Not the Brightest Tool in the Shed

Shane Anthony Mele stumbled off the straight and narrow path many years ago.  One bad decision here.  Another there.  And he was neck deep in the smelly stuff.

These missteps compounded over the years and also magnified his natural shortcomings.  Namely, that he’s a thief and – to be polite – a moron.

 

Over-educated he ain’t: Shane Anthony Mele, whose expressive mug was captured by a Florida police photographer first in pensive and then in defiant mode. A few days ago he inter alia stumbled over his exceedingly well-developed inability to properly evaluate collectors items. [PT]

 

Recently the confluence of these two failings came together like a sewage spill to a river draining through the center of town. Mele made a dishonest mistake. He failed to recognize that he’s not the only dishonest soul operating in a dishonest world. That is, he failed to comprehend the difference between face value and real value.

So it was, with dishonest intentions, that he burgled a rare coin collection with no clue what it was that he had taken.  To his soft and greedy mind all he saw was a hoard of coins with a face value of One Dollar. Thus, he redeemed them for cash.  Zero Hedge offers the details:

 

“After stealing a rare coin collection from an elderly and disabled retiree, Shane Anthony Mele, dumped what their owner said was at least $33,000 worth of collectible coins down a Coin Star machine at a Florida supermarket and collected their face value, receiving about $30 – enough for a couple of 12 packs.”

 

A Downright Disgrace

Mele, no doubt, is a thief and a moron.  He’s also a thief and a moron that got caught up in something he doesn’t understand.  He may be dishonest.  But the world he is operating in is also dishonest.

Stealing someone else’s property and then reducing the spoils valued at $33,000 to a payout of about $30 is a remarkable achievement.  Mele’s Coin Star transaction delivered a loss of over 99.9 percent.  But he’s not alone…

The Federal Reserve, in concert with the U.S. Treasury, has been part of an extensive currency debasement program for over a century.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics very own inflation calculator, the Fed has succeeded at reducing the dollar’s value by about 96 percent.  In other words, it takes a dollar today to buy what $0.04 could buy roughly 100 years ago.

 

The US dollar’s purchasing power since the Fed was established (this is what is officially admitted to, anyway). Perhaps this is what is meant by the phrase “zeroing in on something”. [PT]

 

This track record of wealth destruction, on a percentage basis, is nearly equivalent to Mele’s Coin Star transaction.  However, on a total basis, the Fed’s program to debase the value of the dollar is the greatest act of thievery the world has ever known.

Whereas Mele is just a thief and a moron, the Fed’s action is taken with the purpose and full knowledge that it’s thieving and transferring wealth to the U.S. government and the big banks.  This, without question, is a downright disgrace.

The Fed’s currency debasement program, in addition to thieving the bank accounts of Americans and dollar holders the world over, is also extremely disruptive to commerce and personal wealth building.  Consider the condition underlying Mele’s face value blooper…

 

Fake Money’s Face Value Deceit

The Morgan dollar was minted in the U.S. from 1878 to 1904 and again in 1921.  The coin has a face value of $1 – on its tails side it explicitly says “One Dollar”.  But it has a silver content of 0.7734 ounce.  At today’s silver price of roughly $15.14 per ounce, the Morgan dollar has a melt value of $11.70.  Of course, collectible Morgan dollars are worth much more.

 

A Morgan dollar minted in 1884 – and yes, it does say “One Dollar” there, quite explicitly. [PT]

 

The point is the Morgan dollar is real money.  It has real value.  It cannot be created at will. Over-issuance of dollars by the Fed, and the forced use of legal tender, have replaced real money with fake money.  The fake money is still called dollars.  The One Dollar bill says it is One Dollar.  Yet it is really just $0.04.  The other $0.96 have been confiscated by the Fed for on Washington’s behalf.

Mele, the thief and moron, didn’t stand a chance against the Fed’s dishonest shenanigans.  But, alas, the honest and upright also don’t stand a chance. Washington’s spending habits, egged on by the Fed, slipped into decay many decades ago.  The decline towards insolvency has accelerated as the thin façade of fiscal rectitude has crumbled.  The national debt is going parabolic.

For example, the national debt doubled from roughly $5.5 trillion at the turn of the new millennium to roughly $11 trillion when President Obama took office.  From there, it doubled again to roughly $22 trillion today.  Over $1 trillion is being added to the debt every year, and we expect we will see $2 trillion deficits when the economy slips into decline possibly later this year.  Here is why…

 

The economy never really reached “escape velocity” – but the debtberg did. [PT]

 

Congress prioritizes the expedient, and reelection, over responsible governance.  The modus operandi for the last 50 years – or more – has been to kick the can down the road.  To punt the debt problem into the future.

As the economy slows, new stimulus will be piled upon the deficit with reckless abandon.  Nothing but complete collapse will halt the expansion of government and runaway debt growth.

In the interim, like an encounter with a war veteran with missing limbs, fake money’s face value deceit imparts a daily reminder of the wickedness today’s monetary order has wrought.

 

Charts by: St. Louis Fed

 

Chart annotations, image captions & editing by PT

 

MN Gordon is President and Founder of Direct Expressions LLC, an independent publishing company. He is the Editorial Director and Publisher of the Economic Prism – an E-Newsletter that tries to bring clarity to the muddy waters of economic policy and discusses interesting investment opportunities.

 

 

 

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