Posts tagged prices
Don’t Worry – The Government Says That The Inflation You See Is Just Your Imagination
If you believe that there is high inflation in the United States, you are just imagining things. That is the message that the U.S. government and the Federal Reserve would have us to believe. You might have noticed that the government announced on Wednesday that the cost of living increase for Social Security beneficiaries will only be 1.5 percent next year. This is one of the smallest cost of living increases that we have ever seen. The federal government is able to get away with this because the official numbers say that there is hardly any inflation in the U.S. right now. Of course anyone that shops for groceries or that pays bills regularly knows what a load of nonsense the official inflation rate is. The U.S. government has changed the way that inflation is calculated numerous times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make inflation appear to be even lower. According to John Williams of shadowstats.com, if the inflation rate was still calculated the same way that it was back when Jimmy Carter was president, the official rate of inflation would be somewhere between 8 and 10 percent today. But if the mainstream news actually reported such a number, everyone would be screaming and yelling about getting inflation under control. Instead, the super low number that gets put out to the public makes it look like the Federal Reserve has plenty of room to do even more reckless money printing. It is a giant scam, but most Americans are falling for it.
Meanwhile, the prices of the things that most Americans buy on a regular basis just keep going up. The following are just a few examples of price inflation that we have seen lately…
-McDonald’s has killed the dollar menu because it is becoming impossible to “make any money selling burgers for $1“.
But don’t worry – the government says that the inflation you see is just your imagination.
-Amazon.com has raised the minimum order size required for free shipping from $25 to $35.
But don’t worry – you can afford to order more stuff thanks to the great new job that you got during this “economic recovery”.
-It is being projected that those using natural gas to heat their homes will see their heating costs rise by 13 percent this winter.
But don’t worry – “global warming” should kick in to high gear any day now.
-The price of chocolate has gone up by 45 percent since 2007, and it is being projected that it will now be increasing at an even faster pace.
But don’t worry – eating chocolate is bad for you anyway.
-Thanks to Obamacare, the health insurance premiums of many American families are absolutely skyrocketing. As I wrote about the other day, one family down in Texas just got a letter informing them that their health insurance premiums are going up by 539 percent.
But don’t worry – this is just “health care reform” in action.
Meanwhile, things just continue to get tougher for middle class American families. Household incomes have actually been declining for five years in a row and total consumer credit has risen by a whopping 22 percent over the past three years.
The quality of our jobs continues to go down and our paychecks are not keeping up with inflation. In fact, 40 percent of all U.S. workers are now making less than what a full-time minimum wage worker made back in 1968 after you account for inflation.
So what do the “authorities” say that the solution to our problems is?
They want even more inflation of course. According to CNBC, many Federal Reserve officials (including Janet Yellen) believe that what the U.S. economy really needs is a lot more inflation…
Inflation is widely reviled as a kind of tax on modern life, but as Federal Reserve policy makers prepare to meet this week, there is growing concern inside and outside the Fed that inflation is not rising fast enough.
Some economists say more inflation is just what the American economy needs to escape from a half-decade of sluggish growth and high unemployment.
The Fed has worked for decades to suppress inflation, but economists, including Janet Yellen, President Obama’s nominee to lead the Fed starting next year, have long argued that a little inflation is particularly valuable when the economy is weak. Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.
The rest of that article goes on and on about how wonderful inflation is for an economy and about how the U.S. economy desperately needs some more of it.
Well, if that was actually true, then the Weimar Republic should have had one of the best economies in the history of mankind.
But this inevitably happens when a nation starts producing fiat currency that is backed by absolutely nothing. There is always a temptation to just print a little bit more.
In the end, we are going to be destroyed by our own foolishness. We have the de facto reserve currency of the planet, and the rest of the world has trusted it for decades. But now we are systematically destroying our currency, and the rest of the globe is looking on in horror.
If you want to see a very good example of the impact that inflation has had on our economy in recent years, just check out this amazing chart which shows what the Federal Reserve’s reckless policies have done to the prices of commodities.
Ultimately, the U.S. dollar will be destroyed, and we will have done it to ourselves.
