Venezuela’s Annual Inflation Rate Has Reached Over 4,000 Percent

By Sydney Jones – Re-Blogged From https://ijr.com

In 2017, Venezuela’s annual inflation rate rose to 4,068 percent, according to reports made by the opposition-led National Assembly.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the inflation rate has risen so rapidly that the government cannot print money fast enough to keep up with the demand. A U.S. dollar currently is worth more than 200,000 bolivars, the Venezuelan currency.

TOPSHOT-VENEZUELA-CRISIS-ECONOMY-PETRO

Federico Parra/AFP/Getty Images

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Money That “Rots And Rusts”

By John Rubino – Re-Blogged From Dollar Collapse

In the next downturn (which may have started last week, yee-haw), the world’s central banks will face a bit of poetic justice: To keep their previous policy mistakes from blowing up the world in 2008, they cut interest rates to historically – some would say unnaturally — low levels, which doesn’t leave the usual amount of room for further cuts.

Now they’re faced with an even bigger threat but are armed with even fewer effective weapons. What will they do? The responsible choice would be to simply let the overgrown forest of bad paper burn, setting the stage for real (that is, sustainable) growth going forward. But that’s unthinkable for today’s monetary authorities because they’ll be blamed for the short-term pain while getting zero credit for the long-term gain.

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The Penny vs The Dollar

   By Bob Shapiro

The move is on again to get rid of the Penny from US Government official coin production.

Sen John McCain s sponsoring the Bill because currently, it costs around 4 cents to make a Penny. This is even though Copper prices today are down significantly over recent highs. Besides, the Penny was gutted many years ago, leaving almost zero copper in the coin anyway.

I expect that this round of Penny Pinching will come to naught just as past efforts have. Prior efforts were fought vigorously – and successfully – by the Illinois delegations in Congress. Remember that Lincoln, whose face appears on the Penny, is a state hero in Illinois.

OK, so if we are not likely to stop losing money on minting Pennies by stopping the minting of Pennies, how else can we achieve this worthy (if not monumental) goal? As you might expect, I have a suggestion.

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Stop Using National Credit Cards! Just Pay Our Bills!

By http://www.BizarroWorldUSA.com – Re-Blogged From iPatriot

For just shy of eight years now the United States has been economically hindered by the distorted interpretation of economist John Maynard Keynes’ twentieth century economic theory.

Application of Keynesian economics extended the Great Depression longer than necessary as it has for the recent recession.

Classic economic theory suggests that world and national economies experience rises and falls. Periods of stagnation can be moderated with reasoned spending and by controlling variable expenses. Keynesian economic theory, on the other hand, advocates that increased government spending in times of downturn spurs the economy resulting in shorter downswings. The flawed theory doesn’t work in a personal or household situation and it most certainly doesn’t work for individual states or nations. In fact, the larger the entity and economic platform the more in-congruent the premise becomes.

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At This Current Pace, A Record-Shattering 2.4 Trillion Dollars Will Be Added To The National Debt This Year

By Michael Snyder – Re-Blogged From http://www.EndOfTheAmericanDream.com

Barack Obama is about to become the 20 trillion dollar man. With less than two months to go in his second term, the U.S. national debt stands less than 150 billion dollars away from the 20 trillion dollar mark. And at the pace that the debt is increasing, it seems almost certain that we will cross 20 trillion dollars before Inauguration Day. After promising us that “deficits are under control”, the federal debt jumped by more than 1.3 trillion dollars last fiscal year, and so far this year it is on pace to rise by a record-shattering 2.4 trillion dollars. This is a recipe for national suicide, and yet it wasn’t even a major issue during the recently concluded presidential campaign.

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It is really, really hard to spend a trillion dollars. For example, if you were alive when Jesus was born and you had spent a million dollars every single day since that time, you still would not have spent a trillion dollars by now.

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Capitalism, Socialism, and Pigs

cropped-bob-shapiro.jpg   By Bob Shapiro

240 years ago, Adam Smith wrote “The Wealth of Nations.” Largely, he described what he observed in the Economy, and provided a reasonable explanation. For example, Pigs.

He observed that the production of pigs fluctuated, as did the price of pork. His explanation – the Pig Cycle – was that, if the production was low, the relative shortage caused prices to rise, which encouraged greater production. The higher production eventually might cause prices to fall, which led to reduced production.

