Hidden Inflation: Energy Efficient Light Bulbs

Potato Chip Inflation
Potato Chip Inflation – 2 oz less for your family

Food and energy are things everyone needs that are highly susceptible to inflation, which is why both are excluded from core inflation statistics (PCE) that are routinely presented by the MSM.  Inflation does not always mean prices go up however.  Sometimes, producers can give you less product for the same amount of money, giving the perception that prices have not changed.  We don’t notice we’re getting less for our dollar because the bag of chips is the same size as it always has been, but there are actually less chips in the bag.  While some tricks to hide inflation are obvious, such as smaller packaging (or small contents in the packaging), others are more deceptive and sinister.  The push to ban incandescent light bulbs is the deceptive sort, where politicians use environmental concerns to hide the price inflation of electricity.

Almost in unison, governments around  the globe have begun limiting or phasing out incandescent light bulbs in favor of energy efficient light bulbs. When this sort of legislation began, fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) where the only mass-market option, and they continue to dominate more expensive LED bulbs.  The environmental argument is that we have to reduce energy consumption to save the planet from global warming.  But ask yourself: how does the planet benefit from the countless numbers of fluorescent bulbs, which contain mercury vapor, being broken and dumped in land fills? In fact, each CFL contains as much as 5 milligrams of mercury, a toxin which eats brain cells non-stop and cannot be removed from the body.

While researching this article, I found a number of government-funded sources claiming that we shouldn’t worry about mercury vapor from CFLs.  For example, Nation Geographic tries to blow it off as a non-issue.  In contrast, this video from the University of Calgary Faculty of Medicine Dept. of Physiology and Biophysics which shows how mercury causes brain neuron degeneration:

The mechanism of hiding inflation in energy efficient light bulbs

The real reason governments want to ban incandescent light bulbs in favor of toxic, mercury-filled CFLs is to hide increases in energy prices.  By forcing people to use less electricity, energy companies can charge more, while providing less.  Like the half-empty potato-chip bag, the total amount of your electric bill remains the same, but you’ve consumed less electricity.

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury.
Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury.

Countries that have legislation to phase out or ban incandescent light bulbs include:

  • China
  • India
  • Philippines
  • Malaysia
  • Israel
  • The entire European Union
  • United States *
  • Canada
  • Cuba
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Argentina
  • Brazil
  • Venezuela

How many of these countries are in a race to devalue their currencies?  Which ones have populations suffering from inflation that the government pretends doesn’t exist?

 

* In the US, you might think this is new legislation from Obama, but in fact George W. Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA) into law December 19, 2007. The EISA creates a de facto ban on incandescent  bulbs by requiring unrealistic, or unobtainable, efficiency standards for standard bulbs.

Everything You Know Is Wrong

Weird Al YankovicWe are bombarded by a constant stream of propaganda and talking points every day.  They are taught in the schools, repeated in all media, and parroted by the masses.  You can’t even enjoy a sitcom on TV without being re-educated by government-approved talking points.  You probably  argue against these points (fallacies, lies, myths) frequently, and if you’re like me, you’ve found that over the years, there are some misconceptions that come up over and over.  For example, how many times have you heard someone blame something on capitalism, when you know capitalism doesn’t even exist?

This post is a collection of facts that counter many common misconceptions that are repeated ad nauseum by the main-stream media (MSM) and the propaganda machine.  I will update this list routinely.

