The pandemic isn't responsible for inflation; the pandemic response is.
the “kind of control that I think is needed” !?!?!?!?!
Fascist says what??
Let’s not forget that Neil Ferguson had previously bungled a forecast of ...had to look it up and oh, it’s more than one!
John Fund writes:
[Imperial College epidemiologist Neil] Ferguson was behind the disputed research that sparked the mass culling of eleven million sheep and cattle during the 2001 outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. He also predicted that up to 150,000 people could die. There were fewer than 200 deaths. . . .
In 2002, Ferguson predicted that up to 50,000 people would likely die from exposure to BSE (mad cow disease) in beef. In the U.K., there were only 177 deaths from BSE.
In 2005, Ferguson predicted that up to 150 million people could be killed from bird flu. In the end, only 282 people died worldwide from the disease between 2003 and 2009.
In 2009, a government estimate, based on Ferguson’s advice, said a “reasonable worst-case scenario” was that the swine flu would lead to 65,000 British deaths. In the end, swine flu killed 457 people in the U.K.
So this was a bad idea? https://babylonbee.com/news/trump-unveils-much-simpler-stimulus-plan-giant-money-cannon
Seriously: politicians bribing people for votes works, or they wouldn't do it. Lower my income and/or corporate and/or property taxes is a way to bribe me, because I pay a lot of them. But lower income/corporate/property tax rates does nothing for someone who pays little or none of these taxes, at least not directly. On the other hand, offering me $2000 check is pointless, even if I qualified for it (we make too much to get any of the COVID checks), and a few percentage points reduction in the income and corporate tax rates is worth a lot more to me. Offering to raise tax rates is a bribe to the "envy" people, who would not financially benefit, but love having government confiscate evil rich people's money. See, e.g., the Bernie Sanders "Billionaires are a policy mistake" campaign line. That resonated with a lot of envy people.
Canceling student loan debt (or claiming to cancel it) is a direct bribe to a defined subset of the US population. No too long ago, FdB wrote a substack post comparing the student loan giveaways with the PPP giveaways. He was spot on. My family split the grift. None of us have any student loan debt, but I am a co-owner of a business that received a nice fat PPP "loan" that was completely forgiven, fed tax free, and partially state tax free. Because of this, I am less emotional about the student loan grift because "splinter in your eye but plank in my eye" ....
All these government grifts contribute to bread costing $10 a loaf, etc. So certain discrete groups of the population, including fraudsters, benefit from specific government grifts, but everyone pays through inflation. Your cartoon at top is excellent. Not sure if I'd seen that before.
Great job, Brad.
I just Twittered your article.
Thank you for this thorough and sobering summary. Here in Canada, the Parliamentary Budget Office estimates $576 billion extra Fed expenditures over spring 2020-spring 2022, $350 billion of which was strictly COVID relief. Canada's economy is about 8% of the size of the US's, so we're dealing with similar levels of pretty much irreversible fiscal dislocation here. Add to this that our health care is publicly funded, almost entirely by the individual provinces, where it generally takes up about half the budget. I shudder to think how many millions have been thrown away on mass testing and mass vaccinations, etc. And it's of course an ideological article of faith here that it was all necessary and effective and worth repeating whenever the WHO deems it necessary. With one or two precious exceptions, if I broached this with anyone I know, I would lose their friendship and respect immediately. I always need to keep reminding myself how much things have changed.
The saddest part, to me, is that the pandemic was of a cold virus variant that held little danger for those younger than 70, unless they were obese, or immune-compromised.