Patterico's Pontifications

1/31/2013

It’s Obama’s Economy Now

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 7:40 am

Things that spur economic recovery include abolishing the corporate income tax, eliminating or reducing unemployment benefits and food stamp eligibility, eliminating the minimum wage, and slashing regulations.

What has Obama done? Not that.

He owns it. He can lie about it, but he owns it.

Just wait until the inflation starts.

161 Comments

  1. The MSM will never let him own it. Look at what Jay Carney said yesterday. It’s all the Republican’s fault. It always is.

    Comment by EC (dda60e) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:46 am

  2. I blame Republicans

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:48 am

  3. EC, they always need a villian. We were always at war with [fitb]!

    Comment by Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:52 am

  4. Just wait until the inflation starts.

    Do people think it is worth it, at this stage in the game, to buy gold or silver or something else to hedge against it even thought the prices have already climbed from what they were a few years ago?

    Like at least some of us, I grew up in the period where all you had to do was not spend all of your money, put some in the bank, and let it acrue interest over the years. Well, that time is long gone.
    So is the idea that buying property is guaranteed to keep if not gain value over time.
    Speculate on stocks that seem to contradict reason and “all of the rules” that existed before 1995?

    If I knew how it could be done, I think everyone who is retired or nearly so with CD’s and money markets making pidly should buy their children’s mortgages. Parents get 3% return or so instead of next to nothing, children pay 3% instead of more, and money kept in the family.

    Just askin’.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:52 am

  5. JD, the Make Believe Media has made it easy to blame Republicans. Journalism has become a lazy profession for many, and integrity is in short supply.

    Comment by Amalgamated Cliff Divers, Local 157 (f7d5ba) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:54 am

  6. I still say that Obama was on to something a couple years ago when he blamed a portion of unemployment on banks transitioning to ATMs in lieu of human bank tellers.
    Well, except for that part about how ATMs began popping up thirty years ago.
    So, think how awesome Reagan’s booming 1980s economy would have boomed if he didn’t have to deal with that headwind known as “ATMs replacing bank tellers” during the 1980s.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0edb01) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:02 am

  7. Not enough government spending is the problem. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says that “government consumption expenditures and gross investment” lowered the change in economic growth by 1.33 percentage points. Put another way, if government spending had remained neutral (neither growing nor cutting back), the Q4 GDP would be 1.23 growth instead of negative 0.1.

    Comment by Kman (5576bf) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:14 am

  8. Actually if you’ve been eating (and doing your own shopping) you are well acquainted with inflation.

    Comment by f1guyus (647d76) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:30 am

  9. Inflation? that’s not a bug, it’s a feature.

    Comment by Peter B (e98636) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:32 am

  10. He owns it. He can lie about it, but he owns it.

    I then think of the phrase “those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.” Namely, the Great Depression over 60 years ago.

    Interestingly and oddly enough, that can reflect poorly on both the guy now in the White House and the American electorate. It could also be one reason why the Great Recession, so far — and in spite of how lousy Barry is — hasn’t been as horribly, absurdly handled as was done in the 1930s, by a Republican White House and then a Democrat one.

    Hoover and Roosevelt happily raised income taxes in the 1930s on the investment class (read: more affluent Americans) to a mind-numbingly high 70-plus percent level. That after the stock market already had been destroyed by the crash of 1929, and much of the populace was reeling and spooked.

    Obama, if he had full, free reign, would do a variation of the same thing. But the lunacy of theories regarding tax policy of decades past isn’t quite as extreme today as it was when Hoover and Roosevelt were in the White House.

    But the American populace in 2013 regrettably is about as dumb as its predecessors were. IOW — and based on opinion polls — it places most of the onus of blame for the nation’s economic lethargy not on the super-duper tax-and-spend liberal (ie, FDR in the 1930s and, now, Obama in the 2000s) but on the Republican squishes (ie, Hoover then, Bush Jr today). That’s why the MSM does have some cover for the way it has treated Barry Soetero over the past 4 years.

    Some of that is borne out of superstition and immature word associations that the public has between politicians and situations. So “Bush” (or “Hoover”) — perceived by many as killjoy realists (and laissez-faire capitalists—which they weren’t) — evokes the start of a big, dreary downturn, while leaders like “Roosevelt” (or “Obama”) evoke the benevolent hand of a soothing, I-feel-your-pain, do-gooder mommy.

    “The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves…”

    Comment by Mark (68549d) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:33 am

  11. And Kman thinks 1.23 percent growth is just peachy.

    Once again, Kman is beyond parody as he attempts to deflect blame from the worst President in history.

    Comment by SPQR (dc3315) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:33 am

  12. Comment by f1guyus (647d76) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:30 am

    Yes, some of us here have been tracking inflation with the cost of bacon (or the ability to get it on 2 for 1 sales). Unfortunately, I don’t have the refrigerator or freezer space to stock up, nor have I investigated buying commodity futures.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:33 am

  13. Comment by Mark (68549d) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:33 am

    I think some of the problem is not just forgetting the lessons of the past, but having refused to learn the obvious lessons in the first place. For those who think FDR was great, as most of us were taught in school, what’s the problem with repeating what he did, and more?

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:37 am

  14. Kman,

    Did you hear that the non-partisan, unbiased Council of Coyotes and Foxes just released a study that concludes it is not necessary for Farmer McGregor to lock up the henhouse at night.

    Good grief, Mr. Big Government Proponent, is there any part of your brain that is capable of processing the concept that any dollar spent by the federal government is a dollar that must be first extracted out of the private sector ?

    If government spending MORE money is the engine of economic growth, then why is the nation of Greece having such difficulty ?

    The foolishness that emanates from your keyboard is at least amusing, in a “what will that drunken Chris Matthews say next ?” kind of way, I’ll concede you that much.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (0edb01) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:38 am

  15. MD in Philly, buying gold as an inflation hedge sounds good but I’ve stayed out of it because I’m worried that the gold bullion business does not really look reliable to me. I’ve seen too many suggestions that the gold does not exist in the quantities “sold” or is tainted with counterfeit.

    And the solution of buying gold coin has its storage security issue.

    Comment by SPQR (dc3315) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:38 am

  16. If I were a GOP pol I’d just take the gloves off and make it clear that Obama is the most irresponsible, unserious President we’ve ever had. His irresponsibility is one of the chief reasons the economy sucks.

    I would be prepared to rattle off the facts behind that statement.

    But mostly I would just ridicule and belittle his M.O. “Of course he’s blaming us. That’s all he does, when President me-me-me isn’t taking credit for what other people have made go right.”

    Then point out that it would be better and cheaper for the country as a whole if the campaigner in chief just hit the links at Andrews AFB instead of flying off to make a silly speech in Vegas so he can satisfy his need for attention.

    I honestly don’t know why the GOP treats this petulant juvenile with a respect he doesn’t deserve. All he ever does is grandstand. That’s all he knows how to do. And my message would be that I can’t take his constant excuse making seriously.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:49 am

  17. SPQR, MD, you can also buy stock in mining companies if you’re worried about buying or storing physical precious metals. When people are hedging against inflation, buying stock in the companies that produce the commodity is about as good as owning the commodity itself.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:53 am

  18. I know people are wary of stocks these days, but some stocks have an upside in a turbulent market.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:54 am

  19. Just remember, the short term should be capitulation and a spike upward in the DOW (perhaps already happened). Then the “correction”.
    Then the inflation…?? Hard to say but, obtw, compare your cost of steak today to six years ago.

    Bernanke won’t be able to boost the markets again since with QEIII still running what’s he to do? Do QEIII squared? cubed? Eventually the Greens will lynch him for killing all the trees to print money.

