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Medsen Fey
11-20-2013, 12:27 AM
http://www.gotmead.com/forum/showthread.php?t=18307&page=9

An interesting discussion got started as a tangent in the thread above, so I figured it might be worth a thread of its own


The New Empire of Debt by William Bonner and Addison Wiggin. Written in 2009 it explains the geopolitical and macroeconomic forces over the last 100 years that produced our real estate bubble and the 2008 financial crisis. The authors can be a bit snarky in their "I told you so" way, but the book is pretty funny to read (until the reality of what the Federal reserve has done to reduce the value of the dollar by 95% over the last 100 years)


I am curious to know how the value of the dollar has been reduced by 95 % in the last 100 years. I think you mean that the price of things has risen in 100 years.. and of course it has, but the issue is not about a rise in price but a rise in real dollar amounts. How many hours did I have to work in 1913 to feed my family and how much of my income in 1913 was consumed by food? How many hours do I have to work today to feed a family and how much of my income is consumed by the cost of food? How many hours in 1913 did I have to work to pay for a roof over my head and how many hours do I have to pay for a similar roof over my head today? What was the average income for a worker in 1913 and what is it today?


Well, it will be painfully obvious to anyone reading this that I am not an economist. With that said, the value of the dollar has been decimated in the last 100 years under the watchful eye of the Federal Reserve. Simply compare the price of gold. In 1913 an ounce of gold cost about $20 - today about $1,300. An ounce of gold still holds the same intrinsic worth, but the purchasing power of the dollar is a tiny fraction of what it was. However, you might say that gold values are manipulated globally, and that might be true, so let's take another example near and dear to mead makers - honey.

In 1913 a pound of honey cost $0.10
http://books.google.com/books?id=V6tlAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA29&lpg=PA29&dq=honey+advertising+1913&source=bl&ots=wjOoaU6NBs&sig=m0NJXjbehENUiPLI5QMcl3YAI0E&hl=en&sa=X&ei=cv2LUreBAtPmsAT60YGoAQ&ved=0CDkQ6AEwBjgU

Today it costs at least $3.00 in most places. The intrinsic value of a pound of honey hasn't really changed though I admit supply and demand forces may be different than a century ago. So yes, things cost more, and they do because a dollar is perceived as being worth less (worthless? :) )

The question of what is the value of your labor, and what has happened to real wages is a different, albeit possibly more important, issue. However, every case where I have reviewed it suggests to me that over an extended period of time, as inflation increases, real wages don't keep up. Wage earners are gradually impoverished due to decreased purchasing power. And if you start to look at how the government calculates and reports inflation, you'll note they like to exclude the "volatile" food and energy sectors. These just happen to be the things that most of us working people spend a large chunk of our wages on.

I'm not saying the power of the Fed would be managed better by elected politicians in Congress ( heaven forbid), just that if you stick a dollar in your mattress it may be worth a penny when you wake up. :)

joemirando
11-20-2013, 01:20 AM
I'm not saying the power of the Fed would be managed better by elected politicians in Congress ( heaven forbid), just that if you stick a dollar in your mattress it may be worth a penny when you wake up. :)

Here's another one for Chevette Girl
My grandmother always used to say: You should save your money. Maybe someday it'll be worth something.

fatbloke
11-20-2013, 02:04 AM
Well its a fair question, but looking at the link (the reading one) and trying to cogitate Medsens point, it occurs to me that its less about using whats a relatively rare thing like gold and more about ratios.

Surely it doesn't matter what the actual numbers are ? After all, since the world effectively moved away from the "gold standard" as a measure of what stuff is worth, over to the theoretical economic principles of money, it seems less about giving the person in the shop a piece of paper with 1 printed on it for 2 of "those".

Most of this kind of measure is only worth anything because our respective governments say it is......

So working on the numbers means to concur that one of "those" is worth half that piece of number 1 paper because thats the value or worth we place on "those".....

Hence the numbers are irrelevant. As long as what you can earn, buys the same amount or more of whatever, as we progress through life we don't seem to mind etc.

Is there any real sign of wealth that isnt man made ? Apart from good health etc ?

