This is my second post on attempting to explain why terrible things have happened to America. The following information is based on my personal assumptions, beliefs, conclusions, and opinions.
When discussing who is to blame for all the terrible things that have happened to America, I always assume that The Powers That Be (TPTB) and their cousins Certain Rich And Powerful Entities (CRAPE) are the culprits. I refer to these two groups as the Elites.
Of course these elites will always claim to be acting in the best interests of the country. I will let history be the judge of their actions.
So let’s proceed with discussing the plight of most retired people living on Social Security benefits.
Their Sources of Income – Most retired people living on Social Security benefits have two common sources of income. Their primary source of income is their Social Security benefits. But some of them have managed to accumulate various investments. I’m not going to discuss retired people who live on pensions other than Social Security, since there is such a wide diversity of these other plans.
Social Security benefits are adjusted annually based on the official inflation index for the prior year as published by the government. These increases tend to be relatively small, as discussed below. I recall a recent year when the government claimed there was zero inflation for the prior year. So there was no increase to Social Security benefits for the next year.
Most retired people tend to favor safe investments since they don’t have time to recoup any losses from risky investments. (Note: Wall Street brokers sometimes refer to risky investments as high-yield investments, as a way to encourage their purchase.)
Their Plight – The people who live on their Social Security benefits are caught between two opposing forces that are forcing them into a life of desperation. On the one hand, the US government provides a bogus inflation index that is used to adjust the Social Security benefits annually. This official inflation index has been modified in order to understate the actual increase in the cost-of-living.
On the other hand, the Federal Reserve System (the Fed, which is the US central bank) has a policy of increasing the inflation rate by 2% every year. Of course the actual inflation rate may rise far above this desired goal at various times. The Fed deliberately creates inflation by issuing excessive amounts of US currency. This is done in accordance with Keynesian, a bogus economics theory used by the elites to justify their manipulation of the economy.
The result of these two opposing forces is that the actual cost of living continues to increase. However, Social Security benefits continue to fall below what is needed to maintain a constant standard of living.
Actions of the elites – You might wonder why the government issues these bogus reports on the condition of the economy. Well, if you make all these promises about how you’re going to benefit the voters, you have two choices. One choice is to do whatever it takes to fulfill your promises. The other choice is to issue bogus reports that purportedly show what a great job you have done. I believe the government has taken the latter course of action. (Note: If you want to see accurate reports about the state of the US economy, shadowstats has them.)
Actually, the Fed has two policies that harm retired people. One long-term policy is to continually destroy the value of the US dollar in order to create inflation. Since the Fed (a private bank mostly owned by foreign banking interests) was secretly foisted upon the American people in 1913, the value of the US dollar has decreased by about 99%. When you watch movies about past times you might wonder at how valuable the money was back then.
A more recent policy of the Fed has been to drive interest rates far below what they should be. The result of this is that most of the safe investments used by retired people earn very low returns. So retired people have Social Security benefits that are far below what they should be, and earnings from safe investments that are far below what they should be.
The only way out – One of the results of these actions of the elites is that some retired people had to go back to work. Poor uncle Joe and aunt Martha. They worked their fingers to the bone while looking forward to a blissful life in retirement that was promised by the government. Surprise, surprise! They have been playing a Monopoly game where the dice are loaded against them. Only the elites are allowed to have dice that are loaded to favor them.
Conclusion – Well, I have lambasted the elites enough for this posting. You probably want to know what you can do to improve things for your own future or current retirement. So here are some of my suggestions.
If you are still young enough to try some risky investments you might invest in some precious metals (gold and silver) or the stocks of companies that mine precious metals. If you buy physical precious metals, such as coins or bars, be sure to take possession of them and keep them in secure storage that is under your direct control. You can talk to a stockbroker about various gold and silver Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) that are safer than buying individual mining stocks.
The problem that most people have with risky investments like these is they get overwhelmed by their emotions when these investments are at their peak and refuse to sell. The best way to trade risky investments is to avoid the bottom and the top. This means you should not buy them until a new upward trend in prices has been firmly established. Then you should sell them when everyone starts talking about what a great investment they have become.
If you are older you need to think about some way to make some money on the side. I don’t necessarily mean taking some low-wage job someplace. I mean using your acquired experience, knowledge, and skills to provide information or a service to people at a reasonable price. Some of my inexpensive Kindle books on Amazon can help you make some money on the side. To review these books, click the link below: