The Worst Economy in 80 Years: The ‘Inflationary Wave’ Edition

 

Remembering last November:

There is quite a storm a-brewin’. In case you aren’t getting the picture: despite what the Biden fluffers at CNBC and the Yahoo Finance page put out to cheerlead the market every weekday morning, we are heading full steam into the worst economy in 80 years. Most common people are already feeling (and clearly seeing) the effects of the first wave. …

While there is not much any of us can to about it, next April or so when we are waist deep in this abyss, remember the appropriate November 2021 headlines of “THE WORST ECONOMY IN EIGHTY YEARS” that didn’t happen. Acknowledgement and recognition of that fact now would be bad for the progressive agenda…and, more importantly, the investment portfolio’s of our beltway class.

Well, it is now “next April” and I suspect that – even though the additional trillions of debt spending that seemed to be in the offing back then didn’t materialize – the above outlook from five months ago was a bit too rosy given our overwhelmingly incompetent and corrupt ruling class. The best possible spin for our current situation was provided by Instapundit a few days ago:

RIGHT NOW THE ONLY THING KEEPING US ALOFT IS THAT THE REST OF THE WORLD IS EVEN MORE F*[***]D

But, if you dig down through the links, even that little spark of optimism dies rather quickly:

The Party’s Over

…It has been over forty years since the West has seen this sort of inflation. That assumes the official numbers are accurate, which is unlikely. In the United States, official inflation is 7 percent, but that is using the new math. If we were using the same math we did in the 1970s, then the real number would be close to double.

[Emphasis added]

For the record, a source for that “math we did in the 1970s” is not provided. I do, however, tend to believe the assertion…and will do so until evidence is provided to the contrary. More…

… Since the invention of the petrodollar, America has been able to print as much money as it needs. The dollar is the default currency of the world, so those extra dollars always had a place to go. They would be spent on trade and then get reinvested by foreigners, usually foreign governments, back into U.S. Treasuries, which props up the massive spending by Washington. …

Since the Louvre accords in the 1980s, Washington has been able to swap securities for newly printed banknotes by the Federal Reserve. This would normally impose an inflation tax on the public, but the dollar being the reserve currency of the world spread this tax over the global economy. Inflation rates in the United States remained low, as long as global growth remained high and the world was willing to tolerate this system.

Those last two items are why inflation will not be abating anytime soon. … …the rest of the world is losing interest in the system that profits Washington at their expense.

[Emphasis added]

Just to point out the obvious, that specifically does not say “the system that profits the United States” but is limited to that special class within our ruling beltway. (The astute reader will notice that a complimentary statement would reflect much of what I have scribbled here at R> for quite some time: …the rest of the country is losing interest in the system that profits Washington at their expense. But I digress.) Now the frightening conclusion:

What this means as a practical matter is that the West is about to get much poorer and do so in a highly disorganized way. Not only will the standard of living decline due to inflation, but government spending will have to be radically reduced. The great welfare states and the American military machine were only possible when the cost of these things was subsidized by the world. The world is no longer willing to do that.

Western people are about to learn that those bits of metal and paper we think of as money are more than just a way to buy stuff. They are a store of value, and that value is the cultural strength of the society that issues them. The West has been in decline for a long time, but it was covered over by financial legerdemain. The free-money era concealed the great cultural looting of the West. That era is now over, and Western people will soon have to pay the price for it.

[Emphasis added]

The outlook is not good. But at least we have a top-notch team on the case. Right? Surely they are clear-headed and honest about the issues facing us and willing to make the hard decisions to lead us out of this. Well

Biden’s lying about inflation — and workers know it

Nothing paints Joe Biden and fellow Democrats so out of touch as their lame rhetoric about inflation being “Putin’s price hike.” While the recent global effects have had an impact, rapid inflation began a year ago…

“Out of touch” may be manageable, but the laser-like focus of modern progressive ignorance is not:

…Joe Biden and his team are in total denial about economic reality and have no plans that will address the inflationary wave in any direction except to make it worse. That all but guarantees that the Fed will have to create a recession to counter inflation and stop a wage-price spiral that could otherwise set us up for years of stagnation. But even that will only go so far to address the corrosive impact of Biden’s spending impulses and economic incoherence.

