Author Topic: The Biden Economy  (Read 3285 times)

Crunch

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The Biden Economy
« on: July 13, 2022, 05:33:29 PM »
Well, let's start at the beginning:
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On Wednesday, Mr. Trump said in a speech from the White House streamed online by economic clubs around the country that the economy was the strongest on record before the coronavirus pandemic, again promising vigorous economic growth if he is given another four years in office. He also sought to stir up fear about what a victory by Joe Biden and other Democrats would mean for the U.S.

"The policies of the left would unleash an economic disaster of epic proportions," Mr. Trump said, claiming that a Democratic win would lead to sharply higher taxes and "destroy our country."

An economic disaster of epic proportions. OK.

Inflation is officially at an ear-popping 9.1% according to the current methodology. They say it's the highest in 41 years but it's a little misleading if you're trying to do historical comparisons. There was one method for reporting this pre-1980 and another methodology created in 1990. So by 1980 standards, we are at about 17%. By pre-1990 standards, we're about 14%.

This is at least as bad as 1981 and, in fact, a lot worse. Newsweek previews the impact:
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With inflation soaring in the U.S., people are increasingly turning to buy now pay later (BNPL) installment plans to pay for necessities like groceries, sparking concern among financial experts that such plans could saddle Americans with spiraling debt.
The Biden economy has seriously eroded purchasing power so people are furiously using revolving credit to make ends meet. Financially crazy but they gotta eat so they have little choice since:
Meats, poultry, fish and eggs: 14.2% increase.
Fruits and vegetables: 11.8% increase.
Electricity: 12% increase.
Utility (piped) gas service: 30.2% increase.
Household cleaning products: 9.9% increase.
Rent of primary residences: 5.2% increase.

Not to mention fuel prices driving up literally every single item on store shelves. Hopefully, Biden can successfully beg the Saudis to bail him out but he was pretty negative during the campaign about Saudi so I suspect he's gonna have to really kiss some ass, perhaps even literally (I'm sure they'll drop a 12-year-old for him on that one though so maybe a win-win for Joe).

Unemployment, how are we doing there? They're reporting it at 3.6%. I've been in an economy with 3-ish percent unemployment. Does this economy feel like that? No. Not even a little. If you want to compare historical data, the pre-1994 methodology (where long-term discouraged workers were defined out of existence) actually puts us at just under 25%. Given we're still about a million or so people less in the labor force than in 2020, seems like those long-term discouraged people may be what we're seeing. You know what this economy feels like? It feels like double-digit unemployment does.

Think not? Well, 77% of Americans say the US is heading in the wrong direction. 77%. I don't have the history on that but I don't recall any time that more than three-quarters of Americans felt that way! Jesus. This is, well, this is an economic disaster of epic proportions - Trump totally called it.

We've just had 2 quarters of economic contraction so we're officially in a recession. The only reason you're not hearing about it on CNN is the hope that they can use unemployment data to claim it's not a recession recession. But you can see, that is pretty damn weak for the million plus out of work and it will get worse as employment begins to erode in the wake of the recession.

No wonder Biden's approval rating is 33% (according to NYT so you know it's worse as they try to prop him up). Can you believe that? 33%. Biden has the entire MSM and entertainment industries doing everything possible to put lipstick on this pig and it's still at 33%. JFC.

It only took Biden about 18 months to get us to this point. What do you think the next 18 months are gonna be like? I can tell you, it's gonna be an economic disaster of epic proportions. We're pretty fvcked.

wmLambert

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2022, 10:59:30 PM »
I concur with Crunch. Except for the 18 months expectation. If the Red Wave gives the ecn0my back to the GOP, things will improve quickly. The Democrats have said there s nothing they can do, because the economic changes will take years.

Jude Wannisky was asked (in a meeting with Reagan) how quickly the economy can turn around. He said, "as quickly as you can bend down and pick up a twenty dollar bill off the ground."

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2022, 11:21:00 PM »
Crucially, Jude Wanniski was as terrible at economics as he was good at propaganda.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2022, 11:42:44 PM »
Economists wouldn't know how to turn around the current situation even if you let any one of them do anything they wanted to make it happen. It is a complex issue, and I doubt Biden had that much to do with it. The Fed wasn't beholden to either Trump or Biden when it determined its approach in 2020, and it's not even clear they were the sole cause. QE going all the way back to 2011 could be contributing. Blah, blah, blah, I could go on. Anyone who takes sound bites about "who" is responsible for this is just looking for a way to stop thinking about it.

cherrypoptart

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #4 on: July 14, 2022, 12:06:53 AM »
Okay, this will never ever happen and I know that but what I'd do is use the military to drill for oil and gas on federal lands. I know they don't currently have the expertise for it but it's not rocket science or operating a nuclear reactor and we actually do have our military doing both of those jobs. They can be trained. All of the oil and gas and the money from it would belong to the taxpayers. Producing it and selling it would fill the treasury and lower the global price by putting more oil on the market. So what about all the oil companies? Nothing needs to be done about them at all. Let them do their thing. This will just be extra oil just like a lot of countries when they produce oil it belongs to their government, for instance Saudi Aramco which is primarily state owned. Why can't we have some nice things too? It obviously hits inflation by lowering the price of oil and gas which reduces the price of everything and maybe helps reduce the national debt if the Democrats don't get their hands on that money first and spend it all and then some like a wife getting new credit cards after her husband gets a promotion. I'm actually with the Democrats a bit on the environment so would even be okay with increasing taxes on oil and gas, let's say for gas to keep it around $3 after taxes a gallon when it would normally go down to $2 a gallon after taxes so we lower inflation a bit from the over $4 a gallon we're paying now and the Democrats get a little something to show for it politically for the environment as a compromise. But obviously none of that will ever happen.