Riverat
11-20-2013, 10:32 AM
Well we do live in a radically more expensive / different world today, I mean even with my tender years (LOL) things have changed. I remember being middle class as a kid but the house had no air conditioning, the "central heat" was an oil furnace in the middle of the house, one telephone (party lines at my grandparents places), one black and white TV (on for a couple of hours at night / three channels), one car in the driveway, very little in the way of prepackaged food available, most everyone I knew had a relative that owned a farm (city boy in Tampa Fl. weekdays, country kid weekends and summers in Ruskin and south of Immokalee) and the population was such that when wandering the roads around either of my grandparents farms (chasing varmints) the likelihood of seeing a car or truck in a day was small.
And life was good as far as we were concerned

TheAlchemist
11-20-2013, 10:44 AM
Well we do live in a radically more expensive / different world today, I mean even with my tender years (LOL) things have changed. I remember being middle class as a kid but the house had no air conditioning, the "central heat" was an oil furnace in the middle of the house, one telephone (party lines at my grandparents places), one black and white TV (on for a couple of hours at night / three channels), one car in the driveway, very little in the way of prepackaged food available, most everyone I knew had a relative that owned a farm (city boy in Tampa Fl. weekdays, country kid weekends and summers in Ruskin and south of Immokalee) and the population was such that when wandering the roads around either of my grandparents farms (chasing varmints) the likelihood of seeing a car or truck in a day was small.
And life was good as far as we were concerned
Nostalgic charm...I remember the party line...

antonioh
11-20-2013, 10:53 AM
[QUO--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well we do live in a radically more expensive / different world today, I mean even with my tender years (LOL) things have changed. I remember being middle class as a kid but the house had no air conditioning, the "central heat" was an oil furnace in the middle of the house, one telephone (party lines at my grandparents places), one black and white TV (on for a couple of hours at night / three channels), one car in the driveway, very little in the way of prepackaged food available, most everyone I knew had a relative that owned a farm (city boy in Tampa Fl. weekdays, country kid weekends and summers in Ruskin and south of Immokalee) and the population was such that when wandering the roads around either of my grandparents farms (chasing varmints) the likelihood of seeing a car or truck in a day was small.
And life was good as far as we were concerned
TE][RIVERAT]

Yes. But in Portugal in those days, only one chanel black and white tv.

bernardsmith
11-20-2013, 11:39 AM
Medsen Fey writes:
In 1913 a pound of honey cost $0.10
http://books.google.com/books?id=V6t...=0CDkQ6AEwBjgU

Today it costs at least $3.00 in most places. The intrinsic value of a pound of honey hasn't really changed though I admit supply and demand forces may be different than a century ago. So yes, things cost more, and they do because a dollar is perceived as being worth less (worthless? )

The question is not how many dollars honey costs today compared to what it cost 100 years ago but how many hours of work did the average joe need to work in 1913 to get the 10c to pay for that pound of honey and now many hours in 2013 does the average joe need to work to pay for a pound of the same honey. That is why economists do not compare literal prices. They convert 1913 prices to 2013 prices and then compare the prices . The average annual income in 1913 was $740 . Today the average income (I believe) is about $15,000. Has the REAL cost of honey gone up? I think it has because in 2013 prices the 10 c pound of honey should cost about $2.25. Is the cost $3 because of the loss of millions of bees - I don't know, but I do know that Ron Paul's bizarre claim that the value of the dollar has fallen by 95% is patently absurd since the GNP of this country has ballooned since 1913 from $2992.6 million ( a million is 1 followed by 7 zeros) to about $16.91 trillion (a trillion is 1 followed by 12 zeros).

Medsen Fey
11-20-2013, 06:53 PM
And the debt has ballooned even more. :)

Please let's be clear. The value of a US Federal reserve note (a dollar) is visibly and dramatically lower. That is indisputable.

What you are suggesting is that the value of a person's labor has not declined in terms of its purchasing power. I think that could be argued against as the example you show with the honey suggests but even if that purchasing power has not declined, the fact is that US dollars are a lousy store of wealth. My concern is that I don't think it will take them another 100 years to lower the value by another 90+%, and I have no hope that my increases in wages will be enough to offset the impact of the decline in value.

This is the truly greatest tax we face and it is so cleverly hidden that folks are barely aware of it. Meanwhile we see a constant stream of asset bubbles, and now a stock market bubble created as folks try to move cash into things with returns to offset the erosion of value caused by inflation.



Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

theEnvoy
11-20-2013, 09:42 PM
Think of money as being a commodity, as is gold. The Austrian School equation, MV=PT, holds true today. Whereas M is the aggregate supply of money, V is the velocity, or the pace at which money turns in the economy, P is the aggregate price of goods and services in the economy, and T is the aggregate quantity of transactions in the economy.

