Your Wife: A Tried and True Measure of Inflation

by | Jan 19, 2011 | Marc Faber | 49 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    Dr. Marc Faber, of the Gloom Boom & Doom Report joins Chris Martenson for a discussion about the global economy, the policies of the Federal Reserve, and the effects of monetary inflation.

    As always, Dr. Faber provides important insights that simply cannot be ignored, as the signs for where we’re headed are all around us.

    Listen to the interview:

    (Approximately 22 minutes; 15.1 Megabytes)

    In 2008, after the $700 billion Congressionally approved bailout initiated what would eventually become standard monetary policy for the second decade of the 21st century, we and others in alternative media warned that inflation, and possibly hyperinflation, would become reality within several years. For those paying attention, the end game was clear. The reality of the situation is, that we can no longer make forecasts that inflation is around the corner, because it’s here. We can see it in our food costs, energy costs, and rising prices in pretty much all of our basic and essential needs.

    The following excerpts from the Faber/Martenson interview outline some of the most obvious signs of inflation being experienced today, and provides a humorous, but tried-and-true method of identifying price inflation in the open market no matter who your central bankers might be.

    Dr. Marc Faber: Yeah, but do you understand it’s very difficult to define inflation. The Federal Reserve essentially targets core inflation. Core inflation has nothing to do with your cost of living increases. And as you know the basket of goods and services that are used to measure inflation can be weighted in such a way that things that go up a lot like health care costs, insurance premiums, energy, in this regard entirely and other items where prices are deflating like a T-shirt are over-weighted.

    Chris Martenson: … yeah, that really …

    Dr. Marc Faber: I have a large readership for my newsletter and website and I ask to please send me an email if anyone has the impression that their costs of living increases were less than 5% per annum So far I haven’t received a single email.

    Chris Martenson: I don’t think you’d get any emails from anybody who’s listening to this either. And inflation varies, it depends on your circumstances, so if you have a child about to enter or in college …

    Dr. Marc Faber: Absolutely, absolutely, every household has a different inflation rate. All I can say is maybe I buy at the wrong places and I travel in the wrong airplanes and stay at the wrong hotels but my costs of living are going up every year.

    Chris Martenson: … yeah, they absolutely are and we should also note that the official measure of inflation does not include taxes. The entire cost of government …

    Dr. Marc Faber: Yeah, absolutely, and in that – hidden taxes, namely fees that you pay to the government and in any event I don’t believe that any one of your listeners will have a wife tell them: listen, you can give me less household money because prices are down. That I don’t believe.

    Chris Martenson: … we’ll try that sometime. I think you’re right. So we have – the theme then is that we actually have a lot of inflation. I mean if you look at a basket – let’s take the entire continuous commodity index and start in 2002 until today: it’s been going up over double digits on a per annum basis.

    Dr. Marc Faber: Yes, of course, and also a symptom of inflation is when the currency weakens and a symptom of inflation is the explosion in international reserves, which have grown from a trillion dollars in 1997 to now over $9 trillion. These are all symptoms of inflation and we have to define inflation as an increase in credit and in the quantity of money. And everything else are symptoms as inflation can manifest itself in a global economy in Vietnam where prices are going up let’s say 12% to 15% annual rate. In India and China where prices are going up by at least 10% per annum. So when you print in the U.S. it doesn’t necessarily have to inflate the housing market. That shows the futility of U.S. monetary policies. U.S. monetary policies were designed by the ranking basically to lift home prices but this hasn’t gone up. Other things have been inflating, namely, like oil and food prices, which then hurt the consumer when the policies are actually designed to help the consumer.

    Chris Martenson:  Well is there …

    Dr. Marc Faber: I mean Mr. Bernanke often said – and I hate to essentially be outspoken in this way because I think he’s quite a decent fellow – but he’s just ignorant of economics and he’s a victim of his ill-conceived monetary theories.

    Our intention is not to come across as sexists, but we simply couldn’t ignore what may very well be the single most powerful indicator for our infinitely depreciating currency.

    If you’re ever cornered in an argument with a friend, neighbor or coworker who has inundated you with government statistics and accounting practices when discussing rising inflation, you can stop any myrmidon in their tracks by asking one simple question:

    When was the last time your wife asked you for less money when she headed out to the grocery store, or to go hang out with the girls for an evening, or to buy that nice outfit?