[Emphasis added]

“Incoherence” is a bit charitable here. While it is doubtful that holding that seat at the top of the world economic food chain was going to last forever, maybe that position has been much more fragile than most of us wanted to admit for quite some time now. But the current demise…in the form of this steep nosedive we are now in…was a choice, all but guaranteed within the first 9 hours of the Biden administration. Moreover, in case you haven’t been paying attention, this departure from the slow, managed decline of much of the last century is the realization of the “fundamental transformation” barely hidden in undefined “hope and change.” Again, in handing the levers of power to the overt forces of Anti-Americanism nearly a decade and a half ago, We the People chose this demise. Biden is just the clownish puppet chosen to finish it off.

For the record, I would argue that “inflationary wave” is also a bit of unwarranted optimism for what is going to feel more like a tsunami to us in the middle class and below. Good times, good times.

There are now 1,011 looonnnnggg days left in the Constitutionally mandated Biden-Harris administration. May America get every one of those to the fullest…and emerge on the other side certainly bruised and battered but also wiser. (In the meantime, the ‘cabal’ that bragged of foisting Joe Biden on us must answer for his failed presidency.)

Into the abyss…

___   ___   ___

EXTENDED ASIDE

I hope you do take the time to go back and review the November 13, 2021, post titled The Worst Economy in Eighty Years referenced at the beginning of this offering. The key history review in the first half of it is summarized here:

…the 1991 recession. For those unfamiliar, that was a rather average 8-month recession that lasted from July 1990 to March 1991. (Note that the end of it was more than 18 months before the 1992 presidential election.) Interestingly, the official outlet for such things (i.e. the National Bureau of Economic Research) did not announce the end of that recession until December 22, 1992. (Note that the announcement came several weeks after the 1992 presidential election.) If you were politically aware of things back then, you will remember the Clinton Campaign, aided by the reliably Leftist media including the trusted nightly news anchors of the day and their near monopoly on dictating the narrative, took full advantage of this to hammer home the mantra “THE WORST ECONOMY IN 50 YEARS” for many, many months. Also, for the historically ill-informed out there, that reference timeframe meant something for a key voting demographic that tended to get more conservative at their age. You do the math.

The larger point beyond that was that the same media clowns that pushed that “WORST ECONOMY IN 50 YEARS” mantra then are now and will continue to be either silent (or much less “panicked”) about the modern economy that is justifiably now the worst in 80 years…and still charging full steam ahead in exactly the wrong direction.

Yet another example of the selective reportage by those charged with dispensing “approved-narrative journalism” only. It is not a new phenomenon. This is the kind of stuff that is useful in calibrating (or periodically recalibrating) your “fake news” filter.

You’re welcome.

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  1. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    I’m not sure the media are any worse than idiots such as John Yarmuth (D-KY) who ridiculed people concerned about government debt and spending by saying that “we can print all the money we need” to pay for these programs. Ask these quarter-wits what gives that piece of paper or those binary bits in bank computers any value and you’ll get a blank stare. 

    • #1
  2. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge
    Fake John/Jane Galt
    @FakeJohnJaneGalt

    Look the only thing they care about is furthering their agenda while making as much money for themselves as possible without taking the blame.  The blame is all that constrains them.  Now that is covered.  Everything from now on is Trumps or Putin’s fault.  The media will carry the water.  

    • #2
  3. Ford Penney Member
    Ford Penney
    @FordPenney

    “There are now 1,011 looonnnnggg days left in the Constitutionally mandated Biden-Harris administration. May American get every one of those to the fullest.”