    Comment by cedarhill (51fe88) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:56 am

  20. I agree Steve57, but they would still need to overcome press bias to have effect, and I’m not sure how to do that (other than paid commercials/ads in “main streaam” media).

    For example, just saw an article about how outspoken Gabby Douglas is about her Christian faith and church involvement, and how little that has been mentioned in all of the stories about her.
    http://www.worldmag.com/2012/08/gabby_douglas_vs_secular_journalism

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:57 am

  21. SPQR, Steve57, thanks for the thoughts about gold and such.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:59 am

  22. There will be no inflation.

    Comment by Powder Dry (3d5492) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:59 am

  23. If it’s Obama’s economy, and GDP grew faster in 2012 overall than in 2011 overall, I guess Obama gets the credit.

    Comment by Kman (5576bf) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:03 am

  24. There will be no inflation

    Thanks for the laughs, True American.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:04 am

  25. Right that’s why a gallon of milk costs more then a gallon of gas, seriously

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:07 am

  26. Powder Dry, since the Federal Reserve is explicitly trying to create inflation (just not as much as I think they will eventually get), your comment is hilarious.

    In that way that watching someone fall on their face from their own clumsiness is hilarious.

    Comment by SPQR (dc3315) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:08 am

  27. Not enough government spending is the problem. The Bureau of Economic Analysis says that “government consumption expenditures and gross investment” lowered the change in economic growth by 1.33 percentage points. Put another way, if government spending had remained neutral (neither growing nor cutting back), the Q4 GDP would be 1.23 growth instead of negative 0.1.

    Yes, using the spike in Q3 as a baseline is a great idea.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:08 am

  28. Yes, using the spike in Q3 as a baseline is a great idea.

    Why not? The measurement of quarterly GDP is always against the previous quarter.

    Comment by Kman (5576bf) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:12 am

  29. Kmart thinks it is a wonderful idea to prop up the economy to 1.2% GDP growth with government spending of borrowed dollars. That one single comment from Kmart showcases his invincible ignorance.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:14 am

  30. Leftists like Kmart like base lining huge spikes in spending.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:15 am

  31. The inflation is already here — permanent gas price/gallon >$3, bread and meat prices up 50% from 4 years ago, a devalued currency from QE1,2 and 3 that has left housing prices inflated.

    Comment by jb (374c01) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:16 am

  32. It’s been Obama’s economy and only his economy since the day he signed the Stimulus Bill. And, although it failed to stimulate the economy, it did stimulate lots more debt, and it also stimulated the greed of his campaign contributions looking to cash in on their investment in his candidacy.

    As one phony green energy scam (funded by shaky loans arranged by the White House) after another bit the dust, Obama hypocritically blamed anyone and everyone except himself, usually George W Bush.

    Moreover, the watchdogs of democracy not only looked the other way as Obama stuck his snout and both hands in the till, but also conspired to confuse the issue, absolve Obama of culpability, and leave tax payers to pick up the tab while the arrogant Obama’s crooked cronies laughed all the way to the bank with their ill gotten loot.

    Comment by ropelight (8f7ff5) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:20 am

  33. Things like the following should really help boost the economy and the confidence of the electorate.

    Thanks, Obama!

    theblaze.com, January 31, 2013:

    [A]ccording to a recent report from the Wall Street Journal, union leaders (i.e. the same people who campaigned tirelessly in favor of universal healthcare) are trying to figure out a way to avoid paying for the costs associated with “Obamacare.” From the WSJ:
    ————-

    Labor unions enthusiastically backed the Obama administration’s health-care overhaul when it was up for debate. Now that the law is rolling out, some are turning sour.

    Union leaders say many of the law’s requirements will drive up the costs for their health-care plans and make unionized workers less competitive… To offset that, the nation’s largest labor groups want their lower-paid members to be able to get federal insurance subsidies while remaining on their plans. In the law, these subsidies were designed only for low-income workers without employer coverage as a way to help them buy private insurance.

    ————-
    As financial reality sets in, and rather than figure out a way to pay for the bill they helped pass, unions are trying to see if Washington will bail them out.

    “Top officers at the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the AFL-CIO and other large labor groups plan to keep pressing the Obama administration to expand the federal subsidies,” the WSJ notes, “warning that unionized employers may otherwise drop coverage.”

    “A handful of unions say they already have examined whether it makes sense to shift workers off their current plans and onto private coverage subsidized by the government. But dropping insurance altogether would undermine a central point of joining a union, labor leaders say,” the report adds.

    “We are going back to the administration to say that this is not acceptable,” said Ken Hall, general secretary-treasurer for the Teamsters.

    Why? Why? Why didn’t anyone tell these leaders about the costs associated with “Obamacare”?

    Comment by Mark (68549d) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:29 am

  34. Inflation, and other, hedges:
    Commodity Funds;
    Stocks in S&W; Sturm, Ruger; ATK (ammo mfg);
    hardware from same.
    And, re-fi at a sub-3% fixed while it’s available.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:34 am

  35. Kman,

    You’re obviously an employee, rather than an employer.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (20ba30) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:43 am

  36. Kmart demonstrates that, like the Obama administration itself, Obamabots dwell in an alternate universe completely detached from reality.

    Of course the government can come up with a metric that proves whatever the government is doing is making things better. Peter Orzsag famously commented when he was defending Obama’s “jobs saved or created” silliness that they didn’t actually look at actual job creation. They looked at their own model.

    Garbage in, garbage out. They took the same modeling software that predicted how many jobs would created if they spent x amounts of dollars and assumed it would have y multiplication factor when arguing for the stimulus, then later input how many dollars they did spend and, presto! The modeling software told them how many jobs they created based upon their assumptions.

    As I said, completely divorced from reality.

    Speaking of which, under the Obama administration the cost of the regulatory burden on business has exploded.

    As Adam White discusses in detail, there’s nothing moderate or incremental about the increase in federal regulations — and hence in centralized executive power — under President Obama. To the contrary (as White notes), according to figures published by the Obama White House (see table 2-1), the costs of regulations issued by this administration have dwarfed the costs of regulations issued by prior administrations.

    In fact, as the chart below shows, the costs of “major” regulations — those estimated to cost at least $100 million in any one year (in 2001 dollars) — issued by the Obama administration in its first three years nearly tripled the cost of those issued by the Clinton administration in its first three years, nearly quintupled the cost of those issued by the George W. Bush administration in its first three years, and nearly doubled the cost of those issued by Bush and Clinton combined. Again, that’s according to the Obama White House’s own tallies.

    But the WH is arguing that by quintupling the costs of Bush’s regulations they are providing 25 times the economic benefits! This is what Obama meant by his 2008 campaign pledge to “streamline” regulations.

    According to the White House—specifically, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), the White House’s central office for regulatory analysis—the “major rules” enacted by executive branch agencies in President Obama’s first three years cost the public as much as $32.1 billion.

    Now, the White House offered that figure as cause for celebration, claiming the alleged net benefits of those regulations were (by its own accounting) worth $91 billion—or, as the White House’s website boasts, “over 25 times the net benefits” of the Bush administration’s first three years. But one need not be a cynic to have doubts about the administration’s accounting. The first three years of Obama’s regulations weren’t just 25 times more “beneficial” than Bush’s; they were also 6 times more “beneficial” than Clinton’s first three years of regulations. The administration was evidently very, very confident of its own ability to regulate the nation into prosperity.

    This is of course insane. But again the Obama administration doesn’t see that as an obstacle. This study, EPA’s Pretense of Science: Regulating Phantom Risks, explains the pseudoscience behind this stupidity the Obama administration vomits forth with a straight face.

