The Disappearing Dollar: A Century of Declining Purchasing Power

May 16, 2024 | Economic Collapse

Over the past century, both Democrats and Republicans have contributed to the significant decline in the purchasing power of the U.S. dollar through continuous fiscal mismanagement and inflationary policies, impacting economic stability and the cost of living for Americans.

As the 2024 Presidential Elections approach, it’s important to take a step back and look at how the economy has changed because of more than one hundred years of political maneuvering. No matter what party they belong to, both Democrats and Republicans have done a lot to make the U.S. dollar less valuable. This has been a steady drop, broken up by important policy decisions and economic mistakes. We should talk about how we got here and what it means for the future.

The Federal Reserve and the Start of the Fall (1913)

When it was created in 1913, the Federal Reserve was meant to make the country’s money and banking system better, more flexible, and more stable. That being said, this was the start of the dollar’s value going downhill all the time. When the bill was first made, one dollar bought things that today would cost almost thirty dollars. The organization that was supposed to keep the economy stable instead led to policies that caused inflation and grew the national debt.

Between 1930 and 1940, there was the Great Depression and World War II

During the Great Depression, when the economy was in a lot of trouble, the federal government stepped in and did a lot of work. This was partly important, but it also led to a lot of spending and debt. The goal of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “New Deal” plans was to get the economy going again, but they also gave the government a lot more power and money. The national debt had grown from $16.1 billion in 1930 to over $260 billion by the end of World War II. This made the dollar even less valuable.

Prosperity after the war and the Bretton Woods system (1945–1971)

After World War II, things were going well at first, but inflation started to grow because the government kept spending money on military and social projects. When Bretton Woods was set up in 1944, the dollar was tied to gold, which made things more stable. But the rising costs of the Vietnam War and large-scale aid programs put a strain on the government’s finances. By 1971, President Richard Nixon had dropped the dollar from the gold standard, making it a “fiat” currency that wasn’t backed by anything real. This action made it easier for prices to go up.

The Oil Crisis and Stagflation in the 1970s

The 1970s were hard on the economy. The oil crisis caused energy prices to skyrocket, and there was stagflation, which is when the economy grows slowly but prices rise quickly. OPEC started the oil boycott in 1973, which made the price of oil quadruple and caused very high inflationary pressures. The dollar’s buying power dropped even more during this time because prices were going up without wages going up at the same rate. The problem got worse when the government tried to control inflation with policies like price controls.

The 1980s: The Reagan Years and Supply-Side Economics

Tax cuts, less government control, and more money spent on the military were all part of President Ronald Reagan’s supply-side economics. The economy grew because of these measures, but they also caused big budget deficits. During Reagan’s presidency, the national debt tripled, rising from $997 billion in 1981 to $2.85 trillion in 1989. This made the dollar even less valuable. The short-term boosts to the economy hurt the long-term health of the budget.

The Tech Boom and the Dot-Com Bust (1990s to 2000s)

In the 1990s, there was a tech boom that made people feel good about the economy and led to growth. During this time, there was also more risky investment, which led to the dot-com bust in the early 2000s. When the stock market bubble burst, it caused a big drop in the economy, which led the government to spend more and get involved more, especially through stimulus packages and loans. During this time, using the national debt as a way to help the economy get back on its feet became more common. This made the dollar even less valuable.

Quantitative Easing and the Great Recession from 2008 to 2016

The 2008 financial crisis was a turning point. When big financial institutions failed, the government had to step in in a way that had never been done before. The Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing strategy, which basically meant printing money to buy government bonds, was meant to boost the economy but also made a lot more money available. Even though the Obama administration’s stimulus measures were needed to keep the recession from getting worse, they added trillions of dollars to the national debt, continuing a pattern of bad money management. The national debt had grown from $10 trillion in 2008 to $20 trillion by 2016.

Recent Years: Spending on the Pandemic and Other Things (2020–Present)

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the government spent more than ever before. Stimulus checks, unemployment benefits, and help for companies all added to the national debt. The Trump and Biden administrations both led huge spending plans that were meant to lessen the pandemic’s effect on the economy. The extra money coming into the economy and problems with the supply chain have caused inflation rates that haven’t been seen in decades. This makes the dollar even less valuable. The national debt has grown to over $34.7 trillion as of 2024, and inflation is now a major worry for most Americans.

What Does This Mean for Years After 2024?

As the 2024 presidential elections get closer, it’s important to remember that both Democrats and Republicans are worried about the steadily falling value of the dollar. Policies that put short-term economic boosts ahead of long-term fiscal security have been backed by both major parties. Every year, a dollar is worth less and less, which hurts the middle class and makes economic inequality worse.

Voters should expect their candidates to be honest and answerable, and they should focus on long-term economic strategies that deal with the causes of debt and inflation. The dollar is likely to keep falling regardless of any talks big changes. This will hurt the financial security of future generations.

What Happens When Debt and Inflation Keep Going Up?

When the dollar gets weak, big problems happen. The cost of living goes up as buying power goes down. This affects everything from food to housing. It’s harder for the normal American family to make ends meet, which means they need loans and credit cards more. This leads to a circle of debt that is similar to how the federal government spends money: it spends more than it has, which means it takes on more debt to pay for short-term needs.

The weakening of the dollar also has an effect on economic stability and ties between countries. The dollar’s power is important for global markets because it is the world’s reserve currency. People lose faith in the dollar when prices keep going up and debt keeps growing. This could cause people to switch to gold and cryptocurrencies as alternatives.

Final Thoughts

In short, the people who live in the White House have changed, but the problems of bad budget management and policies that cause inflation have not. As citizens, it is our duty to look closely at these trends and fight for a more stable economic future. A dollar’s spending power is more than just a number; it shows how strong and healthy our economy is as a whole.

In the 2024 Presidential Elections, voters really only have two options for President. However, since neither will add more purchasing power into your wallet, it’s up to you. If you haven’t, I would highly recommend “GettingYourWeightUp” by acquiring sound money in the form of gold and silver coinage. We are pass the point of reversing the dollar’s century-long loss of purchasing power and the promises that come from the podium will continue regardless of how much it cost our nation in additional debt. That’s the foundation of this current system and at some point it must end. The road ahead will be tough, but a better economic situation lies on the other side for those who are aware and prepare accordingly.


Will the dollar be a topic this upcoming Presidential Election? Leave a comment…


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