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The problem is the national debt. All the other arguments aside, the national debt is at least 50% larger than it was 4 years ago. And showing no signs of shrinking.

That means that the Fed cannot afford to raise interest rates. Pretty much forever. Why? Because the US wouldn’t be able to pay the interest on the debt at higher rates. Put simply, if the effective coupon on T-Bills went to 4% (historically still very low), the US would be Greece, because the interest on the debt would be so large a chunk of GDP it would have to either default, or print money like it was Zimbabwe (not that it already isn’t doing that) just to pay the interest, assuming that it wasn’t continuing to create more debt every second.

And that’s just the on-balance sheet debt. Forget all the off-balance sheet stuff, like unfunded liabilities (you know, like Social Security and Medicare and hosts of other stuff the government just likes to keep off the sheet, a la Enron, because otherwise it is obvious that it is already completely bankrupt). Those are orders of magnitude larger.

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NEWS: New interview on craft, writing, and why I wish I was a bear. Worth reading.

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One friend of mine said, “Yeah, but the US can grow its way out of that!” Really? That’s nice. Assuming for a moment that one bought the notion that a country that these days manufactures very little, and has 70% of its GDP as “consumer spending” (that’s people buying things, mostly on credit – see the above paragraph on accumulating unsustainable debt), and largely only creates reality TV shows, Rap music, financial instruments, and sells burgers to each other – can somehow literally go parabolic on its GDP (how? Maybe cheap energy – the media’s latest BS siren song), what is the first thing that happens when growth occurs?

Answer: interest rates go up. A higher rate is required to entice investors, because they can get better returns in other investments in booming growth times. So now we have all this hypothesized growth, but rates have to go up, at which point the US still can’t afford to service its debt at higher rates.

This is what happens when fiscal irresponsibility becomes institutionalized, and pecuniary interests are allowed to loot the economy, aided by the central bank and the Treasury. Plain and simple, all the money that is stolen has to come from somewhere – either current revenues, or future revenues. Obviously based on the ballooning debt, it’s largely future revenues that have been used (now that most of the value has been leached from the middle class). At a price. And when that price increases, either the Fed has to print massive amounts of money, a la Weimar Germany, and watch inflation shoot to the moon (which devalues the savings of the entire country – each dollar becomes worth less with more of them out there), so it can pay the higher rates with dollars worth less, or it has to hike taxes by massive (and I do mean massive) amounts, which would instantly chill any growth (in addition to reducing tax revenues a la the Laffer curve).

It’s an ugly, bad scenario. So the Fed has to keep interest rates at near zero. Forever. We are now Japan, where the banks have taken the country hostage and it is being operated for their benefit, as well as for a few pharma companies and military/industrial conglomerates.

Some argue that’s a pessimistic view. I call it reality. I see no way out of it for the U.S. We are watching the slow motion conversion of the U.S. into Britain as we speak – the former colonial ruler of the world, whose currency was the world’s reserve currency up until the dollar became the reserve currency in 1948.

Some might ask why 1948 is important. The answer is, that’s when the U.S. agreed to keep the dollar on the gold standard in exchange for becoming the world’s reserve currency. The U.S. agreed to do so because any reserve currency has to be a safe store of value, and for 2000 years gold has been money. It was in 1948 as well. In order for a reserve currency to be of value for trade, its value has to be stable, because otherwise it is useless – you can’t make contracts or agree to purchases if the currency’s value is changing every day. So a stable currency was required, and the dollar was it.

In 1971, Nixon took the U.S. off the gold standard, arguing that it wasn’t applicable anymore. The reason it wasn’t applicable was because the government wanted to spend recklessly and print money backed by nothing but its promise. The world bristled – as an example, OPEC was created by oil producers because they correctly argued that they had a commodity that was actually worth something, and they were now being asked to exchange it for pieces of paper backed by promises, rather than pieces of paper backed by gold – anyone who knows the history of every paper currency in history knows that they have all degraded and faded to obscurity, which is why gold has been treated as money for 2000 years. Gold is always gold. A Continental (the last US currency that got flushed before the dollar) is just a piece of paper.