If money is injected into the economy through Central bank operations in order to keep the cost of money low (as expressed in the government interest rates on Bonds and Treasuries), then the aggregate prices in the economy will increase likewise assuming that Velocity of money and aggregate transactions remain constant. In fact, the opposite has happened as the velocity of money has declined and has reached historical lows in the US economy in recent years. Businesses (notably banks) and individuals are sitting on their money. The Federal Reserve operations of the US have not stimulated the Economy, but they have created a buoyant stock market. And this bubble will pop some day.

Now if and when consumer and business confidence picks up, the velocity of money will pick up, and aggregate prices (and hence, inflation) will hit the US, and likely the world, with a vengeance.

Having said this, it is a fact that no fiat currency has ever outlasted any government in the history of mankind, and the decline (or debasement) of the currency always has preceded the fall of a government.

So I'm with you on this one Medsen.

mannye
11-20-2013, 11:25 PM
So... knowing all this, what are we supposed to do?

I sometimes feel like we are standing in a road while a truck is bearing down on us and we stay there talking about how we got there until we go "splat." There's got to be a monetary equivalent of "move away from the truck!" right?

joemirando
11-21-2013, 12:22 AM
So... knowing all this, what are we supposed to do?

Head for the hills? ;)
I would seriously consider some sort of barter system.


I sometimes feel like we are standing in a road while a truck is bearing down on us and we stay there talking about how we got there until we go "splat." There's got to be a monetary equivalent of "move away from the truck!" right?

That's the problem: They've got all their bases covered. You can zig, you can zag, and you can run all you want, but in the end, its them or one of their friends you are running toward.

There's more trouble down the road (the last time I saw the light at the end of the tunnel, it was a train). It used to be that employers needed employees as much as the other way around. That is less and less true today, with jobs... any jobs... at a premium, the law of supply and demand kicks in. If you've got jobs to offer, you can demand whatever you want. It gets worse when you realize that wide-spread full automation is right around the corner. The company that makes all those iProducts is ditching even the underpaid, overworked employees they've got in favor of assembly line robots. How long till it hits here?

It HAS to level out, since you CAN have robots make a washing machine, but you can't count on them to BUY one. So who's going to buy these spiffy new products if even the people that have 'good' jobs are scratching? That's well down the road though.

And hey, just because I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get me. <grin>

Joe

Vance G
11-21-2013, 01:32 AM
We have been fortunate in our choice of our time on earth so far. We could have been born a French peasant farmer in Eastern France in 1900 and been front and center for two great wars in our pasture. If things only fly apart once in a lifetime, we may be blest.

A Reading of History by Leonard Nathan

The good guys lost the city first;
The bad guys should never have won that battle,
but did and turned the good guys out to starve
or butchered them as they had butchered cattle.

The bad guys lost the city next;
The worse guys swarmed the walls from land and sea
til heroes of evil parcelled out the widows.
O then how good those bad guys seemed to be!

The worse guys lost the city next;
Shaggy brutes slashed in from west and east
To drag them from their temples by the hair,
For worse guys were too gentle for this beast.

Yet who but this best assembled later,
Three to a corner, stricken by whispered fact
That powers of darkness hover off the coast
And nothing could prevent their being sacked.

The future plainly belongs to evil;
To good, the past; and for the present—well,
Good guys and bad guys mingle in the market;
Business was never better. Time will tell.

icedmetal
11-21-2013, 11:52 AM
So... knowing all this, what are we supposed to do?

I sometimes feel like we are standing in a road while a truck is bearing down on us and we stay there talking about how we got there until we go "splat." There's got to be a monetary equivalent of "move away from the truck!" right?

There are many things that you can do. The question is, what can you do, that will be effective?

And the answer to that question really depends on your goals. Personally, I'm diversifying in tangibles. Buy gold, buy silver, buy things that do not lose their value. Buy a big piece of land, and start figuring out how to live on it, then make a living off of it. When your dollars can't buy anything anymore, your gold/silver/jewelry might. Maybe. More likely your barter goods will work out better though. You can't eat gold bullion and be sustained. Don't want to be a farmer? Become specialized in providing things that farmers need. They're the ones with all the food, something you might want to think about.