If Republicans get in charge, we could see renewed leases on federal lands but what I'd like to know is would the taxpayers be better off if we did it ourselves? Could the military or a new state owned oil and gas drilling company working only on federal lands be more profitable for tax payers than leasing those lands out to the current experts?

Getting back to Biden now, totally agree that he is an absolutely clueless total disaster. He has no idea what is going on and no plan to improve anything at all. As far as Biden is concerned, the solution to inflation is resignation, either his or we have to resign ourselves to it. It's not going to get better as long as his ilk are in power. Nothing will improve. Things are going to get a lot worse before they get even worse than that. Prediction for the future? One word. Pain.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #5 on: July 14, 2022, 05:41:26 AM »
I would argue that none of our current inflationary problems are due to an actually restricted supply of crude oil.

Crunch

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2022, 08:36:47 AM »
Economists wouldn't know how to turn around the current situation even if you let any one of them do anything they wanted to make it happen. It is a complex issue, and I doubt Biden had that much to do with it. The Fed wasn't beholden to either Trump or Biden when it determined its approach in 2020, and it's not even clear they were the sole cause. QE going all the way back to 2011 could be contributing. Blah, blah, blah, I could go on. Anyone who takes sound bites about "who" is responsible for this is just looking for a way to stop thinking about it.

It’s nobody’s fault. Just one of those things. I suspect if trump was in office we’d be hearing the opposite

msquared

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2022, 08:46:44 AM »
I didn't blame the economic downturn in 2020 on Trump and I did not credit Biden with the great recovery in 2021 either.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #8 on: July 14, 2022, 09:50:25 AM »
I would argue that none of our current inflationary problems are due to an actually restricted supply of crude oil.

"Due" is a funny word. If we (incorrectly) view economics as a strict set of causal factors within a system, then perhaps you could be right that there is no direct causation between the Ukraine war and global prices. But I do think there is a connection, just not a materially causal one: people smelled opportunity. But it's not just that, since obviously some prices would directly be affected by a restricted supply. It's just that when seeing one price go up, the supply chain smells blood and follows suit. This is my hypothesis, at least. I think upward price spirals are at least equal part psychological game as inadvertent coordination. If you could raise your price without lowering demand, would you do it? Normally it would lower demand, but what if you knew your competitors would raise the price too? Then it can become a game of inching upwards as the market tries slightly higher prices over and over, watching each other to make sure everyone is still buying and it works. Contrary to what many economists are claiming, I think it's a de facto global cartel. Baseline prices are simply arbitrary, anyhow, right? After all, what is bread intrinsically worth in dollars?

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #9 on: July 14, 2022, 10:06:59 AM »
Okay, this will never ever happen and I know that but what I'd do is use the military to drill for oil and gas on federal lands. ...

I never knew you were a socialist at heart cherry.  ;)

Imagine Biden proposing such a thing. OMG the right would go ape **** crazy over that economic policy.

Seriati

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #10 on: July 14, 2022, 11:16:02 AM »
Economists wouldn't know how to turn around the current situation even if you let any one of them do anything they wanted to make it happen. It is a complex issue, and I doubt Biden had that much to do with it.

Why do you doubt that he did?  Is it just because he's senile?  His authority was used to cause much of the harm.  He's every day issuing "government-wide" directives, agency directives and even executive orders that are the root cause of virtually all of the issues in the economy.

Our citizens spend too much time looking at what Congress gets done or doesn't get done, and completely ignore that 99% of the rules we live by are generated by the administrative state.  That same administrative state that spent 4 years trying to undermine Trump's authority has spent the last 18 months on overdrive trying to implement "Biden's" fascist vision.  You can go to virtually any agency, look at their current rule making efforts, and find multiple, massive, agency proposals many of which are completely outside their own authority, virtually all of which implement hard left wish list items and most of which are completely anti-economic.  And that's just the parts that are easy to see.  Most of those agencies have completely changed their response to taking actions that they are required or permitted to take, whether they are enforcement actions or other kinds (e.g., refusing to facilitate the legally required oil lease sales), and virtually all of that has been pro-leftist and anti-economic.

All of that agency action is the direct result of Biden's election, choices, directives and open encouragement.

I said it before the election, the left was in a panic about winning this Presidential election because they knew that the post-pandemic economic boost was going to be stellar.  With Trump in office everyone would be richer and we'd have the best economy in history, cementing the public's view of Republican economic guidance.  However, if a Democrat were to be elected, then they could implement whatever socialist mess of policies they wanted, knowing that they'd suppress economic growth but relying on the post-pandemic boost to still make it look like an economic success and thereby claiming that their policies "saved" the terrible economy.  Whether Biden just was too incompetent or their policies are just too terrible the plan has failed.  Only the complete sell out of the media is allowing the progressive left to even pretend they are not a walking disaster in governance.

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Anyone who takes sound bites about "who" is responsible for this is just looking for a way to stop thinking about it.

No, we're trying to get you to stop voting for it.  A failure to analyze the situation and pretend its unavoidable, ensures that you'll keep voting for the very people that cause it.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2022, 11:19:59 AM »
Ok, Seriati, I'll bite. Can you name one or two specific administrative practices enacted by the Biden administration that you can see as directly contributing to high inflation?

Seriati

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2022, 12:49:36 PM »
Could I, sure.  I still think you should look where I suggested and discover for yourself.

