The Con

I detest Milton Friedman but I’d prefer him to Warren in a heartbeat. At least, he was honest. Warren is facilitating one of the largest transfers of capital from taxpayers to large corporate players. Her role in this con trick is to distract the marks with this kind of word soup and let them get robbed while they debate the dictionary definitions of words she haphazardly strings together for her pronouncements.

22 thoughts on “The Con

  1. Can you help me understand how the transfer of wealth happens? And is there anything we can do to fight against it? (I feel pretty naïve asking this–I just don’t understand)

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    1. Inflation/”stimulus”. It devalues the dollar, increasing prices for things like rent, energy, food, which disproportionately affect not-rich people. It also effectively robs people with cash savings– i.e. middle-class people. You save up money, but it sits in your bank account “earning” interest that is actually less than the rate of inflation. The joke at our house is that all the money we’ve saved up for emergency house-moving, medical expenses, and car-replacement… well, if the government keeps sending out “stimulus” checks and paying such generous unemployment to everybody, next year we can take it all out of the bank and go buy a Snickers bar with it. Prices rise faster than wages, so wage-earners cannot stay ahead. Their net worth steadily declines.

      If most of your wealth is in hard assets: businesses, property, art, commodities (billionaire-class stuff), you don’t lose in an inflationary cycle– and since the lower classes have a bunch of cash that’s growing more worthless by the day, their incentive is to spend it as fast as possible before prices go up even more. Where does it go when they spend it for rent, gas, groceries? It goes to landlords, energy barons, and the Walton family. Who do not save it as quickly-devalued cash, but instead put it immediately into land, business assets, and other “inflation-proof” investments.

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      1. This explanation is very helpful. Thank you! My husband is in construction and his business is having a hard time paying for supplies as the cost is skyrocketing. Last night he said “I need to go stock up on drywall before the price goes up again. There is now a digital sign at the hardware store so they can update it without notice.” I thought this would stop–but you are saying it’s going to keep rising? This terrifies me. So cash in the bank for the middle class is basically worthless? The Wall Street Journal said people are paying off debt in record #’s. I guess that doesn’t help when the government is spending spending spending.

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        1. Paying off debt is smart: You do NOT want to be in a situation where the economy is in the toilet, job market is bleak, your job is insecure, and the bank owns the house you live in.

          Cash in the bank is a seriously bad long-term plan right now, yes. Official inflation rate is a dirty lie. With all the “free money” sloshing around, actual inflation is much higher. Currency collapse in the US has been inevitable for a very long time, but it seems the powers-that-be have stopped trying to delay it to “some time in the future” and decided the time is now. Not looking forward to it, and even with our modest cash reserve, we are trying to figure out how to convert most of it into tangible things like house repairs before prices really explode.

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          1. Yep. Same here. My husband and I never buy new cars, even though we could easily afford them. We buy old clunkers off Craigslist because we are responsible and want to save. But these savings are being purposefully depreciated.

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            1. Heh, yes. We could never dream of buying a new car– we are allergic to debt and it would wipe out our savings for even the most low-end economy car. We do really well by purchasing vehicles at least ten years old with some cosmetic damage but a good engine. This has some large advantages: we don’t waste money on comprehensive car insurance, we know ahead of time which car models are reliable (with a new one, you don’t know yet what its track-record is!), and car-thieves don’t even look at our vehicles. It’s the very best security system: I think I could safely leave my purse on the seat, the key in the ignition, and the doors unlocked, because our car looks less valuable than most others in the parking lot.

              I am not against people buying new cars though: we absolutely depend on dumb, status-obsessed people buying a continuous stream of new cars, and selling them at a huge loss when the “new” wears off, to enable us to buy reliable, cheap used vehicles.

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              1. Same with the people who rack on huge credit card debt. Thanks to them we just got six airplane tickets to Florida for free. I haven’t paid for an airplane ticket in years, and I used to travel a lot.

