Friday, September 25, 2009

Sell the Dollar

So you have all these people in government diddling the damaged economy and poor helpless suckers like myself have no choice but to go along. Well, yeah I'm plenty mad and I'm shouting it from the rooftops but we are essentially powerless.

I go to the grocery store to shop once in a while. I like grocery shopping but my wife doesn't often let me do it. I like grocery shopping because it keeps me grounded. I used to work in a grocery store while I was in college and I find it a much better barometer of the economy than the price of gold, the S&P, the CPI or the other econ indicators.

Food prices are high; there's no doubt about it. To spend more than a $1.00 for one little can of flat achovies is proof enough. A can of soup costs 2 bucks. Bread is high. Milk is not so bad--dairy farmers are complaining of the low prices they're getting for milk these days. You get a lot of milk for your 3 dollars. But bread!...hell... 3 bucks for a loaf of bread? You need a lot of bread if you have a family. Cheese? That's for rich people unless you can make your own. I splurged (my wife likes it) to buy a little flat of "Brie" (merci beaucoup, Francaises) and goodbye 6 bucks. Okay, you're bored, I won't go on.

What I'm getting at is that these people in government are diddling with the dollar and the dollar's not worth much and they know it. Printing money and then throwing it around means it loses value and that you'll have to eat all your "Brie" in the U.S. because you can't afford to eat it in France. The cheap dollar benefits U.S. exports even while it makes life hard for ordinary Americans. Exports means jobs in U.S. factories, a thing that is partly true so long as the manufacturing is done in the the Unions wish. That would seem to be a good thing except that the Unions are the greatest beneficiaries of the auto bailouts, getting billions of our money taken from us and handed to a privileged groups of auto workers who have higher wages than most of us and can afford the high prices in grocery stores caused by the cheap dollars.

The cheap dollar is getting cheaper as more phony stimulus money is pumped into the economy. The "recovery" will be a long time getting down to the rest of us but the cheap dollar will help the politicians to keep their jobs, they hope. Eventually, they'll have to do something about it because there is a breaking point. The breaking point is now. Things are really awful in the supermarket.

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