By Wes Vernon
Recent reports, picked up by a stenographic rip-and-read media, assure us that inflation has been held in check — except for food and energy.
What? Doesn't any newsroom pause long enough to think of the disingenuous insult to one's intelligence contained in the implication that — Hey, nothing to worry about here? Just let the good times roll?
Food requires energy from farm to market. If you notice, some of the food products you buy have downsized as food marketers struggle mightily — and mostly in vain — to keep prices in check so as not to irritate an already restless public. Even little packets of fake sugar — or "sweeteners" — contain less for your morning coffee. Others subtract ingredients. They hope you 1 — won't notice, or 2 — can make do.
They are desperately hoping to hang on to their share of the market as a response to the government's messing around with the Consumer Price Index over the years with its ever-changing definitions of the very word "inflation."
Other inflationary causes
It did not help that last year Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke expanded the money supply ("quantitative easing") — the very same misstep that the Fed imposed in the twenties, and which led to the Great Depression.
Eagerly anticipating the downfall of the West, Vladimir Lenin reportedly said that the surest way to bring down any nation was to debauch its currency.
Picking your pocket
In 1919, John Maynard Keynes wrote, "By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved , an important part of the wealth of their citizens." (Ironic that Keynes would have said that, given that policies followed by his disciples in the ensuing decades have led Human Events to note in a lead editorial this week that "Inflation is the slow-acting toxic residue of Keynesian failure."
Friedrich A. Hayek — whose The Road to Serfdom, written nearly seven decades ago as if it were intended as a commentary on what's going on today — said, "History is largely a history of inflation, usually inflations engineered by governments for the gain of governments."
In his book The Inflation Deception, Craig R. Smith — founder and chairman of Swiss America Trading Corp. — writes, "Inflation is being deliberately created and used to trick us out of 1 — Our earnings, savings, investments and property, 2 — Our opportunities to pursue happiness, 3 — Our independence and self-reliance, 4 — Our security and peace of mind, 5 — Our freedom and our rights, and 6 — Our children's and grandchildren's future in what used to be a much freer America."
All of this is made to order for the administration of Barack Obama, which has shoveled more dollars into the public sector — with Bernanke's cooperation, including purchase of the government's own debt through an increase in the money supply — which in turn reduces the value of the dollar.
The coming showdown?
We have been postponing the day of reckoning for a long time. The proverbial push may come to shove in the following ways:
1 — Through an anti-business administration whose policies are to shove more dollars into stimulus programs (promoted under the lying moniker of "jobs bill") and other public sector failures; and
2 — Scaring the daylights out of investors and other job-creators with threats of higher taxes, which would be an economic drag guaranteed to affect everyone, not just the "top 1 percent."
After the election, Greece writ large?
Right now, the government hopes you won't notice the current slow-motion inflation, apparently hoping to hold back the mad rush of super-inflation until after the 2012 election. If our nation then goes into a super-inflationary spiral, we may be presented with a choice of printing ever more money or facing the possibility of a politically-unpopular austerity program a la Greece.
That is the prospect of post-election 2013. Exactly how it is handled likely depends on who is elected. Either way it won't be pretty.
The showdown has been coming for several generations, harking back to the days when President Roosevelt's trusted advisor Harry Hopkins (later shown to be a Soviet acolyte) coined the formula "Tax, tax, tax; spend, spend, spend; elect, elect, elect." And of course, all this comes with the cooperation of the Federal Reserve Board, which has been picking your and my pockets. That racket accommodates the non-stop expansion of government, the better to buy your votes for its power.
There is, or course, a word for that: stealing. But there is no cop on the beat.
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