Many people are attempting to protect themselves against this inevitability by putting a lot of their money into hard assets such as gold and silver, but before you do that you might want to make sure that you don’t have a vengeful spouse that will toss it all into a dumpster someday. The following is from a recent New York Post article…
A Colorado man was so angry at his ex-wife for divorcing him that he had the couple’s life savings of $500,000 converted to gold — then tossed it in a dumpster so she couldn’t have any of it, the Colorado Springs Gazette reports.
In June, Earl Ray Jones, 52, of Divide, Colorado, was ordered by a judge to pay $3,000 a month to the woman he’d been married to for 25 years, so he pillaged the couple’s retirement account and had it converted into 22 pounds worth of gold and silver bars, the paper reports.
Jones claims he then tossed the modern-day treasure into a dumpster behind a motel, where he had been living temporarily, later telling the judge he had no money to give his ex-wife, according to the paper.
Did that story make you smile? It sure did the trick for me.
But that story is also a picture of what the Federal Reserve is doing with our dollar.
Our currency has been used for decades by almost everyone else around the planet. In fact, more U.S. dollars are used outside of our country than inside of it.
But now the Federal Reserve is systematically trashing the dollar and the rest of the globe is starting to lose faith in it.
Instead of realizing their mistakes, Fed officials say that we need to create even more inflation and they just keep on wildly printing more money.
In the end, we will all pay a great price for their foolishness.
This article first appeared here at the Economic Collapse Blog. Michael Snyder is a writer, speaker and activist who writes and edits his own blogs The American Dream and Economic Collapse Blog. Follow him on Twitter here.
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Why Did McDonald’s Kill the Dollar Menu?
Because of price inflation.
In January, Wendy’s turned its 99-Cent Menu into the Right Price Right Size menu. Now, McDonald’s is ending its Dollar Menu after eleven years. The simple truth is: You can’t make any money selling burgers for $1, any more, says Atlantic.
Image credit: http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com
Peter Schiff Was Right Part Deux: The “Taper” Edition
For those of you who remember the months following the 2008 financial crisis, one of the most viral videos out there (it has over 2 million views) was the “Peter Schiff Was Right” compilation. It consists of various clips of Mr. Schiff being prescient about the financial condition of the U.S., as talking heads on various financial shows mock him and laugh in his face.
Well, the “Peter Schiff Was Right Video Part Deux” is now out and I expect this one to go viral as well. In this case, pundits laugh at Peter’s insistence that there will be no taper and that it was all a bluff (they pull off the same bluff every year). It ends in classic fashion with Bob Pisani explaining to the dwindling audience at CNBC that “no one saw it coming.”
I guess we’re back to that again. The next crisis can’t be far off.
Video capture image added to original post.
Fed Czars go to War – Chuck Morse
Published by NextNewsNetwork
For what may be the first time in the 100-year history of the Federal Reserve System, two candidates are publicly contending to replace the Fed’s outgoing chairman, Ben Bernanke.
Janet Yellen, vice chairwoman of the Fed’s Board of Governors, is said to be locked in a dead heat with Larry Summers, former President of Harvard and a former high-ranking economic adviser to Presidents Clinton and Obama.
As is the case in electoral politics, the contest between Yellen and Summers has included dirty campaigning — with supporters of Yellen accusing Summers of sexist behavior as Harvard President. They also point out that Mr. Obama would make history by appointing Yellen to be the Fed’s first female chairman.
In substantive terms, there’s not much difference between Yellen and Summers. Both of them support the Keynesian model of economics in which debt-driven government spending is seen as the key to expanding the economy.
During the 1990s, Summers played a key role in creating the real estate and mortgage bubble and the huge derivatives market that grew out of it — all of which led to the financial panic of 2008 and the ongoing recession.
Yellen, for her part, believes that Bernanke’s energetic expansion of money and credit has been inadequate. If she is appointed as Fed chairman, Yellen might well inaugurate an era of hyperinflation.
The Fed Chairman has more power over the U.S. economy — indeed, the world economy — than either the president or the Congress. Why is this so? Why does the Federal Reserve exist, and are we stuck with it? We’ll discuss this today with radio host and economic analyst Chuck Morse.
