New piece from me about the "12 gallons of milk a week" segment and why, after more than a decade of people predicting inflation, we've finally seen it appear.

I don't think, btw, that the inflation we're seeing is a good thing. That's what the tweet says, not my article.
The thing that's often left out of inflation stories (and the CNN piece was no exception), is how unusual the Covid recession was, in the sense that lots of ppl, and not just rich ppl, came into the recovery with more money than they had when the recession started.
Ppl usually come out of recessions poorer. But in the case, the stimulus payments and enhanced UI benefits, coupled with a sharp reduction in consumer spending and a booming market made things v. different this time around.
The coverage of inflation - and the CNN segment was no exception - tend to make it seem like a mysterious phenomenon. But in this case, there's no mystery: we have lots of pent-up demand, while supply is still recovering from the recession cutbacks. The result is inflation.
If the govt had not passed the three stimulus bills, it's likely inflation would be significantly lower than it is, and the unemployment rate would be significantly higher. Not really clear that Americans as a whole would be better off, though.

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More from @JamesSurowiecki

11 Nov
1. Important article about the UK. Covid cases have now fallen, week over week, for 18 days. New hospitalizations and deaths have barely risen over the past month, and are far lower than they were last yr at this time, even though the UK is far more open.…
2. Last year at this time in the UK, cases were rising at a fast clip, as were hospitalizations and deaths, and they continued to rise for more than 2 months. Right now, cases are falling, and hospitalizations and deaths are relatively flat. And it's because of the vaccines.
3. One thing the UK has done very well is vaccinate senior citizens, and it's now doing a good job of getting them boosters. (80% of 80+ have gotten boosters, and 69% of 70-79 have.) That's protecting them against infection, and also against severe illness and death.
Read 4 tweets
11 Nov
If you just learned yesterday that the people Kyle Rittenhouse shot were white, you have paid no attention to the case at all since it happened.
I don’t even know what the complaint here is: that the mainstream media should have made sure people who were no paying no attention at all to the case knew that the ppl Rittenhouse shot were white? How? CNN ran a big piece on the three guys when the trial started, with photos.
I will not be surprised if Rittenhouse gets off, and I have no idea if he’s a white supremacist or not. But the race of the people Rittenhouse shot has nothing to do with that question either way.
Read 4 tweets
8 Nov
Most Covid stories are about failure. Here's a new post about a success story: Puerto Rico. Despite having the highest poverty rate in the US, and a fragile healthcare system, it has one of the US' lowest Covid fatality rates:…
Puerto Rico had a summer surge like other Sun Belt states. But it was much less devastating in its effect than in places like Mississippi, Tennessee, and Florida, in part because Puerto Rico has the highest vaccination rate of any U.S. state or territory.
Puerto Rico's performance was not something most people would have predicted, given the island's financial troubles, its still ongoing recovery from Hurricane Maria, and its poverty and college-grad rates, and the fact that in the US, Latinos have a higher Covid death rate.
Read 5 tweets
5 Nov

“I’m not some antivaxxer. I’m just suggesting that there might be something questionable or fraudulent about the vaccines.”
State Farm, whose whole image is built on being trustworthy and reliable, would be absolutely foolish to keep this total flake on as a spokesperson.
Unsurprisingly, Rodgers said he's taking ivermectin. Ivermectin is made by another Big Pharma company, Merck. Yet for some odd reason Rodgers didn't mention anything about Merck being criminal or fraudulent - only the companies making vaccines.
Read 5 tweets
4 Nov
Here's a new interview I did with historian Paul Sabin, whose excellent new book "Public Citizens" shows how, paradoxically, left-liberals like Ralph Nader played a major role in bringing an end to New-Deal-style big-government liberalism in the 1970s.…
Public-interest liberals did a lot of good by identifying and attacking problems like regulatory capture, top-down urban planning, and the sacrifice of the environment in the pursuit of GDP growth. But in the process, they helped de-legitimize big-govt liberalism generally.
Sabin's book, and our interview, look at why this happened, and at the challenge of reviving a New-Deal-style vision of government without completely abandoning the public-interest perspective.
Read 5 tweets
3 Nov
New column on why high gas prices have a unique ability to make people feel gloomy about the economy. As I said a couple days ago, the crank theory that I nonetheless believe is that high gas prices were in part responsible for McAuliffe's defeat in VA.…
Gas prices are powerful in part simply because they're so much more *visible* than other prices - as you drive down the road, you're ceaselessly reminded of how much gas cost. So they're always salient, in the sense of being easy to call to mind.
And the impact of gas prices politically is also likely not symmetrical - politicians get punished more when gas prices spike (even though they have essentially no control over what's happening) than they get rewarded when gas prices fall.
Read 4 tweets

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