6 May, 2007

STOTT: “Not Our Fault”

Posted by alex in business, globalization, gold & silver, inflation at 9:05 am | Permanent Link

[Following is a repost of a column by the proprietor of ColoradoGold.com. VNN readers should heed his warning to protect yourself.]

By Don Stott

We’ve seen how the prices have gone up over the years, which merely means that the dollar has been inflated, or its quantity increased. Why? To pay the bills the politicians have run up to make themselves popular and get re-elected. Not our fault. As the dollar lost value, the citizens had wage increases to attempt to equal the price increases… to literally keep on living. The wage increases never kept up with the cost of living, so the standard of living gradually went down. It has been said by various economists, that we have a standard of living which we had close to fifty years ago. No progress towards a ‘new world,’ in other words, but rather a retrenchment. Not our fault.

Under FDR, a plan was wholeheartedly endorsed and voted on by those in office at that time, and it was and still is called, “Social Security.” It all sounded so wonderful back then, but now has become a nightmare for the fed. Why? Because when the plan was begun, there were a lot of workers for each retiree, and now there are barely two, so far more is being paid out than is coming in, in spite of the fact that “contributions” (sic) have been increased by hundreds of percentage points. From 1% to close to 20%, and still Social Security is an economic disaster. As if that weren’t bad enough, it was decided to subsidize medical care, and forced the individual states to do the same thing. “Medicare” and “Medicaid” were born, and have both proven to be a further economic disaster. If an insurance company paid out more than it took in, it would go the way of all flesh pretty quickly. Medicare and Medicaid come no where near the break-even point, and a dark cloud is on the horizon in the form of the ‘baby boomers’ retiring by the thousands every day, and making application for the benefits they have been paying for all these many years.

Social Security, Medicaid and Medicare, actuarially unsound, will be so far out of balance in a few years, that there will be only one solution. Know what it is? That’s correct…they’ll have to print the payments, or to make it technically correct, they’ll have to sell debt, etc. If no one will buy the debt, they’ll buy it themselves, as I believe they are already doing. Buy their own debt? Impossible as that sounds, it must be done to keep the system afloat as long as possible. Technically, to increase the money supply to pay the bills, they must print instruments to sell, so that when they are sold, the money can be printed. Technical only, because if no one wants to take a chance on the dollar’s value over the years, and decides not to invest in dollar denominated paper issued by the Treasury, the Treasury will buy it themselves, which is no more ridiculous that the so called “information age,” when ‘wealth’ is supposedly created by doing each others laundry and paying each other to do it. Since it is all a fraud anyway, why shouldn’t the fed buy its own debt, thereby allowing the money to be printed? The bills have to be paid, and the retiring baby boomers will be demanding the re-payment of the dollars they were forced to put into the system.

Naturally, this will require even more printing press money to be produced to pay the retiring boomers. The more printed, the less they will be worth, so prices will go up, payments will be increased as the ‘official’ cost of living index increases. Since an accurate cost of living index means a shorter life span of the buck. The ‘official’ cost of living, as well as the ‘official’ inflation rate, are as phony as Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. If a true set of statistics were coming out of D.C., it might set back the crumbling dollar as much as a couple of decades. If the true cost of living and inflation were used and published, the average Social Security check would probably be close to twice what it now is…or do you really believe the 1-2% ‘official’ inflation rate? The ‘official’ inflation and cost of living figures determine the increase in payments for Social Security. It save a lot of dollars if the payments can be kept low.

We’ve mentioned the expensive current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as all the previous wars which decapitated the dollar from a sound dollar, to probably 2% of its former glory. We’ve gone from production to consumption. America has gone from making what it uses, to buying from various overseas entities, what we use and even eat. Our capital has vamoosed with each container coming in full, and returning empty. Our capital, in the form of sound currency, has degenerated by increasing the supply of dollars, thereby making the dollar unsound. We’ve been hit two ways. First by an endless increase in the number of dollars in circulation, and second, by sending them overseas for things we want and need, simply to exist, and it isn’t our fault.

