According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) of the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), beef prices in October rose by 20.1 percent compared to the same month last year. Of the many products listed in the CPI, the only other item whose price inflated more than beef was unleaded gasoline. (Related: Beef and chicken set to become luxuries as inflation pushes food prices ever higher.)
The price of beef would normally fluctuate between one to five percent per year, according to BLS. This is the highest single-year increase in the price of beef since 2003 when costs surged after a cow imported into the U.S. from Canada was diagnosed with mad-cow disease. That was the first occurrence of mad-cow disease in the country, causing a massive beef recall and prices to surge.
“All meat prices are up, but beef prices are up disproportionately higher than the rest of the protein prices,” said Arun Sundaram, an analyst for CFRA, a financial research company.
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The closest contender to beef’s meteoric rise in costs is pork, which rose 14.1 percent over the past year.
Reckless spending and endless money printing have to stop
The surge in the price of everyday food items like beef proves that the federal government’s idea that inflation is temporary or transitory is wrong.
Larry Kudlow, former director of the National Economic Council for former President Donald Trump, pointed out that CPI is following the Producer Price Index – an index that measures how much domestic producers charge for their goods and services.
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“When the two indexes are moving up in tandem, that strongly suggests a deep-rooted inflation problem. Sometimes, producer prices jump but they’re not passed on to consumers,” said Kudlow.
But now that the price hikes are being passed on to consumers, Kudlow believes this trend suggests that the Federal Reserve is printing too much money, which is exacerbating the inflation crisis and causing the price hikes to continue.
Kudlow admitted that money printing is not the only reason inflation is uncontrollable. Shortages and supply chain problems are also causing prices to surge. But he pointed out that this crisis clearly goes beyond the supply chain problems.
“There are no geniuses in crystal ball forecasting, but numbers like today really suggest we have too much money chasing too few goods,” he said.
“And inflation is becoming embedded in our economy. And that suggests it may well be higher and longer than a whole lot of people – including myself – might have thought five or six months ago. As I often say, put aside the politics. Just look at the numbers, and they are not good.”
White House not planning to do anything about food price increases
In a recently released brief, the White House claimed that President Joe Biden “understands that families have been facing higher prices at the grocery store recently.”
But this brief blamed the inflation crisis on supply and demand issues and the fact that around 82 percent of the nation’s beef production is controlled by just four corporations. The White House claimed that this stifling of competition is resulting in record inflation. No mention was made of the Fed’s nonstop printing of new dollars.
Instead of pledging sensible solutions to the inflation crisis, such as controlling the federal government’s rampant spending and reining back the Fed’s money printing, the White House said it will enforce antitrust laws to “battle anti-competitive practices in the meat industry.”
It should be noted that enforcing the nation’s laws is something that Biden and his administration are already supposed to be doing.
Article by Arsenio Toledo
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