View Poll Results: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

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Thread: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

  1. #141
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Would you call the CPI 'raw data'? The unemployment rate?
    That is what I was referring to.
    WHICH unemployment rate? The U-3 is the commonly used rate but there are two others that I know of, probably more. I'm not an economist so I don't get into the other rates very often.

    The CPI is raw data, yes. IIRC, the there are several different CPI's, though they may not call them that anymore, just as there are several unemployment rates. What those numbers cover and how they are derived is all spelled out - the government is quite specific. In any event, the data is all there to scrutinize however you wish to use it.

    Quote Originally Posted by radcen View Post
    I would be skeptical. How they categorize the numbers could have great impact, and could easily be manipulated... either consciously or subconsciously.
    All methods of gathering government statistics are very explicitly spelled out - much, much better than anyone else out there. If you doubt the numbers or have some issue with them then I would invite you to further your knowledge by reading exactly what it is they tally and where they get those totals. The government makes no attempts to hide the data or the method(s) used in acquiring the data.



    People who don't trust government data either don't understand the data, don't understand the method of gathering the data, or need to visit the Conspiracy section.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-05-12 at 02:04 PM.
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    Then tighten up the law and refuse future bailouts and gov't loan guarantees. Simple really.
    HR 1489 has 63 co-sponsors and can't get passed. Why do you suppose that is?

    Return to Prudent Banking Act of 2011 (H.R. 1489) - GovTrack.us
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    WHICH unemployment rate? The U-3 is the commonly used rate but there are two others that I know of, probably more. I'm not an economist so I don't get into the other rates very often.

    The CPI is raw data, yes.
    With respect, the CPI is not 'raw' data'. It used to be somewhat raw' data' - but not any longer.

    The U.S. CPI is only partially derived by the the straight numbers of how much prices went up. Today it is FAR more subjective (then say in 1980).
    Today, much of the rate is decided upon subjectively by people on the basis of efficiencies.

    For example - if the same model of computer costs 5% more year-over-year BUT the people that tabulate the CPI numbers decide that the new model is 10% more efficient then the old one, then the price of that computer is officially stated to have dropped by 5% - even though it did no such thing.

    And that is just one of many, many ways that the CPI is anything but just raw data.

    Not only is that a large part of how the CPI is calculated - the powers that be want to make a larger and lager part of the CPI decided upon using that arbitrary process.

    Today's CPI by design calculates the inflation rate FAR lower then it did a generation ago.

    All methods of gathering government statistics are very explicitly spelled out - much, much better than anyone else out there.
    Imo, no they are not 'explicitly spelled out. How can you spell out when you sometimes use subjective opinion to arrive at a statistic? And please show me where in the CPI tabulation that they spell out exactly how each portion of the CPI is calculated? Not just the general areas - but exactly and down to the smallest detail exactly how every single portion of the CPI is arrived at - leaving NOTHING out.

    I guarantee you that that kind of detail does not exist.


    And why?

    The answer should be relatively obvious (imo) - the government wants people to think inflation is far lower then it really is.

    All this Keynesian spending and massive deficits and ultra low interest rates to stimulate the economy all are subject to one statistic - inflation.

    If inflation rises too much - then the Fed must raise interest rates and that kills all stimuli and huge government deficits.


    Now, I am not saying the government is lying about the CPI - they are too smart for that.

    But they have decided upon a method of calculating the CPI that makes it seem far lower then the actual year-over-year increase in prices (or for that matter - far lower then the 'old' way of determining the CPI) so that they can maintain their high deficits and low interest rates policy.


    Plus, I guarantee you that the vast majority of Americans have no clue that the CPI is not calculated using the same methodology it was say 25-30 years ago.
    Last edited by DA60; 06-06-12 at 08:26 AM.

