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Inflation Is Too Low? Are You Kidding Us Bernanke? - →


Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said this week that inflation in the United States needs to be higher.  Yes, he actually said that.  On Wednesday, Bernanke told the press that “both sides of our mandate are saying we need to be more accommodative”.  Of course he was referring to the Fed’s dual mandate to keep unemployment and inflation low, but Bernanke has a very unique interpretation of that mandate.  According to Bernanke, inflation in the U.S. is now ”too low”.  The official inflation rate is currently sitting at about 1 percent, and Bernanke insists that such a low rate of inflation is not good for the economy.  He would prefer that the rate of inflation be up around 2 percent, and he is hoping that more “monetary accommodation” will help push inflation up and the unemployment rate down.

But what Bernanke will never admit is that the official inflation rate is a total sham.  The way that inflation is calculated has changed more than 20 times since 1978, and each time it has been changed the goal has been to make it appear to be lower than it actually is.

If the rate of inflation was still calculated the way that it was back in 1980, it would be about 8 percent right now and everyone would be screaming about the fact that inflation is way too high.

But instead, Bernanke can get away with claiming that inflation is “too low” because the official government numbers back him up.

Of course many of us already know that inflation is out of control without even looking at any numbers.  We are spending a lot more on the things that we buy on a regular basis than we used to.

For example, when Barack Obama first entered the White House, the average price of a gallon of gasoline was $1.84.  Today, the average price of a gallon of gasoline has nearly doubled.  It is currently sitting at $3.49, but when I filled up my vehicle yesterday I paid nearly $4.00 a gallon.

And of course the price of gasoline influences the price of almost every product in the entire country, since almost everything that we buy has to be transported in some manner.

But that is just one example.

Our monthly bills also seem to keep growing at a very brisk pace.

Electricity bills in the United States have risen faster than the overall rate of inflation for five years in a row, and according to USA Today water bills have actually tripled over the past 12 years in some areas of the country.

No inflation there, eh?

Well, what about health insurance?

Yup, that has been going up rapidly as well.  Since 2010, employee health insurance premiums have been rising an average of between 8 and 9 percent a year.

So where is this low inflation that everyone has been talking about?

It certainly cannot be found in college tuition costs.  Since 1986, the cost of college tuition in the United States has risen by 498 percent.

What about at the supermarket?

We all have to buy food.  It sure would be nice if inflation was low there.

Unfortunately, anyone that shops for groceries on a regular basis knows exactly how painful food prices are becoming.

And over time, those increases really add up.  An article by Benny Johnson details how the prices of many of the things that we buy on a regular basis absolutely soared between 2002 and 2012.  Just check out these price increases…

Eggs: 73%

Coffee: 90%

Peanut Butter: 40%

Milk: 26%

A Loaf Of White Bread: 39%

Spaghetti And Macaroni: 44%

Orange Juice: 46%

Red Delicious Apples: 43%

Beer: 25%

Wine: 60%

Electricity: 42%

Margarine: 143%

Tomatoes: 22%

Turkey: 56%

Ground Beef: 61%

Chocolate Chip Cookies: 39%

So how in the world can Bernanke possibly come to the conclusion that inflation is too low?

Is he insane?

If you want to see a really good example of the impact that inflation has had on our economy in recent years, just check out this amazing chart which shows what Bernanke’s reckless policies have done to the prices of commodities during his tenure.

Meanwhile, paychecks are not rising at the same pace that inflation is.  In fact, median household income in the United States has fallen for four years in a row.  Overall, it has declined by over $4000 during that time span.

So the cost of living just keeps rising, but the middle class is making less money than before.

That certainly is not good news.

Of course a big reason for this is because the quality of jobs in America continues to steadily decline.  Only 47 percent of adults have a full-time job at this point, and 53 percent of all American workers make less than $30,000 a year.

Most families are just barely scraping by from month to month, and Bernanke has the gall to say that he needs to try to get prices to rise even faster.

Is Bernanke also going to increase all of our paychecks in order to make up for the “inflation tax” that is being imposed on all of us?

Of course not.

And sadly, it appears that the number of Americans that are losing their jobs is starting to move upward again.  We just learned that initial claims for unemployment benefits rose to 360,000 last week.

That is getting dangerously close to the 400,000 number that I keep talking about.

