If crime could be beautiful, theft through inflation would be the prettiest crime of them all. Why? Because many can tell they are getting poorer, but they don’t understand what is happening. If you rob a man of his wallet, he notices and becomes excitable, which is bad for the thief. If you rob a man via inflation, he carries on with his day as if nothing happened. Thus the thief can commit this crime with impunity, enriching himself and others that are in on the scam while the rest of society grows poor.
Let us look at an example
Imagine that you checked your bank statement on January 1st, 2021 and had 1 million dollars on deposit.
In 2021, you were robbed of 7%, by the thieves’ own admission.
In 2022, the thievery is currently running 9%. (We will assume 2022 ends with 9% theft).
At the end of 2022, you open your bank statement and see that you still have $1,000,000 in your account. But in reality, since the cost of goods increased by 16.1% in 2 years, to be accurate, your bank statement should say you have $839,000 in your account. You have been robbed of $161,000, or $220 a day, every day for 2 years.
Imagine if you walked your dog every morning. And every morning, without fail, 7 days a week, a thief steals $220 from you. You would call the police, the fbi, you would go see your governor in an effort to stop the thief. You would do anything you could to stop the criminal from stealing $220 from you. Yet, you are actually, literally being robbed of $220 every day.
Going to leave $500,000 to your grandkids? Well, they just had $80,500 robbed from them. Now, they get $419,500. If a conman ripped you off for $80,500 you’d move the earth itself trying to get it back.
Everyone is affected, not just those with savings
Some will say, “Well, that only affects rich people. I’m just a wage slave and don’t have any savings, it doesn’t affect me.” But you too are being robbed. Every dollar you earn is worth less. In the last 2 years, every worker got paid 16.1% less. That $1,000 paycheck? It’s worth $839 now. Stolen in broad daylight.
But you can ‘protect’ yourself from the inflation robbery, right?
Let’s look at ‘protecting yourself from inflation’, a wonderful phrase the money masters use. They say, “You can outwit inflation theft – just make the right investments…we will help you beat the robbers!”
So on 1/1/21, you put your 1 million in the Dow, which was at 29982. (We don’t know what it will be at the end of 2022 but today it is at 31790, an 1808 point gain, or 6%.) At the end of 2022, your account balance shows $1,060,000. But after subtracting for the inflation robbery you’ve lost 10.1% of your money. Your account balance should read $899,000.
The Nasdaq on 1/1/21 was 12888. It is currently at 11883, a decline of 1005 points or 7.8%. Add in the 16.1% you were robbed of and you have lost 23.9% of your money. Your account balance should show $761,000.
Gold on 1/1/21 was $1822. It is currently at $1723 – a decline of $99 or 5.5%. Add in the 16.1% robbery and you have lost 21.6%. Your account balance should show $784,000.
If someone is stealing $220 a day from you it is hard to take your remaining money and invest it in a way that makes up for the continual theft of $220.
The fruit of the inflation tree
Inflation is bantered about the airwaves as though it is a small philosophical problem, a trifling economic concern. It is defined by the IMF as “the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time.” This sounds so innocuous. Almost cute. But it hides the truth – it is a robbery of your very life. How? You spend your finite time on earth working for money. The money you receive as payment represents your time, your life. By stealing money via inflation theft, the government is stealing a portion of the life of everyone in the country. The entire nation grows poorer.
Milton Freidman said that “Inflation is the cruelest tax.” But it isn’t a tax, it’s a robbery. That is why inflation is such a beautiful crime – in the eye of the thief – because he steals your money and you don’t notice. You check your bank statement and it still shows you have $1,000,000 in your account; your grandkids still get $500,000; your paycheck still shows $1,000. But you and all of your countrymen are being robbed mercilessly.
A side note
I was at a Men of St. Joseph meeting last night, and one of the readings was from Luke 14:33. It says, “In the same way, anyone of you who does not renounce all his possessions cannot be my disciple.” We all found ways to change the words to suit our purposes, so we don’t actually have to renounce our possessions.
But, if you renounced your possessions, this inflation robbery would affect you the least, if at all.
I only mention this because every time I come across some problem or issue, I try to see what Christ said about it. And every time, without fail, what He says to do is the right way. It might not be the answer I want to hear, and almost impossible to follow as Nock said, but Christ’s words are always right. Maybe that is why the first paragraph of The Imitation of Christ says, “To meditate on the life of Jesus should therefore be our chief study.”