Saturday, April 07, 2012

The Call to Tax the Rich- Inflation At Its Best.

I’ve written on this topic several times, but I guess I need to write it so I sound less Republican. The Democrats always want to tax the rich at a higher rate and it makes some sense, the rich need their status quo and their assets protected against theft from the poor. So part of the cost is justified in increased police protection (Now you know why the police will show up in Beverly Hills in 5 minutes whereas in Watts maybe the next day---after the sun comes up).

But when we examine the playing field with a magnifying glass, things look a tad different. To the average person, a rich person is someone who doesn’t have to work for a living. The rich people Congress is pointing too, are wage earners, who work for a living. For the most part its dual income households or movie stars, sports players, book writers (we are not talking millions of people). When you delve into the realms of business, and professionals like doctors, these people can cut their own paychecks down to size. Then they pack the rest into their LLC or their retirement fund. Everyone tries to avoid paying taxes, it isn’t a rich thing, some people are just better at it than others. On a historical note, higher tax rates don't necessarily lead to increased revenue. See chart below.

The fundamental difference between Democrats and Republicans, on taxing the rich, is that the Republicans know the futility of it and the Democrats exploit the “tax the rich” ploy to raise votes from those who are disenfranchised from wealth (too poor to afford a pot to piss in).

The real bothersome thing about the call to "Tax the rich," is the enormous amount of money spent yearly servicing the interest on the national debt. That money could have been put to better use if we didn’t have the debt. So is taxing the rich an answer to our government’s tax revenue problems? Or is the interest on the national debt a problem that Congress thinks will go away? Why not spend down the debt? Of course, the truth is, Congress has never seriously contemplated paying off the debt, just make payments.

The Republicans and the Democrats are fighting it out on the Hill. But in the meantime, the Federal Reserve is printing dollars to conveniently pay the bills when tax receipts fall short. Inflation is not meant to be a tax on the rich, but it taxes anyone with a long term savings plan. So with the funny money printing, who is the government taxing? Answer: anyone with money in the bank. What is the current rate of taxation (inflation)? Answer: 10 to 14 percent. How many years before you lose 90 percent of the buying power of your savings? Answer: 6 to 8 years (or less at current printing rates).

So let’s see, a money market IRA is paying .03 percent interest and a 5 year renewable is paying 1.3%. A silver fox with 250K in an IRA and getting ready to retire is losing about 25K to 35K per year, just to inflation. Current interest rates are set by government intervention. If we were to take that 250K and assume an 8 percent return, then the retiree is foregoing about 20k in interest income per year courtesy of Uncle Sam (They're going to save the poor underwater home owners with low interest rates). So those silver foxes that saved their hard earned dollars are losing about 50k in purchasing power on a 250k nest egg every year. This isn’t really a loss, it is a tax, and the neat thing is that the government doesn’t have to collect it. It’s the new government plan to save our financial system better known as SOS (Screw Our Seniors). And for seniors who complain, there is the FOAD option. This government confiscation of our savings through inflation, is invisible to our youth. The young, see a bunch of old people barely making ends meet, and think to themselves, ”They didn’t save enough for retirement.”

Reality is a Case of Corona, a full tank of gas, a pack of smokes and a large pizza. Total cost $100. If your 85 years old, put it on your Master Card. Bernanke and Geithner have your card covered, just ask B of A. Tip: avoid the green bananas and buy the grandkids anything and everything they desire.

Copyright 2012 by Jim Brubaker

39 comments:

Sackerson said...

Hi, Jim. Taxation is a clumsy way to deal with the problem; the problem being the increasing concentration of wealth and income into fewer and fewer hands. Unless you're comfortable with seeing a return to the social disparities of 18th century England, there has to be some way to reverse the trend.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sackerson

Your right, taxation is not going to solve the increasing disparity between the rich and the poor.

I do believe that government mismanagement and excess borrowing and currency printing will trash the financial system.

Most people of wealth have a financial empire that has to be payrolled to function or it will collapse in on itself.

I'm a firm believer in the Kondratiev wave, and I think we are close to the end of a cycle. One of my first blog articles was called Surfing the Kondratiev Wave

Anybody with lots of assets in a collapse will not have the cash flow to maintain them. High profile items like real estate, and cars will be easily taxed when the financial system resets.

