A friend of mine this week posted something in one of my many (I really need to weed and concentrate on paying writing) chat channels. It was “As Sarah has warned us we’re all becoming poorer.”

I confess that as with most things that go “As Sarah said” I don’t remember giving that warning.

And you know and I know that the economists have pointed out in the end inflation is a theft from the middle class, but it’s hard to explain the mechanism. I mean, no one is coming to my house and taking away things that are now more expensive, right?

Ah, but in a way they are. Worse, they’re taking away things from the nation, that we’re used to and have always had.

Before I get to what occasioned my friend’s comment, let me explain how rich America was (and still is in many ways.)

When I came here I had no illusions about everyone being millionaires or the streets being paved with gold, thought that is still the belief of many foreigners. I’d been an exchange student here at the end of Jimmah’s misrule, and I knew how tough it was for my middle-class host parents. (I don’t think we went out to eat the entire time. Not even for fast food. As an example. Mom and dad were house rich and cash poor.)

However, I knew it was a country of strange and unstinting abundance.

What do I mean? Well… Your cheaper hotels were at the same level as the most expensive ones in Portugal for comfort and prompt service.

You had all you can eat buffets. All you can eat! whoever heard of that? Your thrift shops overflowed, not with the tattered and torn, but with last year’s fashions, last year’s electronics. Your public areas, and even your grocery stores had bathrooms and water fountains. Everything was large, easy, comfortable.

In that sense America didn’t disappoint me. It largely still doesn’t, not compared to most places. The free market makes you be kind to customers and attract them to your area, while in socialism everyone who comes to your store is another drain. (Same as health care.)

When Dan and I got pneumonia in Portugal in 88, even though because of family and connections we got the best health care available, my SIL — an MD — advised us to more our return forward, so we could maybe survive the pneumonia (yes, it was that bad.) So we flew back to Charlotte NC and — because we had no insurance — we went to a doc in a box. Who prescribed anti-biotics that saw us right within another week. This was literally unobtanium in Portugal at the time. We could get it, but it would take a month and by then….

Abundance. Our poor live better than the middle-class in Europe not just because our houses are better built and have heating and cooling and there are a million food-assistance programs (when the kids were teens under Obama we signed up for a non-means-testing one via the church which allowed us to buy all our groceries for $80 a month, save for cleaners and cat stuff. We were thanked for signing up, because the more people in it, the cheaper they could make the bulk-purchased food. (We dropped out of that ONLY because we had to go low carb for health reasons. A lot of the food was pre-prepared and super convenient, but carb-laden.)

At our poorest, we would get A hotel room for the weekend in Denver, and take a vacation with the kids, in comfort for about $500 total in today’s dollars. (When it started, it was around $200 on the budget.)

You see, embassy suites, which catered to business travelers, had super-cheap prices on the weekend. At least some weekends, and I checked the next weekend pretty much every week. And it had two rooms. The kids could sleep on the sofa, so it wasn’t crowded. And they had FREE BREAKFAST. Who’s heard of that? With real cooked-to-order stuff, not just some rolls and butter? Abroad? very few people. And those well off.

So we would take the kids down for breakfast at ten (look we had no television at home, so they loved the morning cartoons.) and then hit the town. Pre-paid memberships to museums and zoo. Free tours of mines and factories. About the most expensive thing we did was the amusement park, which was $5 entry and $11 for all rides. (Doubled by the time we stopped going, seven years ago, but still.) Dan and I didn’t even get the full rides. We got maybe $5 extra between us, but the kids got ALL the rides. Sure, it was the off-brand park, with the older rides and where most people spoke Spanish. So? It was fun. Abundance.

So, how is all that imperiled by inflation?

I’m glad you asked!

We get back to what my friend reported: she recently traveled and the hotel rooms were…. slightly less clean. There were obvious repairs in the shower. The staff was fewer people, and less attentive.

I’ve been experiencing this too. Places are getting dingier. Linens will look worn. Furniture slightly battered.

I also experienced buying a house in “flyover country” and were shocked. The one we bought still needs repair and we’re getting to it a little at a time, but–

We looked in smaller and more remote places. You know, those that were hit by the Chinification. Factories closed. People were left unemployed. People moved away. And the people left behind had no money for house maintenance, let alone improvement. I am cursed with being the granddaughter of carpenters.

Granite counters and nice walkin showers are good to have, and yes, we plan to put them here in a few years, but those won’t be needed to buy a house.

It’s more that the bad roofs, the flooded basements “oh, it’s nothing. It’s dry most of the time”, the basement ceiling held up with an old board that’s half bent…..

The prices were great. Some places were beautiful. I loved the small towns. But I’d have to build the house back form ground up, and I’m too old for that.

That it was universal means those people weren’t slobs or neglecting issues on purpose. They were TIGHT. When you’re tight you do the barely necessary.

Right now, businesses are tight. So, you hire fewer servers, you hire cheaper personnel. You don’t clean hotel rooms every day, and your personnel is on a schedule that means cleaning standards would horrify them even three years ago.

And at home? Well. You don’t eat as well. You don’t repair things that need it on time, and therefore end up needing bigger repairs later. You drive the car into the ground. (To be fair, we always did. Buy used and drive for ten to twenty years.) You don’t buy that zoo membership, and anyway, the zoo is looking unkempt, and why don’t they have as many animals? You go out less partly because you don’t have the money, partly because your favorite place went out and it’s not as much fun anymore.

You don’t replace clothes as often. You don’t replace tech as often. The thrift stores get far worse stuff.

We all get poorer.

Inflation and energy are a noose continuously tightening around everyone’s neck.

And the dastards in power will tell you it’s the companies getting stingier, the oil merchants making “bigger profits” (even for them transport costs more, but it’s also taking some money now because they know it’s going to crash.)

It’s not true. By printing money the government has their hand in your pocket. In everyone’s pocket. Everyone gets poorer. Except the very rich who are never touched by this.

Tell that to everyone you can reach. Immiseration is nasty and subtle. And these thieves need to be necklaced with it.

256 thoughts on “Immiseration

  1. Everything costs more, so people buy less. Stores empty of customers can’t afford to replenish their stocks, so the few surviving customers can’t get what they want. Reduced demand rattles through the supply web, factories slow down, workers are laid off and can’t afford to buy anything…

    And the Democrats complain about ‘poor messaging’ — as if making people believe their lies would solve all the problems they’ve caused. Or that their overpriced Climate Vanity Projects will save us all.
    Rory Mercury: “Are you a goddamn IDIOT?!

    1. But…but…if you vote the “wrong” way, you’re voting for FACISTS(tm)!!11!
      Or so I’m told by some of the best and brightest, most of whom seem to be limousine liberals or virtue-seeking socialists.

      1. Strange, isn’t it? The only GOP members that resemble fascists that I can see, are the RINOs. Has Mitt Robme ever seen a regulation he didn’t like?

        1. Pierre thinks he’s much, much better than the rest of us.
          And the answer to your statement is, of course, “nope.”

      2. I saw some left-wing media hack claiming we’re like 1930’s Germany — because of Republicans! One line in particular made me choke:

        “They want to co-opt the news media!”

        Like the Democrats haven’t already done that. Every evil they accuse the ‘Ultra MAGA Republicans’ of planning, they have already done!
        If you would have peace, you must be eternally ready for war.

        1. It’s worse than that.

          That was House Majority Whip James Clyburn. You know, only the third-most-powerful member of the House of Representatives.

