Mister, we could use a man like Chairman Volcker again...

Posted On: Monday - June 27th 2022 7:52PM MST
In Topics: 
  History  Economics  US Feral Government  Inflation  Dead/Ex- Presidents

Does anyone here remember these buttons from the time of President Gerry Ford? OK, at least do you remember seeing them at the flea market for 50 cents? Well, now they'd be 5 bucks, what with inflation ... * The 2022 version of a lapel button, since people don't have lapels for them anymore, would appear as an image on TikTok or mass text message from a modern President like Zhou Bai Dien thusly:

#WhipInflationNow! @Paul Volcker 2.0

No, buttons or text message were never gonna cut it half a century ago, and mass text messages won't now. I was too young back in the time of those "WIN" (Whip Inflation Now buttons to understand that the law of Supply & Demand applied to currency as well as anything else, but I do remember an explanation of inflation during the 1970s that I naively agreed with:
"See prices go up, and employers then have to raise wages accordingly. Since they're paying higher wages, costs are higher, so they must raise prices. It's a vicious cycle."

"We just need to get off this cycle, and it'll all be fine. If we can hold down prices, then the whole thing STOPS."
Yeah, that sounded right to me at the time, but I guess the news reporters of the time weren't too much brighter or more honest than those today. I don't recall (but then I didn't read/hear so much economic news at that age) mention of the US having just taken the dollar off the gold standard a couple of years before (these buttons). I don't remember mention of this FED creature (from Jekyll Island - nice vacation spot, BTW) at that time either. Where in hell was Ron Paul?**

Nope, it wasn't that vicious wage/price spiral. It was simply the Supply & Demand Law as applied to currency that was being created more easily, now that the government wasn't required to back up people's or country's dollars with gold.

🎼Those were the days!!!

Note: This song is not the same as the one by The 10,000 Maniacs. I hope it doesn't hurt anyone's feelings here, but Natalie Merchant is a better vocalist than Edith Bunker. Hey, somebody had to say it.

Just under 50 years later, older Americans may be feeling that Deja vu thing. It took long enough - as Peak Stupidity, with our Inflation topic key has long noted, real inflation since the mid-1990s has averaged 4-5%, not the 1-2% that our BLS green-eyeshade boys have been publishing for years. Now, we hear much more talk about "Hey, I just paid $7,99 for a pound of whatever. Can you believe that?!", and "I don't know why it's more, Sir. It's everything. Shit's goin' up."

It started with taking the currency off the gold standard back then. Then, Jimmy Carter-appointed FED Chairman Paul Volcker had the interest rates raised up right up against 20% (by December of 1980). This caused high interest rates on borrowing, especially mortgages, and a recession that [waves hands] reduced the inflation rate.

I think it will take some more reading and perusing the web by yours truly to relate the rate of money printing to inflation over the years since than. Federal money borrowing via Treasury Bills and Bonds continued through through the years, and there was never again a REAL surplus***. What we can say is that the Federal borrowing went from $1 Trillion/yearly (more than 1/4 of government tax receipts) to $4-5 Trillion for the PanicFest. That was all borrowed money, as in created out of thin air. Who knows what the real inflation rate is now? If you go shopping much, you may be forgiven for not believing the US Government's 8 1/2% number, bad enough as that would be.

Our post title here is a trick. We CAN'T use a man like Chairman Paul Volcker again. As Peter Schiff knows and has explained, Ron Paul has also, and Peak Stupidity has many times on these web pages, the FED is between a rock and a hard place on interest rates. Keep the rates the same, and inflation goes up, up, up, up! (I've been shattered!) Raise them seriously (not 50 basis points*****, no, much more than 500 basis points), and the stock market crashes and the Federal Budget is seen to be the sham that it is (with more than half of tax receipts going to interest).

America is not the manufacturing powerhouse of the Free World as it was 45-odd years ago, and it's a highly indebted nation now. We have no recourse but serious financial pain. Hey, Archie and Edith, no, where YOU were then... those were the days!

History doesn't repeat, but it (kinda) rhymes. Instead of "Whip Inflation Now", how about "Whip Joe Biden Now" buttons?

* Yeah, I know, there's nostalgic value too, of course. This is what sucks about that whole Jordan Peterson "cleaning up your room" bit. Lots of people might still have valuable Batman™ steel lunch boxes or WIN buttons if not for all that. Hey, I was close! A guy on ebay wants $6.49 for a Whip Inflation Now button, but if you buy 4 you can get 'em for $5.19 each.

** He wasn't long in coming, but during Nixon's time he was still in Texas delivering babies. He got elected to the US Congress in 1976.

*** That Clinton-era surplus was a gimmick done by merging the formerly separate Social Security receipts/outlays, still well in the black then, with the rest of the budget.

