Showing posts with label inflation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label inflation. Show all posts

Sunday, June 9, 2024

WaPo's Jennifer Rubin defends President Biden's judgment

 Today, Jennifer Rubin published an op-ed essay in the Washington Post defending President Joe Biden's judgment. Despite his advanced age and elderly gait, Rubin argues that Biden's judgment is sound and far better than that of Donald Trump.

In sum, she writes:

At the most basic level, Biden . . . can discern friends, revers the military, understands the value of alliances, generally hires capable advisors, puts together complex legislative deals and exhibits inexhaustible empathy for other's suffering.

Furthermore, Rubin maintains that Biden "complies with the legal process . . ., follows Supreme Court decisions . . . , and engages in successful international diplomacy." 

Rubin's paean to Joe Biden is just another sign that the East Coast media elites and I live on different planets. I see Joe Biden as nothing more than a cognitively diminished political hack who can barely read his cue cards, and at least half of America shares my view.

Let's look at Rubin's list of Biden's shining virtues:

Can Biden "discern friend from foe"? Not really. He's betrayed Israel, apparently incapable of grasping the fact that the Israelis are fighting for their very existence in Gaza.

Does he "revere[] the military"? Not enough to oversee an orderly withdrawal from Afghanistan, where the U.S. left the Taliban in control of the country after twenty years of warfare.

Does he "understand[] the value of alliances"? No, he has followed Barack Obama's disastrous policy of baiting the Russians, thereby dragging our NATO allies to the verge of nuclear war in Europe.

Has he chosen "capable advisors"? You decide: Kamala HarrisPete Buttigieg, Alejandro Mayorkas, Rachel Levine?

Does he comply with the legal process? Our open border answers that question.

Has he "engage[d] in successful international diplomacy"? Obviously not, or the U.S. wouldn't be presiding over two wars, not to mention missile attacks on the American military by Iran's proxies. 

And then there's inflation, a ballooning national debt, and Biden's nutso transgender agenda.

I'm sorry, Jennifer, but Joe Biden has terrible judgment, and millions of Americans agree with me. Fortunately for Biden and the media elites, Biden's most strident critics live in Flyover Country, and who cares what those folks think?





Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Civil War is a swashbuckling movie, but it's not prophetic

I caught the matinee showing of Civil War yesterday. It's a thrilling movie with several flaws, but well worth seeing. I have two criticisms.

First, director Alex Garland’s dystopian film posits a civil war between the United States and the Western Forces, comprised of the rebel states of Texas and California. Both sides field conventional armies equipped with jets, helicopters, tanks, and armored vehicles.

This scenario is implausible. If the United States implodes, it won't be because Texas and California fight a conventional war against the federal government. America will likely fall apart due to an external shock administered by hostile foreign powers—Russia, China, or Iran. Our enemies will not conquer us with missiles. Instead, our country will fall apart when our adversaries destroy the dollar's status as the world's reserve currency and our economy collapses.

Second, Alex Garland’s apocalyptic tale is told from the perspective of journalists who risk their lives and the lives of other people to get shocking photographs of the carnage of war. In the movie’s concluding scene, photojournalists Lee and Jesse are seen scurrying behind an Abrams battle tank in an attack on the White House. They come across as adrenalin junkies fanatically obsessed with their careers. I found them totally unsympathetic.

I encourage people to see Civil War. It is an entertaining movie on the level of the Indiana Jones flicks and the Mission Impossible series. Just remember this: America will not unravel because Texas and California besiege the White House; it will crumble when McDonald’s hamburgers cost fifty bucks apiece, and nobody wants to buy U.S. Treasury bonds.

Photojournalists chasing a Pulitzer Prize


Monday, December 25, 2023

America is beginning to look like Germany in the early 1930s: Ten dollar mayonaise

In his novel, titled 1984, George Orwell described a world in which an all-powerful government manipulated reality to deceive the citizenry. For example, when the government cut the chocolate ration from 30 grams to 20 grams, it announced that it was raising it to 20 grams--a bald-faced lie.

When Orwell's novel was released in 1958, it was considered a utopian tale about a world that didn't really exist. Today, we are living in 1984.

President Joe Biden, our demented Big Brother, recently made this pronouncement about the American economy. “Today, we saw more progress bringing down inflation while maintaining one of the strongest job markets in history.” That's just bullshit.

Everyone I know expresses shock at the price of groceries. I went to the grocery store not long ago and discovered that the cost of Kraft mayonnaise was almost $10 a jar!

People who are retired and living on fixed incomes find their dollars’ buying power shrinking month by month. Yet the Biden administration claims that Bidenomics has made us all more prosperous.

The government’s official employment rate is more bullshit. Federal bureaucrats claim unemployment is below 4 percent, but that number hides the fact that millions of people are not working and not even looking for work. 