In addition to hosting the nationally syndicated “Chuck Morse Speaks” program on the IRN/USA Radio Network, Chuck has written two books — The Art and Science of American Money, and The Socialist Bible. He is also a columnist whose work has appeared in the Boston Globe, the Washington Times, WorldNetDaily, and numerous other publications.
Ethanol has a friend at the EPA
The “ethanol mandate” is terrible policy and it became reality under a Republican president and Republican Congress in 2005. It mandates that fuel companies blend ethanol into their gasoline.
It was sold as a way of increasing energy independence, and a way to decrease pollution, including carbon emissions (which is still subject to debate). What it is for sure is a boondoggle for Midwest farming interests.
The ethanol in our gasoline makes our fuel less efficient. The growing and refining of corn into ethanol creates almost the same amount of carbon as an equivalent amount of gasoline. Ethanol contributes to higher grain costs which in turn contributes to higher costs for meat.
Ethanol means tax dollars going to Big Ag, my car not driving as far as it should, and more expensive steaks. Lose, lose, lose.
(From The Examiner)
The American Coalition for Ethanol announced at the time, “We appreciate President Obama nominating Gina McCarthy as administrator of EPA, a step which shows the president’s continued commitment to ethanol and other renewable fuels.”
“President Obama has made an outstanding choice in his decision to nominate Gina McCarthy to be the next administrator of the EPA,” declared Tom Buis, president of Growth Energy, another ethanol lobby. The Renewable Fuels Association and the Advanced Ethanol Council also applauded her nomination.
It Is Happening Again: 18 Similarities Between The Last Financial Crisis And Today
If our leaders could have recognized the signs ahead of time, do you think that they could have prevented the financial crisis of 2008? That is a very timely question, because so many of the warning signs that we saw just before and during the last financial crisis are popping up again. Many of the things that are happening right now in the stock market, the bond market, the real estate market and in the overall economic data are eerily similar to what we witnessed back in 2008 and 2009. It is almost as if we are being forced to watch some kind of a perverse replay of previous events, only this time our economy and our financial system are much weaker than they were the last time around.
So will we be able to handle a financial crash as bad as we experienced back in 2008? What if it is even worse this time? Considering the fact that we have been through this kind of thing before, you would think that our leaders would be feverishly trying to keep it from happening again and the American people would be rapidly preparing to weather the coming storm. Sadly, none of that is happening. It is almost as if they cannot even see the disaster that is staring them right in the face. But without a doubt, disaster is coming. The following are 18 similarities between the last financial crisis and today…
#1 According to the Bank of America Merrill Lynch equity strategy team, their big institutional clients are selling stock at a rate not seen “since 2008“.
#2 In 2008, stock prices had wildly diverged from where the economic fundamentals said that they should be. Now it has happened again.
#3 In early 2008, the average price of a gallon of gasoline rose substantially. It is starting to happen again. And remember, whenever the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the U.S. has risen above $3.80 during the past three years, a stock market decline has always followed.
#4 New home prices just experienced their largest two month drop since Lehman Brothers collapsed.
#5 During the last financial crisis, the mortgage delinquency rate rose dramatically. It is starting to happen again.
#6 Prior to the financial crisis of 2008, there was a spike in the number of adjustable rate mortgages. It is happening again.
#7 Just before the last financial crisis, unemployment claims started skyrocketing. Well, initial claims for unemployment benefits are rising again. Once we hit the 400,000 level, we will officially be in the danger zone.
#8 Continuing claims for unemployment benefits just spiked to the highest level since early 2009.
#9 The yield on 10 year Treasuries is now up to 2.60 percent. We also saw the yield on 10 year U.S. Treasuries rise significantly during the first half of 2008.
#10 According to Zero Hedge, “whenever the annual change in core capex, also known as Non-Defense Capital Goods excluding Aircraft shipments goes negative, the US has traditionally entered a recession”. Guess what? It is rapidly heading toward negative territory again.
#11 Average hourly compensation in the United States experienced its largest drop since 2009 during the first quarter of 2013.
#12 In the month of June, spending at restaurants fell by the most that we have seen since February 2008.
#13 Just before the last financial crisis, corporate earnings were very disappointing. Now it is happening again.
#14 Margin debt spiked just before the dot.com bubble burst, it spiked just before the financial crash of 2008, and now it is spiking again.
