Do you know what the most frightening thing in the world is? It is stagflation. The sunny days that were forecast for President Joe Biden’s morning in America quickly transitioned into darkness. The post-pandemic economy is metastasizing into a boneyard filled with anemic growth, chilling price inflation, and public health guidelines of putting the COVID-19 vaccine in their skin, or else Americans get the mask again. Despite billions in freshly created money and trillions in new deficit-financed spending, what else is there to do? The White House may only have one public policy prescription for the nation: Why don’t we just wait here for a little while? See what happens.
A Gruesome GDP Report
When Biden was sworn in as the nation’s 46th president, he may as well have uttered a couple of quotes from 1987’s Hellraiser: “We have such sights to show you” and “Your suffering will be legendary even in hell.”
Indeed, despite reopening the United States and pumping astronomical amounts of money into the economy, growth has slowed. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA), third-quarter gross domestic product (GDP) growth was 2%, falling short of the 2.7% estimate. This was also down from the 6.7% gain in the second quarter. BEA data highlighted easing in personal consumption, non-residential investment, and net exports. Moreover, the GDP Price Index swelled 5.7%, and GDP sales dipped 0.1%.
A sluggish economy has come to America, sheriff. People can either ignore it or they can help stop it. And, based on the latest U.S. government data, the consumer has tried to spur growth.
The Walking Indebted Dead
Consumers flooded shopping malls, retail stores, and digital portals to buy stuff they could not afford. Since about two-thirds of the U.S. economy is driven by consumption, this is necessary to sustain expansion. According to the BEA, personal income fell 1% in September, more than what economists anticipated. At the same time, personal spending rose 0.6%, slightly higher than the median projection of 0.5%. Americans dipped into their savings to buy stuff. Whether this is a result of an impulse to consume or prices are so high that you need to sell an arm, leg, and kidney, one thing is clear: They are not men. They are shoppers – the living dead.
Fright Night in America
Any time Americans enter a supermarket, fill up their automobiles, or buy a toaster, they will be haunted by surging inflation. This inflationary nightmare is not dissipating, despite Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen insisting that sky-high prices are transitory. The personal consumption expenditures (PCE) price index, the Federal Reserve’s favorite inflation measurement, posted a fresh 30-year high of 4.4% in September, up from 4.2% in the previous month. Plus, a University of Michigan survey suggests consumers’ inflation expectations remain hot.
A stagnating GDP and increasing inflation – the two ingredients in a recipe for stagflation. Is this the ghastly and ghoulish result of Bidenomics? It is only nine months into this economic doctrine, and a dissection of this system suggests citizens should be afraid – be very afraid.
Let’s Go Brandon
It’s the economy, stupid. This is the wail of pundits, pollsters, and politicians every election cycle. Regardless of foreign policy boondoggles or the extensive list of gaffes emanating from the lips of the nation’s chief executive, voters always return to pocketbook issues. Six million fewer jobs than before the pandemic, surging inflation, and tepid growth – a cauldron of repressed vexation has ignited the collective lamentations of “Let’s Go Brandon” coast to coast. Of course, when President Biden hears millions of people utter this phrase, his only feeling, perhaps, would be satisfaction: “Listen to them: Children of the night. What music they make.” That said, the open defiance from frustrated Americans is still synonymous with the famous line from 1958’s The Fly: “Help me! Help me!”
~ Read more from Andrew Moran.