The Energy Report: In your Gold Report interview last fall, you said that the two biggest reasons for the erosion of the middle class are peoples' inability to save money due to low interest rates or low wages, and higher taxes, especially the hidden taxes we end up paying.
Bob Moriarty: Yes. I think there are 37 taxes on a loaf of bread. Taxes have increased dramatically over the last 20 years, including what are called the "unclaimed taxes."
In an article James Gruber wrote on peak oil last month, he made the point that debt is actually a future call on energy. Under the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, when you owe money, you've already spent the energy. He argues that the economy is an energy system, not a monetary system. He's absolutely correct, in my view.
"The enormous increase in wealth we've seen worldwide over the last 150 years has stopped."
The enormous increase in wealth we've seen worldwide over the last 150 years has stopped. There will be no more growth. From a mathematical point of view, you cannot increase growth. Energy consumption per capita has to go down, and that means wealth goes down. All the debt we've accumulated is a noose around the neck of society.
TER: Gruber also wrote, "Deflation is winning the battle over inflation." His argument is that excessive debt has to be deleveraged and in that deleveraging process, asset values will plummet. Central banks are doing whatever it takes to create inflation in an environment where deflation is really the underlying tide. What do you have to say about that? [Read more...]