#15 During 2008, the price of gold fell substantially. Now it is happening again.
#16 Global business confidence is now the lowest that it has been since the last recession.
#17 Back in 2008, the U.S. national debt was rapidly rising to unsustainable levels. We are in much, much worse shape today.
#18 Prior to the last financial crisis, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke assured the American people that home prices would not decline and that there would not be a recession. We all know what happened. Now he is once again promising that everything is going to be just fine.
Are the American people going to fall for it again?
Image credit: http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com
Posted by Marc Clair
Chris Rossini on RT; Discusses Business Cycles and the Fed
Check out this clip of Lions of Liberty contributor Chris Rossini on RT’s “Prime Interest”, discussing business cycles and the Federal Reserve.
Great video interview on this story from 2 months ago included below this post.
Posted by Judy Morris
Oklahoma City hospital posts surgery prices online; creates bidding war
OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma City surgery center is offering a new kind of price transparency, posting guaranteed all-inclusive surgery prices online. The move is revolutionizing medical billing in Oklahoma and around the world.
Dr. Keith Smith and Dr. Steven Lantier launched Surgery Center of Oklahoma 15 years ago, founded on the simple principle of price honesty.
“What we’ve discovered is health care really doesn’t cost that much,” Dr. Smith said. “What people are being charged for is another matter altogether.”
Surgery Center of Oklahoma started posting their prices online about four years ago.
The prices are all-inclusive quotes and they are guaranteed.
“When we first started we thought we were about half the price of the hospitals,” Dr. Lantier remembers. “Then we found out we’re less than half price. Then we find out we’re a sixth to an eighth of what their prices are. I can’t believe the average person can afford health care at these prices.”
Their goal was to start a price war and they did.
Their first out-of-town patients came from Canada; soon everyday Americans caught on.
Matthew Gang, 22, tore his patella tendon, dislocating his knee-cap playing basketball earlier this year.
Gang is from California and he is uninsured.
Surgery in his home-state was going to be about $30,000.
The posted price at Surgery Center of Oklahoma was $5,700, one-fifth the price.
Read the rest at USA Today, here.
Next News Network video interview below.
Gary Franchi and Next News Network interview Trends forecaster Gerald Celente covering our current condition and future paths. Topics discussed cover the economy, the power play behind ever expanding wars and the natural resources involved, Wall Street and the government blessing to the “too big to fail” organizations plus the recent gun control moves by the administration and the history behind it all.
America Sets Its Sights On Controlling African Resources … And Reducing Chinese Influence
The U.S. is sending troops to 35 African nations under the guise of fighting Al Qaeda and related terrorists.
Democracy Now notes:
U.S. Army teams will be deploying to as many as 35 African countries early next year for training programs and other operations as part of an increased Pentagon role in Africa. The move would see small teams of U.S. troops dispatched to countries with groups allegedly linked to al-Qaeda, such as Libya, Sudan, Algeria and Niger. The teams are from a U.S. brigade that has the capability to use drones for military operations in Africa if granted permission. The deployment could also potentially lay the groundwork for future U.S. military intervention in Africa.
[A special American brigade] will be able to take part in nearly 100 separate training and military exercises next year, in nearly three dozen African countries
Glenn Ford writes:
The 2nd Brigade is scheduled to hold more than 100 military exercises in 35 countries, most of which have no al-Qaida presence. So, although there is no doubt that the U.S. will be deeply involved in the impending military operation in Mali, the 2nd Brigade’s deployment is a much larger assignment, aimed at making all of Africa a theater of U.S. military operations. The situation in Mali is simply a convenient, after-the-fact rationale for a long-planned expansion of the U.S. military footprint in Africa.
Timothy Alexander Guzman argues:
AFRICOM’s [the U.S. military's Africa command] goal is to eliminate China and other countries influence in the region. Africa’s natural resources is another important element to consider because it includes oil, diamonds, copper, gold, iron, cobalt, uranium, bauxite, silver, petroleum, certain woods and tropical fruits.
In a must-watch interview, Dan Collins of the China Money Report agrees that the purpose of the deployment is to challenge China’s rising prominence in Africa:
And the U.S. is not shy about backing our “mortal enemies” to topple those standing between us and resources we pine for.