    The ‘thing’ the MSM hates the most is the ‘access’ that the average person has to disseminating information and wow, when this economy and the general repercussions really come home there are going to be a lot of ‘stories’ and videos and texts about the depth of the sh*t people are in. People will ‘get every one of those to the fullest’ and maybe, hopefully, start to realize that ‘Washington’ is writing checks on your tab/life and you and especially your children are expected to pay for it.

    And the ‘righteous’ Millennials & Gen X’ers et al. will find that their future earnings are ‘theirs’ at the whims of Washington, and those they deem worthy of their profitable works.

    • #3
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    philo: In the United States, official inflation is 7 percent, but that is using the new math. If we were using the same math we did in the 1970s, then the real number would be close to double.

    [Note: This is from an embedded quote, not from philo himself.]

    Does anyone know what this claim is referencing?  What do they mean by the “same math”?

    My own impression is that the bundle of goods and services used to compute inflation has changed since the 1970s, because our spending patterns have changed.  It would be pretty weird to keep using 1970s-era purchasing patterns after almost 50 years.

    Calculating inflation is technically complex.  I think that the current method uses a “chained” methodology, which essentially updates the reference bundle of goods and services each period.

    • #4
  5. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot) Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patriot)
    @ArizonaPatriot

    On the main point of the post — there seems to be no evidence presented to support the claim that we are in the worst economy in 80 years, except an inflation rate of 7%.  That is troubling, but there are many other important economic indicators.

    philo, I presume that you didn’t investigate this yourself, but just relied on some article that you read.  It would be best to check the reported figures before accepting such claims.  About just about anything, actually.  The media is so unreliable these days that it seems almost pointless to read anything that they write.

    I’m not going to put the graphs here — you can follow the links to see for yourself.  The data is from the Fed, mostly.

    • Unemployment is extremely low, 3.6%.  Here.
    • Total employment is near an all-time high, at about 150 million.  Here.  There was a big drop with the Covid pandemic, and it has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Real per-capita GDP is at an all-time high, over $59,500.  Here.
    • Real GDP is at an all-time high, over $19.6 trillion (2012 dollars).  Here.  This is higher than the pre-pandemic level (which was then an all-time high).
    • Real GDP increased 5.7% in 2021.  Here.  It had decreased 3.4% in 2020 (due principally to the pandemic).

    Most of this data is through the end of 2021, as I don’t think that the Q1 2022 figures have been released yet.

    • #5
  6. Unsk Member
    Unsk
    @Unsk

    Jerry: there seems to be no evidence presented to support the claim that we are in the worst economy in 80 years, except an inflation rate of 7%.  

    Of course Commie Dem Jerry would try to ride to the rescue, but  Jerry,  most credible economists believe that inflation is around 15% if one were to calculate it the way it was done in the 1970’s. All your facts would be laughable if they were not so tragic.

    The employment rate is only low because so many millions of people have left the workforce in disgust.  Total employment of the working age population is only slightly above the all time low of 61.9%. Millions of  businesses have gone under  and aren’t coming back anytime soon due to the workings of your friends the Commie Democrats. The 3.6% unemployment rate is a hugely contrived number, because it is only that low because it does not account for all those who left the workforce.

    Joe Bidens pandemic lockdowns and  mandates to cure Fauci’s Inc COVID  nightmare  have created huge supply chain problems  which must cause shortages which will then in turn inevitably cause great inflation.

    The Fed has increased the money supply over the last 12 years by a whopping $9 Trillion  dollars  strongly devaluing the dollar- only similar massive money printing by the ECB, Japan, and China  has kept that move from creating hyperinflation.

    Joe Biden’s War in the Ukraine is causing worldwide shortages in oil, gas, fertilizer, wheat and a host of precious metals; all of which will also cause huge inflation.

    The economy  is now perhaps in the worst shape ever – not just in the last 80 years, even perhaps worse than the great depression.

