Inflation Is Soaring - Get Ready for the Rich To Blame the Poor
Follow the money if you want to know the actual source of the cost-of-living crisis
Are you feeling the squeeze yet?
Oil is up.
Gas is up.
Food is up.
Electricity is up.
Mortgage payments are up.
Rent surrendered to land-lorders is wayyy up.
Cities around the world are erupting with cost-of-living protests.
But now that the cost of living is absolutely crushing the poor and the working class, extractionist elites are starting to blame the very people who have absolutely nothing to do with the problem:
The poor and working class.
Here’s a perfect example from The Telegraph (AKA The Torygraph):
Notice it says “demands for more pay” and not “a request for the necessary minimum to survive and pay bills to keep the entire economy going.”
Notice it says “union barons,” as though people fighting for democratic rights are to be equated with murderous monopolists like Andrew Carnegie.
Notice the Con plan is to cut taxes — which just further craters public services and enriches politicians’ banker buddies as the nation goes into more debt — rather than tax the corporations that are driving all this inflation.
Notice it doesn’t say “We must not bow to corporate demands for more profit.”
An honest headline would have read:
Corporate-captured politicians fume: “Corporate profits must be protected at all costs, especially from the workers who create 100% of those profits.”
But since when are corporate-controlled media outlets honest?
A quick reminder on what actually causes inflation
No, it’s not government money-printing.
Think about it for 2.2 seconds.
Who puts up the prices at McDonald's — the government or McDonald's?
Money-printing doesn’t cause inflation.
Money-printing just signals to sellers that there is more money in the economy, so they can get away with raising their prices.
There is literally no other cause of inflation.
Prices do not go up unless sellers put the prices up.
The cause of all price inflation is… sellers inflating prices.
Don’t fight it.
Don’t deny the reality of what causes inflation.
And definitely don’t try to blame it on the little people.
Inflation isn’t the working class’s fault
Inflation is caused by sellers raising prices.
The poor aren’t sellers.
And the working class is on the bottom rung of the selling ladder with almost zero power to increase their prices. Workers sell their labor for pennies on the dollar, capturing a mere fraction of the wealth they create for corporate parasites. They’re quite literally the last people who try to raise their prices, and they typically only do so when they simply cannot afford to live without doing so.
As the economist Michael Hudson puts it:
“The so-called fight against inflation is a euphemism for the fight against labor — against labor unions, against land reformers, and against democratic politics.”
For those who need to visualize this in meme form:
Prices should actually be going down right now
It sounds counterintuitive, but the more money our corporatist government prints, the more consumer prices should go down.
Economist Michael Hudson nails it again:
“More money REDUCES consumer prices. That is because most money is bank credit, and 80% of that is used to finance real estate purchases, bidding up its price. The result is that housing’s share of a typical family’s personal income has risen from 25% in the 1970s to over 40% today. That leaves less income available to spend on consumer goods and services — a deflationary effect.”
Put another way: The government prints money, most of this money inflates the cost of housing, which leaves people with less money to spend on stuff, which decreases demand for stuff, which causes prices to fall.
But prices aren’t going down, because corporations are price-testing, trying to soak up all of that Covid printed money and the savings from two years of work-from-home, pushing up prices to the mathematical breaking point.
The real crush will come when everyone has burned through their savings, but the prices stay elevated.
This will drive millions into poverty.
But surely the corporate-captured government will save us, right?
Government to the rescue (of corporations)
Former Fed chair-turned Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen wants to “help.”
She wants to save corporations from the coming crash.
By pressing at IMF meetings for nations to adopt austerity measures.
In other words:
Tax cuts for the rich
Cutting public services for the middle class
Cutting worker wages for the working-class
Depressing living standards for the poor
Plus, she also plans to bribe other countries with bailouts in exchange for selling their natural resources and public assets to investment corporations.
Ironically, when for-profit monopolies take over well-run not-for-profit institutions, consumer prices skyrocket and quality+service plummets — because the corporate mandate is to maximize private profits, not public value-for-tax-money.
In other words, the corporate-capture American government’s plan to fight inflation will actually just create more inflation.
Let’s recap what’s actually going on here
Corporations used the pandemic and the Russian invasion as a cover to price-test consumers.
When the biggest corporate suppliers jacked their prices, it forces smaller sellers up the chain to follow suit.
Systematically repressed wage earners couldn’t keep up with the increased cost of living.
Now that the littlest sellers — active, contributing laborers — are trying to get a pay meager raise so they can stay alive and continue to enrich the richest people on the planet, those same sociopaths are trying to pre-blame those workers for the price inflation they haven’t been a part of creating in any way.
Instead, the extraction class wants…
A.) tax cuts (so they can pay fewer taxes and then nations will have to borrow from their banker buddies)
B.) austerity (so they can pay fewer taxes)
C.) a mass sell-off of public assets (so people will have no other choice but to use their highly-profitable private services.)
Triple win for the corporatists.
This forced austerity will further suppress wages, increase prices, crush spending power, and materially cut living standards. In other words, it is a poverty-making policy. But poverty, of course, is great for the elites — it ensures a ready source of obedient, subservient, underpaid labor who will endure fewer rights and freedoms and zero ownership of the goods they’re creating for others.
We’ve seen all of this before.
And that’s the one thing you’ve got to love about corporatists: They’re embarrassingly predictable. All they know how to do is rent-seek — extracting profit from others — which leaves them with an extremely limited playbook of ideas. If we banned rent-seeking, parasitical corporatists would disappear overnight.
What’s crazy about runaway price inflation is that Americans, Canadians, and Brits will keep voting for their main two corporatist parties, no matter what.
This is the dictionary definition of insanity.
And clearly, the inmates are running the asylum.
Jared A. Brock is an award-winning biographer, PBS documentarian, and the cell-free founder of the popular futurist blog Surviving Tomorrow, where he provides thoughtful people with contrarian perspectives on the corporatist anti-culture. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Guardian, Smithsonian, USA Today, and TIME Magazine, and he has traveled to more than forty countries including North Korea. Join 21,000+ people who follow him on Medium, Twitter, and Substack.