The United States is beginning to look like Germany in the early 1930s. Like the United States today, Germany was governed by a man suffering from dementia. Paul Von Hindenburg, president of Germany from 1925 until he died in 1934, drifted in and out of senescence.

Like Hindenburg, who appointed an Austrian corporal with a funny mustache as chancellor of Germany, Biden has made some terrible personnel decisions. Who believes Kamala Harris is qualified to be Vice President?

Germany, in the years leading up to World War II, was wracked by political violence from the left and the right. America, too, is plagued by a rising tide of political violence.

Then, there was inflation, which wiped out the German middle class and drove the German mark down to a million marks to the U.S. dollar. Likewise, America is teetering on the edge of hyperinflation, with millions of elderly people already reduced to poverty.

Evil days are ahead of us. The time may come when we will fondly reminisce about the days when mayonnaise only cost $10 a jar.




Monday, November 20, 2023

America is beginning to look like Germany in th early 1930s

In his novel, titled 1984, George Orwell described a world in which an all-powerful government manipulated reality to deceive the citizenry. For example, when the government cut the chocolate ration from 30 grams to 20 grams, it announced that it was raising it to 20 grams--a bald-faced lie.

When Orwell's novel was released in 1958, it was considered a utopian novel about a world that didn't really exist. Today, we are living in 1984.

President Joe Biden, our demented Big Brother, recently made this pronouncement about the American economy. “Today, we saw more progress bringing down inflation while maintaining one of the strongest job markets in history.” That's just bullshit.

Everyone I know expresses shock at the price of groceries. I went to the grocery store not long ago and discovered that the cost of Kraft mayonnaise was almost $10 a jar!

People who are retired and living on fixed incomes find their dollars’ buying power shrinking month by month. Yet the Biden administration claims that Bidenomics has made us all more prosperous.

The government’s official employment rate is more bullshit. Federal bureaucrats claim unemployment is below 4 percent, but that number hides the fact that millions of people are not working and not even looking for work. 

The United States is beginning to look like Germany in the early 1930s. Like the United States today, Germany was governed by a man suffering from dementia. Paul Von Hindenburg, president of Germany from 1925 until he died in 1934, drifted in and out of senescence.

Like Hindenburg (who appointed an Austrian corporal with a funny mustache as chancellor of Germany), Biden has made some terrible personnel decisions. Who believes Kamala Harris is qualified to be Vice President?

Germany, in the years leading up to World War II, was wracked by political violence from the left and the right. America, too, is plagued by a rising tide of political violence.

Then, there was inflation, which wiped out the German middle class and drove the German mark down to a million marks to the U.S. dollar.

Evil days are ahead of us. The time may come when we will fondly reminisce about the days when mayonnaise only cost $10 a jar.

 


 

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Walking on the Sunny Side of the Street: 53 percent of the nation's infants receive federal food aid

 Is everybody having fun? According to the feds, the economy is booming: millions of new jobs and rising wages.  The defense industry and its stockholders are getting rich from the Ukraine War, and college students are likely to get all their student-loan debt forgiven. Ain't that great!

In Baton Rouge, where I live, thousands of people got Payroll Protection money. Many of these folks are remodeling their houses or shopping for vacation homes. The restaurants are full of people eating fried oysters and sipping tropical drinks. The roads are full of luxury cars. There's never been a better time to be alive!

But maybe not. A lot of Americans are hurting; we just don't see them. The U.S. Department of Agriculture is feeding millions of low-income families. USDA's own website says it provides supplemental nutrition to 53 percent of all the nation's infants. 

In Houston, where housing prices are going through the roof, and people are waiting in line to buy Audis, the Houston Foodbank is feeding 800,000 people a year. That's a lot of people who need supplemental food in an economy of rising wages and a robust job market. 

And how about the millions of retired people who live on fixed incomes? Television ads show senior Americans gamboling on tropical beaches with their grandkids, playing golf with their buddies, or traveling to beautiful and exotic places,

But that is not a reality for most retired Americans who see their savings depleted. The average Social Security check is $1500 a month, but lean ground meat is pushing six bucks a pound. And by the end of the year, we all know, hamburger meat will cost even more. 

In other words, the inflation we are experiencing is not fuckin' transitory.

We now live in two Americas. Some Americans have a secure seat on the gravy train, and all of our congressional and corporate leaders are rich.

But the un-rich are worried about the future. We know that inflation is not under control, and we know it will worsen. More than half of American families don't even have $1,000 set aside for emergencies.

In my view, Americans will continue to believe that the economy is fine for another year or so. The government continues to print billions of dollars of new money every month, and no one worries about the $30 trillion national debt.

But we are all living on the brink of a financial collapse, and most of us know it--at least on a subconscious level.

And when food becomes scarce and increasingly expensive, we will have to face reality and change our ways.