Make lots of good mead. Who doesn't want to enjoy the finer things in life? Needs win over wants though...

mannye
11-21-2013, 07:41 PM
There are many things that you can do. The question is, what can you do, that will be effective?

And the answer to that question really depends on your goals. Personally, I'm diversifying in tangibles. Buy gold, buy silver, buy things that do not lose their value. Buy a big piece of land, and start figuring out how to live on it, then make a living off of it. When your dollars can't buy anything anymore, your gold/silver/jewelry might. Maybe. More likely your barter goods will work out better though. You can't eat gold bullion and be sustained. Don't want to be a farmer? Become specialized in providing things that farmers need. They're the ones with all the food, something you might want to think about.

Make lots of good mead. Who doesn't want to enjoy the finer things in life? Needs win over wants though...



Yeah well that's kind of a doomsday scenario figuring most people (just maybe not most people here...lol) live in the big city and won't be leaving that big city any time soon.

I think that working for a company is a sucker's game even if you are good at what you do. But unfortunately, unless you have a trust fund, medical insurance is the yoke being used to enslave many of us into uninspiring spirit draining drudgery.

It's possible more than half the reason social health programs don't exist in the US is that a large percentage of the workforce would immediately quit if they knew breaking a leg wouldn't bankrupt them. I know that's what keeps my wife at a job she hates. Two kids and a big fat husband! LOL

If we had access to cheap health care, she would be OUTTA there!

bernardsmith
11-21-2013, 09:45 PM
But they said the same thing when they introduced the cotton Jennies and they said the same thing when they introduced combine harvesters and they said the same thing when Guttenberg invented movable type. Sure certain jobs that took human labor to accomplish can now be done by machine but now we have new jobs and new industries that need to be done by people and we have perennial jobs that can now be done for wages... and I can see a different light at the end of a different tunnel where societies pay people to buy goods and services but the goods and services are made by machines and any work we do we do because it pleases us to do that work. A society that moves from wage slaves to offering its members real freedom... I admit it: I'm a Keynesian but most people here seem to be acolytes of Hayek. Me? I see how governments can actually create wealth whereas Hayek could only see how governments spent money. But then Hayek argued that the role of government ought to be tiny (apart from writing and policing laws that created property rights and protected those rights in the name of the people to whom it provided those rights in which case the role of government was to be as large as it needed to be ).

bernardsmith
11-21-2013, 10:11 PM
Yeah well that's kind of a doomsday scenario figuring most people (just maybe not most people here...lol) live in the big city and won't be leaving that big city any time soon.

I think that working for a company is a sucker's game even if you are good at what you do. But unfortunately, unless you have a trust fund, medical insurance is the yoke being used to enslave many of us into uninspiring spirit draining drudgery.

It's possible more than half the reason social health programs don't exist in the US is that a large percentage of the workforce would immediately quit if they knew breaking a leg wouldn't bankrupt them. I know that's what keeps my wife at a job she hates. Two kids and a big fat husband! LOL

If we had access to cheap health care, she would be OUTTA there!

As a medical sociologist I agree with you. I cannot for the life of me fathom why "we the people" did not demand and do not demand a single payer system . You call it a social health program. I call it a national health program and it could be paid for through taxation so those who earn more pay more and those who earn less pay less and those who don't earn (the retired, the ailing, the unemployed) don't pay and the risk pool is 300,000,000 people and the costs plummet because no health care practice needs to keep track of thousands of forms and options. AND if people want to have private insurance for more than good basic health care they can.

... But as a medical sociologist I can tell you that the health of the US citizen is NOT the best in the world, the infant mortality rates are NOT the lowest on the planet (far from it) , our longevity is NOT the longest on the planet, but we pay through the nose to be have high mortality and poor prognoses and a shorter life span than people in many other industrialized and even non industrialized countries...

Honeyhog
11-22-2013, 12:17 AM
As a Canadian I look south and I could mot imagine facing a health problem down there. Sure, our system has some problems too, like backups on certain elective procedures depending on where you are located but if you need medical attention you get it. When I had my heart attack the only thing I had to worry about was getting better and who would take care of my dog for a few days. When I went to see my cardiologist for followup appointments and stress tests, no charge. As a single male making over $30,000 I pay full rate to BC Health, each province runs it's own healthcare, and that is $66 a month. Most employers pay their employees Health insurance, in some provinces it's the law and if you are unemployed, Unemployment insurance or Social Services pays it. Now I believe there is room for some private delivery of medical services which is, unless you are serving Workman's Compensation or prison system patients, illegal. Having some private delivery of health services especially for elective surgeries would free up space in the public system and still deliver quality health care. I think Sweden runs this model along with several other European countries