Our jobs have vanished, simply because workers must be paid in dollars, and the dollar has gone down so much, that other nations can make and grow what we need at a far lower cost in dollars, than can Americans. Thus we import stuff, with profits going back to Japan, China, India, and any other place which has sounder currency compared to the dollar. China has no bureaucrats breathing down workers and factory owners’ necks, and taxing them incessantly for everything they need, plus their labor. Admittedly it was started by Sam Walton’s kids probably, who weren’t satisfied with being the richest (by inheritance) kids in the world. They decided to become even richer by cutting the throats of the American factory workers. Wal Marts then began selling mostly imports, in direct contradiction of their old man’s “Buy and Sell American” philosophy. Millions of factory jobs disappeared, and factories closed, never to re-open again. It wasn’t out fault.

The Japanese began making excellent cars in America, with non-union labor in various southern area of America, but the profits went back to Tokyo, our former enemy. Mills went bankrupt, and cloth manufacture went overseas. Farm taxes and regulations became so onerous, that food began to be imported from countries with no regulations and heavy taxes on everything. Wonderful machines and electronics were invented here, and began to be made overseas with cheap labor, with American patents being ignored. With their new found wealth, foreign nations began buying American corporations and companies, with profits going back to whoever bought them. Columbia Pictures, Firestone Tires? Only a couple of the many. It is virtually impossible to find anything made in America today, and with each dollar spent on a necessity, which may be made in China, the profit goes back to China, and it isn’t our fault. China now has one trillion US dollars in its treasury, all of which came from profits from stuff sold to Americans, and they’re growing very leery of the dollar.

You’d be suspicious of an obviously bad investment, and the Chinese are becoming just that. Their purchasing our debt, has sharply decreased. Iran and a few others, will no longer take dollars, admittedly because they hate our invasion of their nations, but also because they know the buck is failing pretty quickly. They don’t want to get caught holding something which is losing value. No one does! Really? I know a lot of people who are investing in bad things. Millions of people I am familiar with, are doing what foreigners are beginning to realize is a poor investment. Of course you know. It is DOLLAR INVESTMENTS!

A quick look at history, plus a logical look at what has and is happening to the buck, will surely indicate that saving in dollars or investing in dollar denominated securities, is economic suicide. Maybe a slow suicide, or maybe it will happen quickly, I don’t know, but to think it won’t happen, is absurd. How can a currency, which is backed by nothing, is being printed continually to pay the ever increasing bills of war, benefits, handouts, and various other forms of foolish spending, hold its value? How can a currency, which has already lost 98% of its value, regain strength? If a man is 98% dead from cancer or pneumonia, will his recovery be bet on by a sensible gambler? No, but 99% of Americans are betting on the dollar’s recovery, or at least going no further down in value. An absolutely foolish stance. Why do Japan and China, plus others, still buy a few of our debts? Because we spend with them. Dollar savers in America, aren’t willing customers to China, Japan, and India. Dollar savers in America, are totally different than the Chinese and others, who buy a bit of our debt to keep the buck afloat till they either get out of them, or develop enough customers with euros, gold, or whatever. This is the end of three parts of analysis, which shows without doubt, that saving and investing in dollars, and dollar denominated instruments, is crazy. Will you use these three parts as a sort of ‘Bible” to show those in need of conversion? If just a few realize the folly of dollar investments, and buy gold and silver from some other place, I don’t care. Just ‘get saved’ and get out of dollars, and into things TANGIBLE. (I don’t mean to sound like an evangelist.)

Antiques? Surely, if they give you pleasure. Old cars? Whatever turns you on in something TANGIBLE. Old stamps? Rare paintings? Whatever you wish, but remember, gold and silver need little space, are universal money for thousands of years in all nations, and will continue to be so. Just protect yourself.

[Stott archive]


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  7. 4 Responses to “STOTT: “Not Our Fault””

    1. alex Says:

      [his latest]

      Bush Palace

      So you think we’re going to leave Iraq? We’re just there until they get their act together? Pay your income taxes this year? Wonder where some of it is going? How about a billion dollar embassy in Iraq? Yes, that’s correct. A 124 acre ’embassy,’ with 21 buildings, its own power generating system, its own wells and water purifying system, its own gyms, swimming pools, beauty parlors, theatres, and built in surface to air missile system. It’s larger than the Vatican, and its walls are over 15 feet thick. It will have 600 apartments, and 3500 people will work there. It is floodlit at night, and the price for the land was pretty cheap. It was a gift from the provisional government we put in place! You thought Saddam had marvelous palaces? His were shacks compared to the new US embassy, which will be completed next month.

