Top inflation culprit NOT being blamed by Biden: Government spending

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Apparently, Joe Biden figured out the cause of our current inflation crisis by talking to his wife’s friend last weekend about the price of hamburger. Must be nice to find such simple solutions to complex problems.

With diagnosis in hand, especially one that absolves his administration from any responsibility, Biden has now set out to accuse and perhaps prosecute the meat packing industry for antitrust practices.

He also said that “Capitalism without competition is exploitation.” Ah ha. What he’s saying is that the rampant inflation we’re experiencing is due to evil capitalists and, by implication, monopolistic industries. Funny how those same industries weren’t driving up prices before the pandemic.

So, the question is: what changed to cause the nearly 7% inflation rate we’re seeing now?

Biden and his many allies in the press might say it’s due to the pandemic itself, especially since it’s also the main cause of the crime wave.

There is no doubt some truth to that since the pandemic has made it difficult to keep normal supply chains and logistical systems operating efficiently due to frequent quarantining of workers.

But it strains credulity to suggest that somehow the pandemic made anti-competitive practices more egregious and therefore the source of higher prices.

No. What actually happened, as any student of basic macroeconomics could tell you, is that the Biden administration reduced the supply of labor while increasing demand through overly generous transfer payments. Reducing the supply of labor drives up labor costs, obviously, and increasing demand through cash payments from the government, completely financed by debt, inevitably reduces the value of our currency and increases inflation.

Granted, both Democrats and Republicans agreed to emergency payments back in the spring of 2020 to mitigate the effects of the shutdowns imposed at that time, but it was the Democrats only who passed another trillion dollar aid package in early 2021, even though there was much evidence that such a measure was not necessary.

Democrats also pushed continued higher unemployment benefits, student loan repayment deferment, rent abeyance, additional dependent credits, and several other incentives for people to simply not work. The higher wages that businesses have been forced to pay has also caused employees to jump ship more often, creating yet more disruption to the economy.

But, rather than admit that their policies, which may have had decent intentions and were not simply cash bribes for votes (right), have failed and are at least somewhat responsible for our current inflation, the Biden administration continues to blame others for their mistakes.

A few weeks ago, it was energy companies, who were supposedly at fault for higher prices even though Biden’s administration has taken several steps to constrict domestic energy production (while encouraging OPEC to increase production!).

Now, the scapegoat is Big Meat. While many ranchers applaud attacks on the large meat packing companies because they do indeed make life difficult for them with their disproportionate market power, they should be careful about cheering on this cynical attack on their industry.

It would be nice if Democrats were really interested in protecting and ensuring vibrant competition and capitalism as a solution to our problems, but in fact they always prefer top-down, government-based solutions, which will inevitably fail, as we have seen with their policies to date and by simply looking at history (centrally controlled economies never, ever do well).

No. If you as a meat producer feel you are being treated illegally or even unfairly by the large meat packers, use the law and our legal system to go after them. If the laws need to be updated, then work through the democratic legislative process to effect that change.

But do not, under any circumstances, turn to our Executive branch and ask them to intervene. They have already shown with their botched and deeply corrupt approach to Covid and their mismanagement of the economy that they are simply not competent or ethically sound enough to hold such responsibility.

The beef, therefore, is not with the beef industry, but with our current government leadership who cause or worsen problems with bad policy and then blame the private sector for their failures. A more morally bankrupt group of incompetent nincompoops will not find in our long history.

Please, God, may we get through these difficult times and be blessed with better leaders from both parties.

Trey Hoffman

Peachtree City, Ga.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Well here we are in a deepening financial crisis caused by; well by Putin, at least according to Biden. So I have to ask, who is (or was) advising the President on economic sanctions which were designed to cripple the Russian economy. It seems as though those sanctions particularly those involving the trade of Russian energy stocks have failed. Did Biden’s advisers ever think of the consequences to the US??

  2. Good grief, Mr. Hoffman has ascended this year into the social science discipline of macroeconomics with his quips of “where’s the beef” viewpoints. Aside from ignoring in his article that inflation is a worldwide fact, he also conveniently omits the gains and growth of real GDP here in the US in 2021. Trey, the burgers you’re serving up are loaded with turkey filler.