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Edited by Alfred Adask
Friday, January 15, AD 2016
Between Friday, January 8AD 2016 and 
Friday, January 15, AD 2016, the bid prices for:

Gold fell 1.4 % from $1,104.60 to $1,088.80

Silver fell 0.1 % from $13.93 to $13.91

Platinum fell 5.6 % from $877 to $828

Palladium fell 0.0 % from $492 to $492

Crude Oil fell 9.8 % from $32.91 to $29.69

US Dollar Index rose* 0.5 % from 98.40 to 98.93

* The US Dollar was the only index that rose; that's evidence of deflation.

DJIA fell 2.2 % from 16,346.45 to 15,988.08

NASDAQ fell 3.3 % from 4,643.63 to 4,488.42

NYSE fell 2.4 % from 9,528.77 to 9,299.60


"Only buy something that you'd be perfectly happy to hold
if the market shut down for 10 years." --Warren Buffett 

"If the markets shut down for 10 years, what investment would you dare to hold-- 
other than gold"? --Alfred Adask

"Interesting Times" in the oil patch

by Alfred Adask

Ancient Chinese curse: "May you live in 'interesting' times."

Just after A.D. 2015 ended, Salon magazine published an article entitled "A year of war: 10 destructive armed conflicts the U.S. fueled in 2015". According to Salon,

"2015 was marked by violence and war. The most prevalent story in the U.S. media throughout the year was ISIS. The Paris attacks, mass shootings, police brutality, terrorism, the Charleston massacre and the refugee crisis were also among the top 10 stories of the year."

That article illustrated an important point: As A.D. 2015 ended, the mainstream media and the American people were focused on questions of war. Would Syria erupt in full-scale war? Would Russia declare war on Turkey? Saudi Arabia with Iran? Shiites with Sunnis? ISIS sneaking backpack nukes into the US? Israel with . . . well, Israel could be fighting with anyone. What about the US goading China or Russia into WWIII?

At the end of A.D. 2015, we were all much concerned, even primarily concerned, with the seemingly imminent outbreak of significant war.

However, as I write this article roughly two weeks later, the issue of war-even a thermonuclear WWIII-is almost forgotten. Today, we're focused on the fantastic declines in the price of crude oil and in the stock market indices.

In the first two weeks of the new year, the Dow has fallen over 8% and the price of crude oil dropped almost 20%. Forget thermonuclear war-we're talking about something really important: money!

Public attention is so fickle. One week it's the Kardashians. Next week it's thermonuclear war. The week after that, it's the stock markets and crude oil.

The Usual Suspects

There's some disagreement as to what caused the recent, global stock declines. Some blame China, some blame the Federal Reserve, some say Uranus was in retrograde.

But there's not much doubt about the causes for the price of crude oil to fall over 70% in 18 months from about $105/barrel in mid-2014 to $29 today. Those causes include human meddling, stubbornness, spite, greed, desperation and even stupidity. Given that we haven't seen the end of mankind's most negative attributes and inclinations, we probably haven't seen the bottom in the price of crude, either.

Most agree that Saudi Arabia precipitated the oil price decline. Some say they acted at the US government's behest and kept pumping crude oil, despite a fall in global demand, in order to cause economic havoc for Russia. Others claim the Saudi's increased pumping in order to destroy the US fracking industry.

Whatever the Saudis' real motive may have been, Russia has adjusted and survived (and might be carrying a big grudge against the Saudi's) and, to some degree, so did the US fracking industry. In fact, according to Christof Ruhl, head of research atADIA(Abu Dhabi Investment Authority), "Conventional oil producers can't win in battle to drive U.S. shale producers out of market because U.S. oil shale is showing relentless efficiency gains."

Nevertheless, the price cutting that the Saudi's started in A.D. 2014 continues and seems to have spiraled out of control. Everyone is losing revenue. Even the Saudis are suffering serious financial losses. Despite the losses, no oil-producing nation can or will quit the game.

Ten Bucks a Barrel?!

Result? According to, "Forget $20 Oil: StanChart Says 'Prices Could Fall As Low As $10 A Barrel'"

Ten bucks a barrel?!

Hard to believe. The possibility is mind-boggling. At $10 a barrel-after adjusting for inflation, and recognizing that there can be about 19 gallons of gasoline in a barrel of crude-gasoline could soon be cheaper than the 25-cent-per-gallon gas I saw in the mid-1960s.

Already $8/Barrel for Canadian Bitumen

On January 14th, published "Forget $20-Oil Prices At $8 Per Barrel In Canada". According to that article,

"WTI (West Texas Intermediate oil) has declined to $30 per barrel, the lowest level in more than 12 years. But heavy oil producers in Canada would love to have $30 oil.

"The price for a barrel of bitumen, the tar-like oil sands that comes from Alberta, fell to just over $8 per barrel this week. That is not a typo. Bitumen traded at $8.35 per barrel on Tuesday[January 12th]."

Canadian "bitumen" is not the same thing as WTI crude. "Bitumen" requires more refining and produces less gasoline. Even so, $8 "bitumen" is surprising and shocking in that it gives plausibility to others' predictions that price of crude oil could fall to $20 or even $10 per barrel. "In fact, sells oil drums-just the barrel, not the oil-for $78, almost ten times the cost of the actual bitumen.

"Heavy oil producers are now losing money on every single barrel that they sell . . . . Consequently, it is shut-down time for some producers. . . .

