As we approach Labor Day another summer season is coming to a close. As I think about Labor Day it should be a day that we celebrate the hard work and accomplishments of our labor force. I can only imagine how important it was to have unions that protected workers rights and general well-being back in the day.
When the nation was young there were many “haves” but exponentially more “have nots”. In many cases it appears that those with the capital used the “have nots” like cattle, where many lived in company housing, bought their goods at a company store, and were even paid with company coins to be spent at the company store. I have even heard stories about miners in Northeast Pennsylvania who passed away in the mines and their families had a very short time to pack up and leave for a new employee’s family. Not much compassion or help there!
Basically, the unions forced those in charge to treat the employees in a totally different manner and led to a strong and thriving middle class.
Since then, there have been many changes. The private unions had been strong proponents for worker’s rights. Right now, I can’t figure out why the unions have not made more noise about illegal immigration, which will undermine wages for many Americans- unions included. But they are silent.
I have a totally different view of public unions which, I believe, should be outlawed. In a private union you have a company and employees who can bargain until a resolution is reached that they can agree on. Sometimes these negotiations can get tense because the company needs to survive, and employees need a living wage. There are two sides and most of the time they meet somewhere in the middle and move on. In some unfortunate cases, like with Yellow Trucking, the company can’t survive. In reality, it wasn’t WAGES and BENEFITS that doomed Yellow but DEBT.
Unfortunately, when bad decisions are made by companies it is not just the company that suffers but also the employees, creditors and investors.
In contrast to the private unions the public unions are not concerned with anything but themselves. You still have two components- employers and employees BUT the major difference is that there is a third party that has NO representation- the taxpayer. Politicians want to get re-elected and some of their strongest support comes from PUBLIC unions. This makes it so that the taxpayer gets thrown under the bus so the public union employees get wages and benefits that are very hard to match in the private sector. It was not always this way. In the old days it was pretty much known that if you had a public job, you would generally make less than in the private sector. In the last 50 years or so that whole paradigm has changed as the unions and their political appointees have seen to it that the public employees are well cared for while some senior citizens are left wondering if they will eat, pay their property taxes, or take their medication this month. What a disgrace!
As predatory as I believe the public unions are there is a far more nefarious entity that is eating away at our middle class. At least when the politicians and public unions collude to raise taxes and take care of themselves, they have to be somewhat transparent. Everyone can clearly see that their taxes have gone up.
Others, who have the ability to create “money” out of nothing are FAR more damaging to our labor force than anything else. Prior to going off of the gold standard in 1971 inflation was so low that it wasn’t even a topic of conversation. Inflation was added to everyone’s vocabulary just a few years after the link between the dollar and gold was severed. This allowed those “in charge” to conjure up a lot more cash than they had been able to before because there was no dictate that the “money” had to be backed by anything.
When I was young, I remember walking through my town and thinking if I could make $100.00 per week I could live very well. At that time, it was true! Just as an example of how our “money” has been debased you would likely need $50.00 per hour to live in the same manner today versus the mid 1970s. This isn’t because prices went up- the dollar went down because it has been “printed” it seems to infinity.
The problem- there is someone at the Fed who can conjure up virtually unlimited amounts of cash with little effort and even less of a cost while with each keystroke the VALUE of each existing dollar goes down. It is like a company that issues new stock and it dilutes the value of the existing shares.
With the multi-trillions being “printed” today, I believe we REALLY have to worry about our purchasing power (or lack thereof) going forward.
While most people are out there working hard for an hourly wage they are paying taxes and that reduces the value of their labor. At the same time there are people who can, with a few keystrokes create a trillion dollars out of nowhere and purchase assets that makes the price higher for everyone else. And they charge us interest!
As the Fed “prints up” a trillion dollars keep this in mind as you are grinding away at work.
To EARN a trillion dollars while earning $25.00 per hour and working 40 hours per week you would need:
19,230,769 people working Full Time for an entire year- assuming NO TAXES were taken out to equal that trillion that the Fed just conjured up out of nowhere. Do you see the damage this does? What VALUE would be created by 19 million plus people actually creating something or selling something versus a keystroke to pretend that something of value has been created? If VALUE was actually created along with the excess capital there would still likely be little to no inflation but since there is an extra trillion chasing likely FEWER goods (why produce anything if the government will send me a check) prices are flying higher.
To those who are still out there and creating the value we need to survive- I salute you and celebrate your hard work. For those of you on your couch counting on others to keep you afloat I wish you good luck because you are likely going to be needing it. Inflation is bad now but I believe it will get MUCH worse very shortly. As a matter of fact our national debt just went up $95 BILLION in the last week.
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