Originally posted by twhitehead
To dispute is whether or not gas prices (when combined with many other factors) are a good proxy for inflation. Whether or not seniors drive is really totally irrelevant.
I have found that there is an "experimental" CPI-E (for the elderly) that takes into account the differences between the cost of living for the elderly and the general population.
"The Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) measures the average change in prices over time for a fixed marketbasket of goods and services for two population groups. The CPI for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U) represents the spending habits of about 80 percent of the population of the United States. The CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W) is a subset of the CPI-U population, and represents about 32 percent of the total U.S. population.
In addition to the official CPI's for the CPI-U and CPI-W populations, the CPI calculates an experimental price index for Americans 62 years of age or older. The Older Americans Act of 1987 directed the BLS to develop this experimental index."
It shows that the % of total expenditures for housing and medical are are noticeably greater for the elderly and lower for other areas including transportation and food/beverages.
It is easly to get stuck in the weeds in economics but this link supports my views:
quote [bold added]
From December 1982 to December 2011, the experimental CPI-E has tended to rise more rapidly than the CPI-W. Using the CPI-E to determine the Social Security COLA would increase the expected average COLA by about 0.2 percentage points per year. In contrast, using the chained CPI would result in COLAs lower than under current law. COLAs using the chained CPI are estimated to reduce expected average COLAs by 0.3 percentage points per year. That means a typical 65 year-old would see a decrease of about $130 in Social Security benefits using the chained CPI after the change has been effective for three years. At age 95, the same senior would face a 9.2 percent reduction—almost $1,400 per year. The BLS acknowledges the current CPI does not “produce official estimates for the rate of inflation experienced by subgroups of the population, such as the elderly or the poor.” Neither the current CPI-W nor the proposed chained CPI takes into account the spending patterns of America’s seniors.
This is why we need an elderly index.