    In short, like Obama’s OMB, his regulatory agencies make certain assumptions about the health benefits of their regulations. Then they do unscientific polls asking people how much they would pay for those added years they’d live assuming that those health benefits were actually achieved by their regulations (that’s just one example of how they calculate the “economic benefits”). Then they dump that data into their software model and, presto! The computer spits out the exact amount of economic benefits!

    Of course it’s all garbage; the costs are real so they come up with notional, fictional actually, benefits to claim the good outweighs the bad.

    They produce nothing real, nothing of value. Which reminds, back to Kmart’s inane argument.

    Here’s part of how the BEA calculates GDP.

    Today I’d like to draw attention to one of the peculiarities of GDP. For your consideration:

    Scenario 1. Tomorrow, ExxonMobil spontaneously hires an unemployed petroleum engineer for $100K per year. She spends a year looking for new oil, finds nothing.

    Scenario 2. Tomorrow, the federal government spontaneously hires an unemployed petroleum engineer for the same $100K. She spends a year looking for new oil, finds nothing.

    So, how do these two alternative scenarios impact the official GDP figures?

    Scenario 1 has zero impact on GDP: No oil to sell=no extra consumer purchases=no extra GDP. As the Bureau of Economic Analysis says, “Personal consumption expenditures…is goods and services purchased by persons…”

    Scenario 2 raises GDP by $100K. As BEA says, “Government consumption expenditures…consists of…compensation of employees…”

    The private sector actually has to produce something that people want to buy to contribute to GDP.

    The BEA’s assumption is that throwing money down the public sector rathole while producing nothing contributes to GDP.

    Again, garbage in, garbage out. This is how the BEA’s “analysis” proves things would be worse if the government wasn’t sucking money out of the productive sector of the economy and just flushing it down the toilet.

    This is the economic equivalent of assuming if you’re suffering form a drought you toss virgins into volcanoes. When the rains come, it’s because you tossed enough virgins into volcanoes.

    Only liberals live in that alternate universe. Sane people, the kind of people who run businesses and actually make the economy run as opposed to people who come up with computer models to calculate the cost/benefit ratio of tossing virgins into volcanoes, don’t buy this stupidity at all.

    As a matter of fact, one of the reasons the economy sucks is that the Obama administration is so divorced from reality that they can even make these asinine arguments with a straight face. Economic actors look at this administration in horror, knowing they’ll never learn.

    Sorry for the long rant. But this administration is crippling the economy and thinks the fix is more bullets into the head. I’m sure they have a computer model that tells them what the economic multiplier is per bullet.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:55 am

  37. The Federal Register, an experiment:

    Each January 1st, delete every third entry in the FR!
    In one or two decades, it will start to make sense.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:11 am

  38. Obama owned it after the stimulus. What happened to Recover Summer III? The economy has turned the corner?

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:32 am

  39. “Not enough government spending is the problem.”

    Kman – Of course the bellwether of a healthy economy is robust government spending.

    HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:35 am

  40. JD, recall the Democratic Convention. Remember that Obama ran as the Challenger against President Romney.

    His administration tore the recovery summer page out of the New Soviet Encyclopedia that the press uses as a reference. What recovery summer?

    Obama’s never owned anything in his life.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:37 am

  41. Strippers are doing just fine since people can use EBT cards in ATM machines to get cash to pay for lap dances.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:37 am

  42. KMan- Fact. When it hits the fan, you and those you care about will suffer as much (if not more) than the people who tried to warn of it, tried to prevent it, and are doing their best to mitigate its impact to their own famililes by planning ahead as best they can. Deep down are you really as nonchalant as you come across? Between us, don’t you sometimes read something about the debt that resonates a little? Don’t you ever look at the math and get a cold sweat? Don’t you occasionally wake up in the middle of the night wondering, “what if?” Are you so driven by devotion to a political narrative that (even if you’re unwilling and unable to admit it publicly) you honestly don’t see what’s happened to our economy and the downward trajectory we’re on as a nation and as individuals if we don’t immediately do something about spending and debt?

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:40 am

  43. elissa, those thoughts only occur to people who aren’t brain-dead already.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/31/2013 @ 10:47 am

  44. Elissa – you have far more faith than I that a fanboi like kmart would ever be introspective.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 11:30 am

  45. Invest in AR-15′s it sounds like to me.

    Comment by jack (ff1ca8) — 1/31/2013 @ 11:33 am

  46. MD in Philly,

    The suggestions about commodity efts, select real estate (location location location not in california location not in NY-NJ-IL-Detroit,) and stocks are sound. If you buy precious metal etfs in a taxable account, you will find some nasty accounting problems. The gold etfs (IAU, GLD) sell some of their holdings to pay expenses. These sales generate tiny capital gains obligations for those holding these “stocks”. Not all efts provide their holders with the needed information at tax time. It’s a small obligation, but nevertheless with the IRS hiring 20,000 new examiners, it could create problems. Gold mining etfs are more straightforward, they pay dividends at the end of the year and they are a bit depressed right now. And even the large gold stocks (ABX and GG) are depressed right now relative to the last few years. However, all these things will be in momentary trouble when the next black swan event emerges. My hunch is that the current stock market highs are based on a lot leveraged buying and that will be the source of the the next crisis. These leveraged accounts will collapse like a house of cards under margin requirements at the first whiff of higher interest rates. And I don’t think the Fed will be in any position to intervene.

    Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 1/31/2013 @ 11:46 am

  47. if you do not actually have possession of the gold or silver you invested in, you have nothing.

    anyone who thinks we don’t have inflation hasn’t been doing any grocery shopping. prices are the same or higher, but package sizes keep shrinking.

    and, for those of you, like me, who can’t afford gold or silver, may i suggest semi-precious metals, such as brass, copper & lead.

    Comment by redc1c4 (403dff) — 1/31/2013 @ 11:58 am

  48. Buy wind, you can still make subsidized electricity out of it.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:15 pm

  49. Thanks again for the ongoing thoughts.
    I would be thinking of possession, even if in safety box- I’m not talking about large amounts, especially at the price of gold. I’m not talking about keeping the multi-million estate (there isn’t one), I’m talking about still having buying power if things get really nasty.
    That’s why I mentioned silver, not nearly as expensive as gold and I imagine more usable locally in an economy melt-down.
    Hindsight is 20/20. Gold at 1200 apparently was a good deal.
    Since they don’t even make pennies out of copper anymore I guess it has been gaining, like you suggest.

    but package sizes keep shrinking
    True that, especially ice cream. Breyer’s is still the same price for a carton, but it is no longer 1/2 gallon like it once was.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:15 pm

  50. Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:15 pm

    I thought of eating more beans, but natural gas is one thing that has been dropping in price. Too bad I never bought a piece of land in the middle of no-where PA for camping and hunting that now is a site for fracking.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:17 pm

  51. 47. I trust you mean high-brass lead.

    I celebrated today buying a couple boxes of 3 1/2 inch BB. I’m not a big spender.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:40 pm

  52. Inflation is what they want. Our national debt is denominated in dollars; if we can have 100% inflation, and prices double while wages (almost) double, the real value of the debt falls by 50%.

    For some people, inflation is a winning hand: if you have a mortgage, or any other debt, it’s denominated in dollars, and the real value of your mortgage payment declines by half. If, on the other hand, you are retired and living on things like your savings, the real value of those declines by half.

    It’s not just the feds who would profit from inflation: states and localities which have bonds out there would see the real costs of their debt service decline. Government at every level has a vested interest in inflation!

    Comment by The economist Dana (3e4784) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:41 pm

  53. 52. To bad credit has to get out of ICU for core inflation to get a lung-full.

