Trust Your “Actual” CPI – Not “Reported”

(We’ll get to the ECB going negative on rates after this.)

What, trust the CPI?  In a word:  No.  They have almost no bearing on your life and they apply only to alien life forms on some other planet, near as we figure it. There’s a lot of background to the contrary on the (massive) Labor Department website:  Take this FAQ...

“2. How is the CPI market basket determined?

The CPI market basket is developed from detailed expenditure information provided by families and individuals on what they actually bought. There is a time lag between the expenditure survey and its use in the CPI. For example, CPI data in 2016 and 2017 was based on data collected from the Consumer Expenditure Surveys for 2013 and 2014. In each of those years, about 24,000 consumers from around the country provided information each quarter on their spending habits in the interview survey. To collect information on frequently purchased items, such as food and personal care products, another 12,000 consumers in each of these years kept diaries listing everything they bought during a 2-week period.

Over the 2 year period, then, expenditure information came from approximately24,000 weekly diaries and 48,000 quarterly interviews used to determine the importance, or weight, of the item categories in the CPI index structure.

“3. How is the CPI sample created?

A particular item enters the CPI sample through a process called initiation. This initiation process, typically carried out in person by a CPI data collector, involves selecting a specific item to be priced from the category that has been designated to be priced at that store. For example, suppose a particular grocery store has an outlet where cheese will be priced. A particular type of cheese item will be chosen, with its likelihood of being selected roughly proportional to its popularity. If, for example, cheddar cheese in 8 oz. packages makes up 70 percent of the sales of cheese, and the same cheese in 6 oz. packages accounts for 10 percent of all cheese sales, and the same cheese in 12 oz. packages accounts for 20 percent of all cheese sales, then the 8 oz. package will be 7 times as likely to be chosen as the 6 oz. package. After probabilities are assigned, one type, brand, and container size of cheese is chosen by an objective selection process based on the theory of random sampling. The particular kind of cheese that is selected will continue to be priced each month in the same outlet.

This item will be repriced, monthly or bimonthly, until it is replaced after four years through sample rotation. Repricing is usually done in person, but may be done via telephone or the internet. The process of selecting individual quotes results in the sample as a whole containing a wide variety of specific items of a category roughly corresponding to consumer purchases. So the cheese sample (or the new vehicle sample, the television sample, etc.) contains a wide variety of styles and brands of cheese, vehicles, televisions, etc.”

That Doesn’t Cover Hedonic Adjustments

I mean people will change-down to pot roast from filets in groceries, but what about all the other crap we buy?  If you know where to look:

The hedonic quality adjustment method removes any price differential attributed to a change in quality by adding or subtracting the estimated value of that change from the price of the old item. Hedonic quality adjustments for rent and owners equivalent rent are used primarily to adjust for the age of a rental unit, and for utility adjustments.

More information on hedonic quality adjustment may be found on our page containing responses to frequently asked questions.

CPI Item Categories that Utilize Hedonic Quality Adjustments:

  • Men’s Suits, Sport Coats and Outerwear
  • Men’s Shirts and Sweaters
  • Men’s Pants and Shorts
  • Boys’ Apparel
  • Women’s Outerwear
  • Women’s Dresses
  • Women’s Suits and Separates
  • Girls’ Apparel
  • Men’s Footwear
  • Boys’ and Girls’ Footwear
  • Women’s Footwear
  • Major Appliances
  • Televisions
  • Other Video Equipment
  • Photographic Equipment and Supplies
  • Rent of Primary Residence
  • Owners’ Equivalent Rent of Primary Residence
  • Smartphones
  • Land-line Telephone Services
  • Internet Services
  • Cable and Satellite Television Services

There’s also a hedonic-like technique to adjust down based on computer costs and 3G versus 4G and things like that – all chances to make things look good.  Point being people buy what’s cheap and if you’re willing to be fashion-police-bait, hobble with 3G, and like hamburger a lot, great…you may be able to come in about where the CPI says.

Much more and we will be hedonic’ed out of a nice smoky Gouda into something like Kraft American Singles…We’ve already dumped the Trump Vodka, which, like his presidency, saw some of the novelty wear off.  More on the order of $2-Buck Chuck now.  (Although in a flourish of marketing skill, I’ve convinced Elaine than Sangria by the jug is healthier than $40-buck a fifth tequila.)

On the other hand, our food costs are up well over 10% compared with last year (we eat well…very well…in fact, my stomach believes I’m rich).  I’ve talked with numerous head of cattle on the road into town and not one of them is making any more per hour.  Yet filet mignons are up to $24 and change a pound now.  Here’s a FauxSnooze story from 2013 that cited $13.99 a pound…so six years to almost double is what inflation rate?

