Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

Posts Tagged ‘inflation’

Why Does Our Government Lie About Inflation?

Posted by M. C. on January 28, 2023

If government lies about Covid and the vaccines, lies about the reasons for wars and how the wars are going, do you think it tells the truth about inflation? If government almost completely ignores the Constitution (which is the ‘Law of the Land’ that they all swear to obey) are you surprised that your cost of living is skyrocketing way beyond what the government claims? You shouldn’t be.

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The Fed’s Destructive Guessing Game – The Future of Freedom Foundation

Posted by M. C. on December 21, 2022

Recession, depression, inflation, unemployment…aren’t these the things the Fed is supposed to prevent?

Instead we have have endless funding for endless wars and other endless government programs that endlessly don’t work.

by Jacob G. Hornberger

As expected, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by half a point yesterday. It was a drop from the .75 point rate increases that the Fed has been implementing for the past several months. 

A big reason the Fed is going slower is the longstanding fear among Fed officials of bringing about another Great Depression by raising interest rates too high and too fast. That’s, of course, what happened in the late 1920s, when the Fed’s actions brought about the 1929 stock-market crash, which then led to the Great Depression.

Yes, I know, most everyone is taught in their public schools and state-supported universities that the Great Depression was caused by the failure of America’s free-enterprise system. But it’s a lie. And it’s been a lie ever since U.S. officials began saying it during the Great Depression.

In fact, it was the Federal Reserve that caused the Great Depression. If the Fed had not over-contracted the money supply in the late 1920s, there never would have been a Great Depression.

At the time, U.S. officials felt it necessary to tell the lie because of the widespread economic suffering the Fed had wreaked with its monetary policies. People had lost their businesses. Multimillionaires who had lost everything were committing suicide. There was massive unemployment and tremendous suffering. 

Imagine if the American people had discovered the truth — that it wasn’t “free enterprise” that had brought all this on but rather the federal government itself. The resulting anger would have certainly had an adverse effect on elected public officials in the next election. Moreover, U.S. officials undoubtedly feared the possibility of violence if people discovered the truth. 

The Fed had been established in 1913. This was during the time when the official money of the United States was still gold coins and silver coins. There was no paper money because the Constitution did not authorize the federal government to issue paper money. It only authorized the federal government to “coin” money. Moreover, the Constitution mandated that every state had to make gold coins and silver coins “legal tender.”

During the 1920s, the Fed began expanding the quantity of federal bills and notes in circulation, creating an artificial economic boon. People began to sense what was going on and began going to banks demanding that their bills and notes be redeemed in gold coins and silver coins, which they had the right to do. 

Faced with the fact that U.S. officials didn’t have sufficient gold coins and silver coins to honor all those paper debt instruments, the Fed panicked and began contracting the supply of paper bills and notes. In the process, they over-contracted, which brought the inevitable “bust” — that is, the 1929 stock-market crash and then the Great Depression.

This shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Fed is a socialist institution, given that it is based on the socialist principle of central planning. A board of bureaucrats plans, in a top-down, command-and-control manner, the supply of money in a very complex economy. It simply cannot be done. The central planners possess what Friedrich Hayek called “the fatal conceit” — the arrogant belief that they actually possess the requisite knowledge to plan such a complex economic phenomenon. As Ludwig von Mises pointed out, central planning produces “planned chaos.”

Today, people are taking the Fed to task because it over-expanded the money supply, which is now reflected in soaring prices of most everything. But what they fail to take into account is that the Fed is still a central-planning socialist institution, just as it was back in the 1920s. Why would Fed officials today be any better at central planning than their counterparts 90 years ago?

The big fear at the Fed is over-contracting. They are terrified of causing another Great Depression. This fear was confirmed some years ago by Fed chairman Ben Bernanke when he observed that Milton Friedman was right about how the Fed’s over-contraction had brought about the 1929 stock-market crash and the Great Depression. The Fed, Bernanke stated, was going to take great care that it never did that again. 

Bernanke’s admission was remarkable, given the lie that had become so widespread — that the 1929 stock-market crash and the Great Depression and been caused by the failure of “free enterprise.”

