Authored by Doug Casey via InternationalMan.com,
International Man: Recently, President Biden acknowledged inflation and its impact on Americans.
But he blamed “Putin’s Price hike” for the rising prices.
What’s your take on this?
Doug Casey: As Milton Friedman pointed out many years ago, inflation is always, in every instance, a monetary phenomenon. In other words, it’s caused solely by printing money. Period.
We have inflation in the United States because the Federal Reserve has been printing money by the ton. Is that going to change anytime soon? No, because the US Government is running one to two trillion in deficits—and that’s certainly going up as the economy goes into collapse over the next few years.
There’s no way that the government can finance those deficits except by selling the debt to the Federal Reserve.
The American people aren’t in a position to buy government debt. The Chinese and the Japanese are selling US paper. The only buyer is the Fed. And when it buys government paper, it monetizes it. It does this by crediting the federal government’s accounts with commercial banks with newly created dollars.
Higher prices are the consequence of this currency inflation. The fault lies with the US Government, not Vladimir Putin.
Currency depreciation is really devastating for any economy—as bad or worse than regulation or taxation. Not only does the average guy fail to understand where inflation comes from, but he’s hurt far worse than the rich. High rates of currency inflation make it much harder for the average guy to set aside capital and thereby improve his state in the world. When money starts losing value at 10%, 15%, or 20% per year, it becomes increasingly pointless to save it. And when there are no savings, capital can’t be built.
It’s a major reason why third-world countries stay poor. Even if people in third-world countries succeed in producing more than they consume, if they try to save the difference in currency, it’s inflated right out from under them. It’s why the lower classes all over the world—including the US—are losing ground.
It’s really serious, not just a “transitory” inconvenience, as the incompetent Powell and Yellen said not long ago. It’s become a permanent structure. The State needs to create massive quantities of currency and credit to feed itself and its minions.
It’s completely dishonest for Biden to blame Putin for the war in the Ukraine and say that’s the cause of inflation. It’s a bit off-topic here, but the war is mostly the fault of the US, expanding NATO to Russia’s border, replacing a Russian stooge in the Ukraine with US stooges starting in 2014, and backing a bloody war against the Donbas republics when they seceded. Putin’s unfortunate invasion is basically just a reaction to US meddling. In essence, it’s just a border war between two shithole countries in a region where frontiers have been moving for many hundreds of years. But US meddling might yet turn it into WW3.
International Man: California has some of the highest gasoline prices in the country.
As a recent attempt to address the problem, the state has agreed to issue “inflation relief” checks of up to $1,050 to about 23 million residents.
What do you think this will accomplish?
Doug Casey: It’s truly bizarre. The ruler of California has deigned to shower the peasants with some of the money he previously extracted from them.
During the 1920s in Weimar Germany, Zimbabwe 20 years ago, or Venezuela today, when the people’s standard of living drops due to inflation, the answer is always to print more money. It doesn’t create more wealth or solve the problem, but extra cash in their pockets makes them feel happy for the moment. Of course, as a governor, Newsom can’t print dollars, but he can ostentatiously distribute tax dollars from other sources for a while. Perhaps he’ll float a $23 billion bond to pay for it, so it’s then the problem of future taxpayers.
Why is Gavin Newsom doing it? He wants to show that his government cares, wants to help, and is anxious to “do something.” He wants people to think that although higher gas prices came out of Washington DC or Moscow, Sacramento can kiss it all and make it better.
My guess is that Newsom wants to run for President in 2024. So this could be his opening gambit. And, considering that Americans were stupid enough to elect people like Biden and Bush, it may work.
International Man: G7 countries have openly discussed “setting a maximum oil price” by capping Russian oil being imported to their countries.
What would this mean for the price of oil, and how will this impact the supply of goods?
Doug Casey: It’s about as stupid as King Canute pretending to order the ocean’s waves not to roll in.
