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Inflation ISN'T Your Fault + Does Wealth Inequality Matter?

Episode 1126 Show Notes:

This weekend an article entitled "Inflation is your fault" was making the rounds on twitter. We discussed this article from The Atlantic and then the concept of wealth inequality on today's show.

Related links:


Jeff Bezos Discussion:

Robert Reich Comments:

Americans for Tax Fairness:

Episode 1126 Video:


Nate Thurston: [00:00:00] I saw this article, a screenshot of this article headline going around, making the rounds on the Liberty Twitter this weekend, and, it's called, it's from the Atlantic, it's called inflation.

Is your fault and that is one that I just saw posted around everywhere and it's from it's from the Atlantic. They're pretty good at Coming up with these attention grabbing headlines. A lot of times all you see are their headlines There's they're the ones that had that let's declare a pandemic amnesty Article headline, of course, and so they're great at doing this.

This one's by Annie Lowry So, of course, as we're dealing with inflation still, which is just a little over 3%, it's, it's no 9. 1%, but it's still, uh, 50 percent higher than what the Fed wants it to be at our 2 percent target rate, so we're all still dealing with that, and, uh, Annie over here at The Atlantic Has got an idea and she's, she's found [00:01:00] the, the problem and the solution to the problem, I guess.

Who are you going to blame for this inflation? Well, it's you. It's you, dear listener listening right now. Uh, the inflation that we have, it's not the money printing. It's not the out of control spending by Congress. It's nothing like that. It's not the, it's not shutting down people's jobs during the pandemic and giving them money, unemployment, uh, instead of allowing them to produce things for the economy.

It's your fault that we have this inflation right now. Could be a dumb bleep. Submission for Dumb Leap of the Week, I'm sure, but I wanted to talk about it today since the article just came out over the weekend. The, uh, the byline here, or whatever it's called, what do you call the sub headline? If people are so mad about high prices, why do they keep buying so many expensive things?

So you might think, well, because when I first saw this, like, okay, she's got a little point, like there's a point we're [00:02:00] still buying a lot of things consumers are out there spending at record amounts and you see some clothing that you want, even though it's a pricier than you, than you, uh, used to pay for it, you're still buying that or you go out to, um, you go to McDonald's and you're paying higher prices or you go to, um, Panera, my wife's been on a Panera kick lately and we've been going there and holy crap It's you might as well be going to a normal sit down restaurant.

It's so expensive to go eat at a place like Panera And so you might think well if i've really got a problem with those prices Then I just I wouldn't pay that price. Therefore like there's a market argument here There is a market argument here to be made, where she has somewhat of a correct point for a moment.

That since I'm deciding to still pay that much for the food, or I'm deciding to still pay that much for the clothing, that I have agreed that this is a fair market price. Otherwise, I wouldn't pay for it. But what about the [00:03:00] actual inflation itself? Like, is that really our fault that those prices went up to where they are?

In the market auction theory, it can be with the inflation rate number, though, it's a little bit different because the things I just mentioned, well, like one thing for sure, clothing, uh, that's a very, very small portion of the inflation number that we have, uh, in this article, she mentions, uh, cruise vacations, things like that, another very small portion of the inflation number, uh, but let's, let's read a little bit of the article and, uh, and see what we got here.

Okay. And like T Dub saying, does the market agree to inflation? Like, do I really agree to it? To an extent you do if you buy things that you don't actually need or that you could, like, if I could make food at home for cheaper. Of course, that comes with its own costs as well. Uh, did I need to buy the new clothing that I bought?

Could I have said, that's too expensive, I'm just going to wear the clothing that I have right now? [00:04:00] Like, for those things, you're kind of agreeing that the higher price is worth it for you to pay those. But then when it comes to, to housing and food in general, like even food at the grocery stores, you got to eat something.

And so you're going to pay whatever the higher price or starve, right? Uh, so you don't have a, a lot of say so in the inflation in those numbers. So there, there's kind of a balance there to it, I think. Uh, she says you would think with prices as high as they are that Americans would have tempered their enthusiasm for shopping as of late, that they would have pulled back spending on luxury items, that they would have sought out budget and basic options, bought smaller packages, fewer things.

