Money, Jobs, Banks and Debt
Wages have stagnated for years, but prices continue to increase, and the value of our labor decreases. This is essentially robbery, and education (or the lack thereof) is not helping. While you are working the same job with the same effort, the value of your labor decreases, and you can buy less with the money they are trading for it.
Keep in mind that you basically trade your labor for paper money. However, banks and the government are making your paper money worth less and taking more. This means that you can buy less for the same work that you put in. This is called inflation. As a result, you have less expendable income to use.
Thanks to the banks and the government, we have experienced a “Cumulative Inflation” of well over 2000% since 1913. You need to understand that inflation means that prices inflate, and each dollar you have can buy less. As the dollar’s value falls, the cost of living increases.
This also means that the amount you get paid for your labor is relative. If you get $10 an hour today, that’s about $80 for the day, minus any taxes. This is not much by today’s standards, but if the value of your money were not being robbed from you, it would actually be more than enough to live on. Think about it; in 1913, $10 a DAY would make you very well off. Not only was money worth more back then, but there were not many taxes to speak of.
Let us pretend that you are a factory worker and you make ties. Let us say that the work and/or job has been the EXACT SAME since 1913. In 1913, you made $4.90 a DAY. Today, you earn $10 an HOUR. Did you know that you would have been MUCH better off in 1913? You would be better off by a long shot. The truth is that a minimum wage increase does not solve this problem; all it does is continue to hide the truth of the matter.
In 1913, a person with only $4.90 could buy more food, clothing, or other necessities than someone with $100 could buy today. Or let’s turn it around for a second and use a bigger number. Something that cost $9.80 in January of 1913 would cost over $234 today! It’s about buying power, and you have less of it.
Prices are increasing, and wages are not keeping up because the value is being skewed because so few understand what “value” really is. I have often said that in 1913, you could buy a suit and a gun for an ounce of gold and that today, you could buy a suit and a gun for an ounce of gold. The difference is that in 1913, you could trade just under nineteen of those paper dollars for an ounce of gold. Today, you would have to trade over twelve hundred and fifty of those paper dollars for an ounce of gold.
So the money is worth less, and things cost more. What do you think people would have to do to keep their standard of living the same? Send their spouse to work? Well, that started in the ’70s and ’80s. That helped for a while, but the trend of theft continued, and people needed to discover better ways of keeping up. Getting an additional part-time job? Today that is commonplace, and still, people are barely getting by.
Enter credit cards and bad debt. Credit cards, buying based on payments, and so on. People also began to borrow from their homes and became dependent accordingly. The theft of the value of our money continues, and it is still not enough for most.
You will notice that people are having a tough time paying off loans these days. They are stuck in perpetual debt and are losing their assets as a result. Think about this: more Americans are now renting than at any other time in U.S. history. Coincidence?
Of course, this is all if you are lucky enough even to have a job in the first place. Let’s consider the seasonally adjusted and include the long-term discouraged workers who were conveniently removed from the count in 1994. We can see that the REAL unemployment rate for March 2016 was actually 22.9%. This is, of course, considerably higher than the official U-3 they would like you to look at. There are a couple of things to note here, and I have said this before; A) this is how they used to track unemployment during the Great Depression, and B) at the worst part of the Great Depression, unemployment was 25%. These are scary times.
However, instead of fixing the problem, the government and banks are aiming to make it worse. Both are now encouraging (again) the borrowing of money. In fact, the World Bank is now lending at record levels since the aftermath of the financial crisis. They are also expected to downgrade its 3.4 percent global growth forecast for this year. Compound this with manufacturing and retail closures, and we can begin to see just how bad things are getting. I see these as very much connected, and the theft from the people has only just begun.
Banks have begun to steal money from the people via “Negative Interest Rates.” A negative interest rate is when a bank charges negative interest. So instead of receiving money on your deposits, you will have to pay regularly to keep your money with the bank. This is, of course, on top of the fees they will charge. This equates to even less in your pocket.
Let me make something clear. A bank makes money by lending your money to others and charging a higher interest rate to those folks. If they start negative interest rates at your bank, you will essentially be paying them for the use of your money that they will profit from. You get nothing except more in debt. Do you think you will get negative interest on your loans? I am guessing “probably not.” In other words, do you think your debts will magically reduce in size due to a negative interest rate? Not exactly fair if you ask me.
If this seems farfetched, then understand that it is already happening. On Sunday, the International Monetary Fund said that a move to negative rates by some of the world’s central banks would help deliver extra monetary stimulus and ease lending conditions. Central banks around the world have already begun the practice. Basically, their solution to the problem they created is to make the people pay for it.
However, some take comfort in the idea that their hard work will pay off because of retirement and pensions. You should know that few should expect to see these moving forward. Not only does the United States “enjoy” an unfunded liability issue of well over $127 trillion, but the U.S. public pension system has also developed a $3.4 trillion funding hole that will force cities and states to cut spending and raise taxes to avoid their own bankruptcies. Academic research showed that the shortfall was three times larger than official figures showed and is getting bigger. You should expect even less for the money being put forth.
This, of course, brings us to taxes. As if the theft of your money’s value, being forced into debt, and getting less at your job wasn’t enough, the government continues to take more and more from you all the time. Never mind the fines you pay for breaking laws that literally hurt no one while they allow felons to go free for the sake of a vote; the government now takes more in taxes than citizens use for housing, food, and clothing combined – and it’s rising. Each quarter, the government reports some new record high in taxation; and that’s inflation-adjusted.
This is a great place to start if you ever wonder why you have more month at the end of each check. Your awareness and anger are what is necessary to move toward correction. We are all running out… of money, time, and patience. Maybe it’s time to revisit precious metals.