In part two of our discussion on the struggling economy, we discuss how inflation and government’s manipulation of the money supply is harming our financial well-being.
Here’s a transcript of our conversation:
Emma: Hi, Brittany.
Brittany: Hi, Emma.
Emma: So, today I wanna continue with the last episode that we released on what is Killing the Economy right now, because gosh, stuff is getting expensive, gas is getting expensive, groceries, all of this stuff. And we talk quite a bit about inflation and about what causes things to be so spendy a lot on this show. But I thought that we could specifically focus on the way that politicians right now are redirecting the blame for their own actions on crazy the stuff going on around the world. And that’s not to say that, you know, what’s happening in Ukraine and Russia right now has nothing to do with what gas costs or what food costs. But I definitely think there’s some sneaky games that are being played with politicians, and especially politicians in DC who ultimately don’t want to answer for the things that they’ve done against the will of the people, and also against what history tells us about money and inflation. So this is an episode where we’re gonna focus a little bit more on The Creature from Jekyll Island, which I bet many of you guys know about already, but the Federal Reserve that prints money. And I wanna talk a bit more about sort of how the government has approached printing money and approached spending money through the pandemic and sort of the effects that we have seen from that. So first of all, let’s talk a little bit about the stimulus bills that have been coming, coming up through COVID. I believe we saw Brittany, do you remember how many they passed with the actual checks that went to people? Was it three?
Brittany: Three checks?
Brittany: Yes. Three checks,
Emma: Yes. There were.
Brittany: And I don’t know if you got extra if you were a parent. I don’t know if it was in like one lump s but Yes. For if you made, yeah. So three checks was what we got. One under Trump, two under Biden, or me, I might have had that wrong, but yes.
Emma: I’m pretty sure. Yeah, it might have been two Trump and one Biden.
Brittany: I think it was Two Trump. Two Trump one Biden. Yeah.
Emma: Yeah. And these were, you know, they weren’t small checks going to people because for a lot of people, you know, 600 bucks, 14 bucks here or there, that can make a big difference. But when you actually look at the bills and you look at how much went to normal people versus how much went to giant companies in billions of dollars, you know, amounts, it’s pretty crazy to actually look into that. And someone that is in Congress, who I really like, who I think did a great job talking about this at a time when it was really not popular is Thomas Massey, he actually did the math on the first stimulus bill that was ever passed. This one was under Trump, it was right at the beginning of the pandemic, I wanna say it was April or May of 2020. And Thomas Massey ran the numbers and said, Hey, you’re all getting, you know, a $600 check, or maybe it was $1,400 at the time. It was one of those numbers. And, and he goes, Hey, this is just the cheese in the track. That’s what he kept saying. And I really liked that because it did seem appealing for a lot of people who maybe their jobs were being forcibly closed down by corrupt politicians who were saying, no, your business is shut overnight. You’re not allowed to go to work. And so people were looking at that and saying, wow, I could really use that you know, thousand dollars or something along those lines. And then you also had the government at the same time, turning around and giving way more money to these huge businesses that, you know, they were basically just keeping the lights on, even if there weren’t customers. And a big one of those was airlines. They got billions and billions of dollars to stay open and basically fly empty planes all over the place. Yeah. And it was, it was really crazy. But Thomas Massey, to get back to my point here, he actually ran the numbers and I believe it was $56,000. He said, if all of this money from this bill was actually going to we the people, we would each get, you know, $56,000 per family. And that kind of opened a lot of people’s eyes to say, Hey, wait a minute, where is all of this money going? And, you know, that’s sort of an interesting thing to think about because it’s, it’s not necessarily a good thing, even if the government was giving $50,000 per family, it’s more of just a picture of how much money was being spent. But the way that the government hands that money out, we have to remember, it’s not just, you know, taking money out of thin air. They’re printing money that actually devalues money that’s in your savings account. Money that’s in your pig piggy bank. If you’ve read The Creature from Jekyll Island, we’ve talked about this and the park tickets and how expensive everything gets. It’s not just, you know, oh, hey, we’re just gonna print more money and then there will be more money. It actually devalues all the money that’s real when they print that fake money that’s not backed up by anything. And the government printed a lot of money throughout COVID. It actually, they’re spending totaled 5.2 trillion. And for context, World War II cost 4.7 trillion. Wow. In today.
Brittany: I was gonna say, is that today, okay?
Emma: So adjusted for inflation if all the money meant the same thing. Cause obviously, you know, five bucks during World War II is not the same as five bucks today. But we spent more on COVID than we did on World War II, which is just wild to wrap your brain around. And to do that, the government actually printed $13 trillion with the, my goodness, for context, a trillion dollars is 1 million million. So if you can think of a million dollars a pile of a million dollars, 1 trillion is a million of those millions. So it’s a lot of money.
Brittany: That’s A lot of money.
Emma: It’s hard to even like, reckon with your brain, but it’s pretty wild that they did this. And so many people, I think turned a blind eye because they were wanting that $600 or that $1,400, which is understandable because, for a lot of folks, the government just shut their jobs down overnight. But Brittany, could you maybe talk a bit about how the government does this, where they sort of trick us into going along with what they want when, you know, there’s more at play than what we’re actually seeing?
Brittany: Yeah. And I’m just gonna ask a follow-up question. So do you mean with stimulus bills, because there’s so much we could touch on here?
Emma: Yeah, I mean, I think a stimulus is a part of it, but there are so many things I think where the government spends a lot of money and we see a little bit of it kind of as like this cheese in the trap, like Thomas Massey says, like, can you think of some other things where the government has said, Hey, we’re gonna give you this for free. When in reality it’s creating a much bigger problem. Like, for example, I’ll throw one out there is the free college thing where they’re like, oh, we’re gonna make college free for everyone, or we’re gonna make healthcare free for everyone. When in reality it’s actually making things way more expensive because the government is subsidizing it. That’s sort of what I’m thinking of right now.