The market for expensive paintings, cars, jewelry will not exist.

The real problem is just like the real estate crash. You can point out the likely outcome of huge government deficits but no one will listen you. The system works just fine, doesn't it?

The people most likely to get ground up in the gears when this whole thing comes apart will be the retirees. And after 10 years of whining, they'll all be dead, so I kind of guess the problem will solve itself without any political intervention.

AIM said...

Republicans, a joke.
Democrats, a joke.
Congress, a joke.
American voters, a joke.

The currency, doomed.

More than just retirees will suffer, because a combination of default and inflation is the only way out of the oppressive and unpayable amount of debt that exists. It was never intended that it would be paid off. Only the common man, with a sense of ethics and responsibility, pays his debts off. Governments won't.

The government and central banks of the world are in big trouble and they all know it. They know no other solution than the creation of credit or money printing. They will continue along this line until we hit the main crisis point and then the system will crash and all those responsible for it will be washed away and a new system will arise. Let's hope that this time Man will learn from history (he never seems to) so the new system will be a more viable and long lasting one based on solvency, production and exchange... and most of all reason and ethics.

The credit/debt game that we've been playing here in the USA for the last 4.5 decades will be our undoing. And we will be undone within another decade or so at the most.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi AIM

You're right more than retirees will suffer, but us old folks won't have the luxury of time to start over again.

I'm going to keep on working as long as I have my health.

Here is a quote from a sign hanging in a store during the Great Depression to think about, "In God we trust, all others pay cash." The Great Credit Society is near its end.

And as you suggest, we are doomed to repeat our mistakes.---But it's going to be different this time---translation: "The party is not over--yet."

Anonymous said...

Jim

I repeatedly see the phrase "financial system collapse" and "financial system resets.".
Could you describe what this means...how does it translate to actual events?

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 12:04

When you trade 4 pigs for a cow, both parties have something real to show for the transaction.

When the government prints dollars, they have created nothing to purchase. Each dollar has an equal claim for product initially. Then it takes progressively more to purchase the same item. Bread could go to $10 a loaf and gas could go to $40 per gallon.

Canada just discontinued making the penny, the metal was worth more that what it could purchase. Put another way, you couldn't buy anything for a penny.

A 20 dollar gold piece from the 1920's is now worth $1,600 just for the gold content. A real silver dollar will buy 7 gallons of gasoline. I'll bet that a 20 dollar gold piece will buy the same number of pigs as it did 100 years ago.

Ask yourself what's real? Pigs, cows, chickens, gold, silver etc.

At some point we will return to real money, the sort of stuff that the government can't print with impunity.

Our whole financial system is backed by the full faith and credit of a deadbeat government that can barely pay the interest on the national debt.

The reset occurs when they issue a new currency like Germany did in 1923. It will be painless. I think that the German exchange rate was 1 billion old marks for one new mark. This is where the government turns your retirement savings into bus fare.

The only thing not set in stone, just like the housing bubble, is when will it become obvious to everyone?

Anonymous said...

Jim,

Isn't this an argument for holding gold?

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Anon 2:54

I think a house would offer more than gold, you could live in it. Typically a home is worth about 175 ounces of gold.

10 percent of your assets in gold and silver isn't a bad thing.

If we knew for sure, and had the exact date, then gold would be the perfect transition medium.

The biggest unknown we have to contend with is that the government is free to change the rules whenever and however it sees fit. Diversity will get us through the storm.

Jubilee said...

Jim, I've been thinking about this a lot lately. I don't think there is going to be a re-set. Why would they reset when the current system is so profitable. They would much rather string things along with a high debt load as long as they can, forever would be fine by them.

AIM said...

Is there really any avoidance of what is eventually coming?

Hold gold... government can confiscate it or devalue it.

Buy a home... local government controls you through property tax. And that tax will go sky high as time goes on and you'll be forced to pay it. You think you own your house? Don't pay the property taxes and they'll eventually take it away from you. A law enforcement officer will remove you from the premises. When you consider property taxes, maintenance and repairs... it will be cheaper to rent.

Buy a farm and be self sufficient... same problem as above with a house. Plus, very hard work to run a farm. Plus, the government and big Agra will clean your clock.

Own rentals... property tax as above, plus you'll be paying higher taxes on your rental income and mortgage interest deductions and depreciation will probably be legislated away too.

Hold cash... will lose its purchasing power, and maybe become worthless if Bernanke and Congress continue their shenanigans. While you're waiting for your money to become worthless you'll be earning .5% interest per year.

Stocks and bonds... those markets will crash and those assets will be ruined by taxes and inflation too.

Live in an RV... fuel costs will skyrocket. Plus you're a target for banditos.

Move to another country... still will have to pay US taxes unless you renounce citizenship. Plus, when the US and EU go down everyone else is going down too. Plus most all countries are on fiat currency too. Will be a worldwide depression.

I keep looking for some escape hatch, some safe harbor, but I haven't found it yet.

Sackerson said...

I think Jim has pretty much covered what to do: keep working, and pay your way from your earnings.

Then if you have assets, don't hold them in the form of cash or cash promises (such as bonds), since government can magic more into existence and effectively steal a proportion of the value of your savings.

Asset values (in cash terms) have been supported by phony money, so it seems to me that real estate, bonds and stocks are all overvalued; be prepared to lose something, but anything with intrinsic value will retain at least some value.

I've been in cash for a long time because of all the gyrations, and I don't think the money-printing frenzy will start for a while yet (QE is a system of loans, not direct increase of the currency).

I'm guessing there will be a time when (1) confidence ebbs further, interest rates increase, and so debt-powered assets slump in nominal value, temporarily. Then (2) government finances unravel (not to mention pension funds, and of course enormous personal indebtedness - watch for a wave of student loan defaults, which is a topic at the moment) and their nerve breaks, and the "hyperinflationary blowoff" starts.

I'm sort of waiting for (1) to make a move out of cash, but my personal circumstances and plans aren't really that of the wealthy investor: I'm looking to find a decent house in a safer, nicer part of England and keep working. After that, stuff investments - the criminals have taken over.

I do think some residential property has a lot further to fall, but that very much depends on what kind of property, where. Marc Faber reckons real estate in some parts of the US are now fairly valued, so he's suggesting that as well as a spread of gold, silver, oil and stocks.

Your thoughts, Jim?

Anonymous said...

Sackerson:
What you say makes sense. I'm all in cash as well. Actually I'm starting to use it for private lending now and getting returns on short term loans that I won't even mention (no one would believe me).

My loans are safely collateralized with real estate (1st trust deeds, 65% LTV on real estate). My plan is to keep doing this and amassing as much cash as I can until, what you call "the hyper-inflationary blow off" begins to really move as a trend.

That is when one will need to get out of cash FAST and get into tangible, hard assets to protect what remaining wealth one has.

Maybe single family residences so that I can have rental income. They'll be even cheaper in the future than they are now (ie. one may be able to buy 4 nice REOs for 200k cash right now to have as rental properties, BUT in 3-4 years one may be able to buy 6 nice REOs for 200k cash.) Of course the property taxes could go way up and the tax benefits removed, so local and federal government could even screw this up for landlords and make it a nightmare.

The only other thing to buy with the cash would be some small business that offers a good product or service that customers will always need.

Rental properties and small viable businesses. What else would be safe and workable and give you the financial support you need to make it through old age. I can't think of anything else.

Maybe instead of single family residences, a small apartment building that one could also live in as well. That is an idea.

New Oregonian said...

AIM - I'm buying a farm. I understand your point about property tax, but the goods that I can produce on the farm - for my own use, and, when it's profitable to do so, for resale - will have an absolute value not denominated in dollars. One chicken gobbling 1 day's bugs and weeds, is worth 2 days' food for my family. If currency devalues so much that prop. taxes are unaffordable, that chicken would also be out of my price range. I see the small farm/homestead as a currency hedge. There is also room for that RV dweller to live on your property in exchange for a little cash or a little help.

Rental property - you can't rent for less than the cost of prop. taxes. No landlord could afford to stay in the business more than short-term if taxes rose higher than rents. More likely, rents will rise with wages, making landlording an inflation hedge (esp. if you can hold property that attracts gov't employees). Stagflation/outright collapse could nullify that premise, of course.