    Bet bond prices get a head start.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:43 pm

  54. JD–I honestly don’t expect that Kman will respond to my questions. But they are sincere and genuine questions and I wish he would. I would really like to better understand why many ostensibly smart and educated people are not concerned about GDP and seem to be in denial about the debt and what our inability to pay it down–largely because current and recent administration kept increasing it–means not just for the longer term future but short term too.

    I have the same questions for many of the Proggy shills on TV. Clearly they’re not planning to go on government relief. They have children and grandchildren and homes that require ongoing maintenance and cars that need gas. They too worry about needing to sock something away for their retirements. They also pay layers of taxes and have to buy food and medical care. Many of them even are old enough to have lived through the horrors of the inflationary 80s. (Although as MDPhilly points out in the 80′s savings accounts and CDs were at least paying decent returns to somewhat help counteract the high prices for retirees on a fixed income.) But on TV and blogs the left leaning “experts” and shills’re all wide eyed innocence. It’s the indifference, the nonchalance of such people that blows my mind.

    We live in interesting times.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:49 pm

  55. It will NEVER be Obama’s economy. They’ll never admit to a bad policy or a bad regulation and they’ll never stop blaming someone else. They’ll do it for so long; people will get used to it.

    Comment by NaBr (a094a6) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:56 pm

  56. MD in Philly, #49

    The problem with possession is what and where to buy. You can buy directly from US Mint, and the stuff is probably what it claims to be, but at a high price. And more than likely your name is going into one of hte one’s databases for future reference. Old gold coins of intermediate denomination may be of interest. For example 20 franc French Angels, which have about 1/5 oz of gold per coin, cost around $340 right now. They are about the size of a nickel. The problem is that we know the US mint sold at surplus some of their special presses which could allow easy counterfeiting of almost any coin. And to whom did they sell it? A Chinese enterprise. So when buying such coins, a local coin shop of good repute and long business history is comforting, but I’m of the opinion that if someone wants to counterfeit something, the technology is there to do it, as long as they use the same metal(s). But they can’t transmute lead to gold, so simple tests of density and electrical properties should be enough to reassure you that the metal weight is what you expected it to be.

    Comment by bobathome (c0c2b5) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:06 pm

  57. “Inflation is what they want.”

    The economist Dana – Doesn’t everyone?

    I think I still have some old WIN buttons tucked away somewhere.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:13 pm

  58. 55.

    It will NEVER be Obama’s economy. They’ll never admit to a bad policy or a bad regulation and they’ll never stop blaming someone else. They’ll do it for so long; people will get used to it.

    Comment by NaBr (a094a6) — 1/31/2013 @ 12:56 pm

    Before long President Prom Queen will be doing more hard-hitting interviews on 69 Minutes, The View, Teen People, etc., saying people should be thanking him for doing such a wonderful job.

    As an aside, he’ll then go on to blame Bush for the fact that Hezbollah just launched all those Syrian-supplied chem/bio warhead equipped rockets into Israel before boasting about how without his leadership the Muslim Brotherhood may not have declared a unified Turkish/Egyptian Islamic state.

    That will appeal to his base. But not to sane people.

    IBD: As GDP Falls, President Obama Runs Out of Excuses Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/ibd-editorials/013013-642576-gdp-economy-decline-president-obama-policies.htm#ixzz2JaewesaA

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:18 pm

  59. An interesting theory. Except that while the BEA says defense spending declined in Q4, overall federal spending was up $31 billion compared with Q4 2011 and up $98 billion compared with Q3 2012, according to monthly spending reports out of the Treasury Department.

    Oops. Kind of makes Kmart seem kinda silly.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:23 pm

  60. I blame the Japanese Tsunami again.

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:36 pm

  61. I blame future Japanese Tsunamis. And future Japanese Tsunamis that may strike other countries.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (436d36) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:41 pm

  62. “It’s not my economy—I didn’t build that !”

    —President Barack Obama, January 31, 2013

    Comment by Elephant Stone (436d36) — 1/31/2013 @ 1:48 pm

  63. Ihe IBD article is good. Thanks for the link, Steve57.

    So maybe it’s the lack of adequate stimulus?
    Perhaps, but only if you ignore the Fed’s massive ongoing pump-priming efforts, and the fact that the deficit in Q4 alone topped $292 billion — nearly double the deficit for all of 2007.

    We should ask Paul Krugman about this. He has a Nobelprize. He’ll know what to do!

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:35 pm

  64. “Powder Dry, since the Federal Reserve is explicitly trying to create inflation (just not as much as I think they will eventually get), your comment is hilarious..”

    And your evidence that they are succeeding in this endeavor is….oh yeah, there is none.

    Clown. When people like you and Patsy Rico decide to begin acknowledging facts, maybe you can join the rest of us who are actually concerned with outcomes, not hogwash.

    Comment by Dry Powder (3d5492) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:43 pm

  65. Elissa – Krugman thinks over a quarter trillion in deficit spending in Q4 is austerity.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:43 pm

  66. True American – when was the last time you went grocery shopping? How can you possibly deny that inflation is a known and predictable outcome of QE1, QE2, and QE3?

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:45 pm

  67. “When people like you and Patsy Rico decide to begin acknowledging facts”

    Dry Powder – Which facts are you asking to be acknowledged?

    Can you provide a list along with their sources please?

    OKTHXBY

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:49 pm

  68. To your point, Rick Davis of Consumer Metrics via Mish.

    “We have mentioned before that the BEA is notoriously poor at recording turning points in the economy in “real time.” The first quarter of 2008 was a classic example, initially being reported in “real time” as yet another quarter of sustained growth before being revised downward several times over some 40 months to become the first quarter of contraction leading into what we now call the “Great Recession.” We fully expect that ultimately the surprising economic upturn seen in the 3Q-2012 data will largely vanish in future revisions.

    It is hard to look at these new numbers without at least some cynical thoughts about the reported numbers for the prior quarter. We were frankly astonished when the final numbers for the third quarter came in at a 3.09% “full recovery” growth rate, driven largely by unexplained increases in Federal spending, particularly in the Department of Defense (DOD) — the timing of which was completely controlled by an Administration in serious need of positive pre-election economic headlines. The annualized rates of growth for defense spending rose to over 15% in 3Q-2012, only to magically reverse magically to -15% annualized contraction rate in 4Q-2012.

    To that last point: arguably the DOD was simply moving materiel acquisitions forward in anticipation/avoidance of “fiscal cliff” sequesters, with the economic impact of the contracting binge a mere side effect of bureaucratic hoarding. We should all hope that the context of any such timing shenanigans were more budgetary than political in nature.”

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:53 pm

  69. Dry Powder, you once again illustrate only your own ignorance of rather basic macroeconomics.

    Comment by SPQR (91bcec) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:55 pm

  70. JD’s point at 59. God I need Geritol or someat.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:55 pm

  71. I have to agree with the kooky liberals who say there’s no inflation.
    I mean, there’s no inflation per se—it’s just that things happen to cost more !
    Sheesh, you duplicitous conservatives are always injecting facts, and math, and economics, and logic into the equation.

    Jerks !

    Comment by Elephant Stone (436d36) — 1/31/2013 @ 2:57 pm

  72. Elephant Stone, ignorant trolls like the Moby above don’t want to bother to even familiarize themselves with what the Federal Reserve is doing and the Fed’s rationale – much less any of the substantive criticism of the Fed’s actions.

    The Fed thinks that some inflation would be “good” for the economy by increasing what is colloquially known as the “velocity” of money. That’s the point of what they’ve been calling “qualitative easing” and the immense dumping of “printed up” money in the form of buying up most of the US Treasuries issued in the last couple of years with made up “money”.