As she mentions luxury items once again. And those are going up a lot, but those are also a very, very small portion of the inflation number. We'll look at some of that later on. This is not what's happened. Consumer spending rose 0. 2 percent after accounting for the higher prices in October, the most recent month that we have data for.[00:05:00]

Online shopping jumped 7. 8 percent over the Thanksgiving weekend, more than analysts had anticipated. The sales of new cars, dishwashers, cruise vacations, jewelry, All things people tend to give up when they are watching their budget remain strong. Consultants keep anticipating the recession, precipitated by the death of the consumer.

Thus far, the consumer is staying alive. We'll talk about how the consumer is staying alive right now. People hate inflation, just not enough to spend less. This is one of the central tensions of today's economy, in which things are going great. Yet everyone is miserable. I think if everything was going great, people wouldn't really be miserable all the time, but, um, I'm not sure.

And in some ways, Americans have nobody to blame but themselves. So, I understand somewhat what she's saying, but now she's about to explain how we have other people to blame other than ourselves. Unless you just look [00:06:00] at the fact that we keep voting in terrible politicians that make terrible decisions all the time.

Then you could say we could blame ourselves. But three years ago the pandemic gnarled supply chains around the world the the government's response to the pandemic Gnarled supply chains around the world. I said that not her Leading the shortages of many consumer goods at the same time the american government transferred roughly 1.

8 trillion dollars to households in the form of generous unemployment insurance benefits An amped up child tax credit, stimulus checks, and the delayed or forgiven student loan payments. Less supply, more demand. It was a recipe for higher costs. She's right about that on the economic basis. We put a bunch of money in the people's hands.

They weren't producing goods in the economy. And so there was a lower supply. But there was still the same demand or better demand when you look at the fact that some of the, some of the bills that people were paying went away for, for some time, like rent in some places, or your [00:07:00] student loans, uh, went away for quite some time.

And so there was Less supply and much more demand. Of course, that was going to create inflation. We were talking about that really early on. And of course, uh, some people, some economists thought that somehow this was not going to create inflation, which is weird. More recently, prices have been driven up if more slowly by the strong, strong labor market.

The unemployment rate is as low as it ever gets and has been for some time with labor shortages in a number of sectors, air traffic control, education, retail, trucking, police and public safety, nursing, plumbing, and electric. The tight labor market has forced employers to pay workers more, boosting wages, particularly at the lower end of the income spectrum.

Interestingly enough, she pinpoints that the strong labor market is leading to higher pay for workers and is leading to higher costs. Prices being driven up by higher pay for the workers, which I thought wasn't [00:08:00] a real thing anyway. Real hourly earnings for workers in the 10th percentile. Of wage distribution went up more than 8 percent in the past three and a half years.

So that's people at the lower end of the spectrum. Uh, let's go on to an sticker shock is real. And in surveys, people say they are trading down because of cost pressures, but in fact, they are spending more than they ever have. Even after accounting for higher prices, they're spending not just on the necessities, but on fun stuff.

Amusement parks, Uber Eats. People just have a lot of money on hand. More broadly, they seem to be less likely to change their purchasing habits in respect to price shifts, even when budgets are leaner. A raft of recent studies have found that American consumers have become less price sensitive in recent decades.

Households are using fewer coupons. People are spending less time mulling over what to buy when they're shopping. Uh, let's see if anything else in here is, uh, important enough to talk about. Uh, at the end she says people want to blame Joe Biden for their [00:09:00] bills. They want to accuse stores of gouging them.

Though evidence for greedflation is scant, once again, she puts in there that there's not much evidence for the idea that price gouging is leading to higher inflation. The, the article's dumb and the overall idea, especially the headline, is really dumb, which is what grabs people's attention, but another, she mentions that higher wages are leading to inflation and that there's not much evidence that price gouging is leading to inflation.

Two actual not dumb things. Inside of this article. So it's it's I don't want to go against the grain too hard here But it's not as dumb as it could have been The strange truth is that most people really are in more in a more comfortable position Even if they're not happy about it It's not like a weak economy stagnant wages crummy consumer spending and cheaper stuff would be better after All.

So I wanted to talk about one thing. How is the [00:10:00] consumer so strong? She says, well, consumers are clearly doing okay. They're still spending. When you look at credit cards and other revolving plans from all these commercial banks, uh, you've got, let's see, April, 2021, 738 billion sitting in, uh, revolving accounts in November, 2023, three.

Um, Uh, you've got a little over a trillion sitting in these revolving accounts. So a pretty big jump right there of, uh, over 200. And I think if I do some quick mail, like 280 billion, uh, if you, let me see, uh, carry the one, uh, something like that over 200 billion added onto revolving credit cards, that's just added on the people's credit cards.