Concurrent with this new wisdom in 1971, the government and Wall Street started advancing the ludicrous proposition that gold was essentially valueless – that it didn’t pay rent, it took up space, etc. This was the first time in 2000 years anyone had advanced the notion that it was better to own pieces of paper rather than an asset. Be that as it may, as Lenin knew, if you repeated a lie often enough, it became truth. Now the wisdom of even otherwise bright people is that gold has no integral value and is only worth what someone is willing to pay for it (as are all assets of every kind – duh!), thus is not a store for value. Even though only a cursory study of history would expose that as stupidity of the worst sort – for 2000 years gold was money, but now it isn’t…because we say so! Forgetting of course that the dollar was backed by gold as a condition of being the reserve currency precisely because gold is money, and paper is just paper.

Which brings us to where we are. There is no way to grow our way out of the debt problem without defaulting on our debt interest. No way to do it. If with posited growth, it would spike rates, which would cause a default. If with higher taxes, there would be less to tax because a disastrous recession would slip into depression (which is what I believe the next step is).

So the Fed must keep zero effective interest in place for as long as I can foresee. Which means the future will be dim indeed, because eventually the inflation that everyone sees every day, and the official statistics deliberately exclude from its calculations, will also cause rates to rise – so I suppose one could say that it’s hard to envision a future where the U.S. doesn’t default on its obligations.

The only savior so far has been China. Because of high real inflation in China (6-8%) and low savings interest available to Chinese citizens (and effectively no other way to save for them other than property ownership) of around 1.5%, you have a real world savings interest rate of the difference of the savings rate paid (1.5%) and real inflation (6-8%) – which is a long way of saying that the banks can invest in US paper at 2% real return, and pocket the 8.5% difference between the 1.5% in Yuan they pay, and the 2% + 8% – 1.5% paid to savers, as expressed in dollars. But as China’s growth slows (less people are buying crap in a recession) that inflation rate drops, and suddenly the kleptocracy that steals roughly 8.5% of the nation’s savings every year to support its lifestyle can only steal 4%, or 2%, at which point U.S. paper at 2% looks like a bad deal to them.

That’s what is happening.

I believe that the Fed is making trillions and trillions of loans to U.S. and foreign banks at 0% interest (fact, as shown by the limited Fed audit this year) in exchange for their pledge to invest those loans in U.S. paper at 2%, creating an apparent demand for it – outright theft from the taxpayer, as the banks are being given that 2% on tens of trillions of dollars as pure profit for them (and they are all for-profit banks), paid by the taxpayer – which is a looting mechanism that’s invisible but is wildly destructive, as seen by the recent data showing the middle class’ net worth has dropped to where it was in 1982. Which of course leaves out that it is being measured in dollars – $75K today being treated by the government statisticians as equivalent to $75K in 1982 dollars, when gold was $350 an ounce instead of $1600 an ounce, and a car cost $7K instead of $20K, and a house cost $60K instead of $150K, etc. etc. In real economic terms, the average middle class person has seen their net worth drop to effective buying levels of more like the 1960s. Another way of saying that is that three generations of accumulated wealth have been erased in the last four years.

Think about that.

All the wealth from the advent of things like the personal computer, and cell phones, and CDs, and moon flights – all of that is gone. Or rather, has been redistributed to the powerful financial interests that have done so well while the country is struggling.

The reason I’m writing this blog is because I had to learn a lot about all of this in the writing of my next novel, Silver Justice, which discusses the reasons for the 2008 financial crisis as a backdrop for a serial killer story. The more I learned, the more appalled I became. I’m sure these views will be unpopular with many who don’t want to acknowledge the hard facts – people who confuse stupidity with patriotism.

The wealth of a nation has been confiscated. If you are reading this, probably from you. And it is likely to continue being bad, or get worse, regardless of who gets elected, because the folks who stole three generations of wealth own both parties and all the systems. They should. They’re the only ones with the money.

On a brighter note, I’ll return to happy blogs addressing lighter topics soon. But I had to get this out of my system. Call it a smudging or exorcism, if you like. If this resonates with you, please SumbleUpon and otherwise share it using the buttons below. Thanks.

