Feel Richer?

Last Thursday night, March 10th, at the Oakland County Board of Commissioners, it all just got real. All that inflation talk, all the jokes about “spend it now while it’s still worth something,” all the chuckles at us stoopid-heads, all the joyous flinging of Federal Largesse in all directions, all the happy-happy-happy just…ended.

                Once a little kid was fascinated by this pretty ball, sorta basketball-sized sphere, with little bugs flying in and out, hanging from the outside roof. His parents told him to leave it be, but he was a bright, active kid who knew grown-ups were mudheads. So, he got a broom, pushed up, and knocked it free. Down it sailed into his lap and as he leaned over with a big smile, all the hornets swarmed out.

                The Majority Caucus sat down comfortably, and in walked the Oakland County Exec’s Chief of Staff and the top Deputy in charge of budget and finance. We got an issue, they said.

                Lay it on us, daddio!

                Well, you know that unsolicited 1.5%–2% pay hike we were going to beneficently bestow on our County Employees? Well, bad news: it got ate up last weekend at the pump & the grocery store. CPI’s just clocked at 7.9% and all our unions are—well, asking questions. We’re going to need to add more on top of that, and we’re going into contract negotiations.

                But—but—we got buckets of Federal bucks!

                The Executive team just looked down the table. And that was it. Boom! The hissing sound you heard was the champagne going flat. Because the good times are officially over, and every dollar you had is now 92.1 cents. And dropping. And the price of gas is twice what it was last week, which means everything you use that involves fuel—which means everything—will be going up!

                That’s 7.9% annualized. At that rate…but no, it may not be 7.9% next month, it could be higher. At the current rate one year from today, every dollar will be worth 92 cents. Every buck in your paycheck, every dollar in your savings account, your IRA, your brokerage. And those buckets of bucks you got? Just phoney-baloney Monopoly Playmoney.

                The Majority Caucus swaggered into that room the Masters of the Universe. And they filed out castaways, clinging to a raft in a stormy sea. You could see it in their faces—the ones not hiding behind their Covid Masks. This is it. The pretty grey-ish paper-ish thing folks warned you about and told you not to mess with? Here it is, right in your lap.

                So what ’cha gonna do? President Joe Biden lost no time: he blamed the Russians. Our Congress passed a $1.5 T—that’s right. T-for-Tommy Trillion dollar spend-a-ganza. Grade A high octane gasoline on the fire. Bipartisanly, too!

                OKAY, GUYS: Pro-Tip: in an inflation race, the printing press always loses.

How it happened.

The one on the left is dollars printed, one on the right is prices, inflation.

                So, what’re the takeaways? Simple:

–The inflation genie is out! We know it. They know it

–The Really Smart People In Charge aren’t going to even try to put it back.

–It aint the Putin, the Russians, or hoarders, wreckers, & profiteers here at home.

–It’s our government who’s done this. They’ve run the printing presses, flooding us with phoney-baloney buckos which robbed us of almost 8% of our wealth last month, and they’re robbing us more as we speak.

–They want us to… “hey! Look over there! Squirrel!” be distracted by something, anything. So stay focused.

–Elections are coming up. Don’t vote for morons who promise you good stuff but steal what you have through debasing your money.

–Keep track. Anybody who told or tells you This Is No Big Deal AND It’s Not Our Fault is no one who deserves one moment more of your attention or trust. They sold us snake oil and we got suckered—fair enough. But fool me twice, the shame’s on me.

I’m afraid we’re on a runaway train for now. But it doesn’t have to blast ahead indefinitely. We can barge our way into the locomotive and change engineers. Time for some Masters of the Universe to give way for Public Servants. And start slowing down.

‘Cause folks, it’s just got real.

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