International Man: Thanks to rampant currency debasement, the price of everything has gone up recently.
As the pain from inflation becomes a normal part of life in places like the US and Canada, there are growing calls for politicians to “do something.”
Recently, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau threatened to tax grocery stores if they don’t lower their prices, accusing them of causing inflation and profiting from higher prices.
What’s your take on this?
Doug Casey: Trudeau epitomizes, in many ways, all that’s wrong with the kind of people who go into politics. Things are as expensive as they are partly because taxes take 20% or 30% of everybody’s income when they earn it. Then, when they spend it, they pay another 10%, 20%, or even 30% in sales taxes and VATs. Add on the burden of regulations, which add to costs while decreasing the amount of production.
Taxes and regulations are disastrous. But the big thing is currency debasement. Governments are printing up money by the bushel because they believe in Modern Monetary Theory—paying for what they want by simply printing money.
People like Trudeau are the reason why food prices, and all kinds of prices, are as high as they are.
Having caused a problem, they present themselves as a solution to the problem. Their solutions are typically counterproductive—stupid, actually. Taxing grocery stores adds to their costs. If they’re to stay in business, those taxes must be passed on to the consumer.
Trudeau is a criminal personality who should be punished for the evil he’s doing. On the other hand, he was popularly elected, largely because he has name recognition from his nominal father and good looks from Fidel Castro, who’s probably his actual sire. In any event, he’s apparently what the majority of Canadians must prefer…
International Man: Many Third World countries have scapegoated business owners for rising prices.
The next step is for them to pass laws regulating how businesses can price their products and services.
Where does this all lead?
Doug Casey: As we’ve just discussed regarding Trudeau, government sticks its nose absolutely everywhere. That’s because the type of people who go into government love power, as well as making themselves famous and wealthy.
Almost all economic problems originate with government intervention. The solution isn’t more laws regulating how businesses can act and price their products but less laws. And by less, I mean none at all.
Government might subsidize milk, perhaps so it’s an “affordable” dollar a gallon. That’s a great idea. You can have all you want for a dollar—but there won’t be any. It’s an insoluble problem until people realize that the cause of the problem is the State itself—fat chance. I’m not optimistic.
International Man: We’ve recently seen prominent politicians and the media in the US blame rising prices on businesses.
They also blame supply chain problems, Vladimir Putin, and so-called climate change… anything but the Federal Reserve and its currency debasement as the source of inflation.
Why do the media and government mislead and gaslight people about inflation?
Doug Casey: You and I realize that the only reason that we’re not all naked, grubbing for roots and berries, is because business creates wealth. Businessmen are directly responsible for our high standard of living. Business is humanity’s friend, not the enemy that government makes it out to be.
But then again, business is now so hooked up and intertwined with government that you can no longer tell the two of them apart. This is the problem with Ayn Rand’s writings. She saw businessmen as heroes for creating wealth. But in the real world, businessmen don’t know anything about either economics or philosophy. Sad to say, they’re not heroes. Few care about anything but becoming personally wealthy.
It’s easier for them to become wealthy by getting in bed with the State and having it pass laws to make their lives easier at the expense of the public. Unlike Rand’s ideal heroes, business never defends itself on a moral basis. In sordid reality, they’re archetypal whipped dogs who comply with everything the government dictates as long as they’re tossed fat bones.
The government is able to mislead and gaslight the public because people naturally believe authority, whether it’s their parents, their teachers, their preachers, or whoever. And the government, through the media, is the ultimate authority. When the government alleges things, people who don’t think or who aren’t independent thinkers believe them. When the bad guys have authority, they naturally make themselves out as being good guys.
The problem is that people who want to govern are almost always bad guys.
International Man: In a separate but related development, US cities are descending into crime-ridden hellholes. Businesses, including grocery stores, are fleeing in droves.
In Chicago, the mayor has said the city will experiment with creating centrally-controlled, state-run grocery stores to service areas where private grocers have left.
The mayor has said:
“All Chicagoans deserve to live near convenient, affordable, healthy grocery options. We know access to grocery stores is already a challenge for many residents, especially on the South and West sides.”
His team calls it “re-imagining the role government can play in our lives by exploring a public option for grocery stores.”
What do you make of this?
Doug Casey: It’s possible, although it’s a highly competitive space, that the mayor of Chicago is the worst mayor in the country. Even worse than his predecessor, the degraded Laurie Lightfoot. Incidentally, Chicagoans don’t preternaturally deserve those things he mentions. The fact the idiots elected this fool, this criminal, means they’re just getting what they deserve.
The government of Chicago has provided nothing but new highs in murders, robberies, taxation, and regulation. They’ve put hundreds of thousands of citizens in vertical ghettos that they’ll almost certainly never be able to get out of.
If they take it to the next level, by having government grocery stores, they’ll have to be renamed “food dispensaries,” where the food will either be stolen, or it’ll be locked up behind plexiglass with armed guards.
The way central cities are devolving, there will be no business anywhere. With government employees dispensing food, going shopping will be like visiting a DMV.
International Man: Where do you think this is all headed if current trends continue? What advice do you have for people on preparing for what is coming?
Doug Casey: Trends in motion tend to stay in motion until they reach a crisis. At which point, things either get much worse or turn around and get better, simply because they’re unsustainable. The country is now like a poker player “on tilt”—nothing changes until he goes bust. And that’s always ugly.
There’s not much any of us can do to change the trend in motion, which has been heading down for many years and is now accelerating downward.
All you can do—and what you should do—is take care of yourself, your family, and your friends. As far as the food situation is concerned, you should take a note from the Mormons, which is to say, set aside six months’ worth of food.
If you live where it’s possible, learn to grow a garden or perhaps raise a few chickens. Be as self-sufficient as possible so that you don’t have to rely on your local government food dispensary when things get really bad.
Reprinted with permission from International Man.