    To quell inflation using the Volker approach  the Fed would have to raise interest rates over 15%, but with a $30 trillion dollar debt, debt service if all government bonds were raised to that point, would exceed $4 Trillion dollars alone, added to the current roughly $2 trillion dollar   annual debt.  With such problems you can forget about all this delusional FED talk of ” Quantitative Tightening” unless one wants to create a massive depression.  The FED really has no good options right now.The only way out of this mess  is a radical “pro-growth government regulatory policy “with really low taxes and a massive reduction in regulations, which is never going to happen with the Commie Democrat/Never Trumpers in power.

    • #6
  7. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Unsk (View Comment):
    Of course Commie Dem Jerry would try to ride to the rescue, but  Jerry, … due to the workings of your friends the Commie Democrats.

    I agree with your counter-arguments, but disagree with your characterizations of Jerry, and with the personal attack.

    • #7
  8. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    NOTICE: This Member post has been promoted to the Main Feed. Content may have been edited / corrected from the original without attribution by Ricochet.

    (Somewhere along the line it seems we – or I – stopped getting notifications about promotions. For what it’s worth, that is/was an important feature to at least one of us.)

    • #8
  9. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment): It would be best to check the reported figures before accepting such claims.

    That makes me giggle on many levels.

    If by “such claims” you are talking about “the worst economy in eighty years,” that is not an assertion made “in some article” I read. It is a claim that I have made…twice now. I believe even a cursory reading of this post and the one reference at both the beginning and end would make that clear. The context in which I arrive at that would be hard to miss.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment): The media is so unreliable these days that it seems almost pointless to read anything that they write.

    True. And given that the media these days is largely just a parrot for Democrat talking points, it seems a bit strange that you have a hard time extending that admission of unreliability to the “data” as spoon fed to us through that media. But again, I suspect a cursory glance at the links provided will reveal no “major media” sources. With respect to the reported probable doubling of the inflation rate, I clearly stated that there was no source for that but that I tended to believe it (i.e., I take it on faith that almost any Tom, Dick, or Harry on the internet that gets even a second-hand link to Instapundit is more reliable than government provided figures. Prove me wrong.)

    Lastly, this is not an argumentative post to provide a “case” for my stated position. It is especially not intended to convince the obtuse, forced contrarians among us of anything. My position is a fact because I said it is a fact and my position is just as valid as that used by the Democrats and their media arm to mislead the people of this country and unseat GHWB a generation and a half ago.

    My suggestion to you: read more carefully and think before you type. Or, just go away like you promised.

    • #9
  10. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    philo (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment): It would be best to check the reported figures before accepting such claims.

    That makes me giggle on many levels.

    If by “such claims” you are talking about “the worst economy in eighty years,” that is not an assertion made “in some article” I read. It is a claim that I have made…twice now. I believe even a cursory reading of this post and the one reference at both the beginning and end would make that clear. The context in which I arrive at that would be hard to miss.

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment): The media is so unreliable these days that it seems almost pointless to read anything that they write.

    True. And given that the media these days is largely just a parrot for Democrat talking points, it seems a bit strange that you have a hard time extending that admission of unreliability to the “data” as spoon fed to us through that media. But again, I suspect a cursory glance at the links provided will reveal no “major media” sources. With respect to the reported probable doubling of the inflation rate, I clearly stated that there was no source for that but that I tended to believe it (i.e. I take in on faith that almost any Tom, Dick, or Harry on the internet that gets even a second-hand link to Instapundit is more reliable than government provided figures. Prove me wrong.)

    Lastly, this is not an argumentative post to provide a “case” for my stated position. It is especially not intended to convince the obtuse, forced contrarians among us of anything. My position is a fact because I said it is a fact and my position is just as valid as that used by the Democrats and their media arm to mislead the people of this country and unseat GHWB a generation and a half ago.

    My suggestion to you: read more carefully and think before you type. Or, just go away like you promised.

