There are lies, damn lies,

and statistics,

I just ran across this U.S. Postal Service press release from 1996.

“In 1940, a one pound loaf of bread cost 8 cents, and in 1995 it cost 79 cents. A half gallon of milk went from 25 cents to $1.43 in the same period. A first class postage stamp went from 3 cents to 32 cents. Bottom line, first class postage stamps remain well below the rate of inflation.”

Well, not really. Those numbers yield an annual average increase of 3.22% for milk (177% overall.) It’s 4.25% for bread (233% overall.) and 4.4% for a stamp (242% overall.)

So staying “well below” the rate of inflation means being the fastest rising item in the market basket. I think I’m beginning to understand the Federal budget.

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