mannye
11-22-2013, 01:13 AM
As a Canadian I look south and I could mot imagine facing a health problem down there. Sure, our system has some problems too, like backups on certain elective procedures depending on where you are located but if you need medical attention you get it. When I had my heart attack the only thing I had to worry about was getting better and who would take care of my dog for a few days. When I went to see my cardiologist for followup appointments and stress tests, no charge. As a single male making over $30,000 I pay full rate to BC Health, each province runs it's own healthcare, and that is $66 a month. Most employers pay their employees Health insurance, in some provinces it's the law and if you are unemployed, Unemployment insurance or Social Services pays it. Now I believe there is room for some private delivery of medical services which is, unless you are serving Workman's Compensation or prison system patients, illegal. Having some private delivery of health services especially for elective surgeries would free up space in the public system and still deliver quality health care. I think Sweden runs this model along with several other European countries

And that's just one of the problems. I see both the health care system and the outsourcing problem (the other issue screwing us over...I get steamed when I see a "patriotic" General Electric PR advertisement...if corporations are citizens this one is a traitor) like an invasive species. Once they gain a foothold it's very hard...some say impossible to remove.

Imagine outsourcing as Burmese Pythons in the Everglades. We ain't never getting rid of 'em.

joemirando
11-22-2013, 02:38 AM
And that's just one of the problems. I see both the health care system and the outsourcing problem (the other issue screwing us over...I get steamed when I see a "patriotic" General Electric PR advertisement...if corporations are citizens this one is a traitor) like an invasive species. Once they gain a foothold it's very hard...some say impossible to remove.

Imagine outsourcing as Burmese Pythons in the Everglades. We ain't never getting rid of 'em.

There's only one way to deal with those companies: Hit 'em where it hurts. A 100% value tax on products outsourced by American companies. Oh, and they can kiss their subsidies goodbye too.

icedmetal
11-22-2013, 11:22 AM
Certainly not a doomsday scenario. It's an abundance of caution. If you assume that the dollar is losing value (which we all know, it is), you must assume that at some point that dollar won't be able to pay for everything you need. For instance, if you're living on a fixed income of some sort; if the value of a dollar dramatically changes, you might not have enough money to make ends meet anymore. Better to not be wholly dependent on your bank account to make it by in life.

Speaking of doomsday scenarios... if something truly bad were to go down, how long do you think all those city people are going to have food? I read a statistic somewhere on the internet (grain of salt: added) that stated without the fuel trucks moving petrol from here to there, in the US we'd be out of gas in five days.

For what it's worth, I'm still stuck in suburban hell, for now.

Chevette Girl
11-22-2013, 11:36 AM
Speaking of doomsday scenarios... if something truly bad were to go down, how long do you think all those city people are going to have food? I read a statistic somewhere on the internet (grain of salt: added) that stated without the fuel trucks moving petrol from here to there, in the US we'd be out of gas in five days.

For what it's worth, I'm still stuck in suburban hell, for now.

Self-sufficient hobby farm would be my dream (although I don't think my hubby shares it! :p) but currently my survival plans are a little more short-term. I vowed after the 1998 ice storm and then spending the big summer blackout ten years ago in an appartment with no way to do ANYTHING that I would never again live in a place where I couldn't at least make a fire to cook over... still can't have a bbq in my condo hell (not enough room on the balcony to get it 10' from the door to be province-legal) but I do have a fireplace and a grilling cage and some cast iron pans that have seen fires before, and we always have a couple days' worth of wood in the garage, enough to hold us over till we can get to one of our parents' places... we could probably last a week or two on what's in the freezer (assuming it doesn't all spoil) and another week on what's in the pantry.

My $$ asssets are mostly tied up in large, stable companies like Tim Hortons and Canadian banks that pay monthly dividends, I figure if they go belly-up, my money was gonna be worthless anyway and my sock drawer doesn't pay dividends ;D

bernardsmith
11-22-2013, 11:43 AM
Certainly not a doomsday scenario. It's an abundance of caution. If you assume that the dollar is losing value (which we all know, it is), you must assume that at some point that dollar won't be able to pay for everything you need. For instance, if you're living on a fixed income of some sort; if the value of a dollar dramatically changes, you might not have enough money to make ends meet anymore. Better to not be wholly dependent on your bank account to make it by in life.

