Amen TMG, welcome aboard. We should adopt the "pizza standard", see my 7 January 2008 post. In about 1979, I concluded the notion of Fed "success" at anything was absurd, "Why won't the Fed lend me $5 billion at the Fed funds rate? I will put the proceeds in T-bills and return the difference to the Fed in a year". I can use cheap money. Why not? I'm a US citizen? Should I not have the same rights as say, Citigroup an artificial entity? Why can't all Americans borrow from the Fed? I estimate US prices are about 36X their 1913 level, indicating a 97.2% reduction in the dollar's value. TMG is in my ballpark! The official CPI is 21X its 1913 level, implying compound inflation of 4.3% annually for 73 years, my estimate is 5.1%, 0.8% more. However, more detailed analysis shows my excess arose after World War II. For example, the official 2007 CPI is 7.4X 1957's CPI, indicating a 4.1% compound inflation rate for the last 50 years. I estimate 2007 prices are 13X 1957 prices on average, a 5.3% average inflation rate, 1.2% more than the official CPI. Buy long-term bonds? Hahaha!
American's desire for free, or at least cheap money is old news. It's not well known, but Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, 1900, was an allegory on 1896's election. Dorothy was the American public; Oz, represented the gold ounce; the wizard was William McKinley; Dorothy's slippers were not made of ruby as in 1939's movie, but of silver; the American public was asked to follow the "yellow brick road", i.e., the gold standard; William Jennings Bryan was the cowardly lion; the Emerald City represented Washington DC and green paper money, and the Wicked Witch of the East stood for New York banking interests. "Political Interpretations of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" at http://www.en.wikipedia.org/, explains the political significance of the book in detail.