muses of the moment

April 22, 2015

Regarding inflation vs. deflation

There is an ongoing debate about what the US is going thru and what it will go thru: inflation or deflation?

Martin Armstrong says we are in a deflationary monetary cycle. And in the big picture, he is right.

However,

Groovygirl has always said, it depends where you are. And gg has always said, it doesn’t matter how cheap a product/service is, if you don’t have any money to buy it. It is always about can your wages buy the necessaries or not? It really doesn’t matter the actual price, it’s the relation. Can you pay cash to buy a car or must you borrow? Can you borrow? Can you afford the monthly payment? A house? College? Health care? What percentage of your monthly income is spent on debt? 10%, 25%, 50%? If your wages go down, it could turn into 75% overnight?

I remember my grandfather talking about the Depression. He said he was much better off than many people because he had a steady job. He didn’t get a raise for 10 years, but he could save money and buy a car, because prices were low or relatively lower than before 1929/1930. He didn’t have to go in debt to survive. He could pay for food and rental housing and some extras like a car. And he wasn’t ever unemployed during that time.

People were in trouble during the Depression, because they couldn’t get a job, couldn’t earn enough (Farmers) to buy food and shelter, or couldn’t keep a steady income over that 10-year period and fell into debt to buy necessities. So, prices were expensive to them and many were starving and homeless.

It’s the relation of wages (employment) to prices. That’s why people are protesting for a higher minimum wage.

(That’s why people are leaving California with its high state income taxes and high property taxes for the Midwest. That’s why seniors are flocking to states, like Florida, that have no state taxes. People that can move are moving. They can do math and they can save 10-30% simply by moving to a different state and might get a better or steady job.)

But in Germany in the 1930’s, it was all about inflation. But inflation in prices didn’t keep up with wages (because of the country’s debt and their short-term solution of currency manipulation). It was still about the disconnect between wages and prices, but this time is was an inflationary macro environment.

So, structure investments, jobs, and assets to bring in income/gains that will keep up with prices in your home currency. And don’t forget about taxes. Income taxes and other taxes were not as extensive in the 1930’s as they are now. They must be considered in the “price” of living and assume they will go up.

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