"But some companies might stay online and lose money because shutting down carries its own trouble and costs. Shutting down can actually damage a reservoir, leaving a site with permanently lower output. As a result, production shut downs could actually be 'extremely limited' . . . ."

Conventional Crude

What fun, hmm?

Either way they go, at current prices, oil-producers lose money. If they keep selling at low prices, they may lose money immediately. If they stop selling now, they may "permanently" damage their oil well's productive potential and lose money in the future.

In relation to crude oil, Energy Aspects agrees: "The high costs of halting and then restarting production makes output curbs unlikely, even at prices below $30/bbl."

Oil producers in much of the world are trapped in a no-win situation. If they keep pumping, they lose money now. If they stop pumping, they lose market share now, and revenue later.

If a company is condemned to lose money no matter what, how long before that company goes bankrupt?

If a nation's economy depends on the sale of crude oil at prices above $30/barrel, is political chaos more likely if that nation loses money now if it continues pumping, or more likely later if it stops pumping? Either way, political chaos is possible.

For some oil producers, the production of crude oil has become a kind of madness that can't be endured or escaped. They can't keep pumping and they can't stop pumping. The geological fact that some oil wells may suffer a permanent loss of future productive capacity if they stop pumping, goes a long ways towards explaining why the oil-producing nations continue to play this game of high-stakes "chicken".

The oil-producing corporations and nations must be desperate. Almost all of them are caught in a no-win situation and they can't afford to stop.

The Fundamental Law of Economics

Price is determined by Supply and Demand.

If the Supply increases while the Demand holds steady, the price must fall. If the Demand increases while the Supply remains steady, the price must rise.

People adjust their economic choices according to whether the price is rising or falling. If the price is rising, people produce more, the supply grows, and the price tends to fall back to a state of equilibrium. If the price is falling, people tend to produce less, the supply declines, and the price tends to rise back to a state of equilibrium.

If the price of crude is falling at the same time the demand is falling and supply is increasing, something is out of whack. Somebody needs to cut the supply dramatically-or see a shrink to find out why they're persistently violating the fundamental law (supply and demand) of economics.

Oil Producers' Primary Problem

The global economy is in a state of recession and/or depression. Central banks have done all they can to restore the global economy but failed in their attempts.

Thus, there's no way that global demand (and prices) for crude oil can be increased by artificial "stimulation" in the near future.

Oil Producers' Primary Solution

If artificial "stimulation" can't increase the global demand (and price) for crude, that leaves only the supply side of the supply-and-demand economic equation to solve the oil producing nations' unprofitable dilemma.

To increase the price of crude oil, demand can't be increased-therefore, the supply must be cut. If they don't cut the supply, a lot of oil-producing nations won't only lose lots of currency but also risk domestic turmoil and political revolution.

Worse, current low prices for crude contribute to deflation and might cause or at least aggravate a global economic depression.

Three Ways To Cut the Supply

I see only three ways to cut the current global supply of crude oil:

1) Voluntary Agreement

All oil-producing nations need to negotiate an agreement whereby they all cut their oil production by a fixed percentage. The idea of a voluntary agreement seems so obvious; so simple. So civilized.

But, if the past is any indication of the future, there'll be no enforceable agreement. The oil producers don't trust each other to hold to any agreed supply cuts.

The costs of closing wells now, by agreement, and reopening them later, may be too great for most oil producers to risk.

Even if an agreement could be reached, it would be quickly broken and the real supply of crude oil would not be reduced as much as agreed. As evidence of the breaches of the agreement surfaced, the agreement would be quickly declared void and maximum oil production would resume.

Agreements are unlikely to cut the supply-at least not for long.

2) Voluntary Bankruptcies

If the current financial losses caused by low demand and low oil prices persist long enough, some oil-producing companies and even nations will be pushed into bankruptcy. Whatever amount of crude oil they'd been producing will be subtracted from the global supply.

Venezuela is a good example. It's already virtually bankrupt. Its supply of oil could disappear from global markets in the near future.

But how long will Venezuelan oil wells remain off-line?

A Venezuelan bankruptcy could push Venezuela into social chaos. In the midst of that chaos, Venezuelan officials might agree to sell existing (but turned-off) oil wells to wealthy outsiders for 20 cents on the dollar. Those wells would quickly be brought back into production.

The fact of Venezuela's bankruptcy doesn't mean that its oil wells will be removed from production for long or even at all. In fact, it's entirely possible that a bankrupt Venezuela will be so desperate for additional revenue that it will produce even more oil at an even lower price.

Another problem with bankruptcies is that they'll afflict the weakest oil-producing nations first. The weakest oil-producing nations are the ones which produce the least oil.

If Venezuela goes broke, who cares? Removing Venezuela's 3% share of global oil production from the markets will have only a negligible effect on production and prices. If other small producers go broke, the effect will also be negligible and the remaining producers will jump to seize the bankrupt's former market share.

Net result? Little or no reduction in global supply of crude oil

More, bankruptcies take time. If Venezuela is bankrupt today, it could be months or years before a second and then a third nation's capacity to produce crude oil is reduced by bankruptcy.

Thus, bankruptcies are unlikely to significantly reduce oil production as quickly or effectively as may be necessary.

3) War

If production-limit agreements and bankruptcies only reduce oil production temporarily (if at all), it appears that the only way to quickly and significantly cut some of the world's oil production is to destroy a significant percentage of oil wells and/or oil-producing nations.