The middle class in the United States is shrinking with each passing day, and Bernanke seems absolutely clueless.

His answer to every economic problem always seems to involve printing more money.  Thankfully, about 1.8 trillion dollars of that money is being stashed away at the Fed and has not gotten out into the real economy yet.

But someday that money will be unleashed on the real economy, and it will create crippling inflation.

Unfortunately, Bernanke doesn’t seem to really be too concerned about the mountains of cash that the big banks have parked at the Fed.  He is just happy that his reckless money printing has pumped up the stock market to new all-time highs.

He should enjoy this little period of euphoria while he can, because this bubble will burst like all false financial bubbles eventually do.

And when this bubble bursts, the foolishness of Bernanke and the Federal Reserve will be glaringly apparent to everyone.

I really don’t think people like Bernanke are ‘clueless’ and ‘foolish’ - they just literally couldn’t give a shit who they hurt, and they’re making themselves obscenely rich in the process

inflation is a regressive stealth tax, paid directly to bankers, which targets the most vulnerable members of society, lowers wages, ensures a certain proportion of the population will starve or end up doing slave labour in prison, and that another portion of the population will have their homes repossessed by banks, to be sold on for quick profit

all of which is policy. it’s deliberate. based on the fact that it’s been a consistent policy for a century and it’s wired into the system

inflation is guaranteed because, since all money is a debt to the bankers, in order to keep the machine going vast amounts of new money have to be created all the time (‘quantitative easing’). so the existing money is devalued

a central bank will either raise interest rates (supposedly to’ fight inflation’ - but if they wanted to do that they’d not have a system that demands inflation), or, they will lower interest rates (to ‘spur growth’ in ‘the economy’). note how BOTH of those things benefit the rich. raising interest rates increases repayments to banks and ensures some people forfeit and have their homes repossessed. while lowering interest rates benefits the rich who can afford to take out huge loans and invest for profit, as well as benefitting the bankers through the resulting inflation

and the best possible way for them to enrich themselves and attack the poor is to lower and then raise interest rates cyclically, creating bubbles and then popping them, luring people in before preying on them. and oh look that’s exactly what they do, and they call it a ‘business cycle’ and act like it’s a natural fucking phenomenon

it’s a fucking game to them

— 9 months ago with 4 notes
#they're clever they're just dicks  #organised crime  #bankers  #money  #debt  #inflation 

last ‘independence day’ themed post, just want to add that the war was less about taxes (because the tea tax was relatively very small), and much more about the fact that the american colonists were using their own debt-free money rather than using bank of england money (which is of course a debt to the bank of england)

hence that famous jefferson quote about banks being more dangerous than standing armies - the next part of that quote is about who gets to issue the money, he believed it should be the people of the country

'the people' of the country being the rich, white, land-owning, slave-owning men of the country

25 years after the war alexander hamilton, who was a massive federalist and thus more sympathetic to the british monarchy, managed to get a private central bank chartered on the bank of england model anyway (and foreign investors were allowed to be stockholders, so you can guess who went and bought up the stock)

anyway the point is, if you want colonial control, you want people in debt to you… look at what the IMF does now in the poor nations of the world, it doesn’t tax them, it loans them money created by central banks (ie a debt is created), and with the debt comes the political control through all those so-called ‘conditionalities’ 

— 9 months ago
#history  #colonialism  #banking  #first bank of the usa  #IMF  #neocolonialism  #debt  #money  #july 4 2013  #4th july  #independence day  #america  #usa  #banksters 


World Bank: Money Laundering Criminals | Interview with Whistleblower Karen Hudes (by breakingtheset)