    This decades’ long anecdotal measure of inflation certainly outperforms the scientific accounting methods utilized by the CPI core inflation statistics and is clearly a much better indicator of price inflation than anything coming out of government institutions and trusted analysts at major financial firms.


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        According to the Inflation calculator what cost $50000 in 1970 would cost $273195.88 in 2009.
        Also, if you were to buy exactly the same products in 2009 and 1970,
        they would cost you $50000 and $8606.55 respectively
        Growing our own food supply can save us a pretty penny.

        To our survival

      2. Point well taken but still comes across as sexists.

        I work FT and make more then my husband but it still takes two incomes to make ends meet and now it’s getting tighter.

      3. went to walmart to get a new  battery for my yukon xl. price is the the same for all sizes of automotive batteries there. they’re all $77.00.

        WHOOOOPS.        after the battery was put in the car the bill read $ 82.00. went back into the automotive section and the old $77 dollar price tags had just been replaced with $82 tags.


      4. Grocery prices are inching up for sure.  Gas prices, new cars, and drug store items up.   People will donate less to charity and food banks, eat out less and spend more time at home.   Church donations will  drop off as more people “do church” online.  Travelling will be closer to home.  Everything revolves around oil prices effecting everyday expenses.  Google in:   James H. Kunstler Ten ways to prepare for a post oil society.

      5. Walmart will honor the price that is on the shelf.  Go get your money back from customer service.

        I was there the other day, bought 2 twelve pack of diet pepsi – the sign said $5.98.  They rang up at $6.98 but they honored the $5.98 price.

        Prices are changing so rapidly you MUST watch your items ring up – they make errors all the time!  At all the stores.

      6. Comments…..My husband cares not what I buy or how much I spend because he knows that I will scour the ads, and get the most product for the least amount of money.  Most men are not shoppers, at least my husband isn’t.

        Laura, what the heck is “church on line?”  New concept to worshipping? Think about it, no church maintenance needed, no guilt trip offering when the plate is passed, and no boring sermons.  I gave all that stuff up years ago when the preacher drove a better car than I did.  Ever since then my net worth increased tremendously.

      7. One thing I’ve noticed is that they are hiding inflation in many everyday commodities such as spagheti sauce, soap, cereal, etc. What they are doing is making the jar or box size smaller and keeping the same price as the older, larger item. I call that sneaky inflation.

      8. Here in my neck of the woods, just about everything has gone up in price!! If the posted price has stayed the same, the quantity or size of product has gotten smaller.

        Saw a good one on the Weather Channel this morning… in one of their news blurbs (which I absolutely hate!) the talking head said that some report showed that more people are eating out now, citing rising food costs as the reason!!! I nearly fell off the couch laughing!!! Lunacy, absolute lunacy!! But scary, because a lot of sheeple out there will believe it!!

        We live in the “oil patch”, and jobs are still going strong. But for those of us on the bottom of the food chain, rising fuel costs will definitely impact jobs – people will be laid off because the companies won’t be able to afford fuel AND salaries. And rising food costs will make it harder and harder for people to pay bills and feed their families. This is going to impact all of us – and not in a good way!!!

        BTW, I don’t find your comments to be at all sexist, Mac. My family depends on me to be their barometer for grocery and medicine costs. Hubby is very aware of fuel prices, but I do most of the grocery shopping! I take pride in handling that part of the family activity! And, I own 2 home-based businesses that keep me busy, as well as tend to 3 grandsons that live with us!! (Not complaining, just explaining!)

        Prep like your lives depend on it – cuz they do!

      9. God bless Texas and Justice of the Peace, Judge Roy Bean & Lily Langtry. 

      10. G’Fox:  Church on line is going to online  ministries, sermons, reading material, forums, blogs, etc.  that agree with your theology.  More material is available than you can imagine, without leaving the house.    Way  more important is   helping the needy charities in your community instead of boosting the high standard of living  for these phony TV preachers and some local  preachers (big houses and cars, etc).  I refuse to be affiliated with any local 501 (tax exempt) churches or ministries.  Folks, spend your money on family preps.  Unload stuff not needed and help  your community.  Get down to basics and out of debt.

