October 21, 2021


Perhaps you saw this exchange on the twitters. It struck some people as a sign of a particular attitude that regards all this fooferal about “not getting things” and “bare shelves” as a sign of a problem, instead of proof of robust, fully functioning economy that’s doing so well it just can’t keep up with the raw animal spirits of our rapacious demands. It’s what you might say if you’re quietly and personally exasperated that people are unable to grasp the upside of higher prices.

Is this the dividing line? Your treadmill is delayed, boo hoo, world’s smallest violin. But what if your bike is delayed? I would think that’s bad, because bike are good and holy and sustainable. I don’t think she would have rolled her eyes if bikes were being delayed. But a treadmill – or, for that matter, a stationary bike – well, learn to live with less.

Reset your expectations, we’re told. Relax. You don’t need all these things; you don’t need so many choices.

This works when you have an existential crisis, and everything’s mobilized for war production. Absent that, the message sems to be: stop thinking like an American.

Because that is the problem, isn’t it? Old and busted: wowing Soviet leaders with the bounty of our supermarkets. The new naught-ness: empty shelves are good thing, because we’re bouncing back bigger, and also (the whispered part) you realize that being a fat greedy Costco shopper with all your expectations is unsustainable and inequitous.

Why, it’s as if: Jen Psaki Hates You.

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