So you think you can tell
Heaven from Hell
Blue skies from pain
– “Wish You Were Here,” Pink Floyd
BALTIMORE – Today’s economy no longer seems to work for the average American.
His earnings go down. His debt goes up. He works longer to stay in the same place.
He had to work 990 hours to buy a Ford F-150 pickup in 1976. Forty years later, he has to put in 1,220 hours.
More for Less?
But economists claim he gets a lot more pickup for his money.
They adjust prices for “hedonic quality adjustments.” This allows them to tell us that a $26,000 pickup today is actually worth $36,000. Or more.
We buy a laptop computer for $1,000… and lo!… we have gotten $2,000 worth of computing power.
Economists are full of numbers. And their numbers are all lies.
Using their fake inflation numbers, they fake the numbers for GDP growth, using COLAs (Cost-of-Living Adjustments), TIPS (Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities), and more.
According to USA Today, monthly Social Security checks will rise a measly $5 in 2017, while Medicare premiums could jump as much as $149 per month.
We asked our expert researcher Nick Rokke to do a bit of recalculating.
What if you figured out the inflation rate the way the government did under the Reagan administration? we asked.
And what if you adjusted today’s GDP for a more honest rate of inflation?
“Wow!” says Nick.
You’d get a “real” (inflation-adjusted) GDP loss of 60% since 1989.
Wow is right… all the growth of the last 27 years disappears. Instead, we’ve been living through a massive depression.
Economists have ruined the economy. The working man knows it.
Deep State scams and rich cronies have walked away with trillions of dollars of other people’s money. There’s a vast assortment of more sleazy giveaways, too, hidden in a pile of federal regulations 80,000 pages high (with Obamacare regulations alone some eight times longer than the Bible!).
Thousands of plums are hidden in that pudding. And somewhere in the great Parasitocracy are lobbyists and insiders who know where they are.
But the man in the street has gotten poorer.
The feds, with their economist enablers, corrupted our money… and twisted the numbers so much, you need a torch and hammer to straighten them out.
And in the mangled numbers they hid a flimflam so grand it takes our breath away – that they can’t tell the difference between Heaven and Hell.
More Is Not the Answer
It wasn’t just the economy they bent. No one could have watched the presidential debates without noticing how our political system has been warped, too.
We’ll be laying out the whole argument in the upcoming issue of our monthly newsletter, The Bill Bonner Letter.
But the short explanation is that cheap credit made it appear as though we could get away with anything.
And if you can get away with anything, you don’t need any cranky old conservatives telling you to “hold on”… “not so fast”… and asking annoying questions, such as, “How are we gonna pay for this?”… “How do we know this will do any good?”… and “Who the hell do you think you are, interfering in other people’s lives like this?”
The feds and their economists can’t tell if anything is really good or bad… better or worse. All they have is the basic 10 digits. They can bend, twist, turn, crunch… and spin them out… any way they want.
Plus or minus. More or less. In their simpleminded way, the feds’ economists figured that more must be better – bigger numbers, they thought, are generally better than littler ones.
So they do all they can to encourage borrowing, spending, making, using, forcing, wars and destruction, burning, diddling, throwing away, subsidizing, outlawing – everything possible to create activity they can measure, mismeasure, and mislead.
Want to recycle old tobacco sticks? Want to take care of your own children? Want to stay at home, plant your garden, tend your chickens, run your life the way you want without some jackass from the government telling you what you need to do…?
Want to sit down and calmly reflect on what is really important to you and your family… and maybe come to the conclusion that more is not the way to Heaven?
What? You don’t want to go to the mall and buy something? What are you? Some kind of kook?
CHRIS WOOD, EDITOR, EXTRAORDINARY TECHNOLOGY
Today, hackers have sophisticated hacking tools and techniques. They’re now able to breach even the most secure systems to compromise your privacy and steal your information.
Even unskilled individuals can hack into systems now. Today, you can purchase easy-to-use software for a low cost on the “dark web.” This software can get past traditional security solutions like firewalls.
But you’re at risk… even if you don’t use the internet.
Think about it…
Even if you don’t access your checking or savings account online, your account is digital. The bank doesn’t actually hold the cash for your account. If hackers broke into your bank’s computer, they could easily transfer or delete your account balance.
Companies also process and store your credit card information digitally. That means, even if you don’t shop online, you can still have your card number stolen.