    What are you saying??  That you can think for yourself and form conclusions?  And that you can freely and unabashedly state them as true and valid?  Don’t make me laugh!  But I am.  :)

    Some unknown wise and famous philosopher once said: “I believe virtually everything I read, and I think that is what makes me more of a selective human than someone who doesn’t believe anything.”

     

    • #10
  11. Western Chauvinist Member
    Western Chauvinist
    @WesternChauvinist

    Haven’t you heard?? The Brandon administration has decided to release more oil and gas permits, so they’re going to fix this whole problem of inflated energy costs contributing to higher consumer prices, etc., etc. . .

    Oh, did I mention they’ll be issuing the permits at higher (inflated?) royalty prices to the energy extraction companies? Which means the energy companies will either pursue the permits out of the goodness of their little hearts — or if they can pass the costs on to the consumers. 

    At some point you have to believe Democrats want to destroy us. 

    The only good news about this is that the greenie watermelons are going to hate it, too. Little Occasional Cortex’s cranium may explode. 

    • #11
  12. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    philo: In the United States, official inflation is 7 percent, but that is using the new math. If we were using the same math we did in the 1970s, then the real number would be close to double.

    [Note: This is from an embedded quote, not from philo himself.]

    Does anyone know what this claim is referencing? What do they mean by the “same math”?

    My own impression is that the bundle of goods and services used to compute inflation has changed since the 1970s, because our spending patterns have changed. It would be pretty weird to keep using 1970s-era purchasing patterns after almost 50 years.

    Calculating inflation is technically complex. I think that the current method uses a “chained” methodology, which essentially updates the reference bundle of goods and services each period.

    You know, I have actually bee keeping track of costs for some 70 60 years.  And I can say without doubt that everything that’s comparable has gone up by more than 20 times.  That’s as of 4 years ago, and it’s only gone up since then.  Everything from 3₵ can of Campbell’s soup to a can of tuna, to a pound of meat, to a 6-passenger car, to a refrigerator, a washing machine, a mattress and box spring, to an apartment, or a house.  Even rifles have gone up 20 times.

    In short, everything that is a day to day necessity has gone up by 20 times.  This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    (The one thing in electronics that could be comparable would be basic phone service, but it’s not a thing, it’s a service.)

    • #12
  13. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Flicker (View Comment):
    This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    What they try to do is idiotic. Now we are paying the price. 

     

    I always try to think of what they could have done to keep the system intact so we didn’t have to make some big radical change. They should’ve had three dozen different measurements of inflation representing different types of households etc. Put them up in Times Square. Drop the idiotic employment mandate, it’s impossible to do both. They obviously should not have inflated anything after the Soviet Union fell opening up trade and computers and automation became dominant.

    They almost totally leave out the price of shelter in the CPI. This is just madness. I guess the measurement was all wrong the other way back in the early 80s, too. The whole scheme is dumber than anything GOSPLAN did.

    • #13
  14. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    This was a few months ago, but two points increase on the five year treasury breaks every Western government.

    The only way they are going to hold society together is to run with 5% as measured (lol) CPI for five straight years with no mistakes. There is just too much debt everywhere.

    The other fun fact is, since 1971 and possibly since 1946 the only way the federal government can collect all of its taxes is if they run with constant CPI or asset inflation. Really great system.

    • #14
  15. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    The second the Soviet Union fell, the central bankers should have read the riot act to all of their politicians. They should have said, you need to create a massively libertarian economy and get your unfunded liabilities in order, because we are going to run with deflation. Gee, why don’t they do that? lol

    • #15
  16. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Before I forget it, I want to say something that somebody a hell of a lot smarter than me said. What they should have done in 2008 is printed a bunch of money and gave it to the FDIC and then told everyone else to go to hell. 

    You just can’t keep levering up like this to infinity.

    • #16
  17. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    What they try to do is idiotic. Now we are paying the price.