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The Fed Has No Taxing Authority — Yet They Tax Us With Inflation!

Posted by M. C. on December 17, 2022

Moving the goalposts

The Ron Paul Liberty Report

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Watch “Separate Money and the State” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on November 30, 2022

“Not worth a Contunental” described in the first 5 minutes.

Great explanation of why going off the gold standard enables inflation later on in the presentation.

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Watch “The Battle Between Deflation and Inflation” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on November 26, 2022

Former Congressman Ron Paul gave the seventh talk in our online conference “End Inflation and End the Fed.”

Former Congressman Ron Paul of Texas enjoys a national reputation as the premier advocate for liberty in politics today. Dr. Paul is the leading spokesman for limited constitutional government, low taxes, free markets, and a return to sound monetary policies based on commodity-backed currency. While in Congress, he was known among both his colleagues in Congress and his constituents for his consistent voting record in the House of Representatives, never voting for legislation unless the proposed measure was expressly authorized by the Constitution.

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Inflation Is Not Price Increases. Inflation Causes Price Increases.

Posted by M. C. on November 19, 2022

Inflation is not about a general increase in prices; it is about increases in the money supply. Consequently, to find out the status of inflation, there is no need for various price indices; all that required is to pay attention to the money supply’s growth rate.

Frank Shostak

Why is inflation regarded as bad news? What kind of damage does it do? Popular commentators maintain that inflation causes speculative buying, which generates waste. Inflation, it is maintained, also erodes the real incomes of pensioners and low-income earners and causes a misallocation of resources.

Despite all these assertions regarding the side effects of inflation, the popular way of thinking cannot tell us what causes all these bad effects. Why should a general rise in prices hurt some groups of people and not others? Why should a general rise in prices weaken real economic growth? Or how does inflation lead to the misallocation of resources? Moreover, if inflation is just a rise in prices, surely it is possible to offset its effects by adjusting everybody’s incomes in the economy in accordance with this general price increase.

Why Price Indices Cannot Establish the Status of Inflation

Despite its popularity, the idea of a consumer price index (CPI) is flawed. It is based on the view that it is possible to establish an average of prices of goods and services, which is not possible.

Suppose two transactions were conducted. In the first transaction, one loaf of bread is exchanged for $2. In the second transaction, one liter of milk is exchanged for $1. The price, or the rate of exchange, in the first transaction is $2/one loaf of bread. The price in the second transaction is $1/one liter of milk. In order to calculate the average price, we must add these two ratios and divide them by two; however, it is conceptually meaningless to add $2/one loaf of bread to $1/one liter of milk.

On this Murray N. Rothbard wrote:

Thus, any concept of average price level involves adding or multiplying quantities of completely different units of goods, such as butter, hats, sugar, etc., and is therefore meaningless and illegitimate. Even pounds of sugar and pounds of butter cannot be added together, because they are two different goods and their valuation is completely different.

Defining Inflation

Historically, inflation occurred when a country’s ruler such as the king would force his citizens to give him all their gold coins under the pretext that a new gold coin was going to replace the old one. In the process, the king would falsify the content of the gold coins by mixing it with another metal and return diluted gold coins to the citizens.

Because of the dilution of the gold coins, the ruler could now mint more coins and pocket for his own use the extra coins minted. What was now passing as a pure gold coin was in fact a gold alloy coin. The increase in the number of coins brought about by this debasement of gold coins is what inflation is all about.

It follows then that the subject matter of inflation is embezzlement. On this Ludwig von Mises wrote:

To avoid being blamed for the nefarious consequences of inflation, the government and its henchmen resort to a semantic trick. They try to change the meaning of the terms. They call “inflation” the inevitable consequence of inflation, namely, the rise in prices. They are anxious to relegate into oblivion the fact that this rise is produced by an increase in the amount of money and money substitutes. They never mention this increase. They put the responsibility for the rising cost of living on business.

