By: T F Stern
T F Stern’s Rantings
There are several “Home Improvement” shows on the HGTV channel: House Hunter, Get it Sold, Color Splash or Holmes on Homes; my wife watches most of them. One you may not have heard about, Home Repairs with Ben Bernanke; you got it, head of the Fed himself, has worked out an arrangement for a remodeling show. I’m getting ahead of myself; back up a moment.
Say for instance you turn on the tube; Get it Sold, is the next program for the day. They have a limited budget getting a house ready for market and lots of issues to cover. These folks keep a running tab on what gets spent; re-upholstering the sofa, matching area rug, painting the bathroom and so on. They show the house before anything is done and you get to watch the process right up until the For Sale sign is posted out front. The last thing you see is how everything added up to prove they stayed within budget restraints.
On the new show, Home Repairs with Ben Bernanke, there are some slight variations in how to accomplish the mission. At the beginning of the show Ben holds up a copy of the last bank statement showing how much is available; on the opening show that balance is $15,000.
Instead of re-upholstering a piece of old usable furniture, they purchase a brand new leather sofa, matching ottoman and a 60 inch HD LCD wall screen television. The price for all these improvements, $26,459.00. Wait a second, that’s more money than we started with! No problem, Ben has a printing press. A quick check of the bank balance shows $56,897.00. Ben smiles as he looks into the camera lens, “Isn’t this great and we still have plenty of money.”
You think I’m making this up as I go along? Maybe I am. But here’s a quote from back in 2002; at the time Bernanke was addressing, “Inflation: Reversing Deflation”:
“Like gold, U.S. dollars have value only to the extent that they are strictly limited in supply. But the U.S. government has a technology, called a printing press (or, today, its electronic equivalent), that allows it to produce as many U.S. dollars as it wishes at essentially no cost. By increasing the number of U.S. dollars in circulation, or even by credibly threatening to do so, the U.S. government can also reduce the value of a dollar in terms of goods and services, which is equivalent to raising the prices in dollars of those goods and services. We conclude that, under a paper-money system, a determined government can always generate higher spending and hence positive inflation…”
If you’re not concerned about the future of America with folks like Ben Bernanke heading the Federal Reserve, then you’re probably oblivious to changes in the commodities markets. At the time of writing this, Crude Oil started the day at $103.61. It is now up to $1.70 or 1.67%. Gasoline prices at the pump jumped 22 cents per gallon this past week; rice and other basics are expected to increase by 40% in the next few weeks.
Gold and Silver are making the adjustment as well. Gold is at $1429.90 an ounce while Silver shows to be at $35.23 an ounce; 1% and 2.92% increases respectively. By the way, Ben’s third show, Getting By on Nothing, has inventive ideas on how to wallpaper the bathroom using various combinations of currency. Impressive, as these can also be used as toilet paper.
This article has been cross-posted to The Moral Liberal, a publication whose banner reads, “Defending The Judeo-Christian Ethic, Limited Government & The American Constitution.”