Brittany: Okay. Yeah. So not just COVID specific, just in Yeah. In general. Yeah. So I mean, to me, healthcare is a big one. And look at all the money they poured in. I don’t remember, cause I’ve tried to forget the very short-lived Obamacare era. But I mean, when Affordable Healthcare Act and Obamacare came around, it was just pumping money into healthcare, and it was supposed to be like great healthcare. And it ended up being horrible. Anyway, people ended up paying more than they thought they would be paying. Yeah. To be get to. So it ended up being just like the silliest thing ever, but we pumped all this money into it because it was supposed to be for our own good. And they called it, wasn’t it, that they called it a tax? That’s how they like got around it. I can’t remember. I think that’s what they did.
Emma: I think so.
Brittany: So we were paying all this, I think most people saw nothing from it. And I mean, I, God, I wish I remembered the amount of money, but it was a lot. So we see that, I mean, we see it in the Pentagon. We don’t know where half the money we’re funneling in, into the Pentagon goes to, you know, I think it was Massey, it was Ron Paul, I think it was both of them. I think it was around Paul had an audit. The Fed, you know, we talk a lot about end the Federal Reserve, but there was an audit of the Fed, but there was an audit the Pentagon, strategies too, because we wanted to know like, where is this money going? We spent, you know, like, I think it was $1 billion went to the Pentagon. And, you know, that was supposed to be for like masks and swabs, you know, and the tests. And that went to weapons. So, yeah. It’s so silly because the government will constantly convince us that we need to be giving them, or we need to be giving them, and when I say giving them, I mean, through our tax dollars, we need to be spending all this money pumping it Yeah. Into certain industries. And we don’t, even the small businesses that got us, not even small businesses, they weren’t even small businesses. Businesses that got a lot of money during COVID. It didn’t make any sense. Yeah. And, it didn’t do much to prop up the economy because closing all these, you know, businesses that weren’t, I’m saying this in quotes, non-essential, actually contributed to a lot of the economic problems that we’re seeing right now. It’s just a mess. Yeah. But it seems like their solution to everything is more intervention and more, you know, pumping money and more subsidies. And it’s like, wait, that’s how we got here in the first place. So if they would just leave everything alone, we’d be better off.
Emma Yeah. I think a lot about what would’ve happened if, at the beginning of COVID, the government said, all right, this is a, you know, this is a scary virus. I’m not gonna say COVID isn’t scary, especially for certain people. There are people who, you know, they’re really at risk with COVID, especially when it first came out, when the, when the strains were stronger. But I just imagine what would’ve happened if the government would’ve said, Hey, let’s, you know, if you’re young and healthy, keep going to work. Keep doing what you need to do. You know, let’s not shut the economy down. Let’s not force businesses to shut down. Let’s actually make people, or let people rather make their own decisions on what they think is best for them. And I think there would’ve been a lot of people who would’ve chosen to stay home and who would’ve chosen to wear masks or, you know, whatever their choice would’ve been. But there also would’ve been people who would’ve chosen to keep their doors open and keep serving customers. And I think we would’ve seen a lot less negative effects of COVID, as far as the economy goes, if the government had just let people make their own choices from day one. And the crazy thing to me is looking back at the beginning of the pandemic, you know, if someone were to have said, Hey, we need to let people make their own choices, back then you, they would’ve been completely ostracized. People would’ve said, you’re being so insensitive. And I know this because it happened to me. Yes. I’m proud to have been one of the people who from the beginning said, Hey guys, this is not a good idea. We shouldn’t shut everything down. And Brittany, I know you were, you were with me on that because yes, it was, you can kind of see with our government’s history that they tend to blow things, blow things out of proportion to ul ultimately get more control over our lives and be able to spend more money and make their jobs feel more important. And at the end of the day, you know, we know that this doesn’t work, that approach does not work. And we feel all sorts of effects from that in the long-term that are really negative. And now more and more people are realizing that the way that our government approached COVID was completely backwards. There are all kinds of people, Democrats, people who, you know, voted for Joe Biden saying, I am so sick of this. My kids are still wearing a mask at school, even though people on wards shows don’t have to. And, you know, why are we still having to wear masks on the airplane when Dr. Fauci just said that they don’t work? Yeah. Cause it’s like, none of this is making sense. And I think it’s a really good lesson that, you know, not only should we let the government not manipulate our money like this and not print money just to, you know, hand out these big checks to their friends in the defense industry or at the airlines, but also to not let them take away our personal liberties for, you know, short term security. And I think right now, you know, we’re still feeling this crazy inflation stuff is getting so expensive for a few different reasons. But I think a big part of this is that we really let the government get out of control during COVID. And I hope that we’re able to reign this back in. I don’t know if it’s gotten too far. Hopefully it hasn’t. But I really hope that we can use this moment as a lesson to say, Hey, we’re starting to see that COVID was not as big of a deal as we thought it was. Yep. And we really, really hurt ourselves to quote-unquote stop COVID. And I think looking at this as a moment of learning for our country would do a lot of good. Will that happen? I don’t know. I sure hope so. But, I guess my closing thoughts to you guys unless you wanna add anything, Brittany would just be, you know, next time something like this happens, a big crisis, think twice about letting the government take more control and spend more money to quote-unquote fix everything.
Brittany: No, I think you hit the nail on the head.
Emma: Yes. Awesome. Okay. We will wrap it up here today, guys. Thank you for listening, and we will talk to you all again soon.
Brittany: Talk to you soon.