(9.4% but hey!  You have a calculator, too, right?  Lot closer to our “actuals” overall, too…)

Hell no, you can’t trust claims.  Look to your checkbook and your freezer for “actuals.”

That gets us to the reason we watch the CPI  (honest or otherwise) so closely at this time a year:

8. How is the CPI used by the Social Security Administration(SSA) to calculate Cost of Living Adjustments (COLAs) for Social Security recipients?

Congress amended the Social Security Act of 1935 with public law 92-336 in 1973.Part of that amendment called for automatic annual cost of living increases to be made to Social Security payments based on the CPI.

The COLA is defined as the percent increase between the third quarter average of the CPI-W for a given year and the previous peak third-quarter average of the CPI-W. BLS calculates the CPI-W and other CPI series, but we do not determine policy regarding how these series are used by other agencies, nor are we involved in making or adjusting Social Security payments. Additional information about the COLA is available on the SSA website.

OK…see if you can remember all that as we  now lay out this morning’s CPI report…this is a cross your fingers, arms, and legs moment:

The Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) increased 0.1 percent in August on a seasonally adjusted basis after rising 0.3 percent in July, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Over the last 12 months, the all items index increased 1.7 percent before seasonal adjustment.

Increases in the indexes for shelter and medical care were the major factors in the seasonally adjusted all items monthly increase, outweighing a decline in the energy index. The energy index fell 1.9 percent in August as the gasoline index declined 3.5 percent. The food index was unchanged for the third month in a row.

The index for all items less food and energy rose 0.3 percent in August, the same increase as in June and July. Along with the indexes for medical care and shelter, the indexes for recreation, used cars and trucks, and airline fares were among the indexes that increased in August. The indexes for new vehicles and household furnishings and operations declined over the month.

The all items index increased 1.7 percent for the 12 months ending August; the 12-month increase has remained in the range of 1.5 to 2.0 percent since the period ending December 2018. The index for all items less food and energy rose 2.4 percent over the last 12 months, its largest 12-month increase since July 2018. The food index rose 1.7 percent over the last year while the energy index declined 4.4 percent.

Depending on who you are, this report will mean different things.  The Federal Reserve looks at the cost of all goods, less food and energy because that’s “more stable” and “reliable.”  Which is a crock because unstable, unrealiable, or not, people still have to buy what they need and those are what you call in accounting actuals.  The rest?  Well, anyone with a spreadsheet can make shit up all day long. (I did that in the corporate world a lot.  Just learn that “made up shit” says “pro forma” on top (or “projected”) and you’ll be fine   But it doesn’t mean groceries got cheaper, though, know what I mean?

Same thing with gasoline.  Triple A says national it’s $2.571 a gallon. A year-ago it was $2.843…so big decline there.  Damn shame property taxes don’t get directly measured and reported in aggregate.  Gas has gone down but want to take today’s side bet on the cost of local and state government?

Retail Sales and Import-Export prices tomorrow.  Do some toe-touches at the gym today.  We don’t want you getting hurt grabbing your ankles tomorrow.

ECB Goes Negative

Press release out this morning:

“(1) The interest rate on the deposit facility will be decreased by 10 basis points to -0.50%. The interest rate on the main refinancing operations and the rate on the marginal lending facility will remain unchanged at their current levels of 0.00% and 0.25% respectively. The Governing Council now expects the key ECB interest rates to remain at their present or lower levels until it has seen the inflation outlook robustly converge to a level sufficiently close to, but below, 2% within its projection horizon, and such convergence has been consistently reflected in underlying inflation dynamics.

(2) Net purchases will be restarted under the Governing Council’s asset purchase programme (APP) at a monthly pace of €20 billion as from 1 November. The Governing Council expects them to run for as long as necessary to reinforce the accommodative impact of its policy rates, and to end shortly before it starts raising the key ECB interest rates.”  More on the ‘pean website.  (There’s no ‘e’ in program, either, but I digress.)

Let’s see:   Negative rates and buying their own paper .  Want to tell me how this ends well?

In Passing

Supreme Court’s Asylum Decision: Who Will Be Impacted.

Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren to face off in third Democratic debate – I call Warren by TKO in round 3.

Time Magazine should change its name to Climate Monger Weekly with all this hitting their RSS in a row:

So far no one is mentioning the chart and the data out to 2022 we have on the Peoplenomics side for subscribers.  Marketing, marketing, marketing, kiddies.

Off to corale some coffee…Write when you get rich,

58 thoughts on “Trust Your “Actual” CPI – Not “Reported””

  1. Yesterday I watched a video about the next 1929 crash which could come by 10/01/19. The culpret is corporate stock buybacks in the amount of $5.1 trillion sice 2010, fueling this rally without interruption. According to the last 2 corrections chart wise (@ 2001 & 2008), the stock market should have had a major correction in 2014.This is the same group & same tactics that caused the 1929 crash. Corp profits & debt are used to buy stock & this creates more demand & less stock, & the stock market is based on supply & demand. Presto, less supply & more demand means higher stock prices. This reduces the amount of profits availabe to reinvest in the business & increases earnings per share, making the CEO look good & his bonus bigger. Eventually the Pyramid implodes.

