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Guest Post: Have You Noticed This Type Of Inflation

Tyler Durden's picture


Submitted by Simon Black from Sovereign Man

Have you noticed this very deceptive form of inflation?

Every summer, my colleagues and I invite young people from all over the world for an intensive 4-day workshop about freedom and entrepreneurship.

This year’s workshop just concluded yesterday afternoon, and it was, without doubt, the best one ever.

58 students attended from countries as diverse as Tajikistan, Bangladesh, Japan, Venezuela, Singapore, Russia, the Philippines, Greece, Malaysia, Turkey, Australia, China, Belarus, Switzerland, England, Poland, Canada, the US, and many more.

These are highly motivated young people. They get it. They know that the system has completely failed them. They know that the old path of ‘study hard, get into a good school, get a good job, work your way up the ladder, and retire’ is no longer valid for their generation.

They understand that they will not be able to count on their governments for anything. They realize that they only have themselves to rely on. They’re eager to learn, and to execute.

The experience of helping shape these sharp young minds is truly invigorating. And for many of the students, it can be life changing.

Something interesting happened this year, though.

For the past several years, we have been conducting this event at a lovely resort in the Lithuanian countryside. It’s a pretty place– a nice, comfortable, relaxing environment away from all the noise and distraction of daily life.

Now, I pay for the whole thing myself. I rent out the entire resort and pick up the total cost of food, lodging, entertainment, etc. For this year’s event, my staff was able to negotiate the same price as last year, and I was happy about this.

But after the first two days, we began to notice something different: the resort was actually skimping out on our food portions!

In other words, they kept the price the same as last year… but they were delivering less value than before. In this case, it was in the form of food portions that were at least 10% smaller!

(Needless to say, we rectified this by ordering several dozen pizzas… followed by a very candid conversation with the resort’s General Manager.)

This is an example of something that I see all over the world. It’s a shadow form of inflation that I call ‘value deflation’.

You see, most people think that inflation is really all about price, i.e. paying X% more this year than last year. But this is merely one version of inflation.

At its core, inflation is loss of purchasing power. This can mean an increase in price for the same amount of stuff, or it can mean a decrease in the amount of stuff for the same price.

I see many signs of both all over the world as I travel.

Price inflation is obvious. We all know when we’re paying more because we see the price tag. When the price of food or fuel goes up, in fact, it can even result in sticker shock.

Value deflation, on the other hand, is far more deceptive. Most people aren’t that closely attuned to realize that their portions are getting smaller, that their ‘extras’ are going away, etc. We didn’t notice until our stomachs started growling.

Value deflation is not taught at university economics courses; you’ll never hear any of these Nobel economists or central bankers mention it. Stiglitz, Krugman, and Bernanke all happily tow the line that ‘there is no inflation’ because the price of iPads keeps going down.

These are the people who have the power to influence policy and conjure trillions of dollars out of thin air… and it’s amazing how easily they can hide the truth from people through this shadow inflation.

Curiously, this is what passes as a free society today. It is a truly, truly bizarre system.


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Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:02 | 2665915 Race Car Driver
Race Car Driver's picture

This is all very new(s) to me - thank you!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:06 | 2665936 Dr Benway
Dr Benway's picture

Please label Sovereign Man articles so I can avoid them.


Useless travelogue mixed with thinly veiled boasts, with a few cliched obvious facts thrown in



Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:10 | 2665954 Stackers
Stackers's picture

U.S. producers of consumer products have been steadily reducing packaging sizes for years now. There are many "news exposes" on the subject.

So, yes I have noticed this type of inflation for years now.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:13 | 2665984 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

Even more insidious is when they don't reduce packaging size, but reduce contents of the packaging.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:30 | 2666079 AnonymousCitizen
AnonymousCitizen's picture

Quite a well-known phenomenon.

See: "grocery shrink ray"

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:33 | 2666092 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Run Eliza Run!... Run from Simon!...

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:24 | 2666307 Temporalist
Temporalist's picture

One quick search and you will find thousands of articles on this topic dating back several years.


Here is one from Jan 11:


This from 2008:


Inflation doesn't exist though, and you can eat your iPad.


I think these symptoms are noticeable first in the service industry though.  Poor service comes first.  That includes public and private.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:07 | 2666444 NotApplicable
NotApplicable's picture

I just finished a bag of peanuts from our vending machine at work. A bag that was half the size of the ones there last week. Now, perhaps the quality is improved (new bags are Planters)?