    Unfortunately, the foundational reasons for the poor economic performance haven’t changed and have only been made worse by the Obama/Democrat insistence on continuing destructive policies like Obamacare.

    And so the Fed’s actions fail to improve the economy but are nonetheless succeeding in flooding the money supply with crap that is going to cause an explosive of out of control inflation if real economic demand ever actually shows up. There are some scary instabilities out there right now – seen in the Q4 drop in GDP, the weird yo-yo of retail gas prices and more.

    Comment by SPQR (91bcec) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:03 pm

  73. True American, Dry Powder, Smegma Breath, whatever, consumer confidence isn’t diving because the message or its delivery is flawed, ‘That we’re out of the ditch, cruising down the highway’.

    People are taking stock of their real, day-to-day bottom line. En masse, we are feeling big air and seeing hardscrabble beneath.

    The tough news: when inflation gets rolling fixed incomes, e.g., entitlements and tax day transfers will not keep up.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:06 pm

  74. “True American, Dry Powder, Smegma Breath, whatever, consumer confidence isn’t diving because the message or its delivery is flawed,”

    gary – You mean it’s really not just a communications problem and that we’re not poised on the edge of taxing and spending our way back to greatness and equality?

    Who knew, who knew?

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:20 pm

  75. He owns it. He can lie about it, but he owns it.

    He owned it two years ago. Didn’t stop his useless POS ass from getting re-elected, because the media kept lying for him, and too many idiots still believe them.

    He’ll own it, but the GOP will still get to be The One’s Whipping Boy… and The One will treat his whipping boy with all the empathy and consideration we’ve seen in him so far on pretty much everything.

    Comment by IGotBupkis, Legally Defined Cyberbully in All 57 States and some Canadian provinces (98ae1f) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:28 pm

  76. Inflation, devaluation, and depression are the inevitable consequences of Obama’s sabotage of the nation’s economy. Escalating spending is the razor he holds at Uncle Sam’s throat.

    Comment by ropelight (8f7ff5) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:31 pm

  77. 74. People I bump into and share a word are looking haggard and grim. We’re not angry, just wondering how bad it will be.

    Expectations at low ebb.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 3:48 pm

  78. Let’s see…the stock market is the highest in 6 years. Corporate profits are at an all time high. CEO pay is at an all time high. Middle class income as a percentage of GDP is at a record low.

    Deficit spending over that time period has created a false demand, and when
    leveraged by the banking system has created demand based on debt rather than on
    productive growth in the economy.

    More than half of the overall economy
    is based on phantom dollars and not actually demand based on productive
    means.

    When it falls, its going to fall quite hard. And leave a rather
    large crater.

    What I don’t understand from the OP is how he/she can pose the question while
    being seemingly astounded that Obama is not as unpopular as the congressional Republicans…..baffled. The
    economy is slowly recovering IN SPITE of congressional republicans doing
    everything in their power to stop it via these arbitrary budget
    arguments and attempts at austerity despite overseas evidence of it’s
    ineffectiveness and taxes are (compared to their historical average) quite
    low…..I don’t understand what you people are so pissed about. If

    See
    the charts below for three key economic indicators (GDP, Private sector layoffs,
    and total employment) pre-Obama, during his first day, and after the
    stimulus kicked in for a hint as to why the approval rating is at 60%….

    And to the paranoid lunatic right wing nuts, this is proof Obama’s a red.

    Poe’s law is broken every day by the right wing. It would be funny if it weren’t tragic.

    Comment by Questionman (40df90) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:23 pm

  79. Kthxby

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:26 pm

  80. Another Moby swims by.

    Comment by askeptic (b8ab92) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:26 pm

  81. That whole thing was quite obviously lifted from somewhere and is being spammed. Oh. And it is aggressively dishonest.

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:32 pm

  82. Inflation will only start when and if the Federal Reserve Board decides to “fight inflation”

    Comment by Sammy Finkelman (d22d64) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:33 pm

  83. An incoherent driveby Moby … just what we wanted for Christmas.

    Comment by SPQR (768505) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:44 pm

  84. The economy seems to be a real sore spot with the trolls and magnet for the mobys. Those are the threads they seem to find and drop in on. Perhaps JD and Pat should start using a euphemism word instead of “economy” or “economic” in the thread names to avoid the search result. Like Palomino or something.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:47 pm

  85. Since a lot of the readers/commenters here are very well-informed, do any of you know the answer to the question as to – How much inflation (percentage) have the past few years (since 2007, say) of “Quantitative Easing” introduced with respect to the US dollar ?

    That number can then be factored into the seeming rise in the Stock Market – since the ‘value’ of a stock will go up as the value of the dollar goes down …

    For those many of us willing to learn from history, back in the UK last millennium, when the UK was put through a similarly-effective business-supportive economic climate by government (under Harold Wilson), “The Pound in your pocket is worth {an increasingly small amount} !” proved to be a very effective slogan which resonated with those who were actually buying their own food and necessities of Life …

    MD in Philly – perhaps you might consider investing in seeds and plants … I know that I will be growing more of my own produce this year – admittedly, in Southern California, that is easier than in the north-east or the mid-west …

    Comment by Alasdair (9f79fc) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:51 pm

  86. http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/31/reid-the-gop-really-needs-to-stop-bad-mouthing-this-recovery-were-in/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:57 pm

  87. Dingy Harry “This War is Lost” Reid said we shouldn’t badmouth this recession? Err, recovery?

    The raving hypocritical loon Dingy Harry “Anonymous sources tell me Romney hasn’t paid taxes in years” Reid hasn’t said anything that stooopidly comical since, what, the day before yesterday. When he defended Menendez by saying you have to consider the source of the allegations against him.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 5:06 pm

  88. Alasdair, you raise an important question about measuring inflation but I don’t think anybody trusts the “official” garbage in- garbage out statistics on inflation. What people know is that prices are up where it hits their wallets, especially at the grocery store. Ritz crackers are the same price per box but it’s no longer a pound. Same deal with peanut butter and ice cream and pre-pack coffee and canned corn and some chocolate chip types all cynically being sold in smaller sizes to keep the shelf price the same. Most things that are still sold in their traditional measurements like a dozen eggs or a gallon of milk or a pound of bacon are clearly priced way higher than they were a year ago. On and on. When I’m cooking old recipes I need to watch for package shrinkage because “a can of” this or “a package of” that may not be the same quantity it’s been for decades.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 5:10 pm

  89. Yes, I’ll have two pounds of unobtanium, and one of dilithium; http://hotair.com/archives/2013/01/31/the-epa-once-again-raises-its-biofuels-standards-for-biofuels-that-still-do-not-exist/

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 5:25 pm

  90. What ye sow, so shall ye reap:

    IRS estimates cheapest Obamacare family plan at $20K, calls tax a penalty.

    I wonder who will be the first to sue, saying that it is only a tax if they call it a tax and otherwise it’s unconstitutional.

    I also wonder just how pissed off the bourgeoisie will be when they find that they cannot afford insurance anymore, but they still have to buy if for everyone else.

    Is there an election in 2014?

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/31/2013 @ 6:17 pm

  91. Kevin M- this was never about actual health “care” for the progs. And I blame the media for blatantly cheerleading this boondoggle which few of them understood, and for ignoring/shutting down any debate that could have helped the public see the truth. I blame the media even more than I blame the pols who didn’t read the bills and the stupid people who wanted to believe something good was going to happen for them.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 6:32 pm

  92. “IRS estimates cheapest Obamacare family plan at $20K, calls tax a penalty.”

