We see the impacts of inflation on price tags, but sometimes it squeezes us more subtlety. It’s known as “shrinkflation.”
Inflation continues to run rampant, eroding our purchasing power even as policymakers continue to tell us there’s nothing to worry about. The US government continues to run up unfathomable levels of debt. We continue to endure a repeating cycle of booms and busts as Fed and US government policies blow up bubbles that inevitably pop.
It’s easy to get caught up in the news of the day and look at these issues in isolation, but there is one factor that ties them all together – fiat money. As economist Thorsten Polleit put it, “Basically everything bears their fingerprints: the economic and financial system, politics—even people’s cultural norms, values, and morals will not escape the broader consequences of fiat currencies.”
The US government continues to borrow and spend at a torrid pace, running massive deficits month after month.
The US national debt currently stands at nearly $28.5 trillion. That doesn’t account for the trillions of unfunded liabilities. And there is no end to the spending in sight. There are trillions of dollars in new spending programs coming down the pike.
The markets widely interpreted the June Federal Reserve meeting as hawkish. The central bankers pushed their projections for the first interest rate hike from 2024 back into 2023. But in reality, the Fed didn’t actually do anything. Interest rates will remain at zero and quantitative easing will continue unchanged into the foreseeable future.
The fact is the US government needs the Fed to continue its loose monetary policy to sustain its out-of-control borrowing and spending. Money is control and that’s why every government wants to control the money. Of course, this never works well for the average person. As Ron Paul put it, the road to big government authoritarianism is paved with fiat currency.
The markets reacted fiercely to last week’s Federal Reserve meeting even though the central bank didn’t do anything. Fed Chair Jerome Powell called it the “talking about talking about meeting.” But even as the so-called “dot-plot” indicated the Fed might raise interest rates for the first time in 2023 instead of 2024, the central bank held rates at zero and took no action to taper quantitative easing. The rhetoric might have changed, but the actual policy continued unabated.
The Fed claims inflation isn’t a concern. The central bankers don’t want us to worry about it. In fact, they would just as soon keep the whole inflation issue a secret. But Americans are worried. As Peter Schiff noted in a recent podcast, searches for the word “inflation” hit an all-time high on Google trends in May.
In fact, inflation is the worst-kept secret out there.
Last month, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee signed a bill into law that creates a commission to study the feasibility of creating a gold bullion depository in the Volunteer State.
A state bullion depository would not only create a safe place to store precious metals; it would increase the state’s financial independence. It could also facilitate the everyday use of gold and silver in financial transactions in Tennessee and set the stage to undermine the Federal Reserve’s monopoly on money.
Inflation came in hot in April. Initially gold sold off on the news. But over the following week, there appears to have been something of a pivot in the market. Gold and the dollar both started behaving as one would expect in an inflationary environment. Peter Schiff said it looks like investors are starting to worry the Fed won’t fight inflation after all.
The unemployment rate ticked up to 6.1% in April despite businesses all over the country struggling to hire workers. But as Peter Schiff pointed out, you don’t need a job to spend printed money handed out by the government.
The Federal Reserve is supposedly stimulating the economy as it prints trillions of dollars out of thin air and the U.S. government hands it out for people to spend. But Ryan McMaken at the Mises Institute argues that it’s really doing the exact opposite.
The economy is booming again – or so we’re told. Trillions in stimulus have juiced consumption and created the illusion of prosperity. But in truth, Americans are simply spending printed money on stuff they didn’t produce. Peter Schiff recently said America’s consumption economy is really a bubble
The problem is, economies can’t run on consumption. A vibrant, healthy economy needs production. Stimulus does nothing to boost production. In fact, it completely warps the production structure