  4. #144
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    With respect, the CPI is not 'raw' data'. It used to be somewhat raw' data' - but not any longer.
    I mis-spoke. Technically none of it is "raw data" except the actual numbers. In the case of unemployment that would be the number of workers in each sector. The "unemployment rate" is a calculated percentage based on that raw data. If you want to download the raw employment data that information is usually available - often as an XLS file. I'm usually good with the government telling me 50/100 = 50%.

    As for the CPI, the way it's calculated is spelled out, including the numbers used for weights and all the other things needed to replicate what the government has done. Here's the link:
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf

    Several examples of adjustments made to the CPI:
    http://www.bls.gov/cpi/cpihqaitem.htm

    Like I said, I'm no economist --- but if you're not happy with that feel free to use whatever other verifiable published numbers are out there. I'm sure with your opinion of government numbers there must be other reliable sources for this information that are documented better than Uncle Sam's numbers.

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Plus, I guarantee you that the vast majority of Americans have no clue that the CPI is not calculated using the same methodology it was say 25-30 years ago.
    Not my problem that people can't read or don't know. That's why I don't trust reporters, newspapers, mags, networks, etc. to give me the complete picture, either. Do THEY tell us when the method has changed? No. Does Uncle Sam? Yes - if you do the search the information is there.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-06-12 at 09:04 AM.
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  5. #145
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I mis-spoke. Technically none of it is "raw data" except the actual numbers. In the case of unemployment that would be the number of workers in each sector. The "unemployment rate" is a calculated percentage based on that raw data. If you want to download the raw employment data that information is usually available - often as an XLS file. I'm usually good with the government telling me 50/100 = 50%.

    As for the CPI, the way it's calculated is spelled out, including the numbers used for weights and all the other things needed to replicate what the government has done. Here's the link:
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf

    But if you're not happy with that feel free to use whatever other verifiable published numbers are out there. I'm sure with your opinion of government numbers there must be other reliable sources for this information that are documented better than Uncle Sam's numbers.

    Not my problem that people can't read or don't know. That's why I don't trust reporters, newspapers, mags, networks, etc. to give me the complete picture, either. Do THEY tell us when the method has changed? No. Does Uncle Sam? Yes - if you do the search the information is there.
    The CPI was "adjusted" or "recalculated" to help hold down the gov't COLA benefit increases, that it "automatically" triggers, and to help mask inflation. While the unemployment numbers are "there for all to see" only some (U3) are actually reported by the MSM and those are often "adjusted" (very quietly, after the fact); by using the actual (upward adjusted) prior U3 figure and an artificially low current U3 figure one can show "trends" that do not really exist (since they may vanish, or actually reverse, upon the next "adjustment").
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-06-12 at 09:17 AM.
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  6. #146
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by ttwtt78640 View Post
    The CPI was "adjusted" or "recalculated" to help hold down the gov't COLA benefit increases, that it "automatically" triggers, and to help mask inflation. While the unemployment numbers are "there for all to see" only some (U3) are actually reported by the MSM and those are often "adjusted" (very quietly, after the fact); by using the actual (upward adjusted) prior U3 figure and an artificially low current U3 figure one can show "trends" that do not really exist (since they may vanish, or actually reverse, upon the next "adjustment").
    The main change to CPI that I recall was taking gasoline out of the basket.


    But, again, all the changes and things you've discussed are published on *.gov - whether people look at that or whether reporters tell the whole story is a different assertion.
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-06-12 at 09:44 AM.
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    I mis-spoke. Technically none of it is "raw data" except the actual numbers. In the case of unemployment that would be the number of workers in each sector. The "unemployment rate" is a calculated percentage based on that raw data. If you want to download the raw employment data that information is usually available - often as an XLS file. I'm usually good with the government telling me 50/100 = 50%.

    As for the CPI, the way it's calculated is spelled out, including the numbers used for weights and all the other things needed to replicate what the government has done. Here's the link:
    http://www.bls.gov/opub/hom/pdf/homch17.pdf

    Several examples of adjustments made to the CPI:
    Hedonic Quality Adjustment in the CPI

    Like I said, I'm no economist --- but if you're not happy with that feel free to use whatever other verifiable published numbers are out there. I'm sure with your opinion of government numbers there must be other reliable sources for this information that are documented better than Uncle Sam's numbers.
    Thanks for the info - but you are missing the point.