Now that doesn't mean that they're behind on their payments or that they can't make their payments or that they're going to be paying the 20 percent interest rate on everything. I've got a lot of money on credit cards. Monthly, but that's just because there's a lot of cards with good [00:11:00] points out there.

So I use credit cards to buy everything and get the points for it. I'm going to Peru in May and that flights for both my wife and I were, were purchased on, on points. And so using credit cards and that's added to this figure. And it doesn't mean that I'm behind on the payments or anything like that. Uh, so when you look at before the pandemic, you had 850 billion, then it dipped down to 738 and it went up to over a trillion.

And so a lot of it has been coming in the form of credit cards. When you look at the yearly changes, year over year changes, you see there's been a really big jump percentage wise and changes from, uh, it's called change from a year ago. So your year over year change in the revolving credit balances, and there's been a really big jump.

Uh, since the end of the pandemic or since the economy reopened where a lot of people have been putting a lot of money on, on credit lately, [00:12:00] and if those balances get too big, if they can't make the payments, we could be in for a really big drop in consumer purchasing power, assuming that a lot more people are using credit cards right now.

And so that's one way that the consumer is pretty strong. Then when she says, inflation is your fault, we are in this situation, not, you know, the people on this podcast, you could say not through any fault of our own, because we don't really vote for the people who push these specific policies that get us into this situation.

Uh, but a lot of people. Vote for people who push these policies. So maybe it is their fault for putting people in power that make these decisions. This chart right here is the M2 money supply, which is up by 34 percent since the pandemic, and so of course, throwing all that money out into the economy and the GDP has not raised that much.

So you got more [00:13:00] money. Chasing a lower amount of goods. It's more, more goods, but it didn't grow by 34 percent over this amount of time. You also look at the, uh, the unemployment rate spiked up to 14 and a half percent during the economy. So people aren't producing goods at this time. They're not working, but they kept getting money from the government to go out there and purchase goods.

And it's gone back down now, it's sitting at 3. 9 percent right now, but those are people who were getting unemployment checks, we got the STEMI checks, we got the child tax credits, stuff like that, and all that money was chasing fewer goods, which created the crazy inflation that we had in the middle of, uh, last year, I think is when it peaked.

And so it's not just our fault, you can say maybe people are making some bad decisions, or deciding to go ahead and buy things. Right now, sometimes when you're in a high inflationary environment, as Milton Friedman would say, [00:14:00] the only solution, the high inflation is high living. So you might as well take that cruise right now, because guess what?

It's going to be a lot more expensive next year, and it's going to be a lot more expensive the year after that. You might as well buy that new hoodie right now. Because it's going to be a lot more expensive next year if you keep waiting. So why, why wait when the price of things keeps going up all the time?

That's a problem that you get into when you have high inflation. And so you can't just blame it on the people who are making some decisions based on that. You know, my wife and I bought new furniture for the house. And one of the reasons that we decided to pull the trigger on it was. The price just kept going up and so what I want to spend three or 4, 000 on some couches right now, or do I want to spend four or 5, 000 on some couches at the end of next year?

So, yeah, hey, Dan's got a good point. You might as well sign up to be a real libertarian right now. I think we just saw 50, a 50 percent inflation spike in the price of [00:15:00] being a real libertarian in the Fed Haters Club. And that could just keep going up and up, you know, you might as well do it right now because it's just going to go up even more.

You're waiting for the price to come down. I'm sorry to tell you it's not going to come down. Okay, that's because I have a monopoly on people being a real libertarian in the Fed haters club. Okay, so that article, you know, it, it talks about stuff being your fault. And then it mentions cruises and it, and it mentions luxury items and it mentions jewelry.

One really important thing to mention here is that those are all very small portions of the inflation number. If you were to look at all items less food, you have 86 percent weight on those, so food being 14%. All items less shelter, those are 65 percent of the weight, meaning Shelter is 35 percent of the weight and shelter keeps going up.

I think there was still 6 or 7 percent inflation, uh, 6. 7 percent [00:16:00] inflation, uh, year over year, uh, for shelter costs. And that's roughly 35 percent of the inflation number. That's where a lot of this is coming from. You have to have food, and you gotta have shelter, if you don't have a car, you need to get a car, and cars, even used cars, got really expensive there for a while, they've, they've come down quite a bit, uh, but, some of these things are things that you have to have, and in fact, the things that you have to have are a much bigger weight on the inflation number than a bunch of those luxury items are, one of the things she mentioned was like, was like 1 percent of the number, and that's one of the big points she made.

