‘For Now,’ Americans Forced To Live With Inflation

‘For Now,’ Americans Forced To Live With Inflation

Like COVID, Americans will apparently need to "learn to live with" higher consumer prices. Although it's exceedingly unlikely that inflation will still be running at multi-decade highs a year from now, a combination of factors argue for the persistence of price pressures in the near-term. December's CPI report didn't offer any real "shockers," leaving markets free to trade an in-line print, but the read-through for regular people was less benign. As noted, there was virtually no evidence that
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6 thoughts on “‘For Now,’ Americans Forced To Live With Inflation

  1. Energy costs are rebounding quickly since December. Rents may have a ways to go before they top. Further wage gains seem likely.

    Is ‘significant slowing’ the new transitory?

  2. What astonishes me is that no politician or various prominent talking head will introduce into the inflation debate the voracious amount of over-consumption of goods we are experiencing presently all over the world. Our demand has increased by at least 20% over comparable pre-pandemic periods. Due to the fact that we have a lot of cash, time and angst on our hands we are all buying much more than what our actual needs are at the moment in a kind of ‘I consume therefore I am’ frenzy. Near death experiences will do that.

    This at a time when supply chains are tangled, goods producers are experiencing labour & parts shortages & we are trying to get fossil fuel producers to invest less in supply to cut carbon emissions. No supply system can deal with a 20% increase in demand in normal times and these are anything but.

    None will suggest that we take a step back from our violent over-consumption & show some solidarity with everyone by questioning whether we indeed just have to have that latest shiny objet right now, versus maybe delaying or – horrors! – not buying it. I understand politicians are scared to ever suggest that our society over consumes as that is our secular religion. But all that means is that we have to risk bringing on a recession by hiking rates to curb that over consumption. Why not try persuasion before jumping to coercion?

    1. Overconsumption was already occurring pre-covid.
      In fact, starting about 12,000 years ago, when humans transitioned from nomadic hunter-gatherers to living in permanent settlements with the rise of agriculture, humans started stockpiling more than they needed.
      I highly recommend “Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism” by Fumio Sasaki.

      1. Yes over comsumption has been a perennial problem since we first killed a large animal and had to eat as much as we could stuff into ourselves before it spoiled or the lions arrived. Nevertheless the very large percentage increase in consumption of goods over the last year should be discussed as a huge contributor to our inflation problem. And perhaps an appeal to voluntarily limit our consumption to neccessities for 6 months should be tried as an experiment in civic mindedness.

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