The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the central statistic the federal government uses to calculate inflation. The CPI is a statistic used by the government to track the cost of goods and services. Beginning with the Jimmy "I will never lie to you" Carter administration, food and energy were removed from the CPI because of the volatility in pricing of these items, but that has since been extended to include anything that reflects unstable or volatile pricing. This was done because this volatility in pricing interfered with long-range projections concerning inflation.

Since we went off the gold standard, which demanded we don't spend more than we make, it made it too hard for the Federal Reserve - a private, for-profit banking institution - to manipulate the markets to its benefit and to create inflation, recession, or depression when it felt it was necessary. John Williams, a veteran economist who has specialized in breaking down figures and investigating any moves the government makes concerning economic factors, said that if the government reported inflation accurately, the inflation rate would be at 11 or 12 percent, meaning cost-of-living adjustments would have to be paid to seniors and others receiving incomes from the government.

It was imperative to remove from the index, for example, expensive items, including food and energy, because that would push the index higher. Of course the reasoning behind including these items meant people on fixed incomes such as Social Security would have to be paid according to law a cost-of-living adjustment. I reckon we seniors need to consider quitting eating when food prices go up and stay home when gas prices go up if we are to satisfy these corporate businesses, government economists, and politicians.

It seems that is the only way food and energy cost can be included in the CPI. Although not publicly, we are classified as dead weight the same way non-production costs are to a business. Although we are human beings and not commodity items such as paper and pencils, we are nothing more to these people than overhead cost. To these corporate reprobates, politicians, and economists, our past contributions to society mean nothing because they feel the best thing we could do for our country is to die. So when you hear that famous quote as it has been used recently - "Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country" - you can now read between the lines to accurately translate the new meaning as it applies to we seniors today.

Already there are some that demand we have outlived our usefulness and have a duty to die. I must admit this comes from a close advisor to Hillary Clinton, Richard Lamm. In 1984, he said: "Old people have a duty to die and get out of the way." I reckon we are following the example of the EU, which has euthanasia laws intact in case national tragedies occur.

Manipulation of this sort has become commonplace in Washington these days. Employment figures are used to score big points for candidates for office. When we hear low unemployment figures, we are certainly glad to hear it, but when one learns how deceptively manipulated these figures are, it is not so nice. For one example, part-time jobs are figured into the equation to make politicians look good. What about the people who are trying to scratch out a living on a part-time/no-benefit wage job? At least they did do something about this by extending welfare benefits to these people.

As far as the fixed-income Social Security recipient goes, they haven't done anything for them in the here and now except for the socialized medical system of Medicare. They keep telling us Social Security is going broke, and maybe it is, but out of the other side of their mouths they are pushing as hard and fast as they can go to give Social Security benefits to reward people that have violated our sovereign laws by coming into our country illegally.

Seniors: Unless we get our collective heads out of the sand and stand united to throw all incumbents out of office, it is only going to get worse. After all, we make up 70 or better percent of the population. Never mind that many of us fought to retain the freedoms Americans enjoy today or contributed to making America the most sought-after country in the world today. With steak prices going up, we seniors must do our part to help the CPI by eating hamburger, and when that goes up, we must eat Kibbles 'n Bits until pricing for these items goes back down. We have to admit we are somewhere in between a rock and a hard place, and must do something about it.


David L. Lamon

Lufkin, Texas

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