Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Expectations

If you've noticed the FedGov TARPing off the odd trillion freshly-created bucks every now and then, over the past couple of years, to take care of their fellows in the Corporatist Class, it might surprise you to learn that there's no inflation to speak of in the near-dead US economy. And if you've been buying anything besides slave-produced electronic gadgetry -- groceries, for instance -- you might again be astonished to learn that we're Officially Inflation-Free. And this freedom from inflation is troublesome to those who suck down the Social Security:
Social Security benefits will not automatically increase next year for 58 million Americans because of the low U.S. inflation rate, the Social Security Administration announced on Friday.

This is the second year in a row that retirees and millions of disabled workers and survivors of deceased workers will not receive an automatic cost of living adjustment.

It comes at a time when retirees' savings -- often their only other source of income -- are earning poor returns because of low interest rates.
Not to worry, though, my on-the-dole boomer masters. His Glorious Excellency O'Bomber I is going to fix that, through one of his key minions:
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke on Friday laid out a case for the central bank to take further action to bolster growth, citing the risks of prolonged high unemployment and a U.S. economy slipping into a deflationary spiral.

In a much-anticipated speech in Boston, Bernanke did not spell out details of how and when the Fed would take action. But the first option that he mentioned was a program of buying additional assets, namely government bonds, in an effort to drive down long-term interest rates and stimulate economic growth.

The central bank is widely expected to announce such a program, known as quantitative easing, at the conclusion of its next policymakers' meeting on Nov. 2 and 3.

"There would appear to be a case for further action," he said at a conference sponsored by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

As Bernanke spoke, the government released statistics showing the so-called core inflation rate, which excludes volatile energy and food prices, was unchanged in September and is now running at an annual rate of 0.8% — well below the Fed's informal desired target of 1.5% to 2%. Separately, there was better-than-expected news on last month's retail sales activity as total sales rose 0.6% from the prior month, boosted by higher auto sales.
Now, maybe I'm underestimating the Emperor's Fed czar. His Sufficiency Bernanke may be able to calculate another amazingly microscopic inflation rate after a few more terabucks are firehosed outward. We can read about it, over a sparing cupful of ten-dollars-a-gallon skim milk.

I can't wait.


Mimi said...

Jim, I suspect this is one of the many bits of "news" in a carefully planned campaign to pit generation against generation. I've read elsewhere of all the financial straits so many are in--except for older people who, it's been implied, are living high off the hog at the expense of present workers (or wannabe workers). This belief will pave the way for the takeover of Social Security by private corporations; then we'll have white hairs begging on the street.
I get Social Security, into which my husband and I paid for roughly a combined eighty years and believe me, I couldn't live on it. I receive only a modest amount because I was a housewife and mother for 18 years after marriage--that used to be a laudable thing to do. I'm lucky to have a pension and generous children so I can live halfway decently, unlike some older people.

Jim Wetzel said...

Well, for myself, I'm Spartacus. Still, I have no doubt at all that the corporate folks who "govern" us astutely manipulate the official economic statistics to serve their class interests. "Class interests" ... sounds pretty Marxist, no? I don't wanna be no Communus, but I can't help concluding that class-based analysis is essential to understanding a whole lot of what we see going on today. What I mean is, such allegedly mortal enemies as, say, Nancy Pelosi and Mitch McConnell have a thousand times more in common with each other than either has in common with me.