Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts. In his July 18 commentary, Victor Davis Hanson states: “Inflation is said to be manageable, but only by not counting soaring food, gas and electricity costs that do the most to erode family budgets.” Wrong on all counts. The largest component by far of family budgets is housing (40 percent), with food at 15 percent, gas at 5 percent, and electricity at 3 percent.
The Consumer Price Index for all Urban Consumers (CPIU), which includes food, gas, electricity and everything else American consumers buy, rose by 2.1 percent in the 12 months that ended May 2014. If you remove food and energy, the index rose by 2 percent in the same time period. The fact is that consumer price inflation remains very low by historical standards, with or without food and energy. You could look all this up on the BLS website. Hanson didn’t bother — displaying a level of economic ignorance far too common in America today.