Every time some member of the ruling class says “inflation is transitory” or “we predict it will come down by the end of the year,” I read it as confirmation things are going to get worse. That’s because these are the same people who told us just a few months ago that inflation wasn’t happening until it was so obvious that the screen people had to switch narratives.
It’s also because U.S. corporate media, which today drives national politics, has been for some time the American Pravda. You have to read between the lines, sometimes backward, to understand what is really going on.
These are, recall, the same people who also tell us every election is questionable except 2020’s, some men are women, babies aren’t people, war is bad but we should get into another one, and critical race theory is a mirage. They simply can’t be trusted on anything.
In fact, a rule of thumb I’ve developed based on watching the media lie so many times is that whenever the ruling class insists on something, it’s a pretty good bet to assume the opposite is closer to the truth. It works extremely well to combat propaganda stampedes.
The people telling us that inflation’s not happening — but it’s Vladimir Putin’s fault — do so in direct contradiction to empirical demonstrations of the opposite. Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman, for one, demonstrated that inflation is “always and everywhere a monetary phenomenon” — i.e. directly caused by governments essentially printing money.
It’s the money supply, stupid. And hoo boy, has our government been printing money. It’s not only gone on a money-printing bender using the magical blank-check excuse of “covid,” but hundreds of billions of deficit-funded dollars Congress already chucked out of helicopters hasn’t even gone into circulation yet. Massive Federal Reserve money creation likely hasn’t finished hitting the markets, and the minuscule interest rate hikes on the Fed’s table this week aren’t close to the levels needed even to start addressing that situation.
In addition, state and local governments are hoarding some $800 billion of already passed “Covid stimulus.” Approximately $1 trillion more in “infrastructure” spending is also still not out the door. This is all yet to be spent while the federal government has already expanded the dollar supply (M2) more than 40 percent since February 2020. So we’re seeing historic inflation right now long before Congress has finished blowing up the balloon.
This is the same Congress telling us that balloon needs even more air. Besides Democrats’ constant insistence that we need trillions more in unfunded spending for an even bigger welfare state, Republicans just helped them pass another porkfest “omnibus” that keeps all the palms greased and the country’s structural problems unaddressed, like usual. This is a Congress that sends billions to a foreign country while our own is in complete disarray.
Washington’s complete dysfunction and constant, dangerous denials of reality indicate that more inflation and other crises are already baked into the economic cake. Anyone saying otherwise is an idiot or lying.
Another confirmation that inflation is going to continue for the foreseeable future is that the people whose responsibility it is to get this situation under control seem to live in la-la land. Congress is completely controlled by magical thinking and has been for so many years, to the point it’s legit to wonder if they all live in an alternate universe inside Meta headsets. Given how much power Twitter hashtags have over government priorities, this metaphor is already pretty close to reality.
In Congress’s alternate universe, spending trillions of dollars Americans and their grandkids don’t have and can’t possibly ever earn is not only a great idea, it will solve the problem of… not having enough money. Spending is saving!
The decades-long persistence of this type of unserious abdication of leadership underscores that it is a systemic problem. Along with Democrats, Republicans voted for the legislation that gave us today’s inflation, and they help maintain the conditions under which it will continue. The same system giving us historic inflation and other unaddressed national crises is not exactly positioned to solve those crises.
Anyone with half an education who did not live in congressional la-la land could see that bombing the supply chain under Covid and then blanketing the most in-debt country in the history of humankind with even more fake dollars would cause an economic crisis. It doesn’t take fancy degrees to understand that spending a lot of money you don’t have is for fools. Plenty of hillbillies and high-school dropouts know that.
Since all Congress apparently knows how to do is spend money Americans don’t have, that’s what they did in historic amounts “because Covid,” thereby directly causing historic inflation. Witless Republicans willingly assisted in the fake panic Democrats fanned over Covid to shower campaign donors with piles of cash and Americans with just enough leftover bits of cash to shut them up about trading their constitutional rights for this mess of government pottage.
The same people who got us into this mess sure as shootin’ ain’t going to get us out. People in the ruling class make enough income that they can buy Teslas that run on coal-fired electricity while the rest of us stay home because we can’t afford to fill up our Camrys. They also self-insure from the national crises they create by using those crises to gain even more power.
The ruling class loves creating crises, because destroying their fellow citizens’ lives and livelihoods allows them to seize more power while other people panic. Until enough Americans get wise to this bipartisan dynamic and amass enough effective pushback for long enough to stop it, things are only going to get worse.