Tag: Inflation
Inflation Facts
Widely reported in the financial news, inflation skyrocketed in March–the Consumer Price Index was up 0.8% in just one month. Year over year, the inflation rate from March 2020 to March 2021 was 4.2%. Many people have told me they think those figures are understated from their own shopping experience, but I’m taking all...
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Fed Chief Says U.S. on Unsustainable Fiscal Path
Do the U.S. national debt and the government’s budget deficits matter? If you listen to the economists shaping the Biden administration’s policy agenda, they say they do not. Their basic argument is that with interest rates so low, the government can borrow as much as politicians want to spend. They think they never have...
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The Fed Becomes the U.S. Government’s Biggest Creditor
Do you remember life before the coronavirus epidemic? Like back in September 2019, when the Social Security Trust Fund was the largest creditor to the U.S. government? The venerable trust fund’s long reign as the biggest single lender of money to the U.S. government has come to an end, because Uncle Sam has a...
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Health Spending and Prices to Rise, 2018 through 2025
Before the Affordable Care Act passed in March 2010, President Obama repeatedly promised that the typical family’s health premiums would go down by $2,500 after implementing the expansion of health insurance we label Obamacare. Nothing of the sort has happened, of course. For the past few years, prices and spending have appeared moderate by...
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More Money, More Problems: Venezuela’s Minimum Wage Won’t Help Inflation
It seems like Venezuela always provides great classroom examples for all the wrong reasons. I’ve written on this blog multiple times about the government of Venezuela and the polices it has enacted. I’ve argued that falling oil prices aren’t to blame for the country’s troubles and that the once-high oil prices only masked the underlying...
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Krugman’s Bite on Dentistry Lacks Teeth
In July 2015, former Enron board member, New York Times columnist, and champion of ever more government control of health care, Professor Paul Krugman, wrote a disturbing blog entry: Wonkblog has a post inspired by the dentist who paid a lot of money to shoot Cecil the lion, asking why he—and dentists in general...
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Venezuela’s Problem Isn’t Oil—It’s Government
On Sunday night, my husband and I sat down to watch comedian John Oliver’s show “Last Week Tonight.” The news satire program is a guilty pleasure for the both of us. As the host, Oliver often brings humor to many otherwise (rightfully) dreadful topics. Although I usually enjoy the show, that’s not always the...
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Health Prices Continue to Rise Faster Than Others
October’s Producer Price Index declined 0.4 percent, month on month, and dropped 1.6 percent, year on year. Mild deflation continues to take hold in the general economy. However, it is not so in health care. Of the 14 sub-indices for health-related goods and services, only three declined month on month. Only six declined year...
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Data Show Deflation Except in Health Care (Again)
I admit this is getting a little repetitive, but it is not my fault the Bureau of Labor Statistics releases the Consumer Price Index one day after the Producer Price Index. The CPI confirms (once again) the price behavior indicated by yesterday’s PPI. While consumer prices were down 0.2 percent, month on month, and...
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When Government Fails—Venezuela Edition
Whenever Venezuela comes up in the news the story is rarely good. From massive civil unrest, to rampant shortages, to hyper-inflation, to stories of squatters, the country is probably not on the top of many people’s “places I’d like to visit” list. While we may look at the situation in Venezuela and think, “wow,...
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