Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Somewhere between economists and reality...

This gem comes from Reuters;
The president of the New York Federal Reserve Bank doesn't normally face a raucous crowd.

But in Queens, New York, on Friday, William Dudley was bombarded with questions about food inflation, and his attempt to put rising commodity prices into a broader economic context only made things worse.

"When was the last time, sir, that you went grocery shopping?" one audience member asked.

Dudley tried to explain how the Fed sees things: Yes, food prices may be rising, but at the same time, other prices are declining. The Fed looks at core inflation, which strips out volatile food and energy costs, to get a better sense of where inflation may actually be heading.

So, Dudley sought an everyday example of a price that is falling.

"Today you can buy an iPad 2 that costs the same as an iPad 1 that is twice as powerful," he said referring to Apple Inc's (AAPL.O) latest handheld tablet computer hitting stories on Friday.

"You have to look at the prices of all things," he said.

This prompted guffaws and widespread murmuring from the audience, with one audience member calling the comment "tone deaf."

"I can't eat an iPad," another quipped.
Proof, if it were needed, that the central figures of capitalism live in a very different world from us. They don't have to live hand-to-mouth, and so whilst we see our monthly food bills rising they see cheap iPads.

Which is yet another reason why we cannot argue away austerity measures and class struggle. We have to wage war upon the economy so that they sit up and take note.