For real estate, I favor houses that provide at least a chance for an income stream. Ideally, they include a means of production (good workshop, garden space, etc.). If things go totally fubar, barter. At least owning a piece of land big enough for a garden gives you some options. Leverage/mortgage further hedges your risk. Maintenance needn't be an excessive cost - look at slums the world over.

If banditos worry you - you should own. Landlords won't harden your home, but if you own it, you can. See also, farm, above; some farm animals are good watchmen (geese, mules, dogs can be quite protective).

Anonymous said...

Jim,

what you fail to consistently realize is that the u.s. dollar doesn't need to be backed by anything except for one thing, technological superiority...i.e. strong military!!!

Being the only world superpower is what backs the dollar and that's real and all that is necessary!!!
and for all the china is on the rise crowd, every Chinese millionaire i know is bringing their money to the u.s. and buying RE all over, including Canada. these guys used their own countrymen to get rich and took an ecological dump in their country and are now pulling out with the wealth. so china is not the next super power.

when you are the world bully, you make the rules and as long as you make the rules, you can do anything you want! it's not morally correct for some but it's factually correct.

ask yourself, is it a fair game when three rating agencies in the u.s. downgrade greek debt and the country implodes?!#$ the euro was looking good after the 2007 u.s. crash, how about now ;)

be realistic! the world is not what you want it to be, the world is what it is, none of us are big enough to change the tide, so all we can do is ride the wave, no matter where it goes...
don't fight the system, benefit from it!

one day Jim, you'll get it. your analysis is correct if it was a fair game but the game is fixed my friend.

Anonymous said...

yeah i agree. watch what congress, the fed and the white house do as regards legislation and fiscal and monetary planning and then act in the best way possible to either avoid it or benefit from it.

AIM said...

New Oregonian:
Thanx for the input. Good luck with your farm. I'm the furthest thing from being a farmer (born in suburbia and now 60 years old). I need to have a farmer/manager on the land to run things.

I think the best plan for me will be to... get rest of debt paid off... sell all of our stuff (turn the trash into cash)... buy a motorhome cheap and for cash via auction... spend a few years being mobile (despite the cost of fuel) to maximize our income and save save save... and, as we are traveling, keep on the lookout for a little community to join (like a little farm commune or some such) so we know where to go when the hyper-inflation begins. Either sell the motorhome or keep it as a bugout vehicle in case of emergency.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi Sackerson

I'm in kind of the same boat. I have money invested in IRA's and 401k's. You can't really pick an investment, only a conduit of what you want. Right now I am in short term bonds and in my thinking, if interest rates go up, I can get out without too much of a loss if rates go higher. With investment funds, you are kind of trapped in what you can do. I am hoping to survive any bond collapse by being in short term. The thing I am looking for is a collapse of the stock market. At that point, I would switch from bonds to stocks. Bear in mind that you could still sustain a 50 percent loss in stocks in the long run. The big thing here is to take delivery of the certificates. It might seem old fashion, but brokerage houses use your stock to short the market, and they could go belly up.

I personally think that when Facebook does their IPO, we will re-live the South Sea Company bubble of 1720. Everyone is going to try to get rich at the same time. It will climb to the stars and then the market will plunge into the abyss.

Of course I could be wrong. But greed is something that you can't really measure.

Anonymous said...

Jim,
You don't have to be trapped by your IRA. You can switch to a SDI (self-directed IRA) and use that investment capital to buy a rental property, or loan the money out (1st trust deed), or other types of investing other than stocks and bonds. Re: stocks, strong blue chip companies that sell necessary products and pay dividends could be a way to go. You can get a 3% dividend payment and those dividends are continuing to go up annually with most of these companies.

New Oregonian said...

Jim, I 2nd the self-directed IRA as worthy of some research. When I can liberate assets from the 401k, I'm absolutely putting some into self-directed IRA.

AIM, if you go the RV route, google workamping. Free camp spot & some gas money for part-time work.

Farming - full scale farming is a complex science, but so was long division when I was 7; I'll learn. People have been raising vegetables and chickens on small lots for a long time. I started gardening by throwing seeds at a corner of my suburban lot, topping with compost, and seeing what took; a lot of food resulted. I hope not to HAVE to live off my farm expertise alone but glad to have the option if it's ever my *only* option.

Debt - look into laws on debt collection against retirees. A lot of IRA/401k/Social Security are protected against collections/seizure.

