Not that I ever use the services (mandatory disclaimer, wink et al), but I think I found a good, reliable way to measure inflation – the price of sex for rent. If economic theory is correct, the price of goods and services depends on supply and demand. Hence, prices go up when demand is high and supply is low. The reverse happens when traffic goes the other way. Of course, there are other factors such as how elastic is the supply and demand curve. But you get my drift…
Ever since I got broadband in my bedroom, I like to lurk at Rentboy.com (see site here). As you notice, it is an advertisement forum for guys who provide timeshares for their bodies. When I first started cruising the website a couple of years ago, I believe that the going rate for one hour in the San Francisco bay area hovered around $100. Now, you can check that the rates have jumped to a minimum of $200 or so. Some guys are even pushing to $300 or so.
I am not sure whether Rentboy.com is a good indicator during recessional times. But I do believe it is a good indicator during inflationary times. Well, my theory being that when people have more disposable income, they are more willing to spend on luxury services (ok, I am going off the edge here with that assumption). On the other hand, during recessional times, less people hire or advertise in these forums. So, what would be an alternative indicator during recessional times? Maybe Craigslist?
But the whole thing is moot for me. Inflation for me is manifested everytime I show up at the gas station and fill 18 gallons of black gold into that monster called the Jeep Grand Cherokee.