    Kevin M. – That is some Suh-Weet cost curve bending right there.

    Heckuva job Barky!

    Comment by daleyrocks (bf33e9) — 1/31/2013 @ 6:52 pm

  93. Kevin, what hasn’t King Putt royally screwed up?

    But he’ll keep lying to his Obamabots about what a wonderful job he’s doing and they’ll believe him.

    Blast from the past:

    Florida restaurateur to impose surcharge for ObamaCare

    A Florida restaurateur who operates roughly 40 Denny’s locations and five Hurricane Grill & Wings franchises in Florida, Virginia and Georgia intends to add a 5 percent surcharge to customers’ bills to offset costs from ObamaCare beginning in January 2014 when the Affordable Care Act is fully implemented.

    “People are trying to find ways to avoid the penalties and to avoid having to pay for ObamaCare,” John Metz told FoxNews.com. “Everyone’s looking for a way to not have to provide insurance for their employees. It’s essentially a huge tax on all us business people.”

    To further offset the costs, Metz, who oversees roughly 1,200 employees as president and CEO of RREMC Restaurants, LLC, said he also will slash most of the staff’s time to fewer than 30 hours per week. That change will be announced to employees next month, he said.

    “I want to explain it to everybody, to let them know what’s coming down the pike,” he said. “We like to keep our employees informed.”

    The changes will force some front-of-the-house employees to look for second jobs, Metz said, but he simply cannot afford the penalties associated with ObamaCare.

    “It’s a great concept,” he said. “We want to have everyone insured. The problem is, who is going to pay for it and how are we going to accomplish this?”

    Under the current law, employers with more than 50 full-time (or equivalent) workers will be charged a penalty for the number of employees exceeding 30 full-time staffers who are not covered. With an average of 35 full-time employees per location, Metz said the $2,000 penalty would total roughly $70,000 per restaurant. Current coverage costs Metz up to $6,000 annually per full-time employee, he said. He currently provides coverage to about 250 employees.

    Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/11/15/florida-restaurateur-to-impose-surcharge-for-obamacare/#ixzz2JbxfAJtv

    But this restauranteur was the bad guy, recall, for saying he needed to add a surcharge to his bills. Not Obama. Not those thieving soulless ghouls in the Democratic party. No, the economic illiterates who voted for Obama because President Wonderful promised them free stuff at this guy’s expense were mad at this guy for complaining about how his bottom line was getting raped. They started twitter hate campaigns against him and the owner of Papa John’s, et al, who were just supposed to eat these costs.

    Well, thanks to Obama these illiterates who have to move back into the same bedroom they had as a kid after they graduate from college because they don’t make enough working as a barrista part-time now can’t effin’ afford to eat at Denny’s. Five percent surcharge? No way.

    If there’s a Denny’s that stays open because no Denny’s has the kind of profit margin where they can see their health care costs go up like they are and will continue to do under Obamacare. They have to have some full time staff.

    Great kidz. You voted for this. Now you’ll never get more than a part time minimum wage job AND once you’re off mommy and daddy’s health insurance policy what little you do make will go to your mandatory health care policy. Or the fine. But at least we won’t have to worry about anyone “feeloading” by waiting to get sick before buying a policy because they won’t be able to afford it.

    You know, I never thought I’d see Leonid Brezhnev reincarnated and make a political comeback anywhere. But if it were to happen I never would have thought it would have been here.

    Remember the GDP figures from the 4th quarter of last year, folks, because those were the good old days.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:02 pm

  94. I do wonder what the subsidy to help them is going to be for this sample family of five in the article if they cannot afford the lowest rung of acceptable to ACA insurance–or the fine, either. It may have been there but I didn’t see it.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:02 pm

  95. Has Sibelius written that rule, yet.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:11 pm

  96. Maybe not, elissa.

    Via Powerline:

    Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

    Some families could get priced out of health insurance due to what’s being called a glitch in President Barack Obama’s overhaul law. IRS regulations issued Wednesday failed to fix the problem as liberal backers of the president’s plan had hoped.

    As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.

    Everything Obama promises is a lie. Starting with “if you like your coverage, you can keep it” and continuing as you work your way down into the weeds.

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:12 pm

  97. Well, just to keep the good economic news rolling in, via Gateway Pundit:

    Thanks to Democrats – US Now 100% Dependent on 19 Strategic Rare Metals & Minerals – 11 of Those From China

    I love this quote, because it tells us what kind of economy Obama is going to leave us with. On purpose.

    Thanks to Democrats, the United States is now tied for last, with Papua New Guinea, in the time it takes to get a permit for a new rare metal or mineral mine.

    But Obama’s competitive. He’s no quitter. He’s not going to share last place with PNG; we’re going to take sole ownership of the title.

    Somehow it reminds me of this story:

    President Obama Literally Shuts Down Main Street

    Obama visits what used to be the happiest place on Earth and shuts down Main Street USA and employees couldn’t use their employee passes to get into the Magic Kingdom.

    (The ultimate irony? He went there to promote tourism and shut the thing down.)

    I thought, man, that’s sums up his presidency right there.

    Again, is there anything President Prom Queen doesn’t destroy when he touches it?

    Comment by Steve57 (104863) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:29 pm

  98. =-As a result, some families that can’t afford the employer coverage that they are offered on the job will not be able to get financial assistance from the government to buy private health insurance on their own. How many people will be affected is unclear.==

    Ok I think I’m beginning to get the picture here. There will still be 30,000,000 people without medical insurance. It will just be a different 30,000,000 than before Obamacare. And helpless taxpayers will be paying the salaries of 14,000 new federal hires at the IRS.

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:45 pm

  99. I have no idea why the left loves useless bureaucracy but it does and it always has.

    Here’s just one org chart you can entertain yourself with for hours.

    Comment by Ag80 (b2c81f) — 1/31/2013 @ 7:57 pm

  100. Elissa – features and bugs.

    Ag80 – is that a fake?

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:23 pm

  101. …if they cannot afford the lowest rung of acceptable to ACA insurance–or the fine TAX

    We need to start insisting they pass a law calling it a tax before it gets imposed, and suing at every level if they don’t.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:27 pm

  102. BTW, if anyone wonders why the stock market is up, where else do you put your money when interest rates are less than inflation? Soon to be much less.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:28 pm

  103. I have no idea why the left loves useless bureaucracy but it does and it always has.

    Full employment for parasites.

    Comment by Kevin M (bf8ad7) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:28 pm

  104. 78. Comment by Questionman (40df90) — 1/31/2013 @ 4:23 pm

    False advertising.

    Actually corporate profits are crappy, down nearly 25% on average.

    But they will get a big boost this next fiscal year with single payer healthcare.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:41 pm

  105. 85. Forbes had an article yesterday(linked somewhere in these threads) that US money supply has averaged like 11.6% over 49 months.

    Of course, Japan, Britain, the EU and Switzerland are all printing like mad but our day-to-day purchases are mostly domestic.

    We’ve seen assets deflate while food and energy have gone up with the money supply.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 1/31/2013 @ 8:54 pm

  106. “questionman” has posted parts of that same missive at various sites, all under different names. At city-data, he played the concerned lifelong conservative who now supports Obama because how far right Team R moved. It really is quite funny.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:01 pm

  107. And they it was lost in shipment, SPQR, so we’re getting it before Superbowl Sunday, it’s still incoherent, but that’s a bug.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:15 pm

  108. JD-
    I hate to hear it, but I can see the possibility of some frustrated concerned lifelong conservatives separating from the Republican party. But if they say that, and in the next sentence say they’re now supporting Obama it is to laugh. You know they’re a moby. And a very bad moby. They are unclear on the concept

    Comment by elissa (0a4150) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:16 pm

  109. He’s a sad panda, apparently, but qualitatively how different is he from Krugman, Delong, Blinder, et al.

    Comment by narciso (3fec35) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:28 pm

  110. Elissa – I can’t stand Team R.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 1/31/2013 @ 9:57 pm

  111. I don’t have as much time to read the comments here as I would like, but I kind of assumed that Kman was doing his best Onion impersonation and I laughed pretty hard. After reading the rest of this thread, I discovered that he was serious and that made me laugh even harder.

