We went to Berkeley last week to see where my son will be going to college. The two pictures below are of a parking meter that was a block from the campus.
Notice the rates in the second picture. Two minutes for a nickel and a dime is good for 4 minutes (minimum transaction is 30 cents). The thing that surprised me was that it also accepts credit cards. Three of the cars parked in front of this "Revenue Raising Tax God" had handicapped tags swinging from the rear view mirror. If you're handicapped, you don't have to pay. Notice the bicycler chained his bike to the machine.
You have to wonder about this 12 minute minimum charge. The nearest public restroom is a 6 minute walk (if you know where it is).
30 years ago, a quarter would have bought an hour of time on the meter. Now it buys 12 minutes. So the quarter buys only 1/5th of what it used to. Put another way, our dollar has lost 80 percent of its value in 30 years.
The dollar's devaluation has been very gradual and spread out over time. California is about to raise the state sales tax to around 10%. If you study history, you'll notice that the sales tax was started during the Great Depression as was Social Security. These two taxes are approaching absurd levels and now we will face a health care tax.
Here we sit arguing over whether or not we are going into inflation or deflation and the real question is; have we had enough of incompetent government yet? The Mayor of Bell California was getting $787,000 until it was put in the press. The price tag for running a photo red light in California is $400, thats enough to start a divorce among young newlywed couples.
I would like to suggest that the reason we haven't seen any inflation is because of the obscene salaries of many people, they can't spend it that fast so they put it in the bank. As long as it is in the bank, there is no inflation effect, if the bank can't find anyone credit worthy to loan it to. Of course the little people like you and me don't have to worry about how to keep $250,000K FDIC insured in a bank (we don't have it to begin with).
Bernanke's goal is to stave off deflation. It's kind of like him going into a "house of ill repute" and slashing rates 50% and claiming it will bring in more business. He's right, but he's wrong. You'll get more business, but it is business you never wanted to see in a lifetime. Common sense rules when you have to work for a dollar the hard way. It is a shame that the government doesn't do it's COLAS off of hooker revenue. Minimum Social Security might approach 100K a year.
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