The loss of jobs is only half of the result of the government interventionist equation. The other casualty of an economy driven by taxation, regulation, litigation, subsidization, monetary intervention, and debt is the crippling cost of living for all Americans. [Yes, I was about to say middle class, but we would be wise to eradicate that sort of socialist innuendo from our vernacular.]
Earlier today, the latest wholesale inflationary numbers were released. The core PPI rose 0.4% in July, while year over year PPI is now close to a three year high at 7.2%. Additionally, food prices rose another 0.6% in July. These numbers are quite disconcerting, given the sharp slowdown in economic activity. The higher wholesale costs are inevitably passed down to consumers, forcing them to pay more for basic products, such as energy, food, and transportation.
While there are many cyclical factors that affect the price of food and fuel, and by extension, everything else; nonetheless, clearly central planning from the government has kept prices artificially high.
The government has foisted the ethanol beast upon every consumer of food and fuel through mandates, subsidies, and tariffs. This has created such a market distortion that 44% of all corn grown in this country is diverted for the production of ethanol. Corn prices continue to spike, engendering a cascading effect on much of the food chain. Despite the universal understanding that these policies have raised the cost of most major food items and gasoline, big-government statists in both parties continue to exhibit contumacious arrogance by refusing to repeal them.
Aside for the ethanol boondoggle, the rest of Obama’s energy agenda speaks for itself; a no-energy agenda. The administration is using every tool at its disposal to impound our oil, gas, coal, and nuclear power resources. Concurrently, Obama has sucked out all the energy investments and diverted them for 14th century style productivity; green energy. Those investments have really turned out swell for Big Solar. This is perhaps the most regressive tax on “middle class” Americans because the cost of transportation affects food prices, in addition to gas prices.
Finally, we have the plethora of spending from both fiscal and monetary stimulus that has devalued the dollar, thereby contributing to the rise in commodity prices. While the Fed issues easy money and the Treasury borrows it by the trillions, the weak dollar is wiping out the savings of the current generation. The next generation won’t have to worry about savings because all of their income will be used to service the debt.
So what is the motive behind this perfidious destruction of our savings and purchasing power? What is the end game?
Not surprisingly, the solution to every government-induced problem is…another government solution. You see, in the inane and insane cycle of government, the statists gleefully anticipate the creation of poverty resulting from their economic interventions, so they can subsidize the poverty with handouts. In this vein, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack’s comments in praise of record food stamp enrollment should come as no surprise:
Liberals don’t view welfare and food assistance as necessary evils; they view them as necessary virtues that stimulate poverty, and in turn, dependency on the Democrat Party. Perhaps, we should start a war with aliens, and then hand out food stamps to fund the war – and we will enjoy the motherload of stimulus.
The factors that drive up the cost of living and reduce income will serve as the bread and butter issues of the campaign for the White House. Americans want a paycheck; not a food stamp. And hopefully, they will give a pink slip to those purveyors of economic ruin that currently occupy the White House.