    I will need to check & see if it applies to George’s 1929 chart.

  2. George,

    For the aware observer, it’s easy to tell who the real enemies of the people of the world really are. Case in point, all of the Time magazine articles. It’s a blatant and desperate marketing ploy. As any reasonable person should probably be able to deduce, after nearly 50 years of doomsday predictions some visible indicator of the end of the world should be obvious in one’s local environment. In other words, you should be able to see it outside your window. No reading of tea leaves would be required. The truth is that none of that has manifested. Instead, it’s always in some far flung place that the average person is unable to personally verify. The marketers want you to just trust them. Thanks, but no thanks.

    As a professional scientist, I can tell you that all of the models that are claimed to be so accurate are nothing of the sort. The real truth is that we’re far, far, far away from understanding our climate system. The science isn’t settled and it never has been. I’m not sure we ever will understand it.

    I’m going to link to a peer reviewed and published paper in Frontiers in Earth Science that goes into excruciating detail on how and why. For those that are interested, it’s a great read. If you don’t understand the science, my advice is to educate yourself. Your enemies are betting that you won’t.

      • MAJ 3,
        Thank you very much for elevating the discussion on Climate Change.
        Scientific consensus is important. Perhaps this will cause some or all of the 97% of the ‘Climate Affirmers’ cited by NASA to modify their positions.
        But until a new strong scientific consensus forms, do we really want to take those kinds of huge risks with something so incredibly crucial? I again hearken back to the bridge analogy. You see, at this point, it has really become a risk management issue. Best, Mike.

    • Pretty heavy stuff MAJ…a three cups of coffee read…but.. important in realizing that we are being misled a bit. Do we need to be better stewards of the earth? Of course! Is pollution a problem? Yes! Have we reached a jobs creation plateau in fossil fuel production? Yes! And, can alternative energy and the technology behind it quadruple job creation while helping solve air quality and lifestyle enhancements? Yes!

      Politicians just need to tell the truth. This Green goop Deal could be embraced if they just say that that there are new technologies available (just like typewriters to computers…landlines to cell phones…VHS to streaming) …it’s the natural business cycle) that can help make America fully employed, reduce our deficit and make America solvent again.

      • When DIY non-grid connected power becomes legal for most people(especially in cities), then there will be an economic incentive to decouple. Since grid connection is required in many cities as a precondition for “habitability”, those residences without power for a year may be condemned. It’s disgusting, but that’s the rule in many areas. Since you’re required to be connected, why not just use what little power you do after paying the monthly connection fee. In fact, why not use more power simply because it’s cheaper per kw after including the base charge? Greater freedom from these kinds of rules will result in much greater energy savings in the aggregate. Other forced services that are not always needed or wanted are central water, garbage, and gas, yet we must pay for them all. These can actually exceed real estate taxes on an annualized basis.

      • Mark,

        It is pretty heavy stuff!

        For the environmental aspects of human civilization, it’s not possible to have a modern society without some level of pollution. The United States, Canada and Europe have really great environmental regulations and they do a good job of enforcing them. The rest of the world not so much. I know there’s a lot of negative press the last few years, but it’s not nearly as dire as some would have us believe. Compared to the most of the world we have fantastic air and water quality, and therefore excellent quality of life. It’s greatly improved in my lifetime and I’m sure your’s, as well. Visit a country that has poor water quality and you’ll see a hellish place to live.

        Of course, there’s always room for improvement, but there’s an upper limit to what we can do. There are a lot of people that truly believe that we can take the planet back to a nearly pristine environment, but that’s impossible. A point is reached that it would be too expensive to proceed beyond. It’s very similar to the theory of reaching the speed of light. The closer you get to the speed of light, the more your mass increases. Once you reach just below the speed of light you would have infinite mass and therefore require infinite fuel to propel you. An impossibility. In this case, mass equals money. There’s not enough money in existence to return us to the Garden of Eden. Probably the best thing that could happen is that people take more personal responsibility towards reducing pollution. As the saying goes, be the change you want to see in the world.

        I’m not convinced that alternative energy, as it exists, can help us. There was a time that I believed that it could, but it doesn’t provide the energy density that we need. I had even seriously considered starting a company in the solar industry, but it didn’t take long for me to realize that would be a serious mistake. The market tells the truth. If it really was as great as advertised it wouldn’t need to be propped up by the government. Once a better mouse trap is created the market will move naturally in that direction and the transition from fossil fuels will be unstoppable. We’re not there yet. Maybe it’ll happen tomorrow and maybe a century from now. Of course, even if this industry took off tomorrow, it would eventually plateau and production would drop off and so would employment.

