World War II shattered and destroyed the economies of many of the nations on our planet. After the war in 1945, many nations did begin to rebuild, but it is true that the war took place on other continents and the United States emerged deep in debt but relatively unscathed from property destruction that existed in many other nations. It is also true that Communism engulfed more than half of the world’s population. Democracy and Capitalism existed only in the United States and Western Europe. In the ten or twenty years following the war and primarily due to Democracy and Capitalism, the United States became the economic powerhouse of Planet Earth. Because our forefathers envisioned that the people should have the right to own property and capital and accumulate wealth, America became the greatest society ever created in the history of mankind.
Infrastructure was being built and resources developed so that we could build all the products invented and needed for American consumers. In addition, every country on the planet seemed to want to buy American products. Capital was available and devoted to these efforts and, accordingly, inflation remained tame. In the late fifties and early sixties, however, some changes began to take place. Revolt, seemingly inspired by Socialist and Communist sympathizers because it was a revolt against our Capitalist way of life began to take hold. Government was inspired to create rules to dictate to educational institutions and employers whom they should hire and teach. Lynden Johnson borrowed the money out of social security to create his economic assistance program which created a great imbalance in supply and demand and caused the huge inflation of the 1970s. Thus began “The Inflation Nation.”
In 1966 after military service, I bought my first new car…a new Chevy Impala…full sticker price with no discount…$2944. We like to talk about inflation targets of 2% in America. If we inflate the price of my 1966 Impala at 2% compounded annually since that time, today’s 2023 Impala would cost under $8000. We would still be living in the United States of America if that was true. But we know that today’s new cars cost about five times as much. According to my calculation, my original Chevy has escalated in price by a compounded annual rate of between 7-10%. In fact, we must take a look at what the inflation rate has been for everything we eat, live in, drive and use today…bread, cars, vegetables, meats, housing, rents, appliances, everything. Apparently, 2% inflation is a myth. My calculations tell me that everything in our country has escalated in price during this time period at seven to ten percent annually. Economists have been telling us for a long time that sending all our products to be manufactured overseas where they could be made for less would reduce our cost of living in the United States. That has essentially proven to be untrue. Apparently, unreliable supply from other countries has raised our cost of living.
Since we have shipped almost everything we need here to be produced elsewhere, does that not also raise the issue of how large our economy is in the United States? What do we make in the United States now? Well, we make technology….Facebook and Google and cryptocurrency entries on someone’s computer. My friends, those things are very nice but we cannot eat or wash our clothes in them. If the world wanted to make America a starving African country, all they would have to do is stop trading with us. We make nothing to trade with except government borrowed money anyway. We still have the highest Gross National Product numbers in the world. Perhaps that is just because they have been inflated by many thousands of percent. Does China, which has over a billion people, actually already make more things than we do in America? Does tiny Japan actually make more things than we do in America? We are now transferring production from America, China and Japan to India, which has over a billion people. Perhaps, our Gross National Product is just as much a lie as our two percent inflation target. What should we be counting in it? Certainly, we should not be counting the $33 trillion the government has borrowed and spent in GNP. We know the government does not make anything we eat or use. And why would we be counting products that are made overseas and just sold here? It has become my belief that we hardly have a US economy anymore at all. The goal here in America needs to be regenerating our economy with low inflation. There are several major changes required to accomplish that goal. The most important change we must start with is to reduce the government borrowing and spending which everyone agrees is the major source of inflation because it provides purchasing power for which there is no supply. That will also take capital away from government and put it back in the hands of producers who make our products here locally. We must also bring manufacturing back to America where our supply is more reliable and we would be producing jobs that create the things we need, not just computer entries. We will be returning America to proper use of capital and providing growth that does not cause inflation.