Supply and demand set the price of oil. Putting a cap on prices can only create shortages. What price caps or production quotas do they imagine they can put on Russian oil? But the Jacobins who control the government in Washington are capable of almost any scheme that seems like a good idea at the time. And the more chaotic things become, the more likely they’ll do something radical.
Is $100 dollars a barrel a good price cap? Well, if that’s good, why not make it $80? Why not make it 50? In fact, why not make it $10 a barrel? That ought to solve the problem.
The more government proposes, the more distortions it’s going to create and the more shortages.
In fact, everything Western Governments are doing right now will only make the energy shortage last longer. They say that there won’t be any gasoline-powered cars by 2030 and that the world is going green and electrical. It’s more likely the world is going back to walking and bicycles.
They don’t seem to understand that electricity mainly comes from coal, which they hate, and oil and natural gas, which they also want to ban. Of course, they rabidly hate nuclear power, which is the safest, cleanest, and cheapest source of mass power generation. They’ve misdirected hundreds of billions of investment away from the fuels that are suitable for an industrial civilization and redirected that capital to uneconomic and unreliable wind and solar. This isn’t the place to discuss the relative merits of various power sources, except to say we’re headed for shortages and higher prices of staggering degrees.
It’s not just much higher energy prices that we’re looking at, but the actual availability of energy. These people are playing with civilization-destroying stuff.
International Man: With all the ridiculous, upside-down attempts at addressing inflation and rising prices—is it possible that we’ll also see price controls in the US?
Doug Casey: Some might remember when Richard Nixon was in office. His response to higher prices—consequences of the Vietnam War and massive welfare spending financed by money printing—was price controls. It created immense shortages throughout the economy.
You might ask yourself, “Are they so stupid that they would do a repeat of that?” And the answer is: Yes! This is easily illustrated by watching an old episode of Jay Leno’s Jaywalking. Or go on YouTube and watch Mark Dice. He goes into the streets, talks to perfectly normal, intelligent-looking Americans, and shows them an American flag. He asks them how many stars are on the flag and what do they represent? People can’t even answer questions as basic as that. He offers them a 10-ounce silver bar or a Hershey chocolate bar—they always take the chocolate bar. The average American knows absolutely nothing about economics or history and has about zero ability to think critically or rationally. They apparently know nothing about anything beyond pro sports, the Kardashians, and the current special at McDonald’s.
So, yeah, of course, they can put on price controls again. People will think it’s great. And when shortages occur, they’ll blame it on the butcher, the baker, and the gasoline maker.
My main question at this point is how serious the riots will be later on this summer. And whether or not martial law will be imposed in response to the chaos that’s likely to surround the November elections.
Ultimately, I think we’ll get a man on a white horse, somebody who’ll say, “I can cure all these problems. Just give me enough power, just for a while…” We’re headed for something at least as bad as Mussolini and maybe much worse. Why? Because the economic system in the US at this point is actually pure fascism. It’s state capitalism, a “partnership” between the State and large corporations. Both terms were actually invented by Mussolini. And it’s the way economies are structured these days.
Free market capitalism is a dead duck. The welfare state and socialist values are viewed as ideals.
International Man: What will be the impact of all this be? An economic depression?
Doug Casey: Yes. The best definition of a depression is “a period of time when most people’s standard of living drops significantly.” You can also say it’s “a period of time when major distortions and misallocations of capital are liquidated.” That implies bankruptcies, high unemployment, and a stock market collapse.
The economic consequences of an economic depression are unpleasant. But the political, social, and military consequences can be worse.
But it’s not as if you’re helpless. There are plenty of things you can do to ameliorate the situation, at least for yourself, your family, and your friends.
* * *
As these trends continue to accelerate, what you do right now can mean the difference between coming out ahead or suffering crippling losses. That’s exactly why bestselling author Doug Casey and his team just released this new video with all the details on how to survive an economic collapse. It will help you understand what is unfolding right before our eyes and what you should do so you don’t get caught in the crosshairs. Click here to watch it now.