        You’re right about the plateau of fossil fuel production and jobs. That’s also technology driven. The oil and gas industry has always been a boom/bust industry. It’s great while it lasts, but when the music stops playing everybody is left without a seat. That’s probably the main reason that I went into environmental science instead of the petroleum industry.

        When I was in college there were large areas of the country that were considered non-productive for natural gas. That was the gospel. We were told don’t even bother prospecting here because we know it’s not there. That all changed once a technology was invented and proven to be cost effective. That, of course, was and is fracking. So, now we’re back to a plateau because we’ve mostly exploited those formerly unproductive areas to their fullest. In another 15-20 years technology will move forward and we’ll be off to the races again. The same thing goes for coal, too. There’s huge existing coal deposits that are known. The problem is that they’re not able to be mined economically. Maybe one day they will and maybe not.

        There’s just no magic bullet out there that will solve all of our problems.

        You’re right about politicians, too. They need to tell the truth. Of course, that’s an even more far out concept than climate change, The New Green (RED) Deal, UFOs, Bigfoot and the Lochness Monster. There ain’t no such animal!

      • Conclusion: Man-made climate change, man-made global warming, IS A SCAM! Now, it would be nice to hear you say that, Mark.

      • @ MASRK

        Yet again a ‘real scientist’ allows YOU to read a ‘real factual report’….and yet again YOU give your opinion….backed up by… a Green goop Deal stated by liars…..and to top that all off YOU make the statement that new tech can make America solvent again…..when in FACT our debt IS unpayable…( in a fiat monitary system)… in FOREVER…..unless of course you believe in Jubilee….then the debts would be ‘forgiven’……and then you could be partially correct….

      • What you are ignoring is the market drives innovation. What politicians need to do WRT “green energy” is get out of the way. Exxon is not a petroleum company, it is a chemical and energy company. When wind or solar become economically feasible, Exxon (and BP and RDS and Total and all the other majors we erroneously label as “petroleum companies”) will adopt it. Companies don’t hire employees because they are obligated to give people jobs. They hire them when the expense of labor is exceeded by the profit generated by said labor, or they go out of business.

  3. Yo G – AUFKM!?

    Euro goes NEGATIVE, brings back Open Ended – QE and andand..Got Gold?

    Supreme Court hands TRUMP another VICTORY and nothing but crickets here on UrbSurv?

    Were U bitten by a “Trump Derangement Syndrome Virus” carrying Mozzie recently? Have you become weary of Winning ? With John (killem all) Bolton gone, peace should be breaking out all over the place soonly –

    Can this market go parabolic into blow off top action? – couple more weeks of Corp Buyback activity, cheapcheapcheap money..borrow at No Cost – Buy US stocks paying Dividends
    – who couldnt make money in that scenario..hell the coot can think of several ways to arb that up into even larger gains..

    or perhaps Ure just waiting for… HyperBitcoinization to occur so U can finally trade Ure FRN’s in on something of real Bitcoins.

    • “Have you become weary of Winning ? With John (killem all) Bolton gone, peace should be breaking out all over the place soonly –”

      I have to say I am sick and tired of hearing daily how we need to go to war again and again..
      its sounds like a cheer-leading group on the news.War is not the answer…
      I think the ones that think war is the answer should be in the front lines along with their family members leading the fight they think is the ultimate answer to all the issues and showing the citizens just how its done instead of wanting to send in everyone else and their family members to suffer the consequences..

    • Maj…. The debate on global climate change…phew.. I can’t believe I am even going to give my two cents worth on this.. but even if it is man made..we are to late..
      if we stopped using all carbon products and stopped all em missions world wide the co2 levels will continue to rise for fifty years.. and that isn’t even taking in the projections from the methane and co2 that is going to increase because of the increase in deep water temperatures or the temperature variations of the arctic tundra..
      If that was a serious issue that the world was interested in changing then cities and their concrete landscaping would be going green-scaping.. so far the only country that is doing that is China. they are shooting for 100 percent power production from solar and wind to.. and now they have water polution police.. punishable by.. well you know they won’t tolerate it since they have the worlds worst water pollution.

      to stop hurricanes with nuclear weapons.. now that was brilliant.. LOL LOL of course that would reduce human population in a quick order and leave a great deal of land uninhabitable for a few hundred years and not stop the hurricane.. but.. on this issue of nuclear warheads stopping a hurricane.. god will that make a wild and great science fiction movie…. LOL

  4. “I mean people will change-down to pot roast from filets in groceries, but what about all the other crap we buy?”

