Because economic literacy is so vitally needed, I am again sharing On Demand Side Economics for free until Monday. Please share with family, friends; post on email lists, blogs, facebook!
“The average person works and accumulates savings over 40 years in order to retire. From the time they start to the time they finish, assuming only
2% inflation per year, prices will have risen by 221% (1.02^40). Assuming 3% inflation per year, prices will have risen 326%. So, if you make $50,000 when starting your career, you will have to save over $150,000 to maintain a similar lifestyle for one year only by the time you retire. Literally, we will all need to become millionaires.”
I am trying to answer the question: “Why is life so expensive?” Figure 12 has an interesting chart. It is the fixed costs of a family comparing 1970 to 2004. Mortgage costs have increased by 166%. Car maintenance by 150%. Taxes? 220 PERCENT! Or, in numbers, per year: Mortgage increased by $4,000; car by $3,000; taxes by $12,000! And daycare, generally unneeded in 1970, adds another $12,000. Numbers already adjusted for inflation.
IMO, these are the reasons for why life is more expensive now: Inflation has gutted wealth and wages, there are more taxes for an average family, and housing and college prices have skyrocketed. I blame monetary policy for the latter. From 1970 – 2010, wages grew by about 25% while fixed costs (mortgage, car, health, childcare, and taxes) grew by 235%. It’s simple: IT’S THE GOVERNMENT, STUPID.
Slide 35 has a chart comparing GDP/family and family income. Around 1970, GDP/family skyrocketed but income rose at a slow pace. Thoughts? I think it supports a theory that inflation causes prices to go up (thus also profits (GDP)) but this does NOT cause an increase in wages. Thus, as the presentation states, it requires TWO income earners to keep up.
As a birthday gift from me to you all, I am offering On Demand Side Economics for free on Amazon Kindle until this Saturday! Please share with your friends. From a review:
“Pawlik manages to successfully destroy Keynesian economic theory in a manner even a high school student should be able to understand. Good reading for anyone who is following the debt crisis in America […] This essay is an excellent start point for anyone wishing to begin their economics education – no matter their political leaning. ”
Next time you hear someone advocating military spending or an unnecessary war, ask them to sign my pledge.
Government expenditure, non-military
My name is ________________________________ and I support the following government program ________________________________. I have done my research and calculated this program costs _____________________ per year. There are approximately 230 million adults in the United States. This makes the average cost for this program _______________. I pledge to donate exactly this much to the IRS. I will recalculate the cost next year and donate that much again.
Signature: _________________________________ Date: ___________________
I am really excited about this article. I did some research and found that the modern explosion of US debt can, as plain as day, be attributed to fiat money. No-risk borrowing, backed by fiat money, allows politicians to spend without taxing. If not able to borrow so liberally such that they had to *actually* pay for things, the govt would be much more efficient, including in the wars after 9/11. Please share!
OK, here is the first cut of the first videos with my first ideas of how to teach economics using tangible, Montessori-like materials. They cover a variety of topics including a commodity based currency, supply and demand, foreign exchange rates, inflation, and more. My favorite is “Inflation – Counterfeiting” on why counterfeiting (inflation) is unethical. 😉