— 10 months ago with 10 notes
#world bank whistleblowers  #neocolonialism  #organised crime  #new world order  #debt  #international bankers 
"Here we come to the central question of this book: What, precisely,
does it mean to say that our sense of morality and justice is reduced to the language of a business deal? What does it mean when we reduce moral obligations to debts? What changes when the one turns into the other? And how do we speak about them when our language has been so shaped by the market? On one level the difference between an obligation and a debt is simple and obvious. A debt is the obligation to pay a certain sum of money. As a result, a debt, unlike any other form of obligation, can be precisely quantified. This allows debts to become simple, cold, and impersonal-which, in turn, allows them to be transferable. If one owes a favor, or one’s life, to another human being-it is owed to that person specifically. But if one owes forty thousand dollars at 12-percent interest, it doesn’t really matter who the creditor is; neither does either of the two parties have to think much about what the other party needs, wants, is capable of doing-as they certainly would if what was owed was a favor, or respect, or gratitude. One does not need to calculate the human effects; one need only calculate principal, balances, penalties, and rates of interest. If you end up having to abandon your home and wander in other provinces, if your daughter ends up in a mining camp working as a prostitute, well, that’s unfortunate, but incidental to the creditor. Money is money, and a deal’s a deal. From this perspective, the crucial factor, and a topic that will be explored at length in these pages, is money’s capacity to turn morality into a matter of impersonal arithmetic-and by doing so, to justify things that would otherwise seem outrageous or obscene. The factor of violence, which I have been emphasizing up until now, may appear secondary. The difference between a “debt” and a mere moral obligation is not the presence or absence of men with weapons who can enforce that obligation by seizing the debtor’s possessions or threatening to break his legs. It is simply that a creditor has the means to specify, numerically, exactly how much the debtor owes."
David Graeber - Debt (via karl-marx-ezoos-dot-biz)

(via class-struggle-anarchism)

— 1 year ago with 23 notes
#debt  #money  #morality 

if we’re going to have corporate personhood (which we shouldn’t)

how come a person called HSBC can create money

and it’s good money

but if I do it

oohhhhnooo, then it’s -*counterfeit*-

off to jail for me!

at least I’m a real fucking person

HSBC is a shit name for a person anyway

— 1 year ago with 2 notes
#i need to change banks  #someone else can have my lack of money  #banking  #debt  #money  #corporations  #capitalism 

all this media focus on banker’s bonuses

when more fundamentally:

a) private monopolies on money creation through fractional reserve banking by private banks

b) money being interest-bearing debt in the first place

c) ???

d) profit

— 1 year ago with 1 note
#fuck banks entirely  #capitalism  #money  #banking  #debt  #finance  #economics  #fractional reserve banking 
Defaulting on Debts

wow, watching the news talk about so-called ‘austerity’ you wouldn’t think that there’s actually this thing called defaulting on a debt

debt repayment is a contractual obligation, you don’t have to consent to that contract

capitalists do it all the time

the sky is not going to fall in

I think what I’m trying to say here is: people’s fucking lives > paying debts

especially when the so-called creditors are creating the money out of thin fucking air (go look up ‘fractional reserve banking’)

— 1 year ago
#media  #terms of debate  #banking  #news  #debt  #finance  #economics  #politics  #fractional reserve banking  #austerity  #capitalism 
Some big numbers for you ($$$)
  • Gross Domestic Product of USA: $15 trillion
  • Total publicly held national debt of USA (according to US Treasury Dept.): $16.3 trillion
  • Amount of money secretly loaned by US Federal Reserve to various international banks & corporations since Dec 1st 2007: $16 trillion (source: US Govt. Accountability Office - Congressional Report, July 2011. PDF available from here)

— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#nothing to see here  #move along  #economy  #money  #crime  #federal reserve  #debt  #conspiracy  #recession  #power  #occupy  #protest  #statistics  #numbers  #knowledge  #control  #1% 
Posted this elsewhere re: recession, debt, monetary reform (UK)

Why is the debate just about reducing or increasing borrowing? Both options still involve borrowing, at interest, from an independent central bank. Both increase the national debt (currently at £1 trillion). Clearly if those were the only two options, you’d go for the one which actually is able to provide vital services, as people are more important than money (although Tories seem unable to understand this point). But they’re not the only two options. Why should we even be borrowing in the first place? Why should public money be created as interest-bearing debt?

The government can issue debt-free currency. It does this all the time - all your notes and coins are debt free. How could they not be? Little pieces of paper and metal aren’t going to wing their way to the bankers every quarter are they? But only 2% of our money supply consists of notes and coins. The remaining 98% amounts to numbers on a screen or on a ledger, created either through government bond issues or by fractional reserve banking (ie when banks loan out more money than has actually been deposited with them).

In 1946, about half of currency was direct, debt-free government issued money, printed and minted. Now we’re down to 2%. Is it any wonder that in recent decades the national debt has skyrocketed (seriously, look at a graph), inequality has grown and the rich are richer than ever? We’re paying £48 billion a year on interest on this national debt, which is mainly owned by insurance companies, private (mostly overseas) individuals, and other financial institutions. Why should we?

