Karl Denninger's produced another blockbuster article demonstrating very clearly how the financial and political 'powers that be' have cynically and deliberately robbed the US consumer of his or her earning and spending power over the past few decades. Here's an excerpt.
Most people fail to understand basic mathematical concepts such as exponents and ratios as they apply to everyday life. We usually "get it" when it comes to the mathematical facts that are taught in school (if we passed through basic Algebra) but nobody in our government schools ever teaches how these functions apply to the real world.
The reason they don't, I assert, is that the educational establishment from the government itself on down knows full well how these functions relate to everyday life, and they also know that if you understood these facts there would be a revolution the next morning as you would understand exactly how you have been systematically and intentionally robbed by the mavens of finance with not only the consent but the active participation of your government.
. . .
GDP has "increased" by 20.1% over the same period (2006-Q1 to 2012-Q3) yet debt has gone up by 28.3% (22.2% population-adjusted), which means that GDP has actually declined in real terms on a per-capita basis over that period, not advanced.
The so-called "increase" in your wages are an intentional chimera which is thrown to you to make you "feel good" about your earnings "going up." But in point of fact they're not going up at all, they are going down because the divisor, the total number of dollars in the system that are available to buy the goods and services are rising much faster than your earnings are.
The fraud you're being sold is exactly identical to going into a bakery and ordering a sheet cake. The baker asks you how many pieces you would like the cake cut into; your options are 2, 4, 8, 16 or 32. He then tells you that if you're really hungry you should choose 32, because that way you can eat more pieces.
You'd either laugh at the baker or string him up by his necktie were he to pull that crap, yet this is exactly what Ben Bernanke along with all the politicians have been selling you for the last 30 years.
There's more at the link. If you want to know how inflation has already done permanent damage to you and yours - never mind what we've got coming - this is essential reading.
Companies, of course, have followed the example and taken full advantage of this top-down, officially countenanced corruption. They're making as much as they can while the going is good. You can get some idea of how widespread these predatory corporate attitudes are in this report from CNN.
A group of more than 120 cancer researchers and physicians took the unusual step this week of publishing a research paper taking aim at pharmaceutical prices they see as exorbitant and unjustifiable.
Drug companies are profiteering, the doctors say, by charging whatever the market will bear for medications that patients literally can't live without.
. . .
Those prices bear little relation to what the drugs actually cost to develop and produce, the doctors say.
. . .
"These price increases do not reflect the cost of development of drugs or the benefit they provide to the patient," [Dr. Hagop Kantarjian] told CNNMoney. "They are simply related to the drug companies' wish to increase profits beyond a reasonable range."
Again, more at the link. The report reminds me of the case, last year, where an antivenom drug selling for only $100 per dose in Mexico was administered to a woman in Arizona. She was billed $83,046 for two doses! Talk about daylight robbery . . . On the other hand, you have the extraordinarily low prices charged by the Surgery Center of Oklahoma. Shows what can be done when providers are prepared to be reasonable!
This is the unacceptable face of capitalism. Make as much as you can, any way that you can, without taking into consideration - without even caring about - what your pricing and policies are doing to the consumers who make up the bulk of the economy. When those consumers can no longer afford your goods and services, just apply for a government bailout (e.g. Medicaid, Medicare, prescription drug benefits, etc.) so that taxpayers must cover your charges! After all, politicians are cheap compared to your engorged, swollen profits!