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Why can we not just use what the normal everyday expenses of the average household are?
  1. Housing. All costs. Homeless without it. Don't exclude it.
  2. Food. Starve without it. Groceries and restaurants.
  3. Health care. Total monthly cost of insurance, doctors and pharmaceuticals, both prescription and non prescription. Simpler in countries other than the US.
  4. Transportation. Vehicle ownership and operation costs.
  5. Personal services. From barbers & beauticians, to childcare, personal shoppers and chauffeurs.
  6. Entertainment.

This should be broken out by income deciles and tracked over time. Instead of excluding things that vary widely, such as housing costs, accommodate them. For each decile determine the proportion of households that own and rent, track the expenses for each and average the sums for each decile. Same with transportation. Break it down into automotive expenses, public transit expenses and other, track by decile and average.

We need some analysis as to what really is happening, rather than the cooked numbers prevalent in the USA.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."

by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Fri May 21st, 2010 at 11:38:45 PM EST
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