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There’s been a lot of talk recently about the inflation crisis, and rightfully so. 

We’ve all felt it in one way or another, whether it’s at the gas pumps, at the grocery store, or even when indulging in some online shopping. Just about all goods, essential or not, have seen a price hike in recent months, whether it be modest or more drastic like in the case of gas.

In response to this inflation crisis, we have seen a lot of people claiming to be experts on the topic coming out of the woodwork to give their two cents. No matter who it is though, they tend to say some slight variation on the same thing: our governments gave out too much stimulus at the height of the pandemic, and so now we are all paying for it.

While I may sound like one of those people coming out of the woodwork to give their two cents (because I am one of those people), I for one am not claiming to be an expert, but I have read and listened to a couple of experts who are rightfully bucking this standard narrative. Now, I plan to share some of what I’ve learned with all of you.

For starters, I find it funny that within a single conversation, someone is able to talk about the inflation crisis being caused by too much stimulus and the mass global supply chain crisis without putting the two of them together. It’s absolutely mind boggling to me that it doesn’t cross some people’s minds that these two things could in fact be related.

The fact of the matter is that they are related, almost exclusively. When you consider the unprecedented supply chain issues we have seen in recent months, with ships being unable to unload their product, truckers being in short supply, all the while demand has been through the roof, it doesn’t take a genius to understand how this could be contributing to an increase in costs for consumers. The unprecedented increase in demand, combined with the increasing difficulty and costliness of production and shipping, is the cause of the lion’s share of inflation we are seeing, not government spending.

The other major contributor to the inflation crisis is not actually inflation at all. The great level of corporate control over many industries we see today, with a few major players dominating most industries, companies have been free to capitalize on the talk of inflation to simply raise their prices just because, despite not being affected by the supply chain issues themselves.

So even though the truth is out there when it comes to the recent inflation crisis, why are so many still so quick to claim that the true culprit is government overspending? Well for many, particularly corporations and those who are economically conservative, it’s far easier to simply blame the government for our problems than to challenge their biases (or in the case of the corporations, risk jeopardizing their own profits). 

Claiming that your hands are tied when you have to raise your prices, arbitrarily or not, makes it an easier pill to swallow for consumers than to just admit to them that you are capitalizing on multiple converging global crises and the lowly consumer is left to pick up the tab.

The reason that is so much easier is in part because public perceptions of the government have been on the decline for years, and certainly pandemic fatigue hasn’t helped matters. So, that makes it much easier for massive corporations (and the conservative stooges that do their bidding in media and elsewhere) to frame the inflation crisis as a result of political incompetence, a narrative many are already partial to, rather than the natural consequence of short term corporate planning and insatiable greed.

Hopefully with increased investment and a reevaluation of global production strategies (which appears to be coming, albeit at a slow pace), the economic realities that are causing inflation in certain industries will subside, which should bring the greedy bandwagoners to heel. However, with this current level of inflation expected to last beyond 2023, things are going to get worse before they get better.