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Comments

  1. stef
    Mon 25th Jun 2012 at 2:48 pm

    As a Brit who isn’t au fait with finance, I can still see how the tail took over the dog by divorcing gold. Surely the US folks won’t call this a conspiracy theory? Conspiracy, yes, by the tail that now wags a dog that may implode at any moment is how I read it. Be interesting to read a novel on what happens when the bubble bursts (and where the tails disappear off to). The month the Mark went mad in Germany led to some terrible consequences – little surprise that a dictator could then curry favor by filling bellies and thumbing his nose at the punishing Versailles treaty.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 25th Jun 2012 at 4:12 pm

      It’s not a theory if it is factual. Fact is, the US agreed to keep the dollar on the gold standard when the pound was scrapped in favor of the dollar in 1948 as the world’s reserve currency. The reason was because a currency on the gold standard held its value over time, so one could make agreements internationally without having currency risk. A side benefit for the populations of the world was that you could stuff hundred dollar bills under the mattress, and come back 20 years later, and they hadn’t lost any buying power. That was bad for Wall Street, which wanted to encourage speculation in the market – so the banking industry fought long and hard to figure out how to get the U.S. off the gold standard so inflation could be introduced, which requires that ordinary folks take risks with their money just to keep even.

      The only people that win by the dollar not being on the gold standard are those who own the casinos and those who manipulate the currency markets, which are far larger than the stock markets. There is no money to be made and no trading if the dollar is always $1600 an ounce. Other currencies may fluctuate against the dollar, but you can’t cause nearly the gyrations as you can if there’s no standard.

      For those who buy the Fed’s argument that a gold standard is impractical, that’s hooey. They always try to say “there isn’t enough gold to back the dollar.” Red herring. You don’t have to have any gold. You simply have to buy or sell treasuries when the price starts moving either higher or lower. That’s it. But that is antipodal to the goal of manipulative financial types who want to cause booms and busts in the credit and currency markets, profiting by advance knowledge of the next moves of the central banks. A stable currency is good for everyone but manipulators, and that’s why there hasn’t been a stable currency for over 40 years. Too much money in it for the manipulators, who are the world’s largest banks and brokers, and who generally have the inside scoop from the central banks of which they are part owners. They also own the commodities exchanges where they make fortunes trading in gold and silver by swinging those prices around – all that would go away too, as the prices would always be fixed.

      Some see the hard financial facts as a political discussion, and it isn’t. The hard fact is that of revenues, the U.S. pays about .22 of every dollar collected to service its debt. That’s with effective rates at around zero. If rates were allowed to climb to more normal levels, say, 4%, you would see approaching forty cents on the dollar go to interest payments. That’s assuming a fairly stagnant economy and historically normalized rates. High thirties to low forties on interest would be a massive blow to the economy and wouldn’t work. One could argue that the government could increase taxes to increase revenues, but one would have to ignore the Laffer curve to do so, wherein the higher a tax rate, the lower tax revenues (imagine a car dealer who is running a loss on its cars due to slow sales, so decides to raise the price of the cars to offset the loss, which is then met by fewer cars sold, and so it raises prices further, etc.). It seems paradoxical until one considers that the higher taxes in a jurisdiction, the greater the drag on productivity, the lower profits, and the less money is available for investment – and government is always the least efficient return on any investment, including tax revenue. So the higher a tax rate, the lower the take from taxes. That’s been well understood for many many centuries, and yet still seems to confound most politicians.

      Reply
  2. Mon 25th Jun 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Now, at least I now know why we humans only live a decade at the most! We couldn’t handle any more political crap!
    Also, the same topic is what I added to Book 4 of my latest series just this weekened. (The bad guys terminated the government and simply solved the problem).. If you take away politics and the need for money, all corruption comes to an end!
    Now 10,000 words from the end of my series, and a month of editing, one small bandage for the country’s woes will be out for all the world to learn the only way out of the mess you describe!
    I look forward to reading your next book Russell!
    T I WADE

    Reply
  3. Heather
    Mon 25th Jun 2012 at 3:54 pm

    This is a wonderful albeit sobering post. Americans got complacent, and people started propagating the notion of spending OPM. It’s ok, someone will pay for it down the road somewhere. Well, at the end of the day, it seems it’s coming from the hardworking middle class who are just trying to make it. And it’s sad that our money is now on par with Monopoly money. Worthless scraps of paper, because we all know our currency is backed by the “Full faith and credit” of the US Govt. Personally, I have no faith, and they have no credit. People in government have proved over and over again they are for the most part incompetent and greedy.