Speaking of doomsday scenarios... if something truly bad were to go down, how long do you think all those city people are going to have food? I read a statistic somewhere on the internet (grain of salt: added) that stated without the fuel trucks moving petrol from here to there, in the US we'd be out of gas in five days.

For what it's worth, I'm still stuck in suburban hell, for now.

But you beg the question: You state that categorically we all "know" that the dollar is losing value. I honestly have no sense that that is true. What is the basis for your claim that the dollar has lost value? Are you simply saying that if the PRICE of goods has risen in 100 years then the COST of those goods has risen? I don't think that a single economist in the planet would agree that price and cost are the same thing. The cost of most goods has dramatically fallen and continues to fall. The number of $$$ that people use to pay for those goods has risen and may continue to rise, And so have their incomes although since The conservatives and neo-liberals have been in power income of the richest (the 1 percent) has risen staggeringly and the income of most others has more or less stagnated. But that is not about the value of the dollar.

If - like Ron Paul you want to claim that we should return to the Gold Standard ( though the only basis for gold being a measuring stick for value in the past was because the people who had gold also held power. There is nothing magical about gold being a unit of measure any more than a thumb was the unit of measure in the middle ages) and if the amount of $$ bills you could produce depended not on the amount of manufactured goods and services you produced and sold but the amount of gold you mined and had in a vault, then you could be gold poor but goods rich and yet would be unable to pay the population enough to survive in your country.

So I ask again: by what measure are you saying that the value of a dollar has unquestionably fallen? and what does that expression in fact mean? For the entire planet the US dollar is the current "gold standard", not the pound sterling , not the Chinese yuan, not the deutchmark nor the franc and thank god , not the pounds of gold locked away in bank vaults -

ken_schramm
11-22-2013, 11:45 AM
Pretty heady stuff here. I hear from my Canadian friends that they hate their "socialized health system" right up the point where you say you want to take it away, and then watch your fingers. We'll get to single payer eventually, after the people without the money figure out that the people with the money were the ones telling them they didn't want it. Churchill may not have been the one to say it, but America can always be counted on to do the right thing, after all other possibilities have been exhausted.

And the working proletariat may control the means of production, but the working farmer controls lunch. Let's keep these people viable, please. Happy would be good, too.

ken_schramm
11-22-2013, 12:02 PM
The company that makes all those iProducts is ditching even the underpaid, overworked employees they've got in favor of assembly line robots. How long till it hits here?

Joe

I'm in Detroit. It should hit here right about... 25 years ago.

Riverat
11-22-2013, 12:12 PM
worth of $1.00 from 1913 is:

$23.90 using the Consumer Price Index
$17.20 using the GDP deflator
$45.40 using the value of consumer bundle
$99.40 using the unskilled wage
$138.00 using the Production Worker Compensation
$127.00 using the nominal GDP per capita
$411.00 using the relative share of GDP


Seems to depend on what you are measuring against (when all else fails, manipulate the data!)

Chevette Girl
11-22-2013, 12:49 PM
I hear from my Canadian friends that they hate their "socialized health system" right up the point where you say you want to take it away, and then watch your fingers. We'll get to single payer eventually, after the people without the money figure out that the people with the money were the ones telling them they didn't want it.

Now that's an astute observation :)

Most of us (in my experience) don't hate our system. We recognize that it does have its problems (I still don't have a family doctor and end up using walk-in clinics, for example), but at least I know I will never have to weigh the cost of an ER trip against my health, and my friend with cancer isn't going to be left to die because he's not a millionaire or has a gold-plated health plan.




And the working proletariat may control the means of production, but the working farmer controls lunch. Let's keep these people viable, please. Happy would be good, too.

All around this area you see bumper stickers and signs, "Farmers feed cities!" and yet farmland is disappearing at an alarming rate, having been paved over for more frigging suburbs...

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 12:53 PM
Head for the hills? ;)
I would seriously consider some sort of barter system.

Joe

I have long been an advocate of a gifting based economy...a barter is taxable, but a "gift" (up to a certain point) is not...