    Comment by physics geek (6669a4) — 2/1/2013 @ 5:32 am

  112. Barry, St. Cloud Airport, -18 6:30 AM. Wishin’ you wuz here, C*ckbite.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 5:40 am

  113. R.I.P. Ed Koch, who allowed the people of NYC to eat and drink whatever they wanted.

    Comment by Icy (2b83a4) — 2/1/2013 @ 5:41 am

  114. JD, at 66:
    Hi JD, I have records of everything I’ve spent since the middle of 2006.

    Looking back over, I see the following:

    * the absolute highest monthly expenditure for food was January of 2010. The second highest was April of 2012.

    * the absolute lowest amount was January of 2008. The second lowest was May of 2007.

    * my expenditure on food in January of 2013 was roughly the same as the *average* for 2006.

    Treating 2006 as a baseline, the monthly averages for each year did this:

    2007: decreased by 3.8%
    2008: increased by 3.5%
    2009: increased by 12.7%
    2010: increased by 4.4%
    2011: decreased by 6.1%
    2012: increased by 0.3%

    2012 vs. 2006: up 10.8% over 6 years.

    oddly, and somewhat unintuitively to me, if I break 2011 up into two parts (CA vs NY):

    CA 2011: decreased by 3.3% vs. 2010
    NY 2011: decreased by a further 8.7% vs. CA 2011
    2012: increased by 6.7% vs NY 2011

    I think the NY decrease is a result of added *concern* and therefore more careful purchasing, and the 2012 increase vs. NY 2011 is a result of the fact that initial paranoia was relaxed some after arriving here.

    That said:

    (a) the big increase seems to be in 2009
    (b) overall I expereanced a decrease in 2011 even before moving and becoming paranoid about expenses
    (c) While there’s some inflation, certainly, there’s no sign of runaway inflation.

    [Now, maybe I substituted good X for good Y; that's what chained inflation assumes I will do, and my records aren't good enough to note what food I bought. Or maybe i'm buying non-standard goods. Or maybe the fact that I've lived in high price markets means that i'm paradoxically insulated some from inflation seen in the rest of the country. My anecdote is not data. But it's enough of a basis for me to be skeptical of claims that we are currently, or have been over the last five years, undergoing rapid inflation.]

    Comment by aphrael (009f82) — 2/1/2013 @ 6:52 am

  115. Never claimed rapid inflation, Aphrael. And I suspect that you are correct in noting that the Cali and NYC markets are different than most of the other 55 States.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:12 am

  116. I think 10.8% over 6 years – which amounts to an average of 1.8%/year – is low enough that most people won’t notice it as it’s happening.

    Comment by aphrael (009f82) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:14 am

  117. ==Elissa – I can’t stand Team R.==

    JD, please post a photo of the Obama-Biden bumper sticker on your car. :)

    Comment by elissa (0a4492) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:15 am

  118. Aphrael – whole milk here was around 3.10 a gallon in 2006, now around 3.79-3.99. Fuji apples were around 95 cent per pound, now around 1.45 for same.

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:20 am

  119. Why do you hate me, Elissa? Would a picture of my father’s O bumper sticker suffice?

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:22 am

  120. I’ve noticed the inflation. There are things (that many would consider basic groceries) we don’t buy anymore, even when on sale.

    And I do remember that gas was under $2.00.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:30 am

  121. If inflation is 1.8% a year and savings accounts get next to nothing and housing is still below what it was…
    the only people not noticing it are those who are not paying attention, getting it bought for them, or have enough money that they don’t care- like the one and his wife when they decide what kind of caviar to get.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:33 am

  122. MD – I think 1.8% on a year over year basis is small enough that most people aren’t going to notice it. People living on fixed incomes probably *will* notice it, sure. But otherwise? We’re talking about something which costs $3.00 in one year costing $3.05 in another year; I doubt most people watch prices so obsessively that they notice that shift.

    The inflation people *do* notice is in things like housing costs, education costs, and medical costs, all of which are soaring.

    Comment by aphrael (efbf91) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:40 am

  123. And on the other hand, any sort of computer tech is deflating rapidly. I’m replacing my laptop because it’s dying; i’m going to be paying on the order of 15% less *in nominal dollars* than I did five years ago, for something of (except for display resolution, which has experienced a universal degrade in maximum quality) substantially higher quality.

    Comment by aphrael (efbf91) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:42 am

  124. Is that not the natural arc of almost every piece of consumer electronics?

    Comment by JD (448fa8) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:53 am

  125. CNN reports BLS Soviet simulacrum as “steady job growth”.

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-01/how-todays-strong-jobs-report-led-115000-job-losses

    It’s all seasonal adjustments and labor force recalibrations.

    No one with any honesty believes a word anymore.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:58 am

  126. Spanish market down 6%, US markets go on a tear, odd coincidence.

    Dutch nationalize ‘too big to fail’ SNS bank.

    Volatility our close companion now ’til the end.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:07 am

  127. 123. We just got a 46″ Haier flat-screen, 29 lbs., in the great room corner, $380.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:08 am

  128. For a change the ISM is up big on inventories-wait for it-and something else actually positive.

    How much you want to bet this turns out to be a bad bet, a malinvestment ignored by the Consumer?

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:17 am

  129. Oh, of course, the link:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-01/ism-beats-expectations-surge-inventories

    This is so sad, my dribble cup fell in my lap.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:19 am

  130. Aphreal–keep in mind that if you say housing costs are inflating, “soaring” in your srea, (NYC) I respectfully believe you and your personal experience even tho in my neck of the woods housing prices are very depressed. By the same token, food and household product inflation is obvious, impacting, and nothing to sneeze at in many parts of the country, including where I live and shop. Your poo-pooing of food inflation is kind of strange considering the real examples of it that fill this thread. Inflation and its effect, always, is in the eye of the beholder and based on what that individual or family needs to purchase or is using/ buying in that geographic location, income level and stage of life. That is a big reason national inflation rate percentages and reports are so useless.

    Comment by elissa (0a4492) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:22 am

  131. There are things (that many would consider basic groceries) we don’t buy anymore, even when on sale.

    What I find fascinating are the various products at the grocery store that are placed in increasingly smaller bottles or boxes, yet are priced as high, if not higher, than ever before. As one example, the original half-gallon-sized carton of ice cream is a relic of the distant past.

    Comment by Mark (68549d) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:50 am

  132. 78 Questionman, the more government rigs the game, the more people game the system, the more unsustainable, unbalanced, and untrustworthy it becomes. That’s exactly what we’re seeing.

    Reduce gov’t spending and we’ll see our circumstances improve.

    Comment by Joseph D (ece5cb) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:02 am

  133. The other half of your points are tied to money printing, which is exactly what O needs for his policies. Not the GOP.

    So, are you just trolling to prove Poe’s law yourself?

    Comment by Joseph D (ece5cb) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:07 am

  134. 130. We don’t know when runaway inflation will hit us. Right now providers seem willing to cut any deal and toss in service to make the rent.

    Yesterday our water heater sprang a leak internal to the cowling. Called a local provider mid-day and they were gone before I had to leave to pick up the squirt.

