Cheaters exist in all levels of society. Today is a disjointed rant (you have been warned) on the biggest cheat of all.
In a poker game they can drain your wallet, in finance they can drain your retirement.
The contrast is more apparent than the parallels here. In poker you are most likely to run into a rigged game in small, home environments. In finance it's the big boys that are most likely to put a bad play on your money.
If we want to have money, it must be something that cannot be increased with a profit by anybody, whether government or a citizen. The worst failures of money, the worst things done to money were not done by criminals but by governments, which very often ought to be considered, by and large, as ignoramuses but not as criminals.
Ludwig von Mises, speaking at
the Foundation for Economic
Education, November 8, 1969.
There are nice clean releases about inflation, usually with a mental picture of bucolic cattle slowly growing in size. The references are to cost of goods inflation, or payroll inflation. The reality is inflation is not prices going up, it is the value of money going down. Do you want to know the real value of inflation? Look at money supply. Money supply has been bouncing around between a growth of 5 to 20%. The value of money is dropping as more money is created by the government. We all can look at the prices for the things we buy and know they are going up a lot faster than the 2 or 3% the government claims. This is not a recent event, although the US government has gotten better at large fibs since the early 1990s.
Inflation is bouncing around at 5 to 20%, and eating up the value of your future at the same rate.
that's the big sting.