    I’m actually trying to write a short story. Think political satire of the current state of the US economy and government a la Jonathan Swift. Something of a Modest Proposal.

    Thanks for this post.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Mon 25th Jun 2012 at 4:22 pm

      After studying this, I believe that the governments are almost incidental. If you control the banks and the money, you pretty much control the governments. That’s been true forever, and it isn’t changing any time soon. It was one of the reasons Americans were so against the concept of a central bank, and why JP Morgan had to pull tricky maneuvers like creating banking panics to convince the rank and file that a central bank was a good idea. When the 1913 Federal Reserve Act was passed, it had been drafted by the most influential NY bankers of the time, and was deliberately structured as an apparently governmental entity that was in fact privately owned by those same bankers. Historians believe that although the common stock is distributed among the 1000’s of member banks, the preferred shares that control it are still held by those same entities that met on Jekyll Island in secret (then a private island owned by JP Morgan) to draft the outline of the Fed Reserve Act. The moneyed elite understood that once they got control over the purse strings, they could install the government they wanted over time, and could little by little leach 3-10% out of the GDP every single year. And that is precisely what happened. And happens to this day. The Fed creates booms and busts with monetary policy (loosen, and it creates speculative frenzies from all the cash trying to find a return, tighten, and pop the bubble when the cash dries up and there isn’t another greater fool when the music stops to buy your speculation) and those that know in advance what it is going to do make fortunes while the middle class (where all innovation comes from, innovation being a huge challenge to entrenched monopolies, i.e. the big money) is eviscerated. Most of the government thing is for show, as we all discovered when it became apparent that Goldman’s alumni were handing the keys to the treasury to Wall St in 2008, under Bush, and then continued to do so under Obama. The whole administration changed, as did the rhetoric, but the one thing that didn’t was that the banks still got massive amounts of the national worth, while all the diversions took place. That is perennial. Bread and circuses to keep the population diverted.

      Reply
  4. allam
    Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 1:39 am

    The reason Nixon abandoned the gold standard was because France had amassed a large holding of American dollars and was intending to demand gold in exchange. That was perfectly legal under the gold standard rules, but it represented a huge fraction of American gold reserves and could have had a devastating effect on the dollar.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 11:04 am

      A devastating effect on the dollar? You mean the loss of 90% of its purchasing power, or something worse, like exposure in the world courts as the country that violated its international agreements while insisting it was honest?

      Yes, I understand the reasoning. If the US had to actually honor its obligation to exchange each dollar for gold, as it was required to, it would have created a big problem for the US because it hadn’t honored its agreement to back each dollar with gold. And it was about to get caught. I suppose being the world’s reserve currency and then failing to do what you had committed to, in this case not printing money in excess of your ability to redeem it with gold, could be correctly viewed as being a lying cheating untrustworthy thing to do, especially since your commitment to do so was in fact the only reason the dollar was the world reserve currency. The French correctly viewed the cost of the Vietnam war as creating huge inflationary potential (see, they thought America was lying for a few years) so they decided to dump the currency before it turned into toilet paper. Nixon, caught red handed, couldn’t do what the nation had pledged its honor to do, and so stopped honoring the agreement. Since 1971, when a new car cost $2000 and a new house cost $30K, the dollar has lost, oh, around 90%+ of its purchasing power. Because once a nation starts running the printing presses and printing money in excess of its ability to maintain its value, the currency must necessarily must lose value. In Zimbabwe’s case, rather rapidly. In the U.S.’s case (primarily because it has gone to war and ousted the leadership of two of the three middle eastern countries whose nationally owned central banks were agitating for a gold-backed Dinar to do all oil exchanges in – can you guess their names, and the name of the only remaining one who is being presented as Satan by the US now?), it has used its military might to keep dissension in line, but the writing is now on the wall due to the agreements between china and russia to use their own currencies on all further trade between their nations. Yes, China would prefer Rubles to Dollars. I think that about says it all.

      Reply
  5. Josh
    Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 11:44 am

    The gold standard is more of a symptom. The real culprit is year after year of deficit spending. Without the deficit spending, it wouldn’t really matter what the dollar was backed with.