      Naturally, the Iraqis hate it, and us too, for that matter. No wonder! Their toilets won’t flush, their light bulbs won’t burn most of the time, and a thousand of them die each week. They regularly spray graffiti the exterior walls, and wish to heaven we’d just get OUT. Obviously, we have no intention of getting out, or would we be building the largest embassy in the world? Many people doubt me when I say that government is out of control. Really? Bush has said that they, “fail to appreciate the sacrifice the US has made in Iraq.” Counting the troops, there are over 400,000 Americans in Iraq, and it is still a lawless jungle.

      1800 bodies were deposited in the Baghdad morgue last July, and the murder and terror is far worse now. In Basra, the second largest city, which the Brits supposedly had neutralized and made peaceful, the city has become a combat zone with the Shiite militias and warlords fighting the Brits and US for control. The city becomes more islamicised by the day, with music and liquor shops bombed out of existence. Women are made to wear headscarves, and board games are outlawed. Sort of like Afghanistan? Most of the professional people have left Iraq, including 12,000 doctors. Why not? Iraqi Airways has more than doubled its flights to Damascus, and there are 50 bus trips to Jordan every day. Taxi fares to Amman are US $750. Not cheap to escape the American destruction, is it?

      A cop’s worst nightmare: A call to settle a fight between a husband and wife. They both take sides against the cop, usually. The exact same thing has happened in Iraq. The Sunnis and Shiites both hate American soldiers and workers. Get out now? Damned right! We’re the cause of the civil war! The utter waste of that billion dollar boondoggle blows my mind. Send this column to your Congressman or Senator! Closed Friday on account of my kids coming in Thursday for only three days so I won’t be here and no column. In advance, have a great weekend.

    2. alex Says:

      Not Our Fault
      (Part-2)
      Don Stott

      Last week, I mentioned that under FDR, to me, our worst President outside of Lincoln, Johnson, and most of them during the last hundred years I suspect, the welfare system got into gear, which debased the buck tremendously, and still does, but at an ever-increasing rate. When a roller-coaster begins its downhill run, it is virtually impossible to stop it in mid course, and the same, as history always proves, with a nation which begins to inflate. Argentina a decade ago, Zimbabwe currently, and virtually all nations throughout history have begun to inflate, and been powerless to stop it.

      Look at the mechanics of it. It’s easy to blame the politicians for their reckless spending, and the blame does rest there, except for one tiny detail. That detail is that if they didn’t “produce” the incredible spending, they’d possibly or even probably be defeated at the next election by a candidate who promised virtually unlimited largess from the public treasury. If one Congressman or Senator voted NO on nonsensical spending, or even a handful, the rest would vote yes, and the dollar supply (inflation) would continue. Currently, the Republicans and Democrats are all very anxious to vote another hundred billion dollars to continue the lost war in Iraq. A hundred billion printing press, un-backed, paper dollars is eleven zeros. If they vote ‘yes’ on the hundred billion, that’s $3,000 for every man, woman, and child in America. The war, so far, has probably cost every man, woman, and child a hefty $15,000 each. You haven’t paid for it? Oh yes you have, because every one of those individual fifteen thousand dollars for every one of us was printed, and added to the money supply, which decreased the value of each and every dollar. Each dollar, thanks to the Iraq mess, buys less. Each dollar, thanks to Vietnam and Korea, bought less, thanks to those wars’ costs, fought with printing press money. Examples are easy to see in just the automotive sector.

      Before Korea started in 1950, a brand new, fully equipped Ford V-8 cost in the neighborhood of $1500. This was double what one would have cost before WW II. Today? You know, I don’t have to parade umpteen figures before your eyes. I was sixteen in 1950, and bought new tires for $9.95, and filled my car for 19 cents a gallon. I made a phone call for a nickel, stamps were two cents, etc. ALSO, a well paid worker made under a dollar an hour. We were competitive then with other nations. Not only competitive, but we outshone them many times over, and were exporting just about everything we made, as fast as we could make it. We sent machinery, food stuffs, cars, gadgets, tractors, revolving doors, elevators, trolley cars, locomotives, lumber, and anything you could possibly think of, overseas. We were a grand nation, even after WW II. Partially because factories in Europe and Japan were demolished in the war, it is true, but here we go again with a major welfare program which debased the dollar.