*checks bag*

Nope, still the same old pesticide ridden cottonseed oil.

Oh well, arsenic is good for you, right?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:32 | 2666512 Pladizow
Pladizow's picture

To: Dr. Benway

I call BULLSHIT - you love reading Simon's articles and posting your stupid comments.

The second main line says, "Submitted by Simon Black from Sovereign Man"

If I'm wrong I appologize and never expect to see your posts on Simon's article sagain! 

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:59 | 2666579 WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot
WhiskeyTangoFoxtrot's picture

There's no indication on the main page that it's a SM article. However, I can usually tell by the headline.

Simon Black = Aleksey Vayner

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:14 | 2666273 fockewulf190
fockewulf190's picture

10% decline in food portion sizes? What were you doing last year, measuring the diameter of the burgers and compairing the results to this years?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:50 | 2666699 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

Not to mention ". . . dozens of pizzas" is a whole lot of pizza. . . anywhere. . . not just in the Lithuanian countryside.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:58 | 2666193 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Beaver:  "Gee, Eddy, why you such a creep.  Always lyin', cheatin' and stealin'?"

Eddy (grinning):  "My uncle says it will help me in business."


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:14 | 2666270 aint no fortuna...
aint no fortunate son's picture

In addition to shrinkage and reduction in contents of packaging they also hollow out bottoms of a lot of the plastic and glass food containers - if you look at the bottle from the side it looks the same but you have to turn it upside down to see its hollowed out... they're such kind and compassionate folks, always looking out for the little guy!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:55 | 2666719 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

No such imaginative methods required over here.
They just make it smaller and charge the same price.
Nobody says a thing in the media because Dentsu (AKA the fucking devil) run Bartertown.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:20 | 2666294 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

And worst of all,......Common sense isnt even common now.


Quite rare in fact.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:49 | 2666401 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

Personally... I just think everyone is getting bigger so the packaging looks smaller (sarc)

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:42 | 2666544 Gazooks
Gazooks's picture

No, last hooker was definitely a midget.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:48 | 2666691 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

I never hit bottom, so a midget is a-okay.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:22 | 2666034 Born Patriot
Born Patriot's picture

Now I'm no economist, but one thing I know is that our economy just ain't gonna grow unless we unite. Simple as that folks. Splinter groups like conspiracy theorists and libertarians are undermining the collective belief in American values, and this in turn is undermining our economy. Some people are just going to have to grow up. We can't continue to tolerate whiny little fag libertarians continuing to attack our congress and federal reserve like they're Islamic terrorists or some shit. Just get some balls dammit and stop whining!!! These are dire times and we need to be united as a country or we're not gonna make it. 

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:27 | 2666062 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

We also need to preserve our Purity Of Essence, or we won't be able reproduce.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:50 | 2666163 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

Women sense my power, and are drawn to it.

I do not avoid women, but I do deny them my essence.


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:13 | 2666263 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Flouridation is a communist plot...........thats why I only drink distilled water and scotch.


I also dont carry loose change into combat.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 20:47 | 2667045 Montecarlo
Montecarlo's picture

I second that - and in doing so, check if my avatar has been updated...


That would be a Yes. Thank you Tylers.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:52 | 2666169 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:56 | 2666184 Max Hunter
Max Hunter's picture

These are dire times

No shit Sherlock.. How the fuck do you think these dire times came about? By the very people you say we undermine by holding accountable.. You're a fucking moron and part of the problem.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:27 | 2666321 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing.


Good people have gotten damn good at doing nothing.

Lets see how this turns out.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:57 | 2666189 Dr.Vannostrand
Dr.Vannostrand's picture

Fuck off sockpuppet!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:00 | 2666204 I dont belong here
I dont belong here's picture

Fuck off, you NWO douchebag. Take your psyops somewhere else.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:26 | 2666285 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture


These are dire times and we need to be united as a country or we're not gonna make it. 

A few are gonna "make it"; most wonT.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:52 | 2666407 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

"attack our.... federal reserve" ??? Is that you Robo?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:15 | 2666468 Red Heeler
Red Heeler's picture

"Some people are just going to have to grow up."

Right on! I'm pointing my finger at those who are fifteen and under . . . . unless they were born, you know, patriots.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 19:59 | 2666737 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

"fag libertarians"? I've never once seen those two words together. Congratulations. "fag liberals"? I've seen that. But hey, I'm Libertarian. If you wanna be a fag, just go right ahead and fag out. "Banding together" is not on my menu. I'm better than you are.