Physical destruction of hundreds or even thousands of oil wells means WAR.

I'm reminded of Kuwaiti and Iraqi oil wells that were set ablaze and thereby destroyed during the first Gulf War. Those fires were blamed on Saddam Hussein, but they could've been set by anyone who had a vested interest in cutting the world's supply of crude oil. Once those wells were set on fire, it took two or three years to both stop the fires and restore the wells to operation and profitability. During those years, the supply of Kuwaiti and Iraqi crude was removed from the global supply.

If you want to cut the global supply of crude oil, the only effective and time-tested method for doing so is not voluntary agreements or slow-moving bankruptcies. Those strategies might temporarily remove some wells from production but will still leave them largely functional and generally able to be quickly turned back on.

If you want higher oil prices and you can't raise global demand due to an economic depression, the only option is to cut global supply by destroying oil wells by means of war.

Once an oil well is destroyed, it can't be quickly or inexpensively brought back on line.

Saudi Comeuppance

If war is the only reliable means to reduce the global, oil-supply glut, which nation(s) should be destroyed?

How 'bout, small-timers like Venezuela that produce only a few percent of the world's oil supply?

How many small, oil-producing nations would have to be attacked before there was a significant reduction in global supply? Somewhere between four and ten. There's a logistical problem in simultaneously attacking several nations that are spread out over the globe. It's dangerous to fight a war on several fronts.

More, how could The Powers That Be justify simultaneously attacking several small nations that are largely unrelated except for the fact that they're all oil producers? Public opinion would quickly declare the "Powers" responsible for the attacks to be fascists and villains.

But some sort of pretext could always be generated for attacking and destroying one, maybe two, oil-producing nations. Destroy Venezuela and the global oil supply is reduced by 3%. Destroy Saudi Arabia, and the global oil supply would be cut by 13%.

Of course, Saudi Arabia isn't necessarily the world's biggest oil producer.

Everyone agrees that the US, Russia and Saudis are the top three oil producers.

Even so, we can't destroy most of the oil wells in the US because they're too spread out and the US has numerous ICBMs.

And we can't destroy Russia's oil wells because Russia might retaliate with nuclear missiles that could toast our eyeballs.

But Saudi Arabia has relied on the US to defend it for the past 44 years and doesn't really have a credible nuclear defense. Nobody really likes the Saudis. They throw great parties, but they're Muslims, arrogantly wealthy, despotic, and routinely inspire the world's jealousy and secret animosity. In their own way, the Saudis are almost as despised as Israel. If some proxy nation or entity (ISIS?) could be created and persuaded to not only attack Saudi Arabia but thoroughly destroy Saudi oil wells, 13% of the world's oil supply might disappear for several years.

If the "Powers" could precipitate a real war between Iran (#7 on the oil producers' list with about 4% of the world's oil production and likely to double since they've been freed from US-imposed economic sanctions) and Saudi Arabia (13%)- global oil supplies might be trimmed by 17%.

If the "Powers" could drag Iraq (#8 producer; 3%) into a Middle East regional war that started between the Saudis and Iran, global oil glut might be cut by 20%. Maybe more.

Would a 20% cut in the global oil supply be enough to push oil prices back into profitability? I think it would.

Regional, Middle East War

Logic suggests that if anyone really wants to preserve the oil industry's profits, the only way to do so may be to precipitate a regional Middle East war that definitely destroys the Saudis-and, ideally, also destroys Iran and perhaps even Iraq.

Saudi Arabia is the logical, central target for any nation, corporation, conglomerate or "terrorist" organization bent on reducing the supply of crude oil and thereby raising its price.

If this reasoning is roughly correct, Saudi Arabia might be the natural target for several "backpack" nuclear bombs in the near future. After they were detonated in Saudi oil fields, the world could argue about who built the backpack nukes. But, the world could surely be led to agree that some terrorist group (OMG!) sponsored by Iran planted the bombs.

The Saudi's might react by bombing Iran. Iran might be goaded into bombing Iraq. The oil-producing capacity of 3 of the top 10 oil-producing nations could be destroyed in a matter of days or even hours.

From the perspective of any "Powers" wishing to protect the oil industry from the global supply glut, a regional Middle East war that involved nuclear weapons would be an ideal solution. 20% of the world's oil supply could vanish in a matter of hours. The price of crude might double just as quickly.

$250 Per Barrel?

In fact, published an article entitled "War Between Saudi Arabia And Iran Could Send Oil Prices To $250."

Hard to believe. $250/barrel? Maybe for a moment. Not permanently.

But who can say?

I doubt that merely pushing Saudi Arabia, Iran and Iraq into a conventional, regional, Middle East war could push oil prices up to $250/barrel. But toss in a half dozen backpack nuclear bombs to inspire real, global fear, and there's no telling how high the price of crude might fly.

The question is, do The Powers That Be want to protect the oil industry bad enough to destroy some significant number of oil wells? If they do, Saudi Arabia could soon be toast.

On the other hand, if alternative energy technology is causing the oil industry to become a relic of the past, no one may want to protect it bad enough to nuke the Saudis. If so, we might see $20 and even $10 barrels of crude oil this year-but no $250/barrel oil in the foreseeable future.

How "Interesting"!

If I had to bet, I'd bet there's a 60% chance that we'll see regional, Middle East war in A.D. 2016 wherein Saudi Arabia is the principle target and casualty.