      11. My husband is a pastor.  I have a whole different view of things than Goldenfoxx and Laura M.  I believe whole-heartedly in tithing and church attendance.  But it is all about a relationship with the Lord.  Those things naturally flow out of that.  In turn, He has promised to help us with everything – that includes our preps.  It also includes His provision when my preps run out.  I would be terrified if I thought I had nothing to depend on but that.  Knowing God now gives me great peace that He will take care of me and my family when things get worse.  I encourage you to find a relationship with Him that is real – not phony baloney.  There is too much of that out there.

        I tried to expain hyperinflation to my wife and she went out and stocked up on $1000 hand bags and had the bathrooms remodelled.   I guess when she asks why I am learning to garden, fish and hunt/stocking up on silver I won’t say anything. 

      13. The scarry part is, things really arn’t that bad yet.

        When you’ve had enoug, don’t give up.

         Join the Revolution
        Read “Common Sense 3.1” at ( )
        We don’t have to live like this anymore. “Spread the News”

        On a more serious note, asking for advice since I value this groups opinion.  Since I am so uncertain about the economy, I want to position myself/business for what(ever) lies ahead.   (I am a psychiatrist in private practice.)  I could keep up with my private practice (which is doing well but only through great effort/too much effort really).   I have an opportunity to cut my business in half and take a half time job with the VA and hedge my income with something “stable” (assuming the government doesn’t go belly up).  My other option is to work full time for the hospital (which would be stable/much less hastle) but would put my whole livelihood in the hands of another.   I guess I should feel lucky that I have options, just not sure what is safest. 

      15. Tina – You have issues. Are you living in the 70’s.   Does it really matter at this point in time who does what?   Get over it.

        Great job Mac.

      16. Comments…..LauraM, you are spot on.  I don’t give money to charities, but I do give pots of soups when I have some to spare. The money is better in your pocket than in a preachers who laughs his way to the bank.  The preachers I have known in the past lived in nicer homes and drove nicer cars than I had.  It took me a while to figure out the scam going on.  Now, I have just as nice a home/car and more money in the bank than I ever had.  As Laura said, spend the money on yourself/family/preps, and let the preacher depend on the Lord – or better yet, get a real job like other people have to.

      17. Comments….. MontanaMark said: I have an opportunity to cut my business in half and take a half time job with the VA and hedge my income with something “stable” (assuming the government doesn’t go belly up).  My other option is to work full time for the hospital (which would be stable/much less hastle) but would put my whole livelihood in the hands of another.   I guess I should feel lucky that I have options, just not sure what is safest.
        With the government broke, you are putting yourself into the hands into an entity IMHO not so stable.  I would hate to get paid with IOU’s then where would you be?  How stable financially is the hospital?  Do they treat a lot of illegals/welfare where they are unable to collect from the State for services?  If you are making it on your own okay, aren’t you better off with that than having to give yourself over to someone else?  The part time for yourself and part time for the VA sounds viable.  If the VA doesn’t work out, you can always go back to your full practice. JMHO.

      18. Where is it written in the Bible that a pastor has to be poorer than you? God wants to bless each and everyone of us, but some of us have problems with coveting. If a pastor is good at his job, I see no reason why he shouldn’t be paid accordingly.

      19. MontanaMark:

        You might consider diversifying away from the shrink business altogether rather than changing the sources of income.  If things get as bad as many of us feel they will in the next couple years, your practice is going back to the traditional suppliers of that service…, the local bartender and Dear Abby.   Not saying there won’t be a need for your services, just there won’t be the money to pay for them.

        Not familiar with the degrees it takes for your business, but aren’t psychiatrists also MD’s ?   Perhaps you should look more at picking up GP skills, which would be of great value down the road.

        Just a thought……

      20. I went to the store yesterday and was shocked at the prices even though I have had more warning than most.  I still couldn’t believe the jump and it’s only the beginning.

      21. noone:
        Tina – You have issues. Are you living in the 70’s.   Does it really matter at this point in time who does what?   Get over it

        How in the hell is what I said “living in the 70’s” . Because I said that the article does sound a bit sexists?

