It's called "biflation."
Everything you already own -- a house, a car, a stock portfolio -- has rapidly declined in value. Everything you actually need to buy -- food, gasoline, medicine, education -- is going up.
Biflation is apparently what happens when the Fed creates trillions of new dollars out of nothing, but mostly just gives it to the banks.
As several other threads here are attempting to address, we increasingly see paradoxes (or even a paradox of paradoxes for the old timers) out there in the problems and solutions being put forward. There is the real state and the delusional state. Both seem to have existed together for quite a while, and in many cases continue to exist but people seem to be calling for or bringing about change but at the same time the change and solutions don't seem to change or solve much.
Increasingly there are a lot of just really pissed off and demoralized people. Good people, people with whom I might even radically disagree, well intentioned people, but no matter their label, orientation, or persuasion, they are out there and they are pissed. The issue here of course is that this is all getting ready to get a lot worse and it seems like the collective conscious of everyone out there knows it.
As a person out in the real world, away from these forums, when I discuss politics, I often use the metaphor of a doughnut hole to describe current government solutions. It manages to hit everything but what it should actually address. I suspect this would aptly describe many who supported the Obama candidacy but now feel abandoned. Not only did the promised hope and change not occur, it was as if the pure incompetence managed to hit just about everything but what it should address. You're not alone in that feeling.
Several threads around here have hit at the edges of this, and I only claim this hits at the edges as well. I don't claim an answer or solution. I'm noting trends and thinking out loud. The threads seem to be doing the same. They curse the paradoxes. How can we have supported secular dictators? Then we see them toppled and wonder, how can we support (claimed) Democracies that are fundamentalist and seem hell belt on radicalizing people, a region of the world and stripping modern rights away from many in the name of ancient beliefs.
How can we appear to have governments that are unable to provide basic services, yet want to extend what they do offer and when the cost of what they used to provide has gone up ten-fold and the cost of what they want to offer goes up a hundred-fold thus effectively granting us all the right to be bankrupt while possessing the right to a beautiful and entitled life which no one can afford to enforce nor provide. What happens when this finally tips?
The concept of biflation hits on the concept. I've noted in a few times here in discussions about television and phone services. There becomes a high end and a low end and nothing in the middle. You look at the numbers though and at some point, you can see something has to give. Again, I don't claim an answer, just a curiosity about the pattern and how it will resolve.
Some examples.... how can obese really be obese if everyone in society becomes it? How do you declare abnormal the norm? How do you have restaurants that are charging $8 for a combo meal yet selling a dozen $1 meal items that are almost the same thing?
Smartphones and data, we used to see these mark ups to fatten up carrier margins and they were the exception. They were the "super-sizing" of cell plans. Everyone can't do it, just your high value customers. If everyone does it there isn't enough spectrum, the subsidy models don't work and so forth. So we end up with this weird high/low/doughnut hole model again. Straight Talk has $45 unlimited everything smartphone plans with Nokia phones. Virgin is offering $25 a month smartphone plans that offer unlimited texting and data with Android phones for $200 off contract. We are told this won't harm the margins of companies that are charging $100-200 a month for the same plans attached to phones like the iPhone. It doesn't seem possible.
Television programming, free over the air or models like Hulu, Netflix and some other on demand suppliments versus sports programming, hundreds of channels and bills that often start at $100 for a household and go to $200 quite easily with a few add-ons. There doesn't seem to be a middle ground at all, again a big hole.
I saw the Rand thread, and regardless of what you think about her, the premise of her beliefs, which is that given a choice between having everything but spending your days enslaved to the desires of others, or having nothing but living on your own terms, still rings true. But as others note it can be a paradox as well for wouldn't you want certain things and some less harsh terms with which to engage others? Of course but the point is given that choice, this is what you would choose, it doesn't have to be that choice of course. Or does it?
What is causing this progression whereby the real answer never arrives? Why is the choice a dictator or dogma to be enslaved to? Why can't we build bridges, roads or buildings as we used to do? Why does wanting a police or cop entail paying him 20% more than he made a generation ago and retiring at 50 with a lifetime full pension and the only other choice is supposedly nothing? Inflation and deflation are both here. Lay-offs and hiring are both happening at the same time, in the same places often from the same companies or agencies. The left hand truly does not know what the right is doing and both manage, worse than every before to completely avoid a solution.
Some sharing and curious anecdotes, I've been busy doing another show. I enjoyed it. I've also finished another couple classes toward the master's degree and I'll have that by summer. The wife and kids are all well as is life, finances, and most other variables you can ponder about. I've not posted simply because regardless of what people claim, I always go through periods where I post a lot and then don't.
Things as I noted are actually quite good for me, but very worrisome for many people I know. These are people who often had too much credit and too little income. Some have managed to unbury themselves through some fiscal discipline that is now slipping. Others threw in the towel and gave up the goodies (aka gave back the house, cars and some other things to their respective banks, etc.) yet are now falling right back into the same habits of pining for and attempting to buy what they cannot afford.
A curious case of doughnut hole has occurred at my work. We've laid off several people and the classroom ratios are much higher than they were yet when I saw the staff photo this year, it had more people than prior years. All the new hires are personal aides for the ever growing number of kids who's parents claim disabilities for them that demand an adult be there supervising aka babysitting their child all day long. So the school as a whole has more adults here then ever before but those jobs help fewer kids than ever before. The kids being helped declare themselves lifelong dependents, their parents claiming forms of ADD/ADHD/Autism and other illnesses causing them to basically exist within the mainstream but needing massive resources to attempt to access it.
These are strange times. Broke and obese families needing food stamps while renting their former homes back while still filling them with flat screens and hundreds of dollars of entertainment programming. Larger numbers of "disabled" kids re-employing many new people in similar jobs to what they had before, but before they could help a class and now they can only help one kid who can't focus, or screams the occasional profanity. There is no low end or medium end. Every phone is a smartphone, every television is a 50 inch flat screen, every car and energy source will be green and expensive, even at 400% of the market cost for 10% efficiency gain but it will subsidized until it is cheap and plentiful. All medical care will be affordable. The curve bends down for all these items somewhere down a timeline where we can't see but if we are right we have utopia and if we are wrong we will be bankrupt but who cares about that because the planet will be a hollow burned up husk if we don't pursue the demanded path anyway. There's no money in anything but the high end so produce that and lobby for loans, grants and assistance for all who can't jump there or bailouts so the crony capitalism can continue.
All or nothing, feeling bi but do or die, the doughnut hole will solve all if we just believe and jump!
It is like life is a giant parody of the dot.com business plans. Only now all of life is that bubble and that delusion.
1. Do something. 2. ???? 3. Profit!!"?
Do something...health care.
Do something...in all sectors and all markets.
That is the doughnut hole only this time it isn't pets.com or some stock bubble that is going to crash. It is a life bubble or a world bubble or something else.
How do we get people to realize that regardless of good intentions and we need to define step two for life?
Also what prevents us from realizing this as a society? For these I've been pondering a bit about the illusion of choice and freedom. There's a lot of philosophy hitting this but also a lot of surprising economic research as well. People used to talk about the 80/20 rule and one of favorite companies appears to have taken it even further, the whereby the can take 80 percent of the profits from 3% of the market. What happens when 100% tries to be the 3%? What happens when you need more than two or three choices but people can't follow that, or won't or will follow those who claim there are only two or three choices, etc.
A number of brief articles and bad studies have been created that appear to show those who are more engaged in things like politics are more informed but also more misinformed. You more fully engage a process, and you more fully absorb the biases of that process. You end up with a media that doesn't see it's own bias. More people getting their news and misinformation from radio and television talk show hosts and comedians. More informed and misinformed end up together, another doughnut hole.
Does it have to be this chasm? Can't it be something other than all or nothing? There's got to be a real step two out there somewhere. We can't go from the $8 to the dollar menu back to the $8 meal and have everyone obese but with larger labels to inform us to choose wisely yet still unable to think or consider other choices.
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." -George Orwell