For example, in 2007, hackers placed software on apparel and home goods company TJX Companies’ network. The hackers stole data from at least 45.7 million customer credit and debit cards. Some numbers were used to make fake credit cards. These were used to buy millions of dollars of expensive electronics from retailers. TJX eventually settled claims against it for an estimated quarter of a billion dollars.
But it’s not just your credit card and bank account you have to worry about…
In 2015, hackers hit Anthem Health, the second-largest health insurance company in the country. The hackers got away with names, birth dates, addresses, employment information, and social security numbers for 78 million people. The reported cost of the breach was nearly $100 million.
According to the 2016 Norton Cybersecurity Insights Report, there are about 19 cybercrime victims per second globally. That’s over 1.6 million victims daily. And it’s 594 million victims per year – nearly twice the population of the U.S. That’s compared with 556 million victims last year.
Meanwhile, British insurance company Lloyd’s estimates that cybercrime cost businesses as much as $400 billion a year in 2015.
Last year, the Ponemon Institute found that the average annualized cost of cybercrime for the U.S. organizations it surveyed was $15.4 million. That’s a 22 percent increase over 2014.
As you can see, cyberattacks are growing. And things will likely get worse as our world becomes more connected.
Market research company Juniper Research says cybercrime will cost businesses over $2 trillion a year by 2019. That’s a four-year compound annual growth rate of about 50 percent.
In short, cybercrime has become an epidemic that’s costing us billions of dollars each year.
The only way to protect information is through increased cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity is the market for products and services that prevent and alert users of cybercrime.
The cybersecurity market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of about 18 percent from 2015 through 2020. That would take it from a $75-billion-a-year market to a $170-billion-a-year market over the next five years.
This offers a huge opportunity for investors. If the cybersecurity market isn’t on your radar yet, it should be. The cybersecurity company I recommended to my Extraordinary Technology readers in April is already up 53 percent… and the one I recommended in May is already up 47 percent. And there’s plenty more upside to come.
You can learn the names of these companies by subscribing to Extraordinary Technology. Click here to learn more.
Next Biggest Bull Market of All Time?
Bill discusses a disorganized, corrupt, and dangerous country that might just be poised for a bull market… One that could rival the latest one in the U.S.
Is This What’s Keeping U.S. Stocks Afloat?
Did you know that 2016 is on pace to deliver the fifth straight year of increased corporate bond issuance? Here’s how companies are using this free money to boost their stock prices…
Obamacare Premiums Will Go Up Next Year
The Obama administration says that Obamacare health-insurance premiums will go up in 2017. This, it claims, is because prices are finally getting in line with costs…
Bill isn’t the only one committing acts of economic sabotage by refusing to go out and buy new stuff. Here are some of your responses to yesterday’s Diary…
I am also committing economic sabotage. I bought a little 1950s shopping center and love to mow the grass, fix the plumbing, and renovate the suites (up to a point). I allow a homeless friend stay in one of the vacancies to get out of the weather; he helps mow and poison fire-ant mounds.
We’re co-conspirators in skipping all the regulatory burdens. He doesn’t get assistance from the government programs… and I’m not paying invoices for all the odd jobs real estate management requires.
I feel much more fulfilled after painting a wall than I do in my desk job selling aircraft. It’s becoming attractive to follow scripture: “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands.”
Will I be rounded up with you in the next administration for “crimes against the State”? Sad but possible.
– Russel R.
Tobacco sticks? It sounds like doing something for the sake of itself (kind of like music). Economic significance: nil. But I can come up with an even worse sin: just sitting around and thinking or meditating or musing.
Although economic consequences may follow, they don’t necessarily. Occasionally, thoughts will light up the brain like lightning arcing from cloud to cloud or from cloud to ground. It represents itself, and regardless of what interpretation we put on it, it is valuable because, just for a moment, it IS.
We now return you to your regularly scheduled program…
– John B.
Bill has even gotten a job offer from a reader, following his reminiscences yesterday of working on a tobacco farm in his youth…
Would you please ship some tobacco sticks to Northern California? The family marijuana industry would be a great potential market. The “new car” phenomenon has been taking place for many years here, affirming this.
There should be opportunities for consulting by old tobacco formers as well. Drying plants for smoking is a forgotten art and craft.
– Chris B.
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