Back in 1933, the Roosevelt administration commissioned a short film from MGM to explain why the inflation that had gripped the U.S. in the throes of the Great Depression was just fine.
Yep. All good. Nothing to see here.
Nowadays, a different Democrat is in power, one who was actually born during the Roosevelt administration, and inflation is an issue yet again.
And now, just like in 1933, inflation is good for you! Sure, you might be paying more at the gas pump and grocery store, but it’s nothing to worry about. Just trust the Democrats in power and their willing accomplices in the mainstream media.
Yesterday, MSNBC featured an opinion piece by writer James Surowiecki in which he tells us that we don’t need to worry about inflation. It’s a good thing, you see, because of COVID-19 and all the government largesse that the pandemic has brought us.
At the same time, any discussion of inflation needs to include the context in which it’s happening. Historically, recessions have left Americans poorer, not better off. But the Covid recession was different. As people shifting their habits drastically in response to the pandemic, they spent much less and saved more. Even though millions of Americans lost their jobs, enhanced unemployment benefits and stimulus payments left many of them better off, not worse. And the stock market, after initially falling, boomed.
That’s right. The government forced you to stay home, so you didn’t spend money. Good thing. Then Uncle Sam opened up the vault and passed out money like it was going out of style. Again, good thing.
But wait — there’s more! Apparently our economy rebounded too quickly from the doldrums of the pandemic, which is part of the reason why we have inflation right now (which, by the way, is okie-dokie.)
The inflation we’re seeing is not, then, some mysterious affliction that’s descended on the economy. It’s the predictable product of the economy’s rapid recovery, and its costs have been offset, to a large degree, by robust wage growth and government policies.
I guess this is the new talking point: inflation is great! Because the government is so generous to us, we should just expect prices to rise. No big deal, right?
Let’s ignore a supply chain crisis that the Biden administration has done nothing other than window dressing to address, environmental policies that cause us to rely on foreign oil companies whom the administration has treated like pariahs, and an unemployment system that rewards inaction and apathy. Just take your inflation and be grateful, because Uncle Sam and Great Uncle Joe care about you so much.
That’s the narrative these days. At least the MGM short film was somewhat entertaining.
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