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Proof of Inflation

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  • Proof of Inflation

    Tooth Fairy inflation: Price of a tooth nears $4

    August 30, 2013 1:03 PM ET.


    NEW YORK (AP) - Days of finding a quarter under your pillow are long gone. The Tooth Fairy no longer leaves loose change.

    Kids this year are getting an average of $3.70 per lost tooth, a 23 percent jump over last year's rate of $3. And that's a 42 percent spike from the $2.60 per tooth that the Tooth Fairy gave in 2011, according to a new survey by payment processor Visa Inc., released Friday with an update of the company's Tooth Fairy personal finance app.

    Part of the reason for the sharp rise: Parents don't want their kids to be the ones at the playground who received the lowest amount.

    "A kid who got a quarter would wonder why their tooth was worth less than the kid who got $5," says Kit Yarrow, a consumer psychologist and professor at Golden Gate University.

    To avoid that, Brian and Brittany Klems asked friends and co-workers what they were giving their kids. The Klems, who have three daughters and live in Cincinnati, settled on giving their six-year-old daughter Ella $5 for the first tooth that fell out, and $1 for any others. They say that $5 was enough without going overboard. They didn't want other families to think they were giving too much.

    Then Ella found out that one of her friends received $20 for a tooth.

    "I told her that the Tooth Fairy has only so much money for every night, and that's how she decides to split up the money," says Brian Klems, 34, a parenting blogger and author of "Oh Boy, You're Having a Girl: A Dad's Survival Guide to Raising Daughters."

    Confused about what to give?

    Ask other parents what they're giving, says Jason Alderman, a senior director of financial education at Visa. That can at least get you in the ballpark of what your kids' friends are getting, he says. Alderman gave his two kids $1 a tooth.

    "I think we were on the cheap side," he says. Other families gave about $5 a tooth. One family gave their kid an antique typewriter. "I have no idea how they got that to fit under the pillow," he laughs.

    As part of the company's personal finance education program, Visa offers a downloadable Tooth Fairy Calculator app that will give you an idea of how much parents in your age group, income bracket and education level are giving their kids, says Alderman. The newly updated app is available for iPhones and iPads on iTunes, and the calculator is available on the Facebook apps page.

    "While more money is exciting news for children, parents should take this opportunity to talk saving and smart money habits with their kids and have the same talk with a perhaps overgenerous Tooth Fairy," says Nat Sillin, who runs Visa's financial education program in the U.S.

    How much kids are getting from the Tooth Fairy depends on where they live. Kids in the Northeast are getting the most, according to the Visa study, at $4.10 per tooth. In the West and South, kids received $3.70 and $3.60 per tooth, respectively. Midwestern kids received the least, at $3.30 a tooth. About a third of all parents surveyed say the Tooth Fairy left a dollar or less.

    Then there are the heavy hitters.

    After losing her first tooth, 5-year-old Caroline Ries found a $100 bill under her pillow, along with a brand new My Little Pony toothbrush and a tube of toothpaste.

    But there was a catch.

    Her mother, Nina Ries, also left a note saying that the $100 had to go straight to Caroline's college fund. The Tooth Fairy would give her another $20 to spend anyway she likes if she brushes her teeth every day after lunch for a month. She did, and 30 days later Caroline found $20 under her pillow.

    Ries, a 39-year-old lawyer and owner of Ries Law Group in Santa Monica, Calif., says that $120 is a lot to give, but she believes that she is teaching her daughter that education and taking care of your teeth is important. Ries says her friends give their kids about $20 a tooth.

    That's way more than the $1 Ries used to get for losing her teeth as a child.

    "It's incredible inflation," she says.

    Visa randomly sampled 3,000 households by phone in July. The survey results are based on the 1,000 of those households that included a child under 13.


    Tooth Fairy Calculator:

    Follow Joseph Pisani at
    Tooth Fairy inflation: Price of a tooth nears $4: Associated Press Business News - MSN Money

    Do not argue with the Tooth Fairy!
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.

  • #2
    By Jove, we haven't seen this kind of inflation since the Weimar Republic!
    "Draft beer, not people."


    • #3
      Time to start spekulating in tooth futures
      To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway


      • #4
        That explains the bully arrested on the local playground for running a ponzi scheme.... something about knuckle sandwhiches.


        • #5
          Soros has kids?
          No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

          To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.


          • #6
            Dear inflation truthers: This is how averages work

            Dear inflation truthers: This is how averages work - The Washington Post

            Call it Amity's Law. As a debate with an inflation truther grows longer, the probability of them asking how inflation could be low when some prices are rising faster than the average of all prices approaches one.

            Okay, that isn't exactly how they'll put it. Instead, inflation truthers will darkly note that the costs of stamps, coffee, haircuts, movie tickets, summer cottages, college tuition, and, of course, gasoline are all increasing more than the overall inflation rate. And they won't mention anything that's increasing less, let alone things that are falling in price. (You know, like your computer-telephone-camera-camcorder-GPS-music player-calculator-alarm clock-flashlight—aka your smartphone).

            In other words, they'll say that, if you only look at the highest-rising prices, inflation is higher than the official numbers says it is. Cue the spooky music.

            Then they'll triumphantly raise an eyebrow from beneath their tinfoil hats, because they're right: some prices really are increasing faster than average. And they'll tell you that you can learn all about this shocking fact, along with the rest of the government's plot to hide this secret inflation, from the internet. If, that is, you're willing to pay $175 to subscribe to "unskewed" statistics from a guy who keeps predicting hyperinflation, but never increases his subscription prices.

            Game, set, and match?

            Well, not if you know as much math as a third-grader. See, the inflation rate is just the weighted average of all the price changes in the economy. So unless every price is changing by the exact same amount, some of them will be increasing more than average and some of them will be increasing less. That's how averages work.

            But in the hands of an inflation truther, this mathematical banality achieves a kind of totemic significance. It's the grassy knoll inside Area 51 where Janet Yellen is playing a record backwards that says hyperinflation is coming.

            What inflation truthers don't understand, aside from basic math, is that this isn't an indictment of the government's credibility. It's an indictment of their own.

            = = = = =

            Matt O'Brien is a reporter for Wonkblog covering economic affairs. He was previously a senior associate editor at The Atlantic.
            Trust me?
            I'm an economist!


            • #7
              I would point out that $4 is the price of a USED tooth. New ones are much more expensive.