Monday, January 27, 2014

It's pretty much like comparing apples and assholes

Oh boy, Ontario peasants, have I got some great news for you. The minimum wage is going up $0.75! That's like, some change, for your pocket! If you're lucky and can find an old "low inflation" vending machine you'll only have to work 2 hours for a free can of cola. Good deal.

Ironic, though, isn't it? That it's raised on the same day that Dean Del Maestro criticized the government over the devaluing of the dollar. Of course by devalue he means against the USD, not in general as it is always devaluing as I try to cover ad-nausea on here as it's really the key to understanding the problem with everything else. As Mike Ruppert famously says: "until you change the way money works you change nothing".

I just recently explained where we are with the Canadian dollar and why it's devaluing. Recap: it's the taper. Dean Del Maestro is basically criticizing the Bank of Canada for doing exactly the same thing they've been doing for years. Devaluing the dollar. It's just that during this time the Americans were devaluing it at light speed too. Remember? The taper talk has temporarily muted that. But whatever, this is besides the point. Dean Del Maestro is right for the wrong reasons but his overall rightness is still rightness when you compare a dollar that has visibly just lost 10% of it's purchasing power against the USD (nevermind gold, bitcoin) with a meagre $0.75 raise in the minimum wage.

Meanwhile, China continues to stockpile gold and divest from U.S. dollars. Bitcoin, "legal tender" or not, is beginning to make serious inroads and confidence in it is growing. It should be no surprise that the U.S. was so quick to "bust" two of the exchanges for drugs, apparently. The U.S. runs the drugs folks, they are essential to the U.S. "economy".

Banks Launder Billions of Illegal Cartel Money While Snubbing Legal Marijuana Businesses
Stratfor Sources: U.S. Troops in Mexico as Feds Aid Cartels

Everyone is talking about how to help the poor and get them off minimum wage. But your wages are all devaluing too. The world is in a race to the bottom with the USD and don't think for a moment the fiscal cliff is over and done with. That was just round 1.

Raising the minimum wage isn't going to solve anything, all it's going to do is dilute the currency base and devalue your currency even more. It's gotten so bad there are basically two inflation rates as articulated in this article on Alberta's inflation.
Todd Hirsch, chief economist with ATB Financial, said consumers in Alberta saw much higher prices for fresh vegetables (15.7 per cent), natural gas (9.4 per cent), homeowner’s insurance (8.1 per cent) and gasoline (4.8 per cent). Year over year, prices fell for meat (2.0 per cent), electricity (1.3 per cent) and personal health care items (0.5 per cent).

“The trend that has developed, both within Alberta and Canada, is noticeable price inflation on many non-discretionary items — things like fresh food, natural gas, gasoline, rent, and intra-city transportation,” he said. “On the other hand, discretionary items such as personal care services, furniture, home electronics and certain clothing items are seeing very low inflation or even deflation.

“Because non-discretionary items account for a larger portion of the monthly budget for low-income households, it is these Albertans who are feeling the full effects of price increases. They can perhaps be forgiven if they don’t believe inflation is running at a mere 2.1 per cent.”
Yes, they can be forgiven because for them it's not a mere 2.1 per cent! It's "low inflation" for the have's and incredible cost increases for everyone else.

Andrew Coyne linked a story which supposedly busts the "myth" of a rising student debt burden. It uses 3 charts to accomplish it, supposedly. Average graduate debt at graduation, average graduate income 24 months after graduation, and average after-tax income to support the loan. All from 1986. But what is perhaps the most astonishing is the second chart, average graduate incomes 24 months after graduating.

In 1986? $46,321
And by 2012? $45,894

And somehow this is supposed to prove there is less of a burden? Sure it's weighted but its weighted to the wage growth, not the additional burden a near doubling of the student loan debt, and how about food, housing? How much are those eating into student's pockets?

Sure, you can point at any individual thing (except housing, food) and say "See! The price increases aren't that bad!". But start throwing the cost increases on everything in there and quickly a person's low-income disappears.

If we're going to continue pretending there is actually a solution to this in our Ponzi-conomy then perhaps the best thing to do would be to index minimum wage to the average of the incomes of the creators and benefactors of inflation, the banker CEOs. I'm betting that would end their "low inflation" woes in a jiffy.

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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading. He currently works for CenturyLink

Nazayh Zanidean is a Project Coordinator for a mid-sized construction contractor in Calgary, Alberta. He enjoys writing as a hobby on topics that include foreign policy, international human rights, security and systemic media bias.

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