We have learned the Bush administration obscures all the figures. A few minutes ago I attempted to send a message to my Congressional representatives through the DownsizeDC.org website to accept the M3 economic study rather than the M2. I was told I have to complete the CAPTCHA procedure to send my message, but no procedure was presented on the website.
American household wealth climbed to a record high in the final quarter of last year, according to data released this week by the Federal Reserve.
The bad news: The data show U.S. households continued to fall deeper into debt.
Stock gains were the principal reason for the surge in household net worth, the Fed said in a quarterly statistical report.
The "experts" at MSN Money say we're all doing great. "Experts" started the Middle East wars which, among other things, drove fuel prices sky high, directly raising the cost of everything which utilizes transportation; therefore, virtually everything but real property.
"Household net worth –- the difference between the value of assets and liabilities –- amounted to $55.6 trillion at the end of the fourth quarter of 2006," the report said. "Household net worth rose $1.4 trillion last quarter, with most of that increase accounted for by gains on direct and indirect holdings of corporate equity."I'm sure this comes as a great relief to those of you who spend all your time managing your millions and billions in investments—and to hear MSN Money tell it, that's everyone but the dead and unborn.
Professor Uranus would like to supplement this cheer with the street report. As a printer I could tell what the stock market would do weeks in advance by what happened to the cost of staple paper products like number 10 envelopes and 8½ x 11" 20-lb. white bond. Great prices and sale deals meant a buyer's market and a thriving, growing economy. No sale deals and rising prices meant a seller's market and a suffering, shrinking economy. That was a quarter century ago and I'm not a printer now. I am a grocery shopper, and what I see at the checkout stand suggests the darkest foreboding (and scares the shit out of me)...
Since the first of the year prices for staple items like bread and Pepsi have increased about 25 to 30 percent. For other items, like Iams adult dry cat food, the price increase is 100 percent. I found similar increases in the price of mayonnaise and breakfast cereal, generally expressed by smaller quantities without reduced prices. I don't have a good link for this, because it's what I see at the store. I began noticing what things cost in stores 50 years ago, and in that time this is by far the largest across-the-board increase in prices I've seen.
I don't have investments to nurse me along. At year's beginning, Social Security granted recipients the benevolent increase of two percent, which amounts to an admission by Washington prices are increasing, and increasing prices are a symptom of inflation. In today's political climate, I'm flabbergasted the Bush administration would allow such a conspicuous admission THEIR economy's health isn't perfect!
Runaway inflation is one of the hallmarks of imminent economic collapse. Am I the only person on earth who notices it? According to the people working the cash registers, I am.