        Today it takes two incomes and YES  I do work full time, like many many other WOMEN. What that means is that these days both men and women’s rolls are a little blurred. My husband does as much of the shopping as I do….cleaning, laundry the whole gamut.  

        The only “issue” I have is with people like you.

      22. Hu owns us & who destroyed us?

      23. Comments…..M.M. @5:31…Please seriously consider the VA option.  These currenly returning veterans as well as earlier veterans need you desparately.  It is hard work though. Please help them.  Thank you


        GA Girl …….
        Thanks for that–I get so flustered with the notion that we don’t go to church to get anything..but should expect to bring something with us…

        Well, I keep telling them…I come to get my tank refilled to get me through the week…take it or leave it!!!LOL

        I am at an age that I look forward to my church services, and Bible study..

      25. @jj, Mary and GA Girl – I’m with you. I enjoy my friends and fellowship at church, and look forward to going. Don’t know about the others’ pastors, but  the one at my church works very hard, and after more than 15 years at my church and several pay raises, makes a nice salary. I don’t begrudge what he makes (I made just about that much at my last out-of-the house job as a medical administrator and wouldn’t go back to that for any amount of money!), nor do I begrudge his nice house. His wife works to help with expenses, and I’m fine with that too.

        I go to church to renew my relationship with the Lord, to fellowship with like-minded Christians, and to learn how to be more like my Lord. I can’t imagine not having that!! It is what helps me get through each day with some sanity.


        Amen, grannyb..and I do want Christ and the Lord to recognize my little fat fanny when the SHTF and He shows mercy on His believers…I talk to Him every night.

        I also have a ‘dog in this fight’…my sweet heart of 36 years joined the church with me last June and was baptised with me!!!

      27. Even more cost effective than paring down the wife’s budget is to be single.

        That way you are more free to respond, adapt,  & adjust to changing circumstances. The days of the ‘conventional’ family are waning because one thing the planet doesn’t need is more consuming people.  Attempting to provide for that will quickly wear a person out.  Schooling, clothing, medical, food etc … in an environment of fewer jobs & raising costs … think it through.

        In fact, if it goes down as many envision, there will likely be a substantial die off in population due to dwindling availability of food, resources and assorted essentials.

        Yes, I know.. not what you want to hear.
        Get used to disappointment.
        ‘That what does not destroy you .. makes you stronger’.

      28. My wife makes more than I do… rock on.  Both of our careers are doomed under the current administration – she is an OB… lower and lower reimbursements.  I’m a regional (NOT INVESTMENT BANKER) banker.  I work in a small town making loans…she works in a small town making babies.  Both careers were killed by this White House with the healthcare bill and the Dodd/Frank banking bill.  I’d work harder and have less if it meant a better USA…  not with this Guy in the office.

        I read this blog and everyday.  Here, Mac tells you what is happening under your own eyes… Ferfal tells you what is happening when it is too late… one second after in Argentina.

        Maybe we should react a bit…  vote early and often.

      29. Prices are going up on just about everything.   My favorite toilet paper recently went up from $5/package to $8/package!  As you guys have noticed, items are shrinking as well.  I have been stocking up on toiletries in addition to food, and next on my list is to stock up on underwear, socks, t-shirts, jeans, etc.  With cotton going up something like 87% this year (if I recall correctly), prices will be through the roof soon.  Not only that, but quality is decreasing year after year, so you might as well stock up on clothes now. 

        A lot of hospitals are now run by corporations.  My mom is an ER nurse at a hospital that was taken over by a corporation several years ago.  They have made a lot of changes that the doctors and nurses don’t agree with, as well as instituted hiring and wage freezes.  Just something to consider as you make your decision.  Personally, I’d want to keep my business open, at least part time.  It’s good to have options.  Good luck.

      30. I saw a businessman at a gas station trying to pre-pay $2000 worth of gasoline (spread out over the course of a month) for his employees. Do you suppose he was trying to delay the costs of inflation? The gas station owner liked the idea but didn’t see a way to distinguish between the businessman’s employees and everyone else.

        Heh, prepaid gasoline cards, have there ever been any before? Seems like it would only cost the gas station money over the long run.