Money is just a symbolic medium of exchange, it’s something we create as a society. It’s not real. We can change how it works. We can change it to make it fairer, and we really need to do that because the extent of the unfairness is getting ridiculous now. I wish people would be a bit more optimistic about our chances of actually achieving something (surely it’s just good tactical sense to be optimistic), and at the same time be a lot more cynical / critical towards the theories and justifications of economists and financial institutions like the Bank of England, IMF, etc. They don’t deserve to be accorded so much respect. They demonstrably don’t respect you.

They’ll talk about ‘The Market’ (what it wants, what it might do) like it’s a fucking nature deity that needs to be appeased, rather than just being the aggregate actions of real living people, particularly the obscenely rich. They’ll talk about the ‘business cycle’ (what they used to call ‘boom and bust’) as if it’s as natural as the waxing and waning of the bloody moon, rather than being affected by the centralised manipulation of interest rates. This is political language - it’s passive, depersonalised, there’s no agency, no blame, no negative connotations. It’s the equivalent of the MoD saying ‘threats were neutralised’ rather than ‘we shot and killed some people’.

If someone comes along and says they’re an expert on a subject, but then they’re unable to explain how the system actually works, they use unnecessary and intentionally obfuscatory jargon, rely on groundless appeals to authority, their models are repeatedly unable to explain / predict the data and not only that but (this is the big one) consistently lead to disastrous results - they’re not really experts are they.

— 1 year ago
#might as well get value from my time investment there  #monetary reform  #debt  #money  #recession  #political language  #debate  #UK  #economy  #credit crunch  #depression  #critical thinking 

American “Dollar” Imperialism

"Imagine this : you are deep in debt but every day you write cheques for millions of dollars you don’t have — another luxury car, a holiday home at the beach, the world trip of a lifetime. Your cheques should be worthless but they keep buying stuff because those cheques you write never reach the bank ! You have an agreement with the owners of one thing everyone wants, call it petrol/gas, that they will accept only your cheques as payment. This means everyone must hoard your cheques so they can buy petrol/gas. Since they have to keep a stock of your cheques, they use them to buy other stuff too. You write a cheque to buy a TV, the TV shop owner swaps your cheque for petrol/gas, that seller buys some vegetables at the fruit shop, the fruiterer passes it on to buy bread, the baker buys some flour with it, and on it goes, round and round — but never back to the bank. You have a debt on your books, but so long as your cheque never reaches the bank, you don’t have to pay. In effect, you have received your TV free. This is the position the USA has enjoyed for 30 years."

Since the US emerged as the dominant global superpower at the end of the Second World War, US hegemony rested on three unchallengeable pillars : 1) overwhelming US military superiority over all its rivals ; 2) the superiority of American production methods and the relative strength of the US economy ; 3) control over global economic markets, with the US dollar acting as the global reserve currency.

Of these three, the role of the dollar may be the greatest among equals. The US dollar is the world’s reserve currency, meaning that central banks all over the world hold huge amounts of dollars in reserve. As a result of this situation, today America borrows from practically the entire world without keeping the reserves of any other currency. Because the dollar is the de facto global reserve currency, US currency accounts for approximately two-thirds of all official exchange reserves. America does not have to compete with other currencies in interest rates, and even at low interest rates capital flies to the dollar. The more dollars are circulated outside the US, or invested by foreign owners in American assets, the more the rest of the world has had to provide the US with goods and services in exchange for these dollars. The US even has the luxury of having its debts denominated in its own currency.

How does this work ?

The United States runs a balance of payments deficit by spending more money in other countries (buying their products, investing in them, or giving them dollars) than they spend in the United States . - The extra dollars are held by the countries’ central banks. The banks do not ask the United States to redeem them for gold or another currency. As long as foreign banks accept and hold dollars as if they were gold, the dollars act as reserves.


Bulent Gokay, Iraq, Iran and the end of petrodollar : The waning influence of the USA in the Asian century

full text here

— 1 year ago
#usa  #america  #united states  #economics  #finance  #politics  #dollars  #banks  #trade  #imperialism  #debt  #power  #money 
UK welfare cuts, debt, and some fucking perspective

So David Cameron and friends are announcing more welfare cuts, disproportionately affecting women, the young, the poor and the disabled. Of course he says these cuts are ‘necessary’. And of course he wants you to think that the recession happened because some young single mother somewhere got housing benefit.

