We are in a very peculiar ideological and political place in which Democracy (oh sainted Democracy) is a very good thing, unless the voters reject the technocrat class’s leadership. Then the velvet gloves come off. From the perspective of the elites and their technocrat apparatchiks, elections have only one purpose: to rubberstamp their leadership. As a general rule, this is easily managed by spending hundreds of millions of dollars on advertising and bribes to the cartels and insider fiefdoms who pony up most of the cash. This is why incumbents win the vast majority of elections. Once in power, they issue the bribes and payoffs needed to guarantee funding next election cycle.
America, you officially have a debt problem, and I am not just talking about the national debt. Consumer bankruptcies are surging, corporate debt has doubled since the last financial crisis, state and local government debt loads have never been higher, and the federal government has been adding more than a trillion dollars a year to the federal debt ever since Barack Obama entered the White House. We have been on the greatest debt binge in human history, and it has enabled us to enjoy our ridiculously high standard of living for far longer than we deserved. Many of us have been sounding the alarm about our debt problem for a very long time, but now even the mainstream news is freaking out about it. I have a feeling that they just want something else to hammer President Trump over the head with, but they are actually speaking the truth when they say that we are facing an unprecedented debt crisis.
August 6th was one of darkest days in the history of the Internet. When I learned that Facebook, YouTube, Apple, Spotify, Pinterest and others had colluded to take down content from Alex Jones all on the same day, I knew exactly what was happening. They timed their attack so that it would hit the press at the beginning of the weekly news cycle on Monday so that their purge would have maximum societal impact. And the fact that there was such overt collusion was obviously meant to send a message. We were supposed to understand that if they can do this to Alex Jones, they can do it to any of us, and so we better shut up and fall in line. I can’t even begin to tell you how sick I feel right now. The big tech giants have made it abundantly clear how they feel about all of us, and there is no future for alternative points of view on any of their platforms.
The stability of America’s status quo is illusory.
One of the enduring mysteries of the past decade is why inflation has remained tame while the central bank and government have pumped trillions of dollars of newly created money into the economy. Millions of words have been written about this, and so some shortcuts will have to be taken to make sense of it in one essay.
Let’s start with the basics.
1. Adding newly created money but not generating new goods and services of the same value reduces the purchasing power of existing money. To keep it simple: say the economy of a country is $20 trillion. (Hey, the US GDP is $20 trillion…) Say its money supply is $10 trillion.
So banks and/or the government create $2 trillion in new money but the value of goods and services only expands by $1 trillion. the “extra” $1 trillion of newly created money (either “printed” or borrowed into existence) reduces the value of all existing money.
In effect, the new money robs purchasing power from all existing money. Those holding existing money have lost purchasing power while the recipients of the new money receive purchasing power they didn’t have prior to receiving the new money.
Isn’t it obvious that those at the top of the wealth-power pyramid don’t want us to know how much ground we’ve lost while they’ve gorged on immense gains? In the late 1970s and early 1980s, an era of stagflation, the Misery Index was the unemployment rate plus inflation, both of which were running hot. Now those numbers are at 50-year lows: both the unemployment rate and inflation are about as low as they can go, reaching levels not seen since the mid-1960s. (See chart below) By these measures, the U.S. economy’s Misery Index has never been lower and hence prosperity has never been higher or more widespread. But this simply isn’t true: the top 5% are indeed doing better than ever but the bottom 80% are losing ground and the middle 15% are only appearing to do well because asset bubbles have temporarily created illusory wealth. I propose a 21st century Misery Index: Labor’s Share of the Economy and Real-World Inflation. Headlines about labor shortages and rising wages are popping up, suggesting the long-awaited boost in labor’s share of the economy’s growth is finally starting.