    I don’t know if it is good news or bad news.. LOL but my grandson is thinking about moving into his own apartment..
    He needs a lot of that crap that we buy..I asked him what he needed.. a couch, end tables , coffee table, bed frame, dresser, side hutch for the bed, the basic stuff, and was asking me about how to go about getting it and not spend a ton of cash since what he makes is not going to cover his living expenses and his college tuition..
    I don’t know if he thought I would go out and buy it or what.. but I told him to go get a bag of kitty litter plain nothing else in it.. a six dollar bag of Portland cement and stop by the store and grab a bunch of cardboard, a pallet.. and a bag of flour..

    I said we can do this.. it was something I was wanting to do to show the kids anyway and he has two good eyes.. so we will go into construction and build the stuff he needed..
    I did ask him if he needed a futon type couch or chair or just a basic sitting chair.a side buffet that folds out for a bed or just a tv stand type of cabinet… you never know the construction is a little bit different.
    Now to see if he actually goes and gets the stuff and we get to work or he goes and scrounges some stuff up at the used furniture store… I think he is thinking I am a little nuts and can’t see the finished product in his mind.really just what can you possibly make out of that stuff right.. LOL… but yes it can be done and be nice and not cost him a lot of money that he doesn’t have for stuff he will probably use for years to come…
    The economy has been outpacing income for a long long time.. heck I remember the day when I thought if I ever made five dollars an hour I would be rich.. when my wife and I got together she was only making four seventy five till they raised nurses wages up to five bucks.. trauma nurse made less than ten… linemen for the power company made just over twelve dollars an hour.. today those positions have gone on to new heights but the average laborer has only gone a short distance in comparison.. what does a janitor make or a fast food worker.. nothing that can afford the increases in living expenses.. doesn’t make a difference if your a billionaire or a fast food worker.. the base expenses are comparable.. per square foot of space..

    I knew things would eventually have to come to a close.. you might think there is blue sky forever but in reality that is just an illusion and there is a ceiling..with the outsourcing of our critical jobs and our manufacturing jobs.. we have unwittingly put ourselves in the hands of some other country as to whether or not we survive. just my honest opinion here..

    I will show him how grandma and I did it years before..

  5. George

    “More on the order of $2-Buck Chuck now”

    OMG, I haven’t had any $2-Buck since I lived in Napa back in ’05.
    I used to buy it by the case and use it as table wine.

    I did however also visit a lot of wineries and enjoy a lot of excellent wine at some not so excellent prices. Ah, those were the days!

    “Hell no, you can’t trust claims. ”

    So I buy a pack of socks that claim to be men’s size 6 to 12. I’m wearing a 10 and the new socks feel like there for size 2.
    They started to cut off circulation in my feet.

    Threw them out.

    It seems that all men’s socks these day are sized 6 to 12.

    The bean counters at the sock factories figure they can make more money if all they produce is one size fits all.
    Soon all clothing will be one size fits all if this trend continues.
    Maybe even unisex. That might work as the young males are turning into something not manly!

    Am I the only one who has the problem with poorly sized clothing ?

    • Correct on the socks. I am a shoe size 11 & bought the size 6 to 12 low cut socks & they are small & tight. Next time 13+.

      • AND the elastic wears out so fast I only get 3-4 uses before they won’t stay where I want ’em. They fade fast. Cheap crap.

        Somebody gave me a pair of Boardroom socks a while back. Best pair of socks I’ve ever owned. Period. The. Best. Good elastic, stay up all day, comfortable, long lasting.

        $14 bucks a pair.

        I have never. Ever. Paid $14 for a pair of socks. Until now.

        I have 10 pairs. Never looked back.

      • Not only are sock skimpy on the size, they wear out much quicker than a few years ago. I get holes in the pressure points within 10-15 uses.

        Great coverage, Geo on the “COLA”. They don’t take into account higher gas prices here on the left coast. And my groc bill is at least 10% higher than last year. There’s NO WAY the retired can live solely on SS.

      • Similar problem. Whatever’s wrong with both socks and the common rubberized sneaker/shoes, they’re hot as hell and the socks only last a week. Sneakers used to breathe, and now I have to take off th the sneakers and socks when I come inside just to cool my feet. If I was sure that a pair of socks would last a year with no holes and would stay cool, I’d pay significantly more.

      • NM Mike:

        Leather breathes, canvas breathes, rubber does not. If you found a pair of ’50s vintage Converse All-Stars (“Chucks”) the uppers would be 18oz canvas, and nothing else. Shoe manufacturers began lining canvas uppers with various rubber compounds in the 1960s, and using lighter-weight canvas. Some 3rd tier companies also began substituting rubber for leather in dress shoes. Because the canvas flexed, the shoes would still breathe. That all went away by the mid-90s, as rubber uppers developed, because pretty much all the shoe manufacturers began using a thin coating of essentially this same (leather substitute) rubber as a lining for canvas shoes (and using still lighter-weight canvas, because end-users couldn’t tell the difference.)

