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Having finally got round to reading this diary you got me looking for UK stamp prices. and while looking came across this.

Postal-Math

The actual values of the CPI are listed below. There are actually several Consumer Price Indexes, depending on the particular "market basket" (set of consumer goods) included, the set of consumers involved, and geographical factors. Two of these CPIs are used most frequently. In the 1996 Green Book, the House Committee on Ways and Means explains the difference between the two indexes as follows:

Prior to 1983, the CPI measured housing prices using a procedure that included changes in the asset value of owned homes. Because the asset value of houses was growing so much faster than the consumption value, the inflation rate that included asset values was excessive.
In 1983 the Bureau of Labor Statistics began using a rental equivalence approach to measure the value of housing. The official CPI-U inflation rate is based on the asset value of housing prior to 1983 and rental equivalence in 1983 and later. To provide a consistent time series, the Bureau constructed an experimental series, the CPI-U-X1, for 1967-82 based on rental equivalence. The general effect of using the CPI-U-X1 is to lower inflation in past years which in turn has the effect of lowering poverty thresholds for those years. A lower threshold means that fewer people are poor. As can be seen by comparing the first two columns in table H-7, adjusting the poverty threshold using the CPI-U-X1 reduces the official poverty rate by an average of about 1.5 percentage points (11 percent or 3.4 million persons) per year between 1979 and 1994.

So if I understand what I'm reading, the inflation figure was fudged so that the poverty level was artificially  reduced during the Reagan and BushI years.  Yet another nail in the coffin of Republican economic competence.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Thu Oct 11th, 2007 at 11:49:42 AM EST
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