Column by Bob Wallace.
Exclusive to STR
When I was in college, the best salesman in the world talked me into buying a pair of Allen Edmonds shoes -- specifically the Malverns. They cost $75.
They were the best shoes I ever had. Unfortunately, I didn't take particularly good care of them. I wore them every day, I once dried them on the heat register (the toes curled straight up), and I didn't moisturize them enough. Still, they lasted ten years.
Had I take proper care of them, and have the company rebuild them, I'd still have them. Maybe they wouldn't look so great, but I'd still have them (I wish I still had my '67 Pontiac Tempest slant-4).
Then I bought another pair of Malverns. By then they were up to $150. They lasted about 13 years. I still didn't take very good care of them, specifically wearing them every day, which is a big no-no for shoes.
A week for so ago I checked on the price of Malverns.
I blame this almost exclusively on the Federal Reserve Bank, which is not federal, has no reserves, and is not a bank. It is in fact a legal counterfeiter which has 100% control over our money supply.
Of course, the Fed is thoroughly unconstitutional. The Constitution forbids anything but gold or silver being money. On top of that, it also forbids Bills of Credit, i.e., paper money.
Central banks were tried in the U.S. in the past. Andrew Jackson, for one, swore eternal enmity against them.
"The bold effort the present (central) bank had made to control the government ... are but premonitions of the fate that await the American people should they be deluded into a perpetuation of this institution or the establishment of another like it," he once said. "You are a den of vipers and thieves. I intend to rout you out, and by the grace of the Eternal God, will rout you out."
Jackson engaged in a lot of duels. Perhaps we need dueling to be legal today.
Since the creation of the Fed in 1917, the dollar has lost 99% of its value. This acceleration of this loss of value really took off in 1973, two years after Richard Nixon went completely off the gold standard in 1971.
Not surprisingly, wages stopped going up in 1973, and have been flat or declining ever since. Except, of course, for the one percent whose income has been skyrocketing -- and they accomplished this by using the State to enrich themselves at everyone else's expense.
Fortunately, Allen Edmonds is still an American company. And thank God for that. They haven't fled to China, where the workers make a dollar day, work 12 hour shifts, and live in dormitories.
Lots of American workers appear to make good money -- in nominal wages. If the Fed had never existed, the average wage might be $10,000 a year -- and houses might cost $10,000 (my parents told me they rented a two-story farmhouse in '67 for $60 a month, and they paid $141 a month for a 30-year mortgage).
American companies wouldn't be hemorrhaging jobs to foreign companies if it wasn't for this huge disparity in wages.
Sooner or later, the Fed will go. The first two American central banks had 20-year charters, and then they were gone. The current one needs to go.
Unfortunately, I expect pretty much a complete collapse of the economy before the Fed is eliminated.