**** I like his title for that column too: End the Fed and Get More Doritos.

***** The economists' term for 0.01%, made up to have us thinking they are smart guys or something ...

Thursday - June 30th 2022 8:58PM MST
PS: I meant to write that I'll put that in a short post sometime - self-stupidity. Thanks for all your invaluable info. We're good on vehicles for now, but something that might come up soon is a mid-1990s one.
Thursday - June 30th 2022 8:57PM MST
PS: Mr. Smith, I have an anecdote about a check engine light on my oldest vehicle. You're a mechanic, so you're not gonna like it!
Adam Smith
Wednesday - June 29th 2022 10:29AM MST
PS: Good afternoon, everyone,

Mr. Alarmist, I too enjoy your stories. Thank you.

Mr. Moderator, on some cars the easiest way to get the check engine light to stop shining is to remove it. 😉

I hadn't watched the the video to the end, but, yeah, it seems a bit like he is joking, or just trying to be polite or something.

I can't imagine spending 40k-50k on a new plastic car with all the nanny state computer assist stuff, but this looks interesting...


I'm very happy with my 32 year old and 22 year old cars. They have both been very reliable, and they're both nice. They are plenty computerized (more so than I care for, but they work well) but nothing like these new cars. I've read about cars getting bricked after the software updates fail. Here is just one example...


"The Remote Software Upgrade failed. Your vehicle cannot be operated . Please contact BMW Roadside Assistance."

Who wants to deal with that kind of crap?

The other day (June 24th, post 2311) you said, "I assume all that work was on other's vehicles." and you assume correctly. The only "work" I've done on the cars recently is car washes. My E34 just flipped 140k miles the other day on my way home from work, so it's time for an oil change and some other normal maintenance. Like you said the other day, take care of the little stuff and the bigger stuff will mostly take care of itself.

Anyway, Happy Wednesday!
I hope you have a great day!

Tuesday - June 28th 2022 4:59PM MST
PS: Adam, that guy noted that the prices for some of these quality mid-1990's cars are higher than, almost close to double, what their new prices were (nominal dollars, of course)! Amazing.

I'm just wondering if you think at just after 17:25 in, the car guy was trying to be funny or really trying to be woke just in case of woke viewers when he said this "whatever you identify as" joke. (Well, I took it as a joke, but it was hard to tell.)
Tuesday - June 28th 2022 4:45PM MST
PS: Very cool story BroLarmist! I don't say that in the Millennial sarcastic way. I wouldn't have thought of the Phillips Curve quip (even if I knew what it is - dang, I'd better learn too, if I'm going to keep writing posts on economics) until a couple of days later.

Mr. Smith, I am listening/watching the Lexus video as I write - just paused it. I was amazed at the new car price ranges the guy mentioned at about a minute into this. I may never in my life get a new car, but then my older mechanic friend who finally has some extra money now, says he never will either. (Well, yeah, I know, he can fix anything, but about 10 years ago, I believe he would have if he'd had some extra cash.)

About that car in S. Carolina: Just a funny thing is that the ad says "No check engine light." Wait, the light's missing? Haha. Sometimes, after you pick up the car, they're baaaackkk! (Hopefully, he's an honest guy.)

I agree with your last paragraph too. Stuff catches up with us eventually.

Finally, I will also say that I have bought 20 y/o old power tools just because they were still quality American made back then. (I mean '94 tools that I bought in '15 or so.)
Adam Smith
Tuesday - June 28th 2022 3:22PM MST
PS: Greetings, everyone,

Mr. Hail wrote...

"Used cars are said to be another market totally distorted by forces unleashed by our Corona-Panicker friends, with 2021 and 2022 prices at minimum +40% above the pre-Panic level, and also fits well in that "25% to 50%" range I've noticed."

I don't think used cars have gained in value because of PanicFest but because new cars are unreliable, plastic piles of crap.

Check out this review of a 1995 Lexus LS 400 with 302k miles on the odometer...


(Jump to 14:25 to see some prices people are paying for old used cars. Not collectible cars, just regular nice old cars.)

Affirmative Action and the Diversity Bureaucracy (to keep in harmony with Black Moral Superiority doctrine) is driving up the price of products while lowering the quality of those products. Inflation due to excessive monetary expansion is very real, however, the cost of so called "diversity" and promoting negroes above their competency will be passed on to the consumer in more ways than one. Universities and colleges are an excellent example of this. Higher cost for an inferior, or worthless, education. I think we're seeing the same thing with automobiles.


The Alarmist
Tuesday - June 28th 2022 2:03PM MST

Mr. Volcker was a director of one of the Investment Banks I worked for. One day, I was asked to make a presentation to the board, so I was waiting outside the boardroom, when he came wandering out to join me because he was excluded from a part of the meeting, so he looks at me and says, “I’m glad to see I’m not the only one doing nothing here.” I jokingly replied that the two of us sitting on that sofa was surely evidence that the Phillips Curve was dead. So he asked if I really believed in that nonsense.

