An Open Letter to Peter Schiff

Dear Peter,

I just wanted to say first of all that I’m a massive fan of yours. I’m not sure if it’s your paranoid tone, the way your face undulates like a stormy sea as you speak or if it’s simply because you’ve decided that, instead of the innocuous “Pete” appellation commonly adopted by those with your given name, you’ve bravely stuck with “Peter” and all it’s phallic connotations. Whatever the reason, Peter, I am the sort of person who’d really like to display a snippet of your flowing locks, above your gilded portrait and beside my … I’m sure you get the point.

It is thus with in the spirit of friendship I offer the following observations on your recent YouTube video. You see, while I too am eager to strike against the vile, elite conspiracies, I’m afraid to say I spotted an opening or two (or 19, as the case may be) that your enemies might use to strike against you. For your convenience I’ve marked each of these observations with video time stamp and included links in the text to make your reading experience more enjoyable.

1. 0:05 – Here you refer to the habitual depravities of Keynesians. Actually Peter, it’s not just Keynesian economists who use the CPI (consumer price index). Monetarists, Neo-Classicists, Chicago Schoolers, and even most Austrians use the CPI. I mean, don’t let me stop you using the “widely accepted economic indicators are out to get us” angle. It’s a strong angle. Just prepare for the inevitable slander your haters are going to sling around.

2. 0:15 – Those bastards have the gall to say you were wrong! I mean I suppose that a less kind soul might note that your predictions have been wrong, but those people are jerks. I, personally, am of the opinion that math is subjective.

3. 0:25 – “I never said QE would cause inflation.” I realize the Keynesians are out for your blood and don’t care about facts, Peter, but they sort of have you on tape predicting that QE would cause inflation, which it kind of hasn’t.

4. 0:30 – How dare they try to use the CPI as proof of anything! Don’t they know it was first invented by the same sort of scum that teach history, advance child labor laws and take research trips to China? We don’t need a “reason” to doubt the CPI when its past is so clearly sordid. Granted, there are dozens of alternatives to the government’s CPI for measuring inflation, but it’s obvious (for reasons so obvious I can’t recall them right now) those other organizations are also in on the conspiracy. Ignore them and go with your gut, Peter.

5. 0:44 – “Inflation has been between 2 and 3%” Pedants, my friend, may note that inflation has not technically been  between 2-3%. More like -2.1% and 2.5%. But what those dastardly bastards don’t understand, what I understand, is that so-called “objective truths” have no power against the far more beautiful things you simply wish were true.

6. 0:50 – You strike back at the vile Keynesians here by rightly claiming “I never said that all the money printing would cause inflation.” Fools might point to this or this as “proof” that you actually did say those things, but we all know the past is a conspiracy and not to be trusted.

7. 1:19 – You speak here about  “government created statistics.” Good for you. We all know anything the government publishes is a lie. We don’t need proof or even evidence for this – we just know. Those alternative bodies also collecting inflation data, those are published by experts and we all know educated people are evil. I think you’re safe on this one, Peter. Well done.

And even if we do count number seven as a “mistake,” you are averaging slightly more than 10 seconds between errors in this video. If people can’t deal with that, they need to lighten up.


8. 1:25 – “The CPI is wrong!” Of course it is. I’m sure you have a reason for saying this somewhere in the video, somewhere. I mean maybe on your webpage? Ah, I found it. 

9. 1:47 – “It’s not that they’re fudging the numbers.” This is a great point. The only reason we don’t see the massive inflation you predicted is because the Bureau of Labor Statistics (and all of this alternatives which,naturally are also in on the conspiracy) intentionally designed the CPI to exclude certain seasonally volatile goods. Oh man, if only we had access to the old ways, the pre-1975 methods of calculating inflation that include said seasonally volatile goods like food. Then we could figure this stuff out.

A passing cretin, my friend, just glanced at this letter and described you with the phrase “what a dumbfuck.” I’ll make sure he’s punished.

