The Chapwood Price Index - deceptive

Reading a rightish-wing site I came across an article citing the Chapwood Index as being a better index than the government’s for changes in the cost of living. Okay, someone has come up with what they think is a better CPI. But you shouldn’t take it at face value, because you should look at the things they include: pool service, lawn service, maid service, leap frog, fillet (steak, I assume), and those are just for starters. I suppose it’s a better reference for the millionaire, but there are an awful lot of luxuries in there which are simply not relevant to the ordinary working person.

You are drawing attention to some strange little-known “inflation index” that cites no research methodology other than the author apparently asking his friends what they buy. It includes such bizarre and unexplained items as “leap Frog” and “Leap frog games” (two separate items!) and “comet”. And for all the supporting information provided with the list, it could be giving the same weight to “furniture polish” and “trail mix” as to health insurance.

And your purpose in drawing our attention to it is - to tell us that it’s probably misleading and we shouldn’t pay any attention to it. Okay, well I guess I agree then.

What I notice about the list is there are many things that are one-time purchases, like a deep freeze or a laundry basket. Do they account for that? And they include T-bone steak but I know that the BLS considers substitution when figuring the CPI. So if steak is expensive one month, perhaps someone buys chicken instead. Do the people behind this index do that?

Apparently more obscure in the UK than the US. I knew what it meant immediately. Also, Comet is a brand of cleaning product. (I’m assuming they don’t mean this and this.)

I mention it because others are using it. So now you are forewarned.

Clearly so, I don’t think it markets over here. I’m of the generation to which the phrase would recall the Over-Eighties’ Nudist Leapfrog Club.

Can you provide a cite for where you’ve seen it used or referenced please. I’m curious who would use this as an ernest reference. And for what purpose.

I’m sorry, I’m not willing to do so. A ‘rightish-wing site’ is as far as I’m willing to go.

For me, the first page of a Google search contains several links to sites pushing gold and bitcoin, with an obvious interest in inflationary fearmongering. The only major site on the first page is a Fox News story - from 2012.

Thank you for your concerned public service in warning us about this new index that’s all over the interwebs telling us truthily about the economy; or perhaps less so since it has become more difficult to blame Obama for secret hyperinflation.

Ordinary middle-class Americans can easily afford things like gardening service, pool service, and cleaning services. Americans have far more disposable income than people in the UK:

Tell that to those working two and three jobs.

People with more jobs have more money? Not sure what your point is.

Only 4.9% of all jobholders in 2017. And that describes me at one point. I had “enough” with one job but I was young and able and the money was even better, so why not?

No, people working two and three jobs so they have enough money to survive.

While reasons for holding multiple jobs include meeting regular household expenses, they also include paying off debt, saving, getting experience, buying something special, and just flat out enjoying it. Some jobs cap you at 30 hours. So if you want to work 40 (or more which is totally reasonable), you’ll have to find a second.

Not that it’s terribly relevant. Pointing out that not every American has higher disposable income is in no way a rebuttable to comparing American disposable income to UK disposable income. I’m not sure why you even brought it up.