I see you want back and edited the "fag" reference out of your post, Born Backpedaller.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:30 | 2666332 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

my three pound can of coffee(in 1984) has steadily shrunk to a new low of 28 ounces.

how the fuck far behind the power curve are you (simple) simon black?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:22 | 2666482 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

Once it gets down to 24 oz, they'll come out with a new "value size," can, which will, coincidentally, weigh three pounds, and be the old #10 can. And it will cost twenty bucks or more.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:15 | 2665988 paulbain
paulbain's picture

Dr. Benway wrote:

Please label Sovereign Man articles so I can avoid them.

Hell, yes!! One hundred "thumbs-up!!" I could not agree more. Gawd, is he tiresome!!

-- Paul D. Bain






Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:36 | 2666080 Popo
Popo's picture


For anyone unfamiliar with Simon Black -- let me put it this way:  He lies.  He lies consistently and about everything.

Go and look up his paper on "network infiltration" which is basically an essay on how to lie your way into situations where people trust you and pay you.

Simon teaching a class in Lithuania every year?  LOLOLOL.  There was no class.  There aren't young people flocking from all over the world to meet Simon.   He's a blogger who's purpose is to portray a fantasy image of himself as an international man of mystery.

It wouldn't be so bad if he didn't write stories about "how to lie for your financial benefit".  

Credibility:  ZERO.

Tyler, please lose this loser.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:09 | 2666246 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

The paper that "the volume of people simultaneously trying to download it temporarily crashed my Ireland-based web server over the weekend." lol

(Note on the header on that page: "As seen on Zero Hedge", etc...)



Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:17 | 2666461 Popo
Popo's picture

I mean, think about that claim for a second: He releases a paper (ie: blog post) which requires you to enter your email address in order to read it (like some cheesy marketing page) and he claims that there were so many responses to this "incredible offer" that his server crashed. (Because you know those 'enter-your-email' forms are seriously CPU intensive little buggers! Lulz)

Suuure...There must have been a veritable global stampede of students from all over the world just dying to go to Lithuania and pay Simon (who?) to talk about his entrepreneurial experience (which includes.. what? Blogging. Lol.)

His claims are so flat-out stupid that it's amazing more people here don't ridicule him.

What an ass.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 21:20 | 2667124 Hive Raid
Hive Raid's picture

"Lithuanian youth camp"... hmmm... would make good cover for a pedophile.

When Simon the corduroy Jew deliberately seeks out the poorest parts of Europe, methinks benevolently spending his hard-conned sheckels to educate the native goyim is not on his itinerary.

Jews run a thriving white slavery/prostitution trade from Eastern Europe down to Israel. Who knows how many gentile children are chained in rabbis' basements in Jerusalem.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 22:25 | 2667290 Popo
Popo's picture

Seek help.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:32 | 2666338 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

i dont often read simon blacks material, but when i do , i ignore it.


-the most interesting man in the world

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665996 New American Re...
New American Revolution's picture

Hear that, in total agreement.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:18 | 2666007 Jonas Parker
Jonas Parker's picture

"Please label Sovereign Man articles so I can avoid them."


Doc, wouldn't it just be easier for you to learn to read and then you could avoid them without help, all by yourself, like a big boy?


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:37 | 2666118 Popo
Popo's picture

Except they're frequently not credited on the homepage.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:26 | 2666051 nedwardkelly
nedwardkelly's picture

Reminds me of this whenever I see a sovereign man article

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 21:20 | 2667132 ForTheWorld
ForTheWorld's picture

Woah. Narcissists R Us.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:28 | 2666065 msmith9962
msmith9962's picture

Let me tell you a story about something obvious so you can find out how rich and fancy I am.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:49 | 2666159 terryfuckwit
terryfuckwit's picture

and very often I too can confirm a bird in the hand can be worth two in said bush

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:15 | 2666278 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

I currently have a bird in the hand, where can I exchange that for the aforementioned two?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:33 | 2666342 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

the nearest bush, i believe

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:46 | 2666389 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Deciever!!!!! I took said bird to said bush and offered it for exchange at said rate.

It flew off and now I have only a soiled hand.

If only I had bought Spanish Bonds.........................

