Thank the Government for the High Price of Holiday Meals
As we head into the holidays, part of the season’s cheer will be tarnished by the higher prices we’ll all pay for holiday festivities. In fact, food, like many goods and services, is costing us more as the flood of dollars unleashed by the federal government diminishes their value, ensuring our money doesn’t go as far as it once did. If you’re looking for a relative bright spot, count yourself lucky as an American, because things could be worse: Around the world, people generally far less prosperous than those in our own country are paying almost one third more for their meals than they did a year ago. That’s a lot more dough for a lot less bread.
With Thanksgiving looming, a relatively easy comparison is made in the price of a turkey dinner with all the trimmings compared to the same feast in 2020.
“Compared to 2020, a 16-pound turkey increased from about $19 to $25 this year,” CBS Los Angeles reports. “A 30-ounce pumpkin pie mix is up from about $2 to at most $5.49. Milk increased this year to $3.39 compared to $3.08 in 2020. A box of cubed stuffing is almost a dollar more up from $2.81 to $3.79. The only observed decrease in price was for a bag of fresh cranberries, $2.49 instead of $2.69 last year.”
The numbers support the anecdotes. With inflation running at an annual rate of 6.2 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics figures, food prices are up overall by 5.3 percent, with meat, fish, eggs, and poultry (that Thanksgiving turkey being the obvious example) up by a painful 10.5 percent. How about a festive bowl of baked beans, everybody!
Theoretically, higher wages could off-set higher prices if they moved in lockstep across the economy, but they don’t. Some members of the media (such as Stephanie Ruhle who is, somehow, NBC News’ senior business correspondent) attribute inflation to pressure to pay higher wages to attract workers. “Higher wages are one of the contributing factors to inflation,” Ruhle insisted this week.
In fact, though, “real average hourly earnings decreased 1.2 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October 2020 to October 2021,” according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. So, that’s not behind the price increases. What’s going on?
“The US Federal Reserve and Treasury have printed trillions of new dollars and sent checks to just about every American,” comments Hoover Institution economist John Cochrane. “Inflation should not have been terribly hard to foresee; and yet it has caught the Fed completely by surprise.”
“I think they’re just not recognizing just how much demand is being created by the trem
Article from Reason.com