        In school, I was in band. One of the required, member-supplied uniform pieces was a pair of Navy Dress Oxfords. The day of a concert, my oxfords turned up, eaten by the dog. I ran down to the local shoe store and bought a cheap replacement pair. They reeked before the end of the concert, and got worse with age. I asked “Why?” and Dad explained: “Imitation leather is rubber, and doesn’t breathe. It traps perspiration and grows mold. When your sweat hits that mold, the shoes stink; real leather breathes, and grows much less mold.” After a couple more concerts, Dad took me to a real store and sprang for $9 for a pair of Florsheim’s. End of problem and, lesson learned…

        Your feet will sweat like he!! in a $10 pair of sneakers. They may not sweat at all in a $90 pair of quality deck shoes. How much is comfort worth…?

    • Mike.. on the clothing sizes..

      The sizes vary according to the country they are made in.

      USA a size 9 is a size 8 if it’s made in the Balkan countries a size 10 if it’s made in Asian countries or India a size 11 or 12 if it’s made in Vietnam..

      The days when american made is long gone. I bought a name brand winter coat for my grandson that wears a medium in a usa made coat.. the coats were manufactured in another country and with a medium not only didnt the sleves reach the wrist but he couldn’t shut the coat to zip it. We ended up getting a xx wide to make it comfortable

      • LOOB you can ABSOLUTELY buy “American Made,” but you either have to get lucky at a thrift store, or you’re going to pay handsomely, for new. I believe Bill’s Khakis started the trend. They acquired an old millinery and began making their own fabric — Bill’s Navy-pattern khakis are American-made, start to finish. There are three of four others who’ve gone that same route. Duluth Trading’s in-house-made underwear is about $25/pr (which is about $20/pr more than I’m comfortable spending, but that’s subject to change as the irritation-level with my current, Sri Lankan made undies, which seem to begin to reduce to unwoven cotton after the second washing, rises…) This doesn’t count the places like Pendleton, who have always manufactured their stock in-trade items.

        The USMIL wears Bates Boots (among others.) Wolverine offshored 25 years ago. The reason Wolverine now has an American factory again is they acquired Bates, and had to maintain the U.S. factory to maintain the (highly lucrative) gummint contract. They’ve cheapened the brand by expanding the Bates line and flooding it with Chinese-made junk, The USMIL also wears Carolina Boots, which are nearly all made in USA.

        Ya gots ta read da labels, not da brand names. Real American, and real European quality are still available in abundance. However, quality ain’t cheap. When you find it, if you want it, you WILL pay…

    • There are a number of companies which still make proper socks.

      If you want them, you WILL pay!

      I wear WigWam when I need socks that fit, but Boardroom makes proper socks, so do Pendleton, Woolrich, and pretty much every other American clothier that’s still around and still makes stuff in the U.S. (I have Woolrich long-distance hiking socks in my GO-Bags. I believe they’re 50/45/5 or 50/47/3 wool/cotton/spandex.) I also wear Gildan athletic socks when I need decent quality and don’t care so much about the fit (9-12 is close enough, if I’m driving.) The majority of the Gildan stuff is offshored, but they still make SOME T-shirts, socks, and underwear in the U.S. Hudson’s Bay Company is still around. The last time I looked they were still making Indian blankets, and using proper UK-sourced Shetland wool, but they have transitioned over the years from a milliner to a marketer, and I’m unfamiliar with their current product line.

      The cheapest good socks I’ve found are WigWam, which can be found at only $8-9/pr. The Woolrich socks I have, cost between $12-14, although IIRC the hiking socks were painfully north of $20, and that was several years ago.

      I dunno if they ship out of their region, but (Wisconsin-based) Menard’s Building Materials and (Michigan-based) Meijer both sell WigWam at a discount, and Meijer also sells a few Woolrich products…

  6. On the socks topic. I have to go to the Sasquatch store to find socks that fit my 14 inch feet. when I went to get 13+ socks they cut off the circulation.I have to special order my socks so I can understand why all clothes don’t fit I have to special order all my clothes shirts and pants usually from the Sasquatch store.

    • For real. If we are a country with a weight problem, why is it so hard to find men’s pants sized 44 or larger in the main retail stores?

    • We’ve sorta had this discussion on these topic before; try finding shoes with an arch support already built in (like the good old pre-manufacturing exodus from the USA times), you can’t. Thus, millions of people have problems with their feet, and thus, another wonderful money maker called arch supports are sold in stores and in specialty stores. Hundreds of millions of dollars in arch support crapola is sold (a lot of it doesn’t work, AND if it works, not for long, OR it’s WAY too expensive! How the hell did the Great Depression folks find their way walking all over without good shoes? They may have had only ONE pair, but it was built to last and FIXABLE.

