The economy is stacked against you: part 2

Outline of a man drawn on a table that looks like he's being crushed by a deck of cards sitting on top of him

I bought a house almost a year ago. The only reason I was able to get the loan for the house is because I’m a veteran, and the VA will vouch for veterans’ down payments on houses. Otherwise I wouldn’t have even been able to afford the down payment. Nobody tells you this until the last step of the home buying process, but if you take out a 30 year mortgage, between interest and taxes you house will end up costing twice as much as its worth. Knowing this I bought a duplex so my renter could pay half my mortgage. This is a hollow victory though, because my renter isn’t paying half the cost of my house. My renter is paying the fake fees forced upon me….well, most of the fake fees anyway.

I read an article written by an ex-car salesman a long time ago who said that when you see, “As Low As…” written on the window of a car for sale it really means, “As Much As…” It’s common knowledge that when you drive a brand new car off the lot it looses several thousand dollars in value. Why is that? Because you got ripped off by the dealer, and people are only dumb enough to get ripped off by dealers and not by ordinary people.

How much money do you think it actually costs to make a phone call? Like one cent. How much more do you think it actually costs to make a collect call? The same price. How much do you get charged though? As much as possible.

How much does a college professor get paid per year? How much does the average student get charged to attend college per year? How many students does the average college professor teach per year? Where is all that extra money going?

Inflation could be easily kept at 0%. However, if that were to happen everyone would just keep their money in the bank and save it for a rainy day. While that will help the regular Joe, it doesn’t help stimulate the economy. So the government intentionally tries to keep inflation at about 3% so that you’ll be punished for saving your money and will invest it. Most economists agree this is a good thing for the economy.

Inflation supposedly goes up 3% per year. When I was 10 years old a soda out of a vending machine cost 50 cents. Now it’s not uncommon to see a soda that costs $1.50. I’ve even seen sodas at theme parks that cost $2.50. $1.50 is 200 times the cost of a soda 18 years ago. $2.50 is 400 times the cost of a soda 18 years ago. At 3% inflation a year (compounded) soda should cost about $1.36 today. This is also assuming that in the past 18 years the soda companies haven’t started using cheaper ingredients to lower the cost of production and haven’t moved their factories to third world countries to get cheaper labor. If either of those two things were to happen you’d expect to see the price go down for the consumer. Actually, they are using cheaper ingredients and cheaper labor, but the price hasn’t gone down. In fact, it’s gone up.

The pharmaceutical business is possibly the worst of all mark up profiteers.

I could give these kinds of examples and do these calculations all day, but you don’t need me to. You know that the price you pay for everything is extremely marked up. Plus, prices are getting more marked up every day while the quality is getting lower. Plus, all of our luxury goods are being made in sweat shops and we don’t give a fuck. Fuck brown children. That should be the new American slogan. But whatever. They’re not important. Let’s get back to talking about us.

There was a magical time in ancient history past when the cost of a thing actually represented its value. Today it’s taken for granted that anything you buy is going to cost at least 100% its cost of production. Some things, like I’m guessing “Smarties” sugar candies for example, cost thousands of times more to buy than they cost to produce. With car, house, life, etc. insurance we pay for nothing 99 times out of 100. And car insurance is mandatory. The government came to us and said, “I declare that you must pay $50-$200 per month on nothing…just in case. Just in case we ever save any fucking money for ourselves.

Here’s the bottom line. Every year the consumer is getting charged more and more than the things you buy are worth. You’re also getting paid less and less every year in order to maximize corporate profit. If corporations can get cheaper labor oversees they’ll just shit can your job all together. The fact that public school teachers almost never get raises that meet or beat inflation just goes to show our nation’s fucked up priorities.

The bottom line is that you’ll never get ahead because it’s too expensive. This is great for business, because that means you’ll have to take out more loans and pay more interest. It’s too expensive to live because that’s the way the people you cheered into public office designed the system. Only one or two politicians are even talking about curbing corporate extortion, and it’s only going to get worse.

That’s the main reason your life sucks, because the economy is stacked against you.

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