As the American people seek to recover economically following the pandemic-induced slowdown of 2020, that recovery has been hindered by a number of obstacles, some of which were created or made worse by the actions of the Biden administration.
Now comes growing concerns over the possibility of inflation spiraling out of control with “scary numbers” as both businesses and consumers alike see surging prices in virtually all economic sectors, The Daily Wire reported.
The Biden administration has sought to downplay worries over inflation and has flatly denied that its profligate spending plans, paired with restrictive policies on fundamental commodities like oil and gas, are having any detrimental impact on the dramatically increased prices currently being paid by businesses and consumers.
Prices soaring across the board
On Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported on the “higher prices” that were hitting consumers’ wallets and making visits to the grocery store or retail outlets much more expensive than they were just months ago.
“Costs are rising at every step in the production of many goods,” The Journal explained. “Prices for oil, crops and other commodities have shot up this year. Trucking companies are paying scarce drivers more to take those materials to factories and construction sites. As a result, companies are charging more for foods and consumer products including foil wraps and disposable cups.”
Indeed, whether for food products or goods like appliances and electronics, as well as virtually everything else, the costs of ingredients, production and transportation have all been hiked, leading to increased price tags for consumers once those goods arrive at a restaurant or on a store shelf.
Short-term adjustments or long-term trend?
Even CNN was compelled to report on the surging prices for everything from commodities — such as lumber and oil and steel — to agricultural products and other consumer products derived from those more costly raw materials.
The question now becomes, is this just a short-term result of the U.S. economy kicking back into high gear as the pandemic recedes or are these increased prices evidence of a more long-term rise in inflation? According to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, it’s likely more the former than the latter, though the situation is being watched closely to try and make it stay that way.
“An episode of one-time price increases as the economy reopens is not the same thing as — and is not likely to lead to — persistently higher year-over-year inflation into the future,” Powell told reporters in late April. “Indeed, it is the Fed’s job to make sure that that does not happen.”
Unwise to dismiss inflation concerns
In an op-ed from Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen, however, he cautioned Americans not to believe assertions by the Biden administration and federal government that inflation concerns are nothing to worry about. Nor should they believe claims that inflation is linked to employment levels, Olsen said, as inflation is a monetary-based phenomenon and “the economy is awash in money thanks to the trillions of dollars in pandemic-related relief in the past year.”
All those extra dollars being dumped into the economy have weakened the value of the dollar and, paired with pent-up demand for consumer goods — not to mention various ripple effects still reverberating through the supply chains — have resulted in the higher prices being paid by businesses and consumers.
Citigroup Global Markets’ Mo Apabhai warned Sunday on Bloomberg Daybreak: Asia, “I think what the commodity prices and the input prices are really telling us is that inflation short term at least is going to have some very scary numbers.”