Thursday, March 7, 2024

50 Is The New 20

















My wife has typically gone to our bank every week to withdraw $500 in twenty dollar bills with a couple of $50’s to make the pile smaller. She likes to pay cash for groceries, gasoline and other purchases. She believes this will make her less vulnerable to government surveillance and keep her off “the grid”. Under current Dem rule, I don’t think this is paranoid.

This year, she started drawing out $1000, all in fifty dollar bills.

Until recently, passing a fifty dollar bill at a store was difficult or impossible. Some stores would not accept bills larger than a twenty. At others, the cashier would hold up the bill to the light to look for the watermark and then give it the yellow marker test to make sure it was real.

Something has changed. Lately, our grocery cashiers and gas station clerks don’t give them a second look. They get stuck into cash drawers just like they were $20’s. Why is that?

My wife mentioned being in the checkout line a couple of days ago, listening to the woman in front of her howl when she saw her tiny bag of groceries rung up for $75. Last month, someone on my local social media site posted a picture of a small package of lobster and crab at the deli counter of our local supermarket with a price of $109.95 stamped on the saran wrap.

A basket full of groceries with enough for two adults for a month averages $510 to $820 today.

Gasoline to fill a 15 gallon tank cost less than $28 in 2020. Today it costs over $49.

People who do the shopping for their families know that inflation is not “under control”, as President Biden and his advisors are insinuating. When was the last time any of them went food shopping or filled up their own gas tank?

"The economy is booming and everyone knows it — except for the American people," wrote former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers this month in a working paper on inflation and the cost of money. A January Gallup poll found that 45% of Americans think the state of the economy is "poor" and 63% say it's getting worse.

What’s the reason for the disconnect? Well, statistics and politics have a lot to do with it. The primary measure of inflation, CPI (Consumer Price Index), is constantly being manipulated and redefined to achieve the desired results.

There have been hundreds of revisions and adjustments to the CPI over the years. Also, many versions of this inflation indicator have been generated, so that it is confusing which one is being cited. There is the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U), the CPI for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers (CPI-W), the Retroactive Series R-CPI-U-RS, Core CPI, CPI Core Core (also known as Supercore) and Chained CPI (C-CPI-U).

Some of these measurements minimize or entirely eliminate the costs of food, fuel, energy, and housing from the inflation calculation due to their perceived “volatility”.

Although the reported CPI during the 2021 – 2022 time period was between 7 to 9%, some economists have calculated the inflation rate to actually have been up to 16% or more.

The orchestrated evolution of the CPI from a Cost of Goods Index (COGI) to a Cost of Living Index (COLI) has allowed the government to report lower CPIs. This has resulted in higher tax brackets for taxpayers and lower Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for Social Security recipients.

Chained CPI was signed into law in 2017 and uses consumer buying habits to adjust income tax brackets for inflation. If, for instance, consumers can no longer afford steak for dinner and switch to eating breakfast cereal (as recommended by Kellog’s CEO), the rate of inflation is adjusted downward to account for the reduction in consumer spending, and taxpayers are pushed into higher tax brackets.

In other words, sacrificing your lifestyle by cutting your spending to fight inflation ultimately results in higher taxes.

Vladimir Lenin once stated that the way to crush the bourgeoisie (i.e., the middle class) is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation.

In 2022, the US government printed a record-breaking number of $50 bills. 756,096,000 were printed, taking it from being one of the rarest bills (other than the $2 bill), to one of the most prevalent, outpacing $10 and $5 bills in 2021 and 2022.

We can thank that “under control” inflation rate for the breakthrough prevalence and acceptance of the $50 bill as the new $20 bill.

Andrew Thomas

as published in American Thinker

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