Inflation is not a new problem in the US; there has been a steady expansion of price inflation and a devaluation of the dollar ever since the Federal Reserve was officially made operational in 1916. This inflation is easily observed by comparing the prices of commodities and necessities from a few decades ago to today.
The median cost of a home in 1960 was around $11,900, which is the equivalent of $98,000 today. In the year 2000, the median home price rose to $170,000. Today, the average sale price for a home is over $400,000 dollars. Inflation apologists will argue that wages are keeping up with prices; this is simply not true and has not been true for a long time.
In today’s terms, a certain measure of home price increases involve artificial demand created by massive conglomerates like Blackstone buying up distressed properties. We can also place some blame on the huge migration of Americans out of blue states like New York and California during the pandemic lockdowns. However, prices were rising exponentially in many markets well before covid.
Americans have been dealing with higher prices and stagnant wages for some time now. This is often hidden or obscured by creative government accounting and the way inflation is communicated to the public through CPI numbers. This is especially true after the inflationary crisis of the late 1970s and early 1980s under the Carter Administration and Fed Chairman Paul Volcker.
It’s important to understand that CPI today is NOT an accurate reflection of true inflation overall, and this is because the methods used by the Fed and other institutions to calculate inflation changed after the 1970s event. Not surprisingly, CPI was adjusted to show a diminished inflation threat. If you can’t hide the price increases, you can at least lie about the gravity of those increases.
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