WASHINGTON, DC, May 24 – It’s rare these days that a Democrat and a Republican see eye-to-eye on anything but Mayor Levar Stoney of Richmond, VA, a Democrat, and John Giles, the Republican mayor of Mesa, AZ, are on the same page – literally – when it comes to the issue of Joe Biden’s inflation crisis. Together, they penned an Opinion article recently for CNN’s business website that challenges the president and his administration to cut to the chase and do something about it.
“Families across America are precariously perched on the edge of a hunger cliff. With inflation on the rise and supply chain backlogs, more families have been turning to food banks, forcing programs nationwide to ration supplies and cut services. And now the war in Ukraine is leading to more food shortages and driving up prices even further. Now is not the time to turn our backs on those who cannot afford to put food on the table…if Washington doesn’t act soon, many of the programs that have served as a lifeline during the pandemic will expire, and millions more will go hungry,” they wrote.
For example, milk prices have soared so high that families that were used to buying the milk they need for their children by the gallon are purchasing this staple in smaller amounts. Douglas McMillon, CEO of the Walmart megastores, reports the company is seeing some customers are switching from their usual branded label milk to cheaper private label brands.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] assessment shows that at the end of the Trump administration and the beginning of the Biden’s presidency, the price of milk in January 2021 stood at $3.47; currently it costs more than $4.00. BLS says that milk prices rose at least 14.7% year-to-year for all urban consumers in April, up from 13.3% in March.
The website, Trading Economics, reports that, based on data from the BLS, the inflation rate stood at a 41 year high of 8.5% in March. It dropped to 8.3% in April. But “inflation is unlikely to fall to pre-pandemic levels any time soon and will remain above the Fed’s 2% target for a long time as supply disruptions persist and energy and food prices remain elevated.”
Meanwhile, the experts tell us that the inflationary cycle will likely segue into a recession and that means more misery awaits us. The investment bank of Piper Sandler tracked instances when a recession followed inflation and reports that it’s happened in all but one of nine instances over the past five decades. So what’s in store for us in the near-term future?
“You may lose your job during a recession, as unemployment levels rise. Not only are you more likely to lose your current job, it becomes much harder to find a job replacement since more people are out of work. People who keep their jobs may see cuts to pay and benefits, and struggle to negotiate future pay raises,” says the Forbes Advisor.
Forbes editor Benjamin Curry and contributor David Rodeck prepared that report and noted that a recession is a lot like a the much more debilitation economic condition known as a depression. In their report, Curry and Rodeck site statistics compiled by the National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER], which keeps track recessions: “According to NBER data, from 1945 to 2009, the average recession lasted 11 months. This is an improvement over earlier eras: From 1854 to 1919, the average recession lasted 21.6 months…Even if you plan ahead to prepare for a recession, it can be a frightening experience. If there’s any silver lining, it’s that recessions do not last forever. Even the Great Depression eventually ended, and when it did, it was followed by the arguably the strongest period of economic growth in U.S. history.”
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