I really enjoyed this article in The Economist on the astonishing increase in textbook prices relative to the consumer price index, so I decided to investigate some other items.  Food and apparel both had interesting results, so here are the graphs!  These use CPI for all urban consumers, and the data are seasonally adjusted.

Data source:


U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan said Thursday he would love to see Mitt Romney run again for president and teased the GOP’s former nominee at one point that the “third time’s the charm.”

Appearing with Ryan at a public event for the first time since their ticket lost two years ago, Romney offered his own good-humored praise by saying that Ryan “wouldn’t be a bad president” himself.

Ryan, R-Wis., has said he will wait until after the midterm elections to decide whether to pursue his own presidential campaign in 2016. Romney has repeatedly denied any plans for another campaign for president. He failed to win the nomination in 2008 and then lost the election to President Barack Obama in 2012.

Romney interviewed Ryan about his new book, “The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea,” on the brink of the fall election season. Republicans are driving for the six-seat gain required to grab the Senate majority. Success would put the GOP in control of Congress and dramatically shape the final two years of Obama’s term.

They took turns criticizing Obama’s record on domestic issues, including the economy, health care and immigration, with Ryan warning that Obama will “poison the well” on immigration compromise if he takes any unilateral action. Romney said Obama sent a message to Russia when he did not act in Syria and that there has been “an explosion of very bad things in the world” since then.

Please, just SHUT UP, Ryan.



In 1955, Easter fell on April 10, and in the day’s paper a stand-alone photo — taken on Good Friday — showed Torrance Helen watering lilies on the 64th floor of the RCA Building (30 Rockefeller Plaza). The picture ran near a mention of an egg-rolling event in Central Park that drew 1,500 children to push eggs across the Great Lawn, and a prediction of 70 degree weather on Sunday. The story provided a variety of other Easter observations, including one for Sing Sing’s 1,450 prisoners, who would “get an opportunity to attend Easter services in chapels bedecked with plants and flowers, enjoy a special dinner and see the movie, ‘Gone With the Wind.’ ” Photo: