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The Death of the Dollar
THE AMERICAN THINKER ^ | August 06, 2010 | Vasko Kohlmayer

Posted on 08/05/2010 11:35:11 PM PDT by onyx

Nothing can save our financial system in the long run.  It is doomed to collapse. This is inevitable, because our government controls and manages its very foundation -- the dollar.

The federal government began its takeover of the dollar in 1913 when it established the Federal Reserve Banking System. Prior to that the dollar was a real store of value. In the period from 1783 to 1913 there was a long period of currency stability with virtually no inflation. If you saved one dollar in 1800, your great grandchild could buy roughly the same amount of goods with the same dollar one century later.

In 1913 five dollars could get you the following:

15 pounds of potatoes, 10 pounds of flour, 5 pounds of sugar, 5 pounds of chuck roast, 3 pounds of round steak, 3 pounds of rice, 2 pounds each of cheese and bacon, and a pound each of butter and coffee... two loaves of bread, 4 quarts of milk and a dozen eggs.

In 2010 five dollars barely gets you two pounds of cut chicken meat.

Since the establishment of the Federal Reserve in 1913 the dollar has shed more than 90 percent of its value. The loss of value has been especially pronounced since 1971 when Richard Nixon took the dollar off the last vestiges of the gold standard. On that date the dollar became a pure fiat currency grounded in nothing but the whims of politicians and technocrats. The consequences have been disastrous. One thousand of 1971 dollars would only buy $185 worth of goods today. This represents a loss of some 80 percent in purchasing power.

The dollar has already entered its terminal phase. The word "doom" is written across it for anyone with the eyes to see. Sad to say, there is no way to reverse its downward slide. With more than $13 trillion in public debt and some $100 trillion in unfunded mandates our federal government has assumed far more obligations that it can ever make good on. Worse still, these figures are growing larger every year.

To put it bluntly, our federal government is flat-out bankrupt. Currency disintegration is always the unavoidable result of government bankruptcy. The dollar -- which has been weakening for many decades -- will at some point go into a sudden death spin.

The only question is when. It may happen six months from now or six years from now. The timeframe is impossible to predict, but we can now for certain that happen it will. No one -- not even the federal government -- can escape the numbers. And the numbers are hideous. One hundred trillion plus is a killer.

Under normal circumstances the dollar would have collapsed already given how impossibly indebted our government is. Some people are puzzled by its continued survival. They say this is just another sign that we live in a crazy world. But there is nothing crazy about it. The dollar is still alive, because there is no ready alternative.

Doomed though it may be in the long term, big time holders of US dollars keep desperately hanging on, because they have nowhere else to go. Where else could China invest its nearly one trillion dollar reserves? There is no easy option. So China keeps propping America's federal debt by purchasing Treasury notes and thus keeping the dollar afloat. It is a bad deal for China and a fortuitous one for the US, at least for the time being. But things cannot go on like this forever. Eventually something will give in and the whole gargantuan house of debt will come crashing down. When that happens things will get ugly.

Some people may say this situation has been brought about by reckless fiscal and budgetary policies rather than by the government's management of the currency. But the ability of government to run deficits is directly tied to its power to manage money.

It is very difficult for politicians to run large deficits if the currency is anchored in something intrinsically real and valuable, let's say gold. This is because when they post large budget shortfalls under a gold standard, people naturally ask them: "Where in the world are you going to get all the gold to pay for all this spending." And since politicians do not know how to make gold, they are forced to admit: "We are going to get it from you, the people, of course. Where else could it come from?"

As you can imagine, such answers do not usually go well with the voting public. The restrictive quality that real money exerts on the profligacy of politicians is often referred as "the golden handcuffs."

As it is now, most people do not think that they will have to pay for the spending incurred by their representatives in Congress. They think that deficits are something that does not concern them directly. They somehow assume the if the government needs more money it can simply issue more bonds. But this way of living is unsustainable and sooner or later the inflow from abroad will stop. Then we will all pay for our government's extravagance by the disintegration of the currency.

Traumatic as it may be, we should not be surprised by this. It has to end this way. This result became ineluctable the moment the American people gave government control over their money. Let's hope that we will learn from our mistakes. Let's hope that when the present monetary regime finally unwinds, we will have the wisdom to lay a more solid foundation for our money than the whims of politicians.



TOPICS: Business/Economy; Front Page News; Government; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: dollar; gold; government; obama; palin; silver
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1 posted on 08/05/2010 11:35:12 PM PDT by onyx
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To: onyx

Nope. Not inflation (a devaluation of the Dollar). The opposite: deflation.

Falling salaries. Falling employment (fewer jobs). Falling home prices.

Deflation.


2 posted on 08/05/2010 11:37:47 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

I honestly don’t understand what to do or think.


3 posted on 08/05/2010 11:41:30 PM PDT by onyx (Sarah/Michele 2012)
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To: onyx

Japan has had deflation since 1989. 21 straight years of outborrowing and out-spending the U.S.

Why does so much spending not lead to inflation?

Debt.

Debt is deflationary.

Moreover, debt is cummulative.

In contrast, spending is temporary. Yes, spending can give an economy short-term inflation...unless a nation has accumulated so much debt that is dragging the economy down.

Happened to Japan in 1989, and is still going on today.

Happened to the U.S. in 1893 and 1929, too.

We’ve seen all of this before.

It’s not the 1970s (an inflationary period).

It’s the opposite: falling home prices and falling salaries: deflation.

Debt is deflationary.


4 posted on 08/05/2010 11:45:28 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: onyx
” ... The federal government began its takeover of the dollar in 1913 when it established the Federal Reserve Banking System. ... “
Quite the opposite is true. The Constitution mandates that the Federal Government is responsible for maintaining the USA Dollar.

The Federal Reserve is a Private bank, and Congress abrogated it's responsibilities by establishing the Federal Reserve as a central bank, purveying interest bearing, debt based currency.
This was an act of Treason, and it has been perpetrated by treasonous politicians ever since. Some who have opposed it have been assassinated!
And That's The Truth.

5 posted on 08/05/2010 11:46:27 PM PDT by J Edgar
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To: onyx
All part of the plan: America's Wall Rising
6 posted on 08/05/2010 11:52:17 PM PDT by Skared2deth
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To: Southack

I sure haven’t seen a lot of that (understatement of year). Deflation means a dollar kept as cash will be worth more goods in the future, not less. Au contraire, it is surprising that prices haven’t gone up more than they have with all the funny money that the Bummer and the Ratgress have supposedly stimulused into the economy. The saving grace may be that banks that get their hands on these newly printed, borrowed dollars are socking them away like they’re going out of style, and so they sit in vaults instead of running around the economy driving prices up madly a la Zimbabwe.


7 posted on 08/05/2010 11:52:59 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: onyx

Where does one put their dollars at now, especially the money tied up in a 401k, that is expected to finance you through retirement? What investments are safe, that will keep up with the rate of inflation?


8 posted on 08/05/2010 11:54:39 PM PDT by rawhide
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To: HiTech RedNeck

We are following Japan’s path since 1989, not Zimbabwe.


9 posted on 08/05/2010 11:54:49 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

So, a dollar buys more house, but it buys less bread. Which type of business occupies the average American more? I don’t think it’s the house!


10 posted on 08/05/2010 11:56:04 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck; Southack

That’s my thinking and observances too. What to do and what to hold? Dollars? Gold?


11 posted on 08/05/2010 11:56:22 PM PDT by onyx (Sarah/Michele 2012)
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To: Southack

All I can say is show me the bundle of goods that is getting cheaper. Houses are a specific bubble that burst. There is no bursting bread bubble.


12 posted on 08/05/2010 11:57:44 PM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: rawhide

Exactly. Real estate? Certainly not in a deflationary market. Precious metals? Wicked times.


13 posted on 08/05/2010 11:57:54 PM PDT by onyx (Sarah/Michele 2012)
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Your major financial transactions in life are:
1. House
2. Salary
3. Stocks

All are lower now than in 2006 (DOW 14,000!).

Bread and milk prices are trivial. Major personal financials are tracking Japan down.

Fewer jobs. Slower speed of money.

Deflation.

Less credit availability.

Deflation.


14 posted on 08/05/2010 11:58:44 PM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

If you bought a house, your life probably is dominated by the mortgage. But if you didn’t? Are rents going down? If it weren’t for the cooling effect of cheaper houses and scarcer jobs, bread would be frightening. You think bread is trivial? Try to live without it.


15 posted on 08/06/2010 12:03:05 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"All I can say is show me the bundle of goods that is getting cheaper. Houses are a specific bubble that burst. There is no bursting bread bubble."

Incorrect.

Grocery Prices Now Falling

16 posted on 08/06/2010 12:03:05 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Somebody phone the news to my community retailers, please.


17 posted on 08/06/2010 12:04:02 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"If you bought a house, your life probably is dominated by the mortgage. But if you didn’t? Are rents going down?"

Yes.

Foreclosure of Apartments is Causing fall in Rental rates

18 posted on 08/06/2010 12:06:00 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

... IN LOS ANGELES.

We always knew California was overheated. Next!


19 posted on 08/06/2010 12:07:25 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"Somebody phone the news to my community retailers, please."

People on a fixed income, as well as people who are under-employed (or who don't shop), have a psychological reaction to shopping that causes them to think that everything is over-priced.

That's why the blond TV bimbo prattles on about the price of milk...even as deflation ravages her local economy.

20 posted on 08/06/2010 12:08:10 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: onyx

I honestly don’t understand what to do or think.

**********

One of those times we hold the same position.


21 posted on 08/06/2010 12:08:19 AM PDT by Psalm 144 (We have, therefore, to resolve to conquer or die. - Samuel Adams)
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To: Southack

“Don’t believe your own lying eyes.”

I wasn’t born yesterday, kiddo.


22 posted on 08/06/2010 12:08:54 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Falling values slam Chicago apartment owners
23 posted on 08/06/2010 12:10:43 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Another case of overheating during the Bush years. Chicago was considered a glamor spot. Next!


24 posted on 08/06/2010 12:11:49 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Southack

Face it buddy, no hard feelings, but more dollars out there in the streets mean they are going to be worth less, not more. Perhaps you consider that artificial, but nobody can deny that the Bummer has put them out there. Who’s living large? Ask the unions.


25 posted on 08/06/2010 12:15:40 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Your mind is closed. Sad. You’ll fail to see what is happening all around you.

That link wasn’t about Chicago in Bush years...had you actually read it, it was citing vacancy rates above 21% for the 2nd Qtr of this year for Chicago suburbs.

That’s more than one out of every 5 buildings vacant.

Only a court jester would pretend that prices are going up when every 5th building is vacant.


26 posted on 08/06/2010 12:16:38 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: HiTech RedNeck
"Face it buddy, no hard feelings, but more dollars out there in the streets mean they are going to be worth less, not more."

Incorrect. Cash Dollars are trivial. There is just $800 Billion in U.S. cash money.

The rest is credit.

And there is 50% less credit today than in 2006.

27 posted on 08/06/2010 12:18:22 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

You have a local cooling which was due to past overcapacity.


28 posted on 08/06/2010 12:18:24 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
What you call "local cooling" is deflation. Lower prices today than in the past.

Not higher prices.

Not inflation.

The opposite: deflation.

29 posted on 08/06/2010 12:20:02 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

A dollar that can (and likely will) be readily got at and spent is out there on the streets. Bummer has pumped them out there through his favorite children, the unions and public servants. Without that, yes there would be a screeching deflation.


30 posted on 08/06/2010 12:20:55 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Southack

This is like saying the pot on the stove cooling counts the same as the climate cooling. Bah, humbug!


31 posted on 08/06/2010 12:21:38 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck
Debt is deflationary.

Debt is cumulative.

32 posted on 08/06/2010 12:21:46 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

And if you’re so big that nobody cares about servicing the debt (at least now) the wallop is very much delayed.


33 posted on 08/06/2010 12:23:40 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

It was delayed. Now it’s here.


34 posted on 08/06/2010 12:24:25 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

How has worries about servicing the debt sucked down prices? That won’t happen until someone responsible takes the helm. Until then, the churning of fiat money from the presses merrily goes on.


35 posted on 08/06/2010 12:26:25 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

You’re backwards. Prices for U.S. bonds have gone through the roof, driving down bond yields.

In turn, bond yields have driven down mortgage rates to record lows.

Deflation.


36 posted on 08/06/2010 12:27:59 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: onyx

I have some honest questions:

1. Is enough gold avaiable in the world to back the total amount of currency now in circulation?

2. Wouldn’t going to a gold standard produce deflation?

3. What would happen to the $10T national debt under a gold standard?


37 posted on 08/06/2010 12:30:32 AM PDT by B-Chan (Catholic. Monarchist. Texan. Any questions?)
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To: Southack

And in mirror image, stocks are straining like they want to hit the sky again. Net effect: cancellation.


38 posted on 08/06/2010 12:31:05 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: HiTech RedNeck

Nope. Stocks are 35% below their 2006 peak.

Deflation.


39 posted on 08/06/2010 12:32:11 AM PDT by Southack (Media Bias means that Castro won't be punished for Cuban war crimes against Black Angolans in Africa)
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To: Southack

Again, a local overheating. Bummer has given his Rats lots of dollars and guess where they went. If you didn’t know that stocks took a horrible dive in 2008 (and this was before the Bummer debt) you could be pardoned for considering this anemic.


40 posted on 08/06/2010 12:34:40 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: Southack

Oh, and some investment firms made out quite respectably, apparently without much gummit help, through the Bush dive and beyond. Pershing is one of them. How do I know? That’s where I put my IRA. Yes, I lucked out; I don’t consider myself a genius in picking investment firms.


41 posted on 08/06/2010 12:43:38 AM PDT by HiTech RedNeck (I am in America but not of America (per bible: am in the world but not of it))
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To: onyx
I do think, as does the author, that the current cycle of issuing ever-more vast amounts of debt is not sustainable.

My own guess is that when it comes time to grasp the nettle, the politicians will issue U.S. Notes again --- we only stopped doing so 40 years or so ago --- and probably in vast quantities. (There's a current statutory limit of $300 million in issuance of such notes, but I am sure that it would take Speaker Pelosi's Congress less than a day to deem that fixed.)

42 posted on 08/06/2010 1:02:04 AM PDT by snowsislander (In this election year, please ask your candidates if they support repeal of the 1968 GCA.)
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To: Southack

From that Sun-Times article, I am kind of curious how many of those Chicago apartments are rent-controlled apartments. The writer of the article failed to mention that, but it was one of the first things that popped into my head as I read that.


43 posted on 08/06/2010 1:18:32 AM PDT by GOP_Raider (A conservative in the television industry--yes, we do exist)
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To: onyx
In 1913 five dollars could get you the following:

It's worth reminding the thread that it takes ~ 10 minutes to earn that 5 dollars today, as opposed to ~ 10 working days in 1913.

44 posted on 08/06/2010 2:04:40 AM PDT by agere_contra (...what if we won't eat the dog food?)
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To: onyx
I honestly don’t understand what to do or think.

Then don't! The politicians are depending on that!

In a more serious vein, I don't know what this author is thinking with the pollyanna ending. If the world monetary system collapses how does he expect to build a new one? We have heard the myth of the Phoenix rising from the ashes, we saw Europe rebuilt after WWII, the world survived the Great Depression but in those cases there was always a winner still standing. If the dollar collapses so does everything else, as the author points out.

How do you reflate the balloon after all the air is gone? Oil, gold, land, etc. all will still have value but with no accepted money how will transactions take place? No one can carry barrels of oil around with them, or the deeds to their property, or pounds of gold to exchange, in a world of varying values.

Without an accepted medium of exchange nothing moves.

45 posted on 08/06/2010 3:06:01 AM PDT by Mind-numbed Robot (Not all that needs to be done needs to be done by the government)
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To: Mind-numbed Robot
If the world monetary system collapses how does he expect to build a new one?

The aristocrats will hole up in their mansions and ride it out.

46 posted on 08/06/2010 3:17:05 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Compact Theory)
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To: onyx

All fiat currencies start out as a way to get things.
A bushel of wheat, a pound of sugar, an acre of land.

But now fiat currencies have a different meaning. They are a way to get more fiat currencies. More and more.

Anybody remember derivatives? Hedge funds?

When currencies (MONEY!!!!!) loses it’s relation to “things”, then it becomes something mythical. Something that isn’t part of reality. An end of itself, not representing anything real.

Not sure if we are there yet. But we are dam close.


47 posted on 08/06/2010 3:17:18 AM PDT by djf (They ain't "immigrants". They're "CRIMMIGRANTS"!!!!)
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To: Southack

Debt default is deflationary. Debt itself is neutral to inflationary. We’ve had this discussion before.

There has been a truly epic and historic effort to ward off the deflationary effects of the financial crisis over the past several years. Much to the chagrin of many, it’s been somewhat successful, for now at least.

What we’re seeing is distorted as a result. For those closer to the subsistence level, who are not in any way living off government subsidy, an increasing amount of increasingly dear income is required.

For instance, your typical box of snack foods. Yes, it’s not the wisest choice and not the healthiest choice, but it’s gone from 99 cents to $2.50 on sale in the past three years. Watched it happen. Breakfast foods in particular have skyrocketed.

Lower and middle class wage earners are being squeezed from both sides, and are not experiencing deflation in any meaningful sense, as far as day-to-day expenses, while what investments they’ve managed to accumulate and hang onto are collapsing.

What to call this is a puzzle, but it’s pernicious. Another severe round of financial crisis is really going to hurt such people. I’m unfortunately slipping into that category, myself.

Who will retain the cash to capitalize after the second leg down that we all sense is coming? We know who is being funded to the tune of trillions. Government special interests and financial institutions, an unholy alliance of sorts. Sounds more than just sort of fascist to me.

There’s an answer. Call it “squeezeflation.” Take more money. Higher cost for necessities, decimate investments available to the lower and middle classes.


48 posted on 08/06/2010 3:41:47 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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To: RegulatorCountry

Corporate health benefit packages are being squeezed, raising costs to seniors. Electric bills are skyrocketing. Local taxes are rising.

These may or may not be the unintended consequences of Obacare, environmentalism, and wasteful/corrupt bureaucracies.


49 posted on 08/06/2010 3:49:48 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Compact Theory)
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To: P.O.E.

I took a job with a former customer after my business went down, grateful to have it, and they’re quite busy unlike many companies. But, pay increases are nonexistent and the very modest health insurance package with a high deductable is going up relentlessly.

I haven’t noticed a big increase in electric, because Duke Energy was denied their 10% increase due to falling demand (!!!??? the joys of being a monopoly) and efforts to minimize power usage.

My personal overhead is as low as it’s going to get, shy of paying off the mortgage in full. I’ll survive. I have to wonder about those not as well set, even though I’ve had quite the decline myself.


50 posted on 08/06/2010 4:00:04 AM PDT by RegulatorCountry
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