    The CPI rate as it is now tabulated includes a great deal of assumptions (like my above example of assuming a products increase in efficiency and thusly lowering it's CPI-based cost increase accordingly...while ignoring the actual cost increase.

    Here is an example from the top of page 11 in your first link:

    'Extended the use of hedonic regression to estimate the value of items changing in quality'

    This is not 'raw' numbers or data - this is assumptions and guesstimates...which leave the solution open to MASSIVE personal interpretation.


    And as for finding other sources for the CPI?

    Surely you jest....that is virtually impossible.

    The government simply does not release enough data to the public to do it's own CPI.

    Look around - even professional economists that doubt the CPI can only guess at it's true number (even with their vast resources in many cases), because they simply do not have access to ALL the data they require to make such a calculation.



    The CPI number is NOT the inflation rate of the United States.

    It is ONLY the government's interpretation of the inflation rate.

    Not maybe - 100% for certain.
    Last edited by DA60; 06-06-12 at 12:49 PM.

  8. #148
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    The main change to CPI that I recall was taking gasoline out of the basket.


    But, again, all the changes and things you've discussed are published on *.gov - whether people look at that or whether reporters tell the whole story is a different assertion.
    Exactly. If the gov't wants a number, like the CPI to go down, then it goes down. Since most people must still spend their money on gasoline (for work, doctor visits or shopping), even more of it lately, that makes the official gov't version of reality far different from actual reality.

    The U3 rate is also a very tricky thing. Take this simple analogy: Fill a bucket with water (total number of workers), poke a hole in the side, near the bottom and measure the outflow rate (U3). As the bucket empties that outflow rate drops, magically, all by itself, simply because the pressure (total number working) drops, the hole size did not change at all, yet the outflow rate did.
    Last edited by ttwtt78640; 06-06-12 at 12:58 PM.
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    Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.” ― George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman

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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by MoSurveyor View Post
    The main change to CPI that I recall was taking gasoline out of the basket.
    Actually, gasoline IS in the CPI...it is just not in the core CPI.

  10. #150
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    Re: Should the "too big to fail" be nationalised?

    Quote Originally Posted by DA60 View Post
    Thanks for the info - but you are missing the point.
    The CPI rate as it is now tabulated includes a great deal of assumptions (like my above example of assuming a products increase in efficiency and thusly lowering it's CPI-based cost increase accordingly...while ignoring the actual cost increase.
    Here is an example from the top of page 11 in your first link:
    'Extended the use of hedonic regression to estimate the value of items changing in quality'
    This is not 'raw' numbers or data - this is assumptions and guesstimates...which leave the solution open to MASSIVE personal interpretation.
    And as for finding other sources for the CPI?
    Surely you jest....that is virtually impossible.
    The government simply does not release enough data to the public to do it's own CPI.
    Look around - even professional economists that doubt the CPI can only guess at it's true number (even with their vast resources in many cases), because they simply do not have access to ALL the data they require to make such a calculation.
    The CPI number is NOT the inflation rate of the United States.
    It is ONLY the government's interpretation of the inflation rate.
    Not maybe - 100% for certain.
    And obviously you just took the information provided - and you could have included even more information in your personal analysis - and you came to your own conclusions. That's exactly what I've been saying. The information of how they got their numbers is there, use it as you see fit or change it and reassess, as you just did.

    As for other information not being available, anyone could do it if they wanted to do it. There are financial corporations out there with plenty of resources to get it done, so the government numbers can't be too far off or someone else would be making up their own basket and taking their own samples.


    As for what the inflation rate is or is not, I'm not an economist and can't make that call. Are you an economist? Do you have a better answer for determining inflation based on some other system?
    Last edited by MoSurveyor; 06-06-12 at 01:23 PM.
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