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:04 PM
As a medical sociologist I agree with you. I cannot for the life of me fathom why "we the people" did not demand and do not demand a single payer system . You call it a social health program. I call it a national health program and it could be paid for through taxation so those who earn more pay more and those who earn less pay less and those who don't earn (the retired, the ailing, the unemployed) don't pay and the risk pool is 300,000,000 people and the costs plummet because no health care practice needs to keep track of thousands of forms and options. AND if people want to have private insurance for more than good basic health care they can.

... But as a medical sociologist I can tell you that the health of the US citizen is NOT the best in the world, the infant mortality rates are NOT the lowest on the planet (far from it) , our longevity is NOT the longest on the planet, but we pay through the nose to be have high mortality and poor prognoses and a shorter life span than people in many other industrialized and even non industrialized countries...

Kiwis and Aussies have evidence based cost effective medicine for all...if you want something "more" than evidence based cost effective medicine, you can also have private insurance, or pay privately...

Nations with Single Payer systems pay about 9percent of their GDP to cover about 100percent of the people. We (currently) pay about 16percent of our GDP to cover about 85percent of the people... we suffer from paying a HUGE amount of "overhead" to pay top execs, while Medicare invests only about 2percent of its budget in overhead...oh, don't get me started...pnhp.org

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:11 PM
...the outsourcing problem (the other issue screwing us over...I get steamed when I see a "patriotic" General Electric PR advertisement...if corporations are citizens this one is a traitor) like an invasive species...

As with last year, I am making an effort to reflect these values in my Christmas shopping and have been begging family members to offer options on their "wish lists" that include American made gifts purchased from small businesses owned by individuals whose hand they can shake...

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:14 PM
There's only one way to deal with those companies: Hit 'em where it hurts. A 100% value tax on products outsourced by American companies. Oh, and they can kiss their subsidies goodbye too.

No need for a tax, or legislation.
Hitting them where it hurts means being an informed consumer and paying for American made products instead.

(incidentally, Thank You Ken Schramm for making a point of purchasing Made In USA t-shirts for your shop!)

As for subsidies...we can't afford them...

antonioh
11-22-2013, 01:16 PM
Well...

From this side of the Atlantic , we have social security, payed unemployement and national health service , this one initialy free but as the expenses raise , now we are beginning to pay what they call moderating taxes, that in emergency services can rise up to 50 euro. But despite the critics we make to our health service, we have the lowest infant mortality rate in EC and the life span continues to grow ..

I think we only recognize the good thing we have, the day we will lose it. And that day will came sooner than we think.
Two banks went bankruptcy and the government used money from our taxes to hold those banks. The result - to pay for the banks, they take out from health and socilal security.

Globalisation brought big asymmetries. I am not so sure that yuan won´t be the next "Gold standard"...

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:18 PM
Self-sufficient hobby farm would be my dream (although I don't think my hubby shares it! :p)... ;D

You're in good company here...

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:27 PM
All other species on Earth live within a "local economy." If a species can't get itself to the resources it needs using only ATP/photosynthesis as its energy source, that species doesn't survive...

Our capacity to use energy sources other than ATP makes living in a global economy possible, and makes us the most "invasive" species on Earth...</soapbox>

Chevette Girl
11-22-2013, 01:33 PM
Hitting them where it hurts means being an informed consumer and paying for American made products instead.


That ends up being a vicious circle. I'm pretty good at buying local produce (I consider the "bargain shelf" about-to-go-bad stuff to be fair game otherwise I'd never see a citrus fruit), but I cannot afford American (nevermind Canadian)-made clothing most of the time because it's at least two or three times the price. In fact I can't remember the last piece of clothing I saw anywhere that wasn't most likely made in a sweat shop. I could sew my own clothes, but even for something so simple as a $5 t-shirt, I'd pay at least three times more just to buy the fabric... And when was the last time you saw ANY kind of electronic device made on this continent?

bernardsmith
11-22-2013, 01:36 PM
Now that's an astute observation :)







All around this area you see bumper stickers and signs, "Farmers feed cities!" and yet farmland is disappearing at an alarming rate, having been paved over for more frigging suburbs...

I have no idea whether the "farmer" feeds the city or Big Farmer Inc feeds the city but I suspect that a great deal of arable farm land is now growing corn to fuel cars and as fodder for animals. I believe in the sanctity of manual labor but we need to adopt rather more accurate understandings of the nature of the society in which we we live than bumper sticker slogans promote. Oxfam suggests that 40 percent of the corn grown by "the US farmer" is used for ethanol rather than to feed the hungry.
http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2012/10/04/corn-as-fuel-not-food/

and if Big Farm Inc cannot make use of the farmer's land then it's "the farmer" who sells his /her land to developers of urban sprawl.