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          2. We have accelerated our “retirement plan”. It’s a cabin in the woods where we can be self-sustaining. We are investing in a well and trying to finish the inside so we can live there. But the price of materials keeps going up–making it difficult to afford. We have paid off all our debt and are socking everything toward this goal. I thank God my husband is handy and can build and repair things. I also pray God will help us when the economy crashes. I keep expecting a 2008 (where he lost his business when the housing bubble burst). These are scary times to live in!

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            1. The best one can do is talk about it and help people understand what’s going on. The capital transfer angle isn’t being discussed anywhere in the mainstream. We are being constantly distracted by COVID porn, UFOs, identity battles, pronouns, etc. COVID is not the biggest story of our lifetimes. This is. And we’ll realize it after it’s too late. Exactly like happened in 2008, which was the first iteration of this capital transfer.

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            2. Keep in mind that fuel prices will go up, and plan accordingly: it doesn’t mean you can’t live in the woods, but it makes it really important to minimize expeditions into town, plan them well, cultivate good relationships with your nearest neighbors, and have a plan for when (not if) county services stop reaching you. And, you know, if you’re not philosophically opposed, it’s good to be armed: when seconds count, the cops/wildlife officers are only 20 minutes away… We had some repeated incidents with an aggressive feral pig last year that the wildlife people could not catch. Were glad to have the shotgun for backup, even though we didn’t end up using it. Sister had to get rabies shots, though 😦

              We live ~10 miles from town– not too bad– but we are taking a cold hard look at how dependent we are on county services to live here: if the county stops having the funds to send the road-grader out to our dirt road… our home becomes inaccessible after a few heavy rains. In the longer-term, our whole neighborhood will revert to swamp in a year or so if the county stops maintaining the drainage ditches. It’s a big concern.

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              1. I’m with you. We are of the same mindset and have been cultivating relationships with our country neighbors. We like them immensely. There is a tight knit community. Being armed is a sane response we are not opposed to–even though I am afraid of guns. I am more afraid of losing my temper and ending up in jail but after several dog attacks in local parks while jogging–I may change my attitude. Community matters, doesn’t it? We live in big cities where neighbors don’t have relationships anymore. I write for a local paper and encourage people to know and love their neighbors.

                Feral pigs are no joke. And road issues are for real. If things turn south–the strong will survive–one way or the other. We will find each other. That is why I like to read history. Most recently–Daniel Boone’s biography. If he could do it, so can we!

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            3. …You’re in a better position than most, though! In a financial crisis, the people who get through OK are the ones who can grow, build, make, or repair essential things. Hairdressers and telephone-sanitizers, not so much.

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          3. Depends which debts. If you have a mortgage with low interest rate, it’s not worth to make the “13th payment” as the personal finance gurus recommend, or used to recommend. It’s better to invest the 13th payment money into something that has a higher rate of return. If you have credit card debt, it’s best to pay it off ASAP since the interest rate is still higher than the inflation rate.

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            1. Yes, that’s the traditional advice, which works well in the low-ish and fairly predictable inflation scenario we’ve lived in all our lives in the US. It has served many people well for decades. I actually just finished walking my brother through the process of paying off his debts, and we did it that way: credit cards first, starting with the highest-interest-rate one and working our way down, then the lower-interest car loan, etc.

              I think in a runaway-inflation or currency-reset scenario, the winning strategy could be very different. House security could be much more important (assuming you didn’t go into stupid amounts of debt for it, in which case you need to sell it ASAP and buy a hovel you can afford!), credit ratings won’t be worth rat-turds anyway, and you may as well shift focus away from paying for things you already have (i.e. a college education, or whatever you ran up credit-card debt for), and instead focus on securing essential things (your house, your car) that the bank can take away if you miss payments.

              I am no expert, though, and other people can and will reasonably come to other conclusions.

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      2. Exactly. Inflation is another part of it.

