Fed Boss Powell Railroads Workers

Railroad workers recently agreed to a contract that raises wages 24 percent over five years, with an average immediate payout of $11,000 and an extra paid day off. That is good news for workers struggling with inflation, but Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell doesn’t think so. 

“You had said that Americans and business need to feel some economic pain as we go forward,” Fox Business reporter Edward Lawrence asked Powell in a September 21 press conference. “How long from here should Americans be prepared for economic pain?” 

Powell responded, “It really depends on how long it takes for wages, and more than that, prices to come down.” Workers might want to spot-weld the “wages” part. 

The railroad workers were responding to an inflation rate of 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending in August 2022. That nearly double-digit rate has driven up prices on every hand. Fed boss Powell would have the workers believe that wage hikes drive inflation. As Powell should know, government spending is the biggest booster of inflation, which is now approaching record levels.

For example, Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act provides the Internal Revenue Service with nearly $80 billion in additional funds, with $45 billion for enforcement. These funds further bloat a federal agency already armed and dangerous

According to an analysis by the Penn Wharton Budget Model, Biden’s student loan bailout could cost $1 trillion. As Isabella Morales of Americans for Tax Reform explains, “this level of reckless spending will drive already surging inflation.” 

As Richard K. Vedder wonders, “does it make sense to burden hundreds of millions of Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, many of whom didn’t have the opportunity to go to college (or chose not to), to bail out student borrowers, many of whom are doing quite well financially, some with six-figure incomes?” For Vedder, the plan makes no sense. 

Similarly, it makes no sense to blame the workers for a problem caused by the government. That’s what workers have come to expect from the organs of the ruling class, at home and abroad.

You will own nothing and you will be happy,” is the mantra of the World Economic Forum. As WEF “global leader” Ida Auken explains, in 2030, “I don’t own anything. I don’t own a car. I don’t own a house. I don’t own any appliances or any clothes.” This may seem odd, but “it makes perfect sense to Denmark’s former minister of the environment. Workers of the world, who never voted to make Auken a “global leader,” may be certain that WEF bosses such as Klaus Schwab own plenty, and always will. 

The WEF mantra recalls the Marxist notion of “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” As the late socialist Sidney Hook (Out of Step) discovered, “the workers could be exploited in a collectivist economy as well as in a free market economy.” Like the WEF, Marx left the key by the front door. 

With a salary of more than $200,000, plus generous benefits, Fed boss Jerome Powell isn’t hurting, and in 2030 Powell will doubtless own plenty. The Fed boss wants workers to be paid less and blames wage hikes for inflation. Those are standard ruling class tactics, and the late Frank Zappa was on to it way back in the 1960s.

Zappa observed what they do in Washington: “they just takes care of number one. And number one ain’t you. You ain’t even number two.” 

K. Lloyd Billingsley is a Policy Fellow at the Independent Institute and a columnist at American Greatness.
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