According to Ayn Rand:

Inflation is not caused by the actions of private citizens, but by the government: by an artificial expansion of the money supply required to support deficit spending. No private embezzlers or bank robbers in history have ever plundered people’s savings on a scale comparable to the plunder perpetrated by the fiscal policies of statist government.

When inflation is seen as a general rise in prices, then anything that contributes to price increases is called inflationary. It is no longer the central bank and fractional-reserve banking that are the sources of inflation, but rather various other causes. In this framework, not only does the central bank have nothing to do with inflation, but on the contrary, the bank is regarded as an inflation fighter.

See the rest here

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Doug Casey on How Inflation Destroys Civilization… and What You Can Do About It

Posted by M. C. on November 17, 2022

Doug Casey: I’ve always been a hard-money person, a gold bug. Gold is money in its most basic form. Only a fool trusts a government with money, especially when the writing on the wall is so clear.

by Doug Casey

International Man: According to a recent Newsweek poll, 63% of Americans “strongly support” new government stimulus checks to combat inflation.

In other words, let’s fight the effects of money printing by doing even more money printing.

What’s your take on this?

Doug Casey: The nature of the US has been transformed. Americans have come to see the government as a cornucopia that can kiss everything and make it better—especially since the bailouts of the Biden Administration.

That attitude has become a cultural value and very hard to change. “Panem et circenses,” as the Romans said, has become necessary for both the government and its subjects. Remember that the prime directive of any entity—whether it’s an amoeba, an individual, a corporation, or a government—is to survive. The present government can’t survive without supporting more than half the population, which has become parasites. But the government itself is the biggest parasite of all. Can parasites live on each other forever? No. To use an overly fashionable word, it’s “unsustainable.”

Where will the US government get the money it needs to survive? It can no longer even remotely survive on its tax receipts; deficits of one to two trillion per year lie ahead for the indefinite future. It can no longer borrow adequate amounts from either American citizens or foreign governments—just rolling over the $32 trillion of existing debt, forget about trillions of new debt, at anything near current interest rates is hard enough. So there’s no alternative left for them but to print more money. And print they will (electronically, of course). The thousands of “economists” at the Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department have no more of a grip on sound economics than government economists in Argentina or Zimbabwe.

Disaster is absolutely written into the government’s DNA at this point. There’s no realistic way out.

International Man: As many Americans are now realizing, inflation has a way of perpetuating itself. However, many countries have been down this path before.

For example, Argentina has infamously been trapped in a perpetual cycle of hyperinflation and socialism from which it cannot escape.

Is the US now entering that same inescapable cycle?

Doug Casey: Money printing makes you think that you’re getting something for nothing. It’s dishonest, criminal actually, and leads to a moral collapse. It causes a war of all against all, as everyone in the country attempts to get his share of government money—which is to say, stolen money—before the next guy. It’s hard to see how you break the cycle short of defaulting on the national debt, cutting government spending very radically, disengaging from foreign wars, eliminating regulations wholesale, and replacing paper with gold as the national currency, among other things.

If those things happened, the economy would boom after a short albeit extremely deep adjustment. But the chances of all that happening are about zero. What we’ll likely get is a long-lasting and dismal depression overlaid with a police state and general chaos.

The US became the world’s freest and most prosperous country because it was a middle-class society. Middle-class people tend to be conservative, self-sufficient, and family-oriented. They’re future-oriented workers and savers. The problem is that the US middle class is being squeezed, as Lenin predicted, between the millstones of taxation and inflation. They’re being wiped out.

What’s left are the upper and lower classes. Very wealthy politically-connected types live in enclaves far above the plebs, viewing themselves as masters of the universe. These wannabe globalists essentially despise American values and traditions. Meanwhile, the lower classes basically live hand to mouth, assisted by numerous types of welfare. They think they can vote for a living. For that reason, I expect a Guaranteed Annual Income to be a major theme in the ’24 elections. “Something for nothing” will become official policy.

International Man: Historically, the government has fought the effects of excessive money printing by raising interest rates.

Today, however, the government’s debt load is much higher than in the past.

If interest rates were to rise to the level needed to combat today’s rising prices, it could bankrupt the US government—and everyone else.