    Mark up, labor and tax approaching 50%. The survivors are beginning to take their cut. Just as bond prices and oil are creeping back up, we’re past the bottom in wage/price inflation.

    I don’t believe construction will make the inflation bus, they sit this one out.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:08 am

  135. Some large markets will be ill equipped to battle inflation:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-28/euro-soars-where-max-pain-europe

    Japan’s current account deficit surged to $80 Billion in 2012. Bet they turn to selling their US Treasuries for hard cash.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:14 am

  136. Elissa – *rental* values didn’t fall at all in the bay area or in NYC during the housing crunch, and are in fact rising at about 10% a year.

    I’m not poo-pooing food inflation, as you say it; i’m simply noting that if I look at the hard numbers I have entered into quicken and google docs over six years, I don’t see it.

    Comment by aphrael (009f82) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:28 am

  137. A student on his way home from the campus library one foggy night encountered one of his professors searching the ground under a street light.

    The student offered to help and asked what the professor was looking for. When told it was his glasses, the student quickly scanned the area and reported there were no glasses there.

    “I know they aren’t here, I didn’t lose them here, I lost them way over there” said the professor as he pointed out into the darkness.

    Baffled, the student asked why then was he looking under the streetlight. To which the professor replied, “because the light is so much better here.”

    Comment by ropelight (9fec25) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:48 am

  138. aphrael,

    Food inflation is real.

    Comment by Elephant Stone (a62c87) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:11 am

  139. 137. I’m not certain she’ll get it, but a good one.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:12 am

  140. 131. And coffee, I keep checking to make sure I the heft matches the net.

    The 12 oz. package is in peril.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:15 am

  141. We’re constantly playing at doing a budget. Over one period, I forget the length, not quite a decade ago, we’d spent $5,000 eating out in Mpls/St.P. Mostly franchise food, Macaroni Grill is good eating for that town.

    We occasionally dropped $200 on haute cuisine, but I was still loving my French wine.

    Economizations sort of slip into the memory hole.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:22 am

  142. ==I’m not certain she’ll get it==

    Gary, to whom are you referring?

    Comment by elissa (0a4492) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:27 am

  143. I’m not poo-pooing food inflation, as you say it; i’m simply noting that if I look at the hard numbers I have entered into quicken and google docs over six years, I don’t see it.
    Comment by aphrael (009f82) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:28 am

    I can still get bacon for $2.50 a package, but it is 12 oz of an off-name brand. Not that long ago I could on occasion pay $2.50 each on 2 16 oz. packs of name brand.
    Your figures my not show it in CA and NYC, but I know what I could buy here in Philly a few years ago that I don’t anymore.

    Thankfully we bought our house before prices took off and it is still worth more than we owe, but had we bought it at peak price we probably would not be able to say that.

    And gas used to be under $2.00/gallon. I am reminded every time it takes more than $50 to fill a tank.

    Comment by MD in Philly (3d3f72) — 2/1/2013 @ 10:52 am

  144. Gary – My experience is that coffee prices seem to have risen astronomically. I *mostly* deal with this by roasting my own coffee; green beans are less than half the price of preroasted beans.

    Comment by aphrael (402fa3) — 2/1/2013 @ 11:48 am

  145. 144. Food is tied to energy more than most expenses. We’ve seen oil ‘down’ maybe a year and winter blend is cheaper than summer’s.

    Not that we have a chance at rebates, food shouldn’t be rising much today on that account,

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 11:56 am

  146. 142. ‘lissa dear, are you trying to take all the ‘fun’ out of my snottiness?

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 12:00 pm

  147. I was referring to the 1%.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 12:10 pm

  148. Would a picture of my father’s O bumper sticker suffice?
    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/1/2013 @ 7:22 am

    – If I had an O bumper sticker on my car, my dad would shoot me.

    In the face.

    With a bazooka.

    Comment by Icy (2b83a4) — 2/1/2013 @ 12:11 pm

  149. Gary-sorry, I’m apparently not fully on board with the stream here. Up in the high 130s of the comments I thought you were addressing Aphrael’s comments by referencing ropelight’s subtle snark. But then you used the “she”. Aphrael is a man. So I was/am confuzzled. Still am. Nevermind. :)

    Comment by elissa (0a4492) — 2/1/2013 @ 12:26 pm

  150. Elissa: it’s surprising to me how often I’ve been confused for a woman online; thank you for remembering. :)

    Comment by aphrael (009f82) — 2/1/2013 @ 12:36 pm

  151. Amerikkka still not confused with Argentina:

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-02-01/argentina-becomes-first-nation-censured-by-imf-on-inflation-data.html

    Its the one with the Gay Prostitute as Emperor.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:37 pm

  152. The Mrs. hopes to change the subject:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/falklandislands/9841388/Argentina-pulls-out-of-Falklands-talks.html

    Certainly works for ibn Dunham.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 8:52 pm

  153. Collection agencies try a new tack:

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-woman-shot-on-lake-shore-drive-ramp-20130201,0,1471406.story?track=rss

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/1/2013 @ 9:01 pm

  154. aphrael #150 – it’s yer own fault for choosing a name known in Certain Literary Circles as a female character …

    “Aphrael is one of the Younger Gods of Styricum, and is known as the Child-Goddess, as her preferred form is that of a six-year-old girl with grass-stained feet, known to the knights as Flute. She has three known incarnations: Danae, the daughter of Sparhawk and Queen Ehlana; her true form, an adult woman; and the form of Flute, the six-year old girl, hardly different in appearance from Danae (she takes the form of a child, as people trust children more).”

    Note: our Dana, here, is not the same as Danae in the quote …

    (as far as I know, that is)

    (and we wouldn’t dream of observing certain grasshopper logic as expressed by a certain individual, no, sirree !)

    Comment by Alasdair (a28b33) — 2/2/2013 @ 2:15 am

  155. aphrael,

    Regarding food costs, this article is talking about a rise in beef prices but it also quotes a USDA economist as saying “I think probably the era of cheap food is over.” That sounds like food prices are higher than you think.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/2/2013 @ 4:44 pm

  156. 155. Regarding food costs, this article is talking about a rise in beef prices but it also quotes a USDA economist as saying “I think probably the era of cheap food is over.” That sounds like food prices are higher than you think.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/2/2013 @ 4:44 pm

    DRJ, Obama lectured us in 2008 that we can’t eat as much as we want. See? And some silly people think that everything Obama says comes with an expiration date.

    Comment by Steve57 (544a72) — 2/2/2013 @ 4:52 pm

  157. I guess you have to be President or First Lady to eat all you want, Steve57.

    Comment by DRJ (a83b8b) — 2/2/2013 @ 5:03 pm

  158. “Oh come on guys, we’re eating burgers here.”

    Not to mention slurpees.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/2/2013 @ 5:16 pm

  159. Can’t I just eat my waffles in peace?!?!?!?!

    Comment by JD (b63a52) — 2/2/2013 @ 5:34 pm

  160. In 1990 I spent a year as a benchtech. One day HR introduced me to a new “woman” to the group, name of ‘Athena’.

    This guy’s one concession to his ‘sex’ was laundered hair. He had massive hands and shoulders, wore his shirttail out, and seemingly two tiny injection ports on the back of his neck. Lasted a couple weeks.

    I know “confused”.

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/2/2013 @ 9:28 pm

  161. Well you’ve done a fine job painting the floor, how are you going to get out?

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-02-03/worlds-biggest-retirement-fund-considers-selling-its-japanese-bonds

    Comment by gary gulrud (dd7d4e) — 2/4/2013 @ 5:41 am

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