So let's talk about energy.  Did you look at the EPA's rule that was the subject of West Virginian versus the EPA?  If you dig through back and forth and the briefing on the case it exposes an entire history of activist regulation attempts that have directly led to higher energy costs (which the EPA acknowledges).  The original rule was Obama's, Trump's replacement rule was overturned by a Court that agreed not to reinstate (at Biden's request) the Obama rule and instead directed the EPA to make a new rule that on an even more expansive interpretation of agency authority.  Biden's EPA was in that process and did everything possible at his direction to try and moot the case so that the SC wouldn't rule on it - thereby "preserving" their expansive interpretation of their authority and allowing them to start a reset on the fight to over turn at the cost of millions and millions of dollars in direct litigation costs and billions or even trillions to the economy.  The EPA admitted in their filings that just passing the unConstitutional rule during the Obama administration caused billions of dollars of compliance costs to be incurred in the industry as a "preventative" and in preparation of the possibility that the rule would come into force.  Literally, every energy bill in the country is higher today because of it's un-Constitutional actions, and Biden's decisions since taking office were designed to continue and increase that effect with a future rule.  Every part of his posture on that case and the related rule making discouraged investment in energy resources that are disfavored and directly increased the costs.

Or how about the SECs proposal to regulate carbon through disclosure requirements.  Way outside the lines of their actual authority, already triggering hundreds of millions in pre-compliance efforts and expected to have tens of billions of dollars in compliance costs (for no actual gain to investors, which is the SECs mandate). 

Or how about Biden directing all 300 federal agencies to divert their resources to voter registration activities?  That's a "small" misdirection that reduces available resources used for legitimate purposes and increases the tax burden on Americans.  Heck, the SC allowed Biden to release illegal immigrants that they are required to detain by law on the theory that there are not enough resources to detain them, and just today I read how he granted a leftist organization near a billion dollars to provide legal services to unaccompanied minors in respect of their illegal immigration.  We're literally, funding the undermining of our border laws by amounts that would be more than adequate to enforce them.

Or how about how the DOJ announced they're reinstituting the practice of slush fund settlements where they enforce a law to trigger a payment to a favored third party entity.  Those settlements increase everyone's expenses, and reinstituting the practice of sue and settle, where they groom a plaintiff to sue an agency so the agency can implement an illegally adopted policy change as a settlement in front of a friendly (i.e., corrupt) judge.  Everything about those practices leads to higher costs for you.

Or how about the express new directives in the housing industry that they have to consider "equity" in mortgages going forward?  Do you remember the whole friggin' sub-prime crisis?  This is literally the same type of action that underpinned the entire subprime mortgage crisis.  It's directly adding to the costs of housing, as the every loan made that isn't justified by the actual financials increases the incurrence of losses that have be made up through the rates on everyone else.

Or how about the changes to the minimum wage?  Or the literal transfer payments to non-workers?  Or if you want to look long term, how about the direction of "COVID" emergency funds passed in the first major legislation of his adminstration to implement diversity, equity and inclusion programs in public schools that despite having lofty sounding goals are little more than hard core America hating socialist indoctrination programs designed to eliminate dissent and hard wire the next generation not to be able to evaluate things logically?  The opporunity costs of this training are being felt in literally every company in the country.

Or how about Biden reinstituting the false Obama standards for economic analysis that allow agencies to effectively weight environmental impacts as infinite and justifying any level of economic destruction?

Or heck, take a look at practically anything coming out of the DoL with its ridiculously pro union bias swept in by Biden.  I mean they've ordered re-elections when the original elections were fair but didn't get the results they wanted, they've insisted that the rules be changed to favor the union, they've pretty much expressed direct hostility to any non-union groups.  All of which increases costs.  I mean my goodness, Biden excluded Tesla from meetings on which they are the dominant environmental player solely because they are non-union.

Seriously though, pick an agency and evaluate what they're doing.  Compare and contrast to how they operated under Trump.  Tell me if you can actually reach a contrary conclusion.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2022, 02:28:32 PM »
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We're literally, funding the undermining of our border laws by amounts that would be more than adequate to enforce them.
I'd like to challenge this, on the grounds that we spend far more on border security than we save by enforcing border security. By nearly an order of magnitude, in fact.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2022, 02:39:58 PM »
Um, Seriait, there's a reason I asked for one or two, as I can't vet all that. It'd take me weeks or months to investigate each of those arenas to my satisfaction to be able to tell you 'authoritatively' whether I think your invididual points have merit. But are you seriously meaning to say that instances of systemic money shifting in the form of legal settlements and voter registration activities are why bread in stores would go up 50% in cost over the last two years? Or milk, or any good whether produced locally or sourced from Asia? And likewise these things are the cause of the stock market soaring starting Aug 2021, of the high price of crude oil coming into 2022, and why auto parts and chips are seeing shortages?

I'll focus on two of your points that I see as being more directly related to soaring inflation. Even if some of your other points have merit as being administrative bloat or mismanagement, that happens now and then in policits but doesn't generate 9%+ inflation.

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Or how about the express new directives in the housing industry that they have to consider "equity" in mortgages going forward?  Do you remember the whole friggin' sub-prime crisis?  This is literally the same type of action that underpinned the entire subprime mortgage crisis.  It's directly adding to the costs of housing, as the every loan made that isn't justified by the actual financials increases the incurrence of losses that have be made up through the rates on everyone else.

Can you be more explicit about which directives you mean? I do read and hear a lot about the mortgage market, so I'd like to know which policies you mean and where they're coming from so I can see if we're seeing the same thing.