It's has like no bearing on the number that we have right now that we use when we're talking about it So anyhow, that's the point on inflation. Is it your fault? I would place it more on the government on the Fed easily on the government in the Fed and not so much all of [00:17:00] the people who were just having to deal with the world that We live in And might just be trying to get things before they get even more expensive in the near future.

Uh, one of the things I wanted to mention, we, we mentioned this tweet already a couple days next week. But I was looking at the CPI number, you know Joe Biden's tweet. He says, let me be clear with any corporation that hasn't brought their prices back down, even as inflation has come down. It's time to stop the price gouging.

See when we look at the year over year inflation number and we see, well it was 9. 1 and right now it's 3 or 3. 2 or whatever the actual number is right now. That tricks a lot of people into thinking that inflation came down by 65%. Um, and the president and a lot of other people on the left have been doing as good a job as they can trying to convince people that that's actually what that means.

And it works if you're someone who never pays attention to this stuff. A better way of looking at it would be looking at the actual [00:18:00] consumer price index. The actual CPI. Because right here on this chart, if you can see it, this red circle I've got right here, this is where inflation peaked. At 9. 1%. And if you were to listen to Joe Biden or any of the other talking heads on the left, they would say, well, inflation has come down so much.

It's come down 65 percent since then. But you look at this consumer price index and the number has kept going up and up. In fact, since inflation peaked and inflation came down by 65%, prices have still risen by another 4. 3%. At least, using our consumer price index, has at least gone up by another 4. 3 percent since that time.

Since inflation peaked, it has gone up another 4. 3%. So looking at the actual consumer price index is a good way of visualizing what's happening with the prices. Yeah, they're still going up. Here's the peak right here. And guess [00:19:00] what happens afterwards? It keeps going up. That's what we got right now. Now look at this, an advertisement live during the podcast.

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I'm filthy rich. You know why I'm a multi millionaire? Cause multi millions like. What I do anyone in the group anyone in the group know who said that give you a second while i'm taking a drink You know why i'm a multi millionaire because multi millions like what I do

Michael moore that is a quote from michael moore.[00:21:00]

So that's a great one Really great quote and, uh, props to, uh, Joe and Norberg in his book, The Capitalist Manifesto. I heard him read that. Um, I'm on my, it's a really great book, by the way, I've done it, uh, I've listened to it two times now and on my third time through and I'm taking notes as I'm listening to it now so I can go and look up all the stories, uh, that are in the book.

And this is one of the quotes that I heard. And, uh, I, I wrote down. So let's talk about wealth inequality for a second. This is, this looks weird. Um, Andrea Junker, we've seen this one before. The wealth of Elon was 2 billion dollars and 2023 is 245 billion dollars. Jeff Bezos in 2012 was 18 billion and in 2023 is 168 billion.

Mark Zuckerberg in 2012 was 17 billion and 2023 was 116 billion. The federal minimum wage in 2012 was 7. 25, [00:22:00] and in 2023 it's 7. 25. Three words. Tax. The. Rich. Now this is not really part of the main conversation I want to have, but comparing those things to the federal minimum wage is an absolutely ridiculous thing to do.

If you wanted to do anything You would pick someone, you would pick a person, since you just named three people, and you would pick a person who was making the federal minimum wage in 2012, and then you would see what they're making in 2023. Like, if you wanted to do even closer to an accurate comparison to these things, you wouldn't just look at a group of people, and that is federal minimum wage earners.

Which is a very, very small portion of the people who work in our economy, but, but, uh, but whatever, that's not the main point right now. Here's another one from Robert Reich. Oligarchy is America's billionaire is now being worth a record 5. 2 trillion, [00:23:00] while the federal minimum wage has been stuck at 7. 25 since 2009.

Hello? A comment on this, which I included. The worshippers of billionaires need to remind themselves that not one single billionaire has ever worked for the wealth they have. Every, they add on here, just a super solid point. Every undocumented worker works harder and provides more value to our nation than any of the billionaires that we have out there.

I don't know if you, it's factually accurate that not a single billionaire has ever worked for the wealth that they have. And I don't know if it's a provable fact that every undocumented worker works harder and provides more value to our nation. If you provided more value to our nation, then you'd be a billionaire, like the, uh, like the other people, okay?