     

    I always try to think of what they could have done to keep the system intact so we didn’t have to make some big radical change. They should’ve had three dozen different measurements of inflation representing different types of households etc. Put them up in Times Square. Drop the idiotic employment mandate, it’s impossible to do both. They obviously should not have inflated anything after the Soviet Union fell opening up trade and computers and automation became dominant.

    They almost totally leave out the price of shelter in the CPI. This is just madness. I guess the measurement was all wrong the other way back in the early 80s, too. The whole scheme is dumber than anything GOSPLAN did.

    Part of the problem with figuring inflation is you really had to be there to know the prices of things.  It’s as if the prices they cite are converted into modern “equivalent products” with “equivalent dollars” and then trying to calculate it back again.

    The only sites you can half trust are those that actually take prices from ads.

    • #17
  18. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Flicker (View Comment):

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):
    This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    What they try to do is idiotic. Now we are paying the price.

     

    I always try to think of what they could have done to keep the system intact so we didn’t have to make some big radical change. They should’ve had three dozen different measurements of inflation representing different types of households etc. Put them up in Times Square. Drop the idiotic employment mandate, it’s impossible to do both. They obviously should not have inflated anything after the Soviet Union fell opening up trade and computers and automation became dominant.

    They almost totally leave out the price of shelter in the CPI. This is just madness. I guess the measurement was all wrong the other way back in the early 80s, too. The whole scheme is dumber than anything GOSPLAN did.

    Part of the problem with figuring inflation is you really had to be there to know the prices of things. It’s as if the prices they cite are converted into modern “equivalent products” with “equivalent dollars” and then trying to calculate it back again.

    The only sites you can half trust are those that actually take prices from ads.

    The hedonics thing gets silly, but you are supposed to swallow it whole.  They think they can measure your quality of life with the products you use. There is a limit to this and they obviously game it for the government et.al. 

    • #18
  19. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    The hedonics thing gets silly, but you are supposed to swallow it whole.  They think they can measure your quality of life with the products you use. There is a limit to this and they obviously game it for the government et.al. 

    Well, that’s why I stick to comparable retail commodities and such (by the way, I mistyped, I’ve been comparing prices over that past 60 years, not 70).  Things that are not new to the market, and have a stable size or comparable use.

    People say that a car is so much better today than 60 years ago, and that may be so, thought the basic function of cars has remained the same:  to get you from your house to a town 30 miles away and back without having to spend the whole day in a buggy going 5 miles an hour.  And the 56 Oldsmobile I remember was pretty fine at short- and long-hauling the whole family.  A 3BR, 1 bath brick house on an acre of land is pretty comparable where ever you go and whatever year, then or now.  Sure prices vary by location but the average price is pretty reliable figure.

    Things that are new to the market or vary in function, like cell phones with computing power and internet connections with ever increasing speed and services, don’t really compare.  They may make your life better or maybe worse, but though you can watch videos on them, they don’t compare to, say, the TV and movie theaters combined.

    • #19
  20. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    On the main point of the post — there seems to be no evidence presented to support the claim that we are in the worst economy in 80 years, except an inflation rate of 7%. That is troubling, but there are many other important economic indicators.

    philo, I presume that you didn’t investigate this yourself, but just relied on some article that you read. It would be best to check the reported figures before accepting such claims. About just about anything, actually. The media is so unreliable these days that it seems almost pointless to read anything that they write.

    I’m not going to put the graphs here — you can follow the links to see for yourself. The data is from the Fed, mostly.

    • Unemployment is extremely low, 3.6%. Here.
    • Total employment is near an all-time high, at about 150 million. Here. There was a big drop with the Covid pandemic, and it has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Real per-capita GDP is at an all-time high, over $59,500. Here.
    • Real GDP is at an all-time high, over $19.6 trillion (2012 dollars). Here. This is higher than the pre-pandemic level (which was then an all-time high).
    • Real GDP increased 5.7% in 2021. Here. It had decreased 3.4% in 2020 (due principally to the pandemic).