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Or how about the changes to the minimum wage?

Well, how about it? This is why the prices of commodities and finished goods are going up? Even for commodities and raw materials not exctracted in the U.S.? Even from countries which have had no change in their minimum wage lately?

As a side point, perhaps tangential to the issue of inflation, people have become very fed up during the pandemic at working crap jobs for crap money, and to the extent that the 'great resignation' is a real thing, an increase in the minimum wage would be just the government doing by fiat what sensible businesses do on their own if they actually want to retain staff. I've been to grossly understaffed restaurants during the pandemic, with employees there griping about "no one wants to work" and blaming it on a paltry few covid relief payments. It's much more likely those payments gave people the breathing space (per the UBI argument) to be able to leave the job they didn't want to be at, but that 'not wanting to work' had to do with the conditions at that job. I'll note that Costco for instance has a reputation for paying well and having happy employees. I suppose this practice, which they undertook of their own volition, is responsible for 9.1% inflation as well?

 

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #15 on: July 14, 2022, 03:08:40 PM »
Ok, Seriati, I'll bite. Can you name one or two specific administrative practices enacted by the Biden administration that you can see as directly contributing to high inflation?

I'll second this, along with your follow up that the list is too long to evaluate each claim in detail. Also the reason for few items if for you to post your explanation as to how such a policy leads to inflation over the last 6-9 months. An Obama era energy sector rule didn't that hasn't been on the books for 4 years didn't suddenly cause economy wide inflation.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2022, 03:29:59 PM »
An Obama era energy sector rule didn't that hasn't been on the books for 4 years didn't suddenly cause economy wide inflation.

Global inflation.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #17 on: July 14, 2022, 03:43:07 PM »
It's also worth noting that any claim that inflation is due to the increased cost of doing business needs to address the fact that corporate profits are currently at a record high.

Seriati

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #18 on: July 14, 2022, 04:09:52 PM »
Um, Seriait, there's a reason I asked for one or two, as I can't vet all that. It'd take me weeks or months to investigate each of those arenas to my satisfaction to be able to tell you 'authoritatively' whether I think your invididual points have merit.

I don't think you should go point by point.  Instead, pick an agency that you've heard of and do some investigation about what policies and procedures they've changed since Biden took over and consider the impact they've had.  Some like those involved in border enforcement have had dramatic policy shifts on hundreds of individual rules and actions, but have less to do with the economy than with politics, others like the DoL are a mixed economic/policy puzzle, others like those dealing with COVID relief have issued policies of massive economic disruption sometimes justifiable but sometimes with barely a fig leaf for respecting their authority.  I went with the EPA first because of how extreme their rule was and how much of an impact even pre-compliance has directly had on energy costs.

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But are you seriously meaning to say that instances of systemic money shifting in the form of legal settlements and voter registration activities are why bread in stores would go up 50% in cost over the last two years?

Lol.  The change in settlement practice is going forward, and the change in agency directives to spend time on voter registration is against a backdrop where the Biden admin has used the defense in court that they can not comply with the law because the agency is underfunded (in their defense of catch and release) and where that's been a frequent refrain calling for additional funds for agencies (e.g., its' also been used to argue for expansion of the IRS's budget).

But the answer, long and short, in respect of any one specific item, such as the price of bread, is yes they contribute, but not in such a direct and clear and material way that it's obvious.  That's exactly why I listed (off the top of my head) so many things, the Biden (and before him Obama) "whole of government" approach is deliberately designed implementation of the death by a thousand cuts strategy.  The administrative agencies can promulgated thousands of rules, change millions of enforcement decisions and undermine the intent of law on hundreds of millions of interactions with the government, every one of which has an economic impact (not all bad), but the fighting of which imposes grossly disproportionate costs on industry, companies and individuals.

And then they can point to any one thing (the only way to fight in court is generally little thing by little thing) and say honestly that this tiny thing isn't responsible for everything bad.

So yes, Biden is directly responsible for that.  He's literally made no secret about it.  He's trumpeted his overturning of Trump era policies that were designed to control these costs, he's announced publicly his plan to "reverse" Supreme Court decisions or act when Congress won't through abuse of regulatory process and he's openly directed the agencies to search through their implementing statutes to "find" new ways to achieve political results. 

The fact that Democrats have embedded something like 95% Democratic partisans into those agencies and made "worker protection" laws making it impossible to remove them, means that we have a permanent and non-accountable Democrat controlled administrative law.

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And likewise these things are the cause of the stock market soaring starting Aug 2021...

Inflation caused some of this, but mostly this was the post-pandemic boost that Dems planned on covering their bad policies and that somehow Biden managed to undermine.

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...of the high price of crude oil coming into 2022

Direct Biden policies caused that and are still causing that.  Anyone with any exposure to the oil industry can walk you through a thousand regulatory changes and actions that have caused it to be grossly unwise to invest in new oil and pipeline capacity.  It's not obvious from the outside, but pipelines have to be constantly invested in to maintain a steady capacity.  Not for repairs, literally they have to be constantly being constructed to adjust to the development of new wells.  Without constant investment you create a situation where no one can drill or extract profitably.  Biden has deliberately undermined every part of the oil extraction process, they've refused to sell leases (despite being required by law), they've refused to renew (wasting massive previous investments), they've openly told the industry not to invest because they're going to close them down.

If we had a real media, you'd already know this.

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I'll focus on two of your points that I see as being more directly related to soaring inflation. Even if some of your other points have merit as being administrative bloat or mismanagement, that happens now and then in policits but doesn't generate 9%+ inflation.