    If only there were some way to keep Congress (or State or local governments) from spending more than it takes in. A balanced budget amendment won’t do it–states and municipalities already are required to have balanced budgets but they’ve been cooking the books.

    Eventually, the US will default.

    A couple of years ago I was trying to think of a safe currency to put money. There is none. The euro is trash, the renminbi can’t be trusted. Maybe India? Commodities are overpriced with speculative investment now. Real estate is still sketchy. Maybe farm land? I feel like I’m trapped in a bastardised Stanley Kubrick film–“How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Learned to Love QE”

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 11:51 am

      I tend to think, even though prices are manipulated through paper gold in the options market, that gold for the long term is the best store of value. Fact is that any paper currency can be gamed – the only reason gold isn’t $3K an ounce today is because Wall Street figured out it could write 99% more options contracts for gold than gold actually exists – most only trade the options for the difference in the buy and the sell price – almost nobody redeems the option for gold, so they can get the Xerox machine out and print a tsunami of paper gold to control prices. In this way, even commodities have been turned into paper, and once something is paper, it can be gamed.

      Reply
      • Josh  –  Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 11:54 am

        Yes, commodities speculators should have to be able to accept delivery–or go away.

        Reply
        • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 12:27 pm

          The problem is that the exchanges, which are owned by the big brokerage houses, changed the rules recently so that if you were put to deliver the commodity as a seller, you could deliver cash instead of the commodity. That basically eliminated any honesty in the commodity market, as again, what theoretically kept the players honest (as in not creating 100 times more contracts for gold than actual gold exists) was the threat that they might actually have to deliver in the end. This way, they can just hand you a fistful of their funny money and shrug their shoulders.

          Reply
  6. Andrew
    Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Russell, this is brilliant stuff. I had an inkling you might be financially clued up just from a few sentences appearing in Fatal Exchange.

    How about a novel, (featuring a serial killer, or an assassin) set against the background of an (inevitable) cascading collapse of ‘over the counter’ derivative contracts, today being valued by the banking lobby at an amount that exceeds global gross domestic product by a factor of twelve.

    Confidence that future resources can always be claimed with paper is the only thing that sustains the idea of debt as money.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Tue 26th Jun 2012 at 5:02 pm

      Well, the argument is always that that’s the notional value, not the actual contingent liability. Which is of course sort of like explaining the lack of lifeboats on the Titanic by referring to a fractional approach to floating in the North Atlantic.

      I know enough to be dangerous. My next book, Silver Justice, exposes the true cause of the 2008 crash – as fiction, of course. Because it’s all just fiction.

      Given that the national debt now exceeds GDP (which is a silly number of itself given that whenever you buy a cell phone or a new computer GDP increases because of your theoretical production increase from the new technology – I shit you not) and that a move from current levels to only 4% or so would have nearly 40 cents of every dollar of tax revenues going to interest, I’d say that the end of the empire has never been closer. I wish I was more optimistic. Having said that, I can say with confidence that the banks’ ability to keep kicking the can down the road has so far vastly exceeded what I would have expected – it’s been over forty years since Nixon essentially closed the gold window because the U.S. defaulted on its agreement to back the dollar with gold, and yet the dollar has ONLY lost 90%+ of its value. I would have expected more like 99.9%. So go figure.

      Reply
  7. Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 1:25 pm

    It isn’t often when one stumbles upon a macroeconomics monetary policy post in the midst of a writer’s blog. Bankers have always run the show, and they always will. Fort Knox (yes, the one from Goldfinger) is one of the nation’s repositories for gold. Ask yourself- if the country is richer, then why don’t we have more gold stored as collateral against our currency than what we have in Fort Knox? The answer- read the above post again.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 1:44 pm

      Yes, they have and will. They profited handsomely from funding incessant wars in europe, and now have, through central banking, managed to take a slice of every nation’s GDP right off the top. Amazing if you think about it.

      The dollar isn’t backed by gold. So there is no collateral. It’s just faith that the govt will behave responsibly. A poor bet, IMO.

      I try to keep it fun on the blog. You never know what you’re going to get next…

      Reply
  8. Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 1:53 pm

    When do you expect Silver Justice to be out? If it reads anything like this post, I can’t wait.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 3:30 pm

      About a month. It’s at the editor now. Then the copy editor, then the proofreader.

