Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The inflation rate

I checked out the Statistics Canada inflation report. The report dated May 21, 2008 puts inflation at 1.7%.

I think if you live in Canada you wouldn't agree inflation is 1.7. Everyone eats and most people drive or use power in some way. If you've been to the gas pumps or grocery store then I'm confident your personal cost of living has increased more than 1.7%.

I know the government talks about something called a core index (whatever that is), some obscure thing most of us regular folks don't grasp.

I think a lot of people just believe the government underreports the inflation rate and just accept it. I got to thinking about why the government would report inflation as lower than it really is. I came up with some good reasons without thinking too hard about it.

I suspect a big reason is financial obligations. A lot of government entitlement and pension programs and such are superannuated programs. Which means the payout rises in step with inflation. That's good for recipients but bad for the taxpayers who are funding these programs. I remember a flap in 1985 about indexed pensions - it's the last paragraph on the page. Instead of de-indexing pensions directly the government effectively de-indexed them by just defining and reporting inflation as lower than it really is.

It's hard to blame the government in a way since if they paid out the indexed entitlements at the true rate of inflation then the nation and its taxpayers would be financially ruined. They just achieved deindexing in a stealthy way.

Another reason to underreport inflation is to make the people feel good about their standard of living. If prices are rising very slowly then that is good. Especially since wages aren't rising too quickly. So if someone gets a 2% raise and is told inflation is 1.7% then he feels he's getting ahead and is more likely to be happy with how the government is managing the economy.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Bad day at the office

I kind of admire the guy in a way. He did what I suspect most of us feel like doing at least once in a while.

Second angle

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Aches and pains

I was slowed down a bit by injuries and illness over the last little while.

A couple of weeks ago my back was bothering me. It was a strange type of back pain for me. It was in the center of the back and it felt like it was more inside. It actually hurt more overnight while I slept and woke me up from the pain. When I got up it was pretty stiff and I couldn't move very well until around the middle of the morning.

At the same time as the back pain my left knee was feeling strange. It seemed when I moved around it would bother me enough to notice. It was kind of strange dealing with two types of pain at the same time.

I was a bit worried, especially with the back as it was hard to sleep through the night. Usually you heal at night when asleep, not get injured. I tried propping a pillow under my back and that seemed to help a bit. Still I was thinking I might have to, shudder, see a doctor.

I decided to give it a rest and not go running for a week. That actually helped, I think I may have been overdoing it a bit. Then I started sleeping better which was a relief. Slowly my back and knee felt better and they've been feeling back to normal again which I'm glad about.

I've gone on a couple of shorter runs and they have gone well. I went for a run tonight and it was nice. I find I'm enjoying getting back into running after all these years. So hopefully they will stay well for a while and I won't over exert.

After my back and knee started feeling a bit better I had a sore throat for a few days. It was right after getting back from the work trip to Ontario. I think the long travelling two of the three days I was away took a tool. Plus most everyone at the office was sick at that time. So I treated that with neo citran and salt water. It hung around for a while but I tried attacking it from the very start so I think that helped. So that's cleared up again for now. Again the overexertion comes back to bite you.

So I'm glad to be feeling better again for now. I hope it can last for a while.