The grim news has been unavoidable lately: many Americans believe our best days are behind us.
An NBC News poll reports that Americans are “angry, disappointed, and worried about the future of this country.” Some three out of four Americans say the country is “off on the wrong track.”
Meet the Press host Chuck Todd says that “never before in our poll, has this wrong track number been over 70% for this long. It’s been over a year now.”
An all-time high, 58%, say that America’s best years are behind us now. “This country now has low confidence in a bunch of institutions,” says Todd. “The Justice Department, the Supreme Court, and even our public schools.”
A collapse in confidence is always bad for unbacked money, since people only agree to accept it in exchange for goods and services as long as confidence lasts. Inflation is a sign of failing confidence. People will still take the official currency—for now. But they demand more and more of it to offset their waning trust in its purchasing power.
If government spending could restore confidence, then confidence would be at an all-time high, just like spending. But it is not. In fact, a Pew Research study reports that trust in the government is near historic lows.
When the money goes bad, everything goes bad. What else has gone bad along with the money?
American life expectancy is down.
The U.S. crime rate is up.
Prices are going up faster than incomes.
There is more. The Gallup organization conducts “Life Evaluation” research. This index finds that those who rate their lives so poorly that they classify themselves as “suffering” is even higher now than it was in the depths of COVID conditions. It is at its highest level since the research began 14 years ago.
It is not tendentious for us to relate these developments to financial and monetary conditions. Gallup reports, “Economic conditions are likely a major contributing factor to these worsening scores. Despite the addition of 528,000 new jobs in July, persistently high inflation is creating a drag on the Gallup Economic Confidence Index, which is now at its lowest point since the Great Recession in 2009.”
The research is abundant that inflation is accompanied by a rise in property crime. Police in Phoenix recently arrested a man who was found to have 1,200 stolen catalytic converters in a storage unit. Catalytic converters are prized for the valuable metals they employ, such as platinum, palladium, and rhodium. The theft of copper around the country has become rampant and, as it often targets utility and transportation usages, represents a hazard to public safety.
Our larger point today is that inflation undermines our safety and our civic life in ways that are mostly overlooked. Government agencies are good at gathering and compiling numbers, reporting on that which can be quantified. They are not really capable of dealing with matters that are not quantifiable, matters of quality that can’t be reduced to numbers.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles an overwhelming array of price statistics for a wide assortment of items, from tobacco products to airfares, from food at home to food away from home, from medical care commodities to cereal, all broken down into regions (urban and rural, and individual cities), seasonally adjusted and endlessly averaged.
But to discover the way inflation frays the social fabric, there is no index. There is only the averaging of consumer surveys. There we are reduced to right track/wrong track surveys and feeble attempts to distinguish those who are “struggling” from those who are “suffering” on a scale of one to ten.
There is no specific number on an index that shows the point at which the destruction of Germany’s currency a hundred years ago and the consequent ruin of the middle class made way for Hitler and the Nazi regime.
And so it is with us. We have to rely on our observations of social conditions and the deterioration of goods and services. You can probably do this yourself in your own city and neighborhood. And long before we are forced to conclude that a breakdown is inevitable, we must take affairs into our own hands and protect our wealth, our retirement, and our families with gold.
We cannot afford to wait too long. Or to hope against all evidence that the authorities know what they are doing and that they will fix everything.
There is a simple question that was often asked by those in the gold business a long time ago: “Are you as smart as a French peasant?”
Its point was that the simplest people in France, having been victimized over hundreds of years by cruel royalty, by the Mississippi Bubble scheme, by the French Revolution and “the Reign of Terror,” by Napoleons and Kaisers and blitzkriegs, not to mention monetary systems that came and went, learned to hold gold and silver for protection and survival through it all.
With the signs of both economic, monetary, and social trouble apparent at every turn, are we as smart ourselves?
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The opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of Red Rock Secured LLC or the official policies of Red Rock Secured LLC. Red Rock Secured LLC is not a financial advisor, is not licensed to provide investment advice and neither provides investment nor financial advice. Red Rock is a product specialist that can help evaluate your precious metals purchase options.