The Consumer Price Index (CPI) is the benchmark number used to determine inflation in the United States. The CPI includes a basket of goods commonly purchased by consumers, such as shelter costs, food, energy, taxes, transportation, and medical expenses. Long term CPI data yields an average annual inflation of 2-3 percent in the United States. However, the creators of the Chapwood Index claim that the United States government has been manipulating CPI data since 1983 and that the real United States inflation rate is somewhere around 10 percent.
The creators of the Chapwood Index assert that the CPI was accurate until 1983 when the government began to cook the books due to an inflation crisis which increased the CPI by 12 percent.
The CPI is used to adjust government workers pay, so government workers have the same buying power regardless of inflation. Apparently, the CPI-based wage increases were unsustainable, so the CPI was artificially lowered by divorcing the calculations from reality.
The creators of the Chapwood Index say the government saved $680 billion between 1996 and 2006 via manipulating the CPI to be lower than it should be. If this is true, many corporate employees lost out too, since corporations often use the CPI to calculate yearly pay raises.
The Chapwood Index claims to be an accurate gauge of inflation in the United States, and inflation numbers for 50 different cities are calculated twice a year from the 500 most popular items among consumers. It seems the average inflation is 10 percent, with Oakland having the highest inflation at 13.4 percent and Phoenix having the lowest inflation at 7.4 percent.
As discussed in a previous Crypto.IQ article on global inflation rates, increased inflation would likely lead people to move their money into Bitcoin as a safe haven. This is because Bitcoin is theoretically independent of fiat inflation, and therefore, Bitcoin should rise relative to fiat at the inflation rate.
Holding money in fiat can lead to severe losses of money long-term in the presence of inflation. At 2.5 percent per year, which is the average CPI, $100,000 stored in a bank account would be worth only $77,600 after 10 years. If the Chapwood Index is accurate and real inflation is around 10 percent, then that $100,000 in the bank would be worth $34,900 after 10 years.
These devastating long-term losses make saving money in fiat impossible, forcing people to work for the rest of their lives. Also saving money for a house would be practically impossible, forcing people to pay rent for the rest of their lives, which is much more costly than a mortgage.
To add insult to injury, CPI-based pay raises will lead to workers getting less and less purchasing power each year. This makes a perfect storm where people essentially become slaves and have no hope of making anything but the absolute minimum to survive if that. This inflation situation destroys the American Dream.
Holding money in Bitcoin instead of fiat in the bank may be a better choice, since it could give people the ability to buy houses and eventually retire, versus losing all of their savings from inflation and working like a slave while living in increasing poverty due to wages not keeping up with inflation. In Venezuela, hyperinflation has already become a harsh reality, and people are choosing cryptocurrency over fiat to protect the value of their money.