We really do live in "interesting times," don't we? And, "dangerous times," too.

More than six years after the economic expansion began, 93% of counties in the U.S. have failed to fully recover from the blow they suffered during the recession.

Nationwide, 214 counties, or 7% of 3,069, had recovered last year to prerecession levels on four indicators: total employment, the unemployment rate, size of the economy and home values, a study from the National Association of Counties released Tuesday found.

The reality is slowing population growth and industry shifts mean some parts of the country will likely never fully recover. But by the end of last year, more counties had not recovered on any one of the four indicators, 16%, than had recovered on all of them.

As was the case in 2014, when just 65 counties had fully recovered, most of those that bounced back are in states benefiting from the energy boom. Last year, 72 of the recovered counties were in Texas, the most of any state. Nebraska followed with 22. Minnesota, Kentucky, North Dakota, Montana and Kansas each had at least 10 fully recovered counties.

Meanwhile, in 27 states, not a single county had fully recovered.

Some of the nation's largest counties finally recovered from the recession in 2015, including the counties containing Denver, San Francisco, San Jose, Dallas and Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, no county with more than 500,000 residents had fully recovered. Last year, 17 of 126 had.

The recovery is spreading out from the energy-rich center of the country-in part because a massive drop in oil prices is reversing job creation there while providing an economic benefit to larger metro areas near the coasts.



Our Price Basket - or Cost Of Living 2008 - 2015 Latest Inflation Update December 2015 Interest Rates, Housing, Food, Gas, Stamps, Dollar Exchange Rate, Dow Jones, Movie Ticket, College Tuition and Wages. We created this page to address two specific needs 1. Providing a comparison for earlier years and 2. As a means of watching how prices and wages react and the effects on inflation, prices and wages when the world comes out of the recession . As you can see we have changed the format to make it easier to read. Hope You Like the new style. To gain an idea of true inflation check 2008 prices to current with our Price Basket Graphic -- Steve

As you can see from our table the overall basket of goods has increased significantly from 2008 to 2015,

Our real world Price basket of goods shows an increase of over 40% from May 2008 to November 2015 far above published inflation figures and I believe reflects how the working class and the middle class have been effected by real world prices and stagnation in wages due to high unemployment, our basket is representative of the goods and services we all use and buy. Obviously different people spend on different amounts and types from our food basket dependent on multiple factors

1. Size of family, 2. Income, but we hope it offers an insight into real world inflation we are all affected by as opposed to government statistics.

Our basket of goods shows a slight decrease from 2014 to 2015 which not suprising when you consider the price of Gas has decreased ( An Ongoing development is manufacturers changing the weight Coffee and Detergent are the most pronounced, and this year we have noticed sugar changed from the traditional 5LB to 4LB ) other factors including rent, taxes ( local and State ) College Tuition, Cost of a Stamp, Movie Ticket or going out for a meal all affect how much disposable income we have available.



















House Rent



Aug. $945.00

Aug. $955.00

Aug. $1045.00

Dec. $1195.00


Nov. N/A

New House Buy



Nov. $268,700

Mar. $202,100

Aug. $263,200

Dec. $289,500

Dec. $373,500

Sep. $364,100










Gallon Gas

Sep. $3.39

Feb. $2.51

Aug. $2.73

Aug. $3.89

Sep. $3.91

Dec. $3.80

Dec. $2.75

Nov. $2.21

KW Hour Elec

Nov. 11.03

Oct. 11.76

Sep. 11.97

Aug. 12.35

Aug. 13.30

Dec. 13.30

Dec. 12.72

Nov. 12.00

Shopping Basket ** Foods Notes and Comments on Brands and Weights at end of table ( Prices Taken in Indianapolis 2013, 2014 and 2015)