10. 2:11 “Fox News did a poll.” A lot of people, these days, are too scared of the educated elite to really speak the truth. They tremble when the so-called “experts” say stuff like “why would you expect the average Joe know the annualized inflation rate of tar” or “shouldn’t you ask people who study this stuff for a living?” Some of them might even say things like “Peter, please stop. You’re hurting my faith in humanity with shit like this.”

Don’t listen to them. Ad-populum actually means “added popularity” and, my friend, you have more added popularity than any other ten dudes I’ve ever seen.

11. 2:36 – I noticed how cleverly you supported the “added popularity” fallacy argument here. You said that “twice as many people were worried about rising prices as unemployment.” I, of course, believe everything you say, but the haters, those damned bitter little people with their fact checks and stupid obsessions about “the record,” they could cause trouble. Maybe, from now on when you use a poll to support your added popularity fallacy argument, you could be so kind as to provide a link in your accompanying transcript. You see, I can’t find this magical Fox poll you cited, but I sure can find a lot of similar polls (from 2009) saying that rising energy prices are the biggest concern. I’m sure you wouldn’t leave that little tidbit out, would you?

12. 2:41 “If the CPI is correct why are so many people worried about inflation?” Hell yeah, add some more added popularity to this video! People with no particular reason to know about net inflation are worried for the same reasons they were worried about Y2K and the Mayans in 2012. Not because you’re cherry picking impossible to find polls. Not because your entire argument is the sort of crime against logic that makes Plato, watching us from on-high, weep uncontrollably. No, it’s because people with no particular reason to know are always correct and things like Y2K were simply covered up by the government!

13. 2:49 – “To me, it’s more likely the inflation does exist and the CPI is wrong.” I really admire the way you just throw yourself out there. Courage, Peter, that’s what you’ve got. You don’t need any “reliable statistics” or “scientific method” like those Keynesian/Monetarist pussies, you just go with your gut.

14. 3:01 – You said “the government is just not being honest about (inflation).” Peter, help me out here. I realize that your claim the government isn’t lying came an entire 74 seconds ago, but this seems like a bit of a contradiction. As for how the government could pump money into the economy without causing inflation, I’m sure the elitist scum will talk about the “deflationary recession” part of econ 101. It must be a Keynesian conspiracy to believe changing money policy during a recession can make things better. Right, Milton Friedman?

Your argument, basically “the CPI isn’t showing what I expected and thus must be wrong” is, frankly, the sort of admirable bravery seen in this video clip.

Wow, Peter, just wow. I applaud you.

15. 3:14 – You said “I chose twenty goods people buy” and then went on to compare the inflation rate of these goods with the overall inflation rate. I admire the depth of research you conducted in this experiment to avoid sampling bias.

16. 3:30 – Here you show pictures of “the items that I selected.” This is an excellent plan, Peter. Why don’t we ignore the CPI and it’s hundreds of thousands of price points and just go with whatever 20 items you think are most representative? Why don’t we ignore alternative inflation calculators, too? Small  and arbitrary sample sizes are way, way more reliable and less prone to manipulation than big samples. 

17. 4:24 “The basket only rose 5% faster.” I’m afraid, Peter, your math might be a little off, but hey, math isn’t something an economic expert should concern himself with.

18. 4:35 Here you are talking about how prices “rose just 27%.” In a decade. Congratulations, Peter. You’ve broken science. It had a good run and we got one or two useful things out of it, but somebody had to put the empirical method out of its misery and you’ve finally done it. Good on you.

19. 5:08 “61.8% faster.”  I like the way you think, Peter. It is utterly impossible that the official figure and your “basket figure”  could be down to a ridiculously arbitrary, tiny sample and the fact that your math is off. There must be a conspiracy.

Sorry Peter, I’d love to talk more but I think your talk is making my brain melt. Let’s finish this later, okay?


Your Biggest Fan

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