  • Capitalism and free markets do not exist.  The US does not practice capitalism, and there is no free market. 9 federal cabinet departments and over 100 federal agencies and commissions control the economy.  The Federal Register alone contains over 81,000 pages of detailed government regulations. Over 40% of the national output is appropriated by the government.  Interest rates are artificially manipulated by a secretive, private bank with a monopoly on fiat money. Banks and large corporations deemed “too big to fail” (TBTF) are given money to survive, at taxpayer expense, instead going bankrupt, so mismanaged companies are rewarded, while the hard-working are left to fend for themselves. Instead of offering better products and services, large corporations lobby the government to pass laws that hurt their competition. There is absolutely nothing free or capitalistic about it.
  • The Federal Reserve Bank is not federal.  The Federal Reserve Bank, also known as the Fed, is not a government institution.  In fact, it is a private corporation which the government has given monopoly powers to create money as debt.  The Federal Reserve’s shareholders are private banks. 100% of its shareholders are private banks. None of its stock is owned by the government.  The Fed pretends it is accountable to Congress, but decisions made by the Fed do not have to be ratified by the president or anyone else in the executive or legislative branch of government.
  • Inflation statistics do not include food and energy prices.  Whenever you hear the MSM talk about inflation, they’re almost always referring to the core CPI which does not include food and energy prices. This gives the misleading impression that inflation is lower than it actually is.  Even the core numbers are manipulated lower using techniques of hedonics and substitution.  You should also be aware that the government using the fake inflation numbers to determine social security payments, so lower inflation means the government pays out less to SS.
  • War is not good for the economy and it did not end the Great Depression.  War is the ultimate example of the broken-window fallacy.
  • The dollar is not backed by gold.  Believe it or not, there are still a lot of people who think the dollar is backed by something.  In fact, it’s backed by nothing.  The dollar is money because the government says so.  This is what we call fiat money.  The dollar has not been backed by gold since President Nixon closed the gold window on 1971.
  • Inflation is not good; not even a little.  How many times have you heard the talking heads say a little inflation is good?  Inflation is not good.  What is good about having your money disappear little by little?  Inflation is theft.  It’s a hidden tax.  When governments print more money, they decrease your purchasing power, which is the same as stealing your money.  The only difference is that most people don’t notice it too much, unless inflation is really high.  Some argue that inflation is necessary for the money supply to grow, so there is enough money for everyone.  That’s a lie too.  Prices change all the time, and they can go down (preserving your savings) just as easily as they can go up (destroying your savings).
  • Every federal income tax dollar you pay goes to the Federal Reserve. The Federal government borrows its entire budget from the Fed and uses you as collateral to pay back the loan.  We are all tax slaves.
  • There is no freedom of speech.  Permits are required to protest and speak publicly, and Washington DC has “free speech” zones. In fact, the entire Constitution is largely ignored, unless you want to abort a baby. Apparently abortion is protected by the 14th Amendment because Democrats want to prevent 50% of blacks from being born.
  • Lincoln started the civil war. It’s almost mainstream now, that the civil war was not about slavery, but they still won’t tell you that President Lincoln was a racist tyrant who forced the South into war.  If it’s not ironic enough that the “great emancipator” enslaved the entire South, who wanted to leave the union peacefully, here’s what Lincoln had to say about black people:

    I will say, then, that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races—that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this, that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I, as much as any other man, am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race.

  • Bill Clinton did not reduce the deficit, and he didn’t balance the budget either. Firstly, people need to understand the difference between the deficit and the annual budget.  You can make more than you spend in one year, but that doesn’t mean that you paid off all the debt you owed. But Clinton didn’t balance the budget or pay off the deficit.  You can check the numbers yourself at the treasury.
Fiscal
Year
Year
Ending
National Debt Deficit
FY1993 09/30/1993 $4.411488 trillion
FY1994 09/30/1994 $4.692749 trillion $281.26 billion
FY1995 09/29/1995 $4.973982 trillion $281.23 billion
FY1996 09/30/1996 $5.224810 trillion $250.83 billion
FY1997 09/30/1997 $5.413146 trillion $188.34 billion
FY1998 09/30/1998 $5.526193 trillion $113.05 billion
FY1999 09/30/1999 $5.656270 trillion $130.08 billion
FY2000 09/29/2000 $5.674178 trillion $17.91 billion
FY2001 09/28/2001 $5.807463 trillion $133.29 billion

So how do politicians appear to balance the budget? They promise spend less in the future as a percentage of GDP.  They don’t actually cut anything; they just promise to spend less in the future.  Of course they break that promise and we don’t make the GDP targets either.  This is the same technique Obama used during the last debt-ceiling crisis. The government promised to reduce X-hundred billion a year over the next 10 years, based on 6% GDP growth every year.  Everyone cheered, the debt continued to pile up, and nothing changed.

