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Inflation is Worse

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Penna Dexternever miss viewpoints

The 8.6-percent rate of inflation we’re seeing in headlines is bad. If you’re 40 or younger, you’ve never experienced anything like it. But inflation, for most Americans, is much worse.

Washington Post columnist Henry Olsen explains that “The official government inflation rate comes from the consumer price index, which measures the prices of a basket of goods that reflect the overall annual consumption of items and services that an average household pays for.”

But prices differ from city to city and families’ purchases obviously vary.  Mr. Olsen states that prices for “goods that people regularly purchase” are rising faster than for items that are purchased with less regularity. “Food used at home” is up 12 percent over the last year. Gasoline prices are up nearly 50 percent over a year ago. People feel these increases more than they would something like a dishwasher or an annual visit to the doctor.

Most Americans won’t buy a house or a car this year. But some will. Circumstances sometimes necessitate that you’ve gotta bite the bullet. Ouch! Home prices are up 40 percent since March 2020. People who bought new and used cars over the past year paid 12 to 16 percent more than they would have just a year earlier.

Henry Olsen says, “these facts explain why Americans are furious about inflation.”

Polls now reveal the political impact of double-digit price hikes, especially in contrast with America’s decades-long period of low inflation.

Many Americans understand that too many trillions of dollars in Covid stimulus spending was inflationary. Surveys show they also blame draconian lockdowns, overly generous unemployment benefits, and other Covid restrictions that have kept workers at home well past the emergency. Now we have fewer products and services available and that’s inflationary.

But the most politically potent component of inflation is the shocking increase in gas prices — the result of the inexplicable destruction of our fossil fuel industry.

The reckoning comes in November.penna's vp small

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