What is going on here?

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“Retirees’ Re-Entering the Labor Market Isn’t ‘Good for the Economy’; There’s more to wealth than work.”

Posted by M. C. on November 14, 2022

Luis Rivera

By Walter E. Block

Retirees’ Re-Entering the Labor Market Isn’t ‘Good for the Economy’; There’s more to wealth than work

Does inflation increase wealth? That is the contention of some economists and business journalists who should know better. Inflation has a silver lining for economic welfare, they claim, or price increases are good for the economy as a whole.

The argument in a nutshell is that inflation induces newly impoverished retirees back into the labor force. Their work increases gross domestic product, and we will all benefit from the increased goods and services it creates. So too for those who put off retirement, unable to afford it because of inflation.

It is true the inflation makes people on fixed incomes poorer, and that some people respond by going back to work. But does that really help the economy?

No. It boosts the GDP and its growth prospects, but it hardly amounts to an overall economic benefit. Economics 101 teaches that there is such a thing as a labor-leisure dichotomy. Why don’t people seek to work all the time? Because they value the leisure they would thereby forgo more highly than the additional money they could earn. Most people are reasonably happy with 40-hour weeks and a vacation of one month a year or so. But GDP would be higher if they labored 80 hours on a week and took no holiday at all. The prospects for economic growth would also increase.

Would the average person be happier, and would it help the economy, if people were compelled to work that much more merely to boost GDP? Of course not. Most people would be miserable with 80-hour workweeks, and economic conditions would be worse, not better.

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The Scariest Thing On Halloween – Inflation

Posted by M. C. on October 31, 2022

Tyler Durden's Photo


Like Christmas and Columbus Day, the left refuse to let a holiday go by without whining and this year once again the war on Halloween continues.

Likely at the insistence of some new school administrator fresh out of a graduate program in women’s studies or whatever, The Daily Bell’s Ben Bartbee reports that “Lower Merion School District cancels Halloween parades over safety, inclusivity concerns,” sacrificing a 50-year tradition at the altar of Social Justice.

Halloween stuff in Lower Merion School District is now replaced with some vague, sterilized abomination called “fall-themed activities,” which are sure to suck the souls out of the schoolchildren.

But it gets better, as Bartbee notes, this year, Buzzfeed has issued a fatwa against Jeffrey Dahmer costumes in its public service denouncement: “Planning On Dressing Up As Jeffrey Dahmer For Halloween This Year? Don’t“:

“eBay has banned the sale of costumes inspired by the serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in the run-up to Halloween for violating its policy.. Dahmer killed 17 people, predominantly Black men and boys… The company policy states that sellers are banned from listing items that ‘promote or glorify violence’ or are associated with violent individuals, the acts for which they gained notoriety, or crime scenes from the past 100 years.”

At a minimum, half of all Halloween costumes could be construed as “glorifying violence.” That’s how Halloween works – it’s about exorcising terror, and depravity, and everything unholy (in the Christian adaption, before All Saints Day).

In all reality, Jeffrey Dahmer costumes would’ve garnered much less scrutiny if not for two crucial features of his victims: homosexuality and racial diversity. Via Out Magazine:

“Dressing as this real-life killer who tortured and murdered 17 men and boys (many of whom are Black and gay) is… actually a pretty awful idea.”

The whataboutism does get tiresome. But as a matter for the record, we all know that a costume of a serial killer who killed and ate white people would enjoy fairer treatment among the activist community.

But, finally, and perhaps most terrifying for the average American parent, thanks to Washington’s excesses, Halloween is more expensive this year than ever before – thanks to inflation.

See the rest here

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Watch “Crack Up Boom? Has The Fed Lost Control Of Inflation?” on YouTube

Posted by M. C. on October 14, 2022

Markets always have the final say. They ultimately overrule the incessant schemes of politicians and central bankers. There are no man-made “policies” that have the capability of revoking economic laws. There are no shortcuts, loopholes, or free lunches. “Narratives” get squashed by the truth. Free Markets and Sound Money are the truth. We’d be wise to return to both of them.

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