SOME CONTEXT IS NEEDED. Here’s just a few salient statistics. There are many more to be found. I’m bolding the £ costs each time for ease of comparison, but money is really not the thing we should be most worried about here.

UK government proposal to scrap housing benefit for 380,000 under 25s

  • saves ‘up to’ £1.8 billion a year 
  • (leaves young people with nowhere to live)
Scrapping disability benefits for 500,000 people
  • saves ‘up to’ £2.2 billion a year
  • (leaves disabled people with no income)
Meanwhile, SPORT!
  • Current cost of 2012 Olympics = £12 billion (x5 original budget of £2.4 billion)
  • Does not include another £4.4 billion for security/intelligence services, or £1.1 billion allocated to police for additional counter-terrorism during Olympics 
  • Cost of UK involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan wars, as of June 2010 = £20,000,000,000 (£20 billion)
  • (also, hundreds of thousands of murdered civilians)
  • 'Defence' budget for 2012 alone = £47.2 billion
  • National debt = over £1,000,000,000,000 (£1 trillion)
  • Interest paid on this debt in 2012 alone = £48,600,000,000 (£48.6 billion)
  • Goes to insurance companies, banks, other financial institutions and overseas investors.

Oh yeah, and BANK BAILOUTS!

  • Since 2007 the UK has committed to spending £1,162,000,000,000 (approx £1 trillion) on bank bailouts
  • Suffice to say banks are not benevolent public institutions. They are privately-owned corporations with a license to legally counterfeit, loan out money that doesn’t exist (at interest) and gamble with other people’s life savings.

Some of these numbers are bigger than the other numbers.
— 1 year ago with 3 notes
#statistics  #damn lies  #money  #economy  #debt  #welfare  #budget cuts  #conservatives  #uk politics  #recession  #sexism  #classism  #war  #olympics  #2012  #government  #UK  #Britain 
The People's Record: US foreign military sales have shot over $50 billion. →


June 15, 2012

Another record-breaking year is expected thanks to US ally Saudi Arabia, which accounts for three-fifths of the sum.

We have already surpassed $50 billion in sales in the fiscal year 2012,” Andrew Shapiro, assistant secretary of state for political-military affairs, told…

Wait, what. That’s insane. A 70% increase on last year? With 3 months to spare? Saudi Arabia spent $30bn in one go on a load of US fighter jets? Fuck.

Of course Saudi Arabia is ruled by a horribly repressive, misogynistic, Islamist absolute monarchy. But that’s okay, they’re family friends, they have oil, they’re happy to sell it to us.  (So much for the war in Iraq being about spreading freedom and democracy).

Just watch how quickly things change if the Saudis ever turn off the oil tap. Like how things turned against Iraq after Saddam switched the oil currency from US dollars to Euros in 2000 (costing the US and UN a fortune). Or Iran, when they likewise switched from US$ in 2007. Or Hugo Chavez, when he stopped the privatisation of Petróleos de Venezuela, hurting the profits of Western multinationals.

Or in 1951, when Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh nationalised the country’s oil, which had previously been under British control. Within two years, the Churchill and Eisenhower administrations (via MI6 and the recently formed CIA), had successfully orchestrated a coup d’état to overthrow the democratically elected Iranian government, replacing it with a monarchical military leadership who gave us the oil.

I didn’t realise Saudi Arabia was such a big military spender though. They’re currently 7th in the world ($48bn per annum), just behind Japan ($59bn) and just ahead of Germany ($47bn). Of course America ($711bn) spends more than the next 19 or so countries combined, or roughly half of all global military expenditure. Also, barring China (2nd, approx $140bn) and Russia (5th, $72bn), all the big spenders are friendly to the US, and most are NATO allies, while some (e.g. Israel, Turkey) are heavily subsidised by US taxpayer money.

So yeah. OMG we need to stop Pakistan (33rd, $5bn), North Korea (approx $5bn), Iran (35th, $4bn) and Venezuela (50th, $3bn) BEFORE ITS TOO LATE.

— 1 year ago with 17 notes
#Military Industrial Complex  #United States  #War  #Imperialism  #Capitalism  #Poverty  #Debt  #Education  #Healthcare  #Politics  #Foreign Relations  #History