  • Gun control does not prevent violent crime. Note Norway in the chart below. Norway had a massacre in in 2011, which claimed 77 lives, in spite of strict gun control.
    total-gun-ownership
  • Health care in America was socialized long before Obamacare.  America spends more federal tax dollars per capita on health care than Europe, and that money comes with strings attached- strings called regulation and control.  Health care is the most heavily regulated industry in the US. In fact, only 10% of US hospitals are private, whereas the other 90% are controlled by the government. Compare to 60 years ago, when the opposite was true- 90% were private and 10% were federal. Back then, health care was affordable, and you only needed insurance for extreme cases. Now you need insurance to get your foot in the door. How can this be?  Because of wage controls implemented by the government in the early 40s, it became standard operating procedure for businesses to offer health insurance as a perk. So insurance became the norm and grew into the monster it is today.
  • Free healthcare is not free, and it’s not universal either.  Canadians, Europeans, et al. pay excessive taxes to receive mediocre health care.  For example, 70% of the average Swede’s income goes to taxes.  How can you claim something is free when 70% of your income is used to pay for it?  They can also be denied treatment for any number of reasons, so it’s not universal.  In some areas of Sweden, patients go to the vet for x-rays because the wait at the hospital is too long.  You can also question why 80% of Swedes have private health insurance in addition to their “free” health care. By the way, how much of your labor has to be taxed before you are considered a slave?  Apparently Swedes accept 70% slavery.
  • Obamacare was written behind closed doors by insurance corporations.  Obamacare, a.k.a The Affordable Health Care Act, was branded as low-cost health care for everyone and free health care for the poor, but in reality, it only forces people to buy health insurance, and health care costs have continued to rise since its enactment.
    As of March 19, 2013, healthcare premiums have risen 39%-56% after Obamacare became law.
  • Using paper is good for the environment.  An order for more paper is an order for more trees to be planted.  Trees absorb the most CO2 in the beginning of their lives when they grow the most.
  • The Department of Education is a useless waste of money.  If you’ve ever say that in public, many people will think you hate children and are anti-education.  But most people don’t realize that the DOE is an unnecessary federal bureaucracy sitting on top of already existing state bureaucracies.  Each state is perfectly capable of managing its own public education without the DOE draining its resources. Furthermore, the quality and results of public education have deteriorated greatly since the inception of the DOE, so what exactly are we paying them for?
  • The EPA does not protect you or the environment.  It is a tool that corporations use to lobby against competitors and the government uses to control you.  Don’t believe me?  After the Fukushima meltdown (which is still spewing radiation 2 years later), the EPA raised safety levels for nuclear radiation in drinking water and soil. Drinking water safety levels, for example, include:
    • A nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90
    • A 3000 to 100,000-fold increase for iodine-131
    • An almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63

    In the weeks immediately after the Fukushima disaster, the EPA announced that there was nothing to fear because iodine isotopes have a half-life of 8 days. The EPA conveniently forget to mention the other isotopes in use in the mox plutonium at Fukushima, which have half-lifes up to 2.14 million years.  Is this the behavior you expect from an organization that is supposed to protect the environment?  The EPA should’ve been lobbying the world from day one to get Fukushima under control.  Instead, however, Obama went on tour in the US promoting new nuclear power construction, which would be built by Tepco, the same corporation that built Fukushima.

 Everything You Know Is Wrong

Dollar Devaluation since 1913

To devalue a currency, like the dollar, means that the value of the currency decreases. In the case of the dollar, we call this dollar devaluation.  The value of a currency is also referred to as purchasing power.  The more a currency is devalued, the less you can buy with it because the purchasing power decreases.

The graph below shows the purchasing power of the US dollar since 1913. 1913 is when the Federal Reserve, which is actually a privately-owned central bank, took over the US banking system. As you can see, it’s been pretty much downhill since the Fed took over.  In fact, the dollar has lost over 96% of its value.  That means today’s dollar would be worth less than 4 cents back in 1913. How much longer will the dollar maintain its reserve-currency status at this rate?

Dollar Devaluation 1913-2013
Dollar Devaluation 1913-2013

How does the Federal Reserve devalue the dollar?  By printing more money.  Printing more money causes monetary inflation.  That means there are more dollars in circulation, but just because there is more paper money floating around, that doesn’t mean value has been created.  All you really get is price inflation.  Here’s an extreme example: Let’s say the Federal Reserve just gave everyone in America $1 million.  Wouldn’t that be great if everyone in America became a millionaire over night?  Unfortunately, nothing would change, except prices would increase. Think about it.  How much would you have to pay the plumber to come to your house, if he’s already a millionaire?

Fighting inflation

Unlike paper money dollars, which can be printed out of thin air, gold does not lose value.  In fact, gold doesn’t really go up or down.  When gold goes up, it really means the dollar is going down and when gold goes down, it’s actually the dollar getting stronger (increasing its purchasing power).  So by keeping a portion of your savings in gold, you offset the losses of your dollar being devalued by the Federal Reserve and reckless government spending.  When you buy gold or other commodities that resist inflation, it’s called a hedge against inflation.

Real Inflation 10%

When the government creates inflation statistics, they use all kinds of trickery such as substitution and hedonics to massage the numbers to make themselves look good. Sometimes they even change the rules openly, but there are always people who keep track of the real inflation numbers.
If inflation was measured the same way that it was in 1980, the rate of annual consumer inflation in the United States would be well over 10 percent.  In other words, if you have federal reserve notes (aka dollars) in a savings account earning a whopping 0.05% interest, you’re actually losing over 10% of your savings every year!