Actually it does.  Inflation is a combination of everything.

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Or how about the express new directives in the housing industry that they have to consider "equity" in mortgages going forward?  Do you remember the whole friggin' sub-prime crisis?  This is literally the same type of action that underpinned the entire subprime mortgage crisis.  It's directly adding to the costs of housing, as the every loan made that isn't justified by the actual financials increases the incurrence of losses that have be made up through the rates on everyone else.

Can you be more explicit about which directives you mean? I do read and hear a lot about the mortgage market, so I'd like to know which policies you mean and where they're coming from so I can see if we're seeing the same thing.

There are a whole series of changes and directives on this.  Here's the White House's own "only the good" announcement of the grand plan.  Note the sheer number of agencies involved and the "redirection" of funds appropriated for things like COVID relief to force changes in zoning laws to allow high density buildings to be built any where.  https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2022/05/16/president-biden-announces-new-actions-to-ease-the-burden-of-housing-costs/

When you really get down to it, they've already announced things like race based mortgage guarantees, and payment relief (i.e., favored races will get handed federal down payments and the federal government will forgive mortgage defaults) and a return to approval of mortgages without evidence of an ability to repay (why's that needed if the government is going to pay for it?).

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Or how about the changes to the minimum wage?

Well, how about it? This is the prices of commodities and finished goods are going up? Even for commodities and raw materials not exctracted in the U.S.? Even from countries which have had no change in their minimum wage lately?

How quaint, you think that the only labor inputs in an international market are those of the foreign workers.  What about the shippers, the transhippers, the port authorities, the truckers, the stockers, the workers at the store?  What about the workers that service all those people and whose wages they have to pay?  Not to mention the higher taxes owed on the additional dollars made - even though real wages declined - the numbers move people up in the tax brackets.

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As a side point, perhaps tangential to the issue of inflation, people have become very fed up during the pandemic at working crap jobs for crap money, and to the extent that the 'great resignation' is a real thing, an increase in the minimum wage would be just the government doing by fiat what sensible businesses do on their own if they actually want to retain staff.

Nope.  If "sensible businesses" would do it, it would have already happened.  In fact, most people made far more than minimum wage directly because of that reality.  What the government did is "close the gap" devaluing the work of everyone whose work was more valuable than the minimum wage by pretending the minimum wage work has more value than it does.  The second big impact that this had (in addition to inflation destroying a chunk of the value of the change) is caused a direct reduction in worker hours - even of those above minimum wage.  That's magnified the real wages loss.  It was just in the WSJ today (granted in an opinion piece but easily verifiable) that real wages have declined in 10 out of the last 13 months of the Biden Admin and they've now fallen more during Biden's Presidency than during the recession from the financial crisis.  Compare to Trump where he set several records for growth in real wages (at least pre-pandemic).

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I've been to grossly understaffed restaurants during the pandemic, with employees there griping about "no one wants to work" and blaming it on a paltry few covid relief payments. It's much more likely those payments gave people the breathing space (per the UBI argument) to be able to leave the job they didn't want to be at, but that 'not wanting to work' had to do with the conditions at that job.

"Grossly more likely" based on what?  Your feelings or opinion?  Why express either, the stats are out there.  Even though we added millions of working age workers during the pandemic on a net basis, and we still haven't broken even on jobs from before the pandemic, and we still have massive help wanted problems, and yet somehow unemployment rate is low?  The stats are there and they're obvious, the difference is not that people left poor jobs for better, they left to not have jobs or they never even started looking for jobs. Labor force participation is way down, in fact its so far down it's at a level that hasn't been seen since the late 70's.  And that's ALL on Biden, he's lost a full point on the participation rate since he took office.  Jan and Feb 2020 the rate stayed stable from where Trump had gotten it (Trump had it trending up to 63.4%).  Dems passed the party-line America Rescue Act (i.e. the pretend COVID relief law) on March 10th.  By April labor force participation dropped to 60.2%.  It's currently at 62.2% (over a full point off of where Biden inherited it, and again last seen in the 70s).

When you look at all of that together, that's a tremendous amount of people that are no longer looking for work.

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I'll note that Costco for instance has a reputation for paying well and having happy employees. I suppose this practice, which they undertook of their own volition, is responsible for 9.1% inflation as well?

In the aggregate yes, though Costco's wages being at a premium in a stable market have little effect.  Where the government has an intentional inflationary (like we do) or deflationary strategy, then the deltas caused by wage premiums have a bigger effect.  But at the end of the day, most of the commercial effects of a business decision are a wash.  If Costco pays too much it has to charge too much. 

Governmental fiats on the other hand distort the process and has a massive effect.  Before you even think about arguing the point, remember that if it isn't true, then there is no reasonable reason to engage them.  Fiats are an intentional and knowing action taken specifically to distort the market because the government has decided as a matter of policy that a distortion is required.

Declaring that all jobs should be paid a living wage, for example, means anyone working at the bottom end of the wage scale is priced out of many services.  How can someone barely able to support their own family pay their baby sitter enough  to support the baby sitters family?  They can't.  Instead, today we pay people who don't need a living wage to baby sit.  Government fiats help neither of those persons as they eliminate the ability to get a baby sitter (possibly eliminating the parents ability to hold a job) and eliminate the baby sitters ability to earn some money doing a job they found convenient.

And the knock-on-effects from that are hugely punitive to the poor.  Once again, a promise that sounds good - I'm going to make your boss pay you more - actually harms the very people who think they're going to benefit.