              1. And people wonder why it is expected that Democrats are going to commit election fraud on a massive scale. People whose party’s leadership declares that the opposition winning an election is the equivalent of the Nazis taking power in 1930s Germany will do ANYTHING to ensure that their opponents do not take office.

                I expect a lot of ugliness from Democrats tomorrow and the days afterwards from Democrats seeking to retain power “by any means necessary”.

                  1. Remember, the eclipse is this coming morning, so people getting up early for work will be greeted by a blood moon. (Totality will start around 4:15 for Central Time, if I have it figured right).

                  2. Yep…my strong sense is that this baby is coming down, particularly if this election is stolen again…The best we can do is to stay away from the action..

                    1. He stared at the huge horned monster. Then the side of his mouth twitched. It twitched a second time. He coughed. And then shuddered. His eyes grew round, and then closed tightly. He shuddered again, and a snigger started. He clapped a taloned hand across his mouth. A chuckled escaped in spite of his efforts. At which point he lost all control and fell to the floor as great peals of laughter roared from his lungs.

                1. ABC News is reassuring (?) folks that there may be a “red mirage,” but as mail-in and absentee ballots are counted it will fade away.
                  How reassuring. Not.

    2. The Democrats’ messaging is EXCELLENT. We hear them fine, and understand what they’re putting about. Dun’t matter. We want none of it.

          1. Every friggin’ time. They have a real problem with understanding that people can disagree with them, because of course everything is self-evident and they are the smart guys, the good guys. It’s the same thing as that pernicious idea that if we all just talked to each other, there’d be no more war. That one drives me bugnuts.

    3. Socialism creates inflation and shortage and do so in a way that creates a feedback loop that makes both worse and worse. The poster child for the results of the Democratic Party’s ideology and policies is Chavez/Maduro Venezuela. Eventually the zoos are plundered by people for their next meal because that is all that is left.

  2. The bastages seem to be doing their unlevel best to ruin The Age of Miracles. Every Age is an Age of Miracles, compared to the Age before. Live a day 100 years ago and you might be able to get away with it. Now 200? Well, survive, but NOT in comfort. 300? And when you start getting into Remote History… when even the shadows of the ideas of the things you take from granted are beyond fantasy?

    I will raise a glass to the next Age of Miracles, and to HELL with those trying to thwart it!

    1. Nah. There was the global year without a summer, the Black death, fall of Rome, and don’t me started on that pissant Mao.

      Do not get me wrong. Western science (was*) a woman’s best friend.

      But “progress” is a bloody lie. Human inventiveness, set free and graced by Christendom is the miracle.


  3. “The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.” — Vladimir Lenin

    1. Yeah, but that’s not what he did. He used camps and guns. Which is why it worked. Otherwise he’d have had a revolt on his hands. Our idiots might fix the election, but the days of their rule are ticking away. And they know it.

  4. Inflation steals from everyone because we always have to buy more things – even if it’s only food. I’m no economist, but even I understand that governments printing money is the major cause of inflation, everywhere, everywhen. So Trump’s administration got the ball rolling with a $2 trillion “Covid relief package”, and then Biden’s administration doubled down with $4 trillion or more in additional “relief”. And with Democrats running the House (where spending bills must start) for all of it, all sorts of junk got stuffed into those bills that had nothing at all to do with relief.

    As for businesses, yeah, who knew that shutting down a national economy for a year or so would hurt business? Although I remember from travelling a decade ago that hotels even then were trying to reduce the frequency of room cleanings in the name of ecology. Even though, I’m sure, it was driven more by trying to reduce labor costs than by a sense of ecological altruism.

    1. Ne’er would have needed a COVID relief package if the T Admin hadn’t been bamboozled into it by the Dems and their Fauci running dog closing everything.

      1. the drawback of a slight germaphobe as President. He’s gonna listen to “experts” for a while before it sinks in they might not be right nor have his best interests in mind

        1. Three years in? No excuse for not double-checking. We do better in Flight Test.

          Maybe I should run…..

          1. This world runs at the edge of incompetency, even with the best we have to choose from. It grinds into a sordid mess with some of the worst.

      1. I remember when it broke a dollar and the pumps couldn’t handle it. They set it at half price and explained you would pay double

        1. Too young to remember $0.11/gallon. Even hubby is (he remembers $0.25) and fuel price wars. Mom will remember $0.11/gallon (she’s 88). I do remember the metric rise to > $1/gallon, gas shortages, short gas station hours, and gas lines.

          1. The Reader remembers paying 30 cents / gallon when he was cutting the neighbors lawns for cash in the mid / late 60s.

            1. I didn’t start paying until 1975. OTOH, late 1972 into 1974, I was taking neighbors, and parents, cars down to wait in line when gas stations were open. Former paid me to do so. Latter the pay was “maybe privilege” to drive the car (other than to go get gas and take little sister to early hour, before school, swim team practice).

          2. Kerosene (same family as diesel & heating oil, roughly) was $4.70/gallon at the pump here a few months back. I looked a couple days ago and it’s $5.96/gallon now. This is untaxed, btw.

        2. I remember hitting a dollar, and I remember sitting in a car in a gas line in Houston (!) in the late 1970s and my grandfather and others fulminating about Texas (!) having gas shortages, thanks to the d-mnyankees.

      2. Petrol was 25 cents a gallon when I first got my drivers license around… 1975 or so.

        1. That was ‘drop station’* pricing near my house, about the same time.

          A ‘drop station’ is an independent that accepts partial tanker loads from drivers who could not deliver all their product to the contracted client for whatever reason, and needed to empty the tank. One got mixed refiners of the same approximate grade of gas at such stations.

          I was remembering ‘tight’. Dad was a US military officer in the late 60s and after; he and mom bought an inexpensive small upright piano so my sister could take lessons. I recall them worried about making that payment. After they passed, I went through their papers, as one must. (Side note – if you like or love the people who will take over after you, f’r heaven’s sake go through your own 20-30 year old papers!)

          Their cause for worry was $14/month. (Roughly $118/month in 2022 if the inflation calculator I used is right.)

          1. My husband won’t throw away anything. EVER. We have ice cream receipts from when we got married. I can’t get him to thin the accumulation. If I go first, good luck to the kids.
            I’m keeping him from living in a house filled floor to ceiling with papers. Both his late brother and his father did that to houses they lived in on their own, so it’s genetic.

            1. First thing I did when I retired was go through taxes. Kept the last 7 years. That was 2016. So kept 2008 – 2015. Getting rid of 30 years of physical tax filings and supporting paper. We had files back to 1978. Technically still have the filings from when we started using TurboTax, but they are electronic. Now? I purge every couple of years. We are 100% standard deduction, and have been for a few years now. We got rid of all the paper checks, except those that were needed for taxes, a long time ago.

              I am trying to get mom to go through all her stuff. So I don’t have to.

              1. My dad not only had check registers from 20 years ago, he had things like oil & gas lease prospectuses from 1972, that he had created and then failed to sell anyone on. It took me three weeks to clean out his apartment, and a third of that was paper.

                1. My maternal grandparents were the same. And. We had to go through Every Single Piece, Folder, Envelopes, etc. Didn’t find 10 of thousands in cash like my inlaws when they cleaned out her father’s home after his wife died (moved him in with them). I understand they had rolls of cash stashed everywhere. But cash money was found. As well as not cashed gift personal checks (mostly from family).

            2. I have to confess I have a similar issue — and this, despite trying to thing things every so often — and I’m pretty sure I got it from my grandma.

              Yet another bit of evidence that I might be a clone of Dan ….

