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Inciting fear of inflation in our minds for political gain (we are easily led)

28 February 2011

Summary:  Americans today are easily led by fear, as our leaders well know.  Commies and Islamo-whatevers under the bed.  Global warming.   Alar on apples (see Wikipedia).  Repetition makes it so, the secret to successful propaganda.  Today we look at at a favorite of conservatives seeking political advantage:   inflation (scary even if imaginary).  See the links at the end for more information.

We start with Michelle Obama doing the traditional First lady gig, speaking to reporters on the first anniversary of her “Let’s Move” anti-childhood obesity campaign:

We also want to focus on the important touch points in a child’s life. And what we’re learning now is that early intervention is key. Breastfeeding. Kids who are breastfed longer have a lower tendency to be obese.  {Source:  Politics Daily}

Sara Palin replied while speaking at a Long Island Association on 17 February.

It’s no wonder Michelle Obama is telling everybody you need to breast feed your babies.  The price of milk is so high!  (Source:  CBS)

For the truth we go to this graph from Understanding Dairy Markets website.  Note the scale does not start at zero, exaggerating the change.  The ten year change is 1.8%year. In the 2010 price was approximately the same as that of 2007.

The information on this post comes from an article by Andrew Gelman (professor of statistics & political science at Columbia U) at The Monkey Cage.

For more information about inflation (updates will be added)

Other articles:

(1)  “The Debate That’s Muting the Fed’s Response“, Christina D. Romer (Prof Economics at Berkeley, former chairwoman of President Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers), New York Times, 26 February 2011

(2)  David McAlvany interviews Marc Faber (writes the Gloom Doom Boom report), 23 Feburary 2011 — After all, it is so easy to accurately predict the future!  Excerpt (red emphasis added):

David: To look toward the end of our conversation today, one of your recent reports you titled, “The End Game Has Begun.” What would you suggest is the end-game? Are we talking largely about the credit markets, interest rate reversals, and an end to the shenanigans that have been played for 30-40 years in those credit markets? What is your area of greatest concern, and what would be some practical things that investors can do in these harrowing transitions?

Marc: I think we are all doomed. I think what will happen is that we are in the midst of a kind of a crack-up boom that is not sustainable, that eventually the economy will deteriorate, that there will be more money-printing, and then you have inflation, and a poor economy, an extreme form of stagflation, and, eventually, in that situation, countries go to war, and, as a whole, derivatives, the market, and everything will collapse, and like a computer when it crashes, you will have to reboot it.

Posts on the FM website

  1. Is the US Government deliberately underestimating inflation?, 8 November 2007
  2. A giant breaks his chains and again walks the earth: inflation, 10 June 2008
  3. The geopolitics of inflation, an introduction, 17 June 2008
  4. Debt – the core problem of this financial crisis, which also explains how we got in this mess, 22 October 2008
  5. Beginning of the end of the Republic’s solvency. Soon come the first steps to a reformed regime – or a new regime., 14 August 2009
  6. The falling US dollar – bane or boon?, 14 October 2009
  7. A lesson from the Weimar Republic about balancing the budget, 10 February 2010
  8. Can Obama turn America into something like Zimbabwe?, 22 February 2010
  9. The Fed is not wildly printing money, as yet no hyperinflation, we’re not becoming Zimbabwe, 2 March 2010
  10. Why the U.S. cannot inflate its way out of debt, 15 March 2010
  11. We can try to inflate away the government’s debt, but we’ll go broke before succeeding, 16 April 2010
  12. Two regions diverging, tearing the world apart. Birth pangs for a new geopolitical order., 18 November 2010
  13. A bad, likely, and seldom mentioned scenario for the US during the next few years, 8 February 2011
  14. More invisible signs of looming US inflation!, 22 February 2011
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