Loaf Bread

Jan. $1.68

Aug. $1.77

Feb. $2.49

Aug. $1.98

Sep. $1.88

Dec. $1.98

Dec. $1.98

Nov. $1.98

Lb Potatoes

Nov. 32

Aug. 55

Feb. 52

Aug. 60

Sep. 42

Dec. 88

Dec. 49

Nov. 78

Gal Milk




Aug. $3.39

Sep. $2.79

Dec. $4.28

Dec. $3.15

Nov. $3.98

Lb Bacon

Dec. $2.96

Aug. $3.19

Jan. $3.22

Aug. $3.98

Sep. $4.48

Dec. $4.98

Dec. $5.48

Nov. $5.24

Doz Eggs

Apr. $1.29

Aug. $1.34

Jan. $1.37

Aug. $1.25

Sep. $1.54

Dec. $1.88

Dec. $1.98

Nov. $2.77

24 Pack Coke




Aug. $6.98

Sep. $6.98

Dec. $7.18

Dec. $7.18

Nov. $5.98

12 Pack Water



Feb. $2.08

Aug. $2.63

Sep. $2.68

Dec. $2.63

Dec. $2.50

Nov. $2.63

Lb Tomatoes



Feb. 97

Aug. $1.59

Sep. $1.79

Dec. $1.12

Dec. $1.18

Nov. $1.24

Lb TasteLikeButter



Dec. $2.28

Aug. $2.68

Sep. $2.68

Dec. $2.49

Dec. $2.88

Nov. $2.88

Lg Cornflakes



Dec. $2.98

Aug. $3.50

Sep. $1.98

Dec. $2.92

Dec. $2.98

Nov. $2.93

Frozen Pizza



Dec. $2.90

Aug. $3.00

Sep. $3.33

Dec. $2.52

Dec. $2.98

Nov. $2.50

5 Lb Bag Sugar



Dec. $3.12

Aug. $2.92

Sep. $2.42

Dec. $2.68

Dec. $1.98

Nov. $2.47

5 Lb Bag Flour



Dec. $2.18

Aug. $3.12

Sep. $2.98

Dec. $2.46

Dec. $1.98

Nov. $1.46

Lb Ground Beef



Dec. 378$3.78

Aug. $3.78

Sep. $4.78

Dec. $4.68

Dec. $5.98

Nov. $5.26

Tide Soap Powder



Dec. $7.97

Aug. $10.55

Sep. $17.97

Dec. $11.98

Dec. $17.97

Nov. $11.76

Folgers Coffee



Dec. $8.78

Aug. $12.98

Sep. $8.98

Dec. $7.98

Dec. $8.98

Nov. $10.63

Lb Green Grapes



Dec. $2.97

Aug. $1.96

Sep. $1.98

Dec. $2.48

Dec. $1.98

Nov. $1.48

Toilet Paper



Dec. $3.98

Aug. $3.98

Sep. $3.96

Dec. $3.98

Dec. $3.98

Nov. $3.98

Chicken Soup



Dec. $2.08

Aug. $2.10

Sep. $1.75

Dec. $1.58

Dec. $1.35

Nov. $1.34













Nov. $39,856

Aug. $40,925

Dec. $44,321

Dec. $44,888

Dec. $46.481

Nov. N/A


Jan. 5.4%

May. 8.6%

Nov. 9.8%

Aug. 9.2%

Aug. 8.1%

Dec. 6.7%

Nov. 5.8%

Nov. 5.0%










Fed Base Rate

Jan. 4.25%

Aug. 1.00%

Jan. .25%

Aug. .25%

Sep. .25%

Dec. .25%

Dec. .25%

Nov. .25%

Dow Jones

Mar. 12,500

Aug. 9,171

Jan. 9,908

Aug. 11,326

Sep. 13,553

Dec. 15,883

Dec. 17,280

Nov. 17,245




Nov. 1.1%

Jun. 3.1%

Jul. 2.6%

Dec. 1.5%

Dec. 1.7%

Nov. 1.3%


Apr 216.632

Apr 213.856

Apr. 218.178

Apr. 224.906

Aug. 233.506

Dec. 233.049

Dec. 234.8

Nov. N/A

Gold Per Ounce

Mar. $820.00

Aug. $953.00

Jan. $1,068.33

Aug. $1,559.95

Aug. $1,677.95

Dec. $1,208.00

Dec. $1,221.8

Nov. $1,085.7










Movie Ticket




Aug. $8.20

Aug. $8.20

Dec. $10.25

Dec. $10.25

Nov. $10.65

First Class Stamp




Aug. 44

Aug. 45

Aug. 46

Aug. 49

Nov. 49

College Tuition

Aug. $6,015

Aug. $6,585

Feb. $7,020

Jan. $7,605

July. $7,695

Dec. $8,893

Dec. $9,139

Nov. $9,410

Wrangler Jeans



Mar. $15.98

Aug. $17.68

Sep. $15.77

Dec. $15.77

Dec. $16.77

Nov. $16.77

*** Note: We try to wait for government published figures whenever possible consequently the last year is often not updated until the later in the year

We have increased the number of food items because that is where many ordinary families notice inflation the most, plus from recent reports many food prices are due to rise because of basic commodity price increases and transport increases ( Gas Prices ).

I have taken the food prices from my local WalMart and will monitor the same items every 2 to 3 months, not super scientific but should provide an idea of real inflation for ordinary people in the long term. Fresh produce prices also rise and fall with the seasons , but I have included them because they still offer indicators to inflation over the long term.

The graphic at the side includes all of the food items included plus 1 gallon of gas, I needed to use only one gallon because gas prices can fluctuate so widely and would distort the figures if more than 1 gallon is included in the basket, I understand in the real world 1 gallon is not ideal.

These figures are also dependent on Special offers by the Shop or the Manufacturer or a combination of both.

Notes for foods

  1. Bread -- Sarah Lee White Bread
  2. Potatoes -- Russets
  3. Milk -- Deans
  4. Bacon -- Hormel -- ( 12 Ounces ) Priced for 16 Ounces
  5. Eggs -- Large Grade A
  6. Coke -- 24 Pack Cans
  7. Water -- 12 Pack Ice Mountain
  8. Tomatoes - Roma
  9. Taste Like Butter --- 15 Ounces
  10. Cornflakes - Large -- 18 Ounces
  11. Pizza -- Jacks Pepperoni
  12. Sugar -- 5 Lb bag
  13. Flour -- 5 Lb Bag
  14. Beef -- Lean Ground
  15. Tide -- 4.37 Lbs
  16. Folgers -- Classic Roast --- 2 Lb 9 Ounces
  17. Grapes --
  18. Toilet Rolls -- Scotts 4 pack
  19. Chicken Soup -- Campbells Cream Of Chicken --- 10.7 Ounces Price For 16 Ounces used

