Normal Americans are hurting amid the supply chain crisis. Prices for fuel, groceries and other essential items have skyrocketed. Empty shelves greet many consumers.
What is the response from the Biden administration and its leftist allies, those supposed defenders of the working class and the downtrodden? Laughter and sanctimonious lecturing.
At a Tuesday press conference, White House press secretary Jen Psaki blithely mused that the crisis affecting millions was little more than “The tragedy of the treadmill that’s delayed.”
White House chief of staff Ron Klain retweeted a claim by Jason Furman, Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisers chairman, that problems like inflation and supply chain woes were “high class problems.”
Psaki defended Klain’s retweet by asserting “Now, more people have jobs. More people are buying goods. That’s increasing the demand. That’s a good thing.”
Well, no, rising prices are not a good thing when inflation outstrips real wage growth. Average hourly pay rose by almost 4%, the highest in a decade, back in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). But once inflation was calculated, workers saw a 2% overall pay cut. Real hourly earnings decreased 1.2% during the fiscal year ending in July 2021, according to BLS, and that will most likely only get worse as the U.S. experiences its worst inflation rate since 1991.
Furman’s assertion that inflation and the supply chain woes are “high class problems” is blatantly dishonest.
This isn’t the 1950s when only exotic and luxury goods were imported for individual consumption. If you go to a Walmart, a Dollar Tree or a Sam’s Club, just about everything in the store is imported from overseas. At the very least it’s been trucked from some other part of the country.
Proctor & Gamble, one of the largest manufacturers of everyday household items, has already announced that customers should expect another price hike.
The commodities seeing the highest inflation aren’t yachts or sportscars, it’s goods and services people need to maintain a basic standard of living. Meat and eggs have gone up 10%, appliances are over 7%, electricity has gone up 5% and rent is up almost 3%. Critically, gas is up 42%. For Americans who live in rural areas and the suburbs, that’s a massive blow.
Sixty-three percent of Americans don’t have enough cash on hand to cover a $500 emergency. To cover such an expense, those Americans would have to either cut their spending or charge it to a credit card, reducing their standard of living or driving them into debt to afford groceries. In families that live paycheck to paycheck, every dollar counts.
For the supposed party of the poor to not understand how the current crisis affects their constituents, and even joke about it, is damning.
It’s one thing to deflect blame onto Republicans, China or the pandemic. That’s politics — it’s expected. But to dismiss and mischaracterize the suffering of the people you claim to represent? Disgusting.
The Washington Post took the Biden’s administration’s contempt for the American people a step further.
“Across the country, Americans’ expectations of speedy service and easy access to consumer products have been crushed like a Styrofoam container in a trash compactor. Time for some new, more realistic expectations,” columnist Micheline Maynard wrote Monday.
“Rather than living constantly on the verge of throwing a fit, and risking taking it out on overwhelmed servers, struggling shop owners or late-arriving delivery people, we’d do ourselves a favor by consciously lowering expectations.”
It’s not the government’s fault that the supply chain is clogged, prices are surging and the American people are taking yet another financial hit just as it starts to recover from the pandemic. It’s your fault for being so entitled, for having expectations. Reasonably priced fuel, food and basic commodities? In the richest and most advanced country the planet has ever seen? How dare you, peasant!?
This Pravda-esque gaslighting is part of the left’s attempt to gradually cajole the American people into giving away their freedom and prosperity as well as cement the primacy of government over people’s lives. You shouldn’t expect more from your government. You should expect less and be happy about it, because it will teach you humility.
The same thing happened in the Soviet Union. After standards of living dipped in the 1970s and ’80s after a peak in the ’50s, the Communist Party’s propaganda machine scolded citizens for being decadent and encouraged them to muddle through the shortages like good communists. Of course, the shortages never ended and the previous Soviet standard of living never returned — large portions of Russia still have not economically recovered.
It’s also the sort of glum resignation — oh well, we shouldn’t expect anything out of the massive nanny state our tax dollars pay for — that has consigned Britain, France and most of Europe to quasi-socialist mediocrity.
Leftists have often shown a thinly-veiled disdain for the majority of Americans who do not buy into their radical policies or don’t mindlessly chant back their social justice dogmas. Now they’re consciously trying to get Americans to accept a lower standard of living we overcame decades ago and shaming people who call it out. They think the American people are too stupid or too sheepish to realize what’s going on, but concerned citizens need to continue sounding the alarm — or else the country will end up like the Soviet Union or Venezuela.
Hayden Daniel is the opinion editor at the Daily Caller.