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:54 | 2666179 Neethgie
Neethgie's picture

but he takes kids to sharpen their minds and force his world veiw on them.

he sounds like kony

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:53 | 2666567 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

No, not Kony.  More like Jerry Sandusky.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:10 | 2665959 easypoints
easypoints's picture

The old coke dealer trick of adding more baking soda every time until their customers go elsewhere? Easy as bank fraud.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:07 | 2666241 Banjo
Banjo's picture

This should be common knowledge

  • smaller packaging
  • less thread count and quality of cotton used in shirts
  • smaller everyting.
  • notice the "mini" hamburgers around LOL
  • substitution of high quality to low quality e.g. wool to nylon
  • thinner socks
  • in food also look for lower quality inputs

What you are looking for is less underlying resource and of reduced quality in the items you are purchasing.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:35 | 2666348 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

soylent green however remains packed full of goodness in the same portions we have come to expect

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:40 | 2666372 bank guy in Brussels
bank guy in Brussels's picture

You mention 'quality of cotton used in shirts' ...

Long ago, for Europeans as well as for much of the world, the USA was a place to rival anyone in manufacturing quality. Even in shirts.

The oldest shirt I have in my closet, still in good shape despite use over the years, is a shirt of the marque 'Hathaway' that I bought in the USA when I was there a quarter century ago ... 'Made in U.S.A. of Imported Fabric' ... a cotton - synthetic blend shirt for the no-ironing lazy guy like myself ... but incredible quality, and today still a luxurious softness to the touch.

Do not see anything like it today ... A super-high-quality cotton-synthetic blend shirt in exact sleeve sizes ... and here I am still wearing it in Europe, the oldest shirt I own and wear, ... knowing that the US factories that produced that shirt are all closed, the American workers all fired long ago.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:47 | 2666394 Dingleberry
Dingleberry's picture

All he would have had to do is go to McDonalds and see what a Big Mac looks like (and costs) today vs. the old days.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:17 | 2666610 ZH11
ZH11's picture

Merely competitive inflation as Slawson proved years back.

There's always more ways to skin a cat or disprove neo-classical economic theory over and over again.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:03 | 2665922 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

isnt a "case" of diet coke now 20? case in point.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665992 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

24 hours to a day

24 cans to a case.


Today, I do swear that a day only has 20 hours in it, but we are still expected to do 24 hours of stuff in it.

So, I guess that 20 cans would make sense, LOL.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 20:08 | 2666939 BigInJapan
BigInJapan's picture

In Japan the 2L Coke has become 1.5L.
Same price. That's some balls right there.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:04 | 2665926 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

can of coffee being the most obvious

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:04 | 2665929 TrustWho
TrustWho's picture

P&G has been doing this for decades...more like forever. Do you live on earth?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:04 | 2665931 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

yeah, but they put in more fat creating chemicals and sugars and fats to make up for the smaller portions!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:05 | 2665935 ShorTed
ShorTed's picture

Thanks for your thoughts.  I guess you haven't been in a Supermarket in the last 40 or more years.  Value deflation?  General Foods, Kraft, Dole, all the majors have been doing this forever!

Where's the trade?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:13 | 2665983 Hype Alert
Hype Alert's picture

Seriously, how can this be new to anyone.  Smaller portions, same price.  Grocery stores are full of it.  Quart jars are hard to find.  The look like quart jars but check the content weight or volume.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:28 | 2666064 pods
pods's picture

You are missing the point of the article:

"Now, I pay for the whole thing myself. I rent out the entire resort and pick up the total cost of food, lodging, entertainment, etc. For this year’s event, my staff was able to negotiate the same price as last year, and I was happy about this."

Sheesh, get with the program people.


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:42 | 2666140 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Exactly...  I'm pretty sure he just has a shell of an article up and the only difference between them is what he brags about.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:02 | 2666216 Oldballplayer
Oldballplayer's picture

I don't know, but can you order a couple of dozen good pizzas in Lithuania? Especially in the Lithuanian countryside. You cannot do that much of the US countryside.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 21:56 | 2667197 knukles
knukles's picture

We must research good pizza delivery joins in the far nether-lands of Lithuania.

Credibility on edge.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:06 | 2665939 bnbdnb
bnbdnb's picture

Good, maybe some fatties will lose weight.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:19 | 2666017 Uber Vandal
Uber Vandal's picture

I think Land Whale is a better word.

I have seen some things at water parks that damn near made me, my wife and friends go blind, or wonder why there weren't whaling boats surrounding them in the pool.

The worst part is wondering if some of these Land Whales are wearing bottoms. You just can't tell...

