Jimmy Carter 2.0? Inflation continues to say, "Yes."
Sometimes a photo is so perfect that it needs no captions. This photo is one of them, at least if you understand who is in it.
Pictured here are Former President Jimmy Carter and his wife, the former First Lady Rosalynn Cater, along side President Joe and First Lady Jill Biden. Why is this so apropos? Well, Inflation concerns, gas lines, and rampant unemployment were all hallmarks of Jimmy Carter's presidency, and so far, Joe Biden's policies have led to the exact same outcomes.
Yet that shouldn't surprise anyone, he's basically just rolling out Jimmy Carter's agenda again, only in a modern format. High business taxes, high fees, lots of foreign aid, tight environmental regulations, federal government interference in every sector of business, particularly in HR, and a border so porous that a wall made of swiss cheese would do a better job of keeping people out.
Another of his "brilliant" ideas? The Department of Education which all State and local government fight to this day to retain control of educating their children. But that's another blog entry.
Yet, as we say all the time here, the one constant in American politics is, NO ONE REMEMBERS.
Now the left will attempt to tell you that Carter's failings were all due to Nixon taking us off the gold standard, and there is some real truth there, but Carter could have undone that, and he didn't, so he's at least complicit in it by proxy.
But Carter's refusal to allow for drilling in Alaska, his opening up of the trade deficit with China, and his weak and largely lackluster performance in foreign affairs (Iran hostage crisis and Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to bring it into the USSR), mixed with his inability to deal with OPEC, led to many economic woes for our country, some of which would last until Bill Clinton and others until Donald Trump.
For example, Carter's ban on drilling in Alaska? It wasn't ended until December 3rd, 2020 as the capstone of Trump's "Drill baby drill!" policy, which decreased energy costs and saved the US from OPEC dependency, that Carter's disastrous policy decision would end.
No, it didn't do anything during Trump's presidency as it happened in the waning days, but it was the overall strategy that enabled him to keep energy prices low for consumers and to remove us from the worries about OPEC's production that marked the daily market watch throughout the 1980s, 1990s, and 2000s, that I remember well.
Yes, I remember news segments, for decades, leading off every business news segment by telling us what OPEC was choosing to do with their oil fields. Were they cutting production? Were they increasing it? Was I going to be able to afford gas in two months? We haven't had those concerns since George W. Bush expanded fracking and opened American oil production, and it only got better under Trump. Biden? Well he ended the drilling in Alaska on January 19th, 2021, a mere 13 days after Trump's administration issued the first drilling permit.
They're issuing less and less fracking permits, drilling permits, and they've made environmental approval of these projects so strict that we're once again seeing segments about OPEC creeping in to our business news cycle. Yep, we're once again at the mercy of the global market to provide us our energy. That's not a recipe for disaster or anything.... //sarcasm off//
All of this leads us to the crux point of this article. Due to President Biden's policies, we're once again seeing inflation spike. The government reports 5% (yes, 5%, highest since 1990) inflation for May, with a CPI of 3.8% (no food or energy included). Shadow Stats is still computing the real inflation numbers, but the unemployment numbers on their website point to something likely in the neighborhood of 12-14% real price inflation for May which is up from the 11% in April. (as we detailed in our last inflation blog post here)
Why do I say it's him? Well, he has chosen to continue the additional $300 per week unemployment benefit keeping people off the job even though almost all experts say that it's safe to return to work with precautions and/or vaccinations. He has limited oil production in this country which means dependency on OPEC. He cancelled the Keystone-XL pipeline which would have lowered transportation costs for lower cost Canadian oil to get to us as opposed to Buffet's trains or OPEC's tanker ships.
Oh, and let's not forget, he changed the child tax credit into $250 per month payments to families which only help keep them out of work. He sent out massive stimulus packages without any verification of employment. He also raised the Corporate tax rate, which in turn has forced companies to raise their prices. We're always told that doesn't happen, yet we ALWAYS watch it happen in real time.
Oh yes, let's not forget that it's harder to buy a house right now because lenders are worried about the economic reality leading to increased defaults on what are already problematically low interest rates limiting their profits vs. losses on loan aggregate. That's if you can find one in one of the most seller friendly markets that we've seen in the history of our country. The dream of home ownership? Well it just seems further and further away for those who don't already own one.
I don't know how many different ways I can say it, show it, and demonstrate it, but liberal policies always lead to economic disaster. They always forget the human factor. They plan all of their economic realities in a "perfect world scenario" think tank, and then are shocked when someone else finds a way around them. Heck, they HONESTLY seemed shocked that people even TRY to get around them.
Have you ever stopped to ask them why they're surprised? They usually can't form it into a coherent thought. It comes out something like... "well, uh, they should just do it, because it's the right thing to do."
Yeah, well so is not speeding, yet human nature takes over there too.
You see, at it's crux, capitalism is the thought that one can turn human nature into a positive force. They don't assume that you can remove greed, personal accumulation, and a desire to "get ahead" from people, and instead look to harness it in order to help society.
Liberal socialism tries to bend the will of mankind into some oligarchical "for the good of mankind" collective. It's never worked, and it never will, because man doesn't change, and it only takes a few who don't get with the program to ruin it for everyone. Sometimes they're crooks (gangs, mafia, yakuza), but most of the time it's the government itself not living by the rules it attempts to impose on others.
Business will ALWAYS find a way around government attempts to regulate its profits down; and if the government should actually do so, like they did in Russia and China? Well, we'll just see the rise of criminal empires like they did who do everything under the carpet and bribe those same government officials into looking the other way as they do everywhere else. Businessmen will always find a way to be profitable.
You can either harness it, or shove it underground, but you can't eliminate it. That's why their Utopia will never exist. It all sounds great on paper, or in a book, but when real people, with conflicting agendas, get involved... well, let's just say it never works.
It never has, and Joe Biden only continues to prove that it never will.