  7. Trump’s campaign is now sending out text messages basically asking if you are going to vote for him in the next election – I give him 90 days before there is some kind of excuse that he won’t be running …….

    • I doubt he needs donations.. he ran the last one on his dime.. but.. I could seriously see him saying.. I have had enough and get out of the race.. even though I think he is the right man for the job.. the stress has to be immense.. you can see the strain he is in a position where he and his entire family is being attacked from every angle.. who do you trust.. who did the deep state buy off.. we already know that congress is being trafficked to do the will of their benefactors.. so is the majority of those in power for other area’s of our country..
      Why would he even want it.. another four years of whining and crying and wailing..

      then tell congress.. hey.. why don’t you….

      • Let me just say this – I come from the humblest of backgrounds in the Midwest. I have never donated to a single candidate til Trump. I can tell you he begs for donations at least weekly – if not more. My take and I’m critical of everything and everyone in politics regardless of party – raised Dem switched to Rep for business reasons.. I love coal I’m going to save coal. Zip, nada. I’m going to pull us out of the middle east. crickets. I’m going to pass the biggest tax package in History – only if you make 100k (I fall in this category and I can see the writing on the wall) or more totally trashed everyone below that who voted for him. Now wants reduced capital gains tax which again would help who? I love Shale (will ease sanctions on Iran) and destroy the Texas Shale oil business – I live in Texas. Had a Rep house and Senate for 2 years – I’m going to build a wall – nothing, zero. Rebuilt parts of existing wall, secured $3.2B for more wall out of a projected $20B expenditure so we are going to get .16% of the wall built – total joke. Trade wars are easy to win – China will pay for the Tariffs – has destroyed the everyday hard working farmer (not the ultra rich, Corp farmer) guess my background. You just got your trade war victory – temporary truce – there will not be more – total waste of time and destroyed business’s everywhere. Ran on a ticket of an evil Federal Reserve who has kept rates way to low and has blown a huge bubble – today – rates aren’t low enough should be at least zero and a new even bigger bubble. Wake up the writings on the wall.

      • You are totally right clawsey.. he has been fought the whole distance that is why I think his family would be telling him to run not walk away from that nightmare…. everything he has gone for has been stopped or relentlessly attacked .. even with that he has done more than any president that I have seen in my lifetime.. I haven’t gotten any requests for money but then I am a democrat.. I do get a few every day from the clinton foundation and yes several a day.. and a few for other candidates on the party ticket.. I never got one from Bernie though.. strange you would think he would be asking or them..
        I to come from the bottom of the economic structure and have worked the humblest of jobs to survive.. so I do know where you are there in retrospect to my past work history.. thinking about scraping fat off the hides of road kill even now kills my appetite for anything when I think of it LOL… its not pretty to be the catfish at the bottom of the pool for me it is hard to watch how bad they treat him.. I wonder sometimes just how far he could have gone if he had had any support at all in DC during his presidency….
        I do think he is trying.. If I was his kids or wife I would be a nag telling him to walk away from this.. with his income and his wealth.. sit back and relax hes in his twilight years..enjoy them.. the puppeteers are going to get what they want anyway..

      • ‘On his own dime..???’ Deep State of Denial….

        $30 million from NRA in 2016…

        Now the NRA is broke!

        And let’s not forget about his ‘massage parlor donor’

        Of course this won’t be posted, it offends those in Don’s Deep State of Denial!

    • …Not seein’ any. I’m getting nearly daily solicitations from the RNC though, sometimes as the RNC, sometimes with the name of a high-profile Republican tacked-on.


      I’ve only been a registered Republican for 5 years.

      FWIW when I was both a registered Democrat and a registered Independent, I was mailbombed by the DNC. After registering as a Repub, the Dems stopped asking for money, but it took nearly three years for them to do so…

      I think I’m gonna try “Constitution” or “Libertarian” Party next. Any wagers on how long it’ll take the Repubs to drop me from their “potential sucker” rolls…?

      I am not totally averse to donating to an individual, non-incumbent candidate. If I did choose to do so, the letter after their name would make absolutely no difference. When I found out about the $2mln stipend each of the Fools receives every year, over and above their paycheck, for “personal expenditures” however, I did get kinda p!ssy WRT funding re-election campaigns…

  8. George, on the PN Site 1929 chart for 9/14/19, could you compare 1929 with today’s market by ending Friday’s 9/13/19 market close at the 1929 high which I think was 9/3/29. I think this would be a better indicator to see when the market is ready to crash. The chart would be focusing on the end result, crash, that we are looking for. Then each Wed & Sat move it up. It would show less of this rally, but would be in line with 1929.