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:06 | 2666237 Peter Pan
Peter Pan's picture

Excellent point and this is where true recovery begins. The operators make a better margin, the fatties lose weight, losing weight means better health, better health means fewer medical costs. Fewer costs means saller deficit.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:07 | 2665942 Bay of Pigs
Bay of Pigs's picture

twelve ounces is the new lb

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:13 | 2665981 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

You've heard of a "baker's dozen,"? Well consider this the "Krugman Kilo,"

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:06 | 2666235 Disenchanted
Disenchanted's picture



Those bacon packers are tricky fuckers...

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:55 | 2666575 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Not as tricky as the packers of fudge.  Or the packers of Green Bay.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:08 | 2665946 devo
devo's picture

Yes, it's called "hidden inflation" and has been going on forever but way more obvious since 2007.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:11 | 2666454 respect the cock
respect the cock's picture

Two words: Costco.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:08 | 2665950 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture

Guys posts mock job ad on CL, gets 624 resumes in 24 hours.

But everything is OK!!!111

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:08 | 2665951 flyme
flyme's picture

The local pizza owner has done this "value deflation" by still offering the same pizza lunch deal, 2 slices, plus a coke. But, he's cut down each slice size each person receives. He says this enables him to retain the same level of profit per pizza. Otherwise he would have to charge higer prices, something he says, his customers won't pay.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:12 | 2665974 Racer
Racer's picture

and no doubt put more fake cheese in it as well!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:09 | 2665953 eurusdog
eurusdog's picture

Might not hear about value deflation from the nobel economists, but my econ 2020 professor covered it two semesters ago. I went local and paid my way, and feel like I am getting my $ worth.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:09 | 2665958 ZaphodBeeblebrox
ZaphodBeeblebrox's picture

I noticed it first in the minute changes in the weight of my bags of Doritos. More of a discretionary item but it was the first to really hit me.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:01 | 2666213 zuuma
zuuma's picture

I wonder if cooking 55% of the USA corn crop into ethanol has anything to do with that?



Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:02 | 2666429 Ying-Yang
Ying-Yang's picture

another brilliant idea.... let's take a food product and turn it into energy. I am sure it won't drive up the price of food? (sarc)

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:02 | 2666432 fxrxexexdxoxmx
fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

chips ahoy cookies.. had not purchased i over a year. cookies are smaller and the choc. chips are at least 1/3 smaller

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:10 | 2665961 Mrmojorisin515
Mrmojorisin515's picture

My old spice deoderant has shrunk my .25 of an ounce and still is at the same price.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:10 | 2665963 yrbmegr
yrbmegr's picture

It's been going on for a very long time.  At least since 2008.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:11 | 2665965 PiratePawpaw
PiratePawpaw's picture

Yes reducing portion sizes is a very common form of inflation. No I dont get to the Lithuanian Countryside very often.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:11 | 2665968 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

wonder what Cramer thinks? or goldman "says"

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:11 | 2665970 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

if you look to the size of most people today, more expensive food isn't a bad thing but a good thing. the number of fat people is just mindbogling! Just look around you on the beach!! where are all those skinny chicks?!
Have you ever seen how fat some poor people are?
have ever seen what they eat?

I'm sorry but people shouldn't be bigboned.
and it's like walking on the street with a can and suddenly you see a lot of other cans laying on the ground so you throw you can also on the ground because everybody does it. same with being fat these days, nothing to be ashamed about, most people are fat. it's our culture.
so increase food prices X 4 for all I care.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665998 El
El's picture

I would agree with you, except healthy food is much more expensive to purchase than the food that makes people fat. If you are on a budget or fixed income, what are you going to spend your limited funds on? The fat epidemic isn't going away anytime soon.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:45 | 2666150 MachoMan
MachoMan's picture

Only with subsidized healthcare...  factor in all the costs (e.g. lack of energy to normally raise children, feeling bad, lost productivity, etc.) and it's not cheaper....

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:50 | 2666698 tulip_permabull
tulip_permabull's picture

Comparing the price of food and non-food seems odd but still, is it true that cabbages and carrots, potatoes, onions, tomatoes and pumpkin, cheaper cuts of fish and meat, including very healthy offal, are more expensive than cookies and pizza?

And if water and milk more expensive than coca cola is that relevant? Coca cola is not food.

Price is not the problem.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:22 | 2666035 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Poor people are fat because the food that's cheap is shitty and bad for you, but it does fill up that hole in your gut.  They're also fat because they don't know how to cook and they don't have the time to cook for themselves, either.  If you don't know how to take food and turn it into meals, or you don't have time to do it every day, and you don't have absolute butt-loads of money to buy high-end prepared food one way or another, you're going to get very, very fat and very, very sick.