      I’ve tried to not get too technical in the description of how the crash was caused – but it should satisfy anyone who is curious as to the reason the world is in a recession right now, and likely will continue to be for the foreseeable future.

      Reply
      • Scott  –  Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 5:11 pm

        I read up on the Gold Standard, how that’s come and gone, the “Nixon Shock”…. all very interesting stuff.

        Reply
        • Russell Blake  –  Wed 27th Jun 2012 at 8:06 pm

          It is. For me the part that’s the most interesting is how 99% of Americans don’t realize that the US lied about what it was doing and essentially defrauded its partners by not honoring its commitment to stay on the gold standard. Every bit of the human misery since then in economic terms comes from failing to honor its obligations, and yet most consider their government to be honorable. Blows my mind. Used to be a family of 4 could live on just one person’s moderate income, but due to the reckless printing of money, the dollar is now worth a fraction of what it was when it was backed by gold and fixed at $35 an ounce. How many people’s savings have been diluted to nothing because of that over time? How many have had to go into the market or otherwise speculate with their money just to offset the inflation effect? It’s responsible for untold devastation, and was the US breaking its commitment, then getting caught doing it by the French. That’s the truth of the matter. And yet there are many who would call me unpatriotic for saying so. As if telling the truth was patriotic or un.

          Reply
          • Heather  –  Thu 28th Jun 2012 at 1:32 pm

            I agree with Scott. I’m itching to read Silver Justice now, fictional or not, the topic is really interesting. And Russell, your last statement reminds me of song lyrics I once heard, which I’m sure came from some quote, but it really struck me. It goes something like this: There are three sides to every story, your side, my side, and the side of the truth, and the truth is standing over there by himself. *Sigh* I wish more Americans would investigate and think for themselves, seek truth and question everything.

          • Russell Blake  –  Thu 28th Jun 2012 at 1:58 pm

            I’m pretty excited about Silver Justice, because I think I’ve been able to blend a really good female protag chasing a serial killer with a compelling explanation for why the 2008 crisis happened – and I guarantee it isn’t what anyone thinks. The trick is not to get too dense, but also to impart enough to have the reader sitting back at the end of it going, “Whoa!” I think it got that balance right. We shall see. Be sure to let me know whether it sucks a bag of d#cks or not. Hopefully, not so much.

  9. Heather
    Thu 28th Jun 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Hopefully, lol.

    Reply
  10. Scott Bury
    Fri 29th Jun 2012 at 5:57 pm

    Great analysis. The real problem is not so much the gold standard as it is the outsourcing of all manufacturing. You cannot sustain a high-consuming economy that produces nothing. The US economy pays high salaries to people (much higher than almost every other country), charges the lowest taxes in the developed world, all based on selling each other overpriced consumer goods.

    Growth is the only way out of this, but there are traps along the way. The US really needs a reality check.

    Reply
    • Russell Blake  –  Fri 29th Jun 2012 at 10:15 pm

      Well, yes and no. Without a stable, non-fluctuating reserve currency, the whole planet is sort of F-d. Not just the US. The problem is the US promised to be trustworthy and peg the dollar to a gold standard, but lied. That led to rampant inflation. Which continues to this day. If a currency isn’t tied to a firm standard, then the value will never be stable, and it doesn’t matter who manufactures what – the exchange mechanism is flawed. One can argue angels on the head of a pin all one likes, but if I can’t make a contract with you to exchange my goods for your currency without the potential for my profit being wiped out from a swing in the value of the money, then I won’t do the deal. Thus all trade is chilled. Which is bad for everyone. As far as the US goes, it’s all bad or worse. Fiscal irresponsibility seems to have become an acceptable norm. Nothing good can come from any of this.

      Reply
  11. Sun 01st Jul 2012 at 1:49 pm

    I recently finished reading The Path to Tyranny: A History of Free Society’s Descent into Tyranny by Michael E. Newton, which makes very similar points in the last section. It discusses this in terms of the preceding analysis of past tyrannies, to show that this is the most likely outcome in the US as well. In fact, the progression toward it is already well under way.

    Reply

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