Inflationary Vibes

Is inflation really a problem, or does it just feel like it’s a problem? George G breaks down the numbers and talks about our current reality!

Apr 9, 2024 | Blogs, Podcast

About the Episode

Is inflation really a problem, or does it just feel like it’s a problem? The Wall Street Journal has been running stories from many angles. George G talks about the coverage of inflation, the statistics behind it, and what’s really going on. We know you’re gonna love it. 

 

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George Grombacher

George Grombacher

Host

Episode Transcript

Have you ever been in an article? And as you’re reading, you just have to stop midway through and ask yourself Who the eff wrote this? What is going on here? Like, what does this human being look like? I have to know. Like just grips you, you are so irritated, offended, curious, confused, there’s all these emotions, you’re surprised by, by the words that a human being strung together in the form that they chose. And so you look up the art, the author’s name, and then you go to your Google machine and like, Okay, that looks about right. That’s pretty much what I expected that person to look like, well, that very thing, that phenomenon happened to me recently, while reading an article in the Wall Street Journal. And as far as publications go, I’m not normally I don’t have that kind of visceral reaction, visceral reaction while reading the Wall Street Journal. But the title to this one, the title to the article, has kind of said everything that you need to know about it. Now, I am still going to share beyond the title of the article, what I think you need to know about I’m still going to talk about it. But the title is, what’s wrong with the economy? It’s you, not the data. So you problem, not a me problem. It’s you, not me, okay. Very well. Well, the person who wrote this article is named Greg Ip. He is the senior economist or a senior economist, writer economy, right, or something like that for the Wall Street Journal. And I don’t think that I would have a coffee with Greg, I don’t think that I’d have lunch with him. I do not think that I would have a beer with him. I just, it’s a personal preference thing. Anywho but it really got me really got me super irritating. The article starts by talking about in a recent survey or poll or something like that 74 74% of respondents said that inflation was moving in the wrong direction. Just inflation is moving in the wrong direction. He’s that he then goes on to excoriate these rubes 70% of respondents, 74% of these dummies who say that? And he goes on to say that, no, you’re all wrong. Inflation is less today than it was last year. And then he says he uses the term, the vibes, the vibe bizza Like vibes VIPs the vibes are at war with the facts. I just I couldn’t believe it, who uses the word vibes in general? And then why is that in the Wall Street Journal, I just dislike him immensely. That’s probably coming through to you. It’s probably not super surprising. But then he wraps up his story by trying to make sense of why so many Americans are such dummies. So what maybe social shows social, shorter or shorter. Maybe social media is responsible for this phenomenon of people being so misinformed. It’s so stupid, could be corporate media, bla bla, bla, bla, bla, could be Greg, could it be that most Americans think that the economy sucks? And then inflation is a problem? Because things cost way more money than they did a few short years ago? Could that be? Could that be the confusion about inflation that you’re trying to figure out that you’re just scratching your head over? Why are these people thinking that that inflation is high? Why are people thinking that it’s moving in the wrong direction? Why do people think that the economy isn’t good? I mean, I dislike all this because either he thinks that that, you know, either. I think either he’s an idiot, which I can’t imagine. Or he’s been disingenuous. disingenuous, that’s something that way too many people in the media, and politics are the disingenuous, they talk to people like they’re stupid, or they think that they’re stupid. And what’s funny, funny about this, is that the article in the same edition of the paper on the same day, directly above Greg’s article talks about how much more things cost today than they did a few years ago. So you couldn’t just talk to your cubicle mate. Great. Egg about what story they were working on. Or maybe, maybe he’ll maybe he’ll figure it out. But here’s why people have bad vibes. Rag. Since 2019. Food is 36.5% more expensive. 36.5 more expensive eggs are more than 40%. They’re up more than 40% rent on primary residence is up over 20% energy costs are up over 25%. So Greg, while it may be true that a year ago, the inflation rate was whatever 10. And this year, it’s five, that technically means that inflation is down. But the cost of the stuff we need to live is still way up. And just because something is not increasing at a as larger percentage, it’s still increasing. So stuff got super expensive, and it’s still getting more expensive. Your argument is just that, oh, it’s just not getting expensive, quite as fast. Got it? Oh, I see. Well, then, why am I so butthurt and bent out of shape over stuff? Why don’t I just stop complaining about the fact that eggs are 40%? And maybe with inflation at 2%? Or three? They’re only going to be 43%? Higher next year? Oh, great. Well, then, I’m gonna for sure that that’s going to make me feel way better. That’s going to improve my vibes. But not only that, it’s going to, I guess, make me not worry about how I’m going to afford everything. Because I was already doing awesome in 2018. So what’s an additional 30% 25% Higher. And we’re talking about everything, we’re talking about the most important things in our lives, food, where we live, and how we get around transportation, stuff like that. Energy costs, how I heat and cool my house. These things are exponentially more expensive than they were a couple of years ago. So that’s, that’s why. So moving fast past confusion, helping you understand why working class people think that the economy sucks, because everything, especially the most important stuff is way more expensive. Again, more of us are living paycheck to paycheck than maybe ever before, we have more debt than ever. And that’s true of individual families as well. Yeah, our federal deficit is out of control, our federal debt is out of control. And getting bigger by the day, our spending is out of control, and getting bigger by the day. And one more reason, Greg, that US dummies feel things are going are not going quite so awesome, is that the cost of education is also out of control. An article yesterday, I said that the cost of one year at Vanderbilt is over $100,000 a year. The fuck out of here. Vanderbilt, that’s great, great school $100,000 a year. So stop hand wringing about your inflation vibes. Start writing about things that matter, like her out of control spending and are exploding ballooning debt. I don’t have a happy ending on this one. Other than this, if you think that any of our elected officials, any of them are going to bail you out, or somehow fix this. Those are the kind of vibes you need to get rid of. The only way out of this one is personal responsibility. Personal austerity, need to get your house in order. Get squared away, you know, figure out how to either earn more money, how to live on less, which I know isn’t fun. But you know, it’s extra not fun, living paycheck to paycheck, getting crushed by debt. That’s not fun. If we need to take a momentary step back and get out of debt, figure things out, do it. That’s what austerity is. tighten your belt a little bit. Not saying it’s easy, not saying it’s fun. Get your house in order. Worried about your family, worried about your community. Once you’ve got those things squared away, you can start looking outside of that for other big problems to solve. But, Greg here,

Greg here just not getting it when 74% Aren’t the vast majority of Americans of working class Americans think that things are, are are going bad that inflation is high? That’s just because stuff costs more than it did before. Greg, a lot more. Maybe you can do some kind of an expo say, and tell me how it is that we can bring costs back down to pre 2019 levels. Can you work on that? Do you have any suggestions for doing that? You’re the Economist. vibes ffensive brotherly reminder. Never going to be anybody more interested in your financial success than you are. So act accordingly.

 

 

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