            3. Scan it all. Electrons don’t weigh nearly as much as paper, and disk space is very cheap.

            4. Grandma on mom’s side was this. Had lived through a house fire during the Great Depression. Would not throw anything out. Growing up, Grandpa would have me sneak out feed sacks full of old receipts and magazines to the burn barrel. Mom and aunt still spent two years of evenings and weekends cleaning out the newspapers a foot deep upstairs.
              We would find cash, matured bonds, titles, deeds, and all kinds of important or sentimental things in the middle of the 1972 run of the local paper, so didn’t want to bulk purge. I got a quick lesson in history 1960-1990 from headlines as I threw them out.

              1. find cash, matured bonds, titles, deeds, and all kinds of important or sentimental things

                Even with someone well organized don’t just bulk toss stored paper. Not a good idea. No matter how tempting.

                We didn’t find a lot of critical financial items with my grandparents but we did find some sentimental and historical items (not worth anything, but found some). Grandpa’s WWII minimal wallet for the war deployment (he was recalled to work on mine equipment, so didn’t deploy). The WWII ration books and stamps for the 4 of them (two adults, two children, the third child was born 1950). Some 1950’s cub scout items, including the cub Lion patch.

                Now … my inlaws found matured bonds, and money, stashed all over the house in grandfather inlaws home. Lived through depression and both WW’s; born 1880’s (1885, I think). Did the inlaws check to see if any of the bills or coins found were worth more than the face value? Not that they said … Entirely possible.

          1. Heck $40 of groceries is not $120+.

            Joke used to be “can’t go to Costco and get out for < $100”. Now I can’t go to Fred Meyers (Krogers) and get out for < $100.

          2. I recall the “last hurrah” or at least feeble death of. the “Five and Dime” and now there are (for now!) Dollar Stores. How long before we see X-Sawbucks-X?

        1. With my 25 cent allowance I could either get a 25-cent 80-Page Giant comic book or two twelve-cent comics and an atomic fireball. I would stand there in the drug store for half an hour pondering this difficult choice…

        2. 1970ish Milk 6c for 600ml A pint? I guess we went metric a long time ago.

          But its not like inflation is a new problem.

          Ok the gov withdraws a certain amount of currency a year from damage etc.
          Thats ok to replace.

          There is a theoretical amount of currency destroyed/lost each year, ie blown away in the wind. buried in a trunk etc.
          If they did not replace is it theoretically in the long term it would make cash tight.

          The economy grows and adding a bit of currency, its just a tax on money they did not earn.

          Every dollar they print is another dollar they can spend. Wheeee…… but that is a invisible tax. if the government is 50% of the economy and they print twice as much as they make then the 50% of the economy that is not the gov is now 25%. Ok its not exactly how it works but its close enough for government work.

          So generally between B and C is OK. But D lets them spend more money. we want 100k more bureaucrats to hold people hand when they feel poor? Ok we can just print more money.

          Nobody will notice this year they are just a little poorer… and by the time they do the other guys will be in power.

          1. we want 100k more bureaucrats to hold people hand when they feel poor?

            We want 80K more gun-toting revenooers to put the scrws to the middle class? FIFY

      3. I remember one gas war in the early ’60s in Ft. Lauderdale, when it got down to minus 5 cents/gallon. Yep, you got 1 20-gallon fillup and got a buck from the station. I guess they made it up in volume… 🙂

  5. The positive thing about the USA if tomorrow we can improve things because we are so blessed with natural resources and the space to acquire them.

    Release the oil and gas releases. Approve the pipelines. Open up ANWR. Tomorrow we can create energy and lower all of these costs and recover. Then we can hit new resource allocation. Wipe away logging restrictions. Release the West from the tyrants in the fed gov so they can mine precious metals, elements for hi tech, etc. Sell off the federal land to the states and to private entities. Tomorrow that can happen.
    And then there will be jobs and careers and investment and the inflation won’t be so terrible because wages will rise.

    Europe doesn’t have the space, but we do.

    It just takes will.

    1. I don’t even think you have to sell the federal lands to private entities – just return them to the control of the states and let the states exploit them as they will.

    2. The last two Democrat presidents both took chunks of Utah as they left office. FICUS will probably do the same.

  6. The thing about the refineries is, building and repairing them takes massive investment. If they can be shut down at any time by fiat, then that becomes a bad investment; you just run them until they fail, and sell them for scrap.

    After the shutdown Keystone by unlawful fiat, no oil company in the US is going to expose themselves to any additional risk of shutdown by fiat. They’re taking the money the can from the facilities they have, and probably going to exit once all the US refineries finally fail out. It would be irresponsible.

    And its not going to change with the next administration either, unless the next administration compensates the Keystone pipeline owners for their sum total loss, and there is some penalty for the unlawful taking to ensure the next administration won’t simply do exactly the same thing again.

    I don’t see that happening, so I don’t see the fuel crunch getting fixed any time soon. Probably even in my lifetime.

    1. America has a yuge advantage where refineries are concerned however: we have massive fracking based reserves and can spin those up in the blink of an eye. The crude that comes out of those is almost trivial to refine: any two-bit company can do it without the billions of dollars in equipment.

      All the big refineries were designed to handle the heavy glop coming from the rest of the world. In fact a lot of our refining was importing terrible crude, refining it, then exporting the finished products because we were the only ones who could do that.

      (also right about now you should be having insights as to why the large oil companies had no problems with the anti-fraking boot)

        1. Sarah, I’m afraid yesterday was much too late for California and the Northeast. It would help the rest of us though if we could get it going now.

          1. California doesn’t have harsh winters, so we won’t freeze to death while new nuclear power plants are being built. On the other hand, barring the red waves suddenly sweeping the Dems out of power here (and I’ve yet to hear anything to suggest that legislators in California are feeling threatened right now), nothing will change for the time being.

        2. If you want proof that the so-called “zero carbon” agenda has nothing to do with climate, keep in mind that nuclear power is CO2 emissions free and yet is opposed by the very leftists who insist on ending use of fossil fuels immediately. When presented with the fact that nuclear energy is CO2 emission free, they acknowledge that fact but then say it is not acceptable as a source of energy because “it does not promote social justice”.

          Thus, their agenda in reality is to create permanent shortages of energy that they can use as a pretext for rationing energy, which rationing will of course be based on identity group membership; i,e, racial/identity group communism.

          This is why that even those who accept the premise of man-made global warming but disagree with the left’s solutions and propose adaptation and use of energy like nuclear power are vilified by the left; because the environment and climate are utterly irrelevant to the leftists except as a cudgel to try to impose communism. The last thing they want are polices that don’t impose totalitarian socialism.

          1. Not only is hydroelectric power non-polluting, the dams, turbines and generators are already in place and the water is free, so it’s one of the cheapest energy sources we have. The only significant expense is maintenance.

            Naturally, they’re hell-bent on eliminating hydroelectric power ‘To Save The Fishies’ or some such horseshit. Never mind that the reservoirs support far larger and more diverse ecosystems than the seasonally flooding rivers ever did. If not for the dams in the Colorado River watershed the current drought would have much worse effects than we’re seeing now.
            The world is full of self-important, self-righteous, obsessed assholes, tormented by the conviction that Somebody, Somewhere is Doing Something they don’t approve of, and driven by a compulsion to Do Something About It at any cost.

            1. Most power generating/large dames also have byways to that fish that need to move up and down the waterway, for instance for salmon that spawn, can do so. This inconvenient fact is of course omitted by the left.