I have a fair amount of money, and thank God I learned how to cook fairly decently.  So did my wife.  We're lucky enough to have enough time and the ability and taste preferences to cook meals for our family, made out of food.  If you have those things, you can feed yourself for well less than half what you have to spend to get pre-prepared salt/fat/high-fructose corn syrup/unpronounceable chemical compound non-food pre-digested shit to run through your system.

It's kind of the supreme cruel irony that we have the riches and most powerful country the world has ever seen, yet our poor people are fat because it takes relative wealth, leisure and education to get and use actual food.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:31 | 2666082 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

time? I COOK A HEALTHY MEAL IN 20 minutes!
the time to microwave a pizza is enough to grill a porkchop, chop some veggies!

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:35 | 2666107 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

I agree with you, and do the same.  But it's more than laziness.  There's an ignorance to it; a lack of understanding one's true options in the world; an acceptance of subordination or something.  I think it's more resignation than laziness.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:38 | 2666362 Socratic Dog
Socratic Dog's picture

Yeah, well it's also called being a dumb fuck.  Everyone has access to the same information.  What you choose to do with that access is a pretty good example of selection pressure.  If you choose to eat food-like products, instead of food, with all the information around on what a bad choice that is, then you're selecting yourself for a miserable life and an early death.  Go for it, loser.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:54 | 2666174 Satan
Satan's picture

It took me 20 minutes to make 5 minute noodles. I'm not proud.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:44 | 2666382 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

some of it is also simplicity and convenience

who here makes their own bread daily besides me?

who here grows so much vegetables that they cant use it all?

its a lost craft to produce your own meals starting with dirt,a pig, a chicken or a goat

i start cooking dinner for august in early february when i start germinating seeds in the sunroom

the goat and pig get slaughtered in november and provide for me until the following november


its a matter of degrees you are willing to go to to provide yourself with healthy food

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:26 | 2666053 Shameful
Shameful's picture

SD aren't you in Belgium?  I can't imagine you are seeing the same number of land monsters that lumber around North America.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:33 | 2666096 Sudden Debt
Sudden Debt's picture

oh we're getting there, just give it another decade or see. the young kids are the worst.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:12 | 2665972 Lohn Jocke
Lohn Jocke's picture

We need to print more corn.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:12 | 2665980 sansnobel
sansnobel's picture

Yeah they have been doing this for a while.  Nothing new....An example of an exception though,  is Guiness, where a "pint" is actually 14.9 Oz  which they claim gives the "Perfect pour" which is totallly legit with the widget cans.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:15 | 2665989 Meesohaawnee
Meesohaawnee's picture

but their Brats are yummy.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:14 | 2665985 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture

Oh Gosh Simon...............

WTF have you been since 2010? Trying to get a real ersatz life?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:15 | 2665987 swmnguy
swmnguy's picture

Simon obviously doesn't shop, nor does he read other columns.  "Stealth Inflation" has become almost a cliched topic, not just on ZH but any local news program.  Ice cream used to come in 1/2-gallons, but now it comes in 1.5 qts.  Milk went from a 128 oz. jug to 120 oz. or less.  A 16 oz. can of beans or whatever is now around 13 oz.  Another poster pointed out coffee.  All the new smaller sizes are priced the same as the old, larger sizes, of course.

Then there's the kind of inflation one sees in clothing, where Target (or similar; they're all doing it) still sells a pair of Men's shorts for $14.99, but now the fabric is thinner, the stitching is weaker, the zipper is cheaper, instead of buttons on pockets you get generic hook-and-loop fastener (not even Velcro™). 

Or in every sort of service industry, where now you pay the same rates and prices as always, but you have to do your own customer service (be it by scanning and bagging your own groceries, being sent to a website to get help, and then diverted to look through the FAQ's rather than having a link to help on a website, etc., or the automated voice-directory trees).

Simon seems to have missed all that, and missed everyone bitching about it for quite literally decades.

I don't think Simon's douchery is intentional, but it's pretty glaring.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 22:08 | 2667235 juslen
juslen's picture

Simon is a plant, just like Robo. Look at the comments, nearly 200 from my count. Compare that to other articles that get maybe 100. TD is planting these articles to boost the entertainment value of zerohedge. And I don't blame "him," I have had a good laugh reading many of the comments. There is plenty of serious business and quality submissions on ZH to keep the hardcore fans happy. Gotta mix things up a bit or people get bored. ZH is a brilliant site, no doubt about that.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665990 debtor of last ...
debtor of last resort's picture

Is this news deflation ZH? There is no free lunch.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665994 Brother Sebastian
Brother Sebastian's picture

"Value deflation":  Like significantly reducing the amount of gold, silver and bronze in Olympic medals?   