        It all looks very crazy until you look at the financial aspect of it. Then things become completely clear. “The vaccine is completely free for everybody!” Oh, really? How come Pfizer is posting billion profits then? Where does it all come from? Well, mine and yours pockets, even if we don’t get vaccinated. And then with yearly booster shots and medication to offset the side effects, it’s an endless source of profit.

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        1. Useful skills, social connections, and a good reputation.

          Beyond that: it’s a tricky question. Physical goods are subject to being stolen. I’ve read accounts of people who weathered economic collapse in places like Argentina and Venezuela, and know folks who lived most of their lives in relative poverty in the developing world. From them, I gather that if you have more cash than you need for immediate expenses, it’s good to have gold and silver jewelry. Not bullion or coins: if you go to cash in a Krugerrand, you’re advertising “I have more of these, please come torture my family until I give them to you!” If you trade in a broken necklace or a wedding band, well… maybe you’re scraping the floorboards for grocery money like everyone else. Jewelry can be stolen, but it’s still more secure than the banks. It’s good to own the tools of your trade, instead of relying on your employer to supply them. It’s better to own your house than to rent it. It’s probably safer to live in a town or city than in an isolated country house– you’re more likely to have access to food during a shortage, and being isolated invites bandits (nobody to hear you scream).

          It’s mostly a question of how bad you think it will get.

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      3. Inflation like we are experiencing is a much more desirable than the opposite: deflation. At the beginning of the pandemic there was serious concerns about deflation taking hold, wrecking the economy, and leading to a depression in the middle of a pandemic.
        In an alternate universe where the government doesn’t act, we would probably find ourselves in the midst of an economic recession/depression and be dreaming about a 6% unemployment rate.

        There is a reason why both Trump and Biden pumped money into the economy. Sure, inflation is bad, but deflation is much worse.

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        1. Lost Decade Japan was clearly a horror-show compared to Weimar Germany or the two decades after 1975 in Argentina. We should avoid that at all costs. All. Costs.

          (/sarcasm)

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            1. What do you think will be the end result of current fiscal policy in the US? Nothing really bad will ever happen, because it hasn’t happened yet? My grocery bill has gone up more than 20% in the last year, and I haven’t changed what I’m buying. Our income hasn’t changed. Who exactly is this good for? The federal government seems not at all inclined to put a leash on their current print-money-and-give-it-away vote-buying programs, so we can expect this trend to continue. Will it still be OK when our food bill goes up another 30% next year? When that happens in concert with gas prices?

              There is only so much elasticity in people’s budgets. We’re not starving. We had enough space for that 20%+ rise. We could even take a 30% rise next year if we trim out every little luxury we currently enjoy, such as the occasional homemade beef stew, or high-ticket items like sour cream. But that would assume that nothing else goes up in price. Not gas, not car repairs, not socks and underwear, or soap, or repairs to the car and house. God help us if we have to move to a rental.

              The truth is, “inflation is good!” is a lie. Even at low levels, inflation redistributes wealth from people who save it, to people who owe it. It redistributes from people in the middle and working classes, to the obscenely rich. Some economists think this is good because they are rich and they feel like easy lending is the great “engine of capitalism” and other such BS that is completely blind to the lives of regular working-class people. This is because economists are essentially academics, and their incomes don’t depend on whether or not they are right. At high levels (and yes, that’s where I believe we are headed), inflation destroys everybody but the rich.

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    2. There are many ways but here’s one. Why is there such a push to vaccinate 12-15 yo children for COVID when they don’t suffer from COVID and don’t transmit? Well, because every dose is money that’s moved from the state coffers to Pfizer’s. That’s all this vaccination push is about.

      Then there were lockdowns that destroyed small businesses and moved their share of profits to Walmart and Co. That’s the only purpose of lockdowns.

      Then there are the trillions that the government printed. They all went to Amazon, Netflix, etc. They are all posting record profits.

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