With A Supposed Soft Landing Coming, Reuters Wonders Why Americans Are So Mad About Economy

You simply un-appreciative peasants are grumbling after all the work of your betters

The elusive Fed ‘soft landing’ nears. Why are Americans so mad about the economy?

U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said emphatically last week that people “hate inflation, hate it,” but he left another fact unspoken – they also punish the politicians in charge when prices rise.

They used to. Were politicians punished in the 2022 mid-terms? Will they be punished in 2024? I’m not sure that will happen much

The central bank’s quest for a “soft landing” of more slowly rising prices and continued economic growth looks increasingly probable. In fact, the U.S. may hit a sweet spot just as the 2024 presidential election campaign crescendos next year.

It’s the sort of benign outcome that academic studies and high-ranking economists had called virtually impossible after inflation hit 40-year highs in June of 2022. Some warned that millions of workers might need to be rendered jobless to reduce the pace of price increases in a flashback to the central banking experience of the 1970s.

Rather than cheering, though, after years of economic turbulence since the coronavirus pandemic erupted in 2020, Americans grumble, at least if you ask them about the economy.

What’s there to grumble about? The pace of inflation has slowed, right?

More than 40% of U.S. voters who backed Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election say they think the economy is worse off than it was then, a Reuters/Ipsos poll published last month found.

That’s because things on the ground don’t feel as good as the positive inflation trend would indicate. With fast rising prices and the end of an array of pandemic-era government benefit programs, inflation-adjusted household income fell last year, and the poverty rate increased.

Borrowing costs also have risen sharply in the past 18 months as the Fed ratcheted up interest rates to tame the surge in inflation, adding to consumers’ sour mood.

(From NY Post article)

That’s just through 2022. Prices continued to rise in 2023, albeit more slowly. Interest rates are much higher than when Biden took office, and, in fairness, that’s the primary fault of China messing with coronaviruses, though, the Biden administration made things worse with their terrible policies.

The Biden administration has worked to lower costs by releasing stores of the country’s strategic petroleum stockpile, pushing down health insurance premiums, negotiating the cost of common prescription drugs, and trying to end monopolies in meat processing and battling “junk” fees paid by consumers.

None of those worked or will work. They just started negotiating on drug prices, and that’s only for 10 total. Junk fees? Nothing to do with inflation. Insurance premiums? I thought Obamacare was supposed to do that. Strategic petroleum? That was a fail, and gas prices have stayed high. You’re paying way more than in 2020, which helps keeps prices high.

In the 12 months through August, the CPI accelerated 3.7%, a sharp drop from its peak of 9.1% in June of 2022.

But that’s not what voters care about. Even as the pace of price hikes recedes, the sticker shock from previous increases remains. Just because inflation falls, in other words, it doesn’t mean prices fall back to where they were – only that they are growing less quickly.

Anyone in a grocery store is less likely to appreciate that meat, poultry, fish and eggs are slightly less expensive now than they were at the start of the year – inflation among those goods was negative for several months – than to grimace at the fact that those core sources of protein still cost about 24% more than they did on the eve of the pandemic in early 2020.

Cost less than the start of 2023? What are those products? None are mentioned. Surprise?

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11 Responses to “With A Supposed Soft Landing Coming, Reuters Wonders Why Americans Are So Mad About Economy”

  1. drowningpuppies says:

    The world economy is contracting at 2.4%.

    Bidenomics having so much success in reviving American manufacturing, but that’s largely government-driven malinvestment in green-energy boondoggles that are crowding out investments in profitable and innovative industries. – Stephen Green –


    Bwaha! Lolgf https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  2. Professor Hale says:

    McDonald’s no longer has a dollar menu. Double cheeseburger pre-Biden was $1.25. Now $3.65. Large drink $1 then, now $1.65. Steak pack at COSTCO $35. Similar pack now $90. And everyone’s favorite… Gasoline. Not counting the artificial Covid drop in price, was $2.30/gallon, now $4.65.
    Home heating oil from $2.50 to over $5 in Virginia. The inflation rate was never 7%. It’s closer to 30, sustained over three years and not going down, just not going up as fast.

