exactly am I the one to notice and care?  Buy anything from box of cornflakes to a cell phone plan to a brake pad and more money will leave your wallet.  How is this not inflation?

Please tell me that someone has broken into my house and changed the price labels on my pantry goods and hacked my farm records.  The alternative, that everyone is denying what they see with their own eyes, is too freaky.

Like Supreme Court Justice Potter Steward…I know it when I see it.  And I’m seeing it.

About AdaptiveCurmudgeon

Adaptive Curmudgeon is handsome, brave, and wise.

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0 Responses to Inflation and Porn

  1. Kevin Baker says:

    You’ll note they leave food, etc. off the “inflation” calculations. I can tell you that a week’s worth of groceries last year cost $50-$75 less than it does now.

  2. Joe in PNG says:

    As part of my job, I have to track the US dollar to PNG Kina exchange rate. That the dollar is losing ground to the currency of a corrupt, undeveloped, disogranized place like PNG just astounds me.

  3. MSgt B says:

    2.The government is playing games when defining inflation. (In part this is expected. The consumer price index ignores food and energy, which only makes sense for people who don’t eat and ride a mule to work…the zombie Amish?)

    You remember my coffee comment a couple weeks ago. I think food is what’s hitting people in the wallet the most. You have to eat. You don’t get a choice.

  4. jefferson101 says:

    “Jimmy Carter” inflation? You, Sir, are a blind optimist.

    Given the amount of unsupported currency poured into the economy in the last few years, I figure that we’re looking for somewhere in the vicinity of Wiemar Germany, give or take a zero.

    I’m cheerfully converting most of my ready cash to things that will hold value. Gold, Silver, Copper, Brass, and Lead, for starters, with emphasis on the “Copper, Brass, and Lead” part, IYKWIMAITYD. I also have the means to use that “Copper, Brass, and Lead” stuff.

    Beyond that, hard goods. Sewing Machines are a great investment, as are Chainsaws. Nails, Bolts, Screws and other hardware? Also good. Fish-hooks, Fishing poles and reels are also good. Shovels hoes, rakes, post hole diggers, or whatever.

    Just don’t be stuck in all cash once the thing hits, because it’s going to be Kitty bar the door all the way back to $100,000,000 for a cord of firewood, and the money will burn just as well and perhaps as hot as the firewood would, but not for as long, and the coals will get cold a lot quicker.

    Hang onto your socks, folks. It’s going to get to be a really fun ride before much longer.

  5. Pingback: The Other Half Of The Misery Index | The Adaptive Curmudgeon's Blog

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