Krugman: FO And STARVE, Peasant! 


See, the CPI’s weighting is an average for “all urban” residents, formally called “CPI-U”, and the claim is made that about 40% of your expenses are housing, and 15% or thereabouts are food and transport, respectively.

This of course is an average. I, for example, pay dramatically less than that for my housing as a percentage of my income, because I own my home outright. I therefore pay property taxes, hazard insurance and utilities and maintenance (the latter, incidentally, is essentially missing as a sub-category on the CPI-U, and that’s a load of crap – ask anyone what the amortized per-year is on a roof, or a water heater, or a furnace or AC unit. They claim “operations” is 0.8% of income – for a $50,000 income household they claim that the total spend on all such items, from lawn care to maintenance and upkeep of the residence, is less than $500 a year?)