Since the 21st century began, the average US household has lost income. Why has this happened? One answer we proposed to readers of our new monthly publication, The Bill Bonner Letter, was that three of the leading economic zones – the US, Europe and Japan – have come to be dominated by old people.
Each year, Americans collectively leave billions of dollars in Social Security benefits on the table.
And you could be missing out on thousands… maybe even tens of thousands… of dollars in guaranteed Social Security income.
First, because debt is higher today than it was then. Six years ago, the official public debt in the US was under $10 trillion. Now, it’s about $18 trillion. Total debt is higher too – about $50 trillion in 2007; it’s now closer to $60 trillion.
In the U.S., older voters control both political parties. They control most major corporations. They dominate all major industries. They have their pensions… their health care programs… their stocks… their bonds… their place in the sun.
All over the developed world, the policies that failed are not being thrown out; they’re being stepped up. Stupid. We recognize that our views sometimes seem contradictory. For example, we see central banks pushing up stocks. But we still advise readers to get out.
When we left you yesterday, we were trying to connect the bloated, cankerous ankles of the US economy to the sugar rush of its post-1971 credit-based money system. Today, we look at the face of our government. It is older… with more worry lines and wrinkles.
Where is that old-and-tattered “Crash Alert” flag?
Many times since the start of the rally in U.S. stocks in 2009, we hoisted it. And many times has it failed to give us a useful signal.
The falling price of crude oil was first thought to be a good thing. Consumers could spend less on gasoline. But a 60% drop in the price of the world’s most important commodity can’t happen without major disruptions.
A lot of investment decisions had been based on oil selling for over $75 a barrel. Now that it’s trading at about $50 a barrel, there’s $25 missing from every barrel sold.
report released last week told us that one out of every three people on Social Security’s disability program is a mental defective. In Washington, DC, the rate of nuttiness among the disabled is even higher – 42%. No surprise there.
Since the crisis of 2008-09 about one-third of capital spending by S&P 500 companies went into energy. And as much as 20% of the high-yield market (junk) now is concentrated in the energy sector.
That boom was built on low interest rates and a high oil price. Without cheap money, cheap gas wouldn’t be possible. And when gas gets too cheap, the cheap money suddenly gets very dear.