UBI is just communism.  There is no money to hand out that isn't stolen from some one else.  Literally transferring from the productive to the unproductive solely for the purpose of generating governmental power.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #19 on: July 14, 2022, 04:44:21 PM »
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And the knock-on-effects from that are hugely punitive to the poor.
I have yet to see a single economic study that suggests this is true, although of course it's a conservative shibboleth.

Seriati

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #20 on: July 14, 2022, 04:53:36 PM »
You haven't seen a single study that shows how the poor have been priced out of affordable childcare?  Seriously, where did you look?

Or did you just mean that you didn't see a study that attributes this to having to pay excess wages to childcare providers?

Wayward Son

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #21 on: July 14, 2022, 11:47:00 PM »
What would you consider to be an "excess wage" to a childcare provider?  :o

Everything I've heard was that they have been underpaid for years now.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #22 on: July 15, 2022, 02:59:08 PM »
What would you consider to be an "excess wage" to a childcare provider?  :o

Everything I've heard was that they have been underpaid for years now.

I'm guessing since he is referring to people who manage rooms of 20 toddlers "baby sitters" that he considers anything over $10/hour excessive. Teacher wages aren't what drives up the cost of child care; facilities, insurance, and other costs probably equal or exceed teacher wages.

Mynnion

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #23 on: July 15, 2022, 03:38:34 PM »
Funny how conservatives believe anyone can get ahead if they work hard enough but don't want to pay for it.  No one wants to work for minimum wage.  The market is doing as much to drive up wages as the law and companies are raking in profits despite having to pay more. 

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #24 on: July 15, 2022, 03:40:58 PM »
Funny how conservatives believe anyone can get ahead if they work hard enough but don't want to pay for it.  No one wants to work for minimum wage.  The market is doing as much to drive up wages as the law and companies are raking in profits despite having to pay more.

But how can Musk afford to buy twitter and found a colony on Mars if people make $15/hour mowing his lawn?

Seriati

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #25 on: July 20, 2022, 01:57:04 PM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

It's amazing how after progressive policies generate the exact terrible results that you're told they will in advance, you are all shocked by the totally "unpredictable" outcomes and go out looking to pin the blame on something else.  Failing to learn from reality dooms, in this case, all of the rest of us to have it repeated upon us.

And Wayward, there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable.  Government interference in that -absent an abusive situation, which doesn't exist here- literally by definition results in excessive wages.  With 100% certainty that causes transactions that both parties would find mutually beneficial not to occur and that is a net loss to society.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #26 on: July 20, 2022, 02:14:43 PM »
Seriati, sorry I didn't reply yet by I've been too busy in the last several days to do my necessary homework to answer you properly. I will get around to it!

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #27 on: July 20, 2022, 02:21:45 PM »
Quote
It's amazing how after progressive policies generate the exact terrible results that you're told they will in advance...
I actually predicted the current economy -- which is not as bad as I expected it to get -- based on Trump's economic policy. Do you think I did so in error?

Quote
there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable
The idea that non-violent coercion does not apply to private negotiations is one of the laughable fictions of the Chicago school.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #28 on: July 20, 2022, 02:34:44 PM »
The idea that non-violent coercion does not apply to private negotiations is one of the laughable fictions of the Chicago school.

I would just like to add that "non-violent" is not actually non-violent in many cases. It just means the violence won't be directly applied by the negotiator. Example: you are falling off a cliff in the Arctic, and I offer my help and a rope for $100,000. You don't "have to" accept, and I am not threatening you in any way, except that the fact that you will die if you refuse is the primary operator in the negotiation, and upon which I'm basing my offer price. I've just outsourced my justification for my extortive price to an environmental factor; 'not my fault'.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #29 on: July 20, 2022, 02:35:18 PM »
Quote
And Wayward, there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable.  Government interference in that -absent an abusive situation, which doesn't exist here- literally by definition results in excessive wages.  With 100% certainty that causes transactions that both parties would find mutually beneficial not to occur and that is a net loss to society.

Then why are there poor people who are working?

If both parties found it mutually beneficial, then wouldn't the worker get enough to live reasonably?  At least not be on welfare to make ends meet, as many Walmart workers do?  Enough for housing and for food enough for their families?  Can anyone do that on $10/hr for a childcare job in any major city?

The fact that one side has to compromise in order to have an inadequate wage for a decent style of living shows that both sides obviously do not find the agreement "mutually beneficial."  ;D

rightleft22

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2022, 02:53:40 PM »
Quote
there's exactly zero reason to believe that wages agreed between consenting adults are not reasonable.

humm... maybe other then most of history. The market gods and elite business/corporation would never and have never take advantage. So many stories of putting people and the good of all before profit, can't think of a single bad when that didn't happen. 

Ah but the qualifier 'reasonable adults', yes yes if only everyone was a reasonable as the corporation... The 'corporation' is after all a reasonable person looking out for those that serve it.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2022, 03:04:32 PM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

Most inflation right now is energy inflation. Let's look at the causes of that. Energy demands dropped a lot during the pandemic. Domestic production tanked because the type of drilling done in America is more expensive. Worldwide production slowed, in part because of deals Trump struck with oil producing nations to keep prices high enough to not destroy American production. The economy picked back up and demand started to increase. Restarting wells is expensive, requires workers that have found other jobs, specialized equipment and time. Then energy prices really started picking up when Russia started sabre rattling with Ukraine and then spiked even further when they actually went to war. Those are the big factors. An Obama era energy policy that hasn't been on the books for 4+ years, the availability of being able to lease new federal lands in the last 6 months, have tiny impacts compared to those other factors.