RV - I have a Class C. The drivetrain depreciates. If I were doing it today, I'd get a 5th wheel setup. I'm looking to buy a "condo" RV park space; it can offer cheap living.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi New Oregonian and Anon 9:47

Union Bank of California has an IRA plan that can be turned into a self directed one and that is what I have. As long as it is in their bank CD's, it is FDIC insured, which I like. The thing to remember with Ira's and 401K's the funds are at risk. The main reason these tax dodges exist, is because our government needed a source of cheap money to borrow and they needed a lot of it.

The RV route is too idealistic. There is a lot everyone wants to do in retirement, having strokes, heart attacks and arthritis aren't among the desired vacation destinations.

I had to chuckle about farming. I had about a 10th of an acre I use to farm, and it is hard work. An old guy like me would probably have a fart-attack just trying to pull a weed out of the garden. Embarrassing to say the least if the kids are helping you.

Chickens aren't bad to raise, you can feed them the garbage and they'll eat it. The only drawback I can see is that Walmart won't allow RV parking for those with chickens.

I'm joking around here, but health issues will really determine a lot of what you do after retirement. And these events are not planned. Some of us will luck out and be able to enjoy retirement, here's hoping we make it.

AIM said...

New Oregonian: thanks for the tip on workamping but if we go mobile my wife and I will both be busy running our respective businesses. (Going mobile will actually allow us to expand our businesses and revenue.)

The businesses will be paying for our food, fuel, coach maintenance and repair, parking, etc. and will all be a write off.

Yeah, being born and raised in suburbia, farming would be way out of my depth.

A free and clear house with a decent back yard is all that is needed. The yard needs to be big enough for some small vegetable plots, a few fruit trees and a small chicken coop, maybe a fish pond for tilapia. That alone could almost make someone self sufficient (solar panels and a well would really do it). This sort of an arrangement I think I could learn to do and handle—especially if it was a needed survival action.

Just need to be in the right area or neighborhood that would allow it. An area with low property taxes too.

Then again, if you could also sell some eggs, chickens and produce on a regular basis, maybe you could qualify as a farm business, put the whole thing on an IRS Schedule F and be able to write the house and all expenses off because you are a commerical business. Would need to be in a residential/commercial or all whatever zone is required for a farmette.

Just thinking out loud. This idea or some variation or semblance of it could turn out to be a good solution for what to do after the full time mobile phase is over.

AIM again... said...

I actually should correct this or add...

Better than being alone on a farmette like I just described, I think it would be better to have a little group or community doing this so that we can help and protect each other. Strength in groups is important especially if there is ever civil unrest or lawlessness due to a negligent or under-funded local government.

Or buy a big enough piece of land where you could lay down some repo mobile homes or prefab houses so that you could create a little community (and also have some rental income).

AIM again... said...

New Oregonian:

I've researched and thought it out. To me, a C-class is too small for FT living; a 5th wheel is a pain in the neck to hook and unhook everytime you want to drive your vehicle somewhere, and a real pain to back up, especially for the wife (plus you have to have a powerful diesel pickup).

I like the idea of an A-Class towing a small fuel efficient car. That seems to be the least amount of hassle and work. You unhook your car, pull your coach into the space or location where you are gonna stay, you've now got your home set up and you can come and go in your car.

AIM again... said...

Jim,
Don't be insulted or concerned. If you think about it, my last few posts weren't really off topic.

All of this talk and planning has been inspired by your latest blog posting and is due to the inevitable and impending disaster of hyper-inflation.

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi AIM

You're good. It's the people that want to save the world and have all the answers that get to me.

I'd say more, but I've got to get to work.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:21 here.

so jim, i guess you don't have an argument when it comes to our money being backed by our military might and not gold???

or does it not fit your depression of 2006 thesis and therefore not worth a response, either way, it's been six years since your depression call and eventually as the economy picks up, as it is doing currently, and it's a decade later, maybe you'll take off the depression of 2006 glasses and see the true color of the world.

good luck and be well.

Anonymous said...

What 10% inflation rate are you talking about? The CPI went up 2.9%. Unfortunately, 80% of that was due to rising fuel costs.

