But I would be surprised if a media report was the whole story. What else could explain the dissatisfaction? Even if you forget about inflation, the experience of living and working in the US economy is often not pleasant right now.
Among the problems: Public buses and subways are unreliable, mainly due to Covid absences, long commute times. School transportation and after-school activities are unreliable, creating gaps in childcare. Grocery stores are often out of stock. Long retail line. Doctor appointments can be difficult to get.
A difficult problem
In the coming months, inflation is likely to decline. Much of the pandemic stimulus is expiring and the Federal Reserve will raise interest rates, as several top officials emphasized yesterday. The Biden administration is also taking steps to increase the supply of goods. It has encouraged ports to stay open and to try to increase the pool of truckers, by expanding apprenticeships and reducing wait times for permits.
Jared Bernstein, a member of President Biden’s Council of Economic Advisers, told me: “We are working actively with the private sector to increase output through ports and we are announcing the results. real fruit. “An important part of that is our trucking action plan, which aims to improve the quality and quantity of those jobs.”
However, it remains unclear how much inflation will fall this year. “It’s a very difficult problem for them to deal with,” said my colleague Ana Swanson, who is in charge of economic policy. Some economists have pointed out that inflation is already so high that it could decline in the coming months while still uncomfortably tall.
Ultimately, I think inflation is not a narrow economic problem but part of something larger. American life is still very irregular as the pandemic disrupts daily life. By many measures – mental health, suicide attempts, blood pressure, violent crime, vehicle accidents, student learning – society is not working well. Inflation rates high enough to shrink wages is another entry on that list, and hardly the most important one.
It’s no surprise that most Americans have become frustrated, even with Biden. People’s living standards and even material lives are being affected. A disproportionate number is falling on low-income families and children.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/01/briefing/inflation-anger-us-covid.html Price and Ire, Increase – The New York Times