We live in a country of lies, deception, and denial. Why? The longer we keep the American consumer believing all is well, the longer Boobus Americanus will continue charging his credit card for stuff. The longer we keep the wool over his head the longer we (the elected officials) will retain power and be allowed to keep playing our games of self-enrichment (and I'm not talking about becoming a better person).
Lies and deception are ingrained in the system and further worsening that greatest of American mass denial -- our own version of "End of Empire
" (while looking for a half-way decent link to the definition of "end of empire", I stumbled upon this tasty morsel
As a poignant and timely example of this deceit, Peter Schiff explains
how the Powers that Be come up with the all important (e.g., which drives the calculation of GDP, "justifies" Fed action on interest rates, etc.), yet bogus, inflation statistics:
Yesterday, as the dollar fell to new record lows and oil and gold prices surged to new highs, Wall Street remained fixated on wholly meaningless government data that managed to report the lowest inflation in the last half century. These bizarre numbers were integral in allowing the Commerce Department to report 3.9% annualized GDP growth in the third quarter, which was heralded by the bulls as evidence that a resilient U.S. economy had shrugged off the problems in the housing and mortgage markets. However, the government’s ability to make “economic growth” magically appear is based purely on statistical finesse.
To arrive at this rate, the government had to assume that inflation during the quarter ran at an annualized rate of .8% (that’s less than 1%). That is the lowest rate of inflation used to calculate U.S. GDP since the Eisenhower administration. With oil priced at almost $100 per barrel, gold futures trading over $800 per ounce, the dollar hitting record lows, and the Fed printing money like it is going out of style, the government has the nerve to claim that current inflation is the lowest it has been in half a century. Unbelievable!
The consensus estimate for 3rd quarter GDP growth was 3.4%. The reason we beat that number was that the government adjusted the nominal 4.7% gain by a mere .8%. Had the government assumed a higher rate of inflation, say 2.6% (identical to the rate used to deflate second quarter GDP,) the 3rd quarter gain would have been only 2.1%, well shy of the consensus forecast. My guess is that inflation is actually running at an annualized rate closer to 10%. Therefore using a more honest deflator, the U.S. economy is actually contracting...
A nation of financial lies. Heck, just recently Charles Hugh Smith
(whom I admire greatly) wrote:
Alas, parodying these princes of the Empire of Lies [the United States] is impossible; they are self-parodying in the extreme. Where else but the Empire of Lies does a CEO (of Countrywide) pillage his company to the tune of $1 billion as it loses 2/3 of its value, and the shareholders don't run him out of town?
And then there is Merril Lynch's writing off
of $8 billion in assets (due to the mortgage mess) and resultant firing of their CEO... all not too terribly controversial except for the fact that the firing was accompanied with a big, fat $161.5 million wet kiss
. Hey Merril or any other investment house out there -- I'll take the blame for whatever loss you want and I'll only require $10 million in compensation for it.
This is, of course, only some of the more recent financial lies and deceptions glossed-over in the news today (can we really count anymore on the MSM uncovering the deceptions; actually doing investigative journalism?). There is so very much more which I am sure you are all already aware of and which I hope has not yet been eclipsed by the latest celebrity frivolity or brain-dead must-see TV episode. This has been going on forever but it hasn't really been to such absurd levels until the last ten years or so.
So are you sick of it? Are you ready to do more than just give lip-service? Do you want people who make stupid, greedy, and ultimately financially devastating mistakes to be held accountable for said mistakes and punished accordingly instead of being rewarded for it? As a tax payer, are you sick of bearing the costs of this corruption; after all, you don't get a windfall when you make a financial mistake, why should they?
I mean, if lenders of today had been held accountable for the loans they made (like in the "good 'ol days" of yore), do you think we would have the mortgage mess we have today and the current housing affordability crisis? No way.
Well then, I suggest you sign this petition
(also linked to in the right-hand margin of this blog). And then write your representatives (as a personal letter carries a lot more weight).
And give Ron Paul