    But remember Econ 101. Inflation is not about the price of goods. Prices are just indicators of inflation, not it’s cause. Inflation is caused by the increase of the money supply. This is a feature that is totally under the control of the federal government. It is a choice, not just something that happens. The purpose of intentional inflation is so that politicians can rob savings from people without raising taxes. The US government increases the money supply every time they spend money that they do not have. They aren’t borrowing it, like they used to. They are creating it out of thin air.

    Bottom line: Most Americans are poorer in real terms today than they were when Trump was president because the cost of goods and services that everyone uses has gone up dramatically while wages have increased slightly. People’s saving are worth less than three years ago, even if their balances are higher. And to solve this, the Biden administration is recklessly importing unskilled labor from the rest of the world to drive wages even lower.

    • drowningpuppies says:

      Brandon claimed the US economy was flat until he took office and created 13M jobs.

      In a puzzling statement when he was running for the presidency, now President Joe Biden said “Milton Friedman isn’t running the show anymore.” Quite what he meant by that is anyone’s guess, but as Americans sour on his presidency in response to rising inflation (among other things), Friedman is having the last laugh.


      Bwaha! Lolgf https://www.thepiratescove.us/wp-content/plugins/wp-monalisa/icons/wpml_cool.gif

  3. unklc says:

    Doesn’t look promising for the near future, either. Just came here from looking at the rates on Fed T-bills / notes, the curve has pushed 5+% past 2 years, where just 6 months ago the prognosticators were saying rates would drop by April 2024. Right now, a 4-week bill pays 5.54%, so look for mortgage and consumer loan rates to stay high.
    Excellent work, Brandon.

    • Professor Hale says:

      Those mortgage rates are seriously important. People who thought they could buy a house 2 years ago now find themselves priced out of the market because they can’t afford the higher interest rate. Similarly, boomers wanting to retire and move to Florida can’t because they can’t find buyers for their homes. Similarly, prices on new and used cars are so high that people are being forced to just keep what they have for a while longer. Biden’s solution? encourage unions to add most costs to the price of a new car, so even fewer people can afford them. Meanwhile, 7 million new “citizens” who walked into the country now need every used car they can find, driving the prices up on anything left.

      • unklc says:

        Exactly, Professor. Mortgage rates look to stay high for the next couple of years, minimum. We are watching those rates closely as our kids have leased their house while they are positioned on the left coast and they look to be returning a year earlier than expected, fun. Consumer credit will stay high as well since all of this is based on federal funds rates.
        Those who have the funds will make money on relatively safe investments while those who live paycheck to paycheck will suffer.
        Again, excellent work, Brandon.

  4. H says:

    Well at least Teach you have learned to stop blaming Biden for the energy prices being high. The Saudis set the price we pay since we must pay the global price.
    Protein in the USA is high because the price to farm grain is related to the cost of fossil fuels and the fertilizers needed to grow them
    Most economists day that inflation is being caused by 3 things

    #1 high energy prices (despite USA pumping more now than under Trump)
    #2 record high corporate profits.
    #3 wages going up because unemployment is so low. The immigrants getting work visas should lower that

    • Jl says:

      No, Carbon boy, it’s not just the Saudis. The US still produces the most oil in the world. Remember, no economic news from the back of your box of Cherrios…Is this going to go on and on like your “Trump’s permanent trillion dollar tax cuts for the elites” bs?

      • Elwood P. Dowd says:


        OPEC+ can increase their output to lower the price or decrease it to raise the price. The US can’t increase the output much.

  5. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    The highest mortgage rates in history were in the 1980s. Thirty-year fixed mortgage rates hit their peak at 18.63% in October 1981.

    Excellent work, Ronnie. Actually, President Reagan and Fed Head Volcker sharply raised rates to stifle inflation by causing the 80-82 recession driving unemployment to 10%. The recession was deep but brief.

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