The US spends about a trillion per year on energy. So even if we take the high, high value of 10 billion spent for the Obama era clean energy policy you would expect inflation on energy to be about 0.1% above what it would have been if all that cost had to be absorbed in one year. Make your case with facts and numbers.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #32 on: July 20, 2022, 03:22:32 PM »
Quote
Most inflation right now is energy inflation.
Not to quibble, but most inflation right now is profit-taking.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #33 on: July 20, 2022, 03:43:05 PM »
Quote
Most inflation right now is energy inflation.
Not to quibble, but most inflation right now is profit-taking.

And speculation bubbles. Actually I think a lot of profit-taking is speculatory as well, so long as we understand cartel-like systems to be speculative in nature since they see how far up things can go before they break.

Crunch

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #34 on: July 20, 2022, 04:04:02 PM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

Most inflation right now is energy inflation. Let's look at the causes of that. Energy demands dropped a lot during the pandemic. Domestic production tanked because the type of drilling done in America is more expensive. Worldwide production slowed, in part because of deals Trump struck with oil producing nations to keep prices high enough to not destroy American production. The economy picked back up and demand started to increase. Restarting wells is expensive, requires workers that have found other jobs, specialized equipment and time. Then energy prices really started picking up when Russia started sabre rattling with Ukraine and then spiked even further when they actually went to war. Those are the big factors. An Obama era energy policy that hasn't been on the books for 4+ years, the availability of being able to lease new federal lands in the last 6 months, have tiny impacts compared to those other factors.

The US spends about a trillion per year on energy. So even if we take the high, high value of 10 billion spent for the Obama era clean energy policy you would expect inflation on energy to be about 0.1% above what it would have been if all that cost had to be absorbed in one year. Make your case with facts and numbers.

America was a net oil exporter during the Trump years. It was cheap enough to drill this that it was competitive on the world market and I know for certain that we are able to produce it more cheaply than Russia.

The reason energy prices are going crazy is that the person currently occupying the Whitehouse has said very clearly that he wants to destroy the oil industry in America and has gone about doing that very effectively.

Crunch

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #35 on: July 20, 2022, 04:04:36 PM »
Quote
Most inflation right now is energy inflation.
Not to quibble, but most inflation right now is profit-taking.

Tell me you don't know how the price of oil is set without telling me you don't know how the price of oil is set.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #36 on: July 20, 2022, 04:08:39 PM »
*sigh* No. We were a net petroleum exporter, mainly due to overproduction in the Gulf that made it make more sense to sell gas to Mexico (and, in fact, desperately unload it to anyone who'd take it) than send it back into America as prices cratered. This is not as good a thing as it sounds.

-------

Crunch, from everything I've ever seen you post on the topic, I'm pretty confident that I know more about the price of oil than you do. That said, inflation is not currently being driven by energy costs, regardless of the price of fuel. How can you tell? Because corporate profits, across all sectors, are outpacing costs by nearly an order of magnitude; prices are not being raised to cover currently rising costs, but at best are being raised to recoup expected costs that have not as yet materialized (and, frankly, I think that's a pretty generous reading) or, as appears to be the case for the petroleum industry, to pay back investors after a couple disastrous years.
« Last Edit: July 20, 2022, 04:18:29 PM by Tom »

Wayward Son

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #37 on: July 20, 2022, 04:22:22 PM »
Quote
America was a net oil exporter during the Trump years. It was cheap enough to drill this that it was competitive on the world market and I know for certain that we are able to produce it more cheaply than Russia.

Sure, once Trump negotiated cuts in oil production which led to an increase in oil prices and eventually led to the current high prices.

But, of course, history has nothing to do with the current situation.  At least, anything that Trump might have done. :D

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #38 on: July 20, 2022, 04:45:04 PM »
as appears to be the case for the petroleum industry, to pay back investors after a couple disastrous years.

This is a total side-track, but in what manner do you think the investors are being paid back through high crude oil prices? Do you mean the shareholders in oil companies, or someone else?

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #39 on: July 20, 2022, 05:17:17 PM »
There were a lot of buyers (both of petroleum and crude) who not only took short-term losses in 2019 but spent a great deal of money keeping both out of circulation until the price could rebound. My personal theory is that a lot of the market manipulation we've seen in the last couple of years has been intended to let those vendors and their shareholders get back to their expected margins.

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #40 on: July 20, 2022, 06:42:57 PM »
those vendors and their shareholders

Could you give an example? I know it's a bit unfair to ask you for micro details when you're making a macro claim, but I'm actually curious how you're thinking of the scheme so I can see if I can see it the way you do. For instance, it is through dividends to shareholders; bonuses to execs; direct profits to privately owned companies somewhere in the supply chains, etc. I've been watching stock prices for the last few months for various oil/gas companies, but at least within the stock market I'm not sure what gains would have been made unless someone sold off lots of stock when they peaked in early June. Dividends amounts haven't really gone up in the May/June period, so I guess I'd like to know how the monies would be flowing to the relevant parties.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #41 on: July 20, 2022, 07:02:38 PM »
Dividends may get there, but the thing right now is to cover the commodity losses. Crude vendors leveraged themselves to keep oil moving, and they expect to erase those losses through artificial scarcity before they consider any more capital investment.

yossarian22c

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #42 on: July 21, 2022, 11:33:53 AM »
I think it's funny how when you guys are faced with fact based arguments that you don't like, you resort to platitudes and progressive alter calls rather than rebuttals.

How about you explain in detail the principles of the economy that are going to work differently?