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm

That means that other causes were 20%. That could be the magic money there, or it could be growth in loans, with credit easing up from the major contraction in credit during the crash. It could be productivity growth.

It probably isn't rising wages or flat unemployment.

Anonymous said...

One other thing - printing too much money causes inflation... but the huge credit contraction in 08 had the effect of destroying money. It's not just the FRB that "prints money" - private credit and fractional reserve banking also has the effect of creating money.

When money is destroyed, you have less money chasing more goods, so the prices drop.

When prices drop, savings gain in value, but people stop spending, hoping to get a better deal in the future.

The decline in demand causes further downward pressure on prices.

Revenues at businesses drop, and people get laid off. More people get on unemployment insurance, and on food stamps. Government spending rises, increasing the debt, by the way.

Business contracts, so the equity market sees declines. People get scared and pull out of the stock market.

At some point, people are so unemployed that they'll take any job, at any low wage. At some point, prices for things drop so far that the remaining rich people can buy up what's for sale, keeping the prices from dropping further.

The poor get poorer, and the rich, while they don't get richer immediately, put themselves in a position where they can extract rents from the growing population of poor people.

For the rich, it's all upside, and for the poor, the future looks like misery.

Then, you have weird shit happen, like random riots. Third party politics gains real legs. People go nuts and blow things up. Philosophers come up with justifications for murder, arson, and chaos.

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:21

You're missing some key points. WE ARE IN A DEPRESSION. The government and media statistics you are looking at are false and manipulated.

The economy has been being heavily manipulated since 2008 and all of the printing, credit, etc. has been propping up the economy. It is all artificial stimulus. Plus it is an election year now and so even more of the negatives are being covered up or lied about.

Inflation isn't 2.9%!!! It's way above that. The CPI is a joke (it doesn't even have fuel or food in it).

Look at U6 or unemployment numbers and you probably should add a few more percentage points to it to make up for the government's obfuscations. Unemployment is probably more accurately between 20-25% right now. It reached 25% in the early 30's. It is a bigger country population wise, so there are many more people out of work, forced to work part time, working crap jobs they don't want, or plain just given up and stopped looking for work. The government doesn't count any of those people.

The only reason there aren't soup kitchens right now is because we have FOOD STAMPS which didn't exist in the 30's. There are almost 50 million Americans on food stamps right now. Where would they be if the government was handing this food stamp money/credit out? That's right... soup kitchens, church basements, and at the table with family or friends that are willing to help.

This country is bankrupt. It only pulls in 1/2 of what it spends each year and now has budget deficits over one trillion dollars! Our national debt has surpassed our GDP.

Housing is continuing to drop in price because of poor fundamentals and because there are 5 to 8 million more foreclosures coming down the pike (and the banks and government are doing everything they can to hold them back).

The banks are using evasive and irregular accounting techniques in order to hide their actual financial status.

I could go on and on and on.

You think that we are recovering? Recovering to what? 40 years of credit fueled artificial growth and debt way beyond anyone's ability to pay back?

Jim is right. The depression started in 2006. It's got a long way to go too. And we will continue to go down despite the FRB papering over it all with worthless money.

Anonymous said...

5:21,
As my first post to this thread, may I suggest you read this blog's past topics. You are off on many points. Like many Americans, you need to re-educate yourself with something other than mainstream news articles.

Also, these guys really don't need textbook definitions on inflation and deflation. They are well beyond that. :)

Jim in San Marcos said...

Hi All,

Thank you for those coming to my aid.

I'd like to point out to Anon 5:21 that this blog realizes that it is impossible to change what the reader believes. And I have never tried. His comments are welcome anytime and I hope he doesn't think I have singled him/her out.

If you have ever read the book "Future Shock," you walk away marveling over what you read. You didn't learn anything new, the author organized and put the many pieces of everyones puzzle and gave it more substance. All this blog is trying to do is something similar, connect the dots and there is more than one way that can be done.

So about the title, "The Great Depression of 2006, let's reflect back in history. The Great Depression everyone today knows started in 1929. In reality, it started with the hurricane in 1926 in Florida. In October of 1929 when the stock market crashed, there was no depression, things were just fine. The market had lost a lot of money and some rich people were a lot poorer. It wasn't until 1933 that the masses of people knew that they were in a depression. So if we subtract 1933 from 1926 we get 7 years. Add that on to 2006 and you get 2013. I think we are right on course for the Great Great Depression.

