— Gentlemen-Rankers, Rudyard Kipling
Insults and Offenses
For the first time in 80 years, vast numbers of hardworking, industrious people are finding themselves up the creek without a paddle. Buying a home, paying college tuition, and squirrelling away a few nuts for retirement has become discouragingly difficult. What’s more, the presumed benefit of these endeavors has become ever more suspect.
These days there’s a trifecta of offenses debasing the rewards of hard work, saving money, and paying one’s way. Quite frankly, it’s insulting. There’s nothing less to make of it, particularly for those competing in the rat race for their family’s daily bread.
Plain and simple, central bank fiat money creation, multiplied by commercial banks through fractional-reserve banking, propagates financial and economic chaos. The experience of long periods of money supply expansion punctuated by abrupt, episodic contractions, has the effect of whipsawing the working stiff’s labors to get ahead.
On top of that, the middle class is being squeezed by stagnant incomes, declining savings rates, and escalating debt burdens. Unskilled jobs are meager and low paying. In addition, professional services jobs have become commoditized via temporary employment services.
The global economy’s in the midst of a restructuring that has been underway since before the turn of the new millennium. The associated growing pains are agonizing. The old rules for success, which included a college education and a cubicle job at a large corporation, no longer apply. But the new rules for success have yet to be written.
Stealing Your Life
Economic restructuring is a natural occurrence. New technologies and increased global interconnections accelerate the change. Nonetheless, at the same time workers are facing these natural challenges, the Fed is heaping on other encumbrances.
In short, the clever fellows at the Federal Reserve, with consent of the Treasury, inflate the money supply. For each new digital monetary unit they create, value’s subtracted from the existing money. This has the ill effect of covertly confiscating property from people’s wages and savings. It also has the ill effect of reducing the notion of ‘an honest day’s work for an honest day’s pay’ to a fool’s tale.
For example, think of all the days you’d rather have stayed home with your family than schlepping and slogging the day away for money. Think of all the time you spent on the road getting dumped on by clients while your kids were growing up. Think of all the sunny days you missed because you were pounding the phones at the office all day.
For what? So that after paying taxes and living expenses, what’s left over – your accumulated wealth – would be inflated away from your bank account?
Remember, money, in addition to being property, also represents time and the sacrifices made to earn it. When the Fed inflates your money away they not only steal your property…they steal your life.
From Here to Eternity
Certainly, this is a disheartening thought. However, when it comes down to it, life’s too short to be bitter. The fact is, today’s incommodes are nothing new. They’ll persist in some form or another from here to eternity.
Like life’s other injustices, the Fed’s shenanigans should be faced with a stoic grin. The truth should be spoken quietly and clearly. What is right and good should be articulated with frequent repetition. The just message will endure.
Indeed, having the fruits stolen from one’s productive labor is demoralizing. Nonetheless, one should still get on with the business of life…and do their part to reduce the abundance of nonsense circulating about. Despite all the fraud and folderol out there, humility and veracity continue to be ideals to strive for. When all else fails, wash the dishes, make the bed, and find some gratitude.
After all, Thanksgiving Day is approaching. Pilgrims and Squanto, aside. Some gratitude for blessings received and misfortunes taken away are in order.
Money and markets shall do what they do…independent of what you think. So don’t give them an extra thought.
Enjoy the moment. Relish the time with your family. Savor the feast. Give a bum a new pair of socks.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
for Economic Prism