Most inflation right now is energy inflation. Let's look at the causes of that. Energy demands dropped a lot during the pandemic. Domestic production tanked because the type of drilling done in America is more expensive. Worldwide production slowed, in part because of deals Trump struck with oil producing nations to keep prices high enough to not destroy American production. The economy picked back up and demand started to increase. Restarting wells is expensive, requires workers that have found other jobs, specialized equipment and time. Then energy prices really started picking up when Russia started sabre rattling with Ukraine and then spiked even further when they actually went to war. Those are the big factors. An Obama era energy policy that hasn't been on the books for 4+ years, the availability of being able to lease new federal lands in the last 6 months, have tiny impacts compared to those other factors.

The US spends about a trillion per year on energy. So even if we take the high, high value of 10 billion spent for the Obama era clean energy policy you would expect inflation on energy to be about 0.1% above what it would have been if all that cost had to be absorbed in one year. Make your case with facts and numbers.

America was a net oil exporter during the Trump years. It was cheap enough to drill this that it was competitive on the world market and I know for certain that we are able to produce it more cheaply than Russia.
...

We were a net oil exporter during the pandemic. Remember when the price of oil went negative for a few days. Easy to export oil when you're paying people to take it. Drilling in America with deep water or fracking costs anywhere between $50 and $70 per barrel. So when the price drops well below $80 many of the oil producers in the US start losing money. And if the price isn't stable at well above that no one is buying leases or if they do they aren't drilling them.


« Last Edit: July 21, 2022, 11:37:44 AM by yossarian22c »

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #43 on: July 21, 2022, 11:57:05 AM »
Dividends may get there, but the thing right now is to cover the commodity losses. Crude vendors leveraged themselves to keep oil moving, and they expect to erase those losses through artificial scarcity before they consider any more capital investment.

I guess I'm still trying to figure out where in the supply chain you mean. Do you mean those actually drawing the oil and selling it as raw commodity, or gas stations on the street, or maybe someone else? Just for example, Halliburton is an oil extractor, as well as other things; but their dividend is rather low and seems like it will likely stay that way. Just if we were talking about them in particular (let's say), who actually benefits from the elevated prices if the company's margins go up? The only ones I can think of are either private business partners (which may be owned by people involved directly with Halliburton), or else the shareholders directly via higher stock prices.

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #44 on: July 21, 2022, 12:41:20 PM »
Ah! It's a qui bono question. Don't worry; I'm not postulating some shadowy cabal. Yeah, I mean the extractors and suppliers far more than the gas stations, and I'm specifically concerned here with both private owners and shareholder boards, both of whom have a vested interest in demonstrating a line of consistent growth. The issue isn't satisfying a bunch of mutual funds; it's protecting personal returns and bonuses.

Crunch

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #45 on: July 22, 2022, 04:36:57 PM »
*sigh* No. We were a net petroleum exporter, mainly due to overproduction in the Gulf that made it make more sense to sell gas to Mexico (and, in fact, desperately unload it to anyone who'd take it) than send it back into America as prices cratered. This is not as good a thing as it sounds.

-------

Crunch, from everything I've ever seen you post on the topic, I'm pretty confident that I know more about the price of oil than you do. That said, inflation is not currently being driven by energy costs, regardless of the price of fuel. How can you tell? Because corporate profits, across all sectors, are outpacing costs by nearly an order of magnitude; prices are not being raised to cover currently rising costs, but at best are being raised to recoup expected costs that have not as yet materialized (and, frankly, I think that's a pretty generous reading) or, as appears to be the case for the petroleum industry, to pay back investors after a couple disastrous years.

You seem to be completely unaware of how the price of oil is determined.

I'll give you an example, via Washington Post:
Quote
A main driver of the wave of inflation besetting the country is the price of energy — all forms of energy.

But please, go ahead and tell the class how the price of oil is set. Don't Google it! Just write out a few lines about how it's done. I'll get my popcorn.
« Last Edit: July 22, 2022, 04:40:19 PM by Crunch »

Tom

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #46 on: July 22, 2022, 05:02:21 PM »
What do you think I should feel when reading that single sentence from an unsourced article in the Post?

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #47 on: July 22, 2022, 05:27:42 PM »
I'll give you an example, via Washington Post:
Quote
A main driver of the wave of inflation besetting the country is the price of energy — all forms of energy.

But please, go ahead and tell the class how the price of oil is set. Don't Google it! Just write out a few lines about how it's done. I'll get my popcorn.

Aside from what Tom just said, I've been watching and reading a lot of macro analysis. Zero of them are saying that energy costs are a main driver of anything. Most are looking at the markets, supply chain, liquidity, trade balances, etc. Oil is a commodity. You can't reduce the world's economy to it.

Wayward Son

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #48 on: July 22, 2022, 07:31:21 PM »
But, we know it's Biden energy policies that is driving inflation in the country, because there is no inflation problem in any other country in the world. So it has to be something we are doing domestically.

Oh, wait...  ;)

Fenring

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Re: The Biden Economy
« Reply #49 on: July 22, 2022, 09:02:08 PM »
But, we know it's Biden energy policies that is driving inflation in the country, because there is no inflation problem in any other country in the world. So it has to be something we are doing domestically.

Oh, wait...  ;)

Well, it's entirely possible Biden's admin (or any sitting president) did in fact make matters worse in the oil price itself. If producers were told to slow down production then this would obviously create a problem in the case of an uptick in demand. But again that wouldn't do jack to explain inflation in other commodities, stocks, real estate, etc.