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2665999 Ness.
Ness.'s picture

"Would you like me to cut your large pizza into 8 slices or only 6, sir?"


"Only 6 please, I'm not really that hungry"





Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2666001 chrisd
chrisd's picture

Go the Consumerist website posts tagged "Grocery Shrink Ray" ( and they have 8 pages of examples with pictures of goods for sale here in the US where people have documented the same product at the same price with less product for sale.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:16 | 2666003 Dr. Engali
Dr. Engali's picture

This is nothing new. There was a time when I had a travel agent and people pumping my gas too. Those have all gone by the wayside. People in America are oo fat anyway. Maybe they will slim down a bit and stop gorging themselves...I doubt it though. 

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:19 | 2666008 Byte Me
Byte Me's picture
Have You Noticed This Type Of Inflation

Uh Noooooo, Simon.

I live on a different planet...


(Oh I get it -- It's Friday night humour -- on a Tuesday???)

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:18 | 2666009 sethco
sethco's picture

the least informative and interesting thing Simon Black has ever written.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:48 | 2666396 johnQpublic
johnQpublic's picture

come now sir, simon has written far less interestingand informative pieces than this


give the man some credit for gods sake

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:18 | 2666013 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

Only thing I learned from this article is that Simon Black is an out of touch one percenter.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:19 | 2666016 Sutton
Sutton's picture

Just visit the ice cream aisle.  And see the cereal boxes in aisle 7. But MIT economists don't see less volume for same(or more) price as inflation.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:23 | 2666038 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

It's a variation on hedonic adjusting. You don't get as fat, so you're actually better off getting less food for more money.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:20 | 2666019 tu-ne-cede-malis
tu-ne-cede-malis's picture

Inflation can be pursued only so long as the public still does not believe it will continue. Once the people generally realize that the inflation will be continued on and on and that the value of the monetary unit will decline more and more, then the fate of the money is sealed. Only the belief, that the inflation will come to a stop, maintains the value of the notes.


-Ludwig von Mises

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:20 | 2666022 GeezerGeek
GeezerGeek's picture

I'd be happier if we got less government for our money. I'd also be happier if a new Ford Escort didn't cost more than a Rolls Royce did when I was growing up.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:21 | 2666023 yogibear
yogibear's picture

Serve an IPOD. William Dudley claims inflation is in check because IPODs have gone down.

With the last spike in food prices producers had reasons to cut back quantity or raise prices. Bernanke and the fed leave out food prices.

Food prices have spiked in other countries, due to QEing causing people to riot.

Just wait until the drought hits coupled  with Bernanke and the Fed's QE.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:23 | 2666026 Winston Smith 2009
Winston Smith 2009's picture

"Have you noticed this very deceptive form of inflation?"

Many, many times.  For instance, in the decreased net weight or volume of food containers at the grocery store.  Checked a "pint" or "half gallon" of ice cream lately?

It's the result of margin compression which occures when input costs go up while the ability or williness of customers to pay remains the same or decreases.  The only choice is to reduce the amount of food in the container at the grocery store or the meal at the restaurant, just to use food as an example.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:21 | 2666027 no life
no life's picture

I noticed my wife doing the same thing recently

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:21 | 2666028 Ineverslice
Ineverslice's picture

Just askin'......Did the toilet paper there still include the cardboard tube inside?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:37 | 2666120 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

LOL, they came out with one that doesn't have it and charge more!  All the green freaks are lapping it up.  Heard that when you get to the end, carefull, all the dried glue on the paper will scratch the shit out of your pie hole.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 18:59 | 2666732 Papasmurf
Papasmurf's picture

If the glue is scratching your pie hole, you may want to read the instructions.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 17:20 | 2666477 cbxer55
cbxer55's picture

One thing I have noticed, now that someone breeched this, ahem, smelly subject. I've seen some rolls that are not as wide as they used to be, they are here where I work. The rolls are about 1/2 inch narrower and wiggle on the rollers, where they did not before.

SHEESH! What else will they think of?

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 19:16 | 2666774 BooMushroom
BooMushroom's picture

The diameter of the hollow core is getting bigger, too.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:22 | 2666029 TrainWreck1
TrainWreck1's picture

This Baltic resort where 4 day adventures are €200, everything included?


Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:22 | 2666036 i_call_you_my_base
i_call_you_my_base's picture

I would say there is also quality deflation, in that the same price will buy a weaker product that lasts half or a quarter the length of time, through the use of shoddier parts and materials.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:37 | 2666117 delacroix
delacroix's picture

just a year ago, the quality of the guest posts, was far superior, to what we are getting today. at least the price hasn't gone up.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:46 | 2666151 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

Have to admit it does provide for a humorous comment section though.  We still need to laugh a little.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:26 | 2666316 bsdetector
bsdetector's picture

These comments are the funniest that I have read in a long time. 

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:24 | 2666042 hannah
hannah's picture

this guy is a dumbass...he pays for everything for some group of students...? more like  group of hookers and yes that is free enterprise and entrepreneurship.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:26 | 2666054 giggler123
giggler123's picture

I gotta say my local pizza express, giardiniera isn't the same now they've taken the artichokes down to burn crisp from quarter hearts

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:26 | 2666055 Pacifico
Pacifico's picture

Ok, so some hotel in Lithuania offers smaller potions than last year. Fascinating!

Long Lithuanian Pizza bakeries! Jeez, please...

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:42 | 2666060 TomGa
TomGa's picture

Apparently Simon has also discovered "information deflation" (or "word inflation") where the amount of useful information transmitted in a given number of words is significantly decreased.


I want a refund on my two minutes spent reading this obviousness.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:28 | 2666066 SDS Trader
SDS Trader's picture

Definitley noticed this when travelling and shopping.  Began about 8 years ago in earnest.  Has gotten much worse.  Author must have been fortunate in travel/dining/shopping choices to not notice until now.

Easy to see at restaurants - they shave portions, side dishes, baskets, etc. They also a la carte everything they can, including potato and vegetable.

Easy to see at grocery store also with containers shrinking.  My favorite is what still looks like 2 quarts of juice now being 59oz.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:30 | 2666072 sethstorm
sethstorm's picture

These are highly motivated young people. They get it. They know that the system has completely failed them. They know that the old path of ‘study hard, get into a good school, get a good job, work your way up the ladder, and retire’ is no longer valid for their generation.


Bullshit.  Those people from those 58 countries are the problem - where they promote a less stable, less free lifestyle.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:31 | 2666074 grunk
grunk's picture

1/2 gallon of OJ is now 59 ounces. 1/2 gallon of ice cream is now 56 ounces.

I was buying 35 ounce container of peanuts for 5.48. It is now 24 ounces for 5.48. I don't buy them anymore.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:33 | 2666091 Getting Old Sucks
Getting Old Sucks's picture

Na, Na.  Only Blue Bunny ice cream gives 56 ounces.  The rest of them is 48 ounces.  Gotta wait for a sale either way.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:32 | 2666088 GMadScientist
GMadScientist's picture

Have you noticed that Lithuania has been in a painful recession because they're doing the right thing, Simon?

"Unlike Greece, which has garnered headlines for its economic woes, Lithuania more than a year ago firmly faced up to the economic crisis and took stern measures. Government spending was slashed by 30%. Public-sector salaries were cut 20% to 30%. And pensions were knocked down an average of 5%. The prime minister himself took a pay cut of 45%. Yes, some taxes were raised, and the corporate rate was hiked from 15% to 20%. But then it was knocked back to 15% in January. And Lithuania's flat tax--also 15%--was left alone. Amazingly, Lithuanian unions went along with the government's policies. There were no street riots à la Greece."

Now shut the fuck up and eat your complimentary bagel, colossal putz.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:34 | 2666102 zebrasquid
zebrasquid's picture

Value deflation  -- like stocks (and bonds) still selling near highs, even though earnings, returns and prospects have shrunk dramatically?

 Difference is, you have to eat, you don't have to own stocks. 

An ounce of gold is still an ounce of gold.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:35 | 2666106 eclecticskeptic
eclecticskeptic's picture

We were having some friends over for brunch Sunday and my wife thought of a "taco salad" she used years back... looked up the recipe, and one of the items called for in the recipe was a "29 cent bag of Fritos"

It's hell to get old, but it beats the alternative.

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 15:35 | 2666108 I am a Man I am...
I am a Man I am Forty's picture

food portions 10% smaller, by weight or volume, STFU

Tue, 07/31/2012 - 16:21 | 2666298 TPTB_r_TBTF
TPTB_r_TBTF's picture

he said smaller not lighter.

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