Worst inflation in 40 years

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Vonz90
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Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Vonz90 »

..and worse to come. I still cannot paste links for whatever reason but the Asia Times has an interesting piece that proposes raising interest rates will just product stagflation.

In the short term this is probably true. One of the lessons of the 70s is that once rolling a shirt bought of higher interest rates does not work. It was not until Volker kept the pressure on for a couple years (and Reagan supported him) than it wrung the extra money out of the system. It was an ugly process then and will be now.

They could actually help by loosening up the demand side (energy, mining/manufacturing and housing in particular) by getting rid of unnecessary constraints/regulations, but it is very unlikely that the Dems will do that as it is the opposite of their preferred agenda and they are wed to the fiction that those policies are a net positive.
Greg
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Greg »

The constraints the Dems have in place, Dems are well aware how they harm the economy. They are social engineering. Select Dems have even, in monents of accidental honesty, *said so*.

Dems have been pursuing similar policies for decades, they always produce exactly the results that people opposed to those policies predicted. No surprises anywhere.

So good luck.
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g-man
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by g-man »

May the odds be ever in your favor.

The saddest part is that actual inflation has been there for some time now, but the 'adjusted' measures just outpaced the 'old' measures, and they couldn't hide it anymore. Gas prices are stupid, food prices are stupid... it's turtles all the way down.

Anecdotal observation about the food price jumps: Store-brand bread here at HEB was very recently 2 loaves for $2 when on sale. When I walked in and they were 2 for $3... I thought "Shit, here we go..." At least things are reasonably well stocked here, which means I don't feel terrible (or look like a crazy person) when I grab 2-3 extras of storable goods while they're in stock now.
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Vonz90
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Vonz90 »

I read a rather long piece about the end of the Brezhnev years through the Gorbachev falk apart. The central point for so many of their problems was virtually all of their decision makers were only trained in socialist economics. So they literally did not understand how markets, or currency or value add (or even hiw to define value) worked. Even if someone had come up with a good idea on how to improve things, they would not have had the economic vocabulary to express that idea to the rest of the decision makers. There was literally no non revolutionary way to improve things.

It is not as bad with the Dems by a long shot, but there are similarities. So many of them have bought into socialism (in the sense that the free market is always exploitative) that they lack the cognitive space to deal with things like inflation that are caused top down. It is going to be tough to fix this while they are in control of the government.
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Windy Wilson
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Windy Wilson »

There is a fundamental conflict of interest in having the country's biggest debtor also control the calculation of the inflation rate.
If you owed money, and the amounts you owed were either in fixed amounts, as the national debt is, or if you had to pay more based on adjustments made through the inflation rate, wouldn't you want to jiggle the numbers to make the official inflation rate much less than the actual rate? The actual rate and the official rate were close up to the mid to late eighties, when the method of calculation reduced the influence of fuel for travel and heating, as well as the influence of housing and food. It is no wonder that the White House spokescritter, Gin Saki, refers to inflation as an upper class problem. The only things included in the basket of purchases used to calculate the inflation rate are not the things poor people buy on an every day basis.
The rate should be calculated by Moody's or Standard & Poor's, or Dunn and Bradstreet (Do they even exist anymore?).
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Vonz90
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Vonz90 »

Windy Wilson wrote: Tue Feb 15, 2022 3:39 am There is a fundamental conflict of interest in having the country's biggest debtor also control the calculation of the inflation rate.
If you owed money, and the amounts you owed were either in fixed amounts, as the national debt is, or if you had to pay more based on adjustments made through the inflation rate, wouldn't you want to jiggle the numbers to make the official inflation rate much less than the actual rate? The actual rate and the official rate were close up to the mid to late eighties, when the method of calculation reduced the influence of fuel for travel and heating, as well as the influence of housing and food. It is no wonder that the White House spokescritter, Gin Saki, refers to inflation as an upper class problem. The only things included in the basket of purchases used to calculate the inflation rate are not the things poor people buy on an every day basis.
The rate should be calculated by Moody's or Standard & Poor's, or Dunn and Bradstreet (Do they even exist anymore?).
In a sense your analysis is correct, because that is the way that the left tends to look at it, but the market still has its say. The .gov still has to sell bonds to finance future debt. So if the .gov tries to inflate away the debt they will be paying extraordinarily high rates that would cancel out whatever gains one saw on the other end.
Last edited by Vonz90 on Thu Feb 17, 2022 2:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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MiddleAgedKen
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by MiddleAgedKen »

Any index variable is subject to mischief by cherry-picking the items that go into the index. As Windy noted, removing "volatile food and energy prices" (the term the MSM was told from on high to use, apparently) from the Consumer Price Index enabled the federal government to paint a falsely rosy picture of inflation.
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Langenator
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Langenator »

The fact that COLAs for Social Security (and I assume other welfare programs as well) are based on the "official" inflation rate is another reason for the .gov to understate actual inflation.
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Windy Wilson
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Windy Wilson »

Langenator wrote: Thu Feb 17, 2022 11:48 am The fact that COLAs for Social Security (and I assume other welfare programs as well) are based on the "official" inflation rate is another reason for the .gov to understate actual inflation.
Plus as people earn more puny, post inflation dollars, a smaller inflation rate keeps pulling people into higher tax brackets, albeit at a slower pace. The chickens must be plucked, but slowly enough to not excite the chicken to an uncontrollable level.
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Jericho941
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Re: Worst inflation in 40 years

Post by Jericho941 »

I'll believe in inflation when corporations stop posting record profits.
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