        A snippet from some comments about a recent Barron’s Round Table discussion which included Marc Faber, Bill Gross, Felix Zulauf, and Fred Hickey:

        Fred Hickey is quoted as saying, “Money-printing won’t work,… at some point it will end, because the dollar will fall apart… A year ago people were talking about an exit strategy.” Bill Fleckenstein writes in response, “That really illuminates where we were. There was never any chance of an exit strategy, and now we’re on QE2; the fact that so many folks thought the Fed even wanted to find the exit, let alone would be able to, shows how badly they have mis-handicapped the underlying problems.” – From, “Rob Them of Their Money” by Bill Fleckenstein

        Exit strategy,…

        So if a person couldn’t, or didn’t exactly want to venture outside or far away to attend a church, I imagine an online study might be ok for some people. Here’s one that seems half-way ok, a little heavy on the pro-war side though, something to check out maybe, it’s also on shortwave radio:

      31. Montana Mark,
        As some others have suggestted, I’d lean heavily toward the part-time VA counseling job and keep your practice viable (less effort expended to maintain a part-time practice). It would help if you have been in the military and especially in a war zone–but it’s not a required experience. There’s a huge number of vets who need counseling and need to be evaluated for service related injuries. Head injuries and PTSD case loads in particular will be ongoing and growing, trust me. If the VA gets to the point where they can’t pay you, then a default of the whole system won’t be far behind. Don’t overworry it.
        Hospitals CAN go belly up because they are a private business, especially if overloaded with non-payers.
        One more point, there’s a good chance that if you choose the VA option they’ll soon bring you up to full-time. There is a LARGE backlog of Iraq/Afghanistan vets plus some of us older codgers from previous wars. That’s my take. Ultimately, you are the one who must gather as much info as you can, weigh it in the balance and come to a good decision.
        Your wife buying $1,000 purses is a whole ‘nuther can of worms. 🙂

      32. Tina – It doesn’t take two incomes to survive today unless you’ve been stupid enough to get that far into debt and/or you spend more that you need too on junk.   Are you one of those high maintenance type women?  I’ll bet you are……….

      33. Montana Mark,
        I second NWFisher, go with VA, if all jobs were to go belly up, federal jobs will be the last ones to go I think.
        Just my humble opinion.

      34. One of the big problems IMO, women have no skills EXCEPT the workforce. LOL I stay home; but there is no way my husband could find the deals I do, fix and repair things, or even have a moment’s relaxation if he had to tend the garden/orchard/animals every day. I used to feel odd, and wish I had a different skill set, but the ones I was raised with as a farm girl are coming in mighty handy now, so I guess I’m happier about it now than I was as a teenager. 🙂
        He makes good money (though people wonder how we manage on one income) but it wouldn’t do much good if it just squirted out the other side into processed foods and childcare.  We work together, and it works pretty good.
        IMO, this article is spot-on. He knows inflation is happening, but he sees it mainly at the gas pump. Working 50+ hours a week, he doesn’t have time to cook from scratch and I do, so buying a in bulk is of great benefit to us.
        Things are not bad yet, if you know how to work with it. If all you know is how to work in the work force and are 100% tied to the commercial food supply … I think it’s about to get really interesting….

      35. My wife actually IS a good “canary in the coal mine” for inflation.  Not because of trips to the grocery store, but the fact she works as the head of a local school system food service. 

        She showed me the pricing for next school year and said these were the largest increases in food costs she had seen in 30 years on the job.  Ground beef up 40%, chicken up 28%, and so on.  And these are for USDA commodity foods, the pricing of the remainder of her food budget from private suppliers won’t come until June- July, but she expects similar increases.

        Another thing that has come down “from on high” ( USDA school lunch program ) is they will pay 6 cents per meal more next year ( USDA subsidizes ALL school lunches whether free or paid ), BUT she has to raise the price on the kids who pay up to the price USDA reimburses for a “free” kid.  

        Right now, lunch is $1.50 for kids that pay ( don’t qualify income wise for “free” lunch, which about 60% of the kids in school DO ), but the USDA reimburses for free kids a total of $2.50.   So she will have to raise the paid price a buck to get the 6 cent raise on all lunches.

        Plan on paying more for your kids school lunch next year, and maybe a LOT more.