The thing that impressed me studying the Great Depression, was how invisible it was until everyone was willing to accept it.

AIM said...

Two other key points that you didn't mention Jim. The Fed was printing money in the 20's and there was a lot of capital fleeing from Europe to the USA. The USA was swimming in currency which spawned more speculation, risky investments and the idea that "you just can't lose". This helped set things up for the depression as well.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why there have never been any assassination attempts on the Chairman of the Federal Reserve (especially Greenspan and Bernanke)?

We've witnessed assassinations and attempted assassinations on presidents but let's face it the Chairman of the Fed has more power than a figure-head president does and effects our lives so much more because he influences our economy, which touches almost every aspect of our lives and future lives.

I wonder if Bernanke has body guards or Secret Service protecting him whenever he is out. He told Ron Paul in a Congressional meeting that he does his own grocery shopping and is aware of consumer prices. Yeah, as if I believe that. (If I ever saw him in my grocery store it would take all the restraint that I have to keep from hitting him in the head with a watermelon.)

If he has Secret Service protecting him, that would be interesting... since the Fed Reserve is not part of the US government and he isn't a government official.

This guy has taken the baton from Greenspan and destroyed our currency and is ruining our economy and our nation. He is destroying savers and retirees and widows lives.

The American people just don't understand how the central bank/The Fed has damaged our country. Our big overpowering federal government is a big enemy of the people, but the Federal Reserve is PUBLIC ENEMY #1.

The Fed has managed to trick the American public and stay in control for 100 years. They are so deeply imbedded now because everyone born today was born into this system and doesn't even think that there could be a government structure without a central bank system.

The American people suffer for not knowing their history.

New Oregonian said...

Jim - health definitely dictates retirement lifestyle. It's one of the reasons I want something to barter; I doubt I can afford hired help, but I can trade garden space for a share of the crop, or a guest room for borrowed youthful vigor.

Lots of young folk want to garden/farm, but can't afford even a little land. Older folks have the finances but not the young back. I'd rather have something to trade for what I need than not. I just don't envision saving enough to survive retirement on cash alone.

AIM - Oregon has a wacky property tax system; old houses can have much lower taxes than newer (still over $200/mo., or 10% of SS), yet have bigger lots and many have irrigation wells. Plunking mobile homes down is a good plan, but zoning discourages it in most places. There are places with no zoning, but they tend to be far from services.

Sounds like you've got a good grasp on what you're looking for as you travel. I wish you the best of luck finding just the right spot and an enjoyable trek as you find it.

Anon 8:55 Dig into how CPI is calculated, especially the substitution assumptions. If the price of steak quadruples, inflation doesn't go up because they just switch the CPI basket to hamburger. CPI just measures how much more it costs to maintain a constantly-declining standard of living.

Anonymous said...

There is no need to kill Bernanke. He is just a petty agent of the banking cartel.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:35

Then who do we kill?

AIM said...

New Oregonian:
From your comments it appears that you don't have children or family that might care for you in your older age if you become feeble or decrepit in your old age. That is the same for my wife and I.

Your barter idea is very smart. I would think if you had a guest house and a garden and chicken coop you would be able to find someone and trade that in exchange for them taking care of you. Good way to get full time, live-in help without having to take any money out of your wallet or reserves. If your garden/coop was big enough they could also take and sell some of the produce at farmer's markets so you'd also be giving them a little business where they could make some cash. Creates a very stable environment for some young couple that will ensure they stick around as your caretakers/caregivers.

I think that is a good plan that I will incorporate for our older age as well.

AIM said...

Anon 10:43

If it was that easy these destructive people would've been assassinated a long time ago. Doesn't work because they'd just be replaced by the next lackey.

It isn't killing that we need. It is the giving of life. We need to breath life into the concepts of liberty, freedom and all of the other key tenets in our Constitution and Bill of Rights to the younger generations so that they can evolve us out of these unworkable systems (police states, oligarchies, crony-capitalism, etc.)

Anonymous said...

Excellent response, Aim. I have a feeling these posters may work for the government, and are trolling the blogs looking for domestic "terrorists". They approach off topic, and use leading questions to trap the unaware.