March Prices For Those who are interested

  • Loaf Bread $2.28
  • Lb Potatoes 49
  • Gal Milk $2.99
  • Lb Bacon $3.44
  • Doz Eggs $1.19
  • 24 Pack Coke $6.98
  • 12 Pack Water $2.63
  • Lb Tomatoes $2.48
  • Lb TasteLikeButter $2.68
  • Lg Cornflakes $2.98
  • Frozen Pizza $2.70
  • 5 Lb Bag Sugar $3.12
  • 5 Lb Bag Flour $2.34
  • Lb Ground Beef $4.28
  • Tide Soap Powder $9.98
  • Folgers Coffee $8.48
  • Lb Green Grapes $1.96
  • Toilet Paper $3.98
  • Chicken Soup $2.10

You can also check out our Foods section where you can check food prices for each decade from the 20's to the 90's including 50's Food Prices, --- 70's Food Prices and the 90's Food Prices with a much wider of variety of prices included.

How Much things cost today ( Updated February 9th 2010 ) The Cost alongside in blue was from our last update Average Cost of new house ( 2009 ) $232,880 2008- $238,880

Average Cost for house rent( 2009 ) $780.00 per month 2008- $800.00

Average wages per year ( 2009 ) $39,423 2008- $40,523

Cost of a gallon of Gas ( February 1st 2010 ) $2.73 August 2009- $2.51

Average Cost C per kilowatt hour Electricity ( October 2009 ) $11.76 C ( April 2009 ) $11.59

A 20 ounce loaf of Bread ( January 2010 ) $2.27 ( February 2010 ) $2.49

A LB of Bacon ( January 2010 ) $3.22 A LB of Russet Potatoes ( January 2010 ) $0.52 Dozen Eggs ( January 2010 ) $1.37 Movie Ticket ( 2009 ) $7,50 College Tuition State ( February 2010 ) $7,020 + Most States have raised tuition fees for 2009 - 2010 by between 5 and 15% ( August 2009 ) $6,585

First Class Stamp ( February 2010 ) $0.44 ( August 2009 ) $0.42

Consumer Price Index ( December 1st 2010 ) 215.263 ( July 1st 2009 ) 215.693

Money Matters

Current Fed Base Interest Rate ( january 1st 2010 ) .25% Current Inflation Rate ( December 1st 2009 ) 0.03% ( July 1st 2009 ) 215.693

Dow Jones ( January 9th 2011 ) 9,908 ( August 2009 ) 9,171

Price Of Gold Per Ounce ( January 9th 2010 ) $1068.33 ( August 1st 2009 ) $953.00

Price Barrel Of Oil ( February 1st 2010 ) $77.62 US Dollar Exchange Rate Euro ( February 9th 2010 ) 1.26750 ( August 1st 2009 ) 1.426

US Dollar Exchange Rate Pound ( February 9th 2010 ) 1.56.09 ( August 1st 2009 ) 1.672

Unemployment Rate ( January 2010 ) 10.1% ( November 2009 ) 10.2%

Only those goods, services or items that have changed since last update ( May ) are included below with original prices. I will try to update each 3 months and leave earlier figures below to provide comparison data

How Much things cost With Earlier Older Prices Only Prices that have changed included Average Cost of new house ( 2008 ) $238,880 Average Cost for house rent( 2008 ) $800.00 per month Average wages per year ( 2008 ) $40,523 Cost of a gallon of Gas ( August 2009 ) $2.51 Average Cost C per kilowatt hour Electricity ( April 2009 ) 11.59 C A 20 ounce loaf of Bread ( August 2009 ) $1.77 A LB of Bacon ( August 2009 ) $3.19 A LB of Russet Potatoes ( August 2009 ) $0.55 Dozen Eggs ( August 2009 ) $1.34 Movie Ticket ( 2009 ) $7,18 College Tuition State ( August 2009 ) $6,585 + Most States have raised tuition fees for 2009 - 2010 by between 5 and 15% First Class Stamp ( August 2009 ) $0.42 Consumer Price Index ( July 1st 2009 ) 215.693 Money Matters

Current Fed Base Interest Rate ( August 1st 2009 ) 1% Current Inflation Rate ( July 1st 2009 ) -1.43% Dow Jones ( August 1st 2009 ) 9,171 Price Of Gold Per Ounce ( August 1st 2009 ) $953.00 Price Barrel Of Oil ( August 1st 2009 ) $69.45 US Dollar Exchange Rate Euro ( August 1st 2009 ) 1.426 US Dollar Exchange Rate Pound ( August 1st 2009 ) 1.672 Unemployment Rate ( November 2009 ) 10.2% Average Cost New Car ( 2008 ) $27,958 Average Cost C per kilowatt hour Electricity ( Jan 2009 ) 11.03 C A loaf of Bread ( 2009 ) $2.79 A LB of Bacon ( 2009 ) $2.99 A LB of Potatoes ( 2009 ) $0.32 Dozen Eggs ( 2009 ) $1.89 College Tuition State ( 2009 ) $6,585 First Class Stamp ( 2009 ) $0.42 Consumer Price Index ( May 1st 2009 ) 213.240 Money Matters