People will have to stop paying dog walkers and walk their own dogs. Maybe pop will cancel his lawn service and start mowing the grass again. Many of us will stop going out to dinner and start looking for Spam recipes.

And God forbid, some of us will have to wean ourselves off craft beer and go back to drinking cheaper brews.  When I buy my first case of Old Milwaukee,  I will know the end is near.




Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Millions of Americans are going to die poor: Something to talk about at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium

 About six months ago, I received a letter from the Social Security Administration informing me that it had miscalculated the amount of my monthly Security check for the past six years. I had been overpaid, the feds said, and it would not send me any more monthly checks until it collected the entire amount the government said I owed.

Meanwhile, a Baton Rouge strip club received a Payroll Protection check for more than a million dollars. And the press reported that more than a thousand Louisiana prisoners received enhanced unemployment checks totaling $6.2 million. 

I will survive the loss of a couple of Social Security checks, but not every elderly pensioner could take the hit.  For me, this incident is just another sign that our government does not care about the elderly.  

The U.S. Department of Education, for example, garnishes the Social Security checks of thousands of elderly student-loan defaulters, driving many of them below the poverty line. Congress could pass a bill to stop this cruel practice, but apparently, it is too busy to address this outrage.

A great many Americans are entering old age with no savings, no pensions, and no assets.  These people will die poor.

And it is going to get worse. Inflation is on the rise, and inflation--it is often observed--is one way the rich rob the poor, including poor people who are elderly.

Jerome Powell and Janet Yellen assure us that the recent uptick in inflation is transitory, but that's bullshit. Our national debt is $29 trillion, and yet the government keeps printing money. The price for just about everything is going up--including food. Five bucks for a loaf of bread?

In one of his plays, Tennessee Williams observed that you can be old or you can be poor, but you can't be both. Unfortunately, that's not true. America is about to see millions of impoverished old people as inflation heats up.  

How much time did the financial fat cats spend talking about poverty at the Jackson Hole Economic Symposium last August?  I would guess not much.  After all, there aren't many poor people in Jackson Hole.

I have a suggestion for next year's economic summit meeting. Instead of holding it in Jackson Hole, book it in Anadarko, Oklahoma--my hometown.  Lot's of poor people there. 

But attendees should book their reservations early. The Budget Inn has only a limited number of rooms, and it would be unseemly for Paul Krugman, Janet Yellen, and Jerome Powell to bunk together.

Anadarko's Miller Theater: A great venue for next year's Economic Symposium






Friday, July 2, 2021

40-year home mortgages, 9-year car notes, and 25-year student-loan programs: This will end badly

Interest rates, as the tv hucksters constantly remind us, are near historic lows. So now is an excellent time to refinance your mortgage--maybe take out some equity to upgrade the bathrooms, take a little vacation, or purchase a home entertainment center.

Or maybe it's time to buy a new vehicle--perhaps a premium class crew-cab pickup, an Audi, or a BMW.  At today's interest rates, the monthly car note won't be that high--especially if you finance your new set of wheels over six, seven, eight, or even nine years!

How about those student loans? You don't make enough money to pay off your college debt under a standard 10-year repayment plan because you have other bills to pay.  But that's no problem. You can sign up for an income-based repayment plan that will stretch out your monthly payments over 25 years.

Twenty-five years is a long time, but maybe the federal government will forgive all that student debt--including yours. After all, what's $2 trillion among friends?

So is everybody happy with their new homes, fancy cars, and impressive college credentials? If so, enjoy the feeling because it won't last much longer.

Inflation is on the move, and who believes it is transitory as our Treasury Secretary tries to reassure us. Wages will probably rise to cover inflation for some employees but not for others. And if you a retired person on a fixed income, inflation will soon erode your standard of living.

That vacation cruise to Greece that you've always dreamed of? Maybe you'll just go to Oklahoma's Boiling Springs State Park this year--a lot cheaper.

Of course, you can't fly to Boiling Spings because airfares are way up, and car rental rates are just short of obscene.  So you will have to drive.  But you should do it soon because gas prices are on the rise. Oil is already back up to $75 a barrel.

So maybe you'll skip a vacation this year and enjoy your backyard--grill a few steaks or hamburgers. But that's becoming more expensive too. A premium steak at the grocery store can cost you $25 a pound.  But hot dogs are cheaper--especially the ones that aren't all beef.

There's nothing the people living in flyover country or modest urban neighborhoods can do about the scary shifts in the national economy.  We will have to tighten our belts, pay off our debts, and cut back on our lifestyles.  

It won't be fun, but we will probably all be OK if we don't do something stupid like refinance our home over 40 years, buy a car on a 9-year note, or borrow $100,000 to go to college.  But most of us are too smart to do something reckless like that.   Right?


You will own it outright in only 9 years!