      36. I remember hearing when Russia went up in flames a few years back, a pair of American made jeans were very expensive.  Russian Americans went home went a suitcase full of new jeans to pay for their trip.

      37. Comments….. Mrs. A, I agree with you.  I worked outside of the home until we moved here.  My husband doesn’t know how to cook, in fact, he burns boiling water.  Cooking is a skill that people are lacking nowadays.  A clean home, a full pantry, gardens cared for, and warm food on the table, is a skill that most don’t know how to do because they aren’t organized, or too busy trying to make money to pay the bills.

        Nonoe, I doubt any woman posting here is a high maintenance woman, most of us are on the same page.  But you are right, it doesn’t take two incomes to survive.  People should live as if there’s only one income coming in. JMHO.

      38. You guys that compare what things cost 30 years ago fail to also show the increase in wages.

        Each time I see a comment like that I say (in my George Carlin voice), “That guy is full of shit!!”

        These SHTF and collapse web boards would of been as applicable yesterday as they are today.  45 years ago you could of ran the same stories as today, albeit the numbers would of been smaller, but the ratios to wages and entitlements vs. cost of living about the same more or less.

        For those working at their $100k+ yr job, things are great!!   You never hear a word from the successful people out there, they are doing just great.    Of course you myopic jackasses are against anyone that makes more money than yourself.

        It is the underachievers and the NO achievers that scream and demand their “entitlements”, that seems to get all the air play in cyberspace.

        Believe me, 40% of the population is doing just fine.   It is the lower 60% that need to use their heads, stop being Chicken Little and actually do something, the sky ain’t falling.

      39. Everything is down on the market right now except natural gas.  The dollar is shooting up!  Hurray, good times for a minute.  Hu owns us?

      40. Daniel said, “Even more cost effective than paring down the wife’s budget is to be single. That way you are more free to respond, adapt,  & adjust to changing circumstances.”

        You also don’t have anyone to help you out if you need it, friends and other relatives might not be there or want to help.

        And, from what I’ve experienced, two people Can live together more cheaply than one, for many it is by far more cost effective than being single.
        If you have a good relationship a couple Can respond, adapt and adjust just as quickly as an individual and often more efficiently. That is what makes teamwork beneficial.

        I think you are completely wrong that, “The days of the ‘conventional’ family are waning” but I’ve run out of time to reply. The free-market will respond to the problems you’ve mentioned and likely solve them all making things much better as we go along.

        The more people the better!
        The less government and more free-markets the better!

      41. Don’t cross the 12 lane highway during rush hour Chicken Little!

        Are you trying to tell us you’re about to pull a ‘john galt’??

        Husband is self-employed; we do that as often as we can.

        What IRS??

      43. Says CL:  “You guys that compare what things cost 30 years ago fail to also show the increase in wages.”

        You fail to grasp:

        Wages have not kept up with prices. For example: 
        Minimum wage in 1965 was 1.60hr.  Gasoline was 30 cents/gal.   Rought 1/5 of an hour of labor bought a gallon of gasoline.

        Today, min wage is what, around 8 bucks ?  And a gallon of gasoline is 3 bucks…or 1/3 of an hour’s labor.   Takes more today to buy less.

        One small example…..there are many more for all wage scales.  Housing is a GRAND example of how pricing has gotten so out of hand, the average person is priced out of the housing market in many areas.

        Also, did you see the piece in the Cleveland Examiner a week or two ago ?  That the average minimum wage earner of 14,000/yr has MORE disposable income than if they were earning 60,000/yr.  Very good breakdown of how the middle class is getting killed.

      44. Says CL:  “You guys that compare what things cost 30 years ago fail to also show the increase in wages.”

        You fail to grasp:

        Wages have not kept up with prices. For example: 
        Minimum wage in 1965 was 1.60hr.  Gasoline was 30 cents/gal.   Rought 1/5 of an hour of labor bought a gallon of gasoline.

        Today, min wage is what, around 8 bucks ?  And a gallon of gasoline is 3 bucks…or 1/3 of an hour’s labor.   Takes more today to buy less.

        One small example…..there are many more for all wage scales.  Housing is a GRAND example of how pricing has gotten so out of hand, the average person is priced out of the housing market in many areas.

