Sunday, May 31, 2015

Melted Quarter Minimum Wage

Economists have figured out who’s really to blame for exploding income inequality - The Washington Post:

"Income Inequality" is nearly as big a problem today as gay "marriage" -- which ought to be enough to tell even someone of minimal intellect and attention span that conditions are either extremely good, or we have totally lost touch with reality.

Definitely both. For thousands of years and for billions of people even today, food, shelter, BASIC medical care, uncontaminated water, safety from violent attack, etc are the consuming interests. Such could easily be the case in the US in a very short period due to many causes -- power grid failure, computer networks failure, famine, epidemic, major volcanic eruption, etc ....

"Wealth" and "income inequality" make assumptions about real value -- what it costs in some human measure to buy the basics of life. The stuff we REALLY need. One meme going around a bit lately is the relationship of 1965 minimum wage in 1965 silver quarters and our minimum wage today. The minimum wage was $1.25 then, and if you take 5 pre-65 silver quarters at a melt value of $3.03 each even given the fairly low current silver prices, the value of that wage in silver today would be $15.15 ... isn't it funny that $15 per hour is an  quoted number! Maybe our problem is with the MONEY???

One of the earliest silver coins minted was a "denarius" which was considered the DAILY wage for an unskilled worker and with which they could purchase about "20 loaves of bread". Given no working women, no birth control / larger families, and the fact that "man does not live by bread alone", one can see that living on the "minimum wage" in 260 BC or so was likely a challenge.

A day of human labor and things like loaves of bread are something that we can look at in order to get some handle on VALUE vs "money".  The greatest economic leverage for humans to provided by what Ricardo called "comparative advantage" which allows specialization, the ability for each to produce what they are optimally most able to, as individuals, locales and countries. Iowa does good at corn, Maine at lobsters for obvious reasons, and DC excels at "red tape";-)    In order to specialize, we MUST have a "medium of exchange" which is as efficient as possible.

BUT, "as possible" includes a reasonable expectation of "stable VALUE"! "Money" is NOT VALUE!

Which brings us back to "commodity money" of which gold and silver are only the most widely recognized. Historically, no government as been able to resist running up debts and "paying them off" by debasing the currency.

This is easy to understand -- inflate US currency to where the hourly wage is $18T and somebody can donate one hours worth of work to pay off the US debt!! No doubt a loaf of bread would cost in the the trillions, but hey, we would all be trillionaires!

If you read through the linked article to come to the sad realization that the folks at WaPO have come to a barely rudimentary understanding of comparative advantage and the value of specialization -- in a world with fiat currency, lots of technology and a government willing to allow financial industries to leverage themselves at an obscene level **AND* cover their losses when the leverage fails!!!!!, the big money is in FINANCE, and everyone that is good at it makes out like a bandit!

This is as hard to understand as the supposed response by bank robber Willie Sutton when asked why he robbed banks -- "because that's where the money is"!!!! We ALL have a basic intrinsic understanding of  both value and comparative advantage -- a decent educational system would just put it into terms so that the average 5th grader would be smarter about this than the current WaPo reporters are.

That also explains why the fastest growing wealth area in the US is Washington DC ... THATS WHERE THE MONEY IS!!! Note ... it is NO LONGER WALL STREET, even though that is what the Ds and the MSM would like you believe! I've long believed that the separation of the financial center in NY and the government center in DC was an absolutely brilliant accident that allows those of us who want to pay some attention to see what is REALLY going on with a lot more ease.

I'd like to bring this to a simple and clear point -- but I can't come up with one quite as simple as I like, so I'll list a few:
  • When our economy is working, it GROWS, so people can get richer but not take anything away from others (all boats rise). HOWEVER, due to the inverse magic of BO policies, our economy is essentially ZERO GROWTH, and in the first quarter of the last two years it SHRANK. This is very bad news. Washington is getting richer and the rest of us are getting poorer!
  • Fiat currency and poor education on basic economic principles leave 80%+ of Americans in a state where they don't understand value, growth, comparative advantage nor much of anything about our economy. This leaves them completely at the mercy of "The Party" (D), it's media like the WaPo, and charlatans like BO and Hillary to lie to them on a daily basis.  
  • As the problems with economic mismanagement grow -- as they did under FDR, Carter and BO, one of the big mechanisms used is overt cooking the books to "hide the decline" as I covered here
  • Misleading the public, hiding real results, inflating the currency, encouraging dependence on government and having an education that fails to teach basic economics are all ways to increase government power so that the left can take total control -- in fact, so that most people will CLAMOR for them to take more control! 
How long before this house of cards comes down? If I knew I'd make A LOT of money -- as it is, I hope that I have moved enough assets into areas that will allow me to survive better than 80-90% of Americans, **BUT** that will likely depend a lot on how strongly and how deeply CONFISCATION hits at crunch time. On that front, writing this blog is a foolish thing to do -- but there is a bit of the Biblical "If I told them to be silent the very stones would cry out" problem.

We are all idiots in more than one way, this is just one of mine!

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