    Most of this data is through the end of 2021, as I don’t think that the Q1 2022 figures have been released yet.

    GDP includes gov’t spending, chief.  Where do those dollars come from?

    As others have said, the unemployment rate is low, that doesn’t mean a thing if your denominator is small because people have left the workforce.  We’re 2.4 percent lower in the participation rate compared to 2 years ago.  That’s why unemployment is low.

    The labor force participation rate, at 62.4 percent, changed little in March. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.2 percentage point to 60.1 percent. Both 
    measures remain below their February 2020 values (63.4 percent and 61.2 percent, respectively). (See table A-1.)

    That said, at least in the Carolinas, companies are hiring like I’ve never seen before (I’m getting pinged on LinkedIn 4-5 times per week, just a few months back I was getting exactly zero pings per week).  So I think some regional factors are at play (Charlotte has a very large banking sector, Merck is expanding in NC, etc).

    Total employment will always go up as the population grows.  I wouldn’t call that an indicator of economic health.

    Median incomes don’t matter either if at least part of the population’s income is a wealth transfer or borrowed by the gov’t.

    I’ve been saying for years that an inflation wave had to be building out there.  The tsunami has arrived.

     

    • #20
  21. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    On the main point of the post — there seems to be no evidence presented to support the claim that we are in the worst economy in 80 years, except an inflation rate of 7%. That is troubling, but there are many other important economic indicators.

    philo, I presume that you didn’t investigate this yourself, but just relied on some article that you read. It would be best to check the reported figures before accepting such claims. About just about anything, actually. The media is so unreliable these days that it seems almost pointless to read anything that they write.

    I’m not going to put the graphs here — you can follow the links to see for yourself. The data is from the Fed, mostly.

    • Unemployment is extremely low, 3.6%. Here.
    • Total employment is near an all-time high, at about 150 million. Here. There was a big drop with the Covid pandemic, and it has almost recovered to pre-pandemic levels.
    • Real per-capita GDP is at an all-time high, over $59,500. Here.
    • Real GDP is at an all-time high, over $19.6 trillion (2012 dollars). Here. This is higher than the pre-pandemic level (which was then an all-time high).
    • Real GDP increased 5.7% in 2021. Here. It had decreased 3.4% in 2020 (due principally to the pandemic).

    Most of this data is through the end of 2021, as I don’t think that the Q1 2022 figures have been released yet.

    One other thing:

    https://fred.stlouisfed.org/series/M2V

    You can tie economic activity and velocity together, just from a “how are we doing” point of view.  The lower the velocity, the less economic activity (fewer transactions occurring), and growth is reduced or slowing.

    How’s that look on the right, there?

     

     

    • #21
  22. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):
    Of course Commie Dem Jerry would try to ride to the rescue, but Jerry, … due to the workings of your friends the Commie Democrats.

    I agree with your counter-arguments, but disagree with your characterizations of Jerry, and with the personal attack.

    Personal attacks are why I come to Ricochet.

    • #22
  23. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge
    Gazpacho Grande'
    @ChrisCampion

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    philo: In the United States, official inflation is 7 percent, but that is using the new math. If we were using the same math we did in the 1970s, then the real number would be close to double.

    [Note: This is from an embedded quote, not from philo himself.]

    Does anyone know what this claim is referencing? What do they mean by the “same math”?

    My own impression is that the bundle of goods and services used to compute inflation has changed since the 1970s, because our spending patterns have changed. It would be pretty weird to keep using 1970s-era purchasing patterns after almost 50 years.

    Calculating inflation is technically complex. I think that the current method uses a “chained” methodology, which essentially updates the reference bundle of goods and services each period.

