Trump was elected by old white people who are certain they'll be dead before climate change renders the planet uninhabitable, but who are also seriously invested in continuing to receive Social Security benefits, which is why Trump repeatedly promised to protect Social Security during the 2016 presidential race.
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Compared to 75 years ago, Americans spend less on reading, alcohol, tobacco, clothing, and food. They spend more on education, entertainment, and transportation, but the real bank-breaker is how much more Americans spend on housing, even adjusted for inflation. Read the rest
Average US inflation since 1995 has been 2.2%; in the same time, cable TV prices have increased by 5.8% per year on average. Read the rest
Zimbabwe's crazy inflation is being put out of its misery with the country's official switch to using U.S. dollars. Only now can the old denominations--quadrillion dollar bills!--appreciate in value due to their oddness and humor value.
On online auction site eBay, a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note is a collector's item fetching up to $35, a small fortune compared with the 40 U.S. cents on offer from the central bank as it seeks to officially bury the worthless currency.
The unloved Zimbabwean dollar, ravaged by hyperinflation that peaked at 500 billion percent in 2008, ceased to be legal tender on Friday as the southern African country switches fully to the U.S. dollar. … "I think this is a waste of time. I would rather sell the money to tourists," said Shadreck Gutuza, a former currency trader who now buys and sells used cars from Japan.
Here's the eBay search you're looking for. Read the rest
In 2008 I mentioned that a one hundred billion dollar banknote was being auctioned on eBay with a high bid of AU$(removed)
Today, you can buy a one hundred trillion dollar banknote on Amazon for US$(removed) (plus $(removed) shipping). Read the rest
Jack Balkin, a Yale Law prof, has a weird idea for solving the debt crisis. He says the law sets no limit on the amount of currency the US Mint can float, provided it produces the currency in the form of platinum coins. So:
Ironically, there's no similar limit on the amount of coinage. A little-known statute gives the secretary of the Treasury the authority to issue platinum coins in any denomination. So some commentators have suggested that the Treasury create two $1 trillion coins, deposit them in its account in the Federal Reserve and write checks on the proceeds.
3 ways Obama could bypass Congress
(Thanks, Fipi Lele!)
(Image: platinum eagle re-mix, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from sirqitous's photostream) Read the rest