cost of living

Blog

The View From Under The Bus

A visualization of the extreme plight of the saver
Wednesday, November 30, 2016, 12:20 PM

Through borrowing way too much, bailing out rather than prosecuting bad actors, printing trillions of "thin air" dollars, a deliberate pursuit of financial repression and other schemes -- the future prosperity of the "everyday American" has been stolen by those in power and those positioned closest to the trough. Mathematically, this orgy of excess needs to be balanced by severe austerity; an austerity the elites are forcing onto everybody else. No wonder the masses are pissed.

Few visuals drive this injustice home better than this one of historical bank CD interest rates. Note how they've been in steady collapse since the mid-1980s. » Read more

Podcast

Rosie Apples/Shutterstock

Ed Butowsky: Calculating The True Cost of Living Increase

Why it's much higher than we're told/sold
Sunday, March 20, 2016, 1:06 PM

Over the past decade, we've been told that inflation has been tame -- actually below the target the Federal Reserve would like to see. But if that's true, then why does the average household find it harder and harder to get by?

The ugly reality is that the true annual cost of living is far outpacing the government's reported inflation rate. By nearly 10x in many parts of the country.

This week, we welcome Ed Butowsky, developer of the Chapwood Index, to the program. His index is a 'real world' measure of how prices are increasing much faster than the wages of the 99% can afford. » Read more

Featured Discussion

Success In Staying On Budget

Success In Staying On Budget

Are you finding it challenging to stay on/under budget given the cost of living where you are? Or are you able to save well?

Blog

Let's Stop Fooling Ourselves: Americans Can't Afford the Future

Unemployment, taxes & unfunded retirements are squeezing us
Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 11:24 AM

The truth is: The three adult generations in the U.S. are suffering, and their burdens are likely to increase with time. Each is experiencing a squeeze that is making it harder to create value, save capital, and pursue happiness than at any point since WWII. At that point, we were a creditor nation with an economy exploding into dominance on the world stage. Now, however, the U.S. is the largest debtor nation and our economic hegemony is increasingly at seige across a number of fronts.

A continuation of the status quo is a decision to sleepwalk face-first into the constraints hurtling towards us.

Instead, shouldn't we stop fooling ourselves and ask: What should we be doing differently? » Read more

video

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

In this Crash Course video chapter called Fuzzy Numbers, you will learn how our official economic statistics are based on deeply misleading, if not provably false, data. Our economic recession, and possibly depression, can be partially explained by the extent to which we have chosen to provide ourselves with misleading economic data. Certainly if you share my concerns over stocks, bonds, and 401K holdings, or are a serious investor of any sort, you owe it to yourself to listen to this explanation of how wrong our measures of inflation and GDP really are.

In Fuzzy Numbers, we will examine the ways that our measures of inflation and Gross Domestic Product, or GDP, are flawed, using charts of inflation and GDP as well as other easy-to-understand graphics. This chapter will help you understand inflation and GDP and how our national obsession with misrepresenting them to ourselves has led us to the edge of a recession and possibly depression.

video

You are missing some Flash content that should appear here! Perhaps your browser cannot display it, or maybe it did not initialize correctly.

Most of us think of inflation as rising prices, but that’s not quite right. Inflation is not caused by rising prices. Rising prices are a symptom of inflation. Inflation is caused by the presence of too much money in relation to goods and services. What we experience is things going up in price, but in fact, inflation is really the value of your money going down, simply because there’s too much of it around. Inflation is, everywhere and always, a monetary phenomenon.

From 1665 to 1776 there was absolutely no inflation. For 111 years, a dollar saved was, well, a dollar saved. Can you imagine what it would be like to live in a world where you could earn a thousand dollars, put it in a coffee can in the backyard, and your great- great grandchildren could dig it up and enjoy the same benefits from that thousand dollars as you would have 111 years previously? This was reality in the US at one time.

What does it mean to live in a world where your money loses value exponentially?