TheAlchemist
11-22-2013, 01:36 PM
The iShop is rumored to be considering making their products in the US...

joemirando
11-22-2013, 02:15 PM
worth of $1.00 from 1913 is:

$23.90 using the Consumer Price Index
$17.20 using the GDP deflator
$45.40 using the value of consumer bundle
$99.40 using the unskilled wage
$138.00 using the Production Worker Compensation
$127.00 using the nominal GDP per capita
$411.00 using the relative share of GDP


Seems to depend on what you are measuring against (when all else fails, manipulate the data!)

Heh heh, I think it was Mark Twain who said:
"Numbers don't lie,
statistics do."

psychopomp23
11-22-2013, 02:28 PM
And when was the last time you saw ANY kind of electronic device made on this continent?

Maybe not electronic devices but i'm a big supporter of Godin guitars which are all made here in the province of Québec and they're actualy cheaper here than if you would buy them in the US or Europe. But i do agree with your point it's hard to find a local 'gem' that gets you the bang for you bucks

bernardsmith
11-22-2013, 02:55 PM
I dunno, I used to work for a company that made stealth transformers (no detectable electronic or audible noise) for use in submarines by the US navy. They and all the electronics that went into them were made right here. You wouldn't see them because they were not sold in Walmart and the company doesn't advertise on TV or on the internet... I am now with the State U of NY but last I heard that company still makes these transformers along with many other very sophisticated electronic devices not sold in stores.

Chevette Girl
11-22-2013, 09:11 PM
That's fine and all for military applications because they usually come with nice fat contracts, and if I ran the military I probably wouldn't want to use foreign components in my equipment either. But us poor schleps? Good luck.

Honeyhog
11-23-2013, 12:02 AM
I get a bit of a chuckle out of the I'll head for the hills types. What are you going to do when you get to the hills? Do you have seeds to plant to sustain yourself? Do you have food to eat for the two or more years it will take to clear land and harvest a crop? Do you have tools to clear the land that will be required to plant those crops or are you planning on getting into a deathmatch with the farming community to get to already arable land and equipment. Unfortunately I as well live in a city that is also surrounded by bridges and if there was some sort of a major cataclysm I'd likely be deader than Elvis.

Medsen Fey
11-23-2013, 07:38 AM
I get a bit of a chuckle out of the I'll head for the hills types. What are you going to do when you get to the hills?

The Fusel Shack sits next to a large tropical swamp and I'm not opposed to eating gators and pythons :p

Actually, there is an interesting book about living through hyperinflation as a city/suburb dweller. It is entitled "Surviving the Economic Collapse" and was written by Fernando Aguirre, an Argentine who has experienced it firsthand. The world won't come to an end, but you have to be able to adapt, and many of his suggestions seem sensible.

Or just watch the news and see how they manage in Venezuela right now.


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT

TheAlchemist
11-23-2013, 08:44 AM
I get a bit of a chuckle out of the I'll head for the hills types. What are you going to do when you get to the hills?

Join the Tiny House Movement?

theEnvoy
11-23-2013, 09:18 AM
The Fusel Shack sits next to a large tropical swamp and I'm not opposed to eating gators and pythons :p

Actually, there is an interesting book about living through hyperinflation as a city/suburb dweller. It is entitled "Surviving the Economic Collapse" and was written by Fernando Aguirre, an Argentine who has experienced it firsthand. The world won't come to an end, but you have to be able to adapt, and many of his suggestions seem sensible.

Or just watch the news and see how they manage in Venezuela right now.


Sent from my THINGAMAJIG with WHATCHAMACALLIT



>>>>>> Interesting that you mention Argentina. Because that's exactly where US is headed. That is an excellent case study.

joemirando
11-23-2013, 03:22 PM
Maybe the Swiss have the right idea:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/parallels/2013/11/22/246678622/swiss-inequality-is-growing-would-curbing-exec-pay-matter

A bit simplistic but interesting:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-11-20/blame-rich-overeducated-elites-as-our-society-frays.html

And yet another voice on it:
http://thedx.druckerinstitute.com/2011/02/turning-up-the-heat-on-ceo-pay/

Maybe if the only way a CEO can buy a villa with a day's pay is to raise the minimum wage, or at least his own employees' pay...