The dude was a giant. Literally and figuratively.
Monday - June 27th 2022 9:19PM MST
PS: Yes, Mr. Hail, I agree wrt Jimmy and Ronnie. I was much younger and fooled by the fact that what WAS the #1 concern of people (from a poll), inflation, was no longer at the top of any such polls just a couple of years into the Reagan administration. But, no, it wasn't him - it was Paul Volcker, who Carter wisely appointed. (Or was just lucky that Mr.Volcker did the best thing.)

I've got no argument with any of that, ABPP.
Monday - June 27th 2022 9:16PM MST
PS: There are local (in time and market) distortions indeed, such as lumber has been - what, 3 or 4 hundred % higher for a while there?

For the products and services I've looked at with a better memory than that for the WIN buttons (for some reason I have a picture in my head of Richard Nixon wearing one, but that's obviously wrong), I get numbers over 20 - 30 years and use the moneychimp site as a compounded rate calculator. I seem to get 4-5% all the time.

Now, well, all bets are off. My wife has done the food shopping for most items for more than 5 years now, so I hate that I don't have good numbers on that. She has seen it though, so I'll try to see if she can give me some hard numbers on a bunch of standard items.

You know who else warned them, Mr. Hail? It's another fixation of mine - no it's not love, haha - the writer Lionel Shriver wrote a great article back sometime in '20 that told us that this economic stupidity and Totalitarianism of the PanicFest was going to lead us to "The Mandibles". (You all probably know I liked that prepper novel a whole lot, with that 6-part review.) I think I have a tab with her article, so I'll look for that tomorrow.
Monday - June 27th 2022 9:08PM MST
PS: Thank you very much, Mr. Blanc. Corrected.
A Bigger Printing Press
Monday - June 27th 2022 8:55PM MST
PS All part of the Long March to burn it all down better for the Great Reset Leap Forward.
Evil always takes advantage of Peak Stupidity because it likes easy targets.
Similar to stopping by the local elementary school and dunking on kindergartners at the short basketball goal.
It only took 100 years for the CPUSA fifth column to make the Weather Underground government that we have now.
The private banking cartel Federal Reserve is indispensable to this Long March as they have made the money almost worthless and Iran wants in the BRICS now.
All will be egalitarian equal when the US dollar as reserve currency goes away.
Monday - June 27th 2022 8:33PM MST

MBlanc46 said: "I believe that the WIN silliness occurred during the Ford administration."

Ford introduced a slogan, but kept the keynesian-inflationist hardliner Arthur F. Burnseig/Burns (an East-European Jew) around as Federal Reserve chairman;

Carter went into other sloganeering directions, but hired hardnosed inflation-fighter Paul Volcker (a German-Lutheran);

Reagan often gets the credit because of time-lag effects of Volcker's successful disflation, and due to Reagan's many enthusiastic propagandists and of course due to Carter's widespread unpopularity, who at some point revealed he was consulting his eleven-year-old daughter for policy advice.

A sometimes-theme at Peak Stupidity is Jimmy Carter. He did set the path to beating inflation by empowering inflation-fighter Volcker, which was a hard and unpopular choice, but we have to (?) credit Carter with doing the right thing on that.
Monday - June 27th 2022 8:25PM MST

Bureau of Labor Statistic Inflation Calculator:


According to this, a product or service costing $100 the day of Trump's inauguration would be expected to rise by the following levels:

January 2017: $100.00
January 2018: $102.07
January 2019: $103.65
January 2020: $106.23
...July 2020: $106.70
January 2021: $107.72
...July 2021: $112.42
January 2022: $115.78
...July 2022: $122.00 circa (projection) (May 2022: $120.37)

By this measure, the BLS official rate lags behind the "usually +25% to +50%, sometimes up to +75%" price rises that we (or I) perceive. Tentatively, and anecdotally, this seems enough to say that we (I) have reason to suspect the true price-rise rate may be up to -double- the official rate.

Used cars are said to be another market totally distorted by forces unleashed by our Corona-Panicker friends, with 2021 and 2022 prices at minimum +40% above the pre-Panic level, and also fits well in that "25% to 50%" range I've noticed.

We warned them. They called us crazy flu hoaxers.
Monday - June 27th 2022 8:17PM MST
PS I believe that the WIN silliness occurred during the Ford administration.
Monday - June 27th 2022 8:09PM MST

"Who knows what the real inflation rate is now? If you go shopping much, you may be forgiven for not believing the US Government's 8 1/2% number"

You have brought this up before: Prices of goods or services which we know by instinct and experience (and therefore have a good feeling for market price of the same or comparable goods) are often up over the 2015-19 period by rates in the 25% to 50% range, and in some cases more like 75%.

For some reason prices for lodging is really distorted and in many cases are +40% or +50%, often +75%, and even +100% (doubled the former price) is said to be common in some places.
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