I recently tweeted that the only people who believe the government’s propaganda that the inflation rate is 3% are Biden’s liberal media enablers, state-employed economists and the Tooth Fairy.
The Tooth Fairy was not amused and sent me the following email which I now reprint unedited:
Dear Dr. Bentivegna,
I usually send the insipid prattle you try to pass off as sophisticated punditry to the trash bin where it belongs, but I could not ignore your recent insult to me and my colleagues.
We tooth fairies are very attuned to inflationary pressures. One year ago, a 6-year-old in New Canaan expected $15 for a front tooth and $10 for a bottom one. Molars in the 10-year-age group averaged between $20 to $30, depending on the neighborhood. Now these kids are expecting $25 for a front tooth and one of my clients recently went into a temper tantrum when she only received $40 for a molar!
My poorer clients in Bridgeport have not seen the large increases that the entitled brats in the suburbs demand. But because of skyrocketing dental costs, their parents cannot afford to take them to the dentist. Thus, my Bridgeport clients are losing their secondary teeth to cavities, adding to inflationary pressures.
I know you regard me as some mythical flying blonde bimbo, but I majored in economics at the University of Chicago so allow me to give you an oversimplified explanation (since you are obviously not the sharpest tool in the shed) on how inflation is calculated, and why I am aware that the reported 3% inflation rate is a huge scam.
Inflation is the increase in the cost of goods and services over a period of time. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) records the costs of multiple goods and services from a month ago – food, clothing, energy, health insurance cars etc. – and then records the present costs. The increase is then expressed as an annual percentage, so it is multiplied by twelve. This July, the number the government fed us was 3%.
But in order the bamboozle the public, the government can play with the percent allocation of these goods and services and artificially underestimate the actual inflation rate. For example, if housing costs were 25% of the allocation but rents increased rapidly, the BLS can reduce housing costs to 15% of the allocation and make the inflation rate less than reality.
Furthermore, the inflation rate can be calculated by consumer behavior rather than the actual costs. For example, if gasoline prices spike and consumers respond by driving less, the allocation of gasoline prices to the inflation rate is much less, even though the price of gas is much higher.
I live in a modest three-bedroom cape in Weston. Last winter, my fuel bill increased 32%. My homeowner’s insurance increased 26%. Five years ago, it cost me $700 to have the trees in my backyard pruned. This year I needed them pruned again. When the guy who had pruned them finally deigned to show up (hungover of course), he wanted two grand! Fortunately, I can fly so I just went to Home Depot, bought a chain saw and pruned the trees myself.
And don’t get me started on health care. As I am self-employed, my premiums jumped 27% and I have an $8,000 deductible. My coracoids (the joint that connects my scapulae to my wings) have become arthritic and painful requiring steroid injections that have become less effective with each repetition. Plus, my worthless insurance company, United Health Care, won’t pay for Embrel, the only drug that relieves my pain. Meanwhile, the CEO took in over $20 million last year.
The inflation rate is obviously much higher than 3%. And that’s not even mentioning the cost of buying a new house. No wonder the poor kids are living in their parents’ basements.
I despise the ruling class grifters as much as you do and yes, watching our mendacious liberal media spew this canard to protect the feckless doddering Biden annoys me to no end.
But I would appreciate it if you gave my profession some respect. We work for a living too.
The Fairfield County Tooth Fairy
Follow Dr. Joe Bentivegna on Twitter @joebentivegnamd