    You know, I have actually bee keeping track of costs for some 70 years. And I can say without doubt that everything that’s comparable has gone up by more than 20 times. That’s as of 4 years ago, and it’s only gone up since then. Everything from 3₵ can of Campbell’s soup to a can of tuna, to a pound of meat, to a 6-passenger car, to a refrigerator, a washing machine, a mattress and box spring, to an apartment, or a house. Even rifles have gone up 20 times.

    In short, everything that is a day to day necessity has gone up by 20 times. This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    (The one thing in electronics that could be comparable would be basic phone service, but it’s not a thing, it’s a service.)

    Did a small shop yesterday, and this is purely anecdotal, but these packaged snack boxes we frequently buy (it’s bulk mix stuff, in a 10 ounce container, think “Hot and Spicy Trail Mix” and you get the idea).

    Normal pricing:  $3.99/per, which I thought was a lot but I like ’em.  Yesterday pricing?  $6.99/per.

    I bought two.

    • #23
  24. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    #20 isn’t formatting right for me. It cuts off on the right side. I’ve never seen that before.

    • #24
  25. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Real wages are going down. It was 12% annualized last print. I’m not sure what the big picture is, but even if it’s way less than that, it’s a problem.

    • #25
  26. RufusRJones Member
    RufusRJones
    @RufusRJones

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):
    Personal attacks are why I come to Ricochet.

    My favorite one is “GOPe” is hate speech. lol

    • #26
  27. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Unsk (View Comment):
    Of course Commie Dem Jerry would try to ride to the rescue, but Jerry, … due to the workings of your friends the Commie Democrats.

    I agree with your counter-arguments, but disagree with your characterizations of Jerry, and with the personal attack.

    Personal attacks are why I come to Ricochet.

    To give or to receive?  :Then again, Jerry doesn’t seem to mind.  Maybe I’m out of line here.

    • #27
  28. Django Member
    Django
    @Django

    RufusRJones (View Comment):

    Gazpacho Grande’ (View Comment):
    Personal attacks are why I come to Ricochet.

    My favorite one is “GOPe” is hate speech. lol

    And the funnier one is the two or three brainstems who swear there is no “GOPe”.

    • #28
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    Gazpacho Grande' (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    philo: In the United States, official inflation is 7 percent, but that is using the new math. If we were using the same math we did in the 1970s, then the real number would be close to double.

    [Note: This is from an embedded quote, not from philo himself.]

    Does anyone know what this claim is referencing? What do they mean by the “same math”?

    My own impression is that the bundle of goods and services used to compute inflation has changed since the 1970s, because our spending patterns have changed. It would be pretty weird to keep using 1970s-era purchasing patterns after almost 50 years.

    Calculating inflation is technically complex. I think that the current method uses a “chained” methodology, which essentially updates the reference bundle of goods and services each period.

    You know, I have actually bee keeping track of costs for some 70 years. And I can say without doubt that everything that’s comparable has gone up by more than 20 times. That’s as of 4 years ago, and it’s only gone up since then. Everything from 3₵ can of Campbell’s soup to a can of tuna, to a pound of meat, to a 6-passenger car, to a refrigerator, a washing machine, a mattress and box spring, to an apartment, or a house. Even rifles have gone up 20 times.

    In short, everything that is a day to day necessity has gone up by 20 times. This is only technically complex if you deliberately make it so.

    (The one thing in electronics that could be comparable would be basic phone service, but it’s not a thing, it’s a service.)

    Did a small shop yesterday, and this is purely anecdotal, but these packaged snack boxes we frequently buy (it’s bulk mix stuff, in a 10 ounce container, think “Hot and Spicy Trail Mix” and you get the idea).

    Normal pricing: $3.99/per, which I thought was a lot but I like ’em. Yesterday pricing? $6.99/per.

    I bought two.

    Staying ahead of inflation.  That’s good.

    • #29
  30. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    I can’t escape the feeling that pResident Biden has a gas can and is looking for a fire to pour it on.

    • #30
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