      Ever hear of a nation paying the nation it defeated? Germany was forced to do so, and their currency went to zero. In America, after millions wounded, and 362,000 dead, we decided, thanks to the politicians, to pay our former enemies to rebuild! Known as the Marshall Plan, it cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Printing press dollars, which gave Japan brand new, state of the art steel mills, while ours were worn out after the war effort, for just one example. The dollar presses and checkbooks were turning out record numbers of dollars for the Marshall Plan, and prices were going up, thanks to it. The war had doubled prices, and the Marshall Plan did dollars in additionally. Still though, we made it, and didn’t collapse as did Germany after WW I. We were strong. Our coins were made of silver, dollars at least partially backed by gold, and we weren’t physically wrecked by the war.

      The welfare system got really re-invigorated after the war. There was no un-employment during the war, and after the war there was a lot of catching up to do with consumer goods for home and export. By 1960, things had calmed down a bit, and prices were on the rise, thanks to the buck printing, authorized by the politicos. Gas was 31 cents a gallon, a new home $16,500, stamps three cents, a dozen eggs 57 cents, and a gallon of milk 49cents. The national debt was $290 billion, and Washington was spending $92 billion a year. Sound crazy? Compared to today, it was wonderful!

      In 1970, the printing press dollars were on the move, with prices doing the same. The average home was up $10,000 to $26,500, stamps four cents, a gallon of milk $1.15, a dozen eggs 62 cents and gas 36 cents a gallon. The national debt was $196 billion, seemingly down a bit, but prices were up because the dollar was being printed. Welfare had really gotten going, with hundreds of public housing projects being built, and the FHA giving no money down, no qualification home purchases, which was beginning the destruction of our major cities. Vietnam was in full swing, as well.

      By 1980, under Jimmy Carter, we had 14% inflation, and a new home had jumped to $76,400, a $50,000 increase in ten years. Gas was $1.25, a dozen eggs 91 cents, and a gallon of milk $2.16. The federal debt was $990 billion. A lot of things happened from 1970 to 1980. The costs of Vietnam were obvious in prices, weren’t they? We then had Medicare and food stamps, which cost billions of printing press dollars, and whose cost will forever increase.

      In 1990, a new home cost an average of $149,800, a dozen eggs a buck, a gallon of gas $1.16, and a gallon of milk $2.78. The national debt had zoomed to $3,206,000,000! The presses were merrily rolling along, and Washington was spending for all they were worth.

      1995’s prices were, of course, higher than five years previous. The average new home was going for $158,700, a gallon of milk for $2.96, a dozen eggs for $1.16, a gallon of gas was $1.15 (remember the oil glut?), a stamp was 32 cents, and the national debt was then $4,921,000,000. Officially the debt was that, but who really knew or knows. Washington was spending $1,500,000,000 a year, and taking in a lot less, so inflation continued.

      Another factor which must be brought into a study of inflation are the average wages for each year. In 1999, the average wage was $39,973, and in 1960, it was $4068. In 192 it was $30,636, in 1980, $17,710, 1975, $11,800, and in 1970 – $8734. In 1970, if one had placed one’s entire average salary in a bank at 2% interest, compounded, by 1975, you would have $9643, but the average wage in 1975 was $11,800. If, in 1970, you had placed the full cost of the average home ($26,500), in the same bank at 2% interest compounded, by 1980, you would have had $32,303, but by 1980 the average home price had jumped to $76,400. Your dollars lost twice more than savings, plus interest paid, plus you would have been paying income tax every year on that 2% interest. One can go on and on about how it is foolish to save in dollars, but the official figures show it, with no doctoring or supposition. Dollars are death, and it isn’t our fault.