Current Inflation Rate ( May 1st 2009 ) 0.38% Dow Jones ( May 1st 2009 ) 8,168 Price Of Gold Per Ounce ( May 1st 2009 ) $885.30 Price Barrel Of Oil ( May 6th 2009 ) $56.47 US Dollar Exchange Rate Euro ( May 1st 2009 ) 1.327 US Dollar Exchange Rate Pound ( May 1st 2009 ) 1.485 Unemployment Rate ( May 1st 2009 ) 8.6% Unemployment Rate ( July 1st 2009 ) 9.7% If You Would Like to see other things added to our Current Price Basket Please Let Us Know ( target 20 items for our shopping basket ) Please Help If I have screwed up with current prices or rates let me know any mistakes Thanks Steve

Whenever possible prices have been taken from Government statistics, any help with links to better and more up to date information will be appreciated , Please remember to join to make a comment or help keep this information up to date. The Comments are like all comments on The People History moderated. If you want to give examples of what you are really paying in the shops in your area please do, it will make interesting reading for our other visitors (( Steve Webmaster The People History )). I will try to update the information every three months) only prices that have changed in the earlier quarter. Prices for LB's of food stuffs are difficult to get perfectly correct because it does depend on the quantity / Quality and where purchased ( State Tax etc ) but I think it is still a worthwhile exercise.

Modify Intelligence

by Wendy Wilson, Herbalist

When will humanity tell science they have gone too far? We have robots with artificial intelligence on our heels making most people uneasy. Now new scientific research from London's Imperial College states they are about to discover a mechanism which may enable scientific medicine to determine who will be smart and who will be dumb. For decades science has drilled into our heads that human IQ is determined by chance via our genes plus our external stimuli. According to science, our intelligence is housed in the gray matter or cerebral cortex of the brain. This is where memory, language, perception and thought occur. Like most things these days, science is taking the mystery out of creation and attempting to recreate it. Let's take a look at how science will attempt to manipulate human intelligence.


A research team at the Imperial College of London has been experimenting with human genes. What they noticed is there appears to be two networks of genes, which influence human intelligence. In the past, the experts thought that being smart was influenced by our genes (by 75%) and the rest was external experiences. So, science is not satisfied in allowing intelligence to occur naturally. Now they want to control it. They want to determine the exact mechanism that will make a person exhibit excessive speed of processing and reasoning, vast memory and attention skills. Almost like a quasi-human-computer brain. However, it is being presented as a way to help patients with brain dysfunction. No doubt that out of this research there will be medical procedures that will be applied to help those with epilepsy and other medical problems. It is the flip side to this research that is a cause for concern.


In the scientific report, the gene networks they pinpointed were analyzed and compared to a football team. In football there is a strategy and the players rehearse to line-up correctly for a specific play. In the case of the gene networks influencing intelligence, if they do not line-up properly it affects intelligence. A player out of place is the equivalent of having not only slow motor skills but a lack of optimal functionality in human intelligence. It could mean the difference of having a quick wit or being as dull as a doorknob. Scientists think this is what could be responsible for a variety of cognitive dysfunctions.


Do you think it could it be as simple as flipping a switch in the genome to modify human intelligence? Could science soon make the flaws go away to create a perfectly intelligent human beings or make an intelligent person as dumb as a rock? Actually, science thinks exactly that way and they speculate that it is just a matter of time before they discover what they are calling the "master switch." According to Dr. Michael Johnson from the Department of Medicine Imperial College, his team is searching for which genes are relevant at influencing human intelligence and how they interact with one another. So, what the scientific team is trying to do is isolate the genes that have similar regulatory actions and manipulate them and see how it affects intelligence. However, the only way to take this from theory to fact is to experiment on humans.


Dr. Johnson and his team took samples of human brain matter from patients undergoing neurosurgery for epilepsy. They compared the samples to genetic DNA from highly intelligent, healthy people and those with neurological disorders, such as autism or other intellectual disabilities. Computers helped them map the gene network, which they believe is involved in cognitive function. They found a gene match in that area in both the healthy and cognitive impaired individuals. The team labeled these genes M1 and M3. According to Dr. Johnson, human intelligence traits entail large groups of genes working together. During their research they discovered through computer analysis that the key genes for intelligence overlap the genes that can cause either epilepsy or cognitive dysfunction. Dr. Johnson's research was published in the journal of Nature Neuroscience.

"Genetics is the science of inheritance, not pre-determinism, and there is no substitute for hard work and application." Dr. Darren Griffin, Professor of Genetics at the University of Kent, UK


What we are talking about here is gene regulation but science calls it gene therapy. How far the field of science (called epigenetics) will go to secure the rights to influence the human brain is anyone's guess? There are numerous reports how medicine has identified the genes and the mechanism switches to influence our hair color or our immune system receptors. If science can turn on or off certain receptors within the immune system (via pathogens), then it won't be much longer before they can influence intelligence. The mechanism to perform these gene adjustments is pretty basic. Genes have DNA and produce proteins (called transcription factor) to carry out the cell's function. Scientists can tune off a gene and in doing so it no longer produces the protein, which provides directions for cellular function. An analogy would be if you drive out of range of the cell phone tower and you can't get the signal. No signal, the phone cannot accept or place calls. It is expected that science will excel in this area and gene cloning will continue to influence medicine as well. It is entirely feasible that in the near future there will be commercialized gene banks where patients can select the gene therapy they want to change or enhance themselves. For instance, scientists at the Buck Institute for Research on Aging at the University of Washington think they have identified 238 genes responsible for the aging process. They theorize that by removing, or switching off, these genes it will increase longevity by 60%. The research was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

