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In reading this past week about the anniversary of the disaster of the Titanic, I couldn't help but take note of the losses suffered the century since the disaster – losses to the American citizen.
A pearl necklace lost by a passenger on the Titanic was valued at $750,000. To make clear the significance of that value, 100 years ago, the report explained, that that would be the equivalent of $16.7 million, today. And, therein is the other tragedy.
Those numbers mean that the value of the dollar of 1912 has fallen to less than five cents, today.
That value belonged to the American citizens. We are looking at a gargantuan "transfer of wealth." The loss is even more staggering when you consider that this is a payout from the citizens, in addition to the ever increasing level of taxes that were also paid during that century.
But, the loss is worse than the taxes, in that the value was silently and secretly stolen by the government and the handlers of our paper currency. At least the tax rates get discussed, debated and voted upon, and there is awareness among taxpayers. The rate of inflation is quietly determined in the lavish and opulent rooms of a handful of extremely wealthy, un-elected people, who are almost wholly unknown to the average citizen — the average citizen, who has just as little understanding about what is really happening to them, when the power brokers decide how much paper currency they are going to print.
The theft that occurs at that point is very much the same as what happens when any common counterfeiter attempts to print bogus money in their basement – except what our leaders do, is legal.
Inflation is sometimes called the cruelest of taxes because it is imposed, just as certainly upon the poor, elderly and those on fixed incomes, as it is on producers or wage earners – except for those who are well-connected and "in the know" – those who have the knowledge and capability to position themselves to capture the confiscated value of our currency.
Cloaked as it is by the appearance of being something of a higher calling — of being something other than blatant counterfeiting – most people believe that discussions of inflation are about something legitimate, of something unavoidable, and hence there is almost none of the outrage that people should, and would, express were they to fully comprehend the heinous injustice being perpetrated against them.
There would certainly be far greater indignation than there is with the strategy, currently in play, to attempt to solve our debt problems by inflating the money supply, even more so. While there is an awareness of rising prices, and many warnings that the prices will increase even more, citizens do not, by in large, understand that this is a doubling down on the unemployed, tax burdened and debt encumbered average citizen, by the government, surreptitiously, gutting what remains of the value of the currency in their pocket.
In the attempt to pay off the country's creditors, our leaders have no problem with printing up more paper money and passing it off as a pretext of honest exchange of value for value. While at the same time, the politicians have folks focused upon debates about whether the rich are being taxed enough — a hugely successful slight-of-hand, to fool the average consumer-taxpayer-voter into believing that our leaders are really concerned about our plight.
When one considers the rate at which the value of the American dollar has hemorrhaged, over a century, it makes the producing capability of capitalism all the more amazing. Just imagine the standard of living of every citizen in this country had they and their families been allowed to retain the value of all that they had earned!!!
While I am not nearly as astute about monetary policies and issues, as I am sure many others are – I am smart enough to know when I'm being short changed. I have no doubt, that there are clever ways to discuss it, and to frame what's happening, to make it more palatable, as well as, I have no doubt, there are astounding "opportunities" for those who do understand, but I understand enough to know that in the end, I and most other people lose.
So, even with my lack astuteness, I have to believe, that there is more than a passing connection to the fact that the value of the American dollar, over the past century, has diminished almost 100 percent, with the fact that we are currently facing an impending collapse of our monetary system. Or is it really just a coincidence?
The Big Sky Business Journal
P.O. Box 3262
Billings, MT 59103