  9. George my spydy senses are tingling and am looking for a reason. Just wondering if any of your learned subscribers are noticing any difference in store traffic (Wally World) and other grocers. Less street traffic. Eating joints not so crowded. Just an overall lethargic feeling just the last few days. Does it have anything to do with the migratory birds vacating our areas early. Just want to throw this out for possible comments.

  10. Amazes me the scare tactics those on the left are using on the “Globull Warming/Climate change” topic. Earth’s climate is ALWAYS changing, and didn’t Al Gore ten years ago say half of Florida would be under water by now? I know they have probs in S. Miami when there’s a “king tide” but WTF?
    All these people want is another tax to lay on us, and of course, more power for themselves.

  11. Health Note: Lots of good science behind eating daily calories in 6 to 8 hr time frame for healthy longevity.

  12. George, for the sake of your readers, stop posting like you don’t know the Chapwood Index exists.

    “Ed Butowsky’s motivation to create the Chapwood Index came from a desire to help people rescue their finances from fixed-income despair after the passing of his mother. Ed’s mother was divorced, and because of the CPI, her alimony payments were under-adjusted. They failed to reflect her actual cost of living percentage increase year in and year out. Slowly, her ability to make ends meet deteriorated, and she was forced to take a job at Saks Fifth Avenue in order to afford birthday gifts for her grandchildren and other necessities. When Ed’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, she suffered through agonizing rounds of chemotherapy and continued working at Saks because she had no other way to meet her financial needs.

    How did Butowsky’s mother end up like this? She fell victim to a fixed income based on the flawed CPI that failed to accurately reflect inflation.

    • E/Expat

      Most of us that live in the real world already know the cost of living per area..

      Had a gentleman come up to me in the eighties and say.. I came here because they said jobs were plentiful.. what they didn’t tell me was that it took several to make a living..

      The ones that don’t really get it.. are the ones that still see families that are on govt. social programs as leaches on society..
      rather than seeing that those programs that are really intended to help those in desperate needs is being used as a tool to increase the profit margins of large corporations so that the upper level can show a higher gain to increase their bonuses and wage structures. Turning a service that is intended for short term help help into a daily source for survival for the average working person.. it was three to one.. this year it is two to one…. in turn laying the survival of the average working parent through those programs on the already working poor and turning a temporary catastrophic assistance program into a daily living program..

      just how I see it..

      • I could certainly testify this to be correct for NYC. Depending on one’s style of living it could even be above +20% from year ago.

    • Riiiight…

      I can’t believe I’m responding to you, Jon, but c’mon, sonny…

      Because Democrats can NOT get elected at the National level by telling their constituents how they believe and what they wish to do when they get their hands on Congressional power, they deflect any such questions. Part of their deflection is to scare voters away from Republican candidates.

      I am SO TIRED of hearing Sean Hannity use “Dirty air, dirty water, throw granny off a cliff…” somewhere in his monologue, EVERY FRICKIN’ DAY, but the DNC has been using these, and other also obviously false “campaign points,” to score voting points with Low Information Voters IN EVERY SINGLE POLITICAL CAMPAIGN SINCE the 1960s, which is why he does it. I would MUCH RATHER hear Hannity mock Democrats over their true beliefs rather than campaign-rhetorical lies. It’s inefficient and boring, and unfortunately, less-boring from Hannity than it is, the Democratic Machine.

      You link to VOX, which is a neocommunist disinformation site whose current principal directive is to destroy Trump by any possible means, because he stands in the way of their desired political destruction of the U.S. I assume this means you also desire that the USA become the USSA?

      Please go troll someplace else. While you’re at it, acquire some less-biased news sources. I suggest Russia Today and The People’s Daily…

    • “Fiat voluntas tua, sicut in caelo, et in terra.”

      Clearly tells us: WE are not in charge to whatever happens.

      P.s. Opinions may vary?!

    • my personal favorite saying is…from T White out of his book the once and future king….It goes..

      “Fatum hominis membra non separet. Si ergo dividendo nucibus iactis tandem mutuo Curabitur compendium ex distinctis arbores”

      “The Destiny of Man is to unite, not to divide. If you keep on dividing you end up as a collection of monkeys throwing nuts at each other out of separate trees.”
      T.H. White, The Once and Future King

      enjoy the book by the way.. it is a classic and well written.. I haven’t read it in years but loved it when I was but a boy.. his other book is pretty good to.. the book of merlin..

      • god I am glad I put in the text I had translated into latin.. LOL LOL it doesn’t back translate as good as it did the other way…
        anyway its a great book.. a lot of wisdom in it.. and one of the books that start legends and get young kids interested in reading..

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