"The process of turning genes on and off is known as gene regulation. Gene regulation is an important part of normal development. Genes are turned on and off in different patterns during development to make a brain cell look and act different from a liver cell or a muscle cell, for example. Gene regulation also allows cells to react quickly to changes in their environments. Although we know that the regulation of genes is critical for life, this complex process is not yet fully understood." Genetics Home Reference


New research from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) suggests that light influences our genes. They claim that a gene can be switched off or on with light. The researchers at MIT found that they can start or halt a gene expression by shinning light on the cells. This concept was dramatized in the movie Men in Black where a flash of light removes short-term memory. The team at MIT hopes to use this research along with epigenetic research. Specifically, they want to affect the chemical alterations of the gene proteins (DNA) with regards to brain function in the areas of learning and memory. The Biomedical Engineering department at MIT had their research published in the journal of Nature, in which they copy DNA into messenger RNA (mRNA) to carry genetic instructions to the cell. Apparently they were the first to create a DNA-binding protein to function as a transcription activator for the purpose of stringing them together to customize any DNA sequence. It may be possible that within the next few decades, science will offer couples the option to genetically alter and custom design their offspring.


The research at the University of New South Wales in Australia has used gene regulation to alter the DNA in red blood cells to increase oxygen. The research is being hailed a step forward for patients with sickle cell anemia and other health disorders. The scientists state they discovered a dormant gene and repaired it. The Australians call this "gene editing". In this instance, scientists can cut out parts of a gene and splice in other parts in what they call a repair. It is like playing scrabble where they take out a letter in a word and substitute a new letter. This concept totally changes the DNA in the gene. Science is boldly stating that they now have the technology and skill to fix inherited diseases. The Australian research team has not conducted any of these experiments on humans yet but feel is just a matter of time declaring the process safe for humans. Their research was published in the journal of Nature Communications. According to the Australian report, the Chinese are experimenting by editing human embryonic DNA. It is no surprise that scientists are claiming that the theory of evolution is the product of natural gene regulation taking us from ape to man. I personally reject that concept.


New research is telling us, you and I have power over our gene DNA and how it is expressed (genes turned on or off). According to Dr. Bruce Lipton, author of The Biology of Belief and Spontaneous Evolution, our cells have receptors which are influenced by environmental signals and can change genes within our cells. Influences such as diet, stress, emotions, the lack of light etc. can influence the regulation of genetic expression. Dr. Lipton explains that the cells can choose to read these signals or not. So, if Dr. Lipton's research is accurate, you and I are not controlled by our inherited genetic makeup and we can modify it ourselves. He says it is a gigantic myth that our genes control us or that we are the victim of our heredity. Should he be correct, gene editing or gene regulation by medicine is irrelevant. So, if your perception is that you are in control of your personal biology, then you have that power.

"The new biology moves you out of victimhood and into mastery over your own health." Dr. Bruce Lipton


I have long thought that what you believe will direct your path and whether you gravitate toward scientific medicine or natural therapies. The argument that science has proven its theories and is therefore all-knowing is not completely accurate. Scientific medicine has benefit at trying to stabilize trauma patients. There are good and bad aspects to surgery. A majority of the medicine prescribed does not cure ailments and creates more disease. Recently, more fraud has surfaced in medical research especially with drug trials. The point is does the human body need to be completely dissected and all its mysteries solved for us to live a healthy life? Can we secure our health relatively easily with positive thought and faith in God's organic food and herbs? I tend to think so. Why wouldn't we look to God for health instead of scientific medicine based in alchemy and evolution?

Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them. Albert Einstein


When we look at natural therapies they are noninvasive and offer a gentle way to help our body balance and heal. It doesn't take much to realize that God's medicine is perfect for us. "Herbs are here for the service of man." (Psalms 104:14) God's herbs are a friendly aid to our physical bodies. Herbs, God says, are fit for assisting our ailments. God says his organic food and herbs are convenient to sustain life and He calls it "good." (Genesis 1:29-32). If we stray from the nutrition God intended, we can become ill. Benjamin Franklin's saying, "An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure", is correct. Organic whole food and herbs are packed full of nutrients that work synergistically and represents God's perfect genius and power. Science will never be able to replicate that. That is why at Apothecary Herbs they offer whole food herb formulas full of organic power. There is no need to reinvent the wheel when God made His medicine perfectly. If you feel that you need better concentration, memory and mental focus, instead of gene regulation why not use herbs instead. See the Brain Concentrate at Apothecary Herbs. They also have herbs to clear away heavy metals, pharmaceutical residues and other toxins to help your body regenerated naturally. They also have a full line of immune boosting whole food herbal formulas. Call now to order or for a free product catalog 866-229-3663, International 704-885-0277, because if you're serious about herbs you need Apothecary Herbs. Herb saving coupons also on their web site.

"Brain Concentrate - excellent product! I take it daily. Helps to keep me sharp, focused, clear and surprisingly more relaxed." Tim Johnson, Monroe, NC

"Using your top quality supplements has been a game changer for me."

Bill Knott, Cobleskill, NY



Herbalist Wendy Wilson on Herb Talk Live

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Go to Herb Talk Live & Radio Archive area for network link access and past shows to download and share. For Android users you can download a FREE app for Herb Talk Live on GCN. See the download link under radio archives at top of page at

at Apothecary Herbs 
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The information contained herein is not designed to diagnosis, treat, prevent or cure disease. Seek medical advice from a lincensed medical physician (if you dare) before using any product or therapy. 
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