        Also, did you see the piece in the Cleveland Examiner a week or two ago ?  That the average minimum wage earner of 14,000/yr has MORE disposable income than if they were earning 60,000/yr.  Very good breakdown of how the middle class is getting killed.

        Mrs. A
         Amen, sister…I just built a railing with 2 x 4’s on my covered porch– cut, screwed, hung, and sealed for less than $40!!

        My neighbor went to Lowe’s…priced about $800 for what she wants..she didn’t get it!!

        Mine looks pretty good for a one day job.

      46. Ten extra minutes:

        Chicken Little said, “stop… and actually do something”

        Peter Schiff and Arnold Schwarzenegger have said, if they were to start their businesses in today’s regulatory environment, they could not do it. There are a great many similar stories around.

        It seems as if you haven’t seen the animated film about Chuck and the American dream of pulling ones self up by the bootstrap gone haywire:

        Many people who Think they are rich might not be on stable financial footing. Here’s a comment I found that briefly explains why:

        “The essence of the Austrian theory is what we call an economic boom is actually brought about by credit expansion from the Federal Reserve System. The boom is called a boom because it makes people BELIEVE that prosperity is increasing. Why do they believe that? It’s because lots of money is flowing into capital projects, consumption spending rises, unemployment falls, and borrowing costs are cheap. Since no one person can fully understand the entire economy, the orientation of the capital structure, it is almost impossible to know if the prosperity is a result of real, sustainable productivity growth in physical terms, or if it is the result of what Austrians call “capital consumption”,… Capital consumption, in short, is like eating the seed corn. Consumption goes up yes, and people will feel prosperous. But their prosperity is coming at an as of yet unforeseen cost, which is future productivity. Since the economy is too complex for any one person to understand fully, nobody really knows that the seed corn is being eaten until some time passes…

        Regulation comes at the expense of dynamicism and entrepreneurship… Think of government spending, regulations, and inflation as chains. The heavier the chains, the slower it takes for the individual to get out of trouble. Release the chains, and he will be able to fix himself much quicker.” – Captain Freedom

      47. ChickenLittle,

        I don’t usually say this, but you’re an idiot. I make $100,000/yr, or pretty darn close to it, and I’m certainly not enjoying the ride.

        I’m going to say this because I’ve actually done the calculations (yes I’m a nerd).

        If you use the “official” rate of inflation my salary is 2-3% below what it should be compared to when I started 10 years ago.  But of course I don’t have to tell you this, that “official” inflation rate does not take into account:

        Rising health insurance premiums (up 1,000% over 10 years)
        Rising home fuel prices (up over 300%)
        Rising food prices (very hard to estimate but probably at least doubled)
        Rising property taxes (up over 50%)

        Disclaimer – the above is my own situation. Everyone else may differ.

        Not to mention that government understates “official” inflation through the magic of substitution, hedonics, geometric weighting, and the ever-so reality based inclusion of OER (owner equivalent rent) instead of using real home prices which even Osama Bin Laden who’s been living in a cave for 9 years knows has completely divorced from people’s ability to pay, even discounting the 30% decrease over the past 3 years.

        Every year every tax/fee/surcharge we pay goes up, and yet I’m going on the 3rd year without a pay raise for a fortune 500 company who is raking in record profits. But what incentive do they have to give me a pay raise when they’ve already moved half their workers to India? None whatsoever!!

        So you might smartly respond that I have to retrain and specialize in an industry that can’t be outsourced! And on who’s dollar? My own of course! With university tuition also greatly exceeding the “official” rate of inflation. More debt. To that I say “Thanks but no thanks”.

        And thanks to the government, we are stuck in that perfect limbo where my wife working may/may not lead to more money for us because she’s in an unskilled profession (pre-school child care) where the benefit of actually having her work is almost entirely wiped away by the extra tax burden we must shoulder when filing taxes, so the only real solution is to work under the table.

        And no, I’m not in debt, except for a 30 year mortgage. I do without many of the things that are considered “normal” by today’s standards.

        Please refrain from painting people with broad brush strokes. It only makes you out to be a fool.

      48. All of the grains/beans are bouncing up again.  They are riding the wave again until they hit the beach.

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