              1. “But our 100% photographically accurate tribal folk memory is that the rivers used to run with so many salmon you could walk across on their backs, and now it’s only more than we can possibly eat, so it’s all the white man’s fault! Blow up the dams!” — every Pacific Northwest Indian tribe, whether they were actually salmon fishers or not

                1. While the state is literally clubbing to death the salmon that are born of eggs and roe harvested from wild salmon, raised to fingerling size, and put out in rivers, when they return.

                  1. Well, technically they die anyway. Fish hatcheries do this as more humane than letting them starve to death, and our local one (after harvesting the eggs and milt) sends the carcasses off to be processed into food, animal feed, and fertilizer.

                    1. The difference is they die after spawning, and the argument is explicitly to prevent the inferior genetics from being passed on.

                      You know, the inferior genetics that came straight from wild stock. And survived to come back from the ocean.

                      And that they don’t want to let people actually harvest for use, although after some outrage they did start harvesting some to feed the state prisons….

                    2. The “problem” is that they worked– when they weren’t killing off the hatchery fish, the spawns were increasing.

                      There wasn’t a reason to severely limit the salmon take. They could have allowed basically open season on the salmon.

                      …which meant the dams didn’t kill off the salmon runs, which messed up various tribal power plays, and ruined the idea that the hydro-electric dams needed to go.

                    3. Yep.

                      Mom and dad got paid to give up their commercial salmon license, mid-’90s. They then stripped the Salty Dog of commercial gear (which, oh joy, I get to dispose of, eventually, 25+ years and counting). The boat was sold as a non-commercial boat (whomever purchased it could turn the boat back into a commercial option … don’t know if they did or not).

                    4. But that is the salmon’s cycle of life. They come in lay eggs and sperm, and die. While dying, the provide nutrients to grow what their hatching fingerlings need, and their carcasses provide food for Eagles, Hawks, Bears, and other top predators, who also get a number of the migratory fish before they have a chance to spawn.

                      Regarding the pet food industry … Our cats get fish. The dog does not. I know the processed pet food is “safe”. Heck our childhood beagle ate cooked trout when he went on family backpack trips, because everyone ate trout or didn’t eat (foil, seasoning, and fishing poles, was the only food related items packed in) But having had a dog have salmon poisoning … Nope, not a chance is any dog I have getting any pet food with fish in it, let alone salmon.

        3. My one concern on this is who will run it. My dad was an OG nuke. He helped write the training programs for future nukes (If you got your start in Winterpark, FL, Dad says “hi”) I know how cis-het-white-islamo-phobe-anti-semetic++ungood (results-based) those programs were. Can USAians still do this?

          (please say yes)

        4. Absolutely. And with the newer, safer designs. We really need an integrated nuclear reactor system where we have a few raw breeders that feed safer thorium reactors as well as variants that reduce radioactive wastes.

  7. I’ve explained inflation this way to a few family members. You buy a ‘reproduction,’, usually a high quality digital print, of a famous artists work. (there is only one original, of course, in oil). The famous artist only makes a hundred of them and they are all signed, in ink, by him. Only a hundred… in a country of 350 million people. Let’s say, when you buy one, they are valued at $2,000 dollars, which is what you paid for it. They are sure to go up as the years go by. But then… something happens. The artist suffers some horrible financial catastrophe, like a divorce. He’s just about broke. So he cranks up the press and starts printing hundreds of that work of art, thousands. It seems that now everybody has one. They’re selling them at Wallmart and the vendors on the street are selling them too… for three dollars. They were once worth their weight in gold. Now they’re not worth the cardboard they’re printed on. That’s inflation. That’s our dollars. Once valued, backed up by gold, now backed up by the hollow promises of the China-whores running the country.

  8. I give you the Canadian Federal Minister of Finance:

    Yep, that’s not a deepfake. She really did say she’s fighting inflation at home by cancelling her Disney + account. The kids are getting older, you see.

    Again, that is the Canadian Minister of -Finance-. Okay? (Is it just me or is she suuuuper creepy?)

    In other news, Disney (who just finished spending ~$3 billion in Canada for tv/movie production, opened a brand-new animation studio in Vancouver and didn’t even get Canadian Content approval from the feds) was not amused. Like, at all.

    One might be forgiven for thinking all this economic wreckage is deliberate, and not just abject, horrifying stupidity. Very strong Dolores Umbridge vibe detected.

            1. You need to monetize it. I’d love a T-shirt with an unsurprised woman and “this is my shocked face”.

                1. Prioritys. The Reader would much rather you feed his habit and wait for cool tee shirts.

            2. Has biotechnology progressed to the point that we can clone Sarah’s Shocked Face yet? 😮

              We’d need some serious mass production, though. Would 400 cloning chambers do for a start? 😀

              1. Oh geeze. Replicate the scene from ST:TOS “I, Mudd”
                Imagine Dan coming home.
                Out comes Sarah and greets him.
                Then another Sarah comes out and greets him.
                Then a third, fourth, and fifth copy of Sarah comes out.

            3. Could be a money maker.
              We have several Trump heads, with the eyes glazed over so you can still see, but you get this great huge face dancing around the room, it’s hilarious.
              Shocked Face Head. I say yes.

                1. How horrifying! That old 🤮 nasty.

                  Our big Trump head is a little creepy because of the eyes. If you just prop him up in front of a light source he’s positively demonic. Which was super fun because he lives in Edmonds, WA, the heart of communist darkness. My brother in law wore the head to grocery shop one day, took the neighborhood a week to recover.

            4. They could use my face of Cold Judgement Being Rendered. Of course, you have to have a very hard-nosed view of the world to use it…

      1. The Shiny Pony is clearly just a pretty boy playing a role he was given. He reads the script and doesn’t care about anything else. This is the role he was literally born to play, and he’s preening for the cameras as hard as he can. “Look at meeeee!!!!!”

        Little Freakland though, she -likes- crashing the economy. She wants to crash it. Watch her some time when she’s listening to the Pony deliver some smarmy speech. She can’t stand still! She’s -twitching- with excitement at the carnage they’re creating.

        These are the people who invoked the war-measures act, froze bank accounts and trampled old ladies with horses because they wanted to, then blamed it on “Diagolon.” That’s the behavior of arrogant aristos who think themselves beyond reach. You can see the glee in her as she says “let them eat cake!” and gets away with it.

        1. Speaking of arrogant aristos, see this Malcolm Kyeyune editorial about how the laid-off Twitter (and other tech company) employees are the equivalent of the impecunious French nobility in the late 18th century:

          One of the biggest and least-talked-about social questions in the West is how to economically provide for our own modern version of France’s impecunious nobles: that is, how to prop up high-status people who can’t really do much economically productive work.

          Boo hoo. Learn to code weld.

          1. Or … Boo hoo. Learn to code weld code something people actually will buy. FIFY

            A lot harder than what they are doing. Most these code fluffy bunnies wouldn’t last 6 months at any one of the last 3 jobs I had (they’d quit). Coding teams? What are those, never had one. Didn’t know how to do something? Figure it out or sink.

            Note, no matter who owns these, Twitter, Facebook, and even Mewe, are worth exactly what I am willing to pay for them (and I have blocking on x 3) … $0.

            1. Most of these people aren’t coders in the first place. CS would have been too hard, so they got Communications or Victim Studies degrees and work in HR or Outreach or Climate Change Awareness or something.

              Makework sinecures for useless drones, in other words.

              1. CS would have been too hard

                True. They’d have to actually take, gasp, Math … I wasn’t lacking in math, statistics, linear math, including calculating net future and present values, from when I got my forestry degree. I had to take MORE math when I went for the CS degree.

    1. Most politicians these days are super-creepy. It’s something about their soulless lack of human warmth and sincerity.

      1. Climate Barbie is at COP27 today, talking about “red lines on greenwashing” and shutting down the Canadian oilfields. Supposedly the Liberals are going to make Canada ‘net zero’ by 2030.

        Guess I’ll be putting in a -big- woodpile.

        1. I guess the odds of the Liberal Party leadership finding themselves on an ice floe, dressed in carbon neutral clothing and surrounded by Green Energy powered heaters are pretty long. Alas.

          1. If they get their way, all of Canada will be on that ice floe. Pretty chilly to be counting on windmills, solar panels and electric heating in February.

            Also the electric cars. Climate Barbie says all cars in Canada should be all-electric by 2035. Of interest is the fact that it takes ~25 years to build a nuclear power plant in Canada. Regulations, you know. So if they started now, they’d still be years late to catch up because there’s not enough windmills in the entire world to run all the cars in Canada.

            Which means that you just won’t have a car. In Canada, land of ice and snow. That’s the Climate Barbie plan.

  9. Yes, we are getting ‘poorer’ by the day, but in comparison to the rest of the world, we still have an abundance of everything (until we run out of diesel and goods and food doesn’t move)… sigh

      1. including a lot of the crude we need as they pipeline was shut down.
        Oh, and is the river still too low for barges?
        And what is the reserve of Diesel? Last number I read was 20 or so days down from the 25 it was a few weeks ago.

  10. the basement ceiling held up with an old board that’s half bent…..

    Argh. Off topic, but speaking of which: I’m renovating my kitchen/dining room (swapping and reconfiguring), and three weeks of vacation has seen me not even finished with all the demolition, because every time I pulled something off I would discover another suspicious material that had to be tested for asbestos (2 business days delay for a rush job), and then the whole thing had lead paint, so I wasted two days getting everything taped and plasticked and sealed off. I think I went through a dozen Tyvek bunny suits.

    So I’ve always been pretty sure that the 1944 addition on the 1930 house, where the bulk of the kitchen will end up, was constructed out of scrounged materials (because wartime). Turns out that I guess 14′ 2x4s weren’t available, because the ceiling joists are two or three short lengths just nailed together. 😳😳😳

    Thankfully, we haven’t had a major earthquake in centuries, but I’m going to have to rip that out and reframe it and add reinforcing brackets and so on.

    And don’t get me started about the rat’s nest of knob & tube wiring and Romex tied into it by wire nuts just hanging out in space. Oh, and the many places where the insulation on the knob & tube has been chewed away by mice. Shudder.

      1. One project, the camp manager told us to prep, clean, paint the room…..and oh, yes, could you jack it up five inches on one corner? That corner’s lower than the rest of the room. (Team eyerolls). So we jacked it up, pulled the floorboards, sighed, replaced the rotten joist, put the floor back and then did the work she asked us to do.

    1. living in a house “Renovated in 1949” likely built in 1880’s or 90’s or very early 1900’s (the only house in the ‘hood I find an actual date on is 1879) I feel your pain.

      1. It’s funny: there’s three houses on my block that have double lots (mine is one of them). If you go to Zillow and look up when each house on single lots was built, they go like 1928 – 1969 – 1931 – 1982 – 1929 – 1965 etc. As in, the whole block (and probably the whole neighborhood) was originally sold as double lots, and over time the owners split off half to pay bills or taxes or whatever. My house extends over the internal lot line, so I would have to get an official redraw to do that, but I like my big yard so it’s unlikely.

        1. Grandparents old lot is in a area zoned 5+ acres, minimum. Their lot is 2.75 acres. They sold the bottom 2.25 acres (from just past the start of the little bench, and over down to the road) well before the official zoning went in.

        2. Mine is a corner lot, so it has a bit more yard than the others on the block except the catty corner, and the other corners are slightly smaller. the whole neighborhood was planned out as single lots, so no straddling of lots on this side of the street. The next block towards town, a house has a double lot, but some time ago it was made by having the house on the second lot torn down. The oldest house by build date is on the river, and has a big lot, but width is only a bit more than mine, and was there before the rest was developed. Heck, it was built the year the town was incorporated, iirc.

      2. I have an ~1870 or so. The abstract was in two volumes, but the county website just lists 1900, its default for “I dunno, pretty old?”. A local restoration group went in and tore off the later additions one owner prior to us. I still got the official Don’t Lick the Paint notice from the Department of Condescending Paternalism, but at least there’s no suspicion of asbestos.

    2. Ours was built in the 70s. It has changed hands over the years and we’ve all to a buyer, signed thec Don’t ask, don’t tell asbestos waiver.

      We joke about the Cancer Ceilings (Middleman-!!!), and the husband is going to obviate the issue with wood paneling….

      Yeah. That is where it cones from

      1. Luckily only one material turned out to have asbestos, and I had the pros come in and remove it. But I had to check every one as I found it to make sure.

  11. It’s going to be worse faster, and more notably fast, because so much stuff is now designed to be not owner repairable.

    Including real estate.

    The knowhow of repairs and of making things is lost and scattered too. The production chain from moo to shoe goes through specialists and large distances. You could tolerate being a poor subsitance farmer if you could patch your roof, fill your kids’ bellies, and keep yourselves clothed and shod, but that’s simply not possible with the current system for pretty much anyone, and in the last few decades even trying to is grounds to seize your kids to stop you.

    Things are steeply and blatantly worse and also harder to patch together.

    I don’t think this is going to work out well. Not at all well. French Revolution Version 1 level of not at all well.

  12. Interesting.

    Living in fly/boat/drive a long long way to get there country, I was to some extent unaware of many of the effects and affects of inflation/depression/Immiseration you note in the lower forty eight.

    Thinking about it I realize it’s been over 2 years since I’ve eaten in a restaurant, maybe 3 since I’ve rented a hotel room. No, nothing to do with the Bad China Cold or fear of the sniffles, just different interests deciding when and where spending my times and places.

    I have, of course noticed the empty store shelves, outrageously high shipping costs and business closings because many don’t want to work preferring instead living off the the government dole.

    A lot of food for thought in your essay, I thing I’ll be moving a bit more of my reserves out of bucks and banks and into things like rice, dried diced carrots and a larger standby generator.

    1. Living in fly/boat/drive a long long way to get there country

      Which reminds me: there’s a whole lot of villages out in the Alaskan Bush that rely for heat and power on generators that run on … diesel.

      1. Stored? Not that I know of, available, yes. I’m very much aware of open seams in Usibelli’s strip mine and float coal down on the coast if I run down that way & aware of, if not knowledgeable concerning, anthracite seams in the Brook’s Range..

  13. Drive the car into the ground

    We used to buy the used car. Stopped that when we couldn’t find the vehicle we wanted. Our one indulgence is buying new. Then drive it into the ground if needed. Or sell it for 3/4 of what we paid for it, 11 – 13 seasons later (inflated $$$ but …).

    Hotels. We’ve just started using them. Dinged and worn we can handle, as long as it is clean when we walk in. Daily cleaning, bed making? Eh … not a big deal. Daily towels OTOH can be requested. Not replacing towels except on request has been a water saving feature, at least in California, now for awhile (it was when we took the kid to Disney in ’93); and not something we do (hubby likes fresh clean towels). The every 3rd day, or client turnover, clean, is new since hotels were allowed to reopen, in 2020. They’ve learned clients accept that level of service at least at the hotel level we frequent. OTOH I joke we’re upgrading from a backpacking tent so … True, but long trips we’re upgrading on is from hauling our own more room (RV) around. Costs for hotels have gone up. But fuel has gone up faster making Fuel + camping fees (camping fees have gone up IF staying in full service campground, not if dry camp which is what we did) more expensive than Fuel + hotel. Or a push and less hassle, spend less time driving, stopping, maneuvering/parking, two VS 1 driver, with hotel option.

    Replace clothing or tech less often … Definitely. Although never did it frequently before. Definitely not the tech. I’ll fix tech first. By the time tech goes to Goodwill, it is only good for parting out. Clothing? At best, now it is ready for the rag quilt bag (if I did that). We are sending stuff to goodwill, but it is because we are purging, not replacing.

    OTOH I became an adult in the Carter years. In college when doing anything extra meant raiding the saved change jar. Eating meant raiding mom and dad’s pantry and freezer (game meat and garden produce), or Togo’s (1 foot long = 2 days, including sharing with the dog). Compare now to then? We are a whole lot better off. But we are tightening up now compared to the last few decades. While our SS is adjusting (somewhat) to the inflation, our other external source of incomes are not, and our personal supplementary source base is shrinking.

  14. Prelude to Election Day, yes we are poorer because of reckless government policies! Yes, anger is rising! Yes, we need to throw the bums out!

  15. I’m using my (almost) retirement to catch up on classics I’ve missed like 2 Year’s Before the Mast (lots of fun for someone who’s lived in coastal CA for most of my life), and currently de Tocqueville’s Democracy in America. It’s a slog, particularly with the vintage 1830’s translation into very stilted English, but worth it for his very perceptive observations.

    One I was just reading this morning about education in a free country is very apropos.

    “If men were to persist in teaching nothing but the literature of the dead languages in a community where everyone is habitually led to make vehement exertions to augment or to maintain his fortune, the result would be a very polished, but a very dangerous, race of citizens. For as their social and political condition would give them every day a sense of wants which their education would never teach them to supply, they would perturb the State, in the name of the Greeks and Romans, instead of enriching it by their productive industry.”

    Substitute Gender Studies or its ilk for Greeks and Romans, and you have a good description of the suicidal nonsense that arises in our governing class.

    1. Inflation has been greatly exacerbated by the massive rise in production costs, particularly in energy. They could stop the presses right now and it wouldn’t even slow it down for quite a while.

      We are in this situation for a good long bit.

      But our little forest town is lousy with deer so there isn’t acute starvation going on just yet. I’ll know we are close when they’re gone and certain townsfolk aren’t illegally feeding them. If you’ve got money and spare to feed the vermin, you aren’t in too bad a shape.

        1. Poor DIL tried to grow peppers for her husband. Deer ate them. I had to hold her back from shooting the now-seasoned deer.
          I swear only thing that stopped her was that she couldn’t hang it as it was too hot out, and there was no place for it inside.

          1. At the old Place, We had a deer who ate all our strawberries by ripping them up from the roots as well as chewing all the roses to the ground. We named her Hillary, and shared her tameness with the bow hunter up the street. I only regret it is that I never got any venison sausage..

          2. Managed to have one nearly go through my windshield this morning. Totaled my 30 year old daily runner that was mechanically a gem still getting 27 mph. I think I can get roof line fixed well enough to seal a new windshield.

            This is going to be rocky for awhile. We landed near Nashville after getting out from behind enemy lines near Chicago. Now old 1936 house we bought to renovate is down to stud, new insulation (it had none) and somewhat livable. Spent more than wanted but have been prepared for the worst for many years so not too worried. On half acre with Corps land behind.

            No money for big ticket car replacement at these prices and have not had a payment since 1981. Buy used for cash and rebuild as needed. Good to have some skills!

                1. The best man at our wedding arrived at an SCA event with a deer’s heart in a casserole dish. The deer had been hit by a car, walked up to his front porch, beat its head on the door and died. He firmly believed in waste not, want not.

              1. Seemed to have survived as he disappeared into the woods. I only had a few moments to spare as needed to swap out cars and get to open store. Was my second thought after thank goodness he was not 2 inches lower as would have crushed me.

      1. Crossbows. Around here, the deer are thick…but I live in a development. You would be very hard pressed to find a clear shot that didn’t have a house behind it.

      2. 16-18 months is the historical lag. Declines should be hitting …. Oh right about now rents and used cars are leading the way. Then we’ll see the employment numbers adjusted since they’re at historically wide
        Levels to other variables that are historically well correlated. Bad news right after the election. Shocking

        1. Used cars, not only because of the inflation indicator, but the lack of new vehicles. That is putting people into used vehicles, pricing out those who can’t afford new. Apartments? That is more tricky. While locally there isn’t exactly rent controls, there are limits on how much rent can be increased as long as the same tenet occupies the property. Then rents tend to jump. Getting tenets out of rented properties is a PIA, even with cause. Exceptions are rentals (regardless of type) that are sold for owner occupy (even then, there are horror stories). We had a rental for about 3 years. We do not have any tenet horror stories, but it is also something I would never, ever, ever, do again.

  16. My economist friend agreed with me that the great failure of Republican policy, at least since Reagan, was that they cut taxes, but they didn’t cut spending, which would have been unpopular. Instead they borrowed the money, and used the borrowed funds to bid resources away from the private sector, which drove prices up, while diverting resources away from productive uses. Government spending is a burden on the economy whether the government pays out of pocket or puts it on the credit card.

    1. Government can only spend money by taking it from somebody else. Either directly, with taxes, or indirectly, by spending money that doesn’t exist and causing inflation.

      Printing more money does not create value any more than printing empty bread wrappers will create more bread.
      Governments can only print money; they can’t make it worth anything. They can make it worth nothing.

    2. yeah. But there are limits to what you can do in a representative republic. The failures have been many, and not teaching people how to be free is the bigges tof them.

      1. True, but can you even do that Sarah? Most people don’t even learn from being punched in the face. They have to get punched repeatedly and often before the Pavlovian response gets ingrained into the solid bone of their cranium.

        Freedom is inconvenient. I figure about 25% of Normies would volunteer for low-intensity slavery if they got fed and didn’t have to work outside.

    3. And yet government spending gets counted as GDP, which made no sense to me in 1985 when I took Econ 101, and still makes no sense to me. Not to mention that the government can just borrow or print a ton of money and spend it on digging ditches and filling them back in, and voilà, GDP “growth”.

      1. GDP is Keynesian theory laden. Designed by and for Keynesians. It’s actually a very stupid statistic.

        1. Well, that explains why politicians are so obsessed with it.
          Complex questions never have simple answers. Hell, most simple questions don’t have simple answers.

              1. I’m not positive about the fraud. Back in 2020, even though the presidential election was swayed, the Democrats didn’t quite take the Senate and only barely took the House, and a fair number of state governments came out solidly Republican. It’s not certain that they have the ability to affect all those state and local elections.

                But we’ll know soon enough. . . .

            1. Not a lot of volume with choppy action, Bit of short covering into the close. Bonds got slammed, again, d-mnit,

              Current odds are 60/40 that the Republicans take the senate and 85/15 that republicans take the house. Basically, the thinking is that the republicans are ahead of the margin of fraud. What the market doesn’t want is a hung election that goes on for days to weeks. Uncertainty is worse than just about anything else.

              Otherwise, The market, with good reason, tends to think democrats are good for them, the biggest wealth transfers from the poor/middle to the rich happened under Clinton and Obama.

              It’s no accident, as they say, that the billionaires are Democrat supporters. the democrats are the party of the rich. The tech lords profited off the artificially low cost of capital and the bankers off having first access to all that lovely free money, It’s called financial repression. Have a look at the coup against Truss in fact or of the Davos/Goldman Sachs guy.

    4. True Bill, but cutting spending is usually a death knell to a politician. Even Reagan wasn’t able to cut spending, but, he kept it from growing too much, and, by cutting taxes, increased revenue and decreased the deficit. Marxists refuse to believe the Laffer curve. Remember elder Bush calling it “voodoo economics”? Zero-sum thinking is so ingrained in them, they can’t even see it anymore. When you ask them, if wealth can’t be created why aren’t we all living in caves? their response will likely be because we imperialists stole everything from those other cavepeople as if they had TVs and cell phones in their caves.

      One of the best things Trump did was insist that all departments cut more regulations than they implement (the ration ended up being almost 16-1 in cuts favor IIRC). That alone cuts down inflation tremendously. Rents and housing costs are so high in San Diego in large part because of all the mandates. You wouldn’t need to mandate “affordable housing” if you just let people build it to match demand.

      1. Of course it’s hard to cut taxes if you accompany it by cutting spending. But cutting taxes without cutting spending opens the door to borrowing and destroying the currency. At least with a balanced budget voters feel the pain of extravagant spending; if they can make expenditure decisions uncoupled from revenue decisions they can behave like the mother of a friend of mine, who, my friend tells me, used to put things on her credit card and say “I don’t have to pay for it.”

        It would be even better if we had not only a balanced budget, but a constitutional requirement that all tax rates be flatly proportional to the thing taxed. That would reduce the temptation to say “We’ll adopt this expensive policy and the billionaires will pay for it!” I don’t want a Swedish-style welfare state, but the Swedes have a less progressive income tax than the US, and nearly everyone apparently pays some of it; I have to respect that.

        1. Oregon government growls every two years. Oregon constitution requires a balanced budget. (State thing?) In addition by statute, if revenues exceed budget, by X%, the government can’t just spend it. They have to give it back to those who paid it (tax credit on the next filing) … Nor can they “spread the wealth” by evenly distributing by population to those who didn’t pay the years of over budgeting. What the latter does is constrain the state budget to what they really think they are going to need. They can’t over budget then gleefully rub their hands at all the extra money they now have. Are they gaming the system? Heck yes, they are government.

      2. The Laffer curve is real, but even Laffer realized there are diminishing returns there, i.e., not all rate cuts pay for themselves.

        Regulation cuts were an important Trump win. The Schedule F changes could have been as well, if implemented sooner. They might be again. Ending the SALT deduction has paid for itself in salty progressives in high tax states

    1. with a two by four with nails in it.
      The funny thing is that Europe is propagandized to think we’re much poorer then them.
      Whatever gets them through their socialist night, I guess.

      1. Every time I go to Europe, I have a distinct sense that it was washed in hot water and left in the dryer too long…everything is 3/4 sized.

        1. I wouldn’t mind that so much, but the apparently it was washed in hot water with a socialist sock. And now the socialism has gotten into everything. It’s going to be a b**** to wash it out again

          1. I’m afraid the stain is permanent. Like, you washed your whites with a brand-new pair of red socks. Now you have to live with pink sheets and undies.

      2. We went to Barcelona for our honeymoon. Beautiful place, but so obviously poor by our standards.

  17. Price inflation is downstream from monetary inflation. Monetary inflation increasingly robs everyone downstream from the government.

    Uncle Sam prints a trillion dollars and buys a whole bunch from Cousin Troughlicker. Sam and Troughlicker are ecstatic. Troughlicker buys more from the various Nextinlinew who are pretty happy: their costs have gone up, but they’re still ahead. Eventually it trickles down to Joe Sixpack. Joe is perplexed because his pay is the same, but the prices of everything he buys have gone up…a lot.

    If Uncle Sam had been Uncle Guido straight up counterfeiting then everyone would see what’s wrong. Let me rephrase that: if everyone saw that what Uncle Sam was doing was straight up counterfeiting then they would see what was wrong. Inflating the money supply without a corresponding increase in actual productivity causes the price inflation. Too many dollars chasing too few goods.

    The dolts and doddards in DC know this, of course, but they think that they will always be in power and have the ability to command printing of whatever money they need.

    The FED knows this and they know they can’t inflate for long without triggering hyperinflation. But they can’t rein it in without triggering a major recession. So they have been half-heartedly increasing interest rates.

    Expect interest rates to go significantly higher if the R’s win this week and are sworn in after the fraudust settles.
    So the recession can be hung on the R’s for 2024.

    1. The Reader thinks if the Fed does its job correctly 2023 will suck but the economy will recover in 2024. If it vacillates, we will have a replay of the 70s.

        1. The Reader isn’t sure. The October and November rate increases promised several months ago were delivered as signaled. What Powell had to say this month was a bit of a wet blanket to the market despite lots of financial press porn trying to get him to back away. The Reader guesses it depends on how many Fed board members can be blackmailed by the Democrats into changing their votes in future months.

          1. I think people give the Fed too much credit and too much blame, Central banks are not nearly so central as we have been led to believe.

            I have reasons for this which don’t fit into a comment box, but one thing is that I strongly believe that the Fed is the wizard of Oz and once one looks behind the curtain, the whole illusion collapses, Propaganda is a powerful thing and the FED is mostly, not entirely I’ll grant you, but mostly propaganda. it’s entirely probable that they have no idea what they’re actually doing and I would argue that there’s little evidence for them actually changing anything in the economy,

          2. They are also pulling 95 billion in currency out of the market each month. Not enough but probably all they can manage politically. Even Reagan struggled to stay the course early on and do what needed doing. He barely had the political capitol to pull it off. It was touch and go for months.

      1. Any action the Fed takes to raise rates and reduce the speed of money is meaningless as long as Congress keeps the spending floodgates open.

  18. My husband retired just in time for the economy to go bust, so it’s getting fun. Fortunately, the Dragonette has stopped growing, and has her own style, so all my quilting fabric is going to end up making clothes, I think. They’ll be better made and last longer than anything I can get at the Mart of Wals. And as long as I don’t have to go visit clients ever again, I can make comfy clothes and stop buying from the stores.

    1. Mine wants to retire. And has reason to.
      BTW how in heck did you two produce a dragon? No, never mind. As Tom and Kyrie will find out soon, you might very well have a shifter kid, who is not at all like either of you.

      1. Ah, but how long will he STAY retired? I’m about ready to un-retire due to sheer boredom.

        1. Well, part of the reason he wants to retire is to finally get to write and write music. Our deal back when we were green as leaves & twice as ignorant was that I’d write and then when I could support us he would retire and be able to do it. Unfortunately we knew nothing about the industry so it took a little long. Now. We could maybe do it but there’s health insurance and the hyperinflation looming so I don’t know

    2. The Daughter Unit and I have been shopping thrift stores for ourselves for years. And clothes for Wee Jamie, the Wonder Grandson also come from thrift stores and kid resale shops – all for relative pittances, compared to new. (My daughter found an outfit at Goodwill for a couple of dollars, which still had the original retail tag on it – $30! For a little outfit that the kid would outgrow in a couple of months! WTF?!!)
      My mother made all of her clothes, and clothes for my sister and myself, and shirts for my brothers. When my paternal grandparents passed, they had a garage full of canned goods – about two years worth, my father estimated. And they weren’t Mormon, either. Just adults during the recession. Mom cooked on the cheap – she was in a food coop in the early 1970s and pinched pennies so hard that boogers came out of Lincoln’s nose. The year that I was assigned to Mather AFB in the early 80s, and lived in base housing, with my biggest bill being child-care for my toddler daughter, I budgeted $25 every two weeks for groceries at the commissary. (My daughter had two meals a day at the day care center, so that was not a concern.)

      The generational recollection of poverty and shortages stays with one a long time, I think. I had a talk about this, with a Korean lady that I worked with, when I had an outside job at KBS, during the year when I was in Korea. For many of us who grew up in relatively comfortable circumstances, we had a residual memory from the elders in our family – never to let food go to waste. I couldn’t let bread go to waste. She couldn’t let cooked rice go to waste. My English next-door neighbor in Greece – her mother in-law couldn’t pass up a sale of towels and linens, remembering the German occupation of Greece.

      My daughter says that now we are ‘old poor’. We know how to cope. The ‘new poor’ will rediscover all kinds of strategies, if they have any sense.

      1. Everyone coped differently. Both sets of grandparents married and started their families during the depression. When we went to clean out each house, paternal grandmother in ’87, and maternal grandparents in ’05, we found different items. Paternal grandmother had fabric and yarn stashed, everywhere. Maternal grandparents didn’t have fabric and yarn, but other stuff. Both had canning supplies, and stashed food, both canned, and frozen.

        1. The classic box of string labeled ‘pieces too short to save’.

          Just asked my wife; neither of us recall our parents (1907&1913, 1922&1925) having any ‘Depression inspired’ collections, just all those financial records. (We did a lot of ours when we moved up to OR in 2019.)

          I apparently have a thing for flashlights and batteries. And magazines, but people Keep Offering Laws to restrict those.

          1. Used to have National Geographic and Geo magazines back to 1980-ish (started the former when the Mt St Helen dedicated issue came out … related, because we lived in Longview WA when she blew). Finally went through and kept only the issues that meant something. Plus all the maps. Maps got subsequently used for various school projects by the kids (our son, his friends, and nieces). I need to go through books again and get rid of the ones I know have as ebooks (donate) … Sacrilege I know. But someone will get use out of them now that I can read the books electronically.

            1. Not paper magazines – plastic and metal and springs. They have co-ordinated machines and filling.

              Last paper mag I subscribed to was Analog, and I dropped that a year or so after Stan Schmidt retired, so maybe 2014. Probably got rid of 20 years worth when we prepared to move in 2018.

      2. Miss Celia, so true. I am fortunate to know both sets of grandparents and my parents who lived thru the depression. You grow up instinctively knowing how to survive in hard times. Have a blessed day. Barbara

    1. Noice! I love how metal always shows up here. And now you’ve got Sarah posting Sabaton… (cue evil laughter)

  19. Oh, this, yes. We are suffering while the parasite class laughs.

    May we drown them in the blood moon tomorrow, and throw them all out. Every last one of them.

  20. I’m old enough to remember the Great Inflation of the 1970s. For readers who didn’t have the displeasure, it involved the purchasing power of a dollar dropping by 70%.

    My generation was the one that Carter told not to expect to live as well as our parents. And in some ways, we didn’t. My parents bought a new house in 1993, and my mother told me that she didn’t understand how young people could do it. My response was that we didn’t. For a Baby Buster, owning a house was a fairy tale. At least not until we got older.

    What worries me is that we’re going through Great Inflation 2. Which will hit young people HARD. The GOP needs to make an aggressive move against inflation (AKA Spend A Lot Less), and make the pitch to younger voters that We Care About Young Voters And The Dems Don’t.

    1. My parents managed to barely live better than their parents, especially under Jimmah, but only just, until I was 18 (1984 under Ron Raygun), and they had to feed the family of 6 on a $5000 adjusted income for that year (and still owing State Taxes and Social Security), but that was due to dad’s personal business dropping off after quitting his job (too good at his job in too small an area, once he fixed everything broken, it didn’t break again for years). Then again, living in a family of 11 (dad) and a family of 7 (mom) trained them well. Then they, like me, moved to a different state and they both made a lot better living.

    2. But the younger voters are conditioned to believe that Caring About Them == Giving Them Government Handouts — and to never wonder where those handouts come from.
      Governments can’t create prosperity; at best, they can refrain from destroying it.

    3. I remember being told we wouldn’t live as good as our grandparents or parents. For my family and (most) of our cousins. 100% not true. OTOH, for reasons, did not take much to live better than our grandparents. The cousins who do not live better than their parents, neither do my siblings and I, have parents who were/are in the home construction business (rich enough to trigger federal death taxes, let alone state). But both my siblings and hubby’s siblings, and us, are doing better than either of our parents (who were not “poor”). None of us trip over the federal death tax. Some of us it takes our combined assets to trip over the residing state death tax. Mom won’t trigger the residing state tax, not even with the house.

      Regarding buying the house. We’ve bought 2. First one when I was 22, closing for about what we paid for it 10 years later. Second one closed after I turned 32, where we have resided now for 34 years. We paid $10k more the second time. Anyone buying the house now is not paying $10k more. Maybe $10k/year, more, even if the housing market crashes. OTOH, we can’t buy one for less that we could sell this one for. And, 4 of 6 nieces have bought their first homes, before they were 30, in the Portland metro boundaries.

      1. I’ve heard this thing about living less well off than the last generation(s). Funny (funny uh-oh, not funny ha-ha) how this always happens when the Dems are running things, and no other times. Oh, it’s not that the R’s are universally improving things, but generally they don’t monkey with the controls too much and often that is enough to allow improvement.

  21. Start a new librarian job in my new town in ethical-funding heaven. The rural district is funded by people who’ve voluntarily chosen to join the tax pool of the Library District or pay a flat yearly fee. Staffed by a 70/30 mix of paid staff and volunteers. Board of supervisors are elected.

    If you wondered what Mrs. Hoyt was talking about when she said small, accountable and local gummint, this is it.

    When you’re mending a pair of torn work pants, it is not enough to just whip-stitch the tear. You have to reinforce it, because it is probably a vulnerable spot. And you start your stitches in the whole cloth.

    So if you are up for a prayer or two, please give one for me that I learn fast and do right by my new country.

  22. Your discussion of how economic shrinkage feeds upon itself made me remember having written something similar a few years back.

    As it turned out, it was back in 2016, when we were still struggling with a poorly draining tub drain (it finally got to the point where we simply had to call the plumber and then figure out how to pay for it).

    That was a bad year for us — and we were just recovering when 2020 hit. And now I’m feeling very much like I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop and wondering just how bad it will be.

  23. Blood moon has come and gone. Here, at least, totality was more grey than orange, unlike the May eclipse which was a gorgeous, and less fraught, event.
    Why yes, I didn’t sleep well (and was anticipating) so got up around 3:55 and went out to watch until we were definitely in totality.

  24. Memories. We both grew up poor on small family working ranches. I remember reading an article after we moved into town and got married in the 70s, titled something like “How to Live on $5 a Month”. It mostly suggested buy the big jar of peanut butter. I decided then that article was for people that couldn’t cook and wouldn’t shop the sales. Similar articles abound these days, often with the same incomplete advice.

    1. Senor Tuesdays at Fred Meyers … Does not mean buying the national brands. Discount is on Kroger/Special Select labels (both in house brands, which are already heavily discounted). Which (mostly) is not pre-prepared, or mixes.

      Don’t get me wrong. I tried the Coupon route. I still do that. But only for where I shop. I don’t waste fuel going out of my way.

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