Like the billionaires. This was stemmed from a tweet thread I saw from Americans for Tax Fairness, who [00:24:00] said U. S. billionaires are now worth a record 5. 2 trillion. America's billionaires are richer than ever before. But under current law, their 2. 3 trillion wealth gain since the 2017 GOP tax scam will go largely untaxed.

Here's why we need a billionaire income tax. I don't know why they decided to mention the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. Um, there's, I don't think, a really big correlation between those things. I don't think that had anything to do with Tesla becoming profitable or anything like that, but Anyhow, uh, billionaires are now worth a record 5.

2 trillion, and that's supposed to make you really mad. One thing they don't mention in that first tweet is that the first number that they had, they were 547 billionaires, and now, in 2023, there are 741 billionaires. And so there's almost 200 more billionaires, or 40 percent more billionaires, uh, than there were.

In [00:25:00] the original calculation in 2017. And on here, it lists out all these super rich people, how much their wealth has grown since 2017. And of course, what you're supposed to gather from this is that we have to tax the rich. Which, which should hopefully get you thinking, like, how would you tax that because it's a wealth gain and for almost all of them, it's a wealth gain and their, and their company.

It's what the company is actually value that and they just own a portion of the company. And it's not even money that they directly made from the economy for people buying their products and services. It's people in the stock market. It's the millions of people who have money in any type of retirement account that have decided that it's worth it to pay 248 for a share of Tesla or whatever it is for a share of Amazon or Microsoft or Meta these days.

Like those are the people that are driving [00:26:00] the wealth. And so when you look at all the money that they have and say that you want to tax it, where you're actually saying. Is it somehow I take my money and I invested in a retirement portfolio and I was wrong by giving it to these people, by giving it to a company that's owned by Elon Musk.

What should really happen is the government should take a portion of what I just invested and set it on fire. Because that's what they like to do. 2. 3 trillion dollar growth. What are they going to tax off of that? 2. 3 trillion dollars wouldn't even get us going for, what is that? Four months worth of funding for the government?

Maybe? For that, for that wealth growth? 5. 2 trillion dollar total wealth. You took all of it, every single bit of it from all 741 billionaires that there are. That's not even enough to run the government for a year. And then you've crashed the entire stock market because they'd have to sell shares of their companies to actually pay the government this money.

The government would have to take ownership of all these companies and so eventually they would all be dead. That's just, and then eventually we'd all be dead, [00:27:00] you know? So that, that's what would happen there. They go on to say, A number of billionaires, including Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, and Michael Bloomberg, have gamed the system to pay zero dollars in federal income taxes in recent years, even as their wealth was skyrocketing.

They leave out the fact that Elon Musk just recently paid the biggest tax bill ever, paying 15 billion dollars because he sold a bunch of shares and he had to pay money on those shares that he sold and he had to pay the government, I think it was 15 billion, maybe it was 11 billion, something like that.

And, uh, like Stone Steve Koldawson just said in the, in the Fed Haters Club, good for them. I'm jealous because I want to pay zero, but I just, I guess I'll just have to get to the point that they're at so I can also evade taxes. Evading taxes means you found a way to keep your own money. By the way, they say it as a bad thing, uh, but it's actually just you finding the way to keep your own money.

I want to look, do a nice little experiment here. This [00:28:00] chart is, uh, is Tesla and their earnings each year, the top one, this top little histogram here is Tesla and their earnings each year. And what you see here is they didn't actually become profitable until 2020. They were losing money before that. I've only got data here going back to 2010, but they were a company before that.

They were losing money before that, so that's not included in the number I have right now. One of the things that people think when they see, well, Elon Musk is worth, I don't remember the number, 250 billion dollars, or whatever it might be, 250, as of September 18th, probably a little less right now, let's just say 250.

When you look at that, you think, well, they've stolen that money from their workers. That's excess profits, that's labor theft, that's all these different things. And Elon Musk is a very perfect representation of the fact that that is not true. The reason they have all this wealth. Is because millions of people have gathered [00:29:00] together to buy shares and ownership of their company so they can try and grow their own wealth for their retirement as well.

Because when you look at Tesla's earnings from 2010 to 2023, what you'll see, just try to get a number in your head real quick before I say this. How much money do you think Tesla has profited? They're worth 740 billion dollars. How much money do you think Tesla has made? Like you put all their profits together, 23 billion.

And that's just from 2010. They were losing money before that. And I don't have those numbers. It could just be 20 billion and they're worth 740 billion. Really good example of how the wealth that these people have and not, not all of them, but the wealth that these people have is fairly disconnected from the amount of profits their companies have [00:30:00] made.

And people are just, they are speculating on what they think a share of their stock is going to be worth in the future or what the company is going to be worth in the future. And so you can't look at Elon Musk and his 250 billion SpaceX, uh, as well, I don't know exactly how much of it is from Tesla. But it's not because they made 100 billion in profits this year at Tesla and Elon Musk scraped off a whole bunch of it.

That's not what it is. Uh, in fact, I think in 2023 they're projected to make like 10 billion. And what's going to happen is their stock is going to go up or down and the Elon Musk net worth on paper is going to be worth 250 billion or maybe 300 billion or maybe 200 billion, something like that. That's, that's what we're dealing with.

And so when you, when you look at these numbers and you say, well, that's money that should have been in the hands of workers or whatever. No, it's, it's not, that's not what it's literally not what it [00:31:00] is. Musk was worth 50 billion before Tesla even made a single dollar. They were down billions of dollars.

And Musk was worth 50 billion. It's impossible that it was from stealing money from the workers. The workers were stealing money from Tesla because they were making money while the company was losing money. Okay. So when you look at the unrealized gains and trying to tax that, well, what happens in a year where everyone's wealth declined by 50 percent like it did in 20, was it just last year that that happened?

2022? I guess that that happened. What do you do that? You give them money? At the end of the year? No. All this is, is people who are envious, or hateful, and they, they I think they want a reason to blame someone else. And they see people doing really well and they want to point at them and say it's their fault or just in [00:32:00] general this Marxist idea that wealth is evil and that it must have come from exploitation, which is just not true.

The economy, all of us are better off because of the things that Elon Musk has done. You look at making the money from Tesla or the wealth from Tesla and then being able to start SpaceX and then being able to put Starlink. Uh, satellites everywhere and bring internet to the whole planet. Maybe we go to Mars, something like that.

That's cool. You look at Jeff Bezos and all the positive benefits we've had from Amazon in our lives. Like those are those are good things. It's not just an inherently bad thing that these people have any wealth. I saw this I accidentally Went on threads the other day, which is a Meta's version of Twitter that they're trying to get going still I guess it came up in my Instagram feed and I clicked on it Uh, this person, Attorney Ryan, says, I'm not sayin grab [00:33:00] your torch and pitchfork.

He's not sayin that. But Jeff Bezos built a 40 million dollar clock in a mountain just for S words and giggles. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are unfed. Well, there's, there's 500, 000 people in America that are homeless, I'm pretty sure, and, um, unfed. No one starves to death in America because they can't find food.

Uh, that's, that's not a thing that happens. I'll, I'll die on that hill. It's not a thing that happens, but whatever. Attorney Ryan says, this is what oligarchy looks like. A few obscenely rich people who bear zero social responsibility while the working poor subsidize their weird hobbies. It's not sustainable, and we have the numbers to enact a meaningful change to fix that.

So he's not saying to, uh, grab your torch and pitchfork, but what he is saying is that enough of us are upset about this that we can overpower them [00:34:00] and change this somehow. Only problem is, if you were to start taxing that away, you would destroy the entire economy of America, and thus the entire world.

But, let's not bother ourselves with things like that. We're mad right now. And so we got to talk about the stuff that we're mad about this 40, by the way, he uses the term oligarchy. This is what oligarchy looks like. Robert Reich says this all the time. He starts, he starts probably 20 tweets a week with, this is what oligarchy looks like.

I was looking at oligarchy again, because I've, I've looked it up before when he keeps mentioning it and I'm not seeing what that, what that means. Um, the definition of oligarchy is government by a few, especially by a small. faction of persons or families, those making up such government, oligarchs, a state governed by a few persons.

Uh, the actual definition has to do with a government set up like this. Uh, you would look closer to like Russia, uh, [00:35:00] than, than you would in America where people who have created products that a lot of people like just have a lot of money. Doesn't mean that they're governing us and controlling our lives.

But of course, if you look at the money they have and think, well, I should have that money or the U S government should have that money. Then I guess you can say that they have all this power that they're. Taking from you and the things that you would rather be doing with someone else's money. I have a hard time following the logic behind it, but it goes something like that, right?