      In 10 years, from 1989 to 1999 the average wage had gone from $29,943 to $39,973, but that 30% increase in wages over ten years was met with huge increases in the income tax rate, and increases in every single item consumed or used during that time period of more than 30%. Dollar savings was silly then as now. The above figures are official figures as released by the Washington, and does anyone really believe statistics provided by a government which hides everything it can to make itself look good, including no longer publishing the M3 figures? The off-budget items, including Iraq and Afghanistan, plus lots of others, aren’t included in the ‘official’ huge dollar increases, but are certainly reflected in prices. The buck is proliferating like so many bunny rabbits in spring time. The prices are reflected in dollar increases, regardless of ‘official’ inflation and dollar amounts.

      Politicians can’t stop spending, because if they did, they would be defeated and replaced by more spenders. The non spenders will never outvote the spenders, because politicians love adulation and re-election. Were I in D.C. as an office holder, I would vote NO on every spending issue. Could I be elected? Of course, not, because I couldn’t promise to bring home the bacon. The system is self defeating, self proliferating, and self destructing, and it isn’t our fault. The majority, in every civilization is always wrong, the voters always vote for the candidate promising the most largess from the public treasury; the public treasury always goes broke and takes the nation down with it. We are in the final stages I am afraid, and it is not our fault. We can only protect ourselves. More next week.

      April 12, 2007

      Don Stott has been a precious metals dealer since 1977, has written five books, hundreds of columns, and his web site is http://www.coloradogold.com

    3. alex Says:

      Not Our Fault
      (part one)
      Don Stott

      There are a lot of things in life, that are our fault, and ours alone. We get ourselves into hopeless debt, do stupid things behind the wheel of a car, drink too much, do drugs, smoke, or a host of other damned stupid things humans are wont to do, and usually regret afterwards. Last week, a gal roared past me in a 30 MPH zone. I was doing 35, and she was probably doing 50. I said to myself, “OK baby, you take that chance, not me.” Half block away, a cop was coming in the opposite direction, with radar on, and he immediately made a sharp U turn with lights on, and that gal had been busted. Her fault entirely. I sort of grinned as I passed.

      There are millions of kids today, who will grow older with horrendous ear problems because listening to loud rock music at 120 decibels, and the ear simply will not take that without being ruined. I am sure they have been warned by their ‘stupid’ (they think) parents and others, but of course kids know everything. One of Mark Twain’s funniest lines was, “When I was sixteen, I thought my old man was the stupidest man in the whole world, and I am amazed at how much he has learned in the past five years.”

      We are all suffering from several critical problems, which are none of our own faults, and they are killing us slowly. In big cities, it is the air. Millions of cars on freeways have caused us to be dependent on foreign oil, and the air created by them, is really slowly killing the breathers of that pollution. (In Los Angeles, the freeways are largely built on the old rights of way of the non-polluting Pacific Electric lines, which ran over 1100 trains a day, and were deliberately sabotaged by National City Lines, owned by GM, Firestone, and Mobil). It has been said that merely living in LA is the equivalent of smoking two packs of cigarettes a day. If you have to live there for a job, you can’t help breathing the air, and it isn’t your fault.

      Lost your job to a foreign factory or company? Hoover vacuums is leaving Ohio for Mexico soon, and 700 jobs will be gone. I wrote about Electrolux refrigerators doing the same thing last year. It isn’t the worker’s fault. They, I am sure, performed admirably and efficiently, but Mexicans will work for less, so “off with their heads,” might be the attitude of the bosses who answer to stockholders rather than workers. The bosses would lose their jobs if they didn’t perform, and cutting costs might be their way of staying employed. Maybe it isn’t the bosses’ fault totally. Maybe neither boss, workers, nor union leaders are at fault. Maybe everyone is doing as best as they possibly can, and what happens is beyond their control. It isn’t their fault. When people work faithfully, promptly, and seriously at a job, it used to be that they could look forward to a comfortable retirement and a bit of ease in their old age. A reward for faithful performance, contributing to a retirement plan and Social Security, used to mean an old age of comfort. No more, and it isn’t the retirees fault. Old codgers are now having to work for slave wages at the local Wal-Mart, greeting customers and shuffling push carts around. Geezers are using remaining credit card reserves, just to survive, knowing that when those reserves are gone, they will be bankrupt, old, and with an unknown future. It isn’t their fault.

      Thrifty shoppers, housewives, and mothers do their best to make the shrinking paycheck go as far as possible, and often it isn’t enough. Many oldsters, who depended on pensions, have had their pension cut by 55% because the management of the pension funds invested in the wrong places, the government took over the pension and cut it by 55%. Those of you who have a choice, please, for goodness sake, take a cash out, and place it in gold and silver! Salaries, Social Security, and interest, have not kept up with inflation, which means those depend on them, are in trouble, and it isn’t their fault. Consumer prices are far ahead of incomes, in 100% of the cases, and it isn’t our fault. Not only is it not our fault, but there’s nothing we can do about it. Then, whose fault is it?

      I say the following without a single doubt as to its truthfulness, authenticity, or veracity. The fault, 100% of the time, is political. Throughout all of history, it has always been the politicians who have destroyed nations and civilizations. The Washington D.C. “gang:” as I call them, are 100% responsible for our turmoil, and it is just as much Republicans as Democrats who are at fault. If the currency is being debased, all of the above happen, invariably, and without exception. Neither you nor I debase the currency. The currency of any nation, is always debased by that nation’s government, which policies and laws are voted upon and set by its politicians, regardless of party affiliation.

      When the dollar is debased, as it has been by 98%, the entire economy goes topsy-turvy, out of kilter, unbalanced, and uneven. A few may possibly be helped, but most are harmed. When the dollar is debased, salaries must be raised, so that workers can eat, pay their bills, and stay alive, because all prices of food, fuel, and living costs are rising. The more dollars there are, the more dollars everything must cost. Put another way, the more dollars there are, the less they will be worth (Stott’s Law). In Seattle, there is usually so much precipitation, that everyone is sick of it. In Phoenix, they’d love to have some of it. In Seattle, they’d give it away, and in Phoenix they’d love to pay for it. If there were a million Model A Fords around, they’d be selling for a hundred bucks probably, or less. Supply and demand are simple economic equations and factors, which everyone should understand. Things in short supply cost more, and things plentiful are cheap. Dollars are plentiful, so they buy ever less and less. Living beyond one’s means causes bankruptcy, which everyone should understand. The more dollars there are, the less they will buy, which everyone should understand.

      How do the dollars proliferate, and what’s the result? Once again, it is so basic, that everyone should understand. But they don’t understand, and of all the educating that should be done, how the dollars proliferate and the results, should be prime education in all schools, and all adults should be made to understand these simple economic basics. Dollars proliferate, and their numbers grow, because of only one reason. GOVERNMENT SPENDING MORE THAN IS RECEIVED IN TAXES. When did this start? Governments are always doing it, but it got out of hand during the War Between the States, when both sides printed their respective currencies (Confederate dollars in the South, and Greenbacks in the North) so much, that both became worthless. Wars can do that, and have throughout history.

      The next step in currency devaluation, or dollar debasement, occurred during FDR’s Presidency, and has kept growing ever since. This is the welfare system, and all of its tentacles, which include reckless spending by politicians to glom votes. This is it, for all practical purposes, but the criminality of the votes is all encompassing. When a politician votes for something which will please his constituency, and costs far more than the local economy can afford, or would want to afford, the government pays for it, the dollar supply is increased, and the dollar is debased. If a politician sees that a fancy bridge would make everyone happy and glom votes for his re-election, he will work hard to make other politicos vote for his bridge. In return for their vote, he promises to vote for their pet project, and on it goes, till the end is reached. This doesn’t even get into welfare, wars, and other spending.

      Taxes must pay for spending. Over the decades since FDR, politicians have kept spending, warring, and welfare handouts, regardless of party affiliation, and to pay the bills, hundreds of hidden taxes have been levied on and paid by us, and we can’t avoid them. It isn’t out fault, in other words. Huge taxes on income, gasoline, alcohol, telephones, electricity, homes, interest, purchases, etc. are all paid by us, and it isn’t our fault. It is the fault of the politicians who placed those taxes on us to attempt to pay for their reckless spending. The more they spend, and can’t collect revenue to pay for the spending, they go into debt for by loaning dollars to any who will loan, and thereby incur interest charges. The borrowing, places more dollars into circulation, and thereby not only increases the number of dollars, but the interest charges have to be added, thereby further increasing the dollar supply. More next week, but protect yourself.

    4. tj Says:

      See:Why Stocks are rising:(Hyper?)Inflation
      http://vnnforum.com/showthread.php?p=534089#post534089