All this unfolded irregularly over a 3-5 year period, and repeated. Prices for any individual product (or service) do not remain the same over time – they fluctuate.

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But there are other forces which affect prices. A pig farmer may develop better methods or adopt some new technology. All else being equal, he will produce more over time, meaning that pig prices will tend to decline over time – even though those prices will continue to fluctuate according to the Pig Cycle.

The farmer may choose to work longer hours (or shorter hours) causing increased (or decreased) production, and the changed supply will lower (raise) prices. Of course, this is self-limiting as the farmer has to sleep sometime.

The demand for pigs may go up (or down) as population and food preferences change. Demand also may appear to go up if more new money is printed. If the money supply change is a one shot deal, then any change to demand and prices is akin to the farmer working longer hours – but of course the result is opposite.

The greater demand will cause prices to rise, stimulating greater production. As the money supply increase works its way through the Economy, pushing prices for each and every product and service up somewhat, then the higher general Cost of Living will equalize the apparent demand, although at a higher nominal level. “Adjusted for Inflation,” the Pig Cycle will be back where it started before the money printing.

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In today’s world, money printing certainly is NOT a one shot deal. The FED and other world Central Banks (and other banks through the fractional reserve banking system) continue printing indefinitely. Eventually, the expectation of future price increases due to the money printing will nullify the effects of the monetary inflation, and production will settle back in where it would have been without the money printing.

All the while, the FED et al benefit from getting the new money out of thin air, while everyone else is penalized from the increase in the general price level. As Keynes said, “By a continuing process of inflation, governments can confiscate, secretly and unobserved, an important part of the wealth of their citizens.”

Many times, the deliberate debasement of the country’s money leads to general price rises so high that the public demands that inflation be controlled. In response, the money supply increases are slowed (or even stopped!).

But the reduced apparent demand within the Economy then causes prices to fall, leading to a reduction in production – a Recession or a Depression. Yes there are natural price and production fluctuations within any Economy, and better methods and technology will lower prices continuously – but this money supply normalization is another animal altogether.

Bread Line

The Recession or Depression caused by a halt to money supply increases is totally artificial – totally outside the normal fluctuations of any dynamic Economy. The bad times are caused directly by the previous theft of purchasing power through money printing. Central banks benefit when they print, but when they stop printing, the rest of us suffer – sometimes mightily.

Another factor affecting our Economy wide Pig Cycle is taxes. There is an old saw which says, “If you want more of something subsidize it, and if you want less of it then tax it.”

Taxes take some of the price that the producer receives. His apparent lower price leads to lower production. The lower production leads to higher prices which restore the production level. Producer taxes – regardless of whether they are sales taxes, income taxes, or whatever, wind up being passed partly onto consumers. And with less revenue available, the employees also receive a smaller share of what’s generated by the private, productive sector of the Economy.

The price level reaches a new equilibrium, where profits, wages, and consumer prices all reflect what’s left after taxes. It makes no difference what the tax money goes to buy. That tax money is used to buy something other than what each one of us would have bought if we had been able to keep our money. The Economy is reduced by taxation.

The natural fluctuations of the Pig Cycle can’t be undone. They are… natural. They are part of Capitalism. The natural reductions to prices over time, through innovation and invention, also are part of Capitalism. All of us benefit by the efforts of others.

Money Supply manipulation and Taxation are not natural – they are man-made. They are part of Socialism, and they hurt everyone in the Economy except the favored few. You may want some of what Socialism offers, but still you should recognize that it is Socialism, and your benefit comes at someone else’s greater loss.

Inflation…The Simple Explanation Is Theft

By GE Christenson – Re-Blogged From http://www.Silver-Phoenix500.com

Inflation is theft. It is a simple concept that a single mother and a retiree understand…but a PhD in Keynesian Economics probably does not. Examples:

In 1971 take $1,000 in crisp new $20 bills and place them in a safe while watching President Nixon blame speculators for the loss of Fort Knox gold. (He “temporarily” severed the last connection between gold and the U.S. dollar.) Spend those dollars in 2016 and you will feel ripped off because they would have bought most of a car in 1971, and in 2016 they might buy only four tires.

Take $400,000 and purchase an airplane in 1971. Today that $400,000 will purchase the helmet for an F-35.

A cup of coffee in 1971 probably cost about $0.25. Today it is $2.00.

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