Developing the Taco Price Index
By Sam Zipper (taco reviewer)
I’ve been in a mania over a recent economic discovery for a while now. I’ve finally exhausted my supply of papier mache (always the first thing I turn to in times of great delusion) and feel it’s necessary to share. I haven’t been able to stop shaking enough to develop it into a full-length article; however, in these tough economic times, I do feel it’s my duty as both an American and world-renowned taco reviewer to discuss an Earth-shatteringly important trend.
We used monthly USDA NASS data to construct a price index based on the primary ingredients of tacos: corn, pork, tomato, and labor. This was normalized to the maximum within the 30-year period. There are obviously a huge number of flaws – for example, it doesn’t take into account the relative weights necessary of corn and pork to make a taco, and is thus disproportionately driven by the more expensive items – but it does give a rough picture for the past 30 years. Two obvious examples are the price spike after the 1996 Phnom Penh Pupusa riots; and, the past 10 years during which international unease with European Taco Failure has driven prices steadily upwards.