Wikipedia has their own version of the definition of oligarchy, which is definitely not just because it's Wikipedia. They're the only one that defines it like this. They say oligarchy is a conceptual form of power structure in which power rests with a small number of people. So now we're not talking about having to have a government and having government power or a monopoly on the use of force over other people.

Now it's just when power rests with a small number of people, these people may or may not be distinguished by one or several characteristics such as nobility, fame, wealth, education, corporate, religious, political, or military control. Throughout [00:36:00] history, power structures considered to be oligarchies have often been viewed as coercive, relying on public obedience or oppression to exist.

Is that what we have with uh, Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos? Or relying on the, the oppression. Are they relying on the oppression of the people so they can exist? Or do they have to give the people something that they want so that they can have the money? And the wealth that they have. This is how this continues to snowball.

You call things monopoly and you talk about wealth inequality, and you talk about all the stuff that the government could be doing with the money and all of a sudden them having their own money equals oppression,

this clock, by the way, this is interesting, it shows just how forward thinking some of these people are, uh, someone like Jeff Bezos, who's, you know, seems like a dork for sure, but, um, uh, this is from NBC, a 10, 000 year clock is being built under a mountain owned by Jeff Bezos. And I don't know what happens if the clock doesn't make it 10, 000 [00:37:00] years, do you get a refund on this?

I don't know what the contract is on this thing. But um, the clock builders, the clock's builders hope it will encourage people to think about humanity's distant future. That's a pretty cool idea. You build this clock and it's supposed to run for at least 10, 000 years. And it's buried in a mountain, you know, so it's not going to be destroyed by climate change or whatever.

And, uh, get you to think about someone 10, 000 years from now looking at this clock, you know, and so you start thinking about your future. Okay, that's cool, I guess. Uh, from Jeff Bezos Installation has begun 500 feet tall All mechanical, powered by day night thermal cycles Synchronized at solar noon A symbol for long term thinking The 10, 000 year clock is coming together Thanks to the genius And all the people who put 42 million dollars on this clock So you just get to scrutinize how [00:38:00] we, how we spent this.

It got me thinking once again, a tweet that we talked about last week. Remember that tweet from Ed Krasenstein talking about how, um, we were building wealth in America by sending bombs to Ukraine and a billion dollars to Texas and 2 billion to Pennsylvania and 2 billion to Arizona. You know, look at the people that are building these things.

That's not Ed Krasenstein that posted out this critique of the clock, it was, uh, attorney Ryan who posted this out. But, why don't we do the same thing with that? There's people that are building this clock, there's people who made the metal. There's people who have, it's 40 million dollars. It's not being used to blow people up, or kill people.

It's way less than billions of dollars. Uh, Seems like this has got some type of a productive impact, at least, because you're paying the people who build this thing, uh, to build it. So, that's where the [00:39:00] money's going, by the way, back out into the economy, back out into the U. S. economy for people to build this thing.

I guess it's in the U. S., actually. I didn't check that part. Um, you can fact check me on that if you want to. I mean, look at the, look at the time lapse video of this thing getting built. It looks pretty cool, to me, I don't know, that's, I don't know a lot about clocks, but that's a, that's a fine looking clock, if you ask me, 500 feet tall clock, it's gotta be pretty nice, um, look at that, there's all kinds of people putting all these products that were made somewhere, purchased from someone, they're getting paid to do it, probably a pretty good amount of money, it's not as useless as asking people to dig a trench with a spoon, or whatever, whatever.

It's got some kind of value, I guess, although some people might find it valuable and some people won't. It's gotta be different from just keeping the 40 million under his mattress, which is what Jeff Bezos [00:40:00] normally does with money, right? It's like, no, no, that's a bad thing. That's gotta be a bad thing. Uh, because Jeff Bezos did it and what could we have done with this 40 million?

Let me tell you what we could have done. We could have funded the government for three and a half minutes. That's what we could have done with the 40 million. We couldn't have fed everyone. We couldn't have housed everyone. We could have given it to the government and they would have spent it in 3. 5 minutes and then it would have been gone.

That's, and we'd have like what we have right now, okay? Our deficit is over a trillion dollars. Closer to two trillion dollars. And we're printing money to pay for these deficits. Well, no, this 40 million clock that Jeff Bezos is putting in, that's oligarchy. That's what it is. This is oppression. If I've ever seen it, this is some of the worst oppression I've ever seen.

We just don't know how good we have it, folks. People want to keep us upset. Now I've got a picture of a time machine on here. Interesting thought experiment before we, [00:41:00] uh, before we go. I can't remember where, uh, who originated this type of the experiment. I've got a picture of the time machine on here. And, um, imagine, just thinking about how good we have it right now.

Whether or not we should be so envious and hateful and resentful towards people who have all these things. Your grandpa's grandma's grandpa's grandma. Has a time machine and comes the present day America and, uh, goes to Jeff Bezos's house. Okay. And, uh, that's where you go. What is it that your great, great, great, great, great, great grandma, uh, would be amazed by?

Maybe one of the first things would be that there's just food. You know, you don't have to go out and hunt for it. You don't have to beg, borrow, and steal for it. There's just food whenever you need it. You know, that's cool. There's a [00:42:00] fo there's faucets with running water. In the house if you need to use the restroom, you know You don't have to go outside and do it or you don't have to have it stored underneath your house or whatever Like it used to be everything used to smell like crap, by the way It was just like kind of going to your house stuff smelled terrible They don't depict that well enough in the movies if you're asking me Which is tough to depict the smell in the movies, but you know what I mean, you just, you just go into this nice pretty piece of porcelain and, uh, and you hit a button and it just carries away to a far and distant place and you can, um, hold a little rectangular object in your hand and, uh, you could talk to people.

Like anywhere in the world, you could talk to anyone, that's pretty, it's like, how do you do that? Or you could put it up to something and hit a button, not even a button, you [00:43:00] just touch the thing and there's a accurate capture of whatever the thing you were pointing at looks like. You could watch moving pictures on there anytime that you wanted to, you know?

You could jump in a metal box and go faster and further than any horse could go. With the power of hundreds of horses, you can get in the metal tube, and you can be on the other side of the world, in ten hours, if you want it to be, you know? I think that's what she'd be most impressed by, most blown away by.

Jeff Bezos is a god because of all of those things. And the really cool part about that, is I just named a bunch of things that all of us have access to. All of us. She could have gone to any of our houses. Anyone listening right now, you can [00:44:00] become a woman or a man. Look at this, we're gods. We can do whatever we want.

We're not actually gods. I'm not trying to make anyone upset, you know. But just think about that. All the stuff I mentioned, that's not unique to Jeff Bezos or Bill Gates or Elon Musk. Anyone listening to me right now has the power to do all of those things. If they want to do, do those things. Billions of people around the world have the power to do all of those things.

I mean, we live in a, in a truly miraculous time, a magical time compared to the way that people used to live. And somehow we look at other people who have more wealth on paper than we do. And we think that that's affecting us somehow. It's not, it's not affecting us unless there was actual some oppressive exploitation taking place, but that doesn't happen.

In a free market, it happens in authoritarian countries, but even [00:45:00] here with our government that we think is tyrannical, we got it pretty good when it comes to making choices about our everyday lives. Inflation is our fault, but other than that, you know, anyway, just want to leave you with something cool to think about, have some appreciation, have some gratitude for the world, uh, around us.

If, if that is one thing, actually big Gus too. Yeah. People over 40 years old. Jeff Bezos is, what, in his 50s? Is he 60? I don't know, 60 something? I don't know. He's in pretty good shape. Pretty good health. Could live another 20 years. 20, 30 years. His kids are alive. All of them. Actually, I don't know anything about Jeff Bezos kids or if he even has kids.

You know, Bill Gates has a few kids. They're alive. All of them. You know, Elon Musk has got a whole litter of them. About to have a baker's dozen of kids. You know, and so pretty good times, pretty miraculous times that we live in. If you enjoyed today's show, [00:46:00] go to good morning, Liberty dot U S pick up some merch, you can pick it up at that website, or if you want to remember God hates feds.

com, God hates feds. com. That takes you to a good morning, Liberty dot U S. Slash category slash all products slash something, whatever it is that the merge store is that, uh, so you can go to that, uh, make sure you're subscribed on your favorite podcast app, watch this video on YouTube or rumble or Odyssey.

And if you do all of those things, leave us a rating and review. It's very important. I mean, it talk to us on X and on Facebook or whatever it is that you use, you know, that's a, that's great for the algorithms as